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AAR: Klingon vs. Federation Cruisers [First Ever Game]

 
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General Chang
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Joined: 29 Mar 2009
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Location: Merry Old England

PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 7:31 pm    Post subject: AAR: Klingon vs. Federation Cruisers [First Ever Game] Reply with quote

Hello everyone, first post here, so I hope I haven't put this in the wrong forum or anything equally dopey.

I picked up a copy of Federation Commander: Klingon Border as an impulse buy in a local gaming shop some months ago. Since then I haven't had a chance to play it, although my friends have played some introductory games with very small ships and the lowest level rules complexity.

Yesterday six of us got together on a rainy night and decided to try the game in action. After some argument we decided to play up to complexity level 3, leaving drones and seeking weapons for another day. The scenario was a 3 vs 3 duel, with each player controlling a different vessel.

The forces lined up:

Fed Heavy CA: Enterprise (an argument ensued about who got to 'be' the Enterprise... eventually it was settled by William Shatner impersonations)

Fed Heavy CA: Excelsior

Fed Battlecruiser: Nimoy

Against them the Klingons deployed:

Klingon D7: Kraken

Klingon D7: Megalodon

Klingon C7: Leviathan

We played on the larger hexes purely for visual appeal, using a 'Floating Map' (I think that is the correct term - where you just move the map board if someone flies off the edge). Both sides started in the opposite corners of the map. We set a 10 turn limit and used Fleet scale.

Everyone began at Base speed 16, with the Feds preloading several torpedoes with battery power and finishing the job as the game began. The Klingons must have been a well trained squadron, closing co-ordinating their movement and immediately deciding to concentrate on the Fed Battlecruiser. Conversely, the Feds immediately zoomed off in separate directions, muttering about 'crossfires' and 'pincer movements'. Unfortunately, this resulted in the Nimoy finding itself facing the combined fire of all three Klingon ships, who raked her front shields with overloaded disruptors and phaser fire. The Nimoy absorbed as best she could, but her forward shielding collapsed and minor damage spilled over onto several decks.

Long range fire from the Excelsior put few dents in the Klingons, but then the Enterprise, with typical daring, rushed headlong into action, forcing power into the engines. The Enterprise was able to make a powerful pass against the Leviathan, slamming her with close range phaser fire and releasing a photon torpedo that left her port side shields dangerously thin. This opened the door for the Nimoy, which stripped away the remaining shields with phasers before unleashing a pair of photo torpedoes. Unfortunately, the earlier damage must have affected the targeting computers, as both missed. (Cue howls of derision...)

More alarmingly for the Federation, the Enterprise's bold move had placed it in a vulnerable spot. The Kraken made good use of acceleration to get to point blank range with the Federation ship. This resulted in a punishing round of highly accurate phaser fire, that shredded the Enterprise's shields and caused serious internal damage, particularly to her weapon systems.

The Enterprise attempted to pull away from the action, while the Nimoy announced it would try and draw the Klingon fire, urging the Excelsior to close the range and bring her fresh guns to bear. However, the Leviathan and Kraken both surprised the Nimoy by executing high energy turns that allowed them another chance to unleash their disruptors at her weakened forward shields. The Nimoy's hull was raked and fires broke out on several decks, but to the dismay of the Klingons, her weapons remained largely untouched.

The Excelsior has now finally reached effective range, and the Federation began to concentrate fire upon the Leviathan, punching through shields and tearing away chunks of hull. Things may have been worse, but an overloaded torpedo fired from the Excelsior once again veered wide. Phaser fire flashed between the Excelsior and the Kraken, with the Klingon ship coming off decidedly worse, but avoiding any internal damage.

After a violent burst of combat, both squadrons looked to seperate the distance, repair and reinforce. However, the impetuous young captains of the Kraken and the Mastodon pursued the damaged Enterprise with the blood lust of hungry wolves. Punishing fire left the Federation vessel critical short of power, and unable to generate the speed necessary to escape her tormentors. In a scene that played out like an aerial dogfight of old, the Mastodon was able to run the slower Enterprise down, sweeping in for a close range kill from the port side and blowing her out of the stars!

But elsewhere, the tide was turning. The chase of the Enterprise had drawn away the two Klingon D7s, allowing the Nimoy and the Excelsior to concentrate their efforts upon the Leviathan. Phasers and torpedoes slammed home, shattering systems and tearing the bridge itself apart. Although, the defiant Klingons continued to return fire, throwing everything they had at the Nimoy, it was clear that the uneven duel could not continue indefinitely.

The two D7s swung back toward the action, looking for good firing angles to exploit the Nimoy's collapsed forward shields. Meanwhile, the Leviathan tried to withdraw behind the two smaller ships, with the Federation giving chance. Tight turns and calls for "More power!" were the order of the day as the squadrons struggled for position.

The superior speed of the undamaged ships - Kraken, Megalodon and Excelsior - eventually told. The Excelsior was able to swoop upon the damaged Leviathan and unleashed a crushing storm of fire through her collapsed port shields. The Klingon vessel absorbed a terrific pounding before finally the ship broke apart in a massive explosion. But elsewhere, the combined fire of the D7s finally told upon the Nimoy, overloaded disruptor rounds from the Megalodon finally finishing off the battered Federation battlecruiser.

All three remaining ships had no structural damage, but sheer attrition meant that their shields were fragile in the extreme. Speed and manoeuvre became all important, both sides struggling for ideal firing positions. Finding himself being chased down, the Excelsior's captain took a calculated risk, suddenly turning his ship to bring his torpedo tubes to bear on the virtually unshielded Kraken. A wild blaze of fire erupted between the two ships. Seeing the Klingon vessel overloading its disruptors, the Excelsior gambled on firing a pair of overloaded photon torpedoes. Unfortunately, the batch of photons was clearly defective, as both missed at close range. The last words of the Excelsior's captain may well been a curse at whoever manufactured the accursed weapons. Seconds later the Kraken's disruptors struck fatal blows to the frame of the Excelsior, tearing it apart and bringing a close to the bloody battle.

Thus the game came to an end!

Thoughts:

This was my first time playing the game, and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. Perhaps more importantly, so did my friends, which is impressive considering that two of them had never played a hex wargame before in their life, and one of them had never actually watched an episode of Star Trek. Smile There was plenty of getting 'into character', and perhaps more importantly the game was tense and the result was in doubt until the very end.

Tactically, the game proved the importance of co-operation. The Federation got off to a shaky start and were bushwhacked by concentrated Klingon fire, but then the Klingon's got carried away in chasing the Enterprise, allowing the Feds to knock out the C7.

Clever use of speed and acceleration/deceleration became huge in the middle part of the game, with much cursing over the need for "more speed, more power" and of course tighter turns. Argh! Also, High Energy Turns played a big role. Everyone kept forgetting about these, leading to a few nasty surprises on the way.

We determined that "Overloaded Photon Torpedoes" should be renamed "Misguided Photon Torpedoes". Just a single Overloaded torpedo scored a hit all game, whereas the Klingon disruptors proved disturbingly accurate. We attributed this to the fact the Klingon players were more in character Razz

I am sure we got a few rules wrong in our first major playthrough. Quite often we experienced confusion over which shield was being hit, but for simple speed we let the controlling player of the target ship decide whenever there was doubt.

Two rules questions that did emerge were:

#1: When two ships are in the same hex, how do you determine if a ship is within a weapon's firing arc? This was crucial when the Enterprise and the Kraken ended up in the same hex. After some debate, we decided that all weapons could fire regardless of arc. This allowed the Kraken to give the Enterprise an immense hammering. Was this correct?

#2: Damage Control. Do Damage Control points acrue even if your ship is undamaged? We decided that they did and kept a note of them on a seperate piece of paper, but we could well be wrong.


Overall though, what an excellent fun game. We are already squabbling over a potential rematch (featuring drones this time!).
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
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Location: Devon, UK

PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You obviously had a thoroughly great time - glad you enjoyed yourselves.

Great report - illustrating the tactics as a narration rather than as a blow-by-blow. Thanks for that.

To answer your rule questions,

1) Same-hex combat: check out rule (3C6d) in the main rulebook, that explains it well. And as a follow-up, take a look at this thread:
http://www.starfleetgames.com/federation/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=658

2) Damage control points don't accrue on undamaged ships; you can only spend them on already-damaged boxes.

Having said that, you can accrue repair points when making repairs to a damaged box that takes more than one turn to repair. For example, a squadron scale frigate, with two repair points, would take two turns to repair a weapon box, which takes four points to repair. At the end of the first turn of repairs, you would have accrued two points towards repairing a certain weapon box, which would then have a further two added at the end of the next turn to complete the repair.

Thanks again for the report. Keep on learning!

edit: did you know that there's a rules clarification document here:

http://www.starfleetgames.com/federation/Commanders%20Circle/documents/Consolidated_Update_20oct8.pdf
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shauneroo
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Joined: 10 Jan 2009
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Location: East Anglia, UK

PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Klingon D7: Megalodon

Klingon C7: Leviathan


Am I correct in thinking that someone there is a Mastodon fan?
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Crimin
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Joined: 12 Apr 2007
Posts: 48
Location: New Orleans, LA

PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like you all had a lot of fun, and welcome to the game!

Kang summed up the rule questions pretty well, so I'll just add one comment about your entertaining battle report:

Quote:
(an argument ensued about who got to 'be' the Enterprise... eventually it was settled by William Shatner impersonations)


That should seriously be put into the rulebook somewhere.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the record, Kang answered both question correctly, and in more detail than I would have.
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:
For the record, Kang answered both question correctly, and in more detail than I would have.

Well, I always was a Rules Lawyer Rolling Eyes

Crimin wrote:
Sounds like you all had a lot of fun, and welcome to the game!

Kang summed up the rule questions pretty well, so I'll just add one comment about your entertaining battle report:

Quote:
(an argument ensued about who got to 'be' the Enterprise... eventually it was settled by William Shatner impersonations)


That should seriously be put into the rulebook somewhere.

rofl Laughing

Like the avatar too, btw....
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General Chang
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Joined: 29 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Kang. Many thanks for the rules clarifications. That will help clear up those little erratas next time we play. Also, thanks for the link, didn't know about it!

@Shauneroo: Well spotted - and you are absolutely correct. Two of the three Klingon players are big Mastodon fans, and the squadron was informally known as "Blood and Thunder Squadron". Hehe!

@Crimin: I agree whole heartedly, and i think it may become an unofficial house rule in our group. Cool

Thanks again for the welcome guys. Will post up the return match when it happens!
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shauneroo
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Shauneroo: Well spotted - and you are absolutely correct. Two of the three Klingon players are big Mastodon fans, and the squadron was informally known as "Blood and Thunder Squadron". Hehe!

Excellent. I'm a big fan myself, and those Federation ships are very much akin to white whales...
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USS Enterprise
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm glad you had a good time.
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pinecone
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great Battle report! Hopefully the Feds will get it together next time...

(The Feds won our first battle, but that was the one time I was flying a Klink! Other than the Juggernaut scenario, of course)
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