Had more SFB goodness yesterday, with Patch, Mark and Paul over for a two-team battle. Me and Mark were one team, with me trying the Lyrans and Mark with Klingons, with Patch and Paul on the other with Kzintis and Federation respectively.


Lyran + Klingon Fed + Kzinti
DD 78 CL 98
FF 62 CL 78
F5 71 CL 78
E4 55
Total: 266 254

Paul got one, slightly larger ship so that he wouldn’t have to deal with two ships on his first time out. We also opted for no terrain to also keep things simple. We started in opposite corners and sped out to fight.

Both groups stuck together fairly well, making sure they had similar speeds across allies. I tried letting Mark dictate some of the course by letting him pick what he was doing and following. However, he kept to a longer distance that I really wanted, so while he started a couple hexes in the lead, by the time the real engagement started, I was in front by virtue of taking a more direct path. I also ended up with my FF closest to the enemy, which wasn’t really what I had planned at all.

The FF took a couple points of shield damage the first turn from long-range disruptor firing. Our volley did substandard and bounced off of reinforcement. During turn 2, we got close enough to start peppering a Kzinti CL at moderate range and the Fed CL fired two overloaded photons… and missed with both. With six phaser-1s it still commands respect, but it was as good an opportunity as we were going to get.

The problem that started showing itself was that Patch was tied down by the poor maneuvering class of the Fed CL (worst turn mode on the board), and the initial pass was off of each side’s port, and the battle started spiraling inward. Patch and Paul had been a bit late turning in if they wanted to keep us in front of the F-CL’s guns, and we were already getting onto the flank. I ended the turn with the DD dashing in, originally to use the ESG to take out a drone wave, but ramming a Z-CL instead.

The DD, naturally, was battered on the way in, and traded point blank alpha strikes at the top of a turn. I had the advantage of knocking down the shield with ESG first, so while our weapons fire generated the same damage, I did a lot more internals. Meanwhile, the other two ships scattered, destroying the DD on the way out. My FF and the remaining Z-CL ended up on a collision course, and I ended up putting up the ESG and ramming that one too. I hadn’t really expected to be using my ESGs offensively this early in either case, it just seemed to happen. Combined with earlier damage, and both Klingon ships coming up behind my FF, the CL was finished. The Fed CL had also been forced away to maneuver around some drones fired at it, and at this point it had no choice but to disengage. With freshly loaded photons it could easily maul any one ship, but it was outnumbered, with both Kzinti ships being drifting hulks by this point.

So, neither Paul nor Mark got fired at, and the decision was purely on the weight of the Kzintis taking much more damage than the Lyrans. I’d say victory rested a little on luck, with the initial photon volley missing 2 for 2 (with 50% odds) and the rest on maneuvering. I’d like to say I planned it all, but I only had vague ideas that seemed to work out well, and I kept remembering to turn the ESGs on just in time.

Mark’s second kid is due in about two weeks, so we’re expecting to be without him for a while, and I’m not quite sure what we’re doing next. There’s a three-player battle in the current year, but I think it’s more ship heavy than Paul is ready for.