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James Sterrett
United States
Kansas City [Platte City]
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Battle Report: PAGE (Philadelphia Area Gaming Enthusiasts), 15 August 2004

James Sterrett (lead teacher)
Corinne Mahaffey (catcher)
Joe Kopena
Dave Wilson
Chauncey Smith
Lorenzo Harmon
Paul Tullis

Paul and Joe were completely new to the game, so we ran through the demo for them. Chauncey and Corinne helped as “catchers” throughout, helping people who were stumbling over one aspect or another. Dave and Lorenzo both found the refresher useful and got a better understanding of numerous concepts.

After we got through facing,s firing arcs, firing, damage, drift, pivots, and thrust, we moved into a battle.

Dave, Chauncey, and Paul had Wasps in a flotilla, with Chauncey as the Commodore. Joe and Lorenzo had Rafiks, with James as Commodore in a Daixhing. Seeking weapons were ruled out.

Moving fast to get the scenario set up, we began with the Daixhing’s 2x 4MRLS already in range, so there was weapons fire from segment 1 of the first turn. James’ force began with a vector of 4D; James and Lorenzo were 4 above the map, and Joe was 8 above. Chauncey’s force began level with the map, but angled up, closing at 8 in A, in a tight line abreast formation.

I figured Joe was set up for a good pass without thrusting. My Daixhing’s “amazing” maneuver abilities left it best drifting in through the firestorm from the Wasps. Lorenzo’s Rafik needed separation, so we started by having it pivot up, intending to thrust up - or pivot outwards and then thrust if the Wasps tried to follow his maneuver.

Instead, we found ourselves facing Chauncey’s Charge. All three Wasps lit up at thrust 6 for an extended burn. This wrong-footed Lorenzo’s maneuver, bringing the Wasps in faster than we could get him out of the way; and it ensured we couldn’t get in more than one effective shot before the Wasps were in range. One and a half Wasps fired at each of James and Lorenzo; Lorenzo had great soak rolls and escaped immediate crippling. James had flipped the Daixhing to present a side shot, which let one of the volleys blow through half-expended. However, bad soak rolls, including a series of criticals, plus 6 battery explosions, left the Daixhing in a lot of pain, with no reactors remaining and all its free structural integrity hit taken.

A segment or two later, Lorenzo put in his shot. We had hurt the Wasps, but certainly not crippled them. The Wasps, now with vectors of 14A and 3+, began a synchronized pivot to thrust back towards us - cue numerous jokes about synchronized swimming.

We figured out it would take the Wasps around 26 fuel to kill their departing vector, overcome our departing vector, and build a closing vector of 6 again. We got lined up for the repeat pass, wafting through the intervening time on speculation, and realized we were out of time to do much more than continue speculating. Total time at this point: 2.5 to 3 hours (about 6.30pm to 10.15pm).

A few lessons learned….

- The Daixhing is crippled as a beams-only ship. It weakened the side it was on (as compared to having a Rafik.) On the other hand, “beat up on the teacher” isn’t a bad dynamic. Might have been better to hand an Ataturk to Joe or Lorenzo, though.

- A squadron of Wasps puts out a really fearsome barrage once it is in range. The Rafiks need to scatter before them, forcing them to choose to either concentrate on one or splitting up to take on their foes separately. If they stay concentrated, the Rafiks not engaged need to work to harry the Wasps while the Rafik being charged gets out of the way.

- In a beams-only engagement, it’s a good idea to consider *not* topping off your batteries, simply to try to evade some of the battery explosions. When seeking weapons are in play, this is unlikely to be an issue (the power will get used for zone defence and coilguns.)

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