Because who doesn't like an eight-player, every-man-for-himself battle?
The Space Cadets+ met at the Bunswick, Georgia Pizza Hut on Saturday afternoon for yet another installment of Star Fleet Battles. This was our largest meetup by far, with eight players. David Siu proposed a 120-point bring-your-own ship game the last time we met which I think was in May. After a great deal of searching through SSDs, I settled on a Federation Tug (the McGraw) with a Light Battle Pod. With fast drones in all three G-Racks, it was an even 120. Other ships included a Romulan Destroyer, Three Klingons, Two Tholian players and a Gorn HDD. Mike actually fielded two lighter Tholian ships that combined for 120. It's worth noting that we were restricted to the seven races in the basic rules - no C-module races!
So here's the layout. Ignore the colors on the edges - that was for when I thought we'd only have six players. There was a marker in the center of each asteroid cluster with a number on the underside. Once all the markers were placed, we drew a card from a deck - it was "3." We had to get ships or shuttles into that space to search for the McGuffin number 3. Whichever player could grab the McGuffin and get off the map with it would be the winner. We have played similar scenarios before at Gnomecon, but never with full-sized ships.
Player start positions were randomly determined and play began.
Here were are getting our acts together.
Mike's pic from the other direction now featuring David S and yours truly.
Turn 1 was pretty uneventful besides David S and Mark trading long-range disruptor fire and launching drones back and forth at eachother on their way into the asteroids. There may have been other weapons fire elsewhere on the table but I was primarily focused on my corner and trying to negotiate with Mark who was my most immediate threat. That's his F6B in 3419 heading my way. This picture was from the end of the turn.
A wider view. The green circle to the right shows David D's shuttle finding the device right away! The game's focus shifts quickly.
We got our energy plots figured out. Section C was about to get busy as hell as five ships converged upon it. I slow-rolled it at speed 12 - enough to physically get to the asteroid blob in question and retain turn mode 3. The Tug is amazingly powerful but steers like a train. Mike also eased up a bit, preferring to watch the battle rather than being a first-round contestant.
Shit gets real. Stacks of four Plasma-Ds...drones, pseudo plasma. Meanwhile, The McGraw stays in chillax mode, tractoring a godforsaken speed-8 drone that David had launched at me back on turn 1. I tried dragging it through asteroid hexes but of course rolled ones and couldn't kill it the easy way. The shuttle with the objective on it remains in the relative safety of the asteroids, skillfully avoiding damage - it was an advanced shuttle, speed 8, and had to roll for asteroid damage each time it moved.
End of turn 2. Ziggy's shuttles dispatched David's ball-carrier and picked up the McGuffin. My Tug was in PRIME DAMN POSITION! IT'S HAPPENING! OH MY GOD OH MY GOD! All I have to do is pop that shuttle, grab the football and run... only two ships in my way - David D's D5 and Mike's Tholian Destroyer. Oh, and I had to survive a dive into the asteroids to pick up the objective.
I set the speed to 24 so I'd be sure to be off the table by mid-turn. It was also a relatively safe speed to go asteroid-dancing. I launched two drones at Mike on impulse 1, smacked Ziggy's shuttle and dove in. Rolled a 1. No asteroid damage. Dropped the #5, transported the gizmo aboard.
And then the unimaginable happens. Mike and David - my only two potential speed bumps START FIGHTING EACH OTHER! I fully expected them to gang up on me, but hey, never interrupt your enemy when he's making a mistake, right? Mike gutted the D5 which was already pretty hosed.
An impulse or two later, I laced into Mike's ship with two photons and a handful of phaser-1s. Moments later, the two drones hit the same non-existant #3 side. Mike's ship was now "combat ineffective."
The rest of the players enjoyed shooting the hell out of each other as the McGraw skulked its way off the battlefield.
My travel path as near as I can remember.
I got lucky as all get out. That's all I can say. Right place, right time, no doubt about it. My plan was to end up near the objective at the end of turn 2; I didn't think it'd end up in my lap, let alone with everyone else distracted! Regardless of the outcome, it was a fantastic afternoon and everyone had a gret time. It was awesome to have eight players for a "proper" game of SFB. That's tough enough for a game con these days. This was just a nothin' special Saturday afternoon in south Georgia.
Looking forward to the next meet-up!