I bought Starmada a few months ago and have really liked it. The rules are fairly simple and fast, the ship construction system is easy to use, and I soon was building ships for several sci-fi settings.
Star Trek is a favorite setting for games, the ships are well known, the setting is famous, and the lack of fighters makes the game easier to teach to new players.
We had 5 players in this game (2 newbies,) each player got one ship, 3 Klingons vs. a Federation Diplomatic operation of a Fed ship and its ally (a non Star Trek ship.) The game ran just under 2 hours counting teaching the rules.
USS Challenger, Galaxy class Starship. Captain Gregory MacArthur reporting.
CAPTAIN'S LOG: As the Great War drags on, all sides look for allies. But the war has also pulled most primary ships into battle operations against the Klingon Coalition or patrolling the Romulan border, making sure the Neutral Zone remains so. As new ships are constructed at a rapid pace, ships are being pulled out of mothballs for operations as well.
The USS Early was an old Constitution class that was reactivated and put into diplomatic and exploration missions outside of the main theater. The ship, though it was partially upgraded before being returned to duty, was still woefully out of date for the modern era. The phasers and torpedoes were still about 30 years out of date, and it's shields were about as effective. Simply put, it was way past its prime, and I'm glad I wasn't in Captain Rachael Maddox's shoes.
Her mission was simple, begin to diplomatic operations with a new ally, the Carlians. They had been concerned about the war, but so far unwilling to actually commit forces to a conflict not near them. After delivering a diplomatic team, they remained in system. The meeting went well, with the Carlians sending a Heavy Cruiser with them to go on a patrol in preparation for eventual joint maneuvers.
Captain Maddox was enthusiastic about the operation, though she expressed regrets that her own ship was inferior to the Carlian Cruiser, the Gruen. The Gruen was superior in almost every way, and would be taking the lead in the patrol. The patrol was a basic border patrol operation, and she discussed tactics with the Carlian captain, who was veteran of the service and from a family of distinguished officers. On the 12th day of the patrol they detected some strange readings around Ratheric IV. At this point we only have the records we have recovered, testimony from the few survivors, and the remains on the battlefield.
Apparently the Klingons knew about the Carlians, and either thought we were closer to an alliance to them, or decided to stike first anyway. According to what records were recovered, 3 Klingon warships were spotted, 2 old D7s (Probably upgraded but out of date as well,) and a K'T'Inga.
The ships cloaked quickly, but the Early was able to call general quarters and power all systems for battle. The more aggressive of the D7s fired a short burst of at long range, then cloaked again after a strong blast of the Gruen's missiles. The Early dropped speed and anticipated the Klingon's general position, and fired on it as it decloaked, destroying it, but suffering a crushing pincer attack from the K'T'Inga that decloaked behind it.
The Early was badly damaged, and though it was able to fire another volley with its remaining weapons, it suffered fatal damage in return. Captain Maddox ordered the ship abandoned, but only 2 shuttles were able to get away with any survivors, with 11 people being beamed on board them before the warp core detonated. Captain Maddox was not one of them, she remained on the bridge until the end.
The Gruen on the other hand, hammered the K'T'Inga, while ineffective attacks from the remaining D7 tried to weaken it. The K'T'Inga began to suffer an engine failure and was finally destroyed by the Gruen. The Gruen was showing serious damage to it's engines and shields, but was still fully armed.
This left the two ships facing each other. The big question must have been if the Klingon ship would cloak or not. Both tried to circle the enemy to the same side, and ended up facing each other at point blank range. The D7s old targeting systems didn't matter at that point, and finally delivered a fatal hit with their weapons. The Gruen returned the favor, and the two ships exploded as their shattered hulks flew into each other.
The Carlians were impressed with their ship's performance. The Carlain Captain had lived up to his heritage, and they are enthusiastic about committing a combat force soon. The Klingons may have just bought themselves another enemy. Captain Maddox was given a posthumous award for bravery, but I think we could use more commanders like her on the front. The survivors landed their shuttle on Ratheric IV, and were recovered a week later.
I looked up the records of the Early on the way to survey the battlefield for a final report. The USS Early was a ship that somehow had never been in combat. In all its years of service, it had never been in battle, relegated to stellar chart surveys and training duties, then mothballed. Slowly it had gone from top of the line ship to reliable backup, then to reserve, then to mothballed relic waiting recycling. I think a ship like that would have wanted to finally fight in a battle, and not just be broken down for parts in a few more decades. But I doubt anyone got what they wanted in this fight.
The battle was a tie. The Carlian ship and the 2nd D7 both destroyed each other on their last volley. The battle left no ships remaining at all. The players all enjoyed the game, and hopefully will be back for another game soon.
TWO Equals in an "if" statement!!!
Could you post your specs for the Star Trek ships you used? I always thought a total conversion would be sweet.
I've actually done fleet lists for Star Trek, B5, Star Wars, and the Rocketmen game (I love those cool looking ships!)
I based my Star Trek stuff on two main web sites full of info. http://sporadic-enterprises.net/PhaseII/ and http://www.ditl.org/
I'll post the lists soon. Given how open ended this system is, I'll just tell you that I based the game around the Next Gen being the normal Tech level, and have done Fed, Klingon, Romulan, Cardassian, and a Borg Cube. I tried to go for the general stats I could find, and then keeping with a general feel for the fleet.
Fed Ships are good all around ships, with a few accurate weapons that can fire in all directions as well as a forward torpedo barrage. They are usually fairly fast and have good shields. I also didn't fill them all with systems, some have Science and cargo areas, which do nothing in the game, but fit the Fed to a T.
The Klingons are more brute force, and really need to face their enemy to bring their power to bare. Good guns, but not as accurate. Also several ships can cloak, and many have Heavy Armor.
The Romulans are often slower, but well armed with weapons that do bonus damage at close range. Since they almost all cloak, the key is to get close and then unleash a massive volley.
The Cardassians are really mediocre. They don't really have an advantage they is general across the fleet, and given how cheap many ships are they often work in packs.
The Borg ship is downright unfair. We are working to make it stronger, so it can take on a fleet by itself.
I really need to do the Dominion sometime. And of course there is always the Star Fleet Battles Setting to go crazy with if I'm ever feeling nuts.
On the companies forums, they have some pretty complete fleet lists for various settings. The key is basing it around a scale you want. I went for Trek being around size 8 to 10 for main ships, and based all the other settings on that size, so Star Destoryers are around Size 14 or so. A friend also has improved the shipmaker program so you can make ships of up to size 48 if you are REALLY nuts.