Crossposted from the SFU blog on BGG.

When on the strategic defense in games, I can be quite passive. Pull in, perfect that line, don’t make waves.

Give me a superb offensive weapon however, and I will start counter-punching. For evidence, I submit the number of times I’ve gotten the German panzers in trouble in A Victory Lost, even while the rest of the line is retiring with unseemly speed.

The Kzinti navy, with its reliance on deep carrier lines, is a great weapon indeed. However, if not used cautiously, it is a bit fragile, especially now that out of sequence repairs and conversions are gone with CEDS. Carrier-based lines can absorb a lot of damage without taking a permanent loss, but once they run out of fighters, they’re as vulnerable as anything else.

Situation at the beginning of combat. Both fights against his province raiders went well.

I noted early on, that with Coalition forces retiring back across the border at the end of their turn 2, there wasn’t much in range of the Kzinti Capital. That allows me to stay centered on the outer defenses with some confidence, and that puts me in range of Coalition defenses with most of the navy. There was one BATS in the line with no forces on it. The problem was that it wouldn’t be hard for nearby forces to react onto it. I determined to see if I could block them, or prevent them from reacting.

First, I went along the Lyran side of the station. I nearly stopped the force in 0805, but then realized if he didn’t react, I’d be stuck well out of position, since without combat, I can’t retrograde back to my defenses. So I plotted a move onto the target BATS just in case. Moving on to the Lyran BATS was out, since then he could react in forces from the next one over, freeing up the force there to react later. I then repeated the process on the other side, but he didn’t react at all, letting me onto the BATS unopposed.

I still expected to see the two Reserves (one Lyran, one Klingon) come in and contest it with me. It moves them closer, and he could make killing the BATS quite expensive to me if he wanted. I figured I’d be forced to quit without accomplishing it. I’d cripple some of his forces in the process, but it was a rare chance to fight me not only without dealing with my defenses, but with aid from his defenses. Short of a knock-down drag-out fight over a SB (which is no fun for the attacker), it may be the best chance he’ll see to hurt the Kzintis for some time. Or I could have just pulled out, and he’d keep the BATS.

As it is, he lost the BATS in 0906 for free, and I crippled two CLs for the cost of fighters in the open space battle.