31 May 2017

2017 Memorial Day Bash - Part 2

After we tidied up the table, it was off to the depths of space for some StarDust! Coming up with a 5/6 player scenario wasn't easy but I think the concept I put together was good. We randomly determined who would use what, with the exception of Jason who we put on the Mechan team since it was likely that he'd have to leave early. My son joined us for this game since we needed an extra player.

The set up... a cargo ship containing some fabulous Unobtanium wrecked in this sector. A Mechan force (the scourge of all of the living races in the quadrant) moved in to collect the loot. A combined force of Solar, Elip, Khan and Pirates assembled to opposed the mechanical monsters. Not only was there a battle to be had but Unobtanium ore to collect!

The forces deployed. I apologize for the many fizzy pics. My camera hates the black background of the mat and gets weird. The yellow circles indicate objective locations.

Mark, Zig and a very rare appearance of me!

Nothing special, but the picture is clear! My two Cutters get behind some asteroids while Mike enjoys the Shield Tender employed by the Mechan Pawns.

Early on my Cutters abuse a Knight, hitting it with loads of ECM and fouling its engines with an Intertial Dampener.

While Christian and I had moved up to engage quickly, our lollygagging teammates, the Solar and Khan flotillas, are content to cruise slowly looking for objective markers.

Junior and Zig show some concern over the rapid engagement of Jason's forces.

The Watermelon Express gets pulverized! She's down to two Hull Points!

Yeah, see, the wide-angle shot reveals the "Oh Shit" moment of FOUR Knights and a squadron of fighters heading my way.

Junior's Interceptors on the left flank the crap out of the Mechan forces and pound the nearest Pawn (the small ship that's the endpoint of the red shield wall). Meanwhile, Jason's Bishops and Rooks surround the Elip heavy cruiser. Amusingly, the Mechan fire is terrible and the big Elip ship suffers nary a scratch!

A turn later, Jason had left and Mike was commanding the whole robot fleet. He pulled away from my side to concentrate his forces and to work on crushing Christian's ships which were causing complete havoc.

The Freedom finally goes down, but it takes out a Knight at the same time. The Knight that I had whittled down to one lousy Hull Point!

Junior gets some more revenge killing one of the hated Pawns with his Interceptor group. No more Shield Wall!

The Mechans converge on the Hornet-class Interceptors.

But Junior shows some real tactical acumen - his group flees - two of the ships move at full speed which prevents them from firing weapons. The heavily damaged one hangs back a tad and reverses its course to take a parting shot before it is destroyed. The allied fleet coalesces and is taking long-ranged shots at the Mechans. I've also been spreading the ECM love around, frustrating the hell out of Mike. Between my six ships I had six ECM, two Enhanced Sensors and the four Stealth on the Corvettes. I had also managed to pick up two objectives while waiting for Ziggy and Mark to get it in gear.

Christian II continues his domination of the robot forces killing off another Pawn.

Mike gets hosed. Ziggy and I shut down the King (battleship) with three ECM tokens. It now has a -3 to hit on all attacks! A Rook gets obliterated in short order by massed firepower from the combined fleet. Mike does manage to finish off the Watermelon Express with an attack by fighters from the Queen. Oh the tragedy!

At that point, we'd gotten to the scenario's endpoint - five Mechan ships destroyed. We tallied up the score and found out how much our objective markers were worth.

Christian Jr was the big winner on the Alliance side - FOUR kills and a ten-point objective. Yup, he managed four kills with just five ships. Ziggy managed two kills and a 15-point objective. Mark and I scored only objectives - no kills, but I did rather well with 45 total points. Mike/Jason got 79 points, easily enough for an individual win, but the Allies won the scenario.

Everyone had a really good time with the game. Jason and Mark were brand new to it and Mike and Jr hadn't played in two+ years. Although the scenario may not have been perfectly balanced, I stand by it. The Allies aren't able to get assembled right away, giving the Mechan side some time to overwhelm a nearby victim. The Mechan shps are MUCH strong than most of their opponents and although heavily outnumbered, they are not outmatched.

I really enjoyed playing the Pirates for the first time, Their ability to throw so much EW around was a lot of fun and a real game-changer. Although their ships are weaker, with a bit of cunning they are every bit as dangerous.

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