The players gathered around the table and split themselves into two teams. None of them had played GK before, and I had to walk players through the turn sequence and game mechanics. But the players quickly picked up the rules, and by the end of the session they were moving and shooting on their own; the game was pretty much running itself. We only played for two turns, but with eight players new to the game, we got a lot accomplished.
Lots more pictures and a complete report below:
Before the game began, I had the players divide into two teams of four each: the attackers (the noble liberators/heartless oppressors of the Terran Transsolar Federation) and the defenders (the freedom fighters/criminal revolutionaries of Nova Liberia).
Regulus IV had broke from the Federation and joined the Nova Liberian faction, so the defenders' main objective was to keep the transports from landing their cargo.
The Terrans' job was to escort the transport ships from the edge of the map to the planet's surface.
Once the defenders had placed their ships, the attackers revealed their plan to bring in everything from the same side of the map, and the defenders started to intercept (the tokens behind each ship are drift markers, used to figure the ships' vector during the drift phase).
The Terrans entered the western map edge with their ships all in line, the transports slightly back.
The defenders gained initiative, with their mysterious Kmet allies sending Thebes Squadron into battle.
The battlecruiser of the Terrans' Task Force Mercury responded by launching its fighters at the Kmet attack cruiser.
Nova Liberia's Baker flight followed after the Thebes ships. The Terrans accelerated toward the planet, interposing their warships between the defenders and the Terrans' vulnerable cargo ships. Meanwhile, Able Flight left its station above the north pole and streaked toward the transports. Lots of shooting took place, with the defenders losing a couple of small escorts and the attackers taking some holes to their armor.
On the next turn, reinforcements arrived for the defenders--a Kraken-class battlecruiser from the Nova Liberia Naval Reserve! The defenders had specified before the game that this ship would come in on turn 2, from the western edge of the map. As this was the side of the board the attackers had come from, they were in trouble.
The battlecruiser started shooting at the vulnerable rear arc of the transports. With no shields or armor, they quickly started losing their cargo. The Nova Liberia destroyer and star bombers quickly closed as well, and started taking their toll among the transports.
The attackers reversed course in an attempt to protect their cargo vessels as the defenders zoomed to point-blank range.
Plasma torpedoes shredded the unarmored transports, blowing them out of the sky above Regulus IV.
The attackers got their revenge against the defenders, but it was too late for the cargo ships.
With their transports no more, the Terrans' invasion was spoiled. Although the Terrans could take their revenge on the remaining Nova Liberia fleets, it would be a Pyrrhic victory.
With the attackers' transports all destroyed at the end of the second turn, there was no point in playing any longer. All in all, I thought it was a successful game, although there are things I will do differently next time. More on that in a later post. Also, I plan on posting the complete scenario as well.