When the plot resulted in a coup (which failed), the Hidden Dagger County declared war on the DDSC and attacked. Larkahn’s son Larzhak, now Duke, supported the attack, as did the White Stripe County. They were unable to use their full combat power, however, due to the ongoing Fourth Lyran-Kzinti War and a “convenient” demonstration of power by the Hydrans.

The Battle of Vandaha was virtually a reprise of the Battle of Long Claws, but the DDSC (soon to become the LDR) forces were proportionately much larger.

Me, Mark, Patch, and Paul got together on Saturday to play this scenario from S2. Like the earlier Battle of the Long Claws, it has three sides (with two teamed up). However, our roles were shuffled: I was the DDSC, Mark had the Emperor’s forces, and Patch had Duke Larzhan, with Paul assisting him.

I hadn’t looked things over in detail, and was surprised to see that the battle was bigger than the previous one. It did not help that every single ship in my fleet was different (CA, CL, DD, FF, Pol, Pol-S, FAL, FAS).

The opening setup was like last time, and Patch’s plan was like mine: turn, and go after the DDSC first. My initial plan put the freighters up front, with everything else running faster. They were expendable, and durable, and the FAL, with two overloaded disruptors, had a fair punch.

EW was interesting, as we generally just allow scouts to play with it, and there were three different platforms available. Patch put up +1 ECM each on his four lead ships, while Mark put +3 on one of mine, +3 offensive ECM on Patch’s leading CA, and I put +6 on my CA. Considering that that adds up to a +3 die-roll shift if his CA fired on mine, I think it did affect where Patch went in somewhat.

Speaking of which, that did not go as I thought. I had vague notions of a point blank skirmish and put up reinforcement on nearly everything. But I figured it’d be dead ahead, and the two fleets ended up going by each other’s left, so everything hit the #6 shield.

The initial parts went very well. Both sides started getting ships taken out of the battle, but I gave better than I got at first. Mark showed up in time to really help out, but towards the end of the turn, Patch/Paul had more unengaged ships than we did, and at the beginning of turn two, that started to tell.

We didn’t get far into turn 2, and there was definitely some major carnage to come as the two untouched elements were just getting to grips with each other. But it was decided not to continue it later – so: marginal victory for Duke Larzhan. At least I can say I did better as the DDSC than Mark did previously.

The current plan is to do a battle to show off a couple of the early Dreadnoughts currently in use next time, and see if we can get a good group together for Soldier Kings the time after.