14 April 2015

April Star Fleet Battles Game

Three of the Space Cadets got together for a quickly-cobbled-together game of SFB. David texted me earlier in the week that he wanted to drive an LDR Police Carrier and Mike said he wanted in, so here's what I came up with...

The Jig Is Up!

The Arrow Poison Cartel has been operating from LDR and Lyran space for some time now. Since the recent fighter group battle and subsequent pursuit of their carrier, fleet forces have started to track down their bases of operation. The LDR got wind of a pair of ships on Vega III and sent a police carrier to hunt them down. Because the APC has been using Vega III for a few months as a "safe house," they've set up a makeshift minefield in the system.

The map. The two Orion Light Raiders, mine and Mike's, start the game landed on the planet. Mine had disruptors in the wing mounts and a type C Drone rack in the nose. Mike went the other way and put C-racks in the wings and a disruptor in the nose. Old Kzinti habits die hard. David had a full-refit LDR Police Carrier with six Z-Y fighters. The Orions also got 8 T-bombs (small mines) to place within 12 hexes of their planet. I placed four, as did Mike. See if you can spot my mistake in the picture above. All mines were set to trigger on drones and shuttles, ignoring ships.

Since during turn 1 the Orions could only begin lift-off from the planet, it was a very short turn. LDR Captain Fancy Feast moved at speed 20 and ended the turn 18-20 hexes from us.

Right at the start of turn 2 both David and I realized I fucked up the minefield and left a gap through it. Tragedy is in the works. Mike was not amused.

The po-po shoot the gap and start releasing fighters. Mike and I launch our shuttles since our ships are now airborne. We both start launching drones as well.

All of the fighters are out. David used O8 (picoarmor.com) micro fighters for the models and they are dead sexy. He also popped a 0-radius ESG, announced a few impulses prior.

One of the Orion highlights of the game. The Lyrans kick two shuttles out the hatch, inside the ESG. The carrier is going too fast to tractor the shuttles safely. The ESG is going to smash both shuttles. Mike and I are howling with laughter.

The carrier moves its next hex and smokes its babies. Hehehe. Too bad they weren't fighters.

Some Z-Ys blow up one of my shuttles. The three remaining shuttles shot poorly at one of the fighters and didn't kill it, but it was crippled.

By the end of the turn, all Orion shuttles had been killed and a six laden Z-Ys were loitering right next to our ships which were about to break atmosphere. Mike and I had a pow-wow and discussed how we were going to deal with the imminent 12-drone bombardment. We crunched some numbers and decided we could account for 10 drones, so we put lots of power into reinforcing our #5 shields (we were facing "up" relative to the pictures.)

David didn't realize that we were valid targets while in the planet hex and held fire. Our first move was to slip out, putting the planet between us and them. Our two ships are really in the same hex (0316).

It wasn't long before the fighters were in position and began launching drones at us.

We launched some drones at them as well and I managed a drone kill on a fighter. Mike swatted one with phasers and I bagged a second with an overloaded disruptor + phaser. Mike and I both tractored drones, accounting for four and I ended up getting hit by two drones in the #5 shield. An impulse or two later the fighters raked my #6 with phaser fire leaving my ship like this:

Not terrible, all things considered.

My ship was power-starved on turn 4, having doubled my engines on 3 and needing to recharge lots of things. Mike and I toyed with the idea of pushing our held drones into the mines but instead made a big loop around in pursuit of the fighters. We managed to kill off two more in the process while Mike's ship took some minor damage on its front shield.

With that, we were being kicked out of the game store at 7:00pm. An interesting and tense game to be sure. The gap in the minefield made things a hell of a lot more exciting than Mike and I would have liked, but in all seriousness, worked rather nicely from a scenario stand-point. Our next game will be a direct follow-up from this battle. We'll keep the damage as-is and have a pursuit of the Orions as they try to get away. The carrier is untouched, although it has lost its fighters. Both Orions have some damage and drones are diminished. The Orions will be in an extremely tough spot.

Thanks Mike and Dave for another tremendous game of SFB! Looking forward to the next one, as always!

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