Crossposted from the SFU blog on BGG

After our last big game, Patch suggested we do an SFB game next. After rooting around in the scenarios for our current year (Y160) a little, we decided upon “Border Incident”, a scenario originally meant to showcase a miniatures boxed set, and featuring the new Romulan KR ships.

The Romulans created an incident designed to test their new ships in battle—a battle balanced well in their favor. An old “Warbird” ship attacked a Federation outpost and then fled into the Neutral Zone, drawing a Federation CA after it. The new Romulan ships Proconsul and Tribune were waiting in ambush, and the first test of these ships seemed well under control. Unfortunately for the Romulans, it did not go according to plan.

The scenario starts with the CA closing in on the WB+, with a KR and K5R showing up on turn 3. A Gorn CL shows up to help the CA on turn 4. Patch volunteered to take the ‘allies’ in the scenario, so he wouldn’t have to worry about reading the cloaking rules in detail (only the WB+ cloaks, the KRs don’t have them for this scenario), but ran into trouble. A 50-point plasma torpedo requires a lot of respect, but I don’t think he really comprehended just how limited a sublight ship is even with cloaking reducing damage. The WB has three choices, move one hex on impulse 32, do one impulse tactical move (turn) anytime from Impulse 2 on, or spend no energy, and get one free turn in place on impulse 32. This means where it is is a given, and only facing could be variable. With the WB+ facing away from the CA at start, staying out of arc of the Pl-R on approach is easy.

Studying the situation again now, I’d go speed 21 (the WB+ is 20 hexes away) to get into its hex on impulse 31. Assuming the WB+ goes, and stays, cloaked for this, 6xPh-1 at effective range 5 should do 12 points of damage (after reduction from cloaking effects). The Photons should be half full overload, and half standard (all allowed as prior arming for WS-III; no further overloading is done for flexibility and lack of energy), and then reserve power dumped into the photons to overload them for the point-blank shot. And that’s where this plan is iffy, since there’s a decent chance that all four will miss (1:16), but with full reserve power put in, there should be 2×16 and 2×12 point shots, and lucky rolls will easily kill the WB+ (average looks to be ~16, for a total of 28, or not enough to get through the armor, more’s the pity). No matter what happens (well, other than the WB+ blowing up), on impulse 32 watch the WB+ move first (if it didn’t Tac), and move into a hex it’s not in. On turn 2, go speed 4 and launch a Wild Weasel while reinforcing the shield facing the WB+. The WB+ probably started decloaking on Impulse 32, and fires (after Tacing to face the CA) on Impulse 5, and the WW moves on 6 before it impacts, so the only damage done will be from the phasers. If the WB+ doesn’t launch the R, there’s a problem, as you’ll still be ~5 hexes away at the end of the turn, and limited to speed 14, with the KRs coming on.

And it’s the KRs on turn 3 that keep this from being a walkover. With one more turn, the CA can counter anything the WB+ did to counter all of that, and two-three would allow another pass that can probably punch through whatever’s left on the rear shield and do damage that it can’t recover from. As it is, it should be noted that with 9 total power, shield damage is probably permanent, as there’s not enough to regenerate them with (I’ll note here we used the original Basic Set WB+, not the Y1 version with two more impulse power as the scenario was published ages before that came out).

As it was, I went speed 1 to get a little closer to where the KRs would show up, and Patch went speed 20, cautiously approaching from one side and behind. Not liking how things looked, Patch aborted the attack run on Turn 2, boosting speed to 22 and ejecting all four torpedoes to re-arm them as standard/proxes. He held to speed 22 on Turn 3, and I entered at the bottom right with the KR doing 21 and the K5R at 23. Patch basically went straight for the Gorn entry point, while I tried to close the distance. Towards the end of the turn, the CA started turning around, and hit the K5R with one out of two prox photons.
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