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After-Action Report: Federation CA Vs Lyran CA

 
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Davec_24
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Joined: 16 Jul 2008
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Location: England

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 2:30 pm    Post subject: After-Action Report: Federation CA Vs Lyran CA Reply with quote

In this battle, a Federation heavy cruiser fought against a Lyran Tiger heavy cruiser in Squadron Scale, on a floating map of six panels for simplicity and to save space. The Lyran was flown by myself, and the Federation cruiser by a friend who has played a few games of FC before, but not for months and so this was a bit of a re-introduction game.

The Fed CA selected baseline speed 8 for turn 1, while the Lyrans opted for speed 16. The Fed started with photon pre-arming complete at the expense of battery power, and finished off the arming at the start of turn 1 to bring all four torpedoes to readiness. The Lyran topped up power in the ESGs at the start of the turn. The first half of the turn was taken up with closing and manoeuvring, the Lyran closing to range 9 before firing with 3 Disruptors and 4 Ph-1s for 15 shield damage and 1 burn through hit. The Fed returned fire with the four bearing Ph-1s for 7 damage plus 1 burn through after reinforcement:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28932177@N08/2944649358/

The Lyran then turned away and accelerated to open the range again. On impulse #6, the Feds fired two more Ph-1s, scoring 2 damage to the Lyran's #4 shield. The Feds took the chance to launch a drone on impulse #8, and all burn through damage was repaired in the repair phase leaving both ships with a bit of shield damage. The Feds also used some remaining power to overload 2 of the tubes to +8 level and left the other 2 as normal torpedoes. A shot at the end of turn #2:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28932177@N08/2944649372/

On turn 2, the Feds selected baseline speed 24 and the Lyrans selected speed 16. The Feds launched another drone in impulse 1. The tail-chase continued until the Feds let loose with the two overloaded torpedoes and 4 Ph-1s at range 8. Both photons missed but the phasers rolled well, scoring 10 damage between them, which resulted in 7 shield hits and a burn through hit after reinforcement. At this point, the Lyrans turned to the right and began to close the Federation cruiser once more, taking out the drones with the ESGs during the defensive fire phase. On impulse #5, the Feds fired 2 Ph-1s at range 5 while the Lyrans let go with 4 Ph-1, 3 normal Disruptors and one overloaded Disruptor for a total of 23 damage and a burn through hit after reinforcement. The Lyran then manoeuvred behind the Fed and the turn ended with the ships in this position:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28932177@N08/2944649382/

Turn 3 began with both ships moving at speed 16 and with the Fed cruiser performing an HET directly towards the Lyran, who side-slipped to avoid being centre-lined. An exchange of fire followed at range 3, where the Lyran fired 5 Ph-1 and 4 overloaded Disruptors for a total of 39 hits, downing the Fed's #1 shield and scoring 8 internals, including one torpedo hit which struck an empty tube - the Feds hadn't pre-loaded one of the tubes as they were anticipating damage before it was able to arm fully. The Feds returned fire with 4 Ph-1 and 2 +4 overloads, both of which hit for a total of 48 damage, owning the Lyran's front shield and scoring 14 internals - a few power hits, a disruptor and a phaser and the remainder system and hull boxes. A picture taken at this point:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28932177@N08/2944649392/

On the next impulse, the Feds were unable to evade the Lyrans (having just performed a HET and having turn and slip modes reset, while lacking sufficient power to perform another HET), who closed to range 1 and conducted an ESG attack, downing the #3 shield and scoring 14 internals - a phaser hit and mostly hull and systems. The Federation returned fire with a pair of Ph-3s, for 8 shield damage.

On turn 4, the Lyrans moved behind the Feds. At this point, I made a stupid mistake in exposing my very weak forward shield to the Feds, who took the opportunity to put 2 Ph-1s and 2 Ph-3s through it for 4 internals. The Lyrans unleashed a directed alpha-strike aimed at the Fed's weapons with 3 Disruptors and 6 Ph-1s, downing the Fed's #4 shield and scoring 15 internals, scoring two sets of hits on damage chart #6 as a result of the directed targetting. This stripped two of the remaining torpedo tubes (in this case empty tubes again) from the CA and several phasers as well, including the rear phasers. At this point, the Feds performed another HET without breaking down, and achieved a range 1 shot with 4 Ph-1 and the remaining photon, downing the Lyran's #2 shield and scoring 14 internals, amongst which were several power hits, a disruptor hit and several phaser hits (bye bye Ph-3s). The Lyrans returned fire with the remaining energy in the ESGs, scoring 5 internals on the Federation ship:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28932177@N08/2944649398/

Turn 5 began with the Lyrans behind the Federation, with the latter doing a very good job of keeping a good shield to them. The Lyran decided to bite the bullet and fire at the good shield, as to try for a better opportunity would expose the Lyran's own downed #1 and #2 shields. The Federation's single Ph-1 bearing on the target returned fire for a few token damage points which brought the Lyran's final forward shield to only 3 boxes. By a fluke, the Lyran's 2 overloaded Disruptors and 5 Ph-1s downed the shield and scored 10 internals on damage chart #6, stripping the Fed CA of all remaining weapons except a single phaser and a single torpedo launcher. A shot taken at this point:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28932177@N08/2944649408/

At this point, the Fed Cruiser turned to disengage, having plenty of power remaining but with so many weapon hits there was little hope of using the advantage in power to smash the Lyrans. The Lyran ship was about as heavily damaged by the end of this, but the damage was taken more evenly across the ship, with about 10 power hits, 2 Disruptors, 4 Phasers and an ESG knocked out in addition to most hull and some system hits. The Federation had taken most of their "padding" hits and most weapon hits (including the probe launcher!), but hardly any power hits and so could disengage far faster than the Lyrans could hope to pursue, so we called the game at this point.

So, lessons learned. Firstly, don't turn a downed shield onto anybody unless you can really guarantee it will be very much worth your while, or if the enemy has not got anything available to fire into you. I suppose playing as the Lyrans gave me some excuse for this stupid mistake, as our blood lust was clarly up and we were high on the adrenalin of the hunt while tail-chasing the Fed, and not paying due care and attention to our own ship. Wink

Secondly, the Fed CA does deserve its reputation as a tough nut to crack - it has pretty good shields and is very tough inside when it does start to take internals, partly because it has so many lab boxes which appear quite often on the damage charts. The Fed CA absorbed a lot of punishment over the 5 turns, and did a good job of keeping a good shield to the Lyran. Overall, the Fed took more damage points, but actually had less non-padding hits than the Lyran (although in this case the Fed got un-lucky and had enough weapon hits to be disabling).

Photon torpedoes really are a "wonder weapon" - some of these missed, luckily for me, but others hit - even 2 +4 overloads was enough to result in more damage scored on me than my own alpha strike did to the Fed at range 3. The threat of these weapons certainly makes you think twice before closing down on the Fed, even if he has only two torpedoes in the tube. The Lyran Tiger is also a remarkably tough ship, having as many hull as the Fed CA without having that unbalanced distribution of forward and rear hull, it is substantially tougher than the Klingon D7. This means you can take a decent pounding (so long as you don't get unlucky with your damage dice) without becoming combat ineffective.

The Lyran CA is generally a bit smaller and less capable all-round than the Fed CA in my opinion, although the better turn mode is helpful in giving you the initiative over the Fed and Gorn ships of equivalent size. However, these two ships are about an even match in a duel, because of the Lyran's ESGs. With Disruptors and ESGs, the Lyran player can play a saber-dance tactic, and if the Fed does want to close the range to try for the point-blank photon shot then he will have to risk the ESG ram that likely follow if the Lyran can position himself for it, as it will be difficult for the Fed to get a range 3-4 shot and then not get closer to the Lyran.

Overall, this was a good fun game that wasn't decided by a single set of dice, and was all the more fun for this. In the end, what made the Fed have to withdraw was a lot of weapon hits, making the CA almost impotent despite not having taken many power hits and so otherwise being a combat-effective unit. The overall result of this battle was a minor victory to the Lyrans, since they forced the Federation ship to disengage. However, both ships were moderately damaged (and had next to no shields left by the end of the fight), hence the victory was not major.
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Democratus
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 19 Aug 2008
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Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for an excellent battle report. I got a good feel for how the battle progressed and the tactics used by each player. Manuver seemed to be the real key here, as it was the non-dice element in control by the players. Keeping proper range and good shields to the enemy made a big difference here.

Of course, the second HET could have ended the battle very quick. A gutsy move by the Fed.
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OGOPTIMUS
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Joined: 10 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice to see a lot of maneuver (even from a Fed). And once again, we see the benefit of all that padding on the ship.

The play-by-play pictures are great too.

I'm curious as to the Fed's decision to only fire the two overloaded torpedoes initially, which missed. One would figure that he should have either held them or fired the non overloaded ones since the range was so poor. If he had emptied all the tubes, then you would have likely been on him even more than you were, and the game would have ended even more quickly, so I can see avoiding that choice.
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Davec_24
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Joined: 16 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think he was getting frustrated with the lack of a better firing opportunity for the photons (hence the long range shot), but as you say he didn't want me to have no fear in charging him down in his reload turn if he volleyed all torpedoes at once, hence why he only fired two torpedoes. As for why he fired the overloads instead of the normal torps, I'm not sure - maybe because the firing opportunity was in overload range and he wasn't sure as it would be next time, or maybe because he was going to overload the next torps anyway.

It's one of those things that, had one or both torps actually hit (statistically one should have) then it wouldn't have seemed such a bad idea as he would then have downed my rear shield and scored internals on me. Ah, the benefit of hindsight. Smile

It was interesting to see the Fed making a second HET even fairly early in the turn, risking severe punishment if he failed. As it happens, the HET worked and the risk payed off. All in all, it made for a very interesting game with lots of manoeuvre, risk-taking and suspense because of this, as well as being a balanced and challenging battle. A good scrap! Smile
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Mike
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good battle report. I enjoyed reading it and seeing the pics. It would be nice to also see the pics of the ship cards with the damage marked.

I thought the Fed played it about as well as he could. Photons are always risky, but that is what the Feds have to work with. The tactic of firing 2 of them overloaded at range 8 and saving 2 for a possible counterpunch from the Lyran was pretty good. Unfortunately for the Fed, the photons missed. Despite all the maneuvering, it always boils down to a crucial volley.
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Davec_24
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the comments guys, I'm glad you were able to get a feel for the tactics involved and the relative positions of the ships, rather than just an end result of the fire. It's always difficult to know how much detail to go into, but I figured I'd give enough so that with the pictures you get a relatively complete review of the fight.

I had thought of taking pictures of the ship cards at the end of the game - is that what you mean Mike, or more sort of periodically throughout the game? I just have to watch how many pictures I'm doing overall, since you can only put so much onto Flickr per month. At the end of the day, the pics are there to illustrate the text of the report and bring it to life, so if people think it'd be helpful to have more or different pictures (and if I remember to take them at the appropriate time) I'll give it a shot. Smile
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Mike
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was referring to shots of the ship cards as the game progressed. The images could be reduced quite a bit to make them small files, if that would help. That would also help with the problem of anyone trying to get copyrighted information from the cards.
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Davec_24
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I'll try to remember to take some pics of the ship cards as the battle progresses next time I'm going to write up a game, maybe each time major damage and/or internals are scored. I'll stick on the tactical pics of the board position first, and then if I still have upload space I can put shots of the ship cards at key points in the battle up as well.
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djdood
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For in-progress shots like that, I often just have the players put the ship cards on the map and try to get the cards and minis in the same shot whenever something big happened. Saves on cropping, uploading, etc. on more shots.
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Davec_24
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is true, I'll give it a try. Because my minis are smaller than the official ones, they will be harder to see in a zoomed-out shot, so it may be more difficult to get the ship-cards in at the sort of closeness needed. Definitely worth a try though.
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djdood
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's always a balancing act.
Your minis are indeed smaller, but in a in-game shot all your really needing to convey is ships type and facing. I agree it could get hard to tell very similar ships (Kzinti, Klingon) apart in a distant shot. In a duel like this one, no problemo.

Your minis are awesome and deserve lots of beauty closeups, but I'd do those separate from game-description shots.
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drwibble
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Joined: 06 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Davec_24 wrote:
This is true, I'll give it a try. Because my minis are smaller than the official ones, they will be harder to see in a zoomed-out shot, so it may be more difficult to get the ship-cards in at the sort of closeness needed. Definitely worth a try though.


So are you using the old Elite range ships? Or home-grown ones?
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Davec_24
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

drwibble wrote:
So are you using the old Elite range ships? Or home-grown ones?


The minis I use are home-grown minis made from plastic sheet and odds and ends such as sprue. I did an article to show how I did some of them, it's here if you want a look Smile :

http://www.starfleetgames.com/federation/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=1251
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drwibble
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah yes. Sorry... I remember reading the article and admiring your work... just hadn't made the connection!

Nice models! Very Happy
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Davec_24
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. Very Happy
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