Crossposted from the SFU blog on BGG.

I’ve been contemplating soloing my way as far as I can through the third General War scenario in the F&E rulebook. It would give me experience with the mid-war, which I really don’t have, and see how the various navies evolve in that period. If I can make it through the full 10 turns, I can see what happens as PFs hit in the base rules, without any of the complications of X-ships and more advanced ship and carrier types (the late war is largely covered in Advanced Operations).

The idea is also to stick with purely base rules and ships, and 603 is the last scenario that gets its own set up, instead of just extending a previous scenario. However, the setups for 602 and 603 haven’t really been modified since the original 1986 incarnation. I believe the modernized version of the scenario has recently been published in Captain’s Log, but I’m years behind on those, and part of the idea is to stick with something that everyone who owns the base game has.

It starts in Spring Y173 with the Coalition at its height: The Hydran capital has fallen, and the fleet is falling back to the Old Colonies; the Kzinti capital is doing well, but the rest of Kzinti space has been abandoned to the Coalition; the Klingons have taken out the Federation border, including the 7th Fleet starbase near the Tholians, and the Romulans are about to join in.

By my accounting, the Coalition economy is currently 425.2. This should pick up a little over the next couple turns from further gains, and as the Romulans claim an extra 16 EP worth of unexplored territory. The Alliance economy is 290.8; due for a 87 EP pickup in two turns as the Gorns join the Alliance. As F&E is in large respect an economic game, a 135 EP (~50 EP post-Gorn) lead is pretty serious.

And the Coalition has 6 turns to make it count. As of the seventh turn (Turn 16 overall), the Kzinti, Hydran, and all three Coalition economies go down 25% due to economic exhaustion. Ten turns after that (Turn 26), they all go down 50%. Because they join the war late, the Gorn economy doesn’t shrink until Turns 27 and 37 respectively. The Federation gets the benefit of a late start and a more robust economy, and only hits exhaustion on Turns 28 and 38.

Just setting up the scenario has been an interesting exercise. I’ve never really set up the Romulans in earnest before, and I’m suddenly finding myself in unfamiliar territory looking at their builds. I’m mostly familiar with them, but the knowledge lacks the well-worn grooves of the Lyran or Kzinti navies.

My initial look at the status of Klingon forces is alarming however:

Carriers: 2xD7V, 2xD5V, 1xD6V, 3xFV
Tugs: 3xTGA, TGB

Compared to the opening OoB, the Klingons have gained four modern carriers (with good escorts), but have lost five of the beginning medium carriers, and four F5Vs. This puts them well behind where they need to be in establishing good fighter reserves (compared to at start, they are down 17 fighter factors). They are also down two TGAs and a TGB, seriously compromising the ability to establish bases and other infrastructure, which will be needed as the economy shrinks.

The good news is that the Kzinti carrier force has not done too well either, having lost a CV and CVE compared to the starting forces. The Federation is similarly near its Turn 7 forces.

This isn’t so much of a surprise, as F&E play typically emphasizes carriers much more than the history does, especially the history as written in 1986. The only truly alarming part is the loss of most of the Klingon at start carriers.

So, I’m nearly ready to begin play (still undecided about how serious I am about it), and am starting play around with build options. Which points up a certain artificiality of the situation: there’s no cripples from previous turns, so there’s plenty of extra room in the initial budget.

UPDATE: the revised 603 has been published. It was contained in CL#41, CL#42 and the CL#41 supplemental file. ADB just collected it all together and released it on e23 today for $5.


I suppose I’ll have to go get it and re-work from there.