Monday, 1 October 2012

Star Fleet: Battle Report: Explore A Strange New World!

Mission Briefing (Federation):
Commodore Ross, you are to take your squadron, comprising USS Lexington, USS Enterprise and USS Drake, and reconnoitre the planet Gerontia in the Nova system. Intelligence and long-range scans have confirmed the presence of a Klingon C8 Dreadnought and a D6 Heavy Cruiser in the system, and it is possible that other hostile forces are in the area, so be on guard. However, it is most imperative that you determine the reason for the Klingons' interest in this planet, which is of little strategic interest. Advance swiftly toward Gerontia, and scan the surface, then break off and report your findings to Star Fleet Command.

Mission Briefing (Klingon):
Captain Craic, protect the new training facility on Gerontia from prying eyes. You are to destroy any unidentified vessel that enters the system. Do not fail the Empire.

Dropping out of warp at a considerable distance from Gerontia, scanners revealed a distant cloud of asteroids to port, and a dust cloud adjacent to the planet. All the Federation ships surged forward, Commodore Ross instructing every captain to have his Engineer extract every bit of speed from the Sublight Engines. Desultory long-range drone fire accomplished nothing, and the Klingons launched two suicide shuttles to render it perilous to orbit Gerontia. Then the Klingons seized the Initiative, the C8 ordering All Hands on Deck, and the D6 attempting Evasive Action. The helmsman was doubtless removed from his post for his incompetence in fulfilling this simple order. USS Drake and USS Lexington again ordered All Power to Engines! Aboard the Enterprise Kirk told Scotty to Boost Energy to Shields! The powerful C8 unleashed her main armament on the Drake, and crippled her. The Lexington opened up on the D6 with her main Phasers and Photons, and with her lighter weapons blasted one of the Suicide Shuttles. The D6 split her fire between Drake, which she destroyed, and Enterprise, which returned fire, destroying the D6 with some good rolls. The resultant explosion slightly damaged the Klingon Dreadnought. "Nice work, Mr Chekov!"

In Turn 3 the Federation ships concentrated on scanning the planet, their Labs and Probes making swift work. Captain Craic aboard the C8 bade his men Overload Weapons! Then he opened fire on Enterprise, smashing her Shields, lightly damaging her hull, and slightly damaging her Dilithium Chamber. Kirk's ship destroys the second Suicide Shuttle, and she and Lexington concentrate fire on the Dreadnought, failing to damage her Shields appreciably. This turn the Federation has compiled 111 of the required 120 Information Points about Gerontia

The Federation squadron now seized the Initiative, wrong-footing the Klingon commander, who is forced to either move and risk being out of arc or to allow the Federation ships to vanish around the planet. Captain Craic orders All Hands on Deck! Commodore Ross aboard the Lexington merely angles his ship to follow the Klingon vessel, while Enterprise stays still, allowing her for and aft batteries to target the Klingon warship. Lexington opens fire, damaging the C8's shields. Her return fire considerably damages Enterprise's hull, and the Critical Damage knocks out one of Enterprise's traits: her Labs! Aw, shucks, Spock!Luckily for the Federation, Lexington's Labs are able to correct the rest of the information they need. Retaining the Initiative, the Federation ships are able to outmanoeuvre the C8, and order Maximum Warp Now! The Klingon captain futilely orders Overload Weapons! But with the enemy obscured by the planet, he has no target, and they escape in the End Phase.

This battle went quite well. I obviously wasn't paying enough attention, as I gave the Klingons a tiny points advantage, which didn't help them at all. The Federation is probably at a significant advantage in these exploratory missions, as the only ship in the game with more Labs than Constitution-class Heavy Cruisers is the Kzinti Dreadnought. I mean to refight this scenario with my brother, and the Federation will defend that time, probably against some cloaked Romulan vessels (since several Klingon models can do double duty as surplus hulls sold to the Romulans and refitted) sneaking into the system. Since one can't use Labs or Probes when Cloaked, and the Romulans will be vulnerable to enemy fire in the turn they decloak, it should provide an interesting tactical exercise. Here are the photos from this first game.

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