22 October 2017

October Star Fleet Battles AAR

The Space Cadets + 2 got together for an enjoyable, if loooong, game of SFB Saturday afternoon at our preferred locale of Pizza Hut in Brunswick.

I put the scenario together in bursts over the last couple of months. Concept. Ships. Balance. Mike is a fan of both Kzinti drones and fighters, so I included those specifically for him. Loads of fighters and drones does tend to slow down a game which is why I don't go to that well very often. Opposing them were Jindarians, a tough direct-fire only race. I really wanted to see how their bombers performed in a game situation so they were essentially auto-includes.

Y170 Kzinti-Lyran Border
The Kzinti have located a rogue planetoid in an asteroid field near the border. It has been identified as a fine location for a base station so construction was started. It didn't take long before the Jindarian occupants of the asteroid field noticed the continuous activity and decided to take action to send the cats packing.

The Jindarian have sent out two Destroyers, the Rock Lobster and the Dwayne Johnson as well a cluster of four Meteorite heavy bombers to deal with the Kzinti.

Kziniti forces included the Frigate Constable's Daughter, Auxiliary Light Carrier Heroes' Home and an Auxiliary Cruiser Unwieldy. There were also two non-combatant construction freighters in the area.

Mike, and new players Max and Edward took command of the Kzinti, while David and I split the Jindarian.

Deployment. David and I feared the wall o' drones that would be forthcoming so thought it prudent to dart over to the next asteroid cluster, manipulating said drones into smashing themselves on the asteroids.
The plan seemed to be working pretty well. We sent the bombers out to take some cheap shots at the cats.
The squadrons of fighters are fully deployed from the carrier. There are six older AS fighters and six SAS streak fighters.
The Jindarian bombers knock down half the front shield of the Unwieldy with some long ranged railgun fire.
So, at the end of turn 1, the Jindarians had successfully make the trip to the target cluster of asteroids and drawn a decent number of drones off Kzinti launchers. The Cats, however, had many many launch platforms ready and moving in on them would be difficult.
David and I planned to follow the yellow path for turn two, drawing out more drones. We ended up following the orange when...
The Unwieldy got close and presented its thin front shield. David and I unloaded four Phaser-1s and two railguns each into it. The freighter took 12 internals. The Jindarian destoyers then HET-ed and fired their remaining railguns into the unshielded face. Nothing like pouring gasoline on the fire!
Ze bombers do an admirable job of also drawing out some drones. The asteroids continue to be our best friends!
To start turn 3, David and I agree that speed 24 is the way to go. We can outrun the speed-20 drones and continue to fence. These Kzinti are a real hassle. It's like trying to wrestle a porcupine and getting in close is just impossible!
It took little time for the AS squadron to send a collection of drones our way.
These were followed by masses of additional drones. The destroyers were in good shape with their speed up, but the bombers who'd drawn the attention of the frigate and some SAS shuttles were in deep kimchi.
Between the rear-firing phasers and chaff, only one bomber was crippled! The other three prepared to do battle with the pursuers!
Before we called it quits, the Jindarian destroyers put a big dent in the frigate's front shield. That would discourage any pursuit!
It had been three full turns and about five hours of play. The Kzinti were running low of drones in the racks and the Jindarian destroyers were still in great condition. We awarded a minor win to the Jindarians, only because they'd done more real damage. The bomber/fighter fight that was about to develop would have been interesting.
A see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil shot of the Kzinti captains. That's Mike, Max and Edward.

A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon and a difficult scenario for both sides for sure! I was quite happy with how it turned out. The new guys did well. SFB is overwhelming and we had a LOT going on with all those fighters and drones on the table. I hope they join us in the future.


  1. Thanks for posting this! Any time you post "three turns = five hours", yeah, it sounds a bit overwhelming.

    1. It's not what you'd consider a tight, modern game. Those three turns did consist of 96 impulses and with as much "stuff" on the board, there's quite a bit going on over three turns. Think of it as "stop-animation wargaming."

    2. Yeah, I have skimmed the free Cadet version of SFB, and played a couple of games of Federation Commander, so I know there is a lot going on when you start popping out drones and fighters and whatnot.