Last November, Mark and I played the final battle in the first year of our SFB campaign. This was our second open-space battle, and we stuck to the same terrain choices we’d had last time, but this time the dice came up with “Empty Space”, so we had a clear board to work with.

Our setup areas were both in the back center of our respective sides, and I set up as far forward as I could, while Mark set up on the edge of the map. Ironically, I ended up at WS-I while Mark was WS-III. Speeds started low, with the Carnivon WCL going 8, and everything else at 6. The two Carnivon ships put up 2 ECM each, but I, with photons to load, had no energy for such luxuries.

Naturally, at that speed and distance, nothing happened the first turn, and the second was similar, with the WCL dropping to speed 6, while it put up a point of ECCM. While we had opposite courses, closest pass was still going to be quite distant, so I turned to cut across his path on my first move of turn 2. Everyone boosted to speed 9 on turn 3 with the WCL dropping EW to 1/0, and my WRD put up 1/1. Courses stayed constant, and on impulse 29 WCL, Devastator (801) fired on my WOL USS Kayah (SF-93) for two damage at range 34, which I absorbed on batteries. After that, he turned in, putting us on courses 8 hexes off from each other. WRD USS Ravelin (SF-69) fired phasers on 32, doing 1 point which bounced off reinforcement.

My plot was the same for turn 4, while the Carnivons boosted to speed 10, and the Devastator dropped ECM. I turned left near the start of the turn, looking for more of a direct pass. Mark sideslipped the opposite way during the turn, and death bolts were launched on impulse 23. I turned back on 29, and both Carnivon ships fired phasers on 32, while Ravelin returned fire. Only one phaser out of all that hit, which bounced off of reinforcement.

My speeds scattered between 9 and 11 for turn 5, while the Carnivons went 12 (WFF) and 14 (WCL). EW was minimal, and the Carnivons turned away from the pass. This broke me up a bit as I turned to follow as turn modes cleared. On impulse 15, now in a stern-chase with the faster Carnivons, WRF USS Seeker (SF-86) fired its photon torpedo and a phaser at Devastator, missing with the former, and seeing two more damage from the phaser bounce off the rear shield. She then turned off to avoid the death bolts, which did turn out to be targeted on her. On 19, Kayah got onto Devastator‘s #4 shield and missed with a photon and all bearing phasers.

Missing all the shots. Turn 5, Impulse 19, showing movement from the start of turn 4.

Seeker ended up separated from the action thanks to the death bolts chasing it as the chase turned clockwise as turn 6 started. The Carnivons continued crowding the speed on and Ravelin manged to get up to speed 13, while Kayah was stuck at 10 as she reloaded the torpedo. Range opened up a bit during the turn, but the right edge of the map started looming again, and Mark turned down and dropped fire control for turn 7, getting to speeds 14 and 18(!). My speeds were largely the same, and Ravelin tried a range 7 photon shot, missing again on impulse 15.

At the end of the turn, the WFF turned across my path, and I sped up a bit on turn 8 (Ravelin didn’t bother to reload the torpedo, and got to speed 15). Devastator also turned to get out of the corner, and on impulse 9, Ravelin got a range 3 shot on her for 13 damage, which took out most of the armor. The next impulse, Kayah got one hit with two photons to finish off the armor and do seven internals, which took out one power and two weapons.

After that, Mark turned back to disengage off the edge of the map. Kayah fired her last phasers at the down shield, but missed. After that, I was basically dry, and both ships got off map by the end of the turn.


With fairly minor ships, and the last fight of the year, I decided to press for a close engagement. For a moment, it looked like Mark was going to accept a fairly close-range pass, but then turned off.

This time, it happened right before the turn break, and I didn’t need to contemplate having anyone go slow in anticipation of that close pass. I was hoping to take out the WCL, even if I had to sacrifice something to do it. As it was, I didn’t get hurt, and while Devastator is out her four armor, everything else was repairable.

My rolls were way under par all game, and if my photon luck had been reversed, Devastator might have far more serious repairs to make. It’s possible I might have managed a kill, but I doubt I could have slowed it down enough for that.

Not that it would have been that big a loss. It sounds like Mark has found light cruiser slot just as lackluster as I have. They’re nicely bulky compared to a destroyer, but are power starved. YCLs should be a bit better, but I kind of doubt either of us will build any, and USS Texas (SF-1) is the only one in the campaign that can be converted up.

This finishes the first year of the campaign, and we’re tackling one of the ‘modern’ scenarios now before returning to the campaign for Y78. We’ll be on defense line 2, so there’s only six regions to worry about, plus the base that I skipped in region 7. Mark will have all his ships (minus whatever he decides to repair armor on), and a pair of YDKs. It’s going to be a fight.