Finally got to have a game with and again after way too long. We played a general SFB scenario, Probing the WYN Cluster, where one of the surrounding major powers sends in a fleet and the WYNs try to beat it off before it recovers from the effects of the energy zone surrounding the cluster. Patch played the WYNs, me and Mark took a Klingon force in.

A very odd battle. The WYNs are decively outgunned, but the invading force is very much hamstrung. Warp power is halved for several turns, and there’s only a 1/3 chance of being able to effectively fire when you want to (with three chances during the turn). Some untimely rolls can really muck up a plan. It leads to a style of play that is very unusual for SFB.

It still being Y148 in our game universe, Patch got a pair of ‘Auxiliary Cruisers’ (converted freighters), a Klingon G2 gunboat (captured and converted by the WYN – it has an extra drone rack and slightly more solid shields than the ‘stock’ version), and a Lyran DD (also captured and converted – its their biggest ship in Y148 – it has extra power and double the disruptors of the normal version). The Klingons brought in six ships, a D7C (a command/improved version of the standard battlecruiser, and one of the best ships in space in Y148), a D5 (really ‘LD5’, a light cruiser that the Klingons only built seven of), an entire F5 squadron (three frigates, one of which is an improved ‘command’ version), and an E4. Mark took the F5 squadron, and I took the other three.

The first turn went pretty smoothly for the Klingons. We stayed together at speed 15 (which was really pushing it) and crippled one of the AxCs while taking light damage to the E4.

The second turn was another story. First of all, speed had to slow to 9 (which was still pushing it while recharging batteries and phasers), and four of our ships never managed a lock on for the entire turn. Thankfully, the two that could fire effectively were the largest two, the D7C and D5. I pressed the attack while the F5 squadron turned off to hunt shuttles, the KG2 and head towards the victory exit area. The D7C showed its worth by ADDing its way through the KG2’s mini-drone wave while it and the D5 put the hurt on the LDD. Partially, anyway. It lost a couple shields and started taking internals. Lack of power naturally kept me from being able to do a disruptor volley that would have the normal expected result of a cruiser firing on a destroyer. In return, the D5 lost the #1 shield and gave up a fair number of internals. Like the LDD, not happy, but still something to pay attention to. The D7C locked a range two tractor on the LDD, which meant it kept sensor lock on to it long enough to ram it into a drone and eliminate another shield. After a token effort, it dropped it at the end of the turn.

So turn three started with the power situation even worse. The unhurt ships were no better off, and the hurt ones (the D5 and the E4, which had taken a bit more damage) had to slow down to 6, and still weren’t doing half of what they needed. Luck with sensor lock ons was only slightly better than the turn before, with the D7C and two of the F5s managing lock ons at various points during the turn. The E4 tried to get away from the main action, get down shields away from nearby enemies and ended up hunting the KG2. Sadly, longer-range firepower still hurt, and it failed all three lock-on attempts, which doomed it (boom). However, by the end of the turn, Patch was decided that enough was enough, and disengaged to preserve his force, rather than deal with Klingons that now had a 50% chance of getting a lock on. As we were still nearly immobile (in SFB terms), it was pretty obvious that he was going to get away from us without trouble.

The wrinkle in this is that the scenario uses Standard Victory Conditions, which means that we had to fight against the disparity in BPV to make up the win. We had gotten a fair amount of the way there, especially with the bonus we get for being able to get into the cluster, but not enough. Points-wise, it’s still a Tactical victory for Patch.

It’s certainly an interesting scenario, and I’d like to play it again in few more (game) years, when the WYN start getting some Orion designs. An interesting side effect is that the first couple warp hits on attacking ships don’t hurt much – it’s just half a point of power per hit anyway. Once past the hull, and the impulse and APR hits come in, its very different. That’s where most of the discretionary power is coming from.

Anyway, we’re planning another get together in early December, and we’re going to try out Soldier Kings. Should be interesting.