19 November 2015

Star Fleet Battles November Game AAR - Convoy Raid

The new storyline begins! Finally. Last month I was sick on SFB Sunday so this game got delayed. We'd moved along to the East Side and will be featuring Romulan, Gorn and ISC ships in the upcoming games. Orions are the easiest to write for, and David wants to use them, so they'll be staying in the mix too.

Our story begins with a Romulan convoy of mining ships and their escort carrier transiting out to Bundag Field - an enormous asteroid field mined by Romulan, Gorn and ISC companies. All are preyed on by Orions so the governments keep third-tier ships close by for assistance.

Agents from the Orion Black Sun cartel have been placed on the three ships. They've been tasked with putting transporter beacons on the ore-processing equipment aboard the freighters. Midway through the transit, convoy raiders are to arrive to snatch the gear. The agents aboard are to simply remain incognito.

So, the Romulan convoy is this:

2 Small Prospecting Freighters
1 Large Ore Processing Freighter
1 War Hawk Carrier with 5 G-SF

The Orions Raiders are:
1 DBR with 2 Plasma-D, 1 Ph-1 and 2 Disruptor
1 Free Traitor

Both Orions start cloaked. The Roms need to travel the rest of the map, plus one additional map to escape. The Orions are trying to transport as many "Works" boxes off the freighters as possible,

On with the game.

Initial Romulan deployment. I was graced with the three freighters. Mike drove the carrier and fighters. David was the pirate captain.

The Big Pig and two Piglets!

The cloaked pirates arrive!

The convoy turns away from the persistent sensor anomaly. Being Romulan, they're familiar with the intricacies of cloaks!

The War Hawk and her litter investigate the sensor shadow. My piggies continue fleeing. We're not getting paid to fight.

Orions start pursuing my ships. I've dropped three shuttles for them, intending to tow two with Big Pig, but realized that at speed 13, I'll death drag them. The War Hawk picks them up for me. Thanks, buddy!

Slowly making way. The small freighters' best practical speed is 9. Ugh. The large freighter maxes out around 17 and has a VERY slow acceleration. I decide to split my ships, forcing the Orion to abandon one or split his force. The escort continues to hound the Orions who are now hesitant to de-cloak. We're nearly through turn 3 at this point.

The ships are really all over each other now.

The Big Pig is feeling good about itself, having gotten good separation. We're partway through turn 4 now.

Turn 4, Impulse 8 - Captain Jalad decloaks the Double Raider. The next five impulses are very tense as all parties prepare to fire.

The Romulan fighters strike hard and fast!

Then there are plasma torps everywhere! My small freighter is really in for it.

The pirates account for a fighter.

Brace for impact!

I didn't document it, but the OFT decloaked shortly after the DBR to add its phasers to the fight. One other fighter was destroyed in the fight by it, and it was useful for anti-plasma duty.

By the end of turn 5, the pirates were a mess and my freighters were getting away. The DBR did manage to transport one Works box off my smashed freighter, but was not in a position to flee with it. We called the game there.

The War Hawk pulled alongside the big Orion ship and ordered their surrender. This wasn't the first time Captain Jalad had a bad run. He ordered his men to stand down. He still had agents aboard the freighters - this wasn't worth dying over, not yet anyway.

That game was quite different, for sure. Poor David - he changed his mind halfway through which was his undoing. We had a lot of discussion about the right way to play it from the Orion side. From dumping out a cloud of shuttles to timing the de-cloak, or simply de-cloaking immediately, going to speed one-million and trying to hit the convoy as quickly as possible. Regardless, I think trying to kill the fighters early is key. They carry too much firepower and with their speed and agility, can sit right on top of the freighters for ever, Food for thought...

Even though I didn't do much, I enjoyed running the freighters - you really appreciate real warships after pushing three of these monstrosities around for five turns! Mike (and David) gained a lot of respect for the firepower that Plasma-D fighters carry. It's really a very nasty short-range punch that's very had to defend against.

Until next time, be well!

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