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After ACtion Report - Combat Rally
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Scoutdad
Commodore


Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4470
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 1:14 am    Post subject: After ACtion Report - Combat Rally Reply with quote

Battlegroup Murfreesboro played Combat Rally on Tuesday night... nothing new in that, but we did have a special guest present...
Steve Cole himself was passing through town and kindly graced us with his presence for about 4 hours.
5 of us were playing. We played with the end two map panels as Asteroid panels. The entire panel was an asteroid field and the gray hexes were heavy asteroids.

Here is the set-up:
Player - Ship being flown - Assasination target
SCoutdad - Hydran Heavy Cruiser + Stingers - target: Klingon
Merl Dewitt - Fed CC - target: Gorn
Steve Schrek - Gorn CC - Target: Romulan
Josh Whicker - Klingon D7C - target: Hydran
Ken Thomas - Romulan RH - target: Federation

We played squadron scale (but for various reasons to become evident later, should have selected fleet scale).

The opening round was basically maneuvering for position. (No fire allowed on the first turn)

Schrek and I headed up the east edge of the map. planning a similar strategy. Grab flags from the two eastern markers, catch the middle one, then head down the west side and get those two.then run for the finish line.
Kenny went for the west side, planning the opposite of our strategy.
Josh and Merl went straight up the middle.

Josh fired an Alpha Strike w/OL's at me early on (st range Cool and dropped the #4 shield. He then launched drones, but they were taken out by asteroids before they hit me. I popped the Stingers and sent 'm back to harass the Klink. Then promptly forgot to employ them properly and ended up only scoring 18 internals before he took them out.

Steve and I maneuvered closer and closer as we collected flags. I knew that I was safe (as the Klingon player had me as a target), but I'm sure Steve was sweating it - hoping that I didn't have him as a target. Lots of shield damage occurred from speed 16 travel through a heavy asteroid field surrounded by a solid cloud of normal asteroids.

Josh plowed into the asteroids at speed 24 and soon reduced the field to only 4 ships. Since he was my target, I then took his target marker and became a free agent - much to the chagrin of the Gorn who was now one hex ahead of me, off the LF arc, and a valid target. 2 HB's, and 2 phaser-G's resulted in quite a few internals.

Merl decided to take advantage of the Gorns weakened shields and the close range and fired 4 fully overloaded photons at range 4. All of them missed. Shocked

At this point our special visitor, Steve Cole asked for a few minutes of our time before he headed back to the motel and Leanna (since it was 9:30 and they had to drive back to Amarillo this morning). He proceeded to thank us all for the hard work we've put into testing Federation Commander and then ask us for our wish lists for future products.

Steve was there for about 4 hours just talking and having a good time. He resolved a few rules questions, told a lot of stories (which is why we should have chosen fleet scale - we ran out of time), and listened to a bunch of our tales.

The end result was:
Scoutdad - three flags and 1 internal...
Streve Schrek - three flags and lots of internals...
Merl Dewitt - one flag and no internals...
Kenny - one flag and no internals...
Josh - DNF...

Fleet scale or less chatting and we could have finished the scenario, but we wouldn't have traded the SVC time for 3 or 4 complete scenarios.
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Davec_24
Commander


Joined: 16 Jul 2008
Posts: 596
Location: England

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like you had fun anyway even if you ran out of time. Thanks for putting up an after-action report about it, it's always fun to read and learn from other people's games as well as from your own. No surprise that all of Merl's photons missed, it wasn't range 1 or 0. Wink But seriously, that's bad dice and possibly even one of those cases where a bad set of die rolls could have lost you the game. However, chance and unpredictable factors are an ever-present element in real combat so I won't complain too much about this.
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Democratus
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 19 Aug 2008
Posts: 31
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like you had a great time. What kind of mission were you playing? I'm trying to think up something different and fun for our group.
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Scoutdad
Commodore


Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4470
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm glad you enjoyed the report.

We have always enjoyed playing Combat Rally, whether SFB or Fed Comm. It's a great scenario for multiple reasons:
1) Since every player has only one ship, turns move fairly quickly.
2) To get the whole rules experience, we've often randomly selected eveyone's race - that way you get a chance to either play or play against races that ren't typically used.
3) The assassination option adds an interesting quirk as sometimes you spend several turns maneuvering adjacent to another ship - just wondering if he's going to shoot at you the next impulse.
4) Asteroids! They give you a chance to concentrate on maneuvers as opposed to being more concerned with combat.

The tactics are sometimes interesting as well:
I've seen players launch drones at a ship and then maneuver to get behind another ship... suddenly, they'll drop tracking to the drones and fire at thier target - the ship just in front of them.
I've seen players aviod the asteroid field all together and just wait for a ship with all the flags exit the asteroids. They'll then ambush them... counting on asteroid damage to shields and the occassional burn through points to enable them to destroy the ambushed ship. They'll then transport the flags aboard their ship and racefor the finish line.
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Kang
Fleet Captain


Joined: 23 Sep 2007
Posts: 1966
Location: Devon, UK

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like a great blast - in more ways than one.

I will suggest we play that at Battlegroup Exeter next week....
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texastwister
Ensign


Joined: 13 May 2008
Posts: 17
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the report. Our group has been planning for about three weeks now to play this scenario at next opportunity (postponed twice now, due to health-related absence of the player who proposed it). As a fairly new player who's only done duels, free-for-all battles, or team battles, this sounded very strange when I first heard of it. It's fun to read about how it played out for you.

Scott
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Davec_24
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Joined: 16 Jul 2008
Posts: 596
Location: England

PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This scenario looks like a good one to do if I can get 4 or more players together at the same time - it might save us messing around with picking sides! Can anyone tell me where the scenario is to be found so I can take a look?
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OGOPTIMUS
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Joined: 10 Nov 2006
Posts: 981

PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IIRC it is in Briefing #1.
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Davec_24
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Joined: 16 Jul 2008
Posts: 596
Location: England

PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, will check it out.
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Scoutdad
Commodore


Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4470
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OGOPTIMUS wrote:
IIRC it is in Briefing #1.


You are correct: Scenario 8B123
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Scoutdad
Commodore


Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4470
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! I found the photos taken during this game, so if anyone wants to see them - here they are:

The combatants near the asteroid field - near the middle of turn two

Four ships approach the same narrow corridor - who has who as a target!!!

End Game! The Hydran fires everything at the Gorn, the Fed is heavily damaged from asteroids.

Start of turn two Taking a break before the asteroids...

At least the Gorns target was not the Hydran!

'nother close-up of the action!
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
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Location: Devon, UK

PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like your 'asteroid trees' terrain models....
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Davec_24
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Joined: 16 Jul 2008
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Location: England

PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed, it's nice to see some terrain which is at least partly 3d to fit with the miniatures. Smile It all tends to look quite flat when you have some good miniatures on the board and other things represented only by counters, etc..
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
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Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kang wrote:
I like your 'asteroid trees' terrain models....

I'm working on actual "asteroid hex" terrain, but haven't been very satisfied with any of the results so far.

The "asteroid trees" shown in those photos are what we use to indicate single, large asteroids or; in this case, the asteroid holding the flags.

Note that each asteroid has a penant of a different color (red, yellow, blue, green, and white). I have a custom set of counters in each of those colors numbered 1 through 12 to indicate which flag you have grabbed... that makes for interesting options.
Our favorite is to have one less flag than the number of ships, then each time a ship is destroyed - another set of flags goes away. When the ship is destroyed, we roll a dice and remove each marker of that number... whether its been collected or not. I've seen a break way player grab all 5 falgs and race to the end zone well ahead of everyone else... so suddenly, everyone will target a nearby damaged ship hoping to destroy it (and possibly one of the marker flags it's holding - forcing it to rreturn to the fray to grab another... Twisted Evil )
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texastwister
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Joined: 13 May 2008
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Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:57 pm    Post subject: Combat Rally Rules Question Reply with quote

We finally got a chance to play this -- and stumbled upon an ambiguity in the rules:

Player A held the card for Player B and so could attack freely and did so. Player B could then attack back and did so. The two of them battled it out a bit and after successfully using the Gorn Anchor and then dragging A through an asteroid hex or two, B got the better of the exchange through the course of one turn.

Meanwhile, player C arrived, holding the card for Player A. C and B both attacked A in the same impulse and finished him off. In the sequence in which we played it out, we rolled the damage caused by B's plasma attack and A was not finished off. We rolled the damage caused by B's direct-fire attack and A was not finished off. Then we rolled the damage caused by C's direct-fire attack and that finished him.

At first glance, that would entitle C to B's card (formerly held by A), the flags held by A would be dropped in place, and the game would continue.

But B argued that all direct fire was simultaneous and that HE should get the card formerly held by A (because he caused more damage than did C) -- making him a free agent.

Ultimately, the compromise used was to say they BOTH now held B's card -- making B a free agent and giving C the right to attack B.

Was there a better solution? And was it the intent of the rules that holding your own card automatically makes you a free agent even if you already hold one for another player -- or that only NOT holding the card of any other player makes you a free agent?
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