14 March 2015

StarDust - Back to the Void, Sailor!

Ziggy suggested we put the original StarDust back on the table - we hadn't played it in quite some time (11 months) and a game was long over due. I dusted off the scenarios I'd put together for Gnomecon 3. Work prevented me from demoing the game at Gnomecon 2014 so the scenarios never got played.

Scenario 1 is is based on one of my original playtest scenarios. The Orange Fleet (now crewed by the Dogs of SD:G fame) is hurrying to the defense of a star base which is in danger of attack by the foul humans (the Red Fleet). Orange Fleet must exit ships off the far end of the battlefield and the Reds must destroy as many as possible. Whatever Orange ships make it off are available as reinforcements for the second scenario - the star base attack.

Please forgive the blurry pictures. Apparently my phone's camera hates the black mat I use.

There's the initial setup. The Orange Fleet was good on numbers but it's important to remember that the Red losses don't matter - they don't affect the next game. Orange losses carry over to the next game.
The asteroid areas would drift at the start of each turn and any ships overrun by them might take damage!

Early on I advance with my frigates - their forward firepower is brutal. The destroyers and heavy cruiser angle for shots - their best shots are directly ahead centerline, so both left and right side weapons can both fire at the same target. I lost one frigate on the left and two were damaged on the right. One of the Earth Force destroyers was heavily damaged as well - it took a Massive Explosion crit which essentially disables it for the next turn.

A turn on - I decide to run the gap in the middle with my bigger ships. It's the quickest path for them. My frigates on the right move at full speed to get away from the Reds. They have no rear weapons so they must rely on fortune to survive. The frigates on the left run the Heavy Cruiser gauntlet and try to push through.

The Dogs managed to kill off the damaged destroyer. One of their frigates was critically damaged and surrendered, unable to stay in the fight. (the one with the red marker).

Hot destroyer on destroyer action. One of the Dog destroyers gets a wicked hit on an Earth destroyer. It's not often you roll that for damage!

And boom goes the dynamite! You can see that I've also lost a destroyer... sadness.

I knew it would happen eventually - the asteroids shifted and overran my ships. They also nabbed the Red heavy cruiser. All four ships got hit by asteroids and suffered some damage. Hitting asteroids is very dangerous because it shorts out shields for the rest of the turn!

Getting close now! The frigates in the corners would escape and make it to the next game - praise the Lord! The Reds focus their attention on stopping my well-endowed heavy cruiser.

Gah! Nasty Hits on both ships! Both are much easier targets now for the pursuing Reds.

Fortunately, the Escort did it's duty an attracted enough fire to allow the heavy cruiser to escape.The heavy cruiser fired back at the Red cruiser and finished it off just as it slid off out of the battlefield. The battle was over.

My survivors. Three frigates, a scout and the heavy cruiser. Not bad, all things considered.

Well that was quite fun! It was a blast re-visiting the game after so long and I was very pleased by how well it held up. The scenario was well-balanced, the ships are well-balanced and the game runs smoothly. What more could you ask for? I'm excited about the next battle - it has a star base and a handful of frigates defending against a human invasion fleet. I'll also get the survivors of this game as reinforcements part-way through. It oughta be interesting.

As an aside, I found a couple of typos and necessary clarifications in the StarDust rules so a 1.1 will be underway soon. I've also done work an entirely new fleet and developed some new weapons and special equipment so 1.1 will be solid upgrade.

1 comment: