As usual the two sides started out in opposing corners. I popped some asteroid fields in the middle of the table, thinking that this time I would force myself to use terrain. The Klingons took the initiative, Boosted Energy to Shields, and the Federation captains all ordered All Power to Engines. Both forces sallied forward. Some desultory long-range Drone fire at the C8 and the Kearsage-class did nobody any harm. The Klingon shields went back to normal at the end of the turn.
In turn 2 I forgot to have the D5W do anything, but the C8 ordered All Hands on Deck, and opened up on the Oretega-class and the Kearsage. The Ortega-class used her Federation Special Ability, and saved all the incoming Drone fire except the last, losing her Anti-Drone capability. In retrospect, she should not have lost a point on her shields, although incoming Klingon fire had almost destroyed her shields (down to one point) by the end of this turn. The Kearsage caused some Critical damage (level 1) to the C8's Weapon systems, worse damage to the Crew (level 2) and very bad damage to the Shields (level 4). The Texas-class split her fire between the two Klingons, and devastated the D5W. I am still too happy to throw my Klingons forward, when I should be dancing about and using their superior range. Anyway, the C8's All Hands on Deck! order saved her bacon, with the Weapons and Crew Criticals repaired.
In turn 3 the Federation took the Initiative, and the Ortega-class and Texas-class used High Energy Turns to get on the Klingons' tails, while the Burke-class and Kearsage-class reloaded Photons. The C8 and Kearsage both ordered All Hands on Deck, the latter falling back 4". The Texas-class and Burker-class got behind the D5W and really roughed her up. The Ortega got behind the C8, did some damage, and launched a Suicide Shuttle, but was then punished by being reduced to 1 point of Damage, leaving her Crippled. A single Phaser blast from the Kearsage administered the coup de grace to the D5W, taking her out quietly. The C8 repaired all critical hits and Kearsage failed to repair damage (level 1) to her Impulse Engines. The crippled Ortega-class ironically repaired her Impulse Drive.
In turn 4 the Federation again took the Initiative. The C8 ordered All Hands on Deck! and retired 4”, and the Kearsage-class gave the same order and advanced, reversing the sequence of the previous turn. The Ortega-class launched a Suicide Shuttle. The C8 lost her shields as the Federation ships closed in, with her as the only remaining Klingon target, she received concentrated firepower with the Kearsage-class' Photons causing heavy critical damage. The Suicide Shuttle hit the C8, causing some slight damage. In the Damage Control phase the Kearsage-class repaired her damaged Impulse Drive. The C8 repaired a lot of damage, but not all, and things looked bleak for her at this stage.
In turn 5 the Klingons regained the Initiative. The C8 ordered Boost Energy to Shields. Since she had suffered critical hits to her Shields, I'm not sure if this is possible, but the book doesn't say it's impossible! She proved unable to fire owing to a combination of Crippled (which means a ship may fire only one weapon system) and Weapons Critical 3 (which demands the rolling of a 4 on a D6 prior to firing a weapon). The Texas-class reloaded her Photons, and all ships concentrated fire again on the Klingon vessel. I stopped the game here since it was plainly just whacking a piñata at this point.
Oh, preferences, folks: bald reportage as above or comic faux-historical recitation as before?
1) Stop throwing Klingon ships forward, especially when they are outnumbered. It negates their bonus for being attacked as it lets the enemy outflank them.
2) Lots of small ships are handy to have around, as they can swarm around the enemy's flanks. Something to bear in mind when I expand my Klingon force: those little 75-pt ships could be wonderful!
3) Dreadnoughts can take a lot of damage, but concentrated firepower will make them crash into the nearest Death Star after a while.