Yesterday was planned to either be Soldier Kings or a historical SFB scenario. None of us could really get a fourth, so SFB. However, Mark had to call Saturday morning and inform me that he had come down with the flu Friday, and couldn’t make it. Considering that I have a co-worker who’s been out all week, that wasn’t too surprising.

So, half-an-hour later it was just me and Patch, flailing around to figure out what we were going to do. I showed him my current stack of other games, and he decided to look at Plan Orange, as he doesn’t play too many naval games.

The problem is that they just don’t have any operational campaigns that are great for a first go. They all have way more ships than we really wanted to keep track of. So, we went with one of the battle scenarios. (Not the same one as I played with Dave, but very similar). I, as the Americans got to long range and started working on his CLs. He sank most of my destroyers. He then realized that I’d knocked out most of the guns that could hurt my light cruisers. Fortunately for him, he was able to get initiative on the second round and get out of sighting range before I could finish him off, with him winning for all the VPs he got from my destroyers.

That was quick enough, and after lunch we decided to go with a thought I’d had right before we dived into Plan Orange. We did a simple SFB duel with him flying a Gorn CA and me in a Fed CA.

The Gorns are the one active race that we haven’t seen yet, and I’d been meaning for Patch to try them out. He’s been mostly playing the Klingons, and the Gorn are pretty much the opposite philosophy from them. I figure this will give him a broader base and help his overall understanding of the game. The Gorns aren’t actually in contact with anyone besides the Romulans for another eight years, but that’s not a big deal here, since the ships won’t change.

Flying the Fed was different. I’ve mostly been in Kzintis lately, which are a bit zippy because there’s hardly any heavy weapons to charge. The Fed CA (especially before refits) has a hard time going at high speed, and that’s what’s needed against plasma.

The first round went well, I went as close as I dared, peppered him with two overloaded Photons and phasers on turn 2. Ended up trading my #5 and a phaser hit for his #1. It could have been worse, as a plasma got me that turned out to be a pseudo. So we both had half our heavies left.

This was the first round of what turned into a reasonably drawn out battle. I generally went 12, 17, or 23, and cursed my inability to get over that. Fired off another half volley on 5 and went in to try and get a more decisive result on 7. On nine I petulantly fired off another volley and turned to go off map (fixed) while I was only still crippled.

I’m happy with my overall performance, but it still wasn’t up to snuff. The big thing is that I should have gone in much earlier. On… turn 4, he had one Plasma and I had a full spread, and that’s the time to try to use the crunch power of the Fed. Die luck was also good to me. I generally hit slightly above average, and the overloads tended to hit. I weaseled (my first time ever) with a planned speed of four on turn 8, and it did well enough. The main thing is that Patch just slowly got rid my shields, and did a few internals, and I wasn’t answering in kind. I ended with just my #2 and #6 shields, no phasers (after repairing two) and… all my photons.

The main thing that affected me was a near inability to find power for overloads. I’m used to thinking in terms of going in with full overloads, and that just wasn’t going to happen, and delaying to see if I could make it happen caused me to not try and use some earlier opportunities.

So, two hard-fought victories for Patch. We’re currently hoping to meet the weekend after FurCon, and I’m hoping we can get Escape From the Holdfast done.