Our theme for the day was "Fighter School." We each put together a good-sized fighter group and split into teams - Bill and Mike (Fed and Kzinti) versus David and me (Lyran and Orion).
A large planet - Omicron Persei VIII - dominated the center of the table. Bill and Mike, the red-shirts, plot evilly.
Some stolen F-18s launch drones right from the get-go.
The two sides close. Lots of drones in flight, lots of confusion.
A pair of Z-Ys watch drones go past towards the Kzinti swarm.
A trio of Orion F-18s fire off three dogfight drones then turn tail back behind the planet to break any lock-ons. Shifty bastards, those Orions. Meanwhile, the Lyrans were having a hell of a time with the Feddies and Kzintis.
At this time there was a massive table-quake when James' hands misfired. It was pretty fucking tense for a few minutes, but we were able to recover after about 15 minutes using photos. We all had a laugh once things were sorted back out.
The reds laugh and James was forced to keep his hands in his pockets for the rest of the afternoon.
Orion Z-Ys pop off some more drones - these were targeted on the Kzinti TAAS shuttles - their good ones.
More drones are sent towards the Fed F-18s bringing up the rear of the alliance formation.
This was the last "action" pic I took. The Lyrans were wiped out. I think I got two kills - a HAAS and a TAAS and David/James killed an F-14(!) and I think a HAAS. We got handled big as shit. My Orions didn't take any losses but gave us a great jump-off point for the next game. I do try to stay in character when I play Orions - skulk, take cheap-shots and get away with your ship intact if possible! Allies are only allies while they're in front of you...
The battle was a hoot. Lots of paperwork, lots of accounting, lots of smack-talk and plenty of blow-up crap. As I said earlier, it gives us a great follow-up opportunity for a couple of scenarios. We're all familiar with the ins and outs of fighter play and drone combat now and I don't think any of us will be hesitant to use them in later games.