Sunday, August 29, 2010

Scenario: Test of the Invincible

In its very first combat the Invincible was ambushed by six Nova Liberian star bombers supported by nine heavy fighters.  -- Galactic Knights Rulebook, p. 41 sidebar

FORCES: The Terran player gets one Invincible-class dreadnought. The rebel player receives six Hornet-class Nova Liberian star bombers (or their Kmet or Terran alternatives) and three squadrons of heavy fighters.

SETUP: The Terran player sets up at one end of the map, moving parallel to the map's long axis, 3 hexes ahead of its drift marker. The rebel ships may enter from anywhere on the opposite half of the map, with the star bombers 5 hexes ahead of their drift markers (remember, fighters do not drift). Although the rebel player may split the Nova Liberian forces, all three fighter squads must enter from the same side of the map, as those squadrons came from the same point of origin (a nearby space station). The rebel fleet has initiative for the first turn; roll normally after that.

VICTORY CONDITIONS: Play stops when only one player has ships or undepleted fighters on the map. Each fighter squadron counts as one ship for determining victory. Each depleted squad must leave the same side of the map that it entered from before the game ends, or else it is considered destroyed for purposes of determining victory:  
  • Nine rebel ships/squads destroyed: Unbelievable Terran victory.
  • Six to eight rebel ships/squads destroyed: Decisive Terran victory.
  • Four or five rebel ships/squads destroyed: Draw
  • Three or less rebel ships/squads destroyed: Terran defeat.
  • Terran ship destroyed: Catastrophic Terran defeat.

PLAYTEST NOTES:  This scenario originally had the Terran dreadnought in the middle of the map with the rebels entering from any direction 8 hexes ahead of their drift markers.  When I tried it out (on a table too small to use the entire hex mat), the half-dozen Mars-class star bombers entered from the DN's rear, and two of them were able to accelerate to torpedo range.  Needless to say, 20 plasma torpedoes turned the Invincible into a rapidly expanding cloud of superheated gas on the very first turn.  The heavy fighters didn't even factor in this go-round.

I started over and slowed the SBs down to a drift of 5, still coming in from behind the DN.  The dreadnought had a chance to accelerate two hexes and turn around to face its attackers as it drifted backwards.  It fired a missile salvo at one of the incoming vessels, but the star bombers' combined point defense knocked out all but one of the Lance missiles.  The projectile took out the star bomber's jump drive, but didn't take it out of the fight.  The dreadnought fired its heavy and medium batteries at the other ships, hitting a plasma torpedo bay in one of them and causing it to explode.  Meanwhile, the heavy fighters approaced from the DN's starbord.

The next turn, the remaining bombers accelerated and two of the three fighter squadrons closed to attack range--one of them from the dreadnought's rear.  The capital ship slammed on the brakes, thrusting back the way it came.  The DN then fired another missile salvo, taking out the SB it had previously injured.  It also opened up its point defense on the six heavy fighters off its stern and starboard, but all but one of the Meteors managed to avoid the light batteries.  The remaining five fighters unleashed their attacks, taking out sensors and some light and medium batteries.  The Invincible then fired its remaining heavies and mediums, taking out two more star bombers.  The remaining pair of SBs then launched their plasma torpedoes.  Unlike in the first game, this time the attacks came from the front and had to go through the dreadnought's shields.  Still, the torps took out sensors, ECM, a missile magazine, and two shield generators, punching through to the ship's internal structure! 

On the final turn, the momentum of the last two star bombers carried them off the map and out of the game (they had accelerated some 13 or 14 spaces ahead of their drift markers).  The five depleted heavy fighters turned for home, but the remaining three-fighter squadron got back around to the dreadnought's rear facing.  The Meteors easily evaded the point defense from the Invincible's two remaining light batteries and slammed their attacks home, trashing more weapons, sensors, ECM, and even the dreadnought's jump drive.  When all was said and done, the DN had one critical hit point remaining as the remaining fighters fled the scene.

This was a quick game--three turns--and I had fun playing it.  According to the scenario, it resulted in a draw (four rebel ships/squadrons destroyed), but considering the thrashing the Invincible took--most weapons and electronics, almost all its internal structure--and that the loss of its jump drive meant it was stuck in enemy territory, I have to hand this one to the rebels.

No comments: