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"Squadron Strike AAR for Dec 14, 2012 game at Games-Plus" Topic

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Rocketeer Inactive Member15 Dec 2012 6:40 p.m. PST

Last Friday, at the Games-Plus store in Mt. Prospect, IL, I hosted a Squadron Strike game. Including me there were five participants. I ran the game and each player captained a ship. The available ships were:

* Directorate Wisdom CL (blue EOT marker Q)
* Directorate Reason CA (blue EOT marker M)
* Alliance Uraguay CA (red EOT marker G)
* Alliance Rio de Janeiro CL (red EOT marker K)

Each ship is armed with a combination of long-range big guns (Proton Cannon or Gluon Beam), short range Phased Array cannon (useful against ships and as anti-missile defense) and multi-shot missile launchers.

Turn 0:
Each ship flight was line-abreast, level attitude, with speed 6. The two flights (Directorate and Alliance) faced each other at the same altitude and over 30 hexes apart (out of range of everything).

Turn 1:


(The extra ship in the middle was a temporary 'phantom' ship I placed there to give players some AVID bearing plotting experience.)

The Directorate ships advanced straight ahead, accelerating slightly. The Alliance ships began to separate, both moving straight ahead but with the Rio arcing +30 (30 degrees up, into the blue band on the AVID) and the Uraguay arcing up 30 (into the bottom blue band on the AVID). The ships were just at the limit of big-gun range (25 hexes), and for all ships the enemies were directly on their nose AVID windows.

The Directorate opened fire, both of them on the Rio, with only minimal shield hits being recorded. These shield bubbles were easily regenerated. For the Alliance, only the Uraguay opened fire with no hits recorded.

The Alliance players had to consider that their more powerful weapons could fire only every other turn, whereas the Directorate ships could fire their less powerful main guns every turn. Still, a trend throughout the game would be that the Directorate concentrated fires on the Rio while the Alliance attacked both Directorate ships fairly evenly, losing the chance of one or two turn ship kills.

Turn 2:


The Directorate ships decided to go after the Rio, and both ships speeded up to 8 to 10 hexes and arced down -30. The Reason (also turned slightly to port to line up on the Rio. The Alliance players decided that they had enough vertical separation and began moving level.

All ships were out of Phased Array cannon range. The Directorate ships both fired Gluon Beams on the Rio, causing about 8 total points of internal damage on cargo, hull, some minor internal systems and a structural integrity (SI) point. Lose enough of these, about 8-10 or so, and your ship falls apart. A barrage of 6 missiles, from two ships, were fired at the Rio's EOT marker, to be resolved next turn (missiles are fired this turn and always impact next turn, never *this* turn).

The Alliance Rio fired its Proton Cannon at the Wisdom but missed. Both ships fired missiles, the Uruguay at the Reason and the Rio at the Wisdom. On each ship, the EOT markers could just barely be reached by the limit of the missile weapon mount.

Turn 3:


Each player now had decisions. The two lines of ships were passing each other and had incoming missiles. Do they maneuver and roll to present a maximum defense against the missiles, or maneuver to present the best cannon shots on their opponents this turn and next? We have aggressive players, who laugh at danger or are perhaps to ignorant to know their danger.

All ships turned violently to continue gun combat. The Reason pivoted sharply down (-60) but didn't accelerate, severely cutting its speed. It also rolled, trying to get its belly Phased Array mount to bear on incoming missiles. This failed, as the player didn't note that the attacking Uraguay's missiles were launched from a higher altitude and the Reason still needed a couple more roll points to achieve its goal.

We recalculated the missile aim points (did the EOT marker move out of the missile targeting cone?) and found that all missiles were still on target! We resolved the missile strikes fired from the Alliance ships first. On each of the Directorate ships the defense phase Phased Array mounts killed two ships, leaving each with two more missiles incoming. The Alliance Rio shot down two of the incoming six missiles, leaving four incoming.

Here is a view of the same turn, from another angle:


Now for combat. First we resolved the missile strikes. All four missiles fired at the Directorate ships missed (lousy accuracy rolls!), and that threat was neutralized. Out of the remaining four missiles received by the Rio two hit. This removed all of the shields doing light internal damage but also removing a front armor patch.

The two Directorate ships also fired their Gluons and Phased Array weapons. This caused a whole lot of damage, removing a lot of thrusters, most of the pitch, most of the hull points and four weapons. The Rio was hurting, with the only good fortune being that its vector had its depleted front shields facing away from all of its enemies.

The Alliance ships fired back at the Directorate ships, causing only shield bubble damage.

Turn 4:


The Directorate Reason completed its sharp movements, cutting its speed once more and ending up facing in the general direction where the Rio and Uraguay were headed. The Wisdom also came about sharply, still moving at quite a pace.

The Alliance Rio, having had quite enough of this and having limited maneuverability, pivoted to level attitude and sped up as much as it could. It would have disengaged even faster by not pivoting, but this was the Captain's decision. Meanwhile the Uruguay has managed to completely turned around, in the opposite direction from the Rio and Reason, and headed towards the Wisdom.

There was minimal attacking (only a few mounts could bear, but the Wisdom had a mount that could fire missiles at the Uraguay.

At this point we called the game due to lateness. We decided that two of the missiles would reach the Uraguay and rolled for them. They both would have missed.

The turns went very slowly, as this is a completely new experience for everybody with the SS mechanics. Most of the players used the vertical dimension sparingly in this game, but the Reason player used the pivoting mechanics (slowing down and violently changing directions) effectively towards the end of the game.

The consensus is that a good time was had by all, and that they'd play it again the next time I present this.

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