Crossposted from the SFU blog on BGG.

I’ve been meaning to get some more PBeM gaming in this year, and at the time I happened to be in a real F&E mood, a new player asked for a teaching game on the ADB forums. I accepted.

As usual when I do something like this, I ended up with two games. The second one with a fairly experienced player. I had been wanting to try out the revised Hurricane scenario, which starts the action as the Romulans invade the Federation in support of the Klingons who invaded three turns earlier. In addition to getting the Romulans into the action early, it also gets us to the introduction of later carrier types and some new mid-war ship types that I haven’t seen in action.

So, despite saying ‘turn 10’ in the title, this is the start of the game. With the title of the scenario being “The Hurricane”, calling this game “Konya wa Hurricane” (There’s a Hurricane Tonight) seemed obvious. But for those who need the reference:

I’m playing the Coalition, and Byron Sinor is playing the Alliance, and we’re using what I consider the ‘main three’ expansions, Fighter Operations, Combined Operations, and Advanced Operations (short of the optional rules), which is about what I think I can remember in terms of new rules. We also adjusted the OoB slightly to account for older ships that show up in Gale Force (which was revised last year, and starts after this scenario):

Hydran: 1xCR->SA
Kzinti: 2xFF->FH
Lyran: Sector A: 1xFF->HFF; Sector B: 1xDW->HDD

Also, we’re testing out a bunch of new Auxilaries that have been added to the on-line SITs but have yet to be published. At least in theory; we’ll see if either of us does much with them. Guidelines:

1) Auxes generally use the FO2016 unified rule.
2) All Aux production (and conversion) takes ‘pods’ as well as EPs. Federation & Klingons get 8/year, Tholians get 4/year, everyone else gets 6/year.
3) The existing limits for particular types of Auxes still limits them. (Probably just count the jumbo and heavy auxes as part of the large limit.)
4) Auxiliary combatants are not tied to provinces as in CL43 playtest rule, but they don’t exist for activation either. Only built Auxes are available.

As a large scenario, setup is actually complicated, as certain ‘strategic reserves’ are set up after most everything else, and can be shifted between fronts, while most forces are assigned to a particular region. I started ignoring my own plans there, not concentrating them in a few places as I had meant to as I worried about various problems. Production was certainly nice, as the Coalition has the luxury of occupying most of Hydran and Kzinti space to swell their economies.

Klingons: C8, D7, TGA, 5xD5, D5V, 3xAD5, F5L, 6xF5, 2xF5E, E4, D6Y->D6U, D5->AD5, D7->D7A, 2xVP2->2xVP3
Romulans: NH, FH, 2xSP, SPB, SPC, SKB, 2xSKE, SEH, WE, SNB, JAC, WE->KE
Lyrans: STL, TGC, CW, LTT, CVL, CWE, 2xDW, DWE, 2xFF, FCR, MB, PDU, MB->BS(F), CA->STT, 2xFF->DW

The Lyrans raided the Kzinti capital province (most everything else was likely to be disrupted anyway), while the remaining six hit Fed space (the Romulans only put two ships into the Raid Pool this turn). Only three raids succeeded, but only one raiding D5 was crippled, and no raiders were lost. In addition, the BATS in 2308 lost its fighters fighting off an adjacent raid.

With everything in good shape (the scenario decrees a number of ships crippled at start, but you can easily set them up on bases to repair them), I did offensives across the board. The Hydrans somewhat inexplicably have an intact planet after everything else is wiped out, and I sent in the fleets to there, including some of the Aux CVs, which was a mistake. I went after the Kzinti capital as it has several planets that have recovered from devastation, but still have no defenses. In NW Federation space, I tried going after several planets and BATS, but blew my sequencing so the 4th Fleet could react to save 2306 (Cygnus) as all the other major fleets in range of the SB had moved. I actually saw the problem, but just didn’t want to go back and re-record a long log I was in the middle of. The Romulans naturally poured over the border to take out the border BATS and threaten the 6th Fleet SB and adjacent planets, with the Home Fleet coming up to set up shop on one the NZ planets.

[Green arrows are movement; light blue are reactions, and darker blue is Reserve movement.]

Kzinti space and the Federation border.

The Klingon-Federation border.

Day of the Eagle

Out of the capital, but not off the map.

0217: SSC: Hydran: retreat
0218: SSC: Hydran: dest POL; Klingon: crip F5
0416: Hydran: dest NSC, DDS, crip 2xHR; Lyran: dest STJ; crip 2xCW, DW; Klingon: dest D6M, 2xE4A, SAV, crip D6G, F5
1702: SSC: Kzinti: retreat
1902: Kzinti: dest BATS, CLD, SDF; Klingon: dest D6J, F5L, crip D7C, D5, F5
1802: Kzinti: dest FKE, crip CVE, DDE; Klingon: dest D5, E4, crip 2xD7, F5E
2006: Federation: dest BATS
1702: Klingon: dest F5
1401: Keevarsh I: devastated; Keevarsh II: devastated; Vielsalm I: devastated; Vielsalm II: devastated; Vielsalm III: devastated; Vronkett: devastated; Kzinti: dest CLD, 2xFKE, SDF, SAD, crip CL, CLD, 2xSF, capture DWG, E4A; Lyran: dest CWS, 2xDW, DWE, crip CA, 4xCW, CWE, STJ, DW, DDE; Klingon: dest F5, crip F5, E4A
2004: Federation: dest BATS; Klingon: crip F5
2106: Klingon: dest 2xF5
2308: Federation: dest BATS; Klingon: crip D6
2311: SSC: Federation retreats
2306: Federation: dest 3xPDU, DD, crip DD, SWAC; Klingon: dest MD5,F5L, 2xF5, F5E crip D7, D5, F5; Lyran: crip BC, 2xCW
2211: Retreat after declined approach
2312: Klingon: dest F5L
2509: Federation: dest FF; Klingon: dest D5A, crip F5
3212: Federation: dest BATS; Klingon: crip F5
3215: Federation: dest BATS; Romulan: crip WE, SNB
3415: Neutral: dest 2xPDU; Romulan: crip WE, capture planet
3414: Federation: dest BATS; Romulan: crip BH
3613: Federation: dest BATS; Romulan: crip K5L, K5
3812: Federation: dest BATS; Romulan: crip SK, SNB
3912: Neutral: dest 2xPDU; Romulan captures planet
3612: Romulan: dest KE
3711: Federation: dest 2xPDU, crip 3xFF; Romulan: crip K7R, capture planet
3611: Federation: dest CC, DD, crip DD, FF, 2xFFE; Romulan: dest SUP, K4, crip SP, 2xSN

Tackling the main Hydran fleet turned out to be a lot tougher than I had anticipated. Not only does the IC allow for high ComPot (even for Hydrans!), but they were able to force a -2 shift with relative ease. (I started chipping away at that.) I decided to pull out before I exhausted all the fighter reserves, and left a large Hydran fleet loose with a lot of Coalition cripples around. I had anticipated pushing him off the last intact Hydran planet, and so brought along the Klingon SAV, which I promptly lost in the slow unit battle.

A D6 and F5 vs 2xPOL rolled a ‘2’, allowing one to retreat after the other withdrew to 1802. Meanwhile, a decent force took out the last Kzinti BATS, and both sides then retreated onto 1802 (further talks about the meaning of ‘units’ in retreat says I may not have been able to do that; it would have been close though). Sadly, a successful ground assault took out a defending ‘G’, but couldn’t do more on a second roll. Both sides then retreated off the planet, with the Kzinti going to 1702 to kill the F5, and re-open the supply grid to 1802.

The raid on the Kzinti capital went well, since I was fighting his ships without defenses backing them up in the outer systems. I re-devastated everything outside the main system and managed to pick off a few valuable ships. However, the we finally saw good capture rolls for the retreat and the slow unit retreat, letting the Kzinti get two poor ships: a DWG and an E4A. The slow unit retreat tripped me up again, with Byron able to bring extra ships to balance the non-slow escorts I was using. Still, I have a number of spare E4As at the moment, and nothing bigger went.

I went in for a round at the major planet at 2306, and regretted it when the Feds rolled a ‘6’ with a larger line than I had expected. I mauled half the the PDUs, and then got an approach round to burn off most of the resulting involuntary minus points before retreating. He killed the MD5 in form, so at least it saved killing the BC.

Having already taken more damage for less gain on the Klingons than I wanted, I retreated out after a declined approach battle with the 3rd Fleet SB. The Federation also retreated off, hitting a little two-ship holding force in 2312, and reestablishing main grid supply.

Byron was understandably surprised when I put the D5A on the line in 2509, but I wanted the extra ComPot, and wasn’t expecting to be facing yet another -2 EW shift, which canceled my plans for actually using the SFG. And, I’m not a fan of the marginal abilities of the D5A, so I’m not too unhappy at losing it.

About half of the Federation 4th Reserve went to 3612, which was still far better than what the Romulans had in the hex. I didn’t want to kill a KE, but it was that or cripple 3xWE, and probably lose them all in pursuit.

Overall, I can’t help but be disappointed with the results, though I wasn’t really expecting to take planet 3711. I knew there would be some problems, as I’m stepping into a big war in progress without a great idea of what shape everyone is in. There’s no immediate ‘history’ to provide momentum. In addition, I made a number of mistakes, and did not really focus on just a few goals. Over our years of play, Bel has been playing catch-up to me, and now I’m facing someone who knows the game much better than I. In retrospect, I needed to pay a bit more attention to mauler and scout builds, as the Alliance EW situation is a lot better than I expected.