Crossposted from the SFU blog at BGG.

As I mentioned earlier, I got the new 16-page updated version of Scenario 603 (keep in mind the original is three pages). I had actually been well aware of it, and had done some work with an early draft version of it. Over the last weekend, I updated my Vassal setup file for the draft version to the published version. The main thing I noticed is that a fair number of Klingon D5s in the draft seem to have been promoted to D7s and D6s in the final version. Also, the draft was done before SO came out, so the new stuff from there is integrated in, and the PO materials are better integrated now. (In fact, this, and “Maelstrom” in SO are probably the only two scenarios that fully integrate the tactical transports and other units from SO.)

I was not the only one to notice the deficiency of the Klingon carrier force; the introduction to the update mentions the missing Klingon carriers and missing Klingon cruisers. An interesting note is that the update keeps the original number of Lyran carriers. I had noted that they seemed to have a decent carrier force in the original, but my attention had been stolen by the lack of Klingon carriers. It turns out there’s more Lyran carriers than is normally possible. The ‘construction override’ rule (not part of the base F&E set; it was introduced in PO) makes it possible to produce more of a limited class by paying a price. Considering the Lyrans come late to the carrier game, and generally have more money than scheduled builds, this actually makes sense, and is something that I should consider doing the next time I play with the PO rules (I had just ignored it).

By my quick count, it looks like the D6V and CVT carriers missing from the starting OoB are back, but no more, indicating that the Klingons built no new carriers from the start of the war to the introduction of the D7V and D5V. Also, there’s still only 3xFVs. This is much better, but nowhere near the carrier force usually built, nor needed against the fighter-heavy lines of the Kzinti, Federation and Hydrans. Oh, and if you have FO, there’s two E4Vs available. The tug situation seems to have improved by one TGA, still putting the Klingons in quite a crunch under the original rules (though CO and SO improve that).

An interesting note is that the Lyran infrastructure is better developed. In the original version, they have MBs set up in 1406 and 1103, which I consider slightly unusual locations, and only barely gets them into range of the Federation border. The update has a better developed grid with MB nodes in 1105 (Kzinti planet), 1807 (Klingon BATS on the Federation/Kzinti border), 1411 (Klingon capital) and 1013 (Klingon BATS on the Hydran border).

Another interesting point is that the ‘artificial’ situation of no fleet damage has been taken care of. One of the scenario rules stipulates a certain amount of damage must be taken on ships in each sector before play begins.

I’m currently looking at giving this a solo try across all sectors with just the base rules, and see how it goes. If I can get deep into it, I might repeat a couple sectors with rules additions.