After three Kzinti FFs came waltzing up to a Fed CA and practically crippled it in one go, Mark and Patch expressed interest in learning more about how frigates operate. I had had thoughts towards that some time back, so working up a three-way frigate squadron battle wasn’t a problem.

We’ve been fiddling around with terrain lately, and at the last second decided to plop a black hole into the mix (not something I’d fight near in real life, but it makes for a fun game).


Patch James Mark
Klingon Kzinti Lyran
F5 71 FF 62 FF 62
E4 55 FF 62 FF 62
E4 55 FF 62 FF 62
Total 181 186 186

The game started with everyone opting to circle the black hole in the same direction. I wanted to hit the Klingons first, instead of last this time. He wanted to tangle with Mark instead of me for a change, and Mark was trying to engage me. We really had decided on the black hole at the last moment, that is to say after we had done the first turn’s energy allocation, so most of us weren’t going as fast as we’d like with the Great Attractor around, and we treated it with some respect. After that, we speeded up and the Klingons got a bit daring for turn 2, and I followed suit for the end of 2 and most of 3.

For turn 3, I ended up with a Close Encounter of the Exchange Weapons Fire Kind with the Lyrans. One of them had already been damaged and had split off, so I was quite willing to go 3 vs. 2 with them. As they had already fired off the disruptors at longer range, it ended with me doing good amounts of damage to both of them, and one of mine taking a decent set of internals, plus a few downed shields. I considered doing a Kzinti anchor during the range 0(!) pass (and should have), but held off the battery power.

A little later, Patch showed nice drone technique by passing above (relative to the black hole) the shot-up Lyrans and firing off drones that were accelerated in by the black hole. Mark was already cruising at the limit of the ‘safe zone’ (right outside the point of no return), had no weapons or power left, and had to eat both of them.

After that, Patch and I tangled at the beginning of 4. I got my wounded FF shot up some more, but it was still operational. At the same time my untouched FF went to range 1 of the F5, tractored and unloaded. It didn’t stay untouched for long, but there were more speed-8 drones in the area than available phasers. Getting them to hit took much of the turn, and crippled the F5. At this point the tractored pair were slowly headed for the black hole. I decided to see if I could get the F5 to go down the drain and release for my own escape.

Mistake #1: I rode it down too long. I should have realized I hadn’t kept us as far over to the side as I needed and given up (but maybe auctioned at the turn break for another round of drones). Mistake #2: when it was obvious that he’d get us both killed, I misread the situation and dropped the tractor before I realized that the increase in turn mode would still kill me (with no HET available in time to boot).

So I threw away a perfectly good frigate for no real purpose. I may be the guest of honor at the Patriarch’s next banquet again. T_T

We called it a day, well satisfied. By the points I figured out, me and Patch are about tied (I gave him full credit for my FF…). I realized later that everyone else was disengaging, so I should get points for that, but I don’t think I deserve a victory after that big a muff anyway.

The calendar now advances to Y140, and our next battle is going to be Patch and Mark together against a force of (sub-light!) Romulans. After fast Kzinti ships with slow drones, I figure sub-light Romulans with fast plasma torpedoes should be an interesting change of pace. They’re a bit worried by the excessively high crunch power, I’m worried about whether I’ll even get to hit….