As neither of us had anything important going on for the day, Zjonni came over Sunday for some gaming. We’ve been meaning to get together for a while now for something with just the two of us, and we finally used a gaming day delay as an excuse. I ran down the list of games I thought I could teach on short notice, and he hemmed and hawed a bit.

Eventually, nostalgia won out and he expressed a desire to try Star Fleet Battles again. We’ve talked about it a bit in the past, and as he pointed out, he hasn’t really had anyone to talk to it about in the last twenty years. I’m more than happy to oblige. ~_^

So I ran him back through the basics, and it was obvious that once reminded he was remembering at least half of it immediately. We started with a classic Fed-Klingon duel (apropos as the current calendar year the group is working with is the year of the Second Klingon-Federation War), with him taking the Klingon. A bit more challenging at this point, but it emphasizes maneuver, which is something he appreciates.

I went slow and finished loading photons and overloaded one pair, expecting a moderate speed from the Klingon to start sniping at me. Well, no, speed 29, and he was practically in my face at the end of the turn. I sped up a bit, overloaded the other pair, and hoped to get in close. Zjonni misjudged/misremembered the situation, and didn’t realize that photons were auto-hit at range 0 and 1, while disruptors only do that a 0. He went slow, put up 16 reinforcement, and expected a miss or two. Well… there wasn’t much of a ship left.

Still, he had a fun time, and it didn’t take long, so we went again, but this time I switched to a Kzinti CA for a challenge that didn’t have the same kind of crunch power, and would also need to maneuver more. The CA is short of power (33, less than the Fed CA), but has four drone racks, four disruptors and usual Kzinti mix of ph-1s and -3s. I also re-introduced him to HETs (I kept it pretty basic for the first time…).

This went better, with him doing a nice job of eroding my #2 shield to nearly nothing, but then he pushed aggressively into knife-fighting range after unloading part of his weaponry. The maneuvering worked out far better for me than I expected, and I managed a range 1 centerline shot. It didn’t do as much as the Fed could, but the drones were right behind… not something I expected to see happen with speed-8 drones. He shot down two, and the fourth was actually targeted on his drone, but the one drone hit put the damage back in the Fed category. Meanwhile, I’d turned past him and was going to get away clean.

Despite the destructive results, he certainly enjoyed himself, and I’m sure he’ll get up to speed quickly. We took a break to show him around some of my SFB materials, and could have probably fit in a third game, but I figured with my luck, we’d get into a drawn-out maneuvering duel that would run overtime. So, I quickly set up Pursuit of Glory ran through the basics, and the first turn of the sample game, explaining in some detail as we went. It’s not the best intro to the constant tension the game creates, but if I get a chance to put in front of him again, he’ll have a good basis for understanding.

After that it was time for a very good dinner. ~_^