Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunday Starships: Battle of Angle Run AAR

Last week we finally played the battle for Turn 3 of the Chancellor campaign.  Things didn't go so well for the Terrans. 
Avarian Gatherer Flight V (fourteen galactic transports and three stellar destroyer escorts) left vertex along the shipping lane to Angle.  It was accompanied by Homeworld Flight's Cruiser Wing and Battlecruiser Wing.  
While the Cruiser Wing had lost its flight leader, a galactic dreadnought, and one of its stellar cruisers in the Battle of Vertex (and another SC due to mechanical issues--OK, I could only fit four ship displays on one piece of paper so I dropped cruiser No. 5), the Avarian Battlecruiser flight was unbloodied with a galactic dreadnought flight leader and four battlecruisers.
Opposing them all was a Terran Valiant-class galactic dreadnought, the Noble Knight Prince, played by yours truly.
Da Baron, who played the transports, surprised me by having them come on the map in a line instead of a column.  Joe had the battlecruisers and dreadnought to the right, while Holdfast took the cruisers on my left.
I figured the Avarians would all gang up on me, so I entered on my left and tried to stay out of range of the birds' capital ships. 
I headed toward the cruisers but no one was in range the first turn.  Meanwhile, the transports broke to my right, while the big guns came after me.
Finally, I was in range!  Instead of targeting the cruisers, I shot at a couple of the nearest transports.
Two hits!  But not enough to finish off the birds.
The capital ships responded in kind, combining their fire against the NKP and scoring several hits.
The cruisers added their weapons to the mix, inflicting more damage on the Terran ship.  I knew I couldn't stick around if I wanted to live.  I was able to get in a good shot at one of the cruisers as I tried to haul as to the opposite side of the board.  This left the convoy free to make its escape, guarded by the other two battlecruisers.
In the third turn, the combined fire finally proved too much, and the Valiant erupted in a rapidly expanding cloud of plasma.
This left the convoy and escorts free to head on to their destination.
I was really sorry to see the game end so quickly, especially since the other players had driven out from San Antonio.  But the rules as written allow ships to combine fire, meaning they add all their offensive factors together when attacking the same target.  The way the mechanics of the game work, when a half-dozen ships join in against a single opponent, they get a lot of shots--and the ones that hit do massive amounts of damage.  I think I'll enact a house rule that ships can only combine fire for a maximum offensive factor of 20.  Much more than that, and you break the game--or at least the scenarios we've played in this campaign.  My apologies to the admirals, especially to the Terrans.


Prufrock said...

No apologies necessary! Thanks very much for organising what has been a fun campaign. Well done to the infernal Avarians, and apologies to my crew for blundering them into the fight :)

Prufrock, (ex)Admiral of the Noble Knight Prince...

Samulus said...

Another glorious victory for our feathered friends. Shame my ships are still buggering about in the north of the map...

The Happy Whisk said...

That's great that you got to play together. Wonderful. Also, I like the layout of your photos.

Well done.

Happy Gaming :-)

Gonsalvo said...

Unlike the action with Chancellor, this one had the Terran GD, even if a bit souped up compared with the Avarian model, very badly outgunned. Those Avarian Battlecruiseres are extremely powerful! Aside from flight ASAP, only the details of whether and what the Noble Night was able to blow up before passing into the void were in serious doubt!

It would have been very interesting (for the players/rules appreciation standpoint, as well as assesment of campaign play balance, to replay the game adding the full strength Chancellor to the Terran side; that would be a close action indeed, I think!

I had actually thought I only had one GD in my forces, but I checked the original set up on the site and I did indeed have two to start(one lost at the Battle of Vertex). I wonder if the second GD might be a bit too much of an edge for the Birdies from a campaign standpoint. If so, the remaining GD could always be called away to deal with "urgent matters" elsewhere by order of the High Council, or some such.

Gonsalvo said...

Rules changes:

On the one hand, smaller ships need to be able to add up their factors to have any chance of hitting a big ship with decent shields (especially a SGD!)When the number of ships, especially powerful ships like the GD and GB, starts to become large, the power factor advantage can become overwhelming, as in this action.

Just a completely off the cuff, totally untested proposal, but how about if the power factor advantage ** for the purpose of determining damage inflicted per hit only** was divided by the number of ships contributing to it, or perhaps simpler

1-2 ships combining - no change
3-4 ships combining: divide by 2
5-6 ships combining: divide by 3
7-8 ships combining: divide by 4
9+ ships combining: divide by 5

"This refelcts the increasing difficulties co-ordinating fire as the number of coperating ships increases."

It is also in keeping with the use of some basic mathematics in the SFW rules, LOL!

This could result in several separate groups choosing to combine in 2 or more independent fire resolutions, as opposed to all of them just being thrown together, especially when firing on weaker ships.

For targeting a bruiser like a SGD, it's so hard to exceed its defensive value you probably won't care about the reduction in damage.

Again, could be interesting to play out the scenario cum Chancellor with and without the rule change - I suspect the outcomes might be quite different.

This also raises the possibility of a new technology - improved fire control, altering this # of ships firing/dammage divisor equation... but that's another subject altogether!

Jason said...

The Birds still haven't recouped their losses from the previous battle, though. Acing one Terran dreadnought doesn't make up for losing one of your own along with two (if I remember correctly) destroyers and two cruisers.

No, the Avarians have a ways to go before they're even with the Terrans.