20 June 2016

Starfleet X2

Last Saturday the Space Cadets got together at Mike's house down in the woods of Waycross for some Star Fleet Battles. We had two virgins noobs ensigns in the mix this month so we played a Cadet rules into game so they could become acquainted with the basics of SFB. Mike B was the GM, the FNGs Michael and Lee each got to drive a Klingon cruiser while veteran ship drivers David S and Yours Truly were handed these beauties:
Four shitboxes for each of us. Time to "cowboy up" as they say. I christened my herd of ships Gnu 1, Gnu 2, Wildebeest 1 and Wildebeest 2.

David and I quickly decided to separate, forcing our opponents to operate independently, reducing their ability to concentrate fire on one victim at a time. My group is the orange group, David's is yellow group.

Gnu 1 took a hard hit quickly, so I had him drop out of formation, forcing the Klingon to pursue him to get the kill, giving the rest of my herd some space. Oh, those white drones were Mike's GM insanity. He had some off-table yay-hoo Kzinti lobbing drones randomly at everyone on the table.

Gnu 1 died noisily.

Once my herd reached the 15-row, I had them disperse widely, again forcing Lee to pick one to kill, leaving the others unscathed. Lee was not amused.

 Meanwhile, one of David's freighters got whacked.

And Lee finished off another one of mine - Wildebeest 2 DOWN! Oh no!

 But my plan worked nicely and half of my ships survived.

Two shiploads of counterfeit Levi's and Bon Jovi albums!

David wasn't as fortunate and his remaining three ships were all wrecked by the two Klingons.

Thus ended the training scenario. For a crummy milk-run, it was indeed a hoot and I did have to use the ol' thinker to keep my stuff alive.

Game 2 was a completely different affair; it was a much more devious scenario.

Five Minutes on High

The Pitz'ut System had been a mystery for a long time. Even the Jindarian didn't know much about it. The star in that system had been flaring pretty regularly which had been a pretty solid deterrent to all explorers. Recently, the flares became less intense and the danger suddenly became much less. True to their nature, Jindarians of the Sunsnake caravan drifted in and began working the system for anything of value. The moon orbiting the fourth planet was found to be rich in useful metals and the Sunsnake caravan declared the Pitz'ut System theirs.

Just as true to its nature, the Federation sent an exploration ship in for a look at this system. The UFP loves a new system! Well, the Sunsnakes didn't much care for the intrusion and quickly ran off the Federation ship. The Feds had a few Police ships nearby, as well as a Guard Destroyer from Pinkney Colony, just 2 light-years away and sent the somewhat more capable group into Pitz'ut as a "show of force." The Sunsnakes saw them coming and dispatched a couple of destroyers as a greeting party.

Federation Objective
    Teach those Jindarian bums the meaning of a peaceful mission! Do what you can to render at least one of their ships combat ineffective and try to keep your own casualties to a minimum. Perhaps if they bleed a bit, they'll be more inclined to share the system.

Jindarian Objective
    Those lunk-heads just don't get it do they? How much more clear must we be? We were here first and it's a Jindarian system right now. Taunt them a second time!

The scenario takes place in a Solar Flare zone and a Radiation zone. The upshot of that is that ship-to-ship communications are inop so teammates CANNOT discuss tactics or their plans unless both of their ships are in the same clear area behind either the planet or moon. The grey strips on the map below show these zones clearly.
The blue spots are Federation starting spots, brown is the Jindarian starting hex.

We randomly assigned ships. David S got the Fed Police Cutter, Lee got the Fed Police Frigate (Frignaught) and Mike drew the Fed National Guard Destroyer. Michael drew the Jindarian Destroyer and I got the Jindarian War Destroyer.

Michael and I decided to go pounce on Mike first since his ship had no drones to irritate the hell out of us. We hoped to knock him out early.

Here we are, pursuing our quarry. I got to Mike first and pulled the trigger early at range 4. Mike's ship got rocked severely. Moments later he smashed my ship pretty badly. I was careful to time my weapon fire so that at the beginning of turn 2...

I could slap a tractor on him and unload my rear rail guns and the six phaser-1s into him again! Boy, he was as mad as a hornet. He'd been hoping to pull away and I just held him there so my teammate could zip over and give him a third helping of dakka dakka!

Lee knew I wasn't going very far and his cop frigate caught up with me and smashed up another shield, but didn't mash up anything to delicate.

At some point, the dice gods visited Lee's hand as he rolled a ridiculously impressive phaser volley! Teammate Michael's destroyer was looking poorly after that.

Mid-way through turn four, Mike and I met back up to exchange gunfire once again. Again, I came away better but we both got hammered.

As that was happening, poor Michael's destroyer was being picked apart. David unloaded his photon and numerous phasers into the ship to kill it.

And with that, it was done. Federation victory! A mighty fine game all around - the scenario was well-received and played out nicely. I've never flown a Jindarian ship before and their War Destroyer is the bee's knees. The Feddie Police Frigate again proved to be one seriously good ship. It has quickly become a favorite after its two recent appearances.

Thanks Mike for hosting and David for driving and Lee & Michael for showing up and giving it a try. I had a great time!

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