Crossposted from the SFU blog on BGG.

Patch and I regularly game online, and we decided to have another SFB outing a little while ago. I’ve been going for a ‘historical order’ system, to see how things evolve, and we’re currently in Y157, which is the revised date for the mini campaign in Captain’s Log #4.

We decided to go full-bore with revised rules for this old scenario, which was probably a mistake. Bases were made much tougher in the 1999 version of Advanced Missions, and the first scenario isn’t balanced for that, and we’re not good enough to need bases being made tougher in the first place.

At any rate, Patch took the defending Klingons, who just have a Battlestation (BATS) with reinforcements arriving on Turn 6, and I took the Hydrans, who are testing out the Hellbore Torpedo by assaulting the base with a Ranger (RN) and a Dragoon (DG).

My initial plan was to start bombarding the BATS from just out of overload range, since Hellbores are good moderate range weapons, and Fusions act the same from ranges 3 to 10.

I went in somewhat slow to get the 9-10 bracket with the RN while the DG lagged behind. Towards the end of the turn, the BATS opened up with disruptors and a pair of Ph-4s, hit with both disruptors and got ‘1’s with both phasers to take the RN’s #1 almost halfway down. Patch followed that up with another pair of Ph-4s for 10 more points (1 & 4) and a total of 23 on that shield. In return, the RN missed with two Fusion shots before turning off to show the #2. The DG then hit with one Hellbore, which was absorbed by general reinforcement.

For turn 2, I stayed near speed 10 with both ships, with the idea of continuing the bombardment for a turn. However, I launched all twelve fighters while the BATS launched a shuttle on impulse 1. Patch followed up with a second shuttle on impulse 3, while the RN did the same, BATS shuttle #3 launched on 5, and #4 (and last) on 10.

Mid-turn, Patch used a couple Ph-4s to auto-kill two of the Stingers. A few impulses later, the Stingers and shuttles exchanged fire, killing three of the shuttles, and damaging (but not crippling) two of the fighters. One was a point short of crippling though, and missed with both Fusions at range 5 on a +3 shot before turning off to find the RN.

On impulse 22, the remaining fighters hit ADD range, and the base started picking them off with that. (There was some mix up as Patch didn’t realize that it took time for the rack to switch from one magazine to another at first.) The BATS opened up on Impulse 25, firing overloaded disruptors at two of the Stingers, killing them, and a pair of Ph-4s at the DG, putting 23 points on its #1.

Two surviving Stingers made it to range 1 on Impulse 27, and I should have fired with both of them, as the Ph-3s opened up at that point, but I only fired with a damaged one, doing a total of 6 points through a +2 shift. The DG fired two Hellbores the impulse after, and missed with one, putting 15 points on the #5 shield the fighter had weakened and sandpapering 3 off all the others (except #6 which was reinforced).

Impulse 28, DG misses with one Hellbore, but weakens shield #5.

The Hydrans boosted speed by one for the third turn, and Patch missed his guess on the EW front, ending up with +3 ECM, versus the ships, so he had to spend a battery to get the fourth point and a +2 shift.

The DG’s Stingers had gotten to range 2 and fired a Fusion each in case the BATS wanted to keep firing Ph-4s at them, but only got 3 points on shield #3. At range one they fired the remaining Fusions for 10 more points, and the BATS crippled them with Ph-3s, finishing them off the next impulse.

The RN got to range one off the right side, and both sides opened up, the BATS firing both overloaded Disruptors and 4xPh-4 at the RN, while it returned fire with 4xPh-2 and two overloaded Fusions. Thankfully one Disruptor hit, but the RN still took 85 points, and 59 internals. The Fusions both rolled ‘1’s, with the RN doing a total of 34 damage after a +2 shift and did 2 internals against the armor. The strong center hull helped, but the RN was seriously hurt, losing 20 power.

The RN then turned to centerline the base at range 0, firing the other 2 overloaded Fusions and the remaining two Ph-2. This did 36 internals with good rolls through the same shield. 7 finished off the armor, while I got decent rolls on the other 29 to pick off some power, the two unused special sensors and a couple Ph-3s.

The DG then got to range 1 on the other side of the BATS, which fired 2xPh-4 at it, while it fired the four in-arc Ph-2 and two overloaded Hellbores. The Ph-4s punched 9 internals through, which got a Hellbore and a Phaser, with the rest hitting hull. The Ph-2s did 14 damage to the facing shield #6, but one Hellbore missed again, to do 15 internals, and sandpaper the other shields.

And the DG misses again!

This took out the ADD (the drone rack went on the first round), some ph-3s and another unused special sensor.

As the RN moved off the base, it fired the Ph-Gs to exactly take down the #3 shield. The DG then sideslipped over to the same place to put it’s Ph-Gs through the down shield, generating another 23 internals, which took out a Disruptor, more Ph-3s and the last special sensor.

The RN crawled away from the BATS at speed four, while the DG manged speed 10. The BATS fired 4xPh-4 and the remaining overloaded Disruptor at the DG while it returned fire with the right-side Hellbores and a pair of Ph-2 at range 4. Only one Ph-4 rolled under a ‘5’, and the Disruptor missed for 52 points, with 30 going in. Both Hellbores hit for a change, doing 28 internals through two down shields, while the Ph-2s followed up for… 2 points through the down #2.

The DG mostly lost hull, but took a second Hellbore hit along with some phasers and 6 power. The BATS lost a number of important systems as I kept skipping around cargo hits, including the last Disruptor, a couple Ph-4s and a lot of APR.

I had neglected to declare any suicide shuttles when I set up my bookkeeping, and didn’t have power to spare during the battle. But I did have some shuttles on the board at this point that were circling the BATS and pot-shotting the downed shields. Mid-turn the BATS fired the remaining Ph-4s at the DG, punching through the #4 shield for another 8 internals. The BATS was actually reduced to a Sensor rating of 5, though it never missed a lock-on roll, and lost all Security stations, though there was never a mutiny either.

The RN managed speed 6 for turn 5, and headed back towards the BATS, as it had the best shields, the DG did speed 10 again, but was out of position, and had one Hellbore available to fire and one Phaser left.

Patch had a Ph-4 left, and did another 7 internals to the DG on a ‘6’ roll. The Hydrans did a final overrun of the BATS on impulse 32 before the Klingon reinforcements arrived on turn 6. The RN did 19 points with a Ph-2 and 2xFusions (no power to overload) at range 0, while the DG did another 3 with its Phaser, and hit with a overloaded Hellbore for 15 points through the (now) down #6 (the other had some repairs and reinforcement).

This pretty much killed anything of importance on the BATS, but there was still a decent amount of power left, and all the repair, so it was nowhere near actually being destroyed.

Patch positioned his new D6 and F5 to come in together, approaching the BATS along the top-right hexspine, while the D7 came in along the bottom-right, though manuvering later put the D7 and D6 together with the F5 a few hexes away.

DG managed to get up to 18. The RN, figuring it wouldn’t get away anyway, went speed 5 while overloading its third Fusion for a final point-blank shot at the BATS, while it returned fire with a repaired Disruptor.

The BATS took another 20 internals, while the RN only took 2 through the #1 which was still partially up. On impulse 27, Patch took a massed disruptor volley at the DG, and only got three hits, for nine internals through the down #4.

Impulse 27, where the Klingons opened fire. The RN could have made another four hexes instead of firing.

After that, the RN took close range Phaser fire that reduced it to 11 power, and we assumed it would be finished off on the next turn, while the DG got away.

The expected intent of the campaign was for the BATS to be destroyed and both Hydran ships to get away. The further scenarios are the Hydrans headed home separately, with some of the Klingons in pursuit of each. As it is, the DG will be featured in “The Pursuit” with all three Klingon ships.

With the current rules, this scenario is too tough for what is wanted. Given more time before the Klingon ships show up, the Hydrans could reduce the BATS better, but I have to say I was surprised that it wasn’t a Base Station to begin with; a BATS seems like an awful lot of base for two cruisers. Though if it had had to balance EW coverage with Phaser fire (the biggest change with the ’99 rules is bases don’t blind their own special sensors), it would have been a lot easier. I usually had a +2 shift to my fire and was taking a lot of Ph-4 damage.

Both us did less damage than we probably should have. Certainly the two Hellbore misses were a big problem, and one of those had a ~90% chance to hit. Patch missed with more Disruptor rolls than he should have, and the Ph-4s rolled high on a few occasions.

At any rate, we’ll soon be starting the second scenario, and see if I have any hope of getting away.