Saturday, December 4, 2010

Convention Report: Assault on Regulus IV

NOTE: I should have posted this game recap weeks ago, but real life and procrastination got in the way.  My apologies for my tardiness--but I can't promise it won't happen again :)
Last Friday,On November 12, I presented my Galactic Knights game at Millennium Con 12+1.  It was my first time to run a convention game, so I was a little nervous.  I was worried I might forget a crucial piece of gaming gear or an essential rule, and (after getting only two playtesters when I first ran this scenario) I was especially concerned that no one would even show up to play.  When I got to the con, however, I was pleasantly surprised to find my game had filled up--all eight spots were taken.

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.
The defenders set up first, so got to confer on where they were deploying, and where and when their backup would arrive.  This would prove crucial later.

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.
Two of the defenders' squads had set up above the planet's south pole, one group further out than the other (with the third squad on the other side of the planet and the last forces in reserve).

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.


Porky said...

Looks like great fun - thanks for the write-up. Space battles must be for most of us a central element of our love of SF and the story and spacescape here are very evocative. That drift mechanic is especially interesting.

Desert Scribe said...

Thanks, Porky! I'm glad you liked my scenario. Regarding drift, the players all said they liked the way Galactic Knights handles vector movement. It's one of my favorite parts of the game, as it makes you think about where you'll be on the next turn.