Joined: 04 May 2009
|Posted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:41 pm Post subject: Battle Report: End Run
|Yesterday, a buddy and I played End Run, scenario 8CM4 from Communique #10, adapted for Klingon Armada(AE). We reversed the forces so that the Federation was the attacker raiding a Klingon supply depot, mostly to fit available minis(I don't have a POL). To account for the reduced speeds in Starmada vs FedCom, we reduced all of the setup distances by about 2/3rds, though playing would reveal that we probably should have reduced it further. Ah well, c'est la guerre, as the Kzintis say.
Initial setup had the CA Kongo take the lead, flanked by the NCL Missouri and the diminutive FFG Doolittle. Directly ahead of them was the F5 Doom Song. Not yet visible further back are the D5s Retaliator and Retribution, with close defense of the Mobile Base performed by the E4 Misery. Upon detecting the Federation raiders, Doom Song immediately began withdrawing to join her heavier brethren, while the station itself immediately launched a full spread of shuttles at Kongo in the hope that at some point the oncoming Ford Pintos would force her to divert firepower(or herself) at a crucial moment. The first several turns were nothing but movement, with Doom Song continuing to draw the saucer folk towards her comrades.
When the Federation squadron had advanced far enough, Retaliator moved into action. She launched a spread of drones at Doolittle and then moved to engage at the edge of overload range, hoping to quickly remove the frigate's firepower from the fight. While Doolittle was badly damaged by this fire(and supporting fire from Doom Song), she was still active, and the return salvo took a similar toll on Retaliator, among other things completely stripping the fore-port shield.
(The drone sitting in front of Kongo is just a range marker, showing the point where Retribution could begin acting.)
Taking a cue from earlier, both Doom Song and Retaliator continued their fighting withdrawal while Missouri and Doolittle maneuvered to switch places in the battle line. Federation fire was largely stopped by Retaliator's heavily reinforced aft sheilds. The Klingons continued to fire on what was left of Doolittle, but the danged thing refused to die, hanging on with one hull point!
At this point the Fed advance had crossed Retribution's action threshold, and her first move was to drop a pair of shuttles to join the group from the station as they passed. Missouri launched a shuttle of her own to try and intercept some of the oncoming wave, and Retaliator in turn launched one as a counter-interceptor.
With all three major vessels together, the Klingon commander chose this point in the battle to make a stand and stop the Fed advance. The ensuing exchange of fire showed just how lethal phasers became at short range, with Doolittle finally sunk, and Doom Song reduced to a barely spaceworthy pile of scrap metal. Most embarassing was the fate of Retaliator. Remember the shield of hers that had been knocked down? I didn't, and while both cruisers had to batter their way through reinforced bow shields, Doolittle's final salvo was on unprotected hull. Long story short...boom.
With two ships now giving a demonstration on sublimation and a third composed of nothing but a couple guns a few kilometers of duct taoe and a LOT of cursing, this fight had suddenly take a turn for the bloody. Retribtuion maneuvered to keep the range open and exchanged fire with the still-advancing [i]Kongo, but that was a sideshow compared to what occurred between the smaller ships. Overloaded photorps from Missouri easily finished off the F5, but do you know what you call a couple guns held together by duct tape and Klingon rage? A functional weapons battery. When the crew of Doom Song sailed off to join the Black Fleet, they arrived with their heads held high...and a Kearsarge-class escort.
After everything that happened, the next few turns were almost uneventful, with Retribution and Kongo continuing to pound on each other. Retribution actually held up fairly well, with most of the damage going into shields while Kongo lost large numbers of hull and engine boxes. When the various drone and shuttle flights finally arrived, the end result was anticlimactic, with only a single point of damage being scored.
I actually forgot to take a picture of the last turn. No really, I geniunely forgot, I didn't delete it out of embarassment. You see how that last photo shows Kongo's fire going into Retribution's H shield? Come next turn, guess what I forgot about again? You guessed it, she tried to cut across Kongo's bow, and discovered the hard way just how much damage overloaded photons can do when there aren't any pesky sheilds in the way. At least Kongo suffered heavily for her kill, with almost no hull or engines remaining, even if her guns were fully operational.
In the end, we judged it a marginal Federation victory. Since the reduced speeds of Starmada caused us to dispense with the turn limit, it was decided that Kongo would have had plenty of time to fully repair her shields and engines, and even with the hull in tatters she'd be more than a match for the E4 and base.
The difference in speed between Starmada and FedCom ships cannot be underestimated. There's just no way the Federation fleet could have made it to the base within any kind of turn limit. The difference in speed between the Federation and Klingon vessels was very small, but the difference was still significant. My Klingons were able to dictate the terms of the battle, easily able to regroup faster than my buddy's Federation ships could catch up to us. We both decided that playing with the original force layout could have very different results if advancing Klingons are able to catch any Fed ships before they can withdraw to the safety of their brethren. I think the next time we try this we'll do so with the original force setup, and probably reduce the starting distances even further.
Shields, Shields, SHIELDS. Shield management is a huge part of this game. Remembering to reinforce the facing most likely to take hits can bring a fragile frigate up to survivable, and make a cruiser downright tough. Similarly, always keep careful track of the status of your various facings. I'm used to regular all-around shields in Starmada, so keeping track of which facings are hurt wasn't ingrained in me yet. Hopefully I'll remember the fate of my cruisers in the future...
Seeking weapons seemed largely ineffective against shields, though that might have simply been poor rolling on our part. In the future, I might try a strategy of called shots to strip shields and then moving on to the next target, using seekers of various flavors to finish off damaged targets.
Orbital Bombardment is too a natural weather phenomenon!