Good day all; yesterday I made the trek out to my friend Adam's place for a game of Metaverse. Adam had recently done some work on his gaming space and wanted to christen it with a game. He asked me to do some of the organizing for the game and, seeing as he has a massive Colonial fleet that he rarely takes off the shelf, I tagged them into the fight. Opposing them would be my Galactic Empire fleet.

The basic Colonial fleet, dubbed BSG-64, consisted of the following:

1xColumbia Class Battlestar Block 3
     8xViper Mk VII Squadrons
     4xRaptor Mk II Squadrons
     Various missile loadouts for the embarked squadrons

1xApollo Class Heavy Gun Cruiser Block 2

1xOlympia Class Light Cruiser Block 3

3xHarrow Class Missile Frigates Block 1

The Galactic Empire fleet, dubbed Response Line - 3532nd Squadron, consisted of the following:

1xVictory Class Star Destroyer Mk I
     1xTIE/Ln Fighter Squadron
     1xTIE/Sa Bomber Squadron
     1xXG-1 Star Wing Squadron
     3xDelta DX-9 Stormtrooper Transport Flights
     1xLambda T4a Shuttle
     1xVT-49 Decimator
     Concussion Missile, Proton Torpedo, and Proton Rocket loadouts for the embarked squadrons.

1xVictory Class Star Destroyer Mk II
     1xTIE/Ln Fighter Squadron
     1xTIE/In Interceptor Squadron
     1xTIE/Rc Vanguard Squadrons
     3xDelta DX-9 Stormtrooper Transport Flights
     1xLambda T4a Shuttle
     1xVT-49 Decimator
     Concussion Missile, Proton Torpedo, and Proton Rocket loadouts for the embarked squadrons.

2xDreadnought Class Heavy Cruisers Mk II

1xVindicator Class Heavy Cruiser Mk II
     3xTIE/Ln Fighter Squadrons
     2xTIE/In Interceptor Squadrons
     1xTIE/Sa Bomber Squadrons
     2xATR-6 Stormtrooper Transport Flights
     Concussion Missile, Proton Torpedo, and Proton Rocket loadouts for the embarked squadrons.

1xTon Falk Class Cruiser
     3xTIE/Ln Fighter Squadrons
     2xTIE/In Interceptor Squadrons
     1xTIE/Sa Bomber Squadrons
     1xXG-1 Star Wing Squadron
     1xTIE/Sr Scout Squadron

With Adam, Dave, Phil, and myself all having arrived we decided to play the Headhunting scenario. In this scenario the defending fleet's flagship has struck a mine and had its FTL drive disabled. Every turn the flagship generates one repair point and can optionally spend two Command Points to generate an additional repair point. It would take eight repair points to fix the FTL drive so, at best, four turns would be needed. The kicker for the scenario was that the defender did not suffer morale losses for any of their starships or starfighter squadrons. However, should their flagship be destroyed, they lose the game.

The scenario dictated that the fleet with the lower combat value was the defender, placing the Galactic Empire as the defender. For support the attacker (Colonial Fleet) could purchase as many items from their support list and/or as many rolls on their reinforcement list as they liked. However,  the cost of these purchases is doubled and that many points are given to the defender for their support. Outside of this, the defender was granted double the difference in the initial costs of the fleets for support. Both sides also got one free roll on their reinforcement lists. This would give the defender an advantage in combat power but also give them a single point of failure.

Adam and Phil played the Colonial fleet and set to work spending those sweet sweet credits to add on to their fleet. Knowing that for every point they spent they would be giving two to the Imperials, they limited themselves to purchasing some additional ordinance for their Vipers and Raptors. They then made their free roll on their reinforcement list and received a second Columbia Class Battlestar fully loaded with Vipers and Raptors. Dave and I as the Imperials groaned a little at that roll; Greeaaaat....two battlestars.

With that done, Dave and I went to work spending our considerable budget on upgrades. Flush with credits we went through our fleet and did the ridiculous; we upgraded every TIE Fighter and Interceptor Squadron to TIE Avengers, every TIE Bomber squadron to Scimitars, and every XG-1 Star Wing squadron to Missile Boats. This had to be the most elite Imperial Starfighter force in the history of the Empire.

Having created a monster starfighter force, we then purchased from our support list four Lancer Frigates and a Nebulon-B Frigate which we loaded with TIE Defenders. We also bought 3 additional rolls on our reinforcement list and some extra loads of Proton Torpedoes for our bombers. I actually ran out of TIE Avenger models and had to sub in TIE Interceptor models. I never thought I would need that many Avengers!

When we rolled on our reinforcement list we received a third Dreadnought Heavy Cruiser, a Broadside Heavy Cruiser, and two squadrons of Carrack Cruisers. We had to sub in a Rebel Dreadnought as I only have two Imperial ones at the moment and I did not have enough Carracks, so the Carracks you see in the game each represent three. This added six cruisers to our fleet giving us some much needed firepower.

The setup for the game required a planet or space station to be in the Imperial deployment zone with the flagship within 20cm. The fleet admiral (Dave) placed the Lancer Class Frigates and the Nebulon-B Frigates in the flagship's squadron to protect it from Colonial starfighters and missiles and put the flagship (a Victory Class Star Destroyer) on the dark side of the moon. Attempting to create a screen, he forward deployed his Dreadnought and Escort Carrier. The Imperial 2IC (Me) decided to lend some token support to the fleet admiral and deployed my Vindicator to the rear of the flagship to defend it.

The Colonials deployed in a straight forward manner putting their entire fleet on the Imperial right minus the Apollo Class Heavy Cruiser which they left in reserve ready to jump in when called. It should be noted that the defender in this scenario cannot use reserves, while the attacker can. Combine this with the Colonial jump drives and you have a recipe for tactical flexibility.

To counter the placement of the Colonial gun line, the Imperial 2IC deployed his Victory Class Star Destroyer and various cruisers on the Imperial right. The Carrack Class Cruiser squadrons were forward deployed as a screen.

Almost immediately the Carracks used their massive array of engines to speed across the battlespace and charge right at the Colonial ships, performing evasive maneuvers for all they were worth. This wild ride payed off as the little cruisers received no damage, every Colonial shell failing to find their mark. In return the 2IC activated one of the Imperial tactics, 'Stay On Target', for his heavier ships in the rear which granted a bonus to hit so long as the ships traveled in a straight line. This collection of turbolasers fell upon the Olympia Class Light Cruiser and one of the Columbia Battlestars burning through armour. The Colonial 2IC was seen to wince as pieces of his ship were ejected into space.

A couple of light seconds away the Imperial admiral maneuvered the flagship in a high orbit attempting to keep the moon between himself and the Battlestars. The Dreadnought and Escort Carrier turned to starboard to bear on the Colonial fleet.

With a bit of breathing space due to the moon and the efforts of his second in command, the Imperial admiral ordered the launching of starfighters. Out of the hanger bays came a steady stream of TIE Avengers, Defenders, and various assault shuttles loaded with stormtroopers. The words "Bury 'em in Stormtroopers" was uttered under breath.

The Imperial 2IC began launching his own starfighters and assault shuttles. Curiously the Colonials held back their launches; no Vipers or Raptors saw vacuum yet.

With no CAP to be seen in the Colonial fleet, the Imperial 2IC decided to launch a strike on the Battlestar group to test the defenses. The Flak couldn't be that strong, could it?

It could.

Targeted on the Olympia Class Light Cruiser, two squadrons of Missile Boats and a squadron of TIE Defenders attempted to perform a torpedo run. Against the Harrow Class Missile Frigates, a squadron of TIE Avengers and a squadron of Scimitar bombers attempted the same thing. At this moment the Colonial admiral activated one of his tactics, 'Flak Wall', on some of the ships which allowed them to use their PDS twice in one turn. Not a single Imperial pilot from this attack would make it back alive.

The Imperial commanders were noticeably annoyed at this development. However, they were about to be much more than annoyed.

Making it clear why they hadn't launched their Vipers and Raptors, The Colonial fleet performed a tactical jump and attempted to get in close to the Imperial Flagship. The accuracy of these jumps left something to be desired with the ships dispersing wider than the Colonials would like. Suddenly surrounded by Battlestars and Missile Frigates, the Imperial admiral did not share this sentiment.

Immediately the Battlestars rapid-launched Vipers and Raptors thanks to another Colonial tactic, 'Flush The Decks', which allowed them to double the launch/recovery capacity of the chosen ships. But of course the Imperials also launched more starfighters and, in such a small space, some massive brawls developed. Angling on the closer Battlestar, four different strike groups consisting of ten squadrons of TIE Avengers, one squadron of TIE Defenders, one squadron of Scimitar bombers, four flights of DX-9 transports, and two flights of ATR-6 transports headed into the fire. The Imperials weren't kidding about burying em' in stormtroopers. Opposing this massed attack were eight squadrons of Viper Mk VIIs.

Amidst this chaos, eight squadrons of Raptors slipped away and made for the Imperial flagship and they were ready to party. Fully loaded with nukes, these Raptors carried a noticeable amount of hate that had only one target.

The Imperial 2IC seeing the brewing situation, and with only the Olympia Class Light Cruiser remaining to his front, pulled a hard turn to port with his heavy ships and brought his guns back on the Colonial ships.

To deal with the Olympia, all six Carracks swung around to its rear and rained heavy turbolasers into its less armoured engines. By the end of the engagement the "little" light cruiser was aflame and nearly destroyed.

Over the next few minutes turbolasers from both Imperial groups crossed space to hit Battlestars with decisive effect. The Colonial flagship, furthest from the Imperial lines, suffered numerous critical hits and had various sub systems disabled. However, it was the second Battlestar that fared the worst. Streams of green energy tore through her already damaged front leaving gaping holes that reached half way through the ship and half the crew ended up in the vacuum of space.

In return the kinetic batteries of the Battlestars finally found a target they could hit. Hundreds of shells slammed into the Imperial flagship's port and aft shields, dropping the aft shields, and leaving the port flickering at minimal power.

However, with the main battery of the second Battlestar firing on the Victory Class the Flak field was weaker. This seemed like the golden opportunity for the Imperial strike groups; they just had to get past the Vipers. The ensuing missile fight and furball would see all eight Viper squadrons wiped out and half the stormtrooper transports along with five of the TIE Avenger squadrons. Had it been standard TIE Fighters it would not have been a contest.

The remaining Imperial bombers loosed their Proton Torpedoes into the Battlestar tearing more holes in a ship that already resembled swiss cheese. But the Battlestar had one last gasp in her. The remaining stormtrooper transports, in their attempt to land, were torn up by the short range PDS with only one DX-9 making it in depositing some 30 stormtroopers on a ship of 5000 crew. Well, 2500 by this point.

In revenge for the wounds inflicted on their ship, the Colonial Raptors unleashed their horde of nukes upon the shieldless rear of the Imperial flagship. Under normal circumstances the Victory and her escort of frigates would easily deal with this threat, yet the Colonial players were no slouches. Timed with the Raptor strike was a volley of every ship-to-ship missile in the Colonial inventory, conventional and strategic nuclear warheads alike with the capital grade missiles arriving first. Only a couple of these larger missiles impacted the flagship but it had taken the combined PDS fire of the squadron to knock the rest out. This left the Raptors free and clear. The nukes of eighty Raptors slammed into the rear of the Victory Class tearing durasteel armour from the ship, throwing stormtroopers into space, and leaving the ship awash with hard radiation.

In the technical sense, the Imperial flagship was still alive. However, the massive level of ionizing radiation had fried the internals of the Star Destroyer eventually lighting off fuel lines and ammunition stores. Rather than dying in the great flash of the missile bombardment the mighty ship drifted away, breaking up in the fires of its own fuel and munitions.

From the perspective of the Colonial flagship a great white light had appeared and a fiery Star Destroyer emerged. The only emotion to be felt in this moment would be elation, yet, victory can be bittersweet. The Imperial strike on the second Battlestar had left its mark as another bright flash went up. A secondary reactor on that grand Battlestar went critical leaving only half a ship in its wake. The Colonials had won the engagement but they had paid for it.

With their victory condition fulfilled the Colonials were declared the victors. Hands were shook, jokes were told, and grumblings about needing more stormtroopers were heard .

Thank you to Adam, Phil, and Dave for an explosive game. I can't wait for next time.

The rules we used are the development version of Metaverse 2nd Edition. The first edition can be found here.

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