Patch and I recently finished off this Captain's Log scenario from the early Four Powers War that also serves as a bit of a sequel to the "Where Wisdom Fails" mini-campaign we played a year and a half ago.
It's still early in the 4PW (Y159) and wild reports have been circulating about the new Hydran weapon (the hellbore torpedo), and the high command wants one captured so that it can be studied.
"It was several weeks before a target of opportunity emerged. An F5 squadron was in position to intercept an inferior Hydran force that was believed to contain at least one ship armed with the new weapon. Fearing Hydran reinforcements if they waited for a battlecruiser (with copious transporters and marines) to join the fray, the F5 squadron commander decided to risk an attempt at capture."
The Klingons get an F5C and two F5s, while the Hydrans get a destroyer and a frigate/police ship with a random reinforcement a random number of turns later (1d6 per turn, shows up when the total reaches 13). An interesting twist is that while one of the ships will have a hellbore, the Hydran player gets to decide if the DD or the FF is the hellbore-armed ship, and the Klingon player doesn't find out what he's facing until after setup is done. The map is fixed until the Hydran reinforcement arrives, after which it goes to a floating map.
The Klingons need to capture the hellbore-armed ship for a victory, though they can still get a minor one by wiping out the Hydran force. The Hydrans treat this as a normal battle and just use normal points-based Modified Victory Conditions.
I went with the "historical" force of a Lancer DD (for the four Stinger-1s) and Cuirassier FF. Patch set up his force at the center top of the board, about as close as he could get to my setup area in the center. The LN was slightly forward and went speed 19 while the CU went speed 22. As the goal of the scenario, the CU was going to avoid direct contact as best as possible; besides, the hellbore is a good moderate range weapon compared to the point-blank fusions. The entire Klingon squadron went speed 17.
Maneuvering stayed fairly simple with me going straight and slipping out to maintain distance, while the Klingons maneuvered to my shield three and tried a volley of disruptors (one per ship) at range 12-14 on impulse 15 at the LN, with one hit. Shortly after that, I turned off for an eventual loop around to a pass on the opposite side from the starting position.
For turn 2, the LN slowed down to 13 to overload a fusion beam, while the Klingons boosted speed to 21, and the initial reinforcement roll was a '5'. On impulse 2, the LN launched all four of its Stinger-1s. I was wondering if Patch would try to get at the CU, but on Impulse 10, he turned in for a direct pass at the LN. On Impulse 13, the Klingons launched (what turned out to be Type-V) drones at range 3/4 from the LN. They then sideslipped out, and with ships going out of FA arc both sides opened fire.
I fired a fusion at the second F5, doing 1 damage at range 4, and the CU's hellbore hit to sandpaper it's shields as well as nearly bringing the #4 down. Meanwhile the F5C and F5-1 each fired two phasers and a disruptor at the LN at range 3, doing 27 damage on really good rolls (all but one phaser rolled a 1) and doing 8 internals through the #6 shield, getting all three bearing phasers.
After that, the F5 squadron and the LN turned off, and the Stingers swept up the drones with phaser fire with some help from the LN's ph-Gs (which was when I found they where two space drones...).
For turn 3, the LN boosted speed to 20, while the CU maintained 22 and the Klingons maintained 21. The reinforcement roll was '1' for a total of 6.
My goal was to delay, since if I could hold out until the reinforcement came, it'd be 3 vs 3, but the fixed map interfered with that. Patch started turning back in at the top of the turn, while I was trying to get back around to be fighting off the right side, where the LN still had shields, and I had to be careful not to exit the board.
By Impulse 20 the range was 4 from the F5s to the LN and dropping rapidly. The F5C's ADD opened up on the slightly closer Stingers, missing the first time, but did 5 points vs St #1 on impulse 21. The F5C fired the disruptors and forward phasers at the LN doing 15 points to shield #2 with one disruptor and good phaser rolls, while F5-1 crippled St #3 with its forward phasers.
On Impulse 22 another ADD missed, the disruptors on F5-1 both missed the LN, and F5-2 fired both disruptors against St #4, killing it with a pair of hits. On Impulse 23 the LN slipped closer while the Klingons started turning off to avoid range 1 to the RA ph-Gs. The gatlings got a couple good rolls and a lot of 5s and 6s to do 21 points to #2 of F5-2 (which, a hex further back, had not turned off yet), doing 5 internals.
Meanwhile all nine RX phasers hit the LN for 29 points on the #3 despite poor rolls (nothing better than '3') and a +1 shift against most of them to do 15 internals. This blew through most of the hull and took out a fusion beam (the one on cooldown), but thankfully missed hitting the phasers.
On Impulse 24 the LN turned the down shield away, and the F5C tractored it at range 2, while the squadron launched a wave of four Type-V drones. Both ships had a pseudo-speed of 10, and largely struggled against each other, drifting one hex in direction A over 5 impulses before the tractor was finally dropped. The CU got to range 1 of the drones on Impulse 29 and killed three of them with phasers while tractoring the fourth, and putting the last phaser into the F5C's #3 to ding it for 3. Patch dropped the tractor on Impulse 30, and managed to put 1 point on St #2 with another ADD on 31.
For turn 4, the CU dropped to speed 10 while overloading its hellbore torpedo and the LN dropped to 11 so it could recover the Stingers. The F5C maintained speed 21 and the two F5s slowed slightly to 19. The reinforcement roll was a '6' for a total of 12, guaranteeing that it would show up for turn 5.
The CU fired it's overloaded hellbore at F5-2 on impulse 1, knocking down the #4 and doing 10 internals through the down #2, getting one phaser, the drone rack and five power. On Impulse 2 the F5C killed St #3 with an ADD shot. The other Stingers made it to the LN's hex on 3 and landed aboard on 3 and 5.
The F5s circled around to their left, while the F5C went right, putting the Hydrans bewtween them as the CU got itself turned around to rejoin the LN after its hellbore shot, downing the last drone on Impulse 13. The faster speed of the F5C allowed it to pass the LN and get on its down #6 while paralleling its course, putting 15 internals in on Impulse 20 knocking out the bulk of the power as the center warp engine took a bunch of hits.
The LN then turned towards the F5C and did 4 internals through the #3 shield with a decent range 2 fusion shot on Impulse 21. Meanwhile, the F5s opened up on the CU doing 8 points to the #3 shield with poor rolls on three phasers at range 3. On Impulse 22, F5-1 followed up with a disruptor but missed, and the CU dinged its shield #1 for 4 points with a phaser.
With everyone strung out in a line, the LN re-launched the Stingers on Impulse 23, after deck crews had managed to repair one point of damage on each. On Impulse 29, with the Stingers getting very close, the F5s split up, one chasing after the CU, and the other turning the opposite way to get a range 1 shot with the RX phasers at the Stingers, killing both of them two impulses before they were clear to fire.
On Impulse 31 F5-1 and the CU traded shots, with the CU doing 5 points to the #2 shield on a good roll, and the F5 exactly knocking down the CUs #5 with poor rolls on the RX phasers.
Post turn, the LN repaired a shield box on #3 and brought it's 360 ph-2 mount back on line. The reinforcement arrived, and turned out to be a large fusion-armed freighter. Worth a fair amount of BPV, a short-ranged ship wasn't what I really needed. (It's technically the second-worst roll, though Large Q-Ship would have been even slower, and I needed to move. I really needed the Lancer, pair of Hunters, or the Crusader to show up.)
The FA-L showed up 35 hexes in direction D from the ship furthest in that direction, which was the LN. It'd be worse if it had been one of the Klingon ships instead, but but it was going to be a long turn of trying to get everything together. The FA-L went nearly flat out at speed 23, charging one fusion beam, while the CU went to speed 19 and the LN limped along at 10. The F5C went 19 and F5-1 18, while F5-2 went a comparatively slow 14.
The CU took another shot at F5-1 on Impulse 2 to ding the #2 shield again. It then turned away from F5-1 to get a nearly down shield away from it, but F5-2 then hit with a range 6 disruptor shot to get 1 internal, which got a phaser. The CU turned back a few Impulses later, keeping the rear shield to F5-1, but by this point the F5C was angling in, and it hit with a disruptor on the down #3 on Impulse 13. The next Impulse, the forward ph-1s fired and did another 9 points on good rolls, knocking out the other right-side phaser and the 360 ph-G, and hit the Scanner (killing the only '0' box). On Impulse 15, the other disruptor fired, for another 4-point hit.
On Impulse 18 F5-1 flew by the LN, which emptied it's ph-Gs into it, getting 14 internals through the 12-point #2. This knocked out a little power, a phaser, and increased it's Scanner to 1. This may have been a mistake, as F5-1 then launched a drone at the LN on 20. I contemplated using the LN's suicide shuttle at the drone, but then remembered what would happen when the drone moved into the LN's hex before the either the LN or shuttle moved. So, I launched the shuttle at F5-1 before the bay could be destroyed.
The F5C fired on the shuttle on 21, but only did 3 points, not even crippling it. On Impulse 22, F5-1 slipped out to avoid the shuttle, and the LN took 10 internals through the #5 shield from the drone, which knocked out a fair amount of the warp engine, and reduced the sensors to 5. A follow-up shot from the F5C crippled the shuttle. On 25 F5-1 fired a disruptor at range 3, doing 4 internals through the CU's down #5.
On Impulse 32, the FA-L was finally getting into range, and tried a range 3 shot at the F5-C, doing no damage on a '6' with a +1 shift from EW. The Klingons and the FA-L all prepared for a turn 6 confrontation, with the FA-L overloading both fusion beams, a point of tractors, and went speed 11, while the Klingons all went speed 10. The LN turned off everything but the shields (only two were left) and went 9, while the CU maneuvered away at 16, after launching a shuttle on impulse 1.
The F5C fired an ADD at the CU's shuttle on impulse 2, crippling it, while F5-2 fired a disruptor at the CU and missed. On Impulse 3, F5-2 fired the second disruptor and hit the CU for 3 internals through the down #3, all power.
On Impulse 4, the F5C hit range 1 to the FA-L and both sides opened fire. The FA-L fired one phaser and one fusion, hoping for a range 0 shot later, and did 15 with a poor phaser and great fusion roll on the #1. The F5C's forward phasers and overloaded disruptors did 29 damage for 14 internals through the #6. The really bad news was that the FA-L's tractor beam was destroyed, which meant it would be unable to tractor the drone that the F5C had launched, and that the FA-L didn't dare go to range 0 (since it'd hit the drone).
On the other hand, the F5C then tried to tractor the FA-L, and the tractor energy I'd allocated allowed me to defeat the attempt. I fired the other in arc phaser (illegally, I'd forgotten the Impulse 32 shot from the previous session) and fusion for another 16 points, doing 5 internals.
The FA-L was still clearing its turn mode, so on Impulse 7, the F5C turned and put the RX phasers into it for 14 internals. On Impulse 8, F5-1 hit it with 2 overloaded disruptors and the forward phasers for another 30 internals. This eliminated all power of the FA-L and started getting cargo on Excess Damage hits (though we actually missed the 'Any Weapon' hits).
The one final act of the turn after that is that the CU and F5-2 did a pass, but the hellbore missed on a range 2 shot (12!), though it did 7 internals through #4 with the remaining phasers a few Impulses later.
We effectively called it after that. The CU had enough power left to disengage by acceleration at the end of turn 7, and running through things real fast for that turn showed that Patch couldn't do enough damage to prevent it. The FA-L was completely helpless, and we figured there'd be no problem taking out the LN, which couldn't disengage, and only had a couple ph-Gs.
I got a couple victory points for Patch's use of speed-12 drones, and I had gotten internals on all three Klingon ships. But, I hadn't crippled any of them, two of my ships were destroyed, and the CU disengaged for a total of 27.6 to 122.25, a Crushing Defeat.
On the other hand, Patch hadn't carried out his mission, so it was a Defeat for him too!
I think Patch stayed too cautious for this one. He had the firepower advantage, and should have been trying to swarm marines on the CU whenever he could. Turn 4 especially had a good moment for him, after I fired weapons, so lowering a shield wasn't a problem. He was worried about the odds on the combat, but the CU only has 6 boarding parties, and each of his ships had two transporters, so he could get to 4-6 odds with only two ships, and a repeat on the next turn would probably get him good odds. Also, engaging in some hit and runs would force me to divert boarding parties to guarding the hellbore instead of participating in combat.
My general plan went okay, but I found it too hard to keep my distance on the fixed map. Neither of us expected the FA-L to go down so hard. I'm keep having problems using Stingers properly (they keep just serving as target practice for Patch), though the second go round very nearly worked, and could have wrecked an F5. We really need to start using Erratic Maneuvers.
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].
Archive for James Lowry
- [+] Dice rolls
Despite the Hydran pull-out last turn, and my attempts to pick off the garrisons, they still held a bit of Lyran territory to generate another 0.3 VP.
Construction was fairly normal, though even with the reduced economies of this era, the budgets are far exceeding his spending. However, the Hydrans did a lot of conversions (6 in all, plus using a couple FTS to form the basis of a SAF), mostly turning Rangers into tougher Lord Marshals. I generally avoid that conversion as it reduces the number of fighters, but Belirahc pointed out that the LM is a Hellbore-armed ship, which can do extra damage to Klingons.... So here, it's certainly a good deal.
Kzinti: DNE, CD, 2xCL, DD, 3xFF, FF->SDF, CS->CC
Hydrans: TEM, RN, 2xLN, SA, 2xHN, 2xLC->LM, 3xRN->LM, HN->SC, 2xFTS->SAF
Both raids picked on the Lyrans again, off in areas where the only choice was calling up POLs. Both POLs were lost against the CL and LN with Prime Teams sent raiding, but the CL was forced to retreat, so only one province was disrupted.
Movement started with a sweep of province raiders in Kzinti territory, but then moved to assaults on the Lyran border stations. I had set things up so that I could shift forces from one threatened base to another, but I ended up not suitably concentrated at any one base. I was expecting a push at the captured planets in 1105 and 1504, but instead everything went into Lyran space.
The Hydrans similarly started by sweeping Coalition pickets in their space, and then moved a couple of moderate-sized forces against a pair of Klingon bases before moving a very large force against the Lyran SB in 0409.
1217: SSC: Klingon retreat
0815: SSC: Klingon: dest E3
0915: SSC: Klingon: retreat; Hydran: dest HN, crip SA, HN, retreat
0714: SSC: Lyran: dest FF
0615: SSC: Lyran: dest FF; Hydran: retreat
1214: Klingon: crip D6, 2xF5; Hydran: dest KN
1415: Klingon: crip D6; Hydran: crip LN, PGZ
0312: Lyran: CL
0411: Lyran: 6xSIDS, dest BCE, CA, 2xCL, 4xDD, 2xFF, POL, crip CC, 2xCA, TCB, 3xCL, 4xDD, SC; Hydran: dest TEM, 4xLN, 4xKN, 3xCR, 2xSA, 4xCU, 2xHN, crip RN, LN, KN
0705: Lyran: dest BATS, crip 2xCL; Klingon: crip D6; Kzinti: dest 3xFF, FFG
0504: Lyran: dest BS, FTS, crip DD; Kzinti: crip 2xCS
0502: Lyran: dest BATS, crip CA, 2xDD; Kzinti: dest CL, BC, crip FFG
1204: Kzinti: dest FF
0703: SSC: Kzinti retreat
0904: SSC: Coalition retreat
1103: SSC: Lyran: dest DD, FF; Kzinti retreat
1004: Klingon: crip D6, E3; Kzinti: dest FF; crip 2xFF
Three ships to two, and Bel couldn't roll high enough to generate casualties in 1217 (neither of us rolled over 5), and I retreated out before the odds caught up to me.
Bel sent a lackluster squadron to fight a fairly good one of mine in 0915 (SA, 2xHN vs F5L, F5, E4; I suppose he just wanted to pin them), and we both rolled high, which nearly wiped his force out, while the mods kept me down to needing to retreat out of the hex.
The SB battle in 0411 wrecked both fleets in seven rounds as Bel tried to force a kill of the base. I had a good reserve of smaller ships, and started using them from the start to take damage. It wasn't enough I also had an EW advantage, though it took me a few rounds to realize that I'd gain ComPot by putting a second SC on the line so I could dial down the SB's EW. And it was a very good thing I had the EW, as Bel generally outrolled me and the -2 shift dragged him back down to my rolls, leaving me to do more damage by virtue of the SB's extra ComPot.
A problem that came up in playtesting the scenario is that the Alliance is supposed to be unaware of the utility of heavy scouts at the start of the General War, but the Kzintis can build a number of them now. The eventual solution was to limit scout production in this scenario, but it's not helping a lot. Bel was able to put up 9 EW in 0705. It was otherwise a fairly even fight, but with that disadvantage, and not wanting to wreck the Lyran fleet on both borders, I was ready to pull out. However, I crippled the BATS, and a successful troop assault finished it off, and Bel pulled out after that.
The SSC in 0904 went two rounds with no damage when I retreated out before my -4 vs his -3 mod finally caught up to me.
1004 was a pinning battle from my planet 1105 garrison moving to block his fleet going the Lyran border. I had a tougher line, but only had five uncrippled ships after the first round and failed pursuit on a '5'.
Three destroyed bases gives Bel 8 VP (plus another 4 for bases I need to replace), and the destroyed ships and repairs (I note with annoyance that my overall repairs are exactly where they were a turn ago) drive his total up to 100.7 VP. On the other hand, the fantastic number of Alliance ships lost has driven my VPs up to 93.7. This is a Marginal Victory for him, but I think he's going to regret losing those ships....
- [+] Dice rolls
Economically, turn 13 was fairly good. The Kzintis earned 94 EP, greater than their base economy of 93. This is kind of inevitable, as the slow expansion off off-map territories drives up income, but is also a sign that the Kzinti territory is in good shape, with all but one of their planets back in their possession, all but one of those producing income again, and all but one of those producing at the full undevastated rate. This allowed them to repair everything, produce a full schedule, convert a CVL up to a CV (while producing the standard one CV per turn), convert the remaining captured D5 to Kzinti service, install a third PDU on 1502, and produce a PDU that is being set up on 1504.
Meanwhile, while the Federation economy is not unhealthy (211.4 income), they could only afford around half of the waiting repairs, and despite telling myself that I needed to maximize carrier production, only produced one CVS; instead opting to produce the second CVA pod, which immediately went to the TG with the 6th Fleet.
While I wanted to hit some major targets near the rim of the galaxy, including the Klingon Tholian Border SB, there were too many ships in the region (including way too many Romulans still near the 7th Fleet SB) to be able to do much. Elsewhere, my main target was the Klingon Fleet, which had a number of poorly-supported elements scattered around their northern area. This was complicated by the fact that the Lyrans are still capable of reaching the Kzinti capital, so large chunks of the Kzinti fleet need to be able to retrograde back to cover that.
While I'd like to push the Lyrans out of Kzinti space proper, the Klingons are still taking up too much attention, so a decent fleet was sent to 1001 with the idea of trading some fighters for some cripples, and wear the Lyran garrison down over the course of a couple turns.
Bel had, to my surprise, left me an opening in Hydran space by not retrograding his forces from last turn's battle back to their base at 0416. I was able to pin the force in 0119 with the bulk of the forces still in the Old Colonies (I was worried that Battle Group Blood in 0117 would react and spoil the show, but they didn't), and then the 2nd Fleet swung around the other Klingon/Lyran forces to attack the captured Hydran capital! This is ordinarily important as the hex is providing 9 EPs to the Coalition, but Bel had just started setting up three different MBs in the hex, so he was planning on making it much harder to take in the near future.
3516: Romulan: BATS destroyed
3415: Romulan: dest SPH, crip SP, WE, FAL, K5L, SNB; Federation: dest 2xCC
3313: Cloaked evasion
3412: Cloaked evasion
2815: Romulan: dest WE; Federation: dest FF
2516: Klingon: dest E4; Federation: crip DD
2315: Klingon: crip E4A; Federation: crip FF
2216: Klingon: dest 2xPDU; planet captured
2014: SSC: Klingon retreat
1916: Klingon: dest 2xPDU; planet captured
1812: SSC: Federation: crip FF, retreat
1611: SSC: Klingon: dest PDU; Federation: crip CL, capture planet
1810: SSC: Klingon: retreat
1612: Klingon: crip D7C; Federation: dest CA
1909: Klingon: dest crippled D5
1709: Klingon: dest D5, crip 2xD5, 2xF5L; Kzinti: dest Z-D5, crip BC, CM, EFF
1605: Klingon: crip F5E
1305: Klingon: dest E4, crippled E4
1408: Klingon: dest D6D; Kzinti: crip FF
1210: Klingon: dest 2xPDU, planet captured
1209: Klingon: dest BATS
1009: Klingon: dest BATS
1001: Unopposed withdrawal
0801: SSC: Lyran: crip SC, retreat
0803: Lyran: dest 2xFF; Kzinti: crip 2xCM, FF
0519: SSC: Lyran: crip 2xFF; Hydran: crip CU, retreat
0119: Unopposed withdrawal
0617: Lyran: dest 2xDW; Klingon: dest E4; capital captured
I was a little surprised that the Romulans didn't send a reserve to both major battles on their border, and was even more surprised that Bel was initially prepared to retreat out of the fight that he sent the reserves to (I did still have a larger force), and he was surprised when I retreated out. But the mission was to kill the MB being set up in 3415 and the adjacent BATS, and get back to the 6th Fleet SB. Bel obviously tried to block the way home, but thanks to retreating out of both hexes, I could just manage a retrograde path back. On the other hand, he killed two CCs, and that is going to hurt.
There were a few SSC fights on the Klingon border, and I didn't roll well on any of them. Both sides have a negative modifier in 2014, so that wasn't so surprising, but I had to go two rounds against a single PDU in 1611, and I couldn't do more than kill the fighters of a lone FV in 1810 with a +3 roll.
I was surprised that Bel sent both Klingon reserves after BG Napoleon instead of rescuing the major planet in 1611, or interfering in other fights. Having been out of supply, it was low on fighters, but was still a powerful fleet, once back in supply for combat. Unable to get the damage to cripple a carrier, he mauled a CA in formation....
...And then he mauled the D5 in Kzinti service in the next battle. It's disappointing to see it go, but it's already been in several battles, and crippled more than once, so I got good service from it. In return, I managed to kill a D5 during a pursuit battle.
I was surprised that the Lyrans were willing to let 1001 go without a fight. He's still in range of the Kzinti capital, but now there's no supply there, and no place to retrograde to if he raids it, so there's significantly less danger to it than before.
The Lyran reserve went to 0803 instead of the planet, so he had a good line versus a half line that was picking on some province garrisons. With some extra reserves, I'm not sure why he self-killed frigates, since the Lyran economy is in great shape.
If I'd been thinking, I'd have left a ship in 0319 so I'd be able to string supply through 0519 to the capital, no matter how temporarily. As it is, the fleet is in a partial grid, and not replacing fighters.
I was hoping to do a bit more damage to the Klingon fleet this turn, but it really is hard to force someone into a fight he doesn't want, and I wasn't really expecting to take out another four planets this turn.
Turn 13 scoring:
Coalition: 390.8 EP (x2) + 570 (bases) + 570 ships (/5) = 1471.4
Alliance: 333.4 EP (x2) + 480 (bases) + 547 ships (/5) = 1256.2
Difference = 215.2 Major Coalition Victory
Eliminating the 100-point bonus for the Hydran Capital still doesn't shift this down from a major victory (barely), partially because of the addition of further Romulan bases as they survey and activate their backfield (I may have forgotten to account for some of that last turn). The Coalition also gained 35 ships this turn, mostly with the Romulans. Meanwhile, the Alliance gained 46 ships, even with the Coalition mauling away cruisers.
- [+] Dice rolls
The beginning of Y159 is when the terms of the Treaty of Smarba kick in, requiring me to start delivering D6s and F5s to the Romulans. Since these are activated out of mothball stores for minimal expense, and then shipped free, this is not a large burden (though delivering a pair of TGBs is a little more problematic).
However, I realized I'd made a terrible mistake. I'd been assuming I also got the normal General War mothball activations of 2xD6, 2xF5, 1xE4, but the scenario uses its own OoB, and this does not include any mothball activations for the Klingons unless the capital is attacked.
Oddly, I seem to have caught this on turn 2 (I paid for activations, but didn't pull the ships), but then missed it and did the activations on turn 3. Thankfully, there's enough money available to pay for them as overbuilds, though D6s and E4s is not what I'd choose to overbuild....
Straightening that out ended with me skipping some Klingon repairs this time, but the Lyrans are in good shape.
Klingons: C6, D7, D6, 2xF5, 3xE4, E3, BS->BATS
Lyrans: DNE, CA, 2xCL, 2xDD, 2xFF
This is also the turn where repair ships and repair pods start becoming available, but I'm not planning on repairing at the expensive rate when the normal repairs have been a major part of the budget.
I sent both raids into Kzinti space this turn. Bel reacted a CS out of a reserve to fight the Lyran CA, and the CA crippled while doing nothing to the CS. The Klingon D6 had no trouble defeating the called up POL and disrupted a province.
With much of the outer defenses out of the way, I targeted a couple of starbases for this turn's thrusts, sending combined fleets to 1304 and 0716. This did not work out so well.
I had actually meant to re-work some of my last move to 1304 if Bel reacted to protect planet 1202, which he did, but I ended up not bothering. I should have stuck with the plan.
1701: Kzinti: crip CS, CLD, 2xFF; Lyran: crip CA, CL, SC, 2xFF
1202: Retreat after refused approach
1304: Kzinti: crip 2xCL; Klingon: dest 3xE4, E3, crip D7, F5L, F5S
1204: Kzinti: dest FF
1405: Kzinti: dest BATS; Klingon: crip F5
1506: SSC: Kzinti: retreat; Klingon: capture planet
1605: Retreat after refused approach
1504: Kzinti: dest 2xPGB, crip 3xCL, CLG, FF; Klingon: dest E4, crip F5L, 2xF5, E4, capture planet
0714: Hydran: dest BS; Lyran: crip FF
0512: SSC: Hydran: dest CU; Lyran: crip CL
0511: SSC: Hydran: retreat
0211: SSC: Hydran: dest CU
0210: SSC: Hydran: retreat
1116: Hydran: dest BS, LN; Klingon: crip F5L, E4S
0716: Hydran: RN captured; Klingon: crip F5, 2xE4, E3
The first few battles showed how unprepared I was for a general assault. 1701 featured a Kzinti EW advantage thanks to a CD, CLD and SF. SB 1304 had a large Kzinti fleet at it, and generated far more ComPot than I could, and then there was 1-6 die roll split just to make it that much more painful.
My petty revenge was retreating on top of a lone Kzinti FF in 1204 (direct path to nearest supply), which didn't have a chance.
The flip side of that was that the squadron I sent to take the NZ planet in 1506 caused no damage, and the defending Kzinti squadron was able to retreat onto 1605 next door making the combined defending force+base tougher than the assigned squadron could handle. So they retreated onto 1506.
I had an advantage at 1504, but a bad roll could have reversed things. As it was, the first round was 6-4 my favor, and Bel ended up retreating out with most of his force crippled, but with an intact monitor.
I refused to assault the Hydran SB, but they came out to engage me in an approach battle. I had a heavier line, and got a 6-1 roll to allow me to direct on a RN, which I then captured. I was halfway through typing the normal response when it hit me what had happened. I handed the hull to the Lyrans who will presumably convert it next turn.
Another three bases down means another seven points; capturing 1504 is another two points, and holding 1105 and disrupting two provinces is another 0.6 VP. Along with destroyed ships and enemy repairs (the Kzintis have a lot of crippled ships piling up) gets me up to 82.3 VP. Meanwhile, I've upgraded a rear-area BS to BATS and made good on many of my cripples to reduce the Alliance VPs to 72.3. This gives me a Minor Victory, and things will only get better if I can hang onto Kzinti territory.
- [+] Dice rolls
The beta testing of the new Vassal module for F&E is finally starting to wrap up. Bel and I have been working on doing setups for all the major scenarios, and I've found and squashed a number of counter bugs along the way. Hopefully, it won't be too much longer before a completed module is made available.
This has been taking a bit longer than I'd strictly like, but there's been a number of new additions to the module along the way:
Admirals have been reworked and are now with the other 'personnel' counters. These counters will then draw from a hidden store of variable admirals when using that optional rule. (The old ones chose their variable status when originally pulled, meaning that any pre-done set up was always the same unless the players put them all back and re-drew them at the beginning of the game.)
I'm still working on this last part, and any suggestions as to useful tug counters will be appreciated.
- [+] Dice rolls
Bel surprised me by cancelling a number of smaller hulls across all three empires on his turn. The Klingons are struggling with a massive cripple backlog, but there was spare money left in all three treasuries.
My stat tracking shows this is the highest amount of stored EPs the Coalition has had since turn 2, and Bel's comments indicate that he's looking forward to the shift to 75% economy on turn 16.
Bel naturally leaped on the out of supply Hydran fleet, and swiftly reclaimed planet 0518, while the Lyrans sent a tug over to the Hydran capital and started setting up a MB at Hydramax.
After that, the next goal of Bel's movement was to engage Federation forces in the central Klingon Empire, and force them off of the two planets I'd captured. Notably, he pulled the five ships (including a C8 and D7C) still administratively marked as the North Fleet out of Sector C to help deal with this. There was very little movement near Kzinti space, only picking on a couple ships outside the range of all my reserves.
The Romulans continued their invasion, heavily hitting everything around the 7th Fleet and 6th Fleet SBs. They did not drive further into Federation space, instead aiming to widen the gap in the frontier.
0519: Planet captured
0418: SSC: Hydran: dest KN
0317: Hydran: dest LN; Klingon: crip D5
0908: SSC: Kzinti: retreat; Lyran: retreat
0705: SSC: Kzinti: dest FF
2518: Fed: dest CL, FF; Klingon: dest D5, recapture planet
2214: SSC: Fed: retreat; Klingon: retreat; planet goes neutral
1714: Fed: dest NCD; Klingon: crip D7C, D6, D6M, F5E, capture NCD & planet
1815: SSC: Fed: dest FF
1715: SSC: Fed: dest FF
1713: Fed: crip NCL, CL, FF; Klingon: crip 3xF5
1514: SSC: Fed: crip FF, retreat; Klingon: crip F5, recapture planet
3613: Fed: dest BATS, CL; Romulan: crip SP
2816: Fed: dest BATS, crip 2xNCL, FF, FFS; Romulan: crip SP, SPB, SK, 2xSKE, 2xBH
3016: Fed: dest BATS; Romulan: crip SP, SN
2915: Retreat after refused approach
3611: Retreat after refused approach
3711: Fed: crip FF; Romulan: crip KRC, FH, SP
3612: Fed: crip CC, CA, FF, dest FF, 2xPDU; Rom: dest SKB, SKE, K4, crip KE, WE, capture planet
I would have loved to re-open supply to the main Hydran fleet with the Hydran reserve, but I realized that combat supply is only re-evaluated at the moment that battle hex is resolved. If I picked a fight to re-open supply, and that hex was evaluated first, I'd have to win the fight so as not to retreat back off map, and the reserve wasn't that big. So I reinforced the fight with a few ships that were at full combat power, and luckily only lost a DD this time, and have retreated into supply.
1714 was our first fight between CVAs (USS Napoleon and C8V Vindicator), but the Klingons had about a half-line of reserves, while the Federation was a ship short of a full line. As it was, I had a slightly higher ComPot, and rolled one less to do the same damage. Bel's second ship capture in as many turns is annoying, but is still a long ways from the seven ships I've captured.
Bel ended up retreating out of both SB battles without fighting. In one case, I had no fighters to take damage on, and in the other, he had a fairly heavy line he could put up. I expected him to come in for at least a round on both, so held out for the extra firepower of the SB. In the second one, he was thinking of overrunning an adjacent planet, but since there was an alternate hex free of my forces, he had to go there or do a fighting retreat. Since the planet was where my second reserve had gone, that wouldn't have worked out.
BATS 3612 had minor forces from both of us, and dragged out across five rounds of largely crippled lines as it could go either way. He had a bit more in the hex, but I took my damage to preserve ComPot, and had the bigger line for a couple rounds. Damage rolls were even until ComPot was too low for it to matter much. In the end, I had to retreat, but the three survivors are on the 6th Fleet SB, where they can be repaired.
While I can't be happy about losing more border regions to the Romulan navy, the invasion is going much slower than I feared. I figured there'd be a major fights over both SBs this turn, leaving them with a lot of damage and cripples to try and make good.
In Klingon space, I'll say that I had held onto things longer than I expected, and Bel is having to focus a lot of attention in the central empire to kick me out, while Kzinti and Federation forces continue to strip the northern empire of bases.
- [+] Dice rolls
While the Kzinti are having a hard time, with the Klingons having occupied the planet in 1105, they still hold the neutral zone planet in 1506, and the Hydrans were still disrupting three Lyran provinces and holding another at the start of their turn (worth 0.5 permanent VP) while only one of their provinces are held by he Klingons.
Both economies are in good shape and could absorb the modest number of cripples to repair with no trouble. I was surprised that Bel had no conversions this turn, but both empires paid to activate an extra Prime Team.
Kzintis: BC, CL, CLD, CLG, 3xFF, MB, PT
Hydrans: DG, 2xKN, CR, 2xCU, Convoy, MB, PT
Both raids were against Lyran territory. The Hydran one easily fought off the called up POL that responded, and disrupted a province, while the raiding Kzinti CS fought a CA that responded from the adjacent SB and was crippled, while the CA merely retreated.
I had done my best to set up so as to be able to respond to most attempts to assault my border bases, and especially the more valuable BATS, but Bel quickly defeated all of that by sending a Hydran force around the edge of the Klingon border, and hitting 1011. Late in the turn, all the major forces in Lyran space headed east, I assume towards the relatively unprotected depot in 0810. I reacted off the Enemy's Blood SB, and didn't have enough to completely pin either move, but Bel stopped and fought there.
The Kzintis meanwhile struck near the Lyran-Klingon border, and finally sent a force beyond the border to hit 0707. Everything else was well enough in hand that I sent a reserve there, though I'd had to send a Klingon reserve to make a fight of the BATS at 1013, instead of trying to save 1011.
0209: SSC: Lyran: dest POL
0410: Lyran: dest FF
0502: Retreat on refused approach battle
0511: Lyran: crip 4xFF; Hydran: crip RN
1219: SSC: Klingon retreat
0512: Lyran: dest DD
0915: SSC: Hydran retreat
1013: Klingon: crip F5; Hydran: dest LN
1011: Klingon: dest BS
0707: Lyran: crip CA, DD; Kzinti: crip BC, 2xFF
0504: Lyran: crip CL, DD; Kzinti: dest CL, 2xFF
0906: Retreat on refused approach battle
0705: Retreat on refused approach battle
1105: Klingon: crip F5L; Kzinti: dest 3xFF
0803: Lyran: crip DD; Kzinti: crip FF
0511 was the large pinning battle. I went in for a round with my heaviest line with a TGC+BP, DNE, BCE, 2xCA, and then a battle group, and was still fighting 9 ComPot down thanks to how scary Hydran cruisers are. Low rolls kept anything meaningful from happening, especially as I was just short of killing a LN. He didn't bother to pursue the heavy line when I retreated, and the cripples are now at the Enemy's Blood SB for repairs.
Bel wanted no part of 1013 after my reserve showed up, but I challenged him to the initial approach battle. This is one of a few times lately where he's tried to preserve his forces with a minimal line where it doesn't make a lot of sense. He still had to put up about five ships, which is more than my force can destroy in a round, so he might as well put up a full line and do as much damage as possible in return.
0504 was a second case of this, and I ended up killing his cripples in pursuit. With a full line, I might have needed a much lighter line for pursuit (CLs to FFs) after taking the extra damage.
1105 was third time he did this. I don't blame him for wanting out, as most of his force was FFs. I didn't think to increase my BIR to 4, and let him off a bit easy.
Much to my surprise, Bel retrograded all but a handful of ships, leaving the Lyrans free to pick off Hydran province raiders for the first time in the game. They've been having to maneuver around large, aggressive Hydran fleets in their space all this time. Like me, he used almost all his forces in offensive operations this turn, and the Hydrans only have five ships in reserve, but the Kzinti Barony fleet just arrived from off-map, and formed the basis of two healthy Kzinti reserves on their capital.
The Alliance is up to 79.6 VPs, with 3.8 permanent VPs this turn, while my repairs also continue to pile up. Meanwhile, my VPs are also up slightly, to 64.75, thanks to all the ships I managed to kill. Overall, this is a Minor Alliance Victory, but that's still eroding.
- [+] Dice rolls
The financial strain on the Federation is already showing this turn, as the reduction in economy combined with the number of repairs exhausted the reserves, and there was no money left to send the Kzintis this turn. Meanwhile, the Kzinti had to cancel a few ships to pay for all their repairs.
(This was from a mistake; I noticed late that I hadn't used the Kzinti free fighters on the previous turn. )
There's a few Kzinti cripples piling up in the Barony again, but things are under control. Most of the Federation cripples were handled, with a notable exception at the 6th Fleet SB, but two SIDS there were repaired by the TG.
The Federation continues to put out a fantastic number of ships, including the fourth CVA, USS Julius Caesar. The Kzinti produced their second CVA (Olympus), and converted the captured F5 converted to Kzinti service last turn to a Z-F5E as its outer escort (I haven't heard any commentary from Bel on this yet). The Hydrans continue working on the new shipyard, and converted an NCV carrier group from their small stock of war cruisers.
The Hydrans saw a chance, and pinned one group of the Coalition fleets guarding the Old Colonies before sending out a fleet to 0416 to try and reduce the heavy defenses there. Meanwhile, the Federation was not feeling up to challenging the Romulans with the forces available, and avoided combat while moving up the bulk of the 5th Fleet to 3808.
The Kzinti pulled back from 1001, and assaulted 1202 without interference while heavy fighting continued near the Kzinti/Federation/Klingon border area. For the first time, Kzinti forces entered Lyran space, as they pinned a reserve by assaulting BATS 0705. Further forces hit the Klingon planet in 1407 and BATS 0908.
Part of the Federation 7th Fleet moved to take out BATS 2519, and Bel was smart enough not to react and let on 2518 take out other targets unhindered. Other forces hit several targets in Klingon space, including a strong force that piled onto the Southern Reserve SB, and forced his main reserves to go there, instead of saving other targets. I also sent ships to take major planet 1611, prematurely activating the 3rd IWR squadron (I had carefully avoided doing any such thing last turn since I didn't want to release it and the 2nd IWR early).
0519: SSC: Klingon: dest E4; Hydran: retreat; planet reverts to Hydran.
0416: Lyran: dest 2xPGB; Hydran: dest DG
0119: Lyran: dest STT; Hydran: dest RN
2519: Klingon: dest BATS; Federation: crip NCL, FF
2214: SSC: Klingon: crip D7, retreat; Federation: capture planet
1514: SSC: Klingon: dest F5L; Federation: crip FF, capture planet
1712: SSC: Klingon: dest cripD5; Federation: retreat
1716: Klingon: 2xSIDS, crip AD5, F5E, 2xE4A, dest FRD; Federation: crip DN+, 2xNCL, dest ECL
2014: Klingon: crip D7, dest BATS; Federation: crip 2xFF
1916: Klingon: crip D6; Federation: crip CC, CL, FF
1611: Klingon: crip D7, F5S, dest 3xPDU; Federation: crip 2xNCL, CL, 2xDD, dest FF
2009: SSC: Klingon retreat
1910: Klingon: crip D6, D5, F5L, dest 2xF5, E4A; Federation: crip CA, DD, 5xFF, dest 2xCL, capture planet
1808: Klingon: dest F5
1705: Klingon: dest D6
1708: Klingon: dest F5
1304: SSC: Klingon: crip E4, retreat; Kzinti: retreat
1205: SSC: Klingon: retreat
1107: SSC: crip D5, dest E4, retreat; Kzinti: crip CL, retreat
1407: Klingon: crip F5E, dest 2xPDU; Kzinti: capture planet
0908: Klingon: dest BATS, cripE4
0705: Lyran: crip STT, dest BATS; Kzinti: crip, 2xCM, SF
1202: Lyran: dest PDU; Kzinti: capture planet
The Hydrans saw a chance and took it, but it isn't working out. The bulk of the navy is now cut off and out of supply, since I didn't leave enough at the border to force a Coalition retreat. I also wasn't considering just how nasty the defenses over 0416 have become. A low Lyran roll helped, but a low roll from me kept me from getting rid of all the PGBs, and there's still a spare MB and FRD at the SB. I'm thinking it would have been best to wait a turn or two for the major push and see if the Federation can manage to disrupt Klingon supply into the area first.
With all the defenders, I wasn't going to kill the Southern Reserve SB, but I went in for a round anyway and killed the FRD to restrict future repairs there. I was a little surprised by the self-inflicted SIDS, but considering our high rolls (5-5), we were both scrambling for things to take damage on. I think with about a dozen more ships, I could have forced the SB, but this was really a diversion. If he didn't send the reserves here, I'd have taken it out, and Bel can't really afford that.
I would have liked to take the planet at 1916 as well, but that was to tie down the other Klingon reserve, and I didn't bring nearly enough to take on the C8V Vindicator. (I am glad I wasn't facing that over the SB.)
Good Klingon rolls in rounds 2 and 3 probably saved 1611. I had hoped to take the planet, but had to retreat out with a lot of cripples and no fighters. The good news is that 3/4 of the defenses are gone, so it will need a lot more ships to defend in the future. Of course, being in reaction range of the capital, this may be the only chance to take it on the cheap I'll see....
I expected a much tougher fight for 0705. Bel could have stuck it out a few rounds and burned through some of my forces since I had no spare fighters, but decided to avoid taking much damage himself.
Star Fleet is feeling pretty battered at the moment, with a lot of cripples, and didn't make some its goals in Klingon space. I'm not sure just how much I'm going to be able to do next turn. On the other hand, Klingon supply points are disappearing fast to the north. It's probably time to put a little pressure on the Lyrans, though actually consolidating and garrisoning northern Klingon space to reduce income has to become a priority.
Turn 12 scoring:
Coalition: 380.6 EP (x2) + 545 (bases) + 564 ships (/5) + 100 (Hydran Capital) = 1535
Alliance: 324.4 EP (x2) + 495 (bases) + 501 ships (/5) = 1244
Difference = 291 Major Coalition Victory
Adding in the Romulans makes a big difference in the war. More disturbing to the Coalition is that the Alliance gained 24 ships this turn (mostly Federation) while the Romulans and Klingons lost ships. Only the Lyrans came out 10 ahead, and the overall difference isn't that big. If this keeps up the Alliance will soon overall have more ships just as the western economies start faltering.
- [+] Dice rolls
And with turn 3 this truly becomes the Four Powers War as the Lyrans attack the Kzinti in support of the Fourth Klingo-Kzinti War.
Thankfully, the Lyran border with the Kzinti is in much better shape than the Hydran border. The Count's Fleet is in position, but everything else has been needed against the Klingons, giving a much better fleet ratio. The opposite is true for the Hydrans, with the bulk of the Hydran navy sitting in or near Lyran space.
The Lyrans are still struggling with a lot of cripples, though the last of the repairs from the recent civil war are done, and a DD from the Far Stars fleet became active (now that the entire fleet is repaired, one random ship from it becomes available each turn). Meanwhile the Klingons have enough extra money to start the process of turning various inaccessible base stations into battlestations (which is worth VPs... or rather, not doing so is worth VPs to the other side).
Klingons: D7, TGA, F5L, F5, 3xE4, E3, D7->D7C, D6->D6D, BS-BATS
Lyrans: BCE, CA, 2xCL, 2xDD, 2xFF
Raiding continued to go poorly for me. I put repaired both ships from last turn and sent them raiding into Kzinti space. Despite attempting to stay away from heavier ships, a Kzinti CC reacted to the Lyran BCE and destroyed it while the CC was crippled. The Klingon D6 only had to deal with a called up POL, and successfully disrupted a province.
The Klingons counterattacked at four Hydran bases along the border, while Lyran efforts focused on getting at the logistical train that had moved up to 0513 (a convoy, FRD and TG hauling the parts for a mobile base).
On the Kzinti front, I spent a lot of time and effort trying to avoid confronting all the Kzinti forces on the Klingon border while still conducting an offensive, but couldn't manage it. Bel aggressively reacted to all my province raiders, which helped dilute the base defenders, but not by enough. I ended up by concentrating on the west side of the border, with the real drive at Zelkrat in 1105, while Lyran forces took on two border bases unopposed.
0703: Kzinti: dest BATS, crip CL; Lyran: crip FF
0803: Kzinti: dest BS; Lyran: crip FF
1004: SSC: Kzinti: crip CL, retreat; Klingon: crip E4, retreat
1205: SSC: Klingon: retreat
1105: Kzinti: dest FF, 2xPDU; Klingon: crip D6, F5, capture planet
1304: Kzinti: 2xSIDS, crip CL; Klingon: crip D6, D6J, F5, F5S, dest E4
1605: Retreat on refused approach
1219: Hydran: dest BS; Klingon: crip F5
1217: Hydran: crip SA, dest BATS; Klingon: crip 2xF5, F5G, E4, E4J, dest E4
1116: Retreat on refused approach
0915: Hydran: crip HNG, dest BATS, POL; Klingon: crip D6, D6J, 2xE4, dest F5
0211: SSC: Lyran: crip CL, dest FF, retreat
0513: Hydran: crip TEM, RN, dest 2xLN, FRD, Convoy; Lyran: crip CC, 2xCA, CL, dest DD, FF
0412: Unopposed defender withdrawal
0512: SSC: Hydran retreat
Both 1004 and 1205 were province raiding missions gone bad when Bel proved more willing to react off of bases than I had supposed. Neither of us rolled very well in either of them, which was fortunate in 1205 since I was overmatched.
Our lack of experience with the ground attack rules showed at 1105. I sent in the D6G, and directed on a FF. Bel took some of his leftover damage on a PDU, which gave the defense gap needed for a bonus on the ground attack. If we'd looked at the modifiers, I'd have directed on the PDU. As it was, the ground attack took out the remaining PDU, and Bel retreated out.
I'd sent a reasonably sized force to SB 1304, which drew the Kzinti reserve. Without that, he only had a pile of cripples stationed there. I went in for one round, then retreated, but between cripples and SIDS, his repair capacity is overloaded there....
1217 had about half a line protecting it, which with all the fighters was able to do a good amount of damage before retreating out right before the BATS blew.
Bel was determined to make my raid on his support units as painful as possible, and succeeded. We went five rounds, increasingly desperate to keep a viable force together while I tried to kill the valuable units. Eventually, he retreated out, and I was just able to kill the FRD and Convoy in the slow unit battle. (For some reason, hauling around a MB doesn't make a tug slow....)
0512 was another in a chain of SSCs with low rolls. I did one casualty to him, which he used to retreat out. However, he's stuck against the edge of the LDR, and was forced into 0511 and out of supply.
Killing five bases this turn does a lot for my score, as does capturing a Kzinti planet. My VPs are up to 63.25, and a healthy percentage of that is in points that can't be taken away later. The Alliance is up to 73.2, thanks to the ships I'm loosing, which shifts me up to a Minor Defeat.
A big problem is that just to do this much, I had to use just about all my available ships, and my reserves are small for the upcoming turn.
- [+] Dice rolls
I've been thinking of doing a bit more SFB for a little bit. And then airjudden talked about having gone through all the monster scenarios from the Commander's rulebook some time ago, and posted a solo game against against a new one.
I've occasionally thought about trying some of the solo monster scenarios out. And with some vacation time available, he inspired me to go through with it.
This is part of my group's plays, so the date is Y158. Starting at the beginning, I went with SM1, which features a monster inspired by the episode "The Doomsday Machine" (but not nearly so tough). I've been wanting to get back to the Kzinti, and went with their main cruiser of the era, the Strike Cruiser. (The better CA and CC classes exist, but there's more CSs than CCs and CAs put together. The first BC will be converted from a CS in about two years.) This meant ignoring SM1.432, which states all drones are speed 20 (such technological marvels are a decade away).
Paying for Type II/V drones wasn't worth considering. With MCIDS swatting down up to three drones an impluse, speed 12 wasn't worth the 0.5 BPV per drone. (In general, I'd think speed 12 should be 0.25 instead of the same 0.5 of speed 20, but I suppose the idea is that ships are slower in this era.)
Speaking of slow ships, the CS only has 27 warp, limiting it to speed 28 (with the one point of impulse thrown in). And it only has two disruptors and two ph-1s; the main weapon is pretty much the drones, which I can't count on.
Starting to wonder if this was really a good idea, I looked over the details. You can't fire on the monster unless at range six or closer (there goes the idea of softening it up first). And it fires at range six or less, with no adjustments for range, and no effect from EW. At the top end, it does 35 damage—ouch! That's starting to look like a ph-4.
But the low end is only 10 damage... and it only fires once per turn. Since there's no reason not to go to point-blank range, the real primary weapon of the CS comes out: 10 ph-3s. And at speed 6, it's much slower than the CS. The robot rules move it towards the planet unless a ship is within two hexes, at which point it'll pursue that ship like a seeking weapon.
I pondered loading up on transporter bombs. It wouldn't be too hard to get the planet crusher to run over them, but the extra BPV cost would up the amount of damage I needed to do to defeat it. So I went no frills; just a stock CS with no commander's options. With a BPV of 116, the balance formula said I needed to do 186 damage to it, while I would lose if it did 200 damage to the planet it was headed for. I contemplated that if things went poorly, and I needed time, I could let it get to the planet, and chew on it for at least five turns. Assuming the inhabitants were non-Kzinti natives, this should be acceptable to the Hegemony—unless the natives were especially tasty.
With little to fear with a set up on the far side of the map (with the target planet at the upper middle; I went speed 23, charging phasers, fire control on, shields at minimum and no disruptors. I headed more-or-less straight at it, while it mostly headed straight up, with a couple hexes of direction B thrown in, ending at range 16.
I randomly rolled for all planet crusher movement that had two possibilities. One thing I'm not sure of is where in the movement order it goes. I judged it as a ship, so it went first, as I was always moving faster—except when it was in range two of me and 'pursuing' my ship, then it gets the 'no you go first' exception. It might make sense to rate it as a seeking weapon (targeted on the planet) at all times.
For turn 2, I put disruptors to standard loads, planning on overloading them off of battery unless I took a bad hit, put shields to full, and went speed 25. I immediately turned to heading F to get ahead of the planet crusher and came in, showing my #6 shield. We both moved on impulse 16 and hit range 5.
A '3' did 25 points on the 22-point shield. I spent one battery on reinforcement, planning on using the other 4 to overload the disruptors. Disaster! The two internals hit a phaser and disruptor! I took the left side disruptor and ph-1, since the next pass would certainly be off the right side.
I turned in, and on impulse 22, entered its hex. The planet crusher would have also moved, but in pursuit of my ship stayed where it was. I launched four drones and all forward-facing weapons.
Well, almost. I forgot about the two 360 ph-3s until I noticed my power wasn't balancing on the follow up shot.
MCIDS fired at the first three drones... and missed! My overloaded disruptor automatically hit at range 0 for 10, the ph-1 did 7, and the ph-3s did 15. The next impulse, the drones hit for another 48. The impulse after that, I finished my overrun and did another 21 points with the remaining 6xph-3.
101 damage and delayed the monster a hex. Not a bad turn's work.
At the end of the turn, I was still at range 6, which meant I knew it would fire on impulse 1, and hit my #4 shield. I partially recharged phasers, overloaded the disruptor, recharged batteries, went speed 9 and put 8 extra power in the the shield. That would block anything but a '1', and the five batteries would stop that if needed.
A '5' did 15, putting 7 points on the shield. I turned around, executed a snap-turn (slip in one direction followed by a turn in the opposite direction, and then fired at range three on impulse 25 (which kept the weapons clear for turn 4...). The disruptor missed, but the bearing phasers did another 10 points of damage.
The planet crusher went in direction B for its next move allowing me to slip into range 2, and then get to range 1 on impulse 32. It moved into my hex for the end of the turn, where I launched a second set of drones, only to watch the MCIDS instantly kill three of them....
Wanting to be able to get back out of its seeking range, I went speed 13, overloading the disruptor, charging all phasers, and putting 8 onto #1 for the same plan as last time (it had been a stronger shield, until I dinged it with that overload on the first pass...).
The planet crusher did 20, putting 12 on the #1 shield, and I immediately added two more with feedback from an overloaded disruptor. That did 10, the ph-1 did 6 and the six bearing phasers did another 22. On impulse 3, I moved out of the hex and did another 15 with the rear ph-3s for a total 65 damage for the turn.
Sadly, while it followed me, it chose a direction that didn't lead away from the planet. I danced ahead of it a little, but finally got out of seeking range and paralleled its course until the end of the turn, where I turned in to get to range 2 off my shield #2.
I went with much the same plan as the last two turns, with speed 9 and 10 reinforcement on shield #2. The planet crusher rolled '6' to not even hurt the shield, and moved into it, doing another 40 damage with the right-side weapons.
Total, 216 damage. Creature destroyed.
It really is a pretty simple creature to deal with. Slightly random movement helps give it some more interest. I thought I was in trouble when those two internals took out important weapons, but the complete failure of MCIDS after that more than made up for it. The fact that it never rolled less than a '3' also helped a lot, but I was reasonably well prepared for that after the first pass.
I note that the rules state that the creature gets one shot per turn at each ship present (when it gets within six hexes), so I'd think taking a frigate squadron against it might be a pretty stiff challenge.
- [+] Dice rolls