Crossposted from the SFU blog on BGG.

Erich and I have been back at playing our main F&E game for a while now, but our second game has still been on hold. Bel has been feeling uncertain of his mastery of the expansions after all this time (and, after doing some work, I realized I had forgotten a fair amount too).

Anyway, we’ve now officially put that game on hold to do a play of “The Four Powers War”, using the final draft version that was prepared for the upcoming re-release of Federation & Empire: Fighter Operations. Since this is a ‘replacement’ for Second Wind, I will be playing the Coalition, and we will be using FO, CO, and AO. Once this is done… we’ll either pick up Second Wind, or restart it. It is also serving as a major test of the 2.0 version of the Vassal module and the large map.

The scenario starts with Hydrans attacking the Lyrans in Fall Y157. The Lyrans are in the middle of a civil war as the Hydrans decide to try and ‘adjust’ the border further away from their capital. So the Lyrans start by distributing 40 points of damage in each fleet. Any crippled ships then have a 1/6 chance of being destroyed. I took a chance, and didn’t destroy any cripples to avoid the ‘free’ kills, and got lucky: only two FFs (in the Far Stars fleet) succumbed to the die rolls.

Hydrans: TG, 2xKN, CR, 2xCU, MB, Convoy, PT, POL, 2xPDU (on Hydrax)

There’s only limited raiding in this era, and a LN successfully disrupted province 0107 after defeating a called up POL.

The Hydrans boiled over the border, hitting both border stations (at this point, one is a BATS, and the other a base station), and sent a decent force to the 0411 starbase. He also sent a DG to disrupt the 0109 province, but I was able to react a squadron out from the capital to handle that. (He also moved an SA into 0410, but for some reason I didn’t think about intercepting it with the last two uncrippled ships in the capital (2xFF).)

Lyran-Hydran border; Fall 157. Green=movement; light blue=reactions; blue-grey=reserves; red=retreat.

0209: SSC: Lyran: retreat; Hydran: dest DG
0413: Lyran: Dest BATS; Hydran: crip CR, CU
0212: Lyran: Dest BS; Hydran: crip CU
0411: Lyran: crip 2xCA, 3xCL, DD ; Hydran: dest RN, CU, SC

I had a DD at each border station, and they helped out a lot against the smaller station-busting lines Bel brought, retreating out as damage mounted.

Belirahc didn’t bring nearly enough to take on a well-defended starbase, but I still couldn’t breathe easy because of the number of ships crippled in each fleet made my available forces a bit thin. Thanks to the fact that Lyran SCs have two EW, I was able to dial the SB up to 4 EW for a -2 shift against the Hydrans, which made it even tougher for him. He went three rounds, during the last two of which he tried assaulting with a troop tug (you know, escorting with HNs doesn’t really give up much ComPot…), but poor rolls, and a -2 VBIR on the first try made sure it didn’t do anything.

On the other hand, I really didn’t want another six cripples…

The scoring in this scenario tracks all sorts of things, like how many bases have been destroyed, planets devastated, ships destroyed, ships in need of repair, etc. As of this moment (with the vast bulk of the game to go), the Coalition has 23.5 VPs (mostly in Alliance BS that need to be upgraded to BATS), and the Alliance has 58.3 (mostly in base upgrades, but also for Lyran repairs, provinces, and 5 permanent points for those two bases he destroyed), for a a Hydran Decisive Victory (juuust shy of Astounding). If only they could get the war to end here….