With six victories, and two defeats, I had no trouble passing to the second defense line in Mark and I’s modified Admiral’s Game campaign.

No ships were destroyed, but three bases were. Five of my ships were damaged (including two out of eight armor on USS Mare Serenitatis), and five of Mark’s were. Most of these just lost their armor, but WND USS Battler, and WOD USS Dunelle don’t have armor, and “merely” took enough damage to not be fully repairable. One base was left behind as the fighting shifted up a defense line, and Mark left WCA Wolfclaw and WDD Vainglory there, forcing me to screen it with at least five ships (three plus two to match his two).

That passes the action to Y78, and new ships are built, including an obligation for two destroyers and two frigates. Carnivon construction had no extra ships this year:

Federation construction:

With a Year In Service of Y79, I get to build the YCA as a prototype this year, and just have the budget for it (my calculations say I should be able to build a second one in Y80, but other concerns may put it off). It is the earliest available ‘early’ (Yxx) ship, so it will be noticeably faster than everything else… which means it will need to hold itself back in a fleet. Also, our command system works off of EPV, so it will be ‘expensive’ to include in a fleet other than as a command ship.

Y3 introduced leader variants for the Terran frigate and destroyer, and after noting them, I decided to switch out my Terran destroyer for the leader version, which gains a transporter, two cargo and a point of armor for one BPV/EPV. (My next Terran frigate, in about two years, will be the WFL, which gains three armor, and was the primary motivation for trying them after USS Marengo got smacked last year.)

And now we have the full line up of ship assignments ready (names in brown text have previous damage that can only be eliminated by going into Reserve):

The new Battle Stars column is pure fluff to show which ships are the veterans of the campaign. A ship gets a battle star each time it’s in a region where we put counters on the table, even if very little action results like in a couple of our fights last year. (Conversely, the ships in region 3 last year were assumed to have fought it out, but we didn’t actually play it, so no battle stars were awarded, including for two ships that got damaged.)

Four of my ships were forced into reserve because they retreated out of battles last time. This means I only have one more ship to work with than last year, but USS Battler and Dunelle are too damaged to put into battle this time so they also are in Reserve for repairs. Ferocity and Marengo are less valuable, and so I put them in to fill out minimal groups, and are effectively sitting out this year and next when they will be in Reserve.

Meanwhile, the defending Carnivons only need to put ships in Reserve for repairs. Mark has gone ahead and put them on the line anyway to fill out his forces, with the exception of the dreadnought I damaged in region 1 last year.

Not wanting to leave any more bases behind if I didn’t have to, my first plan was for two high-power fleets to go after the docks in regions 2 and 5. As we resolved more Y77 fights, I had to trim that back, and went to plan 2—take out the left behind base and go for one of the docks. That would have worked better if there weren’t any ships left behind at it, or at least none as big as a cruiser.

Region 6 got a slightly large pair in case I caught Mark also putting out a minimal force to concentrate elsewhere, but he has good density everywhere, so that and region 2 have been declared as losses with my forces retreating into Reserve. I will have to win all four remaining battles on this defense line to advance to line 3. Even if I do it, I might be too beat up to continue.

Region 5 promises to be an epic base battle with our biggest forces (by BPV). The WVC has special sensors, which should help a bunch. The other three battles are all about 40 BPV off of each other (with me disadvantaged in two of them), or around  15% tilt, and should get exciting, and probably bloodier than anything last year. We are starting in Region 3, where my YCA is leading a fleet against his undamaged command cruiser. Hopefully, the extra power on it will help make up my technical 35-point deficit.