Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Star Fleet: The Battle of the Adelphos Nebula (illustrated)

The Greek is well-chosen for once, as it means brother, as any Philadelphians reading this probably know. The use of Nebula is purely artificial, as there wasn't one on the table. My brother and I had a go at ACTA: Star Fleet the other day. We used the same ships as before, he taking a Klingon D7 Battlecruiser and F5 Frigate, and I taking a Burke-class Frigate, Drake, and a Constitution-class Heavy Cruiser, Enterprise. I forgot about Special Actions for the first two turns. D'oh! I must make myself a Quickplay sheet for this game. In the first turn we both advanced and attempted some desultory long-range drone firing, with me realising the Federation has a special Anti-Drone rule. The second turn we got into close range and our two big ships blasted the heck out of one another, Enterprise losing most of her shielding and a quarter of her hull points, suffering Critical Level 1 Damage to the Dilithium Chamber and to the Crew.

The Enterprise's port phasers were out of arc, so I fired them at the F5 rather than waste them, and managed to cause 1 pt of damage, halved by the Klingon's forward shields, and then rounded back up to one again. Er! Enterprise did very little damage to the D7 herself, but did pummel her shields so badly that the Federation frigate was able to down them and cause a little hull damage and inflict Critical Level 2 on the D7, damaging his targeting sensors and knocking out his portside Phaser-2. The Federation had blown all their Photons in this attack, and so would have to reload before they could use them again, yet the damage to Enterprise's Dilithium Chamber meant she would be almost unable to manoeuvre without repairing it. Damage Control parties on both ships achieved a big fat nothing at the end of turn 2, and we broke for a bit, which let me remember about Special Actions. Now onward to turn 3!

The Klingons won the initiative again. I ordered All hands on deck! on Enterprise, hoping to fix some damage. I really should have done this the turn before reaching combat, so that if I had sustained serious damage in the first round of shooting, I could have had a better chance of fixing it. I must remember that for next time. I manoeuvred her slightly to bring the D7 in range and arc. Drake launched a suicide shuttle. The D7 remained still as the suicide shuttle crashes into him. However, since they don't blow up until the End Phase, the F5 opened up and blasted the shuttle before firing on Enterprise. I did advise my brother against this, as I assumed that whichever of the Klingon and Federation big ships got to fire first would munch the other. Anyway, Enterprise fired on the D7, crippling her and causing lots of damage. Between now and the end of the battle the D& would end up with Crew at Critical 1, Dilithium Chamber at 3, Impulse Drive at 4, and Weapons at 2 (a recovery from 3). Enterprise and Drake send some fire toward the F5, but don't do much damage.

Now Star Fleet strikes back, seizing the initiative in Turn 4. Both Klingon vessels launched shuttles. So I had Drake swing around behind the F5 to avoid that pesky front shield problem, and Enterprise reversed. F5 locks Tractor Beams on Drake. We realised the next turn that the F5 has no Tractor Beams. Oops! In Federation Special Actions, Enterprise reloaded her Photon Torpedoes, and Drake launched a shuttle. There then followed some inconsequential fire that failed to quite kill either Klingon ship. In the End Phase, my brother managed to recover Weapons slightly, and was poised to strike in the next phase.

Again I retained the Initiative, in a display of improbability. Enterprise and Drake overloaded their weapons in a gratuitous display of overkill, and Enterprise closed in, hoping to mangle both Klingon vessels with her guns alone. In a classic demonstration of my die rolling, having overloaded my Photon Torpedoes, I missed with all four of them, and had to take out the F5 with Phasers. The D7 having recovered some Weaponry, she managed to inflict several Critical hits on Enterprise before going down to the overpowered Photons of USS Drake. Since shuttles vanish (Q, was that you? Maybe the Organians?) when their capital ships die, we ended here. Enterprise had lost her shields, almost half her hull, and had taken level 1 Criticals in every one of the five fields. Only my brother's unfamiliarity with the devastating impact of being shot at point-blank range without shields let this happen.

He rather enjoyed this, so we'll be having another game with a few more ships next time! I have downloaded a Star Trek Dingbats font, but I am still working out a good (aesthetically pleasing) way of linking it up with the pictures. I should have sorted that out by the time of the next skirmish.

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