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A Question of Franchise

 
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Mike
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Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 1527
Location: South Carolina

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:28 pm    Post subject: A Question of Franchise Reply with quote

Ben and I played "A Question of Franchise" (Briefing #1: 8B104) yesterday. The game boiled down to one die roll at the very end.

We were using the Pirate Raiders from the Middle Years against the Large Freighter. Ben chose a disruptor as his optional weapon A and Ph-1s in the wing mounts. I chose Ph-1s for all three.

We set up 25 hexes apart and 15 hexes from the freighter. He set up first and positioned his ship directly off the freighter's #6 shield.

I set up directly off the freighter's #2 shield.

THE GAMEPLAY

On Turn 1 we approached the freighter from opposite sides. Both of us swung around off the freighter's #5 and #3 shields respectively. I closed to a range of 1 and fired 3 phasers targeted on power. That knocked down the freighter's #3 shield, but only took out 1 power box. I immediately dropped a shield and transported 3 Marines to the freighter.

Meanwhile, Ben had been waiting to see what I was going to do. My plan was to now stop accelerating and drop back from the freighter to see what he was going to do. Unfortunately for me, I had only plotted speed 16. Ben was moving speed 24. He began closing on me and letting the freighter get farther away. As soon as I saw what was about to happen, I declared evasive maneuvers.

He took a range 3 shot with everything he had. I returned fire with just a couple of bearing phasers. His fire brought down my #5 shield and did about a dozen internals. His overloaded disruptor missed, but he made up for that by rolling weapons damage on the DAC which stripped me of most of my phasers.

NOTE: The way we played the damage on the weapons made sense to us, but is open to correction. I had previously asked whether phasers in option mounts on Orion ships were damaged with Phaser results in the DAC and was told that they were not. We assumed that if phasers were the optional weapons, they would be damaged by Torp or Drone hits. Usually a Phaser result is the secondary anyway, but it could make a difference occasionally.

Without the offensive punch to cause much damage to him, I decided on a risky move. We ended Turn 1 adjacent and with Ben at a range of 6 from the freighter so I figured that if I could match him with speed, I might be able to tractor him and prevent him from getting near enough the freighter to transport his Marines aboard on Turn 2. He revealed after the game was over that it had crossed his mind, but he didn't think I would try something like that.

My three Marine squads captured one of the freighter's four control boxes. Certainly not the best result I was hoping for. By not getting two control boxes and having taken the damage I had already taken, I was virtually assured of not winning.

On Turn 2 both of us doubled both engines and Ben did a base speed of 16, intending to accelerate and catch up to the freighter after alpha-ing me again. I moved with a base speed of 24. He wasted some energy doing some rear/side weapons fire and I responded in kind with the couple of phasers I had left, but it gave me a 2 point edge in power. During the Other Functions Phase, I tractored his ship. He thought long and hard about whether to fight the tractor, knowing he couldn't break it.

After weighing his options, he elected to not to try to break the tractor and on the next impulse did a high energy turn instead. This put us facing each other. My #1 shield evaporated under his withering fire, but I protected my last tractor box by taking a couple of frame damage hits in its place. My ship was pretty much trashed, but I had been able to put even more distance between him and the freighter. He was luckily able to damage my tractor box with a hit and run raid, but it cost him two Marine squads in the process.

Though he accelerated for the remainder of the turn, Ben was never able to get within transporter range of the freighter for the rest of Turn 2. My Marine squads were able to capture another control box. Even had they captured two on this turn, Turn 3 would see Ben's Marines swarming aboard the freighter so that I could no longer attack the control spaces.

My ship was left far behind on Turn 3 as Ben closed the gap with the freighter, targeted his weapons on its power systems, and transported Marines aboard. We each killed one Marine squad at the end of the turn.

Turn 4 went by quickly as Ben transported 3 more Marine squads to the freighter. At that point, he had 5 squads and I had only 2. He killed both of mine, but mine were able to kill one of his.

I turned away so that my ship moved beyond 35 hexes from the freighter and disengaged on Turn 5. Ben was faced with a tough choice. He could either leave and disengage, or remain and put 3 more Marines on the freighter in hopes of capturing it before the end of the turn. According to the rules of the scenario, if he did not capture the freighter his ship would be captured by arriving forces of law and order. He elected to transport 3 more Marine squads to the freighter to increase his contingent to a total of 7. This gave him a 33% chance of winning by rolling a 5 or 6 (which would capture 4 control boxes and give control of the freighter to him). He rolled a 3 and only captured 3 control boxes.

OBSERVATIONS AND LESSONS

I made a huge mistake of going after the freighter first and then allowing Ben to get close enough to hurt my ship badly. I also stupidly allowed him to centerline me so that he could hit me with all of his Ph-1s. I did not put my ship in a position to return the favor, but instead was only able to bring my side-firing Ph-1s against him.

Ben did a masterful job of playing the "wait-and-see" game to find out what I was going to do. Then he did a great job of maneuvering to get me centerlined. Even though he was at a range of 3 when I declared evasive, he made the tough decision to let loose with everything. It is so true that once the shields of an Orion ship are penetrated, there isn't much fluff inside to absorb damage!

Even though I got plastered again, I'd still do the tractor if I found myself in a similar situation. It wasn't kind to my ship, but it gave me the best chance for Ben not to win the scenario. At that point I probably had no chance at all to win. I dunno, which is worth more: the value of that freighter or the cost to repair and refurbish a chewed up ship? Since it wasn't a campaign, I chose the sacrificial "don't let him win" option. He still could have won, but it made the entire game come down to a single die roll that was more in my favor than in his.

QUESTIONS

This is obviously an evenly matched scenario. It just doesn't get much more evenly matched than this. After our post-game discussion, we pretty much ignored the scenario's stipulation that Ben's ship would automatically be captured at the end of Turn 5. That seemed a little ridiculous. His ship was undamaged and he could've accelerated away to retire safely.

As a matter of fact, the way the victory conditions are written, it seems that even if his Marines had been able to capture the freighter, his ship would still have had to have been more than 35 hexes away by the end of Turn 5 for him to win. Even under his Marines' control, the forces of law and order would have simply been able to recapture the freighter.

The way we looked at it was from the perspective of ownership at the end of Turn 5. If either of the Pirate players had captured the freighter by the end of Turn 5, they would have claim to it and police reinforcements would not have been able to legally take it back.

The victory conditions might work better if they simply stipulate that whoever is in control of the freighter at the end of Turn 5 is the winner. If neither player is in control, then it is a draw.

This game forced us to dig deep in the rules to find out the nuances of capturing ships. We had to guess about a couple of things, but when I went back through the forum threads and found the one about capturing ships, it seemed to support exactly what we did.

All in all, very fun. We had tried this one before, but with the Light Raiders. They couldn't transport enough Marines. I would recommend using a small freighter if Light Raiders are used by the Pirates.
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Kahuna
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 23 Jul 2009
Posts: 139
Location: Spokane, WA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really enjoyed that summary. I haven't been able to play for about 3 days now and reading your session made me miss it already.

I've never done boarding action with the intent of capturing a ship either. From what I remember about the rules, your description of your boarding experience looked good to me. I've always been one more likely to blow up the freighter than to capture it. Guess I'd make a terrible pirate. Twisted Evil
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terryoc
Captain


Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 1371

PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I had previously asked whether phasers in option mounts on Orion ships were damaged with Phaser results in the DAC and was told that they were not.


Phasers in option mounts are hit on phaser hits only. I think it might be different in SFB, but you in FC they are hit on Phaser.

Note that on row 6 of the DAC, phasers are alternate hits for drone and torpedo hits on the first few columns. I think it goes phaser-torpedo(phaser)-drone(phaser). So you'd take a phaser hit in column 1, no torpedo in column 2 so it goes to the alternate (phaser), then in column 3 no drone so it goes to the alternate (phaser).

Clear, I hope? Very Happy
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Mike
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Location: South Carolina

PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crystal clear! It worked either way for us in this game, but thanks for the clarification for the future.
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Hod K'el
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 21 Aug 2008
Posts: 301
Location: Lafayette LA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 6:04 am    Post subject: OR vs OR Reply with quote

I would not have returned fire. With EM, you gain a +1 and that is added to your stealth bonus of a +1 for a total of +2 adjustment. Use the power to reinforce the shield with a +3. Six (6) phasers, if he is coming straight in, that roll a three to six (3-6) at range three (R3) with shield reinforcement is going to be tough!

If he was behind you, I would presume that you opened up on him with your PH-3's?

I do have to say, I like your aggressiveness!
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