This SFB scenario from Module S2 is probably the most complicated one we’ve done yet. It’s not quite the size of “Battle of the Long Claws”, but it’s close, and has a poor crew (an E4J), a legendary captain, inactive ships (systems are off and have to be rebooted), drone bombardment, and the need for a lot of personnel transfers.

The LDR (Lyran Democratic Republic, formerly the DDSC) has hired Orion pirate ships to help with their defense. The pirates who didn’t get the contract arrange to make it seem to the Klingon Internal Security Forces that those ships are the ones responsible for several pirate raids inside the Empire. The ISF takes off in hot pursuit of one such raid, only to end up at an LDR base where the Orion ships are docked for maintenance and R&R.

After some discussion, we got going a bit late yesterday with me in charge of the Klingons (an F5 and an E4 squadron—specifically a F5P (defanged F5C), 2xF5Is (F5s with shorter range disruptors), 2xE4I (E4s with shorter range disruptors), and a E4J (penal ship, poor crew)), Patch taking charge of the base (a civilian Base Station, still decently large, but toothless compared to most bases) and the Orion ships; and Mark in charge of the mobile defenses (a L-POL, a F-AL, and 2xF-AS).

This is another scenario that doesn’t seem to be thought through properly. I went moderate speed the first turn, and kept tightly bunched (F5s in one hex, and E4s in the next hex over). Mark came out and engaged with the Pol at moderate range, the F-AL at close range and the F-ASs went after the first turn’s drones. Rolls on both sides were poor, with half the disruptors missing at 3-6 or 2-6 range. For me, that wasn’t too bad, as my massed fire was more than enough to gut the F-AL. However, he should have punched a shield on a F5I and done some internals with two overloaded disruptors, but with only one hit, it just weakened the #2.

On turn 2 I went in for the base. I was already fairly close, and Mark’s forces were scattered around the rest of the board. With only Ph-2s, Patch made me pay, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been, with the dinged F5I taking a volley through the weak shield and being crippled.

I did quite a number on the base. It was struggling to find power to do everything, and the Orions were just barely generating power for their own shields. Most of the systems on the base were destroyed in my overrun and all three tractors were, forcing the Orions to undock, though they were still drifting in orbit with the base.

I circled around the planet and potshotted a FA-S at range before coming in again to drop some drones and suicide shuttles on the floating mess and heading off to engage the LDR frigate (no gatlings yet) that came in as a reinforcement on turn 3. He refused to engage directly (a good idea), and I was pondering what to do next as we ended for the day.

There was another FF and Pol due on turn 4, and I was headed towards where they’d enter. I figure if they went fast, I’d try to engage (rather than turn my back on them), otherwise it was back to finish off the station to get the explosion and start working on the Orions. Once they were crippled, it would be time to leave (can’t disengage until they’re crippled, I’m crippled or my legendary captain dies). The Orions were not going to be more than an accounting exercise, but the combined LDR forces are potentially dangerous if all together (especially after another Pol and trio of armed freighters on turn 5). So it was time to get an exit strategy while they were separate. Or just try to pick them off one by one.

By the points as they stood when we quit, it was a Decisive Victory. After accounting for some damage, and my disengagement after crippling the Orions, it would go down to Major.

In all, there’s two things here for the LDR. They need to stay closer to the planet and each other. Among other problems, the drone defense was not there because all the ships and shuttles got strung out. I misplayed the drone bombardment (didn’t plot it all ahead of time like I was supposed to, but I missed the backup plans on if they don’t immediately see a valid target either). Second, would be transporter bombs. We’re not used to using those, and taking all the TBs possible to put an ‘instant minefield’ around the base could pay great dividends. It could keep the Klingons at a greater distance, or at least make them pay a much higher price for going in after the base (and force them apart a bit so as not to all get hit by one mine).

Still, good to get a chance at SFB again. It’s nearly been a year since the last game we had finished up.