Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Battle report: Operation Greenhorn and Test of the Ranger

Combing through the Galactic Knights Yahoo group archives, I found this after-action report from December 2007--nearly three years ago.  Here it is verbatim:
Samurai-class destroyer leader and Swiftsure-class destroyers
Over Thanksgiving, I broke out Galactic Knights and played a couple of games with my brother. I've been busy since then, so this is the first chance I've had to share my experience with the group.

First, we played Operation Greenhorn, the basic scenario in the GN rulebook. My brother, more used to slow-playing games like Warhammer 40K, was please with how quick Galactic Knights plays out. It was the first game for both of us, and it took awhile to get used to drift. As my brother noted, "Speed kills." He also noted that in a game with few ships on each side, the initiative roll will probably determine the outcome. I destroyed one of his ships, and he quickly took out two of mine, eventually winning the game.

One thing when you play Galactic Knights that will add to your enjoyment: be sure to name your ships. I wasn't going to bother naming mine in our first game, but then I saw my brother name his ships after his dogs--so I named mine after his cats. It makes the game a little more fun to refer to "The Muttley" instead of "Destroyer 03."

For the next game, we played the background-inspired "Test of the Ranger" scenario that I posted awhile back. We modified it a little, by giving each side's ships a drift of 3 to start out. The scenario played out fairly close to how it was depicted in the rulebook's "history." (He named his four star bombers after prominent individuals in our college's history; I named my cruiser something lame like "Intimidator.")

To start the game, I placed my cruiser behind his four star bombers, which were in a line formation, and accelerated after them. The bombers split to the left and right, and I sent the cruiser after the right-side pair. I sent a missile salvo after one SB, and my brother thought he had messed up by keeping the two ships next to each other until I told him that missles only affect one ship; they don't have a one-hex blast radius. Despite the two bombers' point defense, three missles got through, detonating the SB's plasma torpedoes and obliterating that vessel.

The next turn, the cruiser's remaining missiles took out the second enemy on the right, and the two SBs on the left curved around toward the larger vessel. I knew I had to keep out of their four-hex range--a torpedo salvo would probably take out the cruiser.
I fired the heavy plasma battery to damage one bomber, destroying the engine. As it would drift off the board the next turn, it was no longer a threat. My other guns missed the remaining star bomber. On the final turn, I lost initiative, and the star bomber got to react to the cruiser's moves. I thrusted away from the smaller ship and rotated to keep my unshielded rear armor away from those torpedoes. Alas, I spent too many maneuver points on thrust, and not enough to turn the ship completely around so that the two layers of front shield lay between the two craft. The star bomber closed within range and unleashed its dual salvos. Seven of the 10 torpedoes struck the cruiser, ending the game with a catastrophic defeat for the Terran forces--losing a valuable cruiser to a squadron of star bombers!
All in all, we had a good time, and plan on playing again.
I'm curious; has anyone else played anything besides the scenarios in the rulebook? If so, what?

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