It’s been a busy weekend. There’s still things that need doing that didn’t get done.

Saturday was gaming. The usual crowd, Patch and Mark, showed up for SFB, and Paul showed up to watch after expressing interest in playing. We played Selected Attack from C1, where a small Hydran force tries to take out a Klingon Base Station before reinforcements show up. I took the Hydrans with Mark and Patch splitting the BS and the G2 police ship on station until the reinforcements showed up and Mark took over the G2 while Patch got the reinforcements.

It went badly for me. Mostly my own fault for not thinking things through enough. My initial plan was to advance towards the base, and then go to point blank range the turn after. Despite the fact that Fusion Beams require a turn to cool down, and that I knew I’d be using them at point blank range on Turn 2, I charged them up on Turn 1. The energy could have gone to bricking the front shields or the later plan I think I should have gone with.

The game saw our first actual use of Transporter Bombs, with the Klingons putting up an ‘instant minefield’ on the approach to the base. Considering how things played out, I’m thinking I should have gone fast so that I could get around behind the base (where they didn’t put any mines) if I needed. They could have countered with mines back there, but it would have spread them out, and the tight cluster they did was as much a problem as anything else.

The Base Station is the smallest regular base in the game. However, it still has six Phaser-4s, which can do ridiculous amounts of damage at close range. If it wasn’t for the fact that Fusion-Hydrans have to get to close range to do meaningful damage, and the Turn 3 reinforcing squadron is nearly as powerful as the full attacking force, I’d want to batter it from range a bit. But this scenario is designed so you have to go in.

The base focused on my Hunter frigate the first turn, crippling it with less than half power left. Then came the Ranger cruiser’s turn. As I was on final approach when the base fired on it, the Ph-4s didn’t leave much, including less than 1/3 of it’s original power. But they did leave 3 Fusion Beams intact.

The second turn for me saw the Ranger and Lancer (destroyer) go slow as all the power went into overloading the Fusions. So slow, that with dodging mines, I didn’t even get a point-blank shot (part of why I needed a better plan for turn one). On the plus side, the Ranger managed to avoid setting off a mine on three different occasions becasue of the slow speed. Several of the fighters did get through, and when I did fire, I did a good number of internals.

On Turn 3, the Klingon squadron arrived, and I tried to escape. One fighter managed a second pass at the base, and did more internals. I had hoped to cover the retreating elements with the Lancer, but a singe destroyer with its heavy weapons down just had no hope. I ended up only getting the Lancer off board (after being crippled). The only good news is that I had indeed managed to cripple the base, even with the two cargo pods attached to soak up damage.

This ended right on time, with Mark having to go home right afterward. Paul stayed for dinner, and we used the time until then to do a practice game of SFB, since he found it as fun to watch as to read about, and will now be our fourth for that. As his first time (at least, in quite a while) I gave him a Fed CC vs a Klingon D6.

I could have done better, but can partially blame the dice, as my disruptors did worse than average, while the photon torpedoes did better than average. I wasn’t paying enough attention to play as well as I strictly could, but that’s not the point. Paul picked up the essentials very well, surprisingly so, compared to most stories and my previous experience.

(Oh, yeah. I limped off board with two phasers still operational without ever quite cracking a shield right before dinner.)

So our next session is scheduled to be the four of us, in two teams. A straight-up battle with two ships each (one for Paul) as the clock advances to Y153.

And then on Sunday we (me, Smudge, Baron and Drew) went to the Asian Art Museum to see the Tezuka exhibit. The museum is very nice, and we’ll have to go back someday. The exhibit is very well done, and has a large number of his original pages. It’s interesting to note that the originals are tiny by our lights, and there’s quite a few cases of cut-outs pasted on for corrections in the early work. Some are extensive enough that you wonder why he didn’t just start over.

Also on exhibit there is the work of Taiso Yoshitoshi, a 19th-century Japanese woodblock artist whose career spanned the period before and after the Meiji Restoration. The exhibit thoughtfully puts everything in order and points out changes in style and the revisitation of subject matter against the backdrop of the events happening around him. Very nice, even if the room is kept really dim to protect the art.

On the second floor is the static exhibit of historical art from across Asia. The first six galleries are dedicated to India (and surrounds) and its different religions, with lots of statuary and friezes. A lot of truly remarkable stuff, and my inner archaeologist was having a field day. This meant that I was lagging behind everyone else (usually the other way around where art is concerned with Baron and Smudge) as I insisted on examining everything and reading the tags to try and get some sense of what I was looking at. Sadly, my knowledge of Indian history is sorely lacking, and it’s hard to just absorb much of it. I’ll have to do something about that someday. I don’t think any of us saw all of it, and I have no idea how much I actually got through. (Looking at the floor plan, we skipped the 2nd floor and went to the third. I got through about half of that; galleries 1-9 of 16.)

In between the two special exhibitions and the rest, we stopped by the gift store and had lunch. The cafe in the museum is quite nice, and fairly reasonable. At the store I got a collection of essays by Fred Patten and a volume of Astro Boy. Not exactly your usual museum fare.

On top of that, we had a couple of big WoW runs. All things considered, both went very smoothly, and both Thermidor and Dunain have gotten keyed for Karazan (I think that makes 7 in the guild now).