With the Romulans going for a couple turns of peace, the Federation gets to decide where the war goes next during the Alliance half of Turn 10. A couple years ago, I knew I was putting the Federation on a full wartime footing, removing the limitations on construction, and doing what I could to disrupt the Klingon border.
When we got the game going again, I pondered the wisdom of this. The Gorn navy is small, but good quality, and I was starting to look at the Romulan navy with a lot of trepidation. I need all the help I can get against that. Letting the Gorns sit out the war seemed like a bad idea.
But, I did it anyway. With the Hydrans finally off their capital, this is the last chance I've got to hurt the Klingon Empire before ships from that front start showing up on the Federation border. Last turn I had set up to be able to hit the Northern Reserve starbase; the Klingons then sent a lot of ships to 1407 (only two hexes away), and established two reserves there, which complicated things.
Base F&E, without any expansions, only sees modest changes in ship types during the war. However, Turn 10 effectively marks the beginning of the 'CVA era'. The Federation actually builds the first carrier based on a dreadnought hull—a heavy carrier, or CVA—on turn 6. But on turn 10 the Kzintis adopt the idea, and the number of CVAs doubles from 2 (the turn 6 and 8 Fed carriers) to 4 (the Fed turn 10 carrier, and the first Kzinti one). In two turns, the Klingons will join in on the fun. (The Hydrans can also build/convert a CVA this turn, but are often otherwise occupied, and my Hydrans are out of DNs.)
Finally unchained from various production restrictions, the Federation went from a stored treasury of 90 EPs to having 54 left after production. They built a new CVA, converted a CA to a CVS, built a FFV, and a heavy carrier pod; that's a lot of fighters to pay for (24 in fact)! In addition, they deployed 5 new PDUs (all outside the capital; I need to work on that) and a FRD.
Movement was complicated by the fact that I not only needed to pin the Klingon reserves, but the rest of the ships as well, and the Kzinti navy was just capable of doing it. Bel reacted aggressively, trying to keep me out of the hex, and the old Kzinti/Klingon border erupted in a series of battles. Then the Fed 4th Fleet and Battle Group MacArthur went in for the SB.
In Hydran space, I pinned the forces near the Old Colonies so the main fleet could get back in range, and in supply for combat.
1304: SSC: K: crip D6 & retreat
1705: SSC: F: retreat; K: dest F5
1808: SSC: K: dest F5
1407: Z: dest SF; K: crip 3xD5
1809: F: crip 2xFF; K: dest BATS
1406: Z: crip CM
1811: F: crip FF; K: dest BATS
1606: Z: crip CM, SF; K: dest D5, E4
2215: K: dest BATS
1507: K: dest D5, F5L
2416: F: crip FFE; K: dest BATS
0218: L: dest cripCW; K: dest cripD6D
2517: F: crip 2xNCL; K: dest BATS
0119: H: crip DG; L: dest DWE
2518: K: 4xPDU, planet captured
1509: K: dest SB, FRD, stored PDU
Much of the Klingon border is now disrupted, and I've basically opened a mini-front with the capture of major planet 2518. I'd like to press on and take out the other bases in the area, but I figure the area will draw a lot of Klingon reinforcements which will at least stalemate me.
But it should sure draw attention away from elsewhere....
Outside of that area, the Federation has mostly pulled back to the border. They put the third CVA into the 6th Fleet Reserve (which means it's permanently part of that fleet until it is released), and overall just more ships near the Romulan border than the Romulans built, but most construction went to the Klingon border. The Kzintis are attempting to place a new PDU on 1402, and have moved a spare Mobile Base from the Barony to 1704 (from where it will presumably go to a new destination next turn...).
Turn 10 is also the start of the scenarios that have a regular scoring mechanism that could be applied at the end of any full turn since the same scoring is used for every scenario from now on. It checks (non-exhausted) economic income, existing bases, and ship numbers, and if capitials have been captured.
At this moment it says:
Coalition: 290 EP (x2) + 355 (bases) + 337 ships (/5) + 100 (Hydran Capital) = 1102.4
Alliance: 329.4 EP (x2) + 520 (bases) + 427 ships (/5) = 1264.2
This gives a difference of 161.8, which is an Alliance Tactical Victory. But, the Coalition totals don't include the Romulans, as they are at peace, and when they come in there will be a major swing in points. Also, I expect the Federation to lose a number of bases, which will also erode that score.
A blog for all subjects related to the Star Fleet Universe from ADB Inc. Talking about the games, the background, or its relationship with regular [i]Star Trek[/i].
- [+] Dice rolls
Hopefully, everyone is as glad to be reading this as I am to be writing it. Belirahc's life started getting extremely busy in early 2012, which led to our PBeM slowly grinding to a halt late that year. There were a couple of restarts past that, including a fairly decent one in 2013. Recently, he got back in touch, and we've managed to pick up where we left off.
So, where were we again?
Turn 10 marks the beginning of the third scenario, The Hurricane, and is the the turn in which the Romulans are put under player control. Often, if the Coalition invasion of the Federation does not happen on turn 7, it happens on turn 10 as a combined Klingon/Romulan assault.
However, with Bel still struggling to clean up Hydran space, he declined to declare war on the Federation, and put the Romulans on a Peacetime economy. The bad news is that they must spend at least two turns at peace, but the good news is that they won't hit exhaustion until turn 18, even if they go to war on turn 12.
This leaves me with the decision (on my turn) of if the Federation should declare war on the Klingons. The Federation is fairly hampered in what it can do while only at Limited War, but if they declare war, the Gorns will not join in unless attacked.
However peaceful the Federation border, things were happening elsewhere. Several major fleets moved on the Hydran capital, in the long anticipated second attempt to take it. The on-map reserve was pinned again, though a couple ships reacted out of the Old Colonies, and freed up one ship to help in the capital....
There were a number of aggressive moves in Kzinti space, and I shuffled units back and forth to try and keep everything nailed down.
1807: SSC: Z: crip FF & retreat; K: retreat
1105: SSC: Z: dest FF; K: capture planet
1202: Z: crip CL, FF; K: crip F5S, capture planet
1303: K: crip D6
1402: Z: crip CM, MEC, dest FF; K: crip D6, 4D5
1502: Z: dest 2xEFF, 2xPDU; K: crip F5L, 2xF5, dest 2xD5, F5; F5 captured
1504: Z: crip CC; L: dest 2xCA
1704: Klingons retreated after refused approach.
0119: H: dest CU; K: crip D5, F5
1506: Z: dest EFF; K: dest 2xD5
0617: Hydrax: 9xPDU, 2xSIDS; H: crip RN, H-D7; L: crip 2xBC, DWS, SC, dest STT, 5xCW, CVL, CWE, DWE; K: crip 2xD6, dest 2xD7C, 2xD7V, 2xD6M, 2xD6, 2xAD5, 2xF5E
Overall, Kzinti space went fairly well, but he has now killed the last PDU on 1502, which makes defending that planet more complicated, since if I want new PDUs (yes), I have to spend a turn setting up the first one.
I probably could have drawn out the fight over the Hydran capital longer than I did (six rounds before retreating out), but I'd either be crippling a lot more than I did, or I'd run out of fighters. Right now, the Hydran fleet is out of supply, so I need a good number of fighters for the journey off-map. I also could have dropped damage rather than direct killing carrier groups, which would have meant a lot more cripples and self-kills, which might have forced Bel into using the smaller ships that came in.... I might, even, have barely forced him to retreat, keeping the capital again (the fact that I rolled consistently higher would help here). But, that would leave me stuck on a shipyard with no economy available. I've been considering abandoning the capital as it is, I'm not going to wreck myself just to try and force a third go at the hex.
As it is, the Klingons and Lyrans both have a reserve in Hydran space, and some Lyran production was diverted down there. There's two reserves that can reach part of the Federation border, but much of that large expanse is wide open, with only the bulk of the East Fleet in 1914 to protect it....
- [+] Dice rolls
I've actually been working on the 2.0 version of the F&E Vassal module again for the last month or two. Right now, there's going to be three main phases for the project:
* Test - While I add the bulk of the content and try to get general items working
* Alpha - Cleanup and making sure all the features are up and working
* Beta - Final proofing and scenario file creation
I've just mailed out Test 5 to a few people. It's already been invaluable, as I've been trying to add a new feature, and on the big map, it's having trouble.
Several scenarios use 'sectors' to break them down into small mini-scenarios. The big scenario in ISC War used a new system of 'cordons' to do much the same thing. Rather than have the confusion of two sets of extra lines on the borders on the map at the same time, I came up with a system where you can turn big, transparent pieces off and on as needed.
But a big map with two big transparent layers is defeating most people's systems. I think it's just overrunning the default memory allocation in Vassal, but I'm still trying to get test data on that.
But here's a look at how it's starting to shape up:
And the latest new feature:
You can now flag ships with optional EW modes to signal their current settings, and the counter will report the appropriate stats (it still reports max Attack and EW if nothing is selected), and bases can be set to a particular EW level and report the correct AF. I envision this as a good reminder during PBeM games, but I hope to get better reporting of the battle line in this module, and it will help with that.
- [+] Dice rolls
[See Part 1.]
Patch and I did the second scenario of the UL2 mini-campaign this Tuesday.
I knew, going in, that this was going to be bad. It wasn't until I started looking at the DG again for repairs that I realized how bad.
The idea is that there are three Klingon ships available to counter the two-ship Hydran raid that assaulted their BATS. The raiding ships head their separate ways, trying to lose their pursuers, and the Klingons also split up. In the campaign structure, each Hydran ship goes through two follow-up scenarios, "The Pursuit" and "The Ambush" against either a D7 and F5 or a single D6.
In my case, only the Dragoon survived, so all three Klingon ships were present. As there is no time to visit a base, the only repairs allowed are the standard Continuous Damage Repair set, which on a cruiser is four boxes, and pulling out spare shuttles, which gave the DG its full complement of shuttles and a second fighter (there had been one recovered during the first scenario). And all shields are repaired, which was good, since the DG only had two left in decent shape.
I had already repaired one Warp box during the previous scenario, and so selected two more Center Warp and one of the hellbores for the rest of the CDC.
Because of the unbalancing caused by the newer base rules, I also did a round of Emergency Damage Repair as if I had done it on turn 0. There were only three labs left, so I eliminated the top '4' box on the DamCon track for chances to repair another C Warp, Ph #3 (FA+L) and another hellbore.
All three repairs succeeded, giving me 27 power (19 warp), two phasers and three hellbores. I had 10 turns to disengage by separation from all Klingon ships, which meant finding some way of slowing them down significantly.
The best I could manage was speed 14, arming all three hellbores and holding a suicide shuttle. The Klingons start 10-11 hexes behind the DG, and all went speed 22, putting up 1 ECM and one 1 ECCM.
I ran straight for a few impulses, and the D7 and F5 (which start on either side of the DG) started sideslipping in, and so I turned to the left, to bring the what I had to bear on the D7.
We both opened up at range three on impulse 11. The Klingons launched drones, and I launched the suicide shuttle. The D7 fired the five bearing phasers (mostly 5s and 6s), and hit with 3 disruptors, to do 7 internals through the #5. The DG fired both hellbores on that side, but one missed (again!) to seriously dent the weak #4 without actually bringing it down.
I turned off after that, but I couldn't afford internals at all and lost 6 power, and the one bearing phaser in that exchange. I could have set up a longer range pass, but wanted the hellbores in the 15 damage bracket... not that it did me much good.
Patch took a couple of phaser shots to kill the shuttle before he reached it, and the D7 managed to get back onto the #5 shield to do another 3 internals (a '6' at range 3...) to knock out another power.
I then turned the other way to get the #5 away from him, and fire the third hellbore at the F5. I hadn't counted on the #3-5 shields being equal, so even with a hit, it didn't do much. I launched the two fighters at this point, since they had a chance of living until they could fire as long as he concentrated on the ship.
He managed to pick off one of the fighters while all the disruptors on the D6 and F5 fired on the DG with two hits at range 1 (!!) The D6 then tractored the DG and then fired bearing phasers, which rolled only slightly better and the disruptors to put 15 internals through the #4 shield. The F5 followed up several impulses later with the RX phasers for another 12.
At that point, I was down to four power, a FA ph-2 that had never been hit (never bore on anything...), a probe launcher I didn't have the power to arm, and two shuttles. We called it at the end of the turn for a Klingon Substantive Victory.
In the more 'normal' form (D7 & F5 vs a DG with about six internals) it should be a challenging scenario. The hellbores will punch through the weak rear shields fairly easily, so some lucky hits can definitely give the DG a real breather. Though its top speed is 28 (only 27 warp), so getting away from speedy Klingons is a problem.
We're going back to our usual ASL next, but hopefully we'll be playing SFB a little more regularly next year.
- [+] Dice rolls
Patch and I regularly game online, and we decided to have another SFB outing a little while ago. I've been going for a 'historical order' system, to see how things evolve, and we're currently in Y157, which is the revised date for the mini campaign in Captain's Log #4.
We decided to go full-bore with revised rules for this old scenario, which was probably a mistake. Bases were made much tougher in the 1999 version of Advanced Missions, and the first scenario isn't balanced for that, and we're not good enough to need bases being made tougher in the first place.
At any rate, Patch took the defending Klingons, who just have a Battlestation (BATS) with reinforcements arriving on Turn 6, and I took the Hydrans, who are testing out the Hellbore Torpedo by assaulting the base with a Ranger (RN) and a Dragoon (DG).
My initial plan was to start bombarding the BATS from just out of overload range, since Hellbores are good moderate range weapons, and Fusions act the same from ranges 3 to 10.
I went in somewhat slow to get the 9-10 bracket with the RN while the DG lagged behind. Towards the end of the turn, the BATS opened up with disruptors and a pair of Ph-4s, hit with both disruptors and got '1's with both phasers to take the RN's #1 almost halfway down. Patch followed that up with another pair of Ph-4s for 10 more points (1 & 4) and a total of 23 on that shield. In return, the RN missed with two Fusion shots before turning off to show the #2. The DG then hit with one Hellbore, which was absorbed by general reinforcement.
For turn 2, I stayed near speed 10 with both ships, with the idea of continuing the bombardment for a turn. However, I launched all twelve fighters while the BATS launched a shuttle on impulse 1. Patch followed up with a second shuttle on impulse 3, while the RN did the same, BATS shuttle #3 launched on 5, and #4 (and last) on 10.
Mid-turn, Patch used a couple Ph-4s to auto-kill two of the Stingers. A few impulses later, the Stingers and shuttles exchanged fire, killing three of the shuttles, and damaging (but not crippling) two of the fighters. One was a point short of crippling though, and missed with both Fusions at range 5 on a +3 shot before turning off to find the RN.
On impulse 22, the remaining fighters hit ADD range, and the base started picking them off with that. (There was some mix up as Patch didn't realize that it took time for the rack to switch from one magazine to another at first.) The BATS opened up on Impulse 25, firing overloaded disruptors at two of the Stingers, killing them, and a pair of Ph-4s at the DG, putting 23 points on its #1.
Two surviving Stingers made it to range 1 on Impulse 27, and I should have fired with both of them, as the Ph-3s opened up at that point, but I only fired with a damaged one, doing a total of 6 points through a +2 shift. The DG fired two Hellbores the impulse after, and missed with one, putting 15 points on the #5 shield the fighter had weakened and sandpapering 3 off all the others (except #6 which was reinforced).
The Hydrans boosted speed by one for the third turn, and Patch missed his guess on the EW front, ending up with +3 ECM, versus the ships, so he had to spend a battery to get the fourth point and a +2 shift.
The DG's Stingers had gotten to range 2 and fired a Fusion each in case the BATS wanted to keep firing Ph-4s at them, but only got 3 points on shield #3. At range one they fired the remaining Fusions for 10 more points, and the BATS crippled them with Ph-3s, finishing them off the next impulse.
The RN got to range one off the right side, and both sides opened up, the BATS firing both overloaded Disruptors and 4xPh-4 at the RN, while it returned fire with 4xPh-2 and two overloaded Fusions. Thankfully one Disruptor hit, but the RN still took 85 points, and 59 internals. The Fusions both rolled '1's, with the RN doing a total of 34 damage after a +2 shift and did 2 internals against the armor. The strong center hull helped, but the RN was seriously hurt, losing 20 power.
The RN then turned to centerline the base at range 0, firing the other 2 overloaded Fusions and the remaining two Ph-2. This did 36 internals with good rolls through the same shield. 7 finished off the armor, while I got decent rolls on the other 29 to pick off some power, the two unused special sensors and a couple Ph-3s.
The DG then got to range 1 on the other side of the BATS, which fired 2xPh-4 at it, while it fired the four in-arc Ph-2 and two overloaded Hellbores. The Ph-4s punched 9 internals through, which got a Hellbore and a Phaser, with the rest hitting hull. The Ph-2s did 14 damage to the facing shield #6, but one Hellbore missed again, to do 15 internals, and sandpaper the other shields.
This took out the ADD (the drone rack went on the first round), some ph-3s and another unused special sensor.
As the RN moved off the base, it fired the Ph-Gs to exactly take down the #3 shield. The DG then sideslipped over to the same place to put it's Ph-Gs through the down shield, generating another 23 internals, which took out a Disruptor, more Ph-3s and the last special sensor.
The RN crawled away from the BATS at speed four, while the DG manged speed 10. The BATS fired 4xPh-4 and the remaining overloaded Disruptor at the DG while it returned fire with the right-side Hellbores and a pair of Ph-2 at range 4. Only one Ph-4 rolled under a '5', and the Disruptor missed for 52 points, with 30 going in. Both Hellbores hit for a change, doing 28 internals through two down shields, while the Ph-2s followed up for... 2 points through the down #2.
The DG mostly lost hull, but took a second Hellbore hit along with some phasers and 6 power. The BATS lost a number of important systems as I kept skipping around cargo hits, including the last Disruptor, a couple Ph-4s and a lot of APR.
I had neglected to declare any suicide shuttles when I set up my bookkeeping, and didn't have power to spare during the battle. But I did have some shuttles on the board at this point that were circling the BATS and pot-shotting the downed shields. Mid-turn the BATS fired the remaining Ph-4s at the DG, punching through the #4 shield for another 8 internals. The BATS was actually reduced to a Sensor rating of 5, though it never missed a lock-on roll, and lost all Security stations, though there was never a mutiny either.
The RN managed speed 6 for turn 5, and headed back towards the BATS, as it had the best shields, the DG did speed 10 again, but was out of position, and had one Hellbore available to fire and one Phaser left.
Patch had a Ph-4 left, and did another 7 internals to the DG on a '6' roll. The Hydrans did a final overrun of the BATS on impulse 32 before the Klingon reinforcements arrived on turn 6. The RN did 19 points with a Ph-2 and 2xFusions (no power to overload) at range 0, while the DG did another 3 with its Phaser, and hit with a overloaded Hellbore for 15 points through the (now) down #6 (the other had some repairs and reinforcement).
This pretty much killed anything of importance on the BATS, but there was still a decent amount of power left, and all the repair, so it was nowhere near actually being destroyed.
Patch positioned his new D6 and F5 to come in together, approaching the BATS along the top-right hexspine, while the D7 came in along the bottom-right, though manuvering later put the D7 and D6 together with the F5 a few hexes away.
DG managed to get up to 18. The RN, figuring it wouldn't get away anyway, went speed 5 while overloading its third Fusion for a final point-blank shot at the BATS, while it returned fire with a repaired Disruptor.
The BATS took another 20 internals, while the RN only took 2 through the #1 which was still partially up. On impulse 27, Patch took a massed disruptor volley at the DG, and only got three hits, for nine internals through the down #4.
After that, the RN took close range Phaser fire that reduced it to 11 power, and we assumed it would be finished off on the next turn, while the DG got away.
The expected intent of the campaign was for the BATS to be destroyed and both Hydran ships to get away. The further scenarios are the Hydrans headed home separately, with some of the Klingons in pursuit of each. As it is, the DG will be featured in "The Pursuit" with all three Klingon ships.
With the current rules, this scenario is too tough for what is wanted. Given more time before the Klingon ships show up, the Hydrans could reduce the BATS better, but I have to say I was surprised that it wasn't a Base Station to begin with; a BATS seems like an awful lot of base for two cruisers. Though if it had had to balance EW coverage with Phaser fire (the biggest change with the '99 rules is bases don't blind their own special sensors), it would have been a lot easier. I usually had a +2 shift to my fire and was taking a lot of Ph-4 damage.
Both us did less damage than we probably should have. Certainly the two Hellbore misses were a big problem, and one of those had a ~90% chance to hit. Patch missed with more Disruptor rolls than he should have, and the Ph-4s rolled high on a few occasions.
At any rate, we'll soon be starting the second scenario, and see if I have any hope of getting away.
- [+] Dice rolls
I'm sorry this blog has been quiet so long. Bel's work has been eating his life for a couple years now, and our games are currently at a standstill.
I played an SFB game last year, and meant to post the report of it here, and then forgot and just posted it directly to SFB sessions.
One other thing that has been on the back burner all this time is the proposed version 2.0 Vassal Module for F&E. In addition to just not doing much with F&E lately, I've been trying to get some new features done for the module, and they have not been happening.
The first one was reporting the number of ships, and the Ship Equivalents separately (that was easy enough), and adjusting the SEs for crippled ships. Extensive testing has shown that Vassal 3.2 just can't handle non-integer numbers in the stack viewer in any form. Here's hoping for 4.0.
The second one has been the major roadblock. I've been hoping to get the fleet markers to report the stats of their contents in the stack viewer. I figure there's two potential routes to this: Since you can see the totals in an inventory window, it seems like it should be possible to just query for the sum of, say, SE in a particular zone/map and use it directly; sadly, this doesn't seem to be supported. The second method would be to keep track of the numbers in a global variable which gets adjusted as units are moved into/out of the box. Recently, a demo module was done showing exactly this. So far, I have not been able to get it to work in my F&E module, and even if it does work, it could very well bog down performance to keep track of all stats of all the fleets with hundreds of units sending data out.
However, I'm writing this because I do now have a new feature that is working!
I now have a submenu for ships that allows you to flag a ship as 'captured' by a particular empire, so that it will report as belonging to that empire in the inventory, and there is a visible marker to show its status on the counter.
And no, I'm not planning on adjusting AF to account for Hydran hybrid wackiness.
So, this is about where things stand:
x Choice of regular and large-scale maps. (Hope to figure out an Early Beginnings set up...)
x Stack viewer & inventory counts *ships* and *SEs*
x Flag captured ships to new empire.
Not appearing in this module:
- Crippled SE values (non-integers not possible under Vassal 3.2)
o Display fleet stats on hover over. (still being worked on, but will probably bog down module, even if it works)
* Large Fleet markers. May need a second set for the 'small' map.
* Fix 'crippled' reporting on single-sided units.
* How to mark captured planets, etc, on LSM: bigger markers, smaller planet symbols, what?
* Mark the Cordon borders like the sector borders? (And how to keep it from being too busy?)
* Mark EW/AF status for ships that drop AF for EW and vice versa.
* Mark repaired/built ships as capable of free Strat Moves (wipe automatically when moved?).
* Mark hexes for retrograde (some sort of 'done' version for battle hexes?)
As always, feedback is appreciated, and as this module is still being pounded into shape, its easier to do something now than later.
- [+] Dice rolls
The Kzinti continue to recover, with their economy up to 78.2 this turn (plus 24.6 treasury, thanks to the Feds). They built a full schedule and replaced a PDU on 1502 (which had been reduced to 1), as well as converting a CVL to a full CV. Cycling the repairs is continuing, and the end of the backlog is in sight.
On the other hand, the Hydrans lost another three economy in the Capital grid, reducing it to 13 EP. Seeing the writing on the wall, I repaired another SIDS, built a TR, a pair of CUs (and a third at the off-map SB), and repaired a spare AH to bring the UH group up to full (overstuffed) strength, leaving 0 EP left in the treasury. The Old Colonies didn't have much to do, and is now sitting on 58 EP.
I considered attacking a broad swath of northern Klingon space, mostly to keep some of the Coalition reserves out of the way, but ended up sticking with the main plan: I hit a few other targets to try and sweep the Klingons out of the 13-15 columns, and then sent the Home Fleet in to 1202 to try and retake the last Klingon-held planet in Kzinti space. He reacted out a sizable force to hold some of the fleet away, and then sent in the Lyrans from 1001.
Meanwhile, available Federation forces that I haven't actually moved into Kzinti space have moved closer to the Klingon border, and in range of a few bases in Klingon space.
The Hydrans contented themselves with kicking the Klingons off of 0519 with overwhelming force (I was expecting the Lyran reserve to come in and force me to take damage, but nothing doing), which was about all they could do without the nearby Klingon forces reacting in.
1106: Klingons: crip F5
1107: Klingons: crip D5; Kzinti: crip 2xMEC
1305: Klingons: dest D5
1505: SSC: Klingons: dest D5; Federation: crip FF, retreat
1202: Klingons: PDU; Lyrans: crip BC, CA, 2xCW; Kzinti: dest SF, capture planet
1303: Klingons: crip F5S
1302: Klingons: dest D6M; Kzinti: crip BC, MEC, dest CLE
0519: Klingons: dest F5L; Hydrans: capture planet
1807: Klingons: dest F5, BATS
I was expecting to see a hard fight for 1202. The Kzinti fleet is getting pretty impressive, but it was fighting over Coalition defenses for a change, and he needs to start slowing the Kzinti down.
Belirahc has been shooting SFs every chance he gets, and I am feeling the effects. I'm going to have to start building MSCs just to make it more expensive (though most of the CMs are still going to escorts...).
This marks the end of the second scenario of the General War, "The Tempest". Here's how the Victory Conditions break down:
For any level of victory, the Coalition must have more ships than the Alliance (only counting Federation ships in released fleets):
Lyrans: 109; Klingons: 276; Total: 385
Kzinti: 150; Hydrans: 63; Federation: 61; Total: 274 Check
(The totals are adjusted for three Klingon ships that have been captured, which I forgot last turn.)
For a Tactical Victory:
A) The Alliance must have a total economy of 250 or less: 281.95 EP X
B) The Coalition has destroyed 35 Alliance Battle Stations: 29 X
(see the Turn 6 wrap up for how bases are calculated)
Even with the Federation economy at 75%, it counts for 165.75 EPs. The other two are only going to be under 84.25 if the Coalition has used the opportunity to really lock up Hydran and Kzinti space. And generally if it can do that, there will be a invasion of the Federation to cut it down to size before its build schedule kicks in.
Again, the 35 bases is going to be hard to do without invading the Federation (which should make that total easy). It's still possible, as the bases left in the Marquis zone, which I've concentrated on keeping him out of, are worth another five. Combine that with fewer losses on the Coalition side, or more new bases built in Alliance territory, it's not hard. And that's not even considering the SBs in the two Alliance capitals.
- [+] Dice rolls
With everything moved up to—and past—the borders, turn 3 tends to be a bit simpler for the Coalition. Also, I knew that the Duke's SB was weaker than it ordinarily should be, as he was out of carrier escorts there. I contemplated a raid into the capital, hoping to devastate a few planets while the fleet was elsewhere, but it just too easy for major elements to get intercepted on the way, so I settled for a more normal 'sweep the Kzinti off the map' approach.
Lyrans: BC, CA, 4xCW, 2xDW, DWS, 3xFF, PDU, CL->BC, 3xFF->DW, MB->BATS
Klingons: D7C, D7, D6M, 7xD5, LTT, D5S, F5L, 4xF5, FV, E4, E4A, E4R, Activate 2xD6, 3xF5, 3xE4, D6->D6S, D6->D6D, CapDD->K-DD
Converting smaller captured ships to your service is somewhat expensive, but I figure it's less expensive than overbuilding the equivalent ship, so I'm still EPs ahead. Also, I'm planning on converting the DD to a DDE, though I'm still waiting for an answer as to whether the Klingons get to use it as a light or heavy escort. If the latter, it is a poor heavy escort, but serves as an extra for a second-line group as I get all the AD5s in place. If I can use it as a light escort, it'll be the best one I can have for quite a while.
1001: Kzinti: dest MON; Lyrans: crip CL, FF, capture planet
1202: Kzinti: dest MON; Lyrans: crip CW, capture planet; Klingons: crip E4
1502: Kzinti: dest BC, EFF; Klingons: crip D6M, F5, dest D7A
1504: Kzinti: dest 3xEFF, 2xPDU; Klingons: crip D6, 2xD5, 4xF5, dest F5L, F5, E4
1304: Kzinti: dest SB, CC; Klingons: D7C, D6M; Lyrans: crip 2xCA
0902: Kzinti: dest FKE, FFE, wound PT; Lyrans: crip CL, 3xCW, dest CC, DW
As you can see, I'm doing a lot of directing. In fact, my general plan is to try and wear the Kzinti fleet out. The early schedule is sparse, and there's not a lot of spare ships available. In fact, he had no real light escorts for his carriers at the Duke's SB battle at all (1304), which led to it being a single-round affair.
One of the additions of Combined Operations are troop ships and marine assaults on bases. Many people don't care too much for them, and largely ignore them. I don't have enough experience to have a real opinion of them. But the idea is that you can use them to attack ground bases (or regular bases) and do extra damage—if you can roll well. You can also lose your ground troops for no gain, though they get replaced for free like fighters. The main cost is that troop ships have a lower offensive ComPot, so you're doing less direct damage.
Against regular bases, they can cause an extra SIDS of damage, which can make them very useful in a hotly contested SB battle. If you need to direct SIDS to get the SB, this can speed the process up, if the defender is voluntarily taking SIDS, he may find it getting unexpectedly crippled by the ground troops. The problem is the odds aren't too good of making it work, and a SB inherently has a defending marine unit ('G') that must be killed before damage can be done.
Naturally, I rolled two 12s in a row to actually do a SIDS to 1304 with a single D6G.
Overall, the turn went very well for me. SB 0902 is still there, but I took the entire 'second line' of planets (1001, 1202, 1504), and got SB 1304, all for minimal losses. Sadly, I didn't parse the situation with the Marquis area correctly, and that's still on the main grid. Cutting it off will certainly be a priority for next turn.
But now the Hydrans are about to join in, and I have some strategic decisions to make.... Right now, I'm splitting my attention (and new builds) between the two and where I go next will likely depend on how his turn 3 goes.
- [+] Dice rolls
As I hinted when I released version 1.3.1 of the F&E Vassal module, I had something new in mind. Specifically, I'm looking to start over and do a brand new Vassal module. My hope is to be able to add new features that I can't current do.
One of the pain points of the current module is actually the map. It is half done in CorelDraw, and half in Photoshop, and exporting the first into the second is a challenge (there's some places where it's kind of coming apart in the latest revision that I just can't get fixed). So, I have done an all-new map purely in CorelDraw. Since it can't be exactly the same size as the old one, using it would break all saved games in the current module. Therefore a new module is needed.
And since I'm starting over, and I have a pure vector map, I can handle a request that's been popular:
While I'm at it, I'm re-doing the counters to get away from the pixel-twiddled images I have now, and make them a little easier to do. Though doing all those counters all over again will take time. A lot of time.
Also, the new map comes at a price. It takes a lot of memory, and is too big for Vassal 3.1 to handle. However, Vassal 3.2 (which is just entering beta) can do it. It also has a few other new features, dealing with math that should allow the new module to handle stats around crippled status and showing the stats associated with a fleet marker.
What I need now is people to discuss the new module with. I want to bounce ideas off other people, and get input so that I can make it the best module I can, and I can get started on it from the beginning, rather than having to re-do things constantly. If you're interested in discussing this, contact me, I want to have an email conversation with everyone who's interested to hammer out ideas. The only caveat is that you will need to install the test version of Vassal v3.2.0 so you can follow what going on. (Note that doing so will require you to be cautious with Vassal, as you need to remember to switch back to 3.1.20 with any ongoing Vassal games you have.)
- [+] Dice rolls
Turn nine has been a turn of surprises for me. The Klingons actually cancelled a couple ships this turn, so they could support maximum carrier builds (D7V, D5V, F5V).
Meanwhile, the Lyrans are rolling in EPs.
Movement was much shorter than I figured. More cripples pulled out to better repair facilities, and the Coalition went in for the Third Battle of Hydrax.
Meanwhile, he pulled back to defensive positions on the Kzinti front. I'm all too aware that my forces are getting spread out, now that there's more things to protect, and I refused to take the few reactions I could, since I didn't know what was coming, and what location he might try to pick off on the cheap.
As it turned out, nothing was coming as movement ended.
0119: Hydran: dest RN; Klingons: crip 2xD6D; Lyrans: crip CW
0617: Hydrax I: 3xPDU; Lyrans: crip BC, 3xCW, 3xDW, dest 2xBC
0718: Hydran: dest AH; Klingons: capture planet
If I had examined the forces that went into the Hydran capital, I might have acted differently. The Lyrans had a decent force, and I assumed the Klingons had a fleet just about as big as the Lyrans, but it was only a few small ships.
As it was, he spent one round stripping PDUs over the capital, crippled almost all his big ships and retreated.
However, he has now taken the major planet in 0718, reducing the main grid to the capital and a disrupted province.
I've been starting to wonder if I should just abandon the capital shipyard and voluntarily start on a new one in the Old Colonies, but have held off to keep his attention focused down there.
Well, it's working. The vast majority of his new ships and repairs moved into Hydran space. The Fourth Battle of Hydrax will likely be the last, save any Hydran attempts to take it back.
When I saw ships pulling out of Kzinti space, I was wondering if he was starting preparations for an invasion of the Federation. Not yet. Instead, he used field repair on the new Lyran cripples, moved more ships into Hydran space, and sent money to the Klingons. I've been hinting that he should be doing that, but I think watching me do it in Second Wind has brought it to his attention.
- [+] Dice rolls