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Fleet sized action - playtest report
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Scoutdad
Commodore


Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4449
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:15 pm    Post subject: Fleet sized action - playtest report Reply with quote

This coming Sunday, Battlegroup Murfreesboro is planning our next playtest session.

This one will be the biggest battle to date.
We've tested the explosion rules: Nifty, but not game changing.
We've tested the seeking weapons: No problems in small games, but...

Now we intend to push the system to the limit. People complain about large numbers of seeking weapons slowing down the system - so we're gonna see. We are going to run 2500 points of Klingons versus 2500 points of Kzinti.
This will also allow us to play with the squadron rules: The forces are as follow:
Klingon:
C8 Admiral Kang
C7 War
F5 Dragon Fire (these 3 will be Squadron Alpha)
D5W Souldemon
D5W Soulthief
D5W Soulstalker (these 3 will form squadron Bravo)
D7 Thunder Chilt
D7 Sangfroid (WebMom says this one better survive...)
D7 Avanger (these 3 will form squadron Charlie)
D5 Rapier
D5 Reavor
D5 Refuter (these 3 will form squadron Delta)
F5 Fire Lust
F5 Death Cry
F5 War Demon (these will form squadron Echo)
15 ships and 2490 points, with 30 attack dice of drones per turn.

Next up, Kzinit:
DN Hegemony
BC Planetoid
FF 626 (squadron Red)
NCA Swordbreaker
NCA Thunderstrike
NCA Death Dealer (squadron Blue)
CM Shadowcat
CM Hand of Doom
CM Night Stalker (squadron Green)
CL Exorcist
CL Necromancer
CL Runesinger (squadron Indigo)
DW Dark Comet
DW Blue Comet
DW Bright Star (squadron Orange)
FF - 214
FF - 528
17 ships and 2495 points, with a whoppong 70 attack dice of drone each turn.
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Scharwenka
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 27 Dec 2008
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We look forward to hearing the write up on this one!
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
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Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First turn complete.

32 ships total.
Movement took 9 minutes...
Attack phase (including Fire declaration and resolution) took 22 minutes.
Seeking Weapon portion of End of Turn phase took 12 minutes to resolve 70 attack dice of Kzinti drones and about 20 of Klingon.

2 F5 frigates and one D5W exploded during the first Attack phase. explosion damage caused minor damage to adjacent units.
1 Additional F5 and one D5 exploded during seeking weapon resolution, but nothing remained in range so no additional damage.

I Kzinti NCA was destroyed during seeking weapon resolution. Damage threshold exceeded by 1 point, so the damaged hulk did not blow up but was instead simply removed from the map.

Turn two ongoing now.
The Klignons are hampered by a bad intial set-up and intend to spend this turn regrouping.
I think it's already a done deal, but we'll see...
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
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Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Turn 2:
8 minutes for movement...
15 minutes to resolve fire...
2 minutes for seeking weapons.
[24 Attack Dice of drones launched at the C8] Range great enough that they will not impact until next turn.

Final D5W detonated by 20 Attack Dice of drones launched last turn.
Klingon player moved D5W last. Ship driven deep into Kzinti formation. Explosion [9 attack Dice] potentially affected 8 Kzinti ships. A total of 7 points of damage accrued among the 8 ships... and none of it anything more than shield hits.

Turn 3 beginning now:
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
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Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Turn 3:
The Klingons moved to regroup...
The Kzinti moved to concentrate fire.

The Kzinti moved first. The War Destroyer Squadron moved to intercept any advancing Klingon units.
The drone laden D5 placed itself square in the middle of the DW formation. With only 1 point of damage left and 12 drones tracking it... he was counting on the ship explodign in the midst of a DW formation.

The Klingon player fired first. The forward D5 unloaded everything into the DW sqaudron.
Disruptors at one ship...
Phases at another...
Drones at a third...
The hope was to damage them all, then take them out with the soon to occur explosion.

The Kzinti ruined this plan by firing 2 phaser-3s at the D5. This caused 2 points of damage. Enough to destroy the ship, but not blow it up. And according to the rules, once a ship has been destroyed - it no longer is a valid target for further fire.
We emailed Mongoose to see if drones targeted on the ship would still target it or not - but after much discussion, we ruled for this session that they would not.

The Klingons concentrated their fire on one of the NCAs and put it out of it's misery.
The Kzinti fired all drones at the C8 (now it has 32 Attack Dice of guided missiles tracking it!] and all phasers at D7 #1.
The D7 was swamped with fire. It suffered multi penetrating critical hits from the disruptors / phasers and finally succumbed to the onslaught.
It promptly exploded in an 11 Attack Dice fireball.
Fortunately for the Klingon, the C8 was within the blast radius. That seems a contradictory statement, but consider:
The C8 took a total of 8 points of shield damage and 2 hull damage from the explosion.
The 28 Attack dice of drones on the base of the C8 were also in the explosion radius... each of them took a potential 11 Attack Dice of damage as well. Roll 18 dice for each drone and on a 4+, the drone is destroyed. All the drones were wiped away.

The end result after this turn was:
Klingon dead: D7, 3x D5W, and 3x F5
Kzinti dead: NCA and DW.

The Klingon player conceded.
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ToddW
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Joined: 11 Oct 2006
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So it looks like a huge drone fest adds a little time but not much compared to the attack phase. Also, the Kzinti's seem a bit overwhelming.
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Scoutdad
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Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ToddW wrote:
So it looks like a huge drone fest adds a little time but not much compared to the attack phase.

I didn't think it was too bad. We created a small playaid to track drone impacts and fire arcs. We placed all the drone counters on it as they impacted their targets. This enabled us to continue moving the miniatures w/o the hassel of stacks of drone counters that could topple over or get mixed up as to incoming direction.

According to the comments on the Mongoose forum however; it still took 5 times as long to play the game a sa regular ACTA: NA game ofthe same size would have.

[quote=ToddW"] Also, the Kzinti's seem a bit overwhelming.[/quote]
Not really. Our Klingon player forgot many of the lessons we've learned over the last 4 weeks.
His intial set-up kept 9 of his 15 ships from being able to fire at a valid target on Turn 1. That effectively had him fighting a 17 to 6 battle... using 6 of his smallest ships.
He also did not manuever so as to maximize the defensive fire capabilities of the units that were not the targets of the incoming drones.
A better starting set-up and a better use of defensive weaponry would have made a huge difference in the outcome.
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lincolnlog
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 18 Jun 2011
Posts: 104
Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A three turn game seems awful short. Doesn't really give much opportunity to change tactics beyond the initial set up. What do you think Scoutdad, are these games too short (not play time, but number of turns).

I would imaging play time in minutes per turn, will shorten once everyone is expert in the rules.
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The three turns was simply because of the poor set-up and bad tactical choises made by the Klingon. He conceded the game as he could already see the way it was headed.

Hopefully, things will speed up as everyone becomes more familiar with the rules. As for duration... no. Think about it. Many of the Federation Commander games are over within 3 turns.

We've had several ACTA: SF games that have gone 5 or 6 turns, but those have been smaller forces with two very experienced players who often do morethan move straight... fire. Move straight... Fire. Move straight... fire.

The tactical opportunities are there in ACTA as well as they are in Federation Commander and SFB, one just needs to avail themselves of them. So far, most of what we've done has been just slugging it out in open space. Starting with this upcoming session, we are going to start using terrain and playing out the various scenarios. That should provide an opportunity for tactics to prevail.
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Scharwenka
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 27 Dec 2008
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree 3 turns isn't terribly short. I've had a lot of Fedcom games not go past that and I've had plenty of Bab5 ACTA games go only 3 with some well placed shots and dice rolling.

Question though, is there a repair phase? In this scenerio most ships just went boom, but can you repair shields or as in other ACTA games you could attempt to repair criticals? If there are criticals.
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scharwenka wrote:
Question though, is there a repair phase? In this scenerio most ships just went boom, but can you repair shields or as in other ACTA games you could attempt to repair criticals? If there are criticals.


Most of the ships went boom due to massive damge recevied prior to the End of Turn phase.
Answers to your questions:
1) There is a shield regeneration step during the End of Turn phase. Most CAs and larger regenerate 2d6 shield boxes and most CLs and smaller regenerate 1d6 boxes.

2) Yes, there is also a Damage Control step, where you can attempt to repair critical hits.
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silent bob
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Joined: 30 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shield repair is not automatic, you have to do the special action for it. at least on the set of rules i have.
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The version I have gives automatic shield regeneration during end phase and still has a special action to allow you to "boost energy to shields" for a temporary bonus.

7-25-2011 version
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silent bob
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aah thats the older one, i have 8-12-2011.
should be a new one this week.
we got rid of auto-regen because obviously it takes power to regen your shields in FC/SFB that cant otherwise be used on weapons.
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bummer. Wish I'd had the newer version this past weekend.
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