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After Action Report - Gorn BC Vs Kzinti CF

 
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Davec_24
Commander


Joined: 16 Jul 2008
Posts: 596
Location: England

PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:58 pm    Post subject: After Action Report - Gorn BC Vs Kzinti CF Reply with quote

This battle was between a Gorn BC flown by my friend Pete, and a Kzinti fast battlecruiser flown by myself. I didn't feel much like flying the Romulans and so I picked a Kzinti ship similar in points value the the Gorn - a choice between the fast battlecruiser and the new command cruiser - no contest in this case, the fast battlecruiser has much better disruptor arcs which would be far superior for oblique approach tactics in order to dodge the plasma. It also has slightly more power and better Ph-3s. We played on a location map, with nine map panels using the large hexes. Two of these panels were gas giant map panels, but were used as regular panels, ignoring the gas giants.

On turn 1, the Gorn chose baseline speed 8 and the Kzinti chose speed 24. The two ships closed to range 6 by the end of the turn and exchanged fire, the Kzinti firing 2 overloaded disruptors and 6 Ph-1s for 12 damage plus a burn-through hit on the Gorn's #2 shield. The Gorn returned fire with four Ph-1s, scoring only 5 damage due to bad dice, all of which were re-enforced by the Kzinti. The Kzinti launched 4 drones at the end of the turn, and the Gorn repaired the burn-through hit. The position at the end of Turn #1:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28932177@N08/2879336720/

On turn 2, the Kzinti again selected base speed 24, the Gorn selecting 16 and finishing the plasma arming to G-torpedo standard. The Kzintis turned to close the range obliquely, with the Gorn off the #3 shield. An exchange of fire followed with disruptors and phasers from the Kzinti, and phasers and a 5-point plasma carronade from the Gorn, all at range 3. The Kzinti downed the Gorn's #2 shield and scored 8 internals, while the Kzinti's #3 shield took 19 points of damage and a single burn-through point. The Kzintis fired another wave of 4 drones at the Gorn. The Gorn then fired a Pl-S (upgraded from the Pl-G at the moment of firing), and the Kzintis turned away and accelerated to outrun the torpedo. The Gorn shot down 3 of the 6 drones with phasers, caught 2 on tractor beams, and had 1 drone hit the #4 shield. Pictures after the launch of plasma and drones:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28932177@N08/2879336734/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/28932177@N08/2879336740/

On turn 3, the Kzintis turned back to close the range once again, having outrun and phasered the Pl-S down completely. The Kzinti fired both disruptors (1 overload, 1 normal) and 4 Ph-1s, downing the Gorn's #1 shield and scoring 8 internals, and the Gorn's return-fire caused 23 damage with 1 burn point on the Kzinti ship. The Kzinti ship then turned away once again in anticipation of a plasma launch:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28932177@N08/2879336746/

The Gorn took up pursuit of the Kzinti, and on impulse 8 fired a Pl-S and a Pl-F as bolts, and two Ph-1s at range 6. Both bolts missed, and the phasers hit for 3 damage after re-enforcement. This was very unlucky die-rolling and may well have cost the Gorn the game, as the plasma tubes were now empty and the bolts scored no damage to the Kzinti ship. The Kzintis took the opportunity to launch another wave of 4 drones at the end of impulse 8:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28932177@N08/2879336748/

On turn 4, both ships set baseline speed 16, the Kzinti slowing down to turn better - the Gorn had no heavy plasma ready in this turn and so speed 24 wasn't necessary. The Kzinti turned around and closed the range with the Gorn, who turned away. The Kzinti launched two more drones, and formed them into a stack of 6 drones:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28932177@N08/2879336764/

On impulse 6, the Gorn was hit by the drone stack, and used all bearing phasers to destroy the drones. The Kzinti had by now closed to range 2, and had the Gorn centre-lined - the Gorn couldn't avoid this because he was pre-occupied getting phasers to bear on the incoming drone wave. The Kzinti unloaded a full alpha-strike with 2 overloaded disruptors, 6 Ph-1s and 4 Ph-3s, for a total of 52 damage, leaving 30 internal hits after re-enforcement. The Gorn could only return fire with a 3-point plasma carronade and a single Ph-1, which scored 9 shield damage and a burn-through to the Kzinti. The damage rolls were 6, 2 and 1, so the Gorn lost little by way of hull (all centre hull was still intact) but lost several weapons, some power and a good deal of system hits. On impulse 8, the Kzinti was able to accelerate, gaining the initiative and allowing him to get onto the Gorn's #1 shield at range 1, firing 2 Ph-3s and scoring 5 more internals:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28932177@N08/2879377176/

On turn 5, the Gorn would have a plasma-S to fire on the right hand side launcher. At this point, the Kzinti was directly in front of the Gorn at range 1, and both were very near the edge of the map. The Gorn hoped to escape off the edge of the map to avoid a total defeat, while the Kzinis were hoping to make a capture if at all possible. The Kzinti and Gorn both chose baseline speed 8, and the Kzinti accelerated and over-ran the Gorn to get out of plasma arc but still be close enough to cause enough damage to prevent the Gorn escaping, then conducted a HET to get onto the Gorn's #5 shield at range 0. At this point, the Kzinti fired 2 overloaded disruptors, 4 Ph-3s and 2 Ph-1s for 28 more internals, in which the Gorn lost all remaining hull and most system hits (just a few shuttle bays left), several power hits, all control boxes except one Emergency Bridge, and all remaining weapons except the two Pl-S launchers. As the Kzintis in this position, I had chosen not to fire the remaining 4 Ph-1s in case this destroyed the Gorn, which was not the objective I had in mind. The Gorn return fire battered the Kzinti forward shield, but didn't quite get through. The Kzinti then caught the Gorn ship in a tractor beam to prevent his escape. At this point, there was nothing further that the Gorn could have done, so we called the game. A picture of the Gorn ship card at the end of the game was taken for good measure:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28932177@N08/2879377186/

(I notice that for some reason the probe launcher seems intact on this picture. It was definately destroyed at some point - this was a memorable occasion since this is the first time either of us had seen a probe launcher actually take a hit!)

This was an enjoyable game, though probably one of those where bad die-rolls decide the game. I think that it was a mistake on the part of the Gorn to fire both the Pl-F and the Pl-S as a bolt, as it left them with no full plasma torpedoes to fire at me in the next turn, allowing me to close the range for what ended up as a fatal blow. This move was a gamble that did not pay off - had one or both of the bolts hit, they probably would have caused some decent damage to the Kzinti, which would have evened things out somewhat. The Gorn may have the advantage in phaser fire-power, but the Kzinti can really tie these up using drones, negating this superiority. This battle also demonstrated the value of the plasma carronade. They can fire every turn, and cannot miss, and aren't even too inefficient in generating damage if you just fire with a couple of points of power. These weapons add a significant close range direct-fire punch to the Gorn's phaser array.

So, observations and lessons learned: I found the Gorn BC to be a tough ship, absorbing a lot of damage before the fight could really be called decided. The Gorn BC has excellent all-round phaser coverage, which is useful given the relatively poor turn-mode of the ship and can be handy when defending against incoming drones without having to re-arrange your plans too much to bring all phasers to bear - that is, until the drones start to pile up, anyway. However, it does mean that it isn't possible to bring more than 5 Ph-1s to bear on the enemy at any one time (and more often this number is only 4 Ph-1s). This can be a problem when the enemy is dipping into effective phaser range for a single impulse only, unloading everything he has at you, and then turning tail and getting out of your effective range before you can give as good as you got.

The Kzinti fast battlecruiser is lacking in alpha-strike fire-power as it has only two disruptors, but makes up for this by doing "what it says on the tin", and being fast - a big asset when fighting plasma ships. This ship handles in a similar way to the Kzinti battlecruiser, which is one of my favourite cruisers. I'd recommend this ship as a duelling ship for those higher point value cruiser duels, such as with plasma ships - it may not have the raw firepower of your command cruisers, but it does have finesse and is great fun to fly. What it lacks in alpha-strike punch it makes up for with speed and phaser fire-power, giving it a very nice power curve. It also has good weapon arcs that allow you to approach with a good amount of weapons to bear while facing different shields to the enemy each time.

The game ended with the honourable surrender of the Gorn ship. Using the points system for calculating victory level, this was a tactical victory to the Kzintis if you count this as a capture of the Gorn, or a marginal victory if you just count the Gorn as destroyed. This way of calculating victory points seems to make it very difficult to get a full victory, since the Kzinti ship finished the game with only 3 internals - all from burn-through hits - yet the Gorn ship was captured or at worst (for the Kzintis) destroyed, and this amounts only to a tactical victory at best. Anyway, the game was fun to play, and interesting because both players had ships which they had not flown before.
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Kang
Fleet Captain


Joined: 23 Sep 2007
Posts: 1960
Location: Devon, UK

PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Battlegroup Bath, then?

Looks like you flew rings round him, literally. I didn't know a Kzinti at speed 24 could turn like that.

Well done for not demoralising him too much.... The main thing is that you both enjoyed the game. The difference, apart from the total damage and dice rolls, of course, appears to be that you managed to spread nearly penetrating damage across all your shields whereas he had three shields down. That's probably your experience showing, though.

Anyway, nice report and thanks for sharing it with us Smile
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Davec_24
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Joined: 16 Jul 2008
Posts: 596
Location: England

PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Kzinti actually turns the same as the Gorn at speed 24, but has a better turn mode so gets the initiative where there is a tie. The turn mode of 5 at base speed 24 meant that I had to start the oblique approach a while (5 hexes) before I intended to turn away from the plasma, and judge it such that I was able to turn again when I could fire and he could launch plasm, and this requires forward planning and (to an extent) made my moves predictable. However, as the Kzintis, it is possible to use drones to reduce the Gorn's ability to react to this.

As you say, my overall damage spread was fairly good - most shields almost down but no real internal damage. As I observed in the report, that would have been different if those plasma bolts had hit, but that's how it goes. I managed to get into a position where I could score enough damage to knock down a shield and do minor internals a couple of times, and then I could go for one of those shields the at my next opportunity. The Gorn's phasers being spread out as they are meant that if the Gorn hoped to damage me with phasers, he had to turn and that meant that at some point he had to put himself in a position where I could potentially get onto a bad shield.

Overall, the game was one of those things where the enemy just made one mistake/had one piece of bad luck (this being firing the bolts, which was arguably a mistake - it was a gamble that didn't pay off) and that pretty much cost him the game because I closed the range, hammered him and stayed close and out of his plasma arcs - there wasn't a lot the Gorn could do after this, especially with all those drones inbound on him! Another lesson leanred in this game is that Ph-1s are actually worth it at range 5 or so - most of the damage done in the whole game was done by Ph-1s, and then mostly at medium range. The important thing is we both enjoyed and learned from the game.
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Starfury
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 296

PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm surprised the Gorn didn't move at a faster speed to close and get better shots with the plasma or go for a tractor anchor and then feed the Kzin 100 pts of flaming death.

The Gorn are not really set up to take on the drone races especially if they're coming in one big stack. If they're spread out they've got enough P-1 and tractors to take out a reasonable size stack.
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Davec_24
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Joined: 16 Jul 2008
Posts: 596
Location: England

PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for the tractor anchor, I didn't get close enough to him to risk that, at least until he had no tractor beams left and/or not enough engine power to be able to anchor me properly if he repaired one to do the anchor. However, in a discussion of tactics during the game (we tend to discuss things more freely during game as we'd rather learn from the game than nexessarily win in most cases) I did suggest this idea, but I think perhaps at this point he had already had enough engine damage that he couldn't get close enough to me and still have the power to win a tractor auction.

I think you're right that the Gorn probably should have gone slightly faster, closed the range and tried for some close-range bolts if I was moving away from him and close-range launches if I was moving towards. The trouble is the plasmas are fairly power hungry (sepecially in the final arming turn) and I think he wanted to have enough energy to fire phasers and keep the drones away with tractor beams when the phasers couldn't get them all. Well, he'll know for next time - this was the Gorn player's first time as the Gorn, and to be fair the Kzintis are probably particularly hard to take down as a Gorn in a duelling sort of situation, due to the drone threat.
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