03 August 2018

Star Fleet Battles AAR: Slim Pickings

The Space Cadets re-assembled in Brunswick last Sunday for a bit of the 'ol SFB. The scenario of my design featured three Orion LR+ trying to load up with loot while dealing with a passing Tholian flotilla that had responded to the distress calls.

We had six players this month - me David and Mike as well as Max, Caleb and Mike's son Anson. Ships were randomly assigned and interestingly, all three of the veteran players ended up on the Tholian side while the trainees commanded the Orions.

Mike drove a Black Widow carrier.
David commanded the fighter squadron from the BW
I commanded three Arachnid PFs.

All three LRs were identical with a single Distruptor-22 in the A position and two C-racks in the wings. Drones were speed 32.

The setup map. The Orions are in the blue hexes. The BW is in the red and my PFs are in the orange hex. The green blob is a planet and the gray hex is a moon. The bone hexes contain wrecked ships that the Orions must retrieve 10 loot from before leaving.

We join the action. The Orions started lobbing drones early. We Tholians countered this volley by crossing our paths behind the planet, forcing the drones to lose tracking.

Reasonably sure this was the end of Turn 1. On turn 2, I really hit the gas to go "catch me a pah-rit!"

I was pleased to see most of the drones get targeted at the carrier / fighters. I traded shots with Max in the red LR. The other pirates also took some long range shots at my flotilla and one of my PFs suffered some serious internals.The carrier and fighters were able to handle the drones with few problems, although one Spider III did succumb!

To start turn 3, we had to figure out how to keep the Orions from getting away with the loot. I had pulled up right behind Anson's ship by the end of turn 2 - it was simply the easiest to get close to. I overloaded the disruptors I had left (having lost two on ship #3 earlier) . One alpha-strike later, the LR suffered 49 internals. It blew up.

A few impulses later, David got most of his squadron to range-0 of Max's ship. Predictably, 11 phaser-3s did what 11 phaser-3s do. Max's LR was toast, but amusingly wiped out the Spider IIIs in return and severely damaged the Spider IIs.

Caleb got out with as much loot as he could carry, with a clean sheet! A good individual effort, but overall, the Tholians won handily. We discussed Orion options and they probably should have held all their drone launches until we'd cleared the planet and they'd have done well to get positioned at the end of turn 1 to make a mad dash to start turn 2. I was surprised that David elected to launch his fighters so early, but the Orions were traveling slowly and it ended up working out OK for us - I was worried they'd get left in the dust. I was quite happy with the Tholian PFs' performance. They're good ships that were well-suited to this kind of low-end encounter.

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