The third battle my brother joined me, and I handed him the Federation fleet. We played the Assassination scenario, which called for me to destroy one of his ships. He had a Burke-class, two Ramius-class, and the last, the target, an Ortega-class. Things went well for me at first, and I smashed up USS Hornblower with my D7, D5 and E4, but I got complacent, and my brother got a couple of very fluky Photon and Drone shots in on the D7, the Dilithium Chamber of which proceeded to blow up the ship! In one turn the battle went from looking as though I would achieve a stonking victory to one where he was clearly in the lead. Try as I might, I couldn't claw it back after that point, and I could not kill off the Ortega by the end of the turn-limit. So victory was deservedly his! Next time the Empire will demand better!
We're now planning a bigger battle, with the Feds fielding eight ships: a Lexington, a Wolverine, that same Ortega (fully repaired), one of the Ramiuses (which has a Lucky Crew upgrade), and four Burkes (one with Long-Ranged Targeters for his Photons). I'm in two minds about the Klingons. I'm definitely taking 2 D7s, 2 D5s (one with Precise Gunners for its Disruptors) and that E4 from the last game (my best crew is on that ship, and it picked up an extra Attack Die for its Drone system), but I am torn between taking 3 F5s or 2 D6s. The smaller ships mean I am fielding as many ships as the Feds, and they can suffer more punishment but the D6s have got better long-range striking power. While the striking power argument is a powerful one, the scenario is Space Superiority, and so the victory conditions hinge on having lots of ships to spread out across the table, for which the cheap and cheerful F5s are perfect. Well, by the time you read this I shall have decided!