07 January 2017

A Conflict of Interest

Well, having finished painting the latest batch of Starfleet models I received from Shapeways I decided to host a game. In this particular match up I experienced a conflict of interest as I was rooting for both sides to win! The scenario pitted a Colonial Fleet Battlestar Group centered around the Helios, a Mercury Class Battlestar against a Starfleet task force centered on the USS Lexington, a Nebula Class Heavy Cruiser. The Helios Battlestar Group (BSG uhhh.. lets say 32) were attacking a Starfleet outpost in an asteroid field in a remote system, The defending force comprised the following:

USS Lexington (Nebula Class Heavy Cruiser) [Torpedo Module Installed]
USS Kali (Akira Class Heavy Cruiser)
USS Iberia (Challenger Class Light Cruiser)
USS Kodiak (Steamrunner Class Light Cruiser)
USS Herbert (New Orleans Class Frigate)
USS Thefel (New Orleans Class Frigate)
USS Dakota (Cheyenne Class Frigate)
USS Pompey (Springfield Class Frigate)
USS Armstrong (Intrepid Class Light Explorer)
USS Hurricane (Defiant Class Destroyer)
USS Mjolnir (Norway Class Destroyer)
USS Sixx (Saber Class Fleet Scout)
USS Heiseinberg (Nova Class Science Vessel)

The attacking force comprised the following:

Helios (Mercury Class Battlestar)
Redemption (Cronus Class Strikestar)
Carnac (Admiral Canis Class Cruiser)
Solaria (Olympia Class Light Cruiser)
Basilisk (Kopis Class Fast Destroyer)
Iapetus (Kopis Class Fast Destroyer)
Astraeus (Harrow Class Missile Frigate)
Crius (Harrow Class Missile Frigate)
Themis (Harrow Class Missile Frigate)

The Starfleet players were required to deploy their squadrons spread out across the table in a patrol pattern after the Colonial players had privately recorded their intended jump in points.

The USS Mjolnir, Kodiak, and Iberia conducted their patrol pattern through the asteroid field prior to the Colonial entry. With the Starfleet patrols set the first turn began with the Colonial squadrons jumping into the battlespace.

The closest jump in point brought in the Carnac (Admiral Canis Class Cruiser), the Basilisk, and the Iapetus (Kopis Class Fast Destroyers). This group faced the starboard side of the USS Lexington (Nebula Class Heavy Cruiser), Dakota (Cheyenne Class Frigate), and Pompey (Springfield Class Frigate). The Colonial players described this as their carrot during the debrief.

Two light seconds down the table the Helios (Mercury Class Battlestar) jumped in alone and began launching her starfighters. The Helios faced no Starfleet vessels within a light second with this deployment, giving her time to get her air wing off the decks. The Colonial players described this as their stick during the debrief.

Curiously the Colonial players did not jump their entire fleet in on the first turn; apparently this was intended as "tactics". Still waiting outside of the battlespace were the Redemption (Cronus Class Strikestar), the Solaria (Olympia Class Light Cruiser), and the Astraeus, Crius, and Themis (Harrow Class Missile Frigates). The Starfleet players quickly jumped on this chance to gain local tactical superiority over the Colonial ships present. The Colonial players assured everyone that this was all according to plan.

The USS Kali (Akira Class Heavy Cruiser), Herbert, and Thefel (New Orleans Class Frigates) accelerated towards the Helios (Mercury Class Battlestar) with the intention of initiating a long range torpedo bombardment.

The USS Kodiak (Steamrunner Class Light Cruiser), Iberia (Challenger Class Light Cruiser), and Mjolnir (Norway Class Destroyer) moved to support the move by the Kali (Akira Class Heavy Cruiser) to attack the Helios (Mercury Class Battlestar).

In the opening engagement the "carrot" centered on the Carnac (Admiral Canis Class Cruiser) destroyed the USS Pompey (Springfield Class Frigate) to prevent it from using its ELINT pod to cut through the Colonial EW. Secondary fire battered the USS Lexington's (Nebula Class Heavy Cruiser) shields. In response the Lexington's group poured torpedoes and phaser fire into the Carnac causing a critical roll on the cruiser. The result of this critical did little to impact the fighting ability of the (monstrous by Starfleet standards) Colonial cruiser. The Kali's (Akira Class Heavy Cruiser) group remained just outside maximum range of the Helios (Mercury Class Battlestar).

It was at this point that the remaining Colonial ships entered the fray.

The Redemption (Cronus Class Strikestar) jumped in at the opposite side of the battlespace from the Helios (Mercury Class Battlestar), nearly 3 1/2 light seconds distant. Facing it were the USS Armstrong (Intrepid Class Light Explorer), Hurricane (Defiant Class Destroyer), Sixx (Saber Class Fleet Scout), and Heiseinberg (Nova Class Scout).

The Solaria (Olympia Class Light Cruiser), and the Harrow Class Missile Frigates Astraeus, Crius, and Themis jumped in 1 1/2 light seconds to the Redemption's (Cronus Class Strikestar) port. They shortly started letting loose conventional anti-ship missiles towards the USS Lexington's (Nebula Class Heavy Cruiser) group. The Colonial players, for an unknown reason, opted to keep in reserve their supply of Nuclear anti-ship missiles.

The USS Heisenberg (Nova Class Science Vessel) broke off from her escorts and headed to assist the Lexington (Nebula Class Heavy Cruiser) in her bid to fend off the Colonial "carrot".

The Carnac (Admiral Canis Class Cruiser) dispatched the USS Dakota (Cheyenne Class Frigate) and caused critical rolls on the Lexington (Nebula Class Heavy Cruiser) over the next few tense moments of combat. Although the Lexington would survive the punishment with her combat capabilities intact, the Starfleet players saw the anti-ship missiles from the Colonial frigate squadron heading in her direction and opted to perform a strategic FTL jump with the Lexington, This put her outside the battlespace for a short time with the intention of jumping her back in later.

The Colonial players remarked at this point that the "carrot" had performed far above their expectations. Although all three ships had received battle damage, with the threat of the incoming missiles they had chased off the Nebula Class temporarily and destroyed Starfleet's only ELINT ship in this battle. At the other end of the table things were looking up as well.

The pace of the battle had worked out perfectly for the Helios (Mercury Class Battlestar). The USS Kali (Akira Class Heavy Cruiser) and her group had screamed in on the Helios at full impulse. The closing speed this created for the Helios' air wing allowed them to close the distance fast enough to limit the damaged they received from Starfleet's phasers. They began to launch their attack at the same time as the Helios' gun crews.

Noticing the losing position of the USS Lexington (Nebula Class Heavy Cruiser), the Heisenberg (Nova Class Science Vessel) turned away in an attempt to not be a target for the now freed-up Colonial "wall-o-lead". The Heisenberg would continue this dance in the middle of the table until being destroyed by lucky fire from the Kopis Class Fast Destroyers. The Starfleet players would later remark that she was merely the tactical reserve.

The Redemption (Cronus Class Strikestar) closed the distance with the Starfleet vessels to its front and began pouring fire out of its heavy penetrating railguns.

The USS Armstrong (Intrepid Class Light Explorer), Sixx (Saber Class Fleet Scout), and Hurricane (Defiant Class Destroyer) managed to weather this storm by leveraging their superior maneuverability, performing evasive maneuvers that would have turned the crews into pink mush on the bulkheads if it weren't for inertial dampeners. This engagement would turn out to be the only positive in Starfleet's favor.

The fight against the Helios (Mercury Class Battlestar) started to go wrong the moment it began. In the first volley from the "%@#% Big Ship" (Starfleet's words) the front shields of the USS Kali (Akira Class Heavy Cruiser) collapsed and a heavy railgun round from the Helios' nose batteries caused an unfortunate critical. The large metal slug punched straight through the hapless Kali detonating an antimatter pod, ruining the engineering section of the ship, and crippling nearly all her weapons.

With ineffectual fire responding to this insult the Starfleet player's threw a hail mary and attempted to use their transporter systems to find something important in the battlestar and make it appear a few kilometers outside of the ship. A successful series of rolls later and a power node feeding a good portion of the weapon batteries on the Helios went missing, lost to the vacuum of space. Having satisfied their honor, the Starfleet players opted to cede the battlespace to the "mountains of metal" (again, Starfleet's words).

The Colonial squadron won the field in the end but did take noticeable damage to their destroyers and cruisers along with an embarrassed battlestar deck chief who had to explain to his commander that a critical power node had "vanished" mid fight. The Colonial players proudly proclaimed that their "tactics" had beaten the "space coast guard" (Colonial words) while the Starfleet players grumbled that lucky rolls had seen them through.

I would like to thank Adam, Jack, and Kevin for an enjoyable game and hope to game again soon. I think next time we will try the Dominion versus the Colonials, at least they have a "%@#% Big Ship" too.

The rules we used can be found here: http://metaverse.battlespacepublishing.ca/ and our facebook group can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/battlespacepublishing.ca

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