17 November 2014

The Monthly Visit... From Star Fleet

Mike and I got together for the monthly Star Fleet Battles shoot-em-up at Morningstar yesterday. I'd put together a scenario a few weeks ago featuring Orions and Klingons. We made the switch to full-size ships - standard SFB - as opposed to the Cadet's Game that we'd been playing. We've decided to simply play with smaller ships, which still keeps things manageable time-wise since small ships tend to get ruined pretty quickly. With Mike and myself as the only players things proved to run very smoothly.

The setup was this... an Orion Raider went in alone against a couple of freighters, one of which was a Q-ship. The pirate ship was caught unprepared and took two drone hits and some phaser fire. The freighters got away quickly as the embarrassed pirate captain turned towards a nearby asteroid field and headed for home. The freighter and Q-ship notified the DSF of the attack who dispatched a pair of frigates to intercept the Orion. The pirates of course sent a small Light Raider out to escort the CR home.

I ended up flying the Orions. Mike had a choice between Feds and Klingons and chose the lumpy heads.

So there we are, an impulse or two after the start of the game. I had to get the CR off the far table edge (all the way to my left). Mike had to stop it from getting away. The LR was of no consequence really - it was just there to help out the CR.

Drones get going. I use mine defensively which is pretty much par for the course for me. Mike has kicked shuttles out the hatch of both of his ships. The asteroid markers actually have a two-hex bubble surrounding them that is also a hive of evil space rocks.  It's worth noting that my LR ate an asteroid getting to where it is seen in this picture - 5 damage on the #1, Captain. Looking back at this picture, I see the first in a series of mistakes by the Orion player.

The CR was tractoring its shuttle. The pre-game damage took out both rear phasers so it needed some help defensively.

The Klingon Klowns and their drones. Two shuttles were left behind.

For some reason, I decided it would be prudent to steer into the Klingons, overrun them, and blow past them. I wasn't counting on the fucking scatterpack that you can see Mike hatching back there. Is it bad form for pirates to complain about treachery? Talk about zigging when you should have zagged... I really should have cut left and used the asteroids as cover since Mike's ships would have had a long haul around them.

Mike wanted to be sure he got a shot of this scatterpack going ape. He uses 1/700 airplanes as shuttles. Today it was A-6 Intruders :)

We tear into each other. His lead frigate was severely damaged. My CR got eaten up through the ol' #6. I held fire with the CR's four Ph-1s since I needed to have something left for the scatterpack's drones.

The sumnabitch Klingons reveal a second scatterpack. Oh, how original. This'll be just lovely. I ended up grabbing two of the lead swarm's drone with tractors on the LR and blasted the other two with Ph-1s from the CR. The CR had lost two unfired Ph-1s and its one working tractor in the volley from the Klingon Frigates. The second batch of four drones was going to be a bitch.

I didn't get any pictures of the fireworks, but the four drones were (surprisingly) targeted on the LR. They gutted the shit out of the ship, scoring 39 internals. Both tractors were destoyed, releasing the drones which plowed into the CR scoring a couple of internals on it (they hit a strong shield).

Mike flew his Klingons way over to my side of the map, instead of either pursuing or trying to cut off the ruined pirate ships. Turns out there was some miscommunication regarding the scenario objectives and he wasn't clear about where I was trying to run to.

On turn 3, I put all available power into movement. Engines doubled, shields to minimum... get the hell out of Dodge! Mike's ships made a strong attempt at cutting off my flight and scored a couple of hits but in the end I managed to get my two ruined ships off the map.

OK, so technically it was a victory for the Orions but the Snakefish Cartel is going to have to scrap both of those vessels, so it's a Pyhrric victory if there ever was one. If Mike had started the cut-off sooner, I doubt I could have gotten away with the CR. He still had a virgin E4 and even the one I'd hit still had enough power and weapons to be worrisome. I was was without weapons on both ships and engines were critical. I was able to eke out good speed in the final turn, but that was all I had.

It was an entertaining game for sure. It was nice to play with a very experienced opponent - there were very few rules and mechanics questions and we just played the game. It was strange to get through a 4-ship SFB game in under 3 hours. Thanks for the game Mike, and next time you can keep the scatterpacks at home.


  1. I love seeing your SFB game and think it's great you pulled out old school SFB and not Cadet. We play mostly Cadet nowadays.

    1. As a group, we've decided to move "up" (or "back") to SFB. The caveat being that in order to keep things manageable, smaller ships are necessary. We'll probably keep things in the 80-point neighborhood. We will have access to escort carriers, PFs and all of the wonderful wackiness that is the Captain's Game, and still be able to get through a game in under four hours.