Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday Starships: It's hard out here for a pirate

Continuing my 5150: Star Navy campaign.  After the first piracy attempt didn't go so well, the captain of the pirate ravager Dlobok steers a course for the next possible target, which turns out to be a false alarm--nothing but empty space (passed 0d6 on the PEF Resolution table).  There's a single scanner contact remaining until another PEF appears on the map.
Heading to the closest blip, the Dlobok resolves the contact--it's a lone Zhuh-Zhuh tanker, the Roxxon Tlepes, easy pickings!  OK, not exactly easy: the ships start out some 48" apart, and the pirate ship's guns can't get through the merchant's shields, so the ravager will have to get within missile range to force the tanker to surrender.
The merchant ship immediately turns and runs, broadcasting a distress signal as the pirate vessel closes the gap.  For two turns, the tanker screams for help with no response.  Not until the third turn does System Control vector in a patrol, which arrives on the board on turn 4--just as the pirate gets into missile range of the tanker.
It's a Zhuh-Zhuh Navy gunboat leading a pair of missileboats!  The heavily armed lead ship opens fire on the pirate craft.  Incredibly, all three of the gunboat's volleys miss the ravager.  Although it has a shot at the tanker, the Dlobok decides to call it a day and breaks off the fight before the Zhuh-Zhuh ships can get close enough to launch their own missiles.  The Pirate easily withstands the stress of accelerating away from the battle (passes its After the Battle test).
Moving on to the last PEF on the campaign map, the pirate ship's navigator manages to jump it in close enough to surprise the target (successes on the Long Range Scan table started me within 24" of the merchants).  This time the contact is a pair of smaller merchant vessels--two Class 3 Runners--just the type of ship to carry some low-volume, high-value contraband!  In fact, it's the Violeta and the Goldie, converted racing yachts owned by the Dirok twins.
I figure that since there's a good chance the Runners are carrying contraband, they're not going to want the authorities sniffing around their ships, so they won't call for help.  Instead, they figure that since they outnumber the Dlobok, they can fight their way past it.
The pirate quickly closes to within missile range, firing on the Violeta since the captain knows the purple ship is piloted by the more capable twin (I rolled a Rep 4 and a Rep 3 for these ships, and decided to try to damage the higher Rep vessel first).  The Dlobok's missile slams into the hull of the runner, stunning its crew (the ship got a -1 to Rep on the Received Damage table).
The merchants then loose their own missiles as they speed toward their assailant.  One projectile the bridge of the pirate ship, but the crew is not fazed (got Continue the Fight on the Bridge Hit table), while the other missile does nothing more than take out a bulkhead (damage to hull with Continue the Fight result).  The Dlobok replies in kind, targeting the Violeta's thrusters with another missile (engine hit, -1 to Thrust result).
The two merchants then split in opposite directions as they speed past, hoping to target the pirate from both sides.  But the ravager is able to get the purple ship in its missile arc, hitting its engines again.  With its thrust reduced even more, the Violeta heaves to and allows the pirate ship to board (result on the Engine Hit test: -1 to Thrust and Surrender).  Instead of turning back to fight, I figure the other Dirok twin will high-tail it out of there.
The crew of the Dlobok is well-disciplined, taking the valuables but not harming the Violeta's crew.  "We're here to take the honey, not kill the hive," the captain reminds the pirates.  "Let the worker bees go, and they'll have more for us some day."  (results of the Terms of Surrender table indicate the merchant crew is left alive and in control of their ship).  Rolling on the Cargo table, I hit the jackpot!  One cargo bay filled with rarities, and two bays full of contraband!  Although it's not a big enough score to attract another ship and crew into service, it's a start.


Gonsalvo said...

The scenario generation/campaign system in these rules seems like it may be worth the purchase price all by itself!

Collin Schrader said...

I agree with Gonsalvo; these solo batreps are selling me on the game very handily!

Jason said...

Looks like a fun game!