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AAR: Mosby's Raiders...Klingon Style

 
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MajerBlundor
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 123

PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:46 am    Post subject: AAR: Mosby's Raiders...Klingon Style Reply with quote

We played a home grown scenario for a second time tonight. The first result was very different from tonight's game. Both session were fought using Fleet Scale.

BACKGROUND
To draw Federation forces away from the main battle zones the Klingons have launched a series of raids aimed at commercial targets. Their intention is to incite Federation industrial interests to demand greater protection for their ships and commercial facilities. One Klingon squadron is about to discover that the strategy is working! It's heading towards an independent commercial platform and a federation convoy doing business in a border system...

FORCES & DEPLOYMENT
A Klingon raiding squadron composed of a D5 War Cruiser and F5 Frigate start at the southwest corner of the map (an old SFB hand played this force tonight).

A Federation patrol consisting of an NCL and Frigate start 26 hexes directly north of the Klingons (we gave these ships to a new player...he'd have time to learn the rules as he approached the main battle zone).

17 hexes east and 6 hexes north of the Klingons is a planet with a commercial platform (direction C from planet), one large freighter, and two small freighters in orbit. The freighters are facing south with the large one due north of the platform and about to dock, one small freighter just un-docking, and the third south-west of the platform about to accelerate away. (I ran the commercial assets as their objective was straight forward and I could help our new player.)

OBJECTIVES
Klingon player receives VP as follows:
1 VP Per Small Fed Freighter Destroyed
3 VP Large Fed Freighter Destroyed
2 VP Independent Commercial Platform Destroyed
1 VP Both Federation Warships Destroyed
1 VP Both Klingon Ships Escape Off South Edge
-6 VP Both Klingon Ships Destroyed

0/1/2 VP = Klingon Major/Average/Minor Defeat
3 VP = Tie
4/5/6+ VP = Klingon Minor/Average/Major Victory

TACTICAL PROBLEM
The freighters must plot courses to move as quickly as possible away from the Klingons and towards the protection of the Federation patrol (they can escape off the north edge). The Fed patrol must rapidly move to interfere with the Klingon assault as much as possible to prevent the destruction of the commercial assets.

The Federation player's problem is simple at first glance. The challenge is one of timing and speed vs firepower balance. Rush in too fast one may not have sufficient energy to tackle the Klingon ships. Move too slowly and the Kingons have time to ransack the freighters and platform. Long range fire can frustrate Klingon efforts but may not prove decisive.

The Klingons have the most difficult problem. In one or two turns they need to destroy or disable enough commercial assets to at least tie the game. At that point fleeing the battle will provide a minor victory (3 VP for asset destruction and 1 VP for both ships escaping) while staying to engage the patrol directly can go either way. Disabling the freighters and then destroying the Fed patrol can set-up a major victory but it's very difficult to pull off since so much firepower must be directed at the commercial assets initially.

AAR
The Klingon squadron stuck together and immediately lobbed drones at the large freighter which, along with a small freighter, was accelerating away (east and then north) on the far side of the planet.

A small freighter tried to run for it on the near (west) side of the planet and was heavily damaged on turn 1 as it turned north (it was reduced to zero energy and so would not escape the battle until DC restored power). The Klingon ships bypassed the stricken vessel to stop the others from fleeing.

On turns 2 and 3 the Klingon raiders caught up with the other two freighters which had managed to shoot down and/or tractor the Klingon drones (with supporting long range phaser fire from the approaching Fed patrol). They rapidly destroyed the large freighter (3 VP) and severely damaged the small freighter with phaser and disruptor fire reducing its power to nearly zero.

But by now the Fed patrol had arrived within 8 hexes of the Klingon raiders which were facing due south after looping through the convoy to hit it with aft phasers. (The Klingons essentially looped east-northeast and then south during their attack.) A volley of Photon Torpedoes and phaser fire dropped the rear shield of the F5 frigate but poor die rolls failed to destroy the ship (only one torp hit and the phaser rolls were really bad!).

At this point, facing two fresh warships in their rear arc and with the F5 damaged, the Klingon player escaped off the south map edge (1VP for both ships escaping).

Result: 4 VP...A minor and very narrow Klingon Victory. It really could have gone either way. Had the final Fed patrol volley been more effective the F5 may well have been destroyed before leaving the table. The result would have been a tie at 3 VP assuming the D5 escaped.

And both small freighters were near death. Had the Fed patrol not provided long range anti-drone support during the Offensive/Direct Fire phases they probably would have been destroyed since their PH-3s had been destroyed and one of them lost its tractor beam...

Finally, had the Klingon patrol looped east-southeast to north through the convoy rather than north to south they would have been facing the Feds head-on after attacking the convoy. In the actual event the Klingon player said he took the north-south course specifically to be set up to flee if needed. A wise decision as it turned out!

PREVIOUS SESSION
In a previous session the Klingon player (a different member of our group) divided his squadron and his fire with predictable results. He destroyed the "wester/near" small freighter (nearly a "gimme" in the scenario design) when its captain turned too wide to the west (that was me at the helm.)

But he then divided his fire for a couple of turns between the platform, the approaching patrol, and the other two freighters. The two freighters easily escaped with minor damage, the platform was never seriously threatened, and the patrol was of course able to concentrate all of its firepower on the Klingon frigate which was destroyed.

The D5 managed to escape with the result being 1 VP for the Klingons (Klingon Defeat).

We'll probably play again but with a different Klingon strategy. It would be interesting to try a south-north attack vector by heading east-southeast towards the planet to trail the fleeing convoy heading north. Disable the convoy as much as possible and then face the Feds head-on. The problem of course is that if the Fed player is cautious he'll arrive on station with overloaded torps...then again, he must actually hit something with them! Very Happy

Tim
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djdood
Fleet Captain


Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2925
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I might have to try this one on my group's Klingon.
He hates scenarios were he has to not destroy the Fed warships. It's fun to watch him grumble when he has to ally to destroy a monster, etc.
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Mike
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Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 1546
Location: South Carolina

PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like an interesting scenario! We'll try to run it this weekend.
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pinecone
Fleet Captain


Joined: 03 May 2008
Posts: 1865
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like it! What size board?
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MajerBlundor
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 123

PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are the setup details. Since everything is positioned relative to the Klingon squadron both hex sizes work the same.

- Map is Fixed
- Large Hex Panels: 3 Tall x 4 Wide
- Small Hex Panels: 2 Tall x 3 Wide

- 8-turn limit and then things get too hairy for the tardy raiders...Klingons automatically lose if still on the table at end of turn 8 as more Fed cut them off.

- Fleet Scale Forces
- Klingon Squadron: 1x D5 War Cruiser, 1x F5 Frigate
- Federation Squadron: 1x New Light Cruiser, 1x Frigate
- Civilian Assets: 1x Civilian Platform, 1x Large Freighter, 2x Small Freighters

1. Place Klingon Squadron in extreme southwest corner hex (ie bottom-left) facing direction B.

2. Place the Federation Squadron in 26th hex directly north of the Klingon squadron facing direction C.

3. Count 17 hexes east of the Klingon squadron and then count 4 hexes north and place a planet in that hex.

4. Place Civilian Assets relative to planet as follows:

- Civilian Platform adjacent to planet in direction C

- 1x Large Freighter adjacent to planet in direction C, heading D

- 1x Small Freighter adjacent to planet in direction B, heading D

- 1x Small Freighter adjacent to planet in direction D, heading E

When the game starts the freighters are assumed to be maneuvering at low speed and going about their business of loading and unload cargo, getting ready to dock, just completed undocking, etc. None are docked at that very moment the game starts and none have fulfilled their Turn Modes at the start. Therefore the freighters start with their turn and slip points co-located with the individual ships but otherwise ready to move.

The freighters and Fed warships may exit the map off the north edge only since the scenario takes place in/near the Neutral Zone along the Federation/Tholian/Klingon border. The Klingons may only exit the southern edge.

TACTICAL NOTES
Since the freighters need to avoid the Klingons while fleeing to the safety of the Fed Squadron and the north map edge they'll need to do some hard maneuvering to come about and head north (hint: spend energy to stay in place while fulfilling turn modes...at least until on heading B in the case of the two "eastern" freighters and direction F in the case of the "western" freighter). How and when to turn is really driven but the speed and angle of the Klingon's approach.

Both sides have plenty of chances to mess up but the flow of the game will be determined by how the Klingons try to assemble their minimum 4 VP. Last night the Klingon player went for the large Freighter (3 VP) and a 2-ship escape (1 VP).

The Klinks could also ignore the Freighters, kill the Fed Warships (1 VP), destroy the platform at their leisure (2 VP) and then do a 2-ship escape (1 VP)...assuming both ships survive!

In any case killing or disabling a light freighter during the approach can be helpful in the end game to ensure a tie or mitigate a loss. They go down much easier than the large freighter but you only get 1 VP for each.

Another option is to overwhelm the Platform with drones and close range phaser/disrupter fire since it's generally out of support range of the Fed warships until it's too late (2 VP) . Combined with a 2-ship escape (1 VP) the Klingon is almost assured a tie at minimum.

Finally, the Klingon can assume a 1-ship escape (0 VP) and go for greater destruction by sacrificing one of their ships, but that's very risky.
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mjwest
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Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 3488
Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Write it up and submit it to Steve Cole. It looks like fun, and it obviously works.
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