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Hunting the Bismark

 
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Myrm
Ensign


Joined: 25 Jun 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:33 am    Post subject: Hunting the Bismark Reply with quote

I am currently introducing (and re-introducing in some cases) SFB to players at my games club.
The first game went well enough to interest people for another game and to grab some observers.
I did the first game with smaller ships (Police-Frigate scale - OK Ok there was an F5 too) and for the next game I thought I might make the players work together as a flotilla.

So Im going to give them destroyer to cruiser weight ships (player number dependent) and tell them to take down a B10 (no fighters probably). Throw a bit of terrain down (planets and moons only).

So its got a BPV, but is an equal BPV of cruisers going to be a fairish fight, or will the multiple manoeuvre units of cruisers tend to overrun the B10 to rapidly to make the game interesting, or will the B10s firepower start shredding smaller ships too fast?

Has anyone done this sort of scenario before with any advice (should I do multiple ships per player, to cover rapid destruction of ships - or stick with the original idea)....any comments welcome

Thanks,
Tim
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mjwest
Commodore


Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 4066
Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The biggest issue I see is that, in a one-vs-many scenario, the best strategy for the "one" is to eliminate the "many" one at a time. While each of the "many" may not be completely destroyed, the point is to make them combat ineffective, which still takes them out of the game. So, it can be a frustrating experience for whomever gets to be the first target of the "many", because they will die (particularly when we are talking about a B10 baring down on a cruiser or smaller ship) and be out of the game on the first turn.

As for points, points only really work for opponents of roughly equal ability. If an experienced player is manning the B10, and novices are manning the opposing squadron, the B10 could easily punch way above its weight if the squadron makes any kind of mistake. (Like, say, splitting the squadron up, so they can attack the B10 from both sides of the planet/moon. That is a guaranteed B10 win.)
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Myrm
Ensign


Joined: 25 Jun 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, there's some things to work on there, thanks.

So the aim of the scenario is really another introduction - to give them bigger ships to play with and more things to think about/choices to make.

I will be operating the B10 as well as running the impulses and DAC - and the aim will be for that B10 to die at some point - so I have to give them enough to take it down.
As such, maybe it might be better to make this so isn't going to be about a win/lose per se, but a game to get the players to see a variety of systems and races in operation and to get some cooperation going to see how different ships operate (or don't if they make mistakes).

From your comments then I think I will change things slightly and make sure that I have a reinforcement set of ship SSDs to hand. So once a player's vessel get shattered they pick another that warps in at speed 32 and carry on from there until the B10 evaporates.....I'll mung up some score system based on damage done (in repair points I think) less ship points lost (1pt off per 10BPV lost maybe) and see if that stimulates competitive attacks......
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Rags
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 07 Dec 2013
Posts: 29
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You mentioned one of your aims is to expose the players to a variety of systems and empires. For the replacement ships you could consider using ships from empires other than those the players use at the start of the battle.
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mjwest
Commodore


Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 4066
Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, so you are looking at a "Kobiashi Maru" scenario.

In a typical KM scenario, the focus is on the (in your case) B10, not the attackers. So, in a KM scenario, you take like 3 CAs that attack the B10, then once they are destroyed (or after a set number of turns) another 3 CAs appear, then repeat again endlessly once the current wave is destroyed, or the number of turns expire again. Repeat until the B10 dies.

In your case, since the focus is on the attackers, not the B10, you don't need to use waves. Just give each player a full CA and when someone gets destroyed (or close enough) give them an immediate replacement at the start of the next turn. Then you have a single infinite wave, rather than successive discrete waves. And, as Rags says, you can always make any replacement CAs different from the initial CA. Then no one is out for more than part of a turn.

Sounds fun!
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Sneaky Scot
Commander


Joined: 11 Jan 2007
Posts: 475
Location: Tintern, Monmouthshire

PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One scenario I have used when introducing people to the game is "Dreadnoughts over Orion". That gives a team experience of taking down a tough ship without the overbearing presence of a BB. I also add a secondary objective for each of the non-Orions as well, which is to attack one of the other players for bonus points after the "really big freighter" has gone.
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Myrm
Ensign


Joined: 25 Jun 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right, well we did get this game done so I thought I would come back and describe it.

We had one 'not played for 15years', one player with one game under their belt and one with two plus myself running the B10.

I threw down some asteroids, a couple of mines and a planet or two to break up the blank board and the players seemed fine with terrain.
We didn't have to deal with extra ships coming in since game time played resulted in no need. Only one ship was lost and that on the last turn we had time for.

However, the players did enjoy it and did try out many systems for the first time - use of EW, shuttles, cloaks, plasma, tractors, transporters and the concept of reserve power/batteries all got used so the players felt they were much more comfortable with the system.

So the B10 was facing a Kzinti Medium cruiser with refit, a Romulan War Eagle and a Gorn Cruiser (Light I think) with refits.
The first turn of actual fire made the point about how much firepower the B10 had to the players forcing one to turn off to another angle. They plotted their attack angles and the plasma use (including PPTs) was remarkably sophisticated and kept the offensive firepower from the B10 down to its disruptors as they kept the phasers tied up. The Kzinti and the B10s drones roughly neutralised each other thought eventually the B10 drones did get through. The player's line was 'I should have reinforced the shield and then turned' so they were getting the idea.

End result the Kzinti cruiser was out of it (3 internals left on the SSD itself), the Romulan was essentially unhurt and the Gorn had lost 2 shields and a few internals while the B10 had taken two rounds of plasma and was down a shield with the enemy trying to manoeuvre to let one or other cover it.

I will use this again for new players but it does mean I think more people at the club will feel happy sitting down for a smaller game. I also got to remember where all the relevant charts are in my paperwork.

Thanks for the earlier comments - they did help design the session and since the players considered it successful as a learning exercise for the rules and a fun way of doing it, I will score it as a win for all.

In all as a learning experience and an introduction to heavier vessels and their capacity it worked really well.
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irishserb
Ensign


Joined: 01 Jul 2017
Posts: 5
Location: Central Ohio

PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like the game went pretty well. Thanks for stopping back and sharing it with us.
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