Star Fleet Universe

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].

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Where Wisdom Fails - Part 1: The Attack

James Lowry
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Sunnyvale
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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).

From gallery of Rindis
Impulse 28, DG misses with one Hellbore, but weakens shield #5.

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.

From gallery of Rindis
And the DG misses again!

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.

From gallery of Rindis
Impulse 27, where the Klingons opened fire. The RN could have made another four hexes instead of firing.

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.
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Tue Dec 2, 2014 9:52 pm
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Gentlemen—The Great Experiment

James Lowry
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One of the problems that Star Fleet Battles has struggled with for... decades by this point, is electronic piracy. While the game is complex, the components are simple, and ever since the rise of BBSes, there have been problems with copies of SSDs being traded around on the net. Since most products in the line are vehicles for presenting new ships, that is is a problem for ADB's bottom line, and the root cause of their generally anti-electronic stance, which has thawed somewhat recently.

This Tuesday, ADB made a PDF version of the Basic Set SSD book available through e23 for $7.50.

Traditionally, SSDs are photocopied by players for use in the game. Today, a lot of people have spent a fair amount of time scanning their SSDs in so that it easy to print out what's needed on a moment's notice. Now, there's a way (for a few, but common, ships) to be available for printing out without going through that time, and without needing a scanner. And of course, the quality is very good, since this is straight from the electronic file that generates the printed book.

However:
Steve V. Cole wrote:
We are considering the idea of putting most of the SFB SSDs on e23. However, there is concern over piracy. There is also concern over sales. Frankly, how well basic set sells (and how much trouble we have with pirates) will determine if any others are ever uploaded. If you want the SSD book for module this or that, buy the basic set one if you're serious.

This is the current version. Not every SSD has necessarily been updated with the most recent bells and whistles such as advanced shuttles and crawford boxes. We will do that when we have time (new products come first) and you'll get the update free.

I always resisted putting stuff on e23 because of pirates. We have had 10 times as many pirates since e23 as before, and for exactly the reason I predicted (you don't have to scan a copy to upload it). Joel spends at least a day a week hunting pirates and demanding that the files be taken down. Sales have been steady but I had been led to believe (by those of you who campaigned for this stuff) that we'd be selling five times as many.
So, if you think this is a good thing for ADB to be doing, discourage piracy when you see it, spread the word that this PDF version is for sale, and of course, consider if it is worth $7.50 to you.

I will also note, that the Basic Set SSDs are missing a few features compared to more recent ones.

Steve V. Cole wrote:
Steve Petrick, intrigued by my incremental way of doing some tasks, has agreed to update one SSD per day until they're all done. (This won't happen on some really busy days, or days he is not here, but then some days he might do two or them.) Today he actually did the first six. Counting the front page as done, that's 7/48.
If you have an e23 account when you buy the PDF, you will automatically be informed when an update is posted.
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Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:36 am
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ISC War and other things

James Lowry
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Sunnyvale
California
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Just a few notes and a preview:

I finally got my copy of ISC War a couple weeks back. I haven't gone through it with a fine tooth comb yet, but it looks pretty good. And pretty massive, with six sheets of counters, it is the biggest F&E expansion yet.

One of the sheets was actually printed six years ago, when there was a spare slot on one of the single-sided runs. So, it is of the 'old style' with fewer counters per sheet, while the other five (actually, five copies of the same sheet) have the current, 'denser' layout, and use the newer white core counters that most MMP products have moved to. There's also several cardstock reference cards, including the ISC Capital Chart, a new econ form, and several fleet and battle line setup cards.

There's actually only four new rules in the product, which surprised me. One of them, Tactical Reserves, is a general use rule for kind of 'local reserves' that can be used by any power in the post-General War period (though the ISC gets it first).

There's notes (but nothing else) on how the ISC could be (ahistorically) integrated into the General War, and a mini-scenario that would have the Romulans and Gorns trying to keep the ISC from establishing their outer ring of bases while the General War gets going on the other side of the map (the combat damage that results could unbalance the rest of the war though). But the bulk of the rule book (25 pages!) is taken up with the Pacification Scenario, broken down into smaller areas for each border they tried to drive their wedge into. It's longer than the actual Pacification, since it is assumed for this version that it is not interrupted by the Andromedans.

I also blew a bunch of money on other things by ADB while I was at it. I got Module R11: Support Ships, which was also surprisingly thick. (96-page SSD book, instead of the more common 80.) In general, there's nothing really "exciting" in this one, but it still has some neat stuff, and there are a number of interesting short essays talking about several general ship types; a real boon to anyone interested in the background of the Star Fleet Universe.

And I got Captain's Log #36. (Yes, I am a few years behind on my collection, why do you ask?) It's a fairly standard issue, fiction, new ships, scenarios, and so on. Nick Blank has another set of great deckplans, this time for the Romulan Snipe frigate.

And now, a preview:

The next version of the F&E Vassal module is under way. I've re-done a bunch of stuff in the ISC extension to match the published version. Now I'm starting to tackle a complete rework of the capital charts. The idea is to only need those during a capital assault without recourse to the main battle mat or fleet boxes. Here's a work-in-progress preview (the full version would have another three systems):

From gallery of Rindis

The idea is to have the two battle lines in miniaturized forms right with each system display. Some of the 'bonus' slots will need stacking multiple units on occasion. I plan on making some 'tokens' that can be dropped on the defending fleet to mark if they come from the static or mobile forces. (Similar ones will be done to mark ISC Core Ships on the normal form.)

I'm still working out the color scheme and main layout, and any comments on that will be appreciated. I was originally planning for the Mobile and Attacking force boxes to go at the bottom of the form, below all the system displays. I'm wondering if maybe they should go above the systems. It would be much handier during an assault, though it would get in the way of day-to-day tracking of bases and facilities in the capitial hex.
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Sat Sep 3, 2011 4:42 am
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SH124: Kroal's Illegitimate War - Part 2

James Lowry
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[See Part 1.]

The two F5s took the blast on the #2 shields without taking internals, but the E4J was hit on the weak #3, and took 7 internals (after blowing a battery) losing one power and the #2 and #4 phasers.

The E4J moved into the F-AS' hex the next impulse, which fired into the front shield, dinging it. On impulse 16, the E4J moved adjacent to the CivBS and fired, doing 6 damage to the #6 shield through a 2 shift (ECM and poor crew penalty).

By impulse 21, the F5P and F5I-2 had moved adjacent to the base, and everything opened up. The two F5s launched a drone and a shuttle apiece, while the F-AL fired on the F5I. The CivBS fired ph-3s at the F5I and ph-2s at the F5P. The POL tried for point defense, firing one ph-3 at each drone, a disruptor at a shuttle, and 2xph-2s at the other shuttle. The F5s poured everything they had (5xph-2 and 2x overloaded disruptors each) at the CivBS.

From gallery of Rindis
Situation when everyone opened fire.

F5I-2 took 45 damage, punching 31 internals through the #6 shield, knocking out 9 power, both disruptors, 2 phasers and all controls spaces (other than security). The F5P took 32 damage on #6, causing 8 internals, knocking out one disruptor and the #1 and #4 phasers.

Poor rolls from the POL let both drones live while killing both shuttles.

Bad rolls, and a +1 shift caused 2 of the four disruptors fired at the CivBS to miss, and total damage was 62, causing 39 internals through the #1 shield. While only three phasers (#3, #8 & #9) were hit, so was one tractor, and it ripped through the hull and destroyed 13 repair boxes (out of 22).

The next impulse, the drones were knocked down by the Agro Station and a previously-launched shuttle, while further shuttles were launched from the E4J and E4I-1. The impulse after that, the CivBS launched two drones. (...all CivBS have drones, even if it belongs to a race that never uses them, it seems.)

On impulse 24, the two E4Is, having made it across the main line of TBs, slip in to range 4 on the oblique and fire. +1 for ECM combines with bad rolls so that no disruptors hit, and only six damage was taken from 8xph-2s. This knocked out another 2 phasers and four repair.

On Impulse 26, F5I-2, following behind the E4Is, slips in and fires. Again the disruptors miss at range 4 with a +1 shift. The 5xph-2 manage better, scoring 6 damage (instead of 6 damage across 8xph-2...). This knocks out a drone rack, and another two phasers, leaving the CivBS with 4 phasers total.

As the Klingons started maneuvering past the base, one of the drones took out one of the shuttles on impulse 28. On impulse 30, the one launched from E4I-1, from further away, turns out to be a scatterpack, and releases its drones while the drone from the CivBS is still 2 hexes away.

On impulse 32, the second wave of bombardment drone reach the line of transporter bombs. M7 does not detonate, but M3 does, wiping them out.

This is the critical turn. In the original game, things were very bad because the base was crippled, and all the tractors on it were destroyed, forcing it to drop all three Orion ships. This time is only slightly better. Two of the tractors are intact, so only LR-2 gets dropped at this point. However, weapons are running out, and so is Repair. Since there's not much Hull on the CivBS, and hull hits turn into repair hits, the CivBS is down to 4 repair boxes. This frees up some power, but means getting the Orions underway is nearly impossible.

LR-1 still needs another two repair points to turn on a DamCon box so that it can start activating systems on its own. That leaves two repair points left over to do... I'm not sure what.

The Klingon force has become scattered, and may still get in trouble the the defending ships and the FF that is about to show up. However, now they can afford to spend more effort on achieving the mission of destroying the Orions, rather than reducing the base. There's not much worry that the base will get them operational any time soon.
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Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:48 pm
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How to turn a monster into something bigger.

Erich Vereen
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Leland
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Federation and empire can be classically labeled a monster game. Seven races (plus various minor races and neutral states), hundreds of ships (sometimes thousands), and record keeping that would make a CPA blush at times; this game is a definite monster. However, it can always get bigger.

The main way for this to happen is to add the Operation Expansions to the mix. There are currently five (Advanced, Combined, Fighter, Planetary, and Strategic). These add rules from the Star Fleet Battles series and incorporates them into the far reaching war of F&E. Trying to find a good balance of these rules is important, because some are good and some I really can't see in the game (SFGs are a good example - I've never really cared for them). I'm planning on working through a few blogs about what might be good from each of those expansions later on.

The other option for creating something extremely big outside of this game is taking the fleet battles into the world of either Star Fleet Battles or Federation Commander.

Fleet battles in F&E are based the total Combat Potential given the the various ships and a die roll. This, along with a number that shows how aggressive you choose to be, determines the amount of damage you do to the other fleet. Then you simply remove the damage inflicted by your opponent by crippling and destroying your ships. The main tactic in the game is trying to figure out how much to bring to any given fight and when to be aggressive or when to hold back. By moving this to one of the tactical battle systems, you may be able to create better situations for yourself you could not account for in F&E.

I cut my teeth on SFB back in the early 90's. I loved it. I bought everything I could lay my hands on and I still have most everything today. The number of choices in this game were amazing, and the detail in running the battles, making tactical choices, and the pure number of ships was amazing. The only downside to it was the amount of record keeping that needed to be done for each ship. The round would be well organized, but the record keeping portion could slow down things for quite a while, especially with multiple ships per fleet. This would be the main detractor from using it as a combat replacement. It would be as slow as a round of F&E, with some battles taking probably 5 to 6 hours of play time just to resolve. However, it would be more spectacular and with good tactics, a fleet at a slight disadvantage might have a better chance of winning the battle. This option would definitely be for those who have years to play a single campaign of F&E. However, it would also be good for those ship to ship battles, and even two on three ships battles that would be reconciled using the Small Scale system in F&E.

Federation Commander is much lighter on the record keeping, since all the information can be tracked on the individual ship cards. It also gives two options of play, the squadron level and the fleet level. Squadron level ships give more options, mainly because the hulls are stronger and there are generally more weapons. Fleet scale reduces these items, but gives a faster game play because of these reduction. A ship to ship battle at Squadron level would probably take half an hour to an hour to complete, while it would probably take half that time to complete a ship to ship Fleet level battle. The main thing to consider here is the tactical situation of each level.

Ships fall faster at the Fleet level, but it is designed to really work well with large fleets (thus the name). If you don't mind paper ships, this would be a good way to see if you could make a difference in a tactical level battle rather than rely on the strategic level ratios. Something like a Starbase battle with 30 + ships on either side would be best for this level

Squadron level is probably best at tactics for three to five ships on a side, because of all the extras you are given on the ship sheet. However, for large fleets, this may get too unwieldy as you try to wear down ships with larger damage absorption. Some of the initial Lyran/Kzinti BATS battles would probably have worked well at this scale.

This is something I want to try one day, but since VASSAL modules for SFB and FC are unavailable, I suppose SFB Online would be the best way to go. Unfortunately, I don't know if those games can be paused or not in mid battle, but since the game is a turn based game to begin with, I suppose it is probable.
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Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:53 pm
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Q: What does it take to have a great campaign?

James Lowry
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A: Two (or more) dedicated players.

For many people, tactical games eventually conjure the dream of a campaign game. A kind of "super" tactical game where the consequences of one fight are seen in further fights. ASL has long had a good answer to this dream in it's various HASL modules.

Star Fleet Battles has a number of small campaign games. I have yet to try any of them, though some are certainly interesting. But, to the point of this post, there are some very good campaigns that have extensive AARs posted over on the ADB forums, that I recommend looking at, if you have a good amount of time to spare.

The first is "The Day of the Eagle comes early", it's a modified version of the Admiral's Game from Advanced Missions played between two good players, and obviously good friends, Jeremy Gray and Dale McKee. At first they were farming battles out to other people, but now they fly every one themselves—when they have time, which has been short lately. There's still a lot of good fighting reported in those archives.

Much of the reason they're busy is the other campaign game: "The Farthest Stars Campaign", Dale is running this campaign, and Jeremy is playing the Tholians. This one has several 'admirals', each running one empire, and battles are farmed out with the expectation that players will report in as to what's happening. Lots of interesting reading in that one too.

Both campaigns use a concept from the SFB Campaign Designer's Handbook: Flexible command rating. The idea is similar to the 'command rating' introduced in F&E and used in the normal SFB S8.0 rules: You declare one ship the flagship, and the rest of your fleet is limited to what it can command. However the 'flexible' system tries to encourage the use of smaller ships by making them 'cost' less. In addition, both of these campaigns use lower flagship values, so that a 'full fleet' is around 5-6 ships instead of 10-12, making the fights much more manageable.

And while I'm on the subject, I'll point out there's a long tradition of posting reports on F&E games at the ADB forum. Some of them don't get a lot of reporting, but just stick to the higher post counts in the Active Scenarios folder, and you'll find some war stories worth reading.

(Note that all these links don't give the normal view of the forum, you're missing a left panel where all the login controls are kept, but you can't direct link anywhere and keep that window. )
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Thu Mar 3, 2011 7:32 pm
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SH124: Kroal's Illegitimate War - Part 1

James Lowry
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A little under a year ago, I played this 'historical' SFB scenario with my two main gaming buddies. I was playing the Klingon force, and Mark and Patch had the defending forces. It didn't go so well for them.

In the aftermath of that, I actually started a solo play of the scenario based off of my thoughts about the defense, and adding some suggestions in the thread, to see just how differently things would go. I never finished it, but this seems like a good opportunity to pick it up again.

[For the rest of this post, I'm assuming you've read the AAR of the original play, or are otherwise familiar with the scenario.]

The main points were for all the defending LDR ships to buy as many T-bombs as possible, and construct an 'instant minefield' around the planet. The ships themselves would stay parked near the planet, offering a stubborn close-in defense. The base would activate some impulse as APR on all three Orions, so that they were no longer sucking down power just to get the shields up, and then start concentrating on the first LR.

The Klingon tactics were the same as before, but with an actual pre-plotted bombardment in place, and programming for if the target is not immediately found.

The Klingons entered from the bottom right corner, just as in the previous game, with the F5 squadron going 16, and the E4s at 15. This puts them near the planet at the end of the turn, ready to charge fully loaded for a overrun. The LDR freighters and POL sit and TAC. The CivBS blows the majority of its batteries to help generate 21 repair points, activating 4 impulse as APR (2 on the CR, 1 each on the LRs—they will all power their own shields on turn 2), and starting activation of a Damage Control Box on LR-1 (taking a chance on the only '4' box; 12 points needed). If that can be activated (with a maximum of 5 repair per on a box per turn, that's three turns) then the LR can start activating its own systems, however slowly. The first wave of drones started on the south edge, moving up directly towards where the base would be after orbiting at the end of the turn (though at speed-12, they'd still be three hexes short of that point), and programmed to look for the armed freighters.

The defenders dropped various shields on the first impulse and put up an arc of transporter bombs halfway around the planet at range 3-4 (out of explosion range of ships and base in orbit). The problem here is that there's just not enough TBs to go around. Some decoys need to be put into the mix.

During the mid-turn the Klingons start side-slipping around. The E4s are going slower, but it's been decided to put the E4J in front to clear the minefield—the hard way. On impulse 30, the drones reach the mines, and are immediately lost in a detonation. The F-AL transports a replacement mine out, and TACs the down shield away from the approaching Klingons.

From gallery of Rindis

Situation at the end of turn 1. The F-AL is in the same hex as the CivBS, underneath all the Orion ships.

For turn 2, the LDR stayed parked, the CivBS turned on the ECM, and trickling power back into the batteries, and only powering 5 repair to continue work on the LR's DamCon. The Klingons announced speed 14 for the F5s, 15 for the E4Is, and 18 for the E4J. The second wave of drones enters at the same spot as the first, but is programmed for the CivBS.

With transporters available again, the ground base starts transporting Orion crew units up to the CivBS for transfer to the ships, and more transporter bombs are put out—directly in the Klingon's path. This causes a change in plans, and on impulse 3, the Klingons start turning to direction A, away from the direct path to where the CivBS's orbit is taking it, and trying to get to the upper flank of the minefield.

On impulse 8 the E4J makes contact with the minefield, but the TB does not detonate. (And the annoyance of solo play is that I knew perfectly well why, even as the Klingons wondered, I wondered if I'd subconsciously set this up.) On impulse 9, the F-AL transported another TB in the path of the the Klingons. On impulse 10, the Klingons, not wanting to take an even longer road around,turned in with the F5P and moved the F5Is adjacent on a different facing. M1 still refused to detonate (it could have done a lot of damage right there). On impulse 11 the E4J moved further into the minefield, but the new M10 did not detonate either.

From gallery of Rindis

No boom today?

The E4J launches a drone (due to move on the next impulse). On impulse 12 the F5P and one F5I move onto M1 while the other F5I continues north, and the drone moves forward. Neither M1 or M10 detonate. F-AS-2 fires on the drone at range one and destroys it. On impulse 13 the E4s move. On impulse 14 F5I-1 continues north, skirting the minefield with the two E4Is. The other F5I and the F5P move forward.

And M10, reaching its count of 2 Size Class 4 (frigate) objects, detonates.

To be continued...
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Wed Mar 2, 2011 7:30 am
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