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Re: [FT] After action report - merchant raiding

From: Lonnie Foster <tribble@s...>
Date: Wed, 20 Jan 1999 14:18:26 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: [FT] After action report - merchant raiding

On Wed, 20 Jan 1999, -MWS- wrote:

Commentary from the poorly abused losing side:	:)

> NAC defenders: Roll randomly between three forces:
>		 [1-2] (4x)DD/(2x)FF/(3x)FL
>		 [3-4] (4x)DD/(2x)FH/(2x)FL
>		 [5-6] CL/(3x)DD/FH/FF/FL
> Rolled 2, Lonnie got the first fleet.

And I'd spent most of the previous Sunday and well into the wee hours on
morning painting DDs and FLs so I'd have enough ships.	Good thing, too,
I wound up with the Incredibly Numerous Midget Navy.

> Setup: 4' x 6' "Starscape" mat (nice!!) centered on 4' x 8' table.

Why hadn't I picked up a Starscape mat before?	This really beats the
heck out
of the "vast, featureless purple nebula" that we've been playing on. 
(At least
the gaming tables at the local shop are purple, though; it would be
worse to be playing fleet engagements in the "vast, faux-wood-grain

> We set up a 4" x 8" "orbit box" on the NAC edge of the Starscape mat -
> remaining table was out of play.  The K'rathri's objective is to
> one or more of the merchant ships and escape off his end of the mat
> them.  The NAC's objective is to get the merchant ships into orbit by
> hitting the orbit box at the proper vector & speed (8).  If both
> ships are destroyed, then the player with the least damaged force is a
> marginal winner.  The K'rathri player gets partial victory points by
> blowing *everything* up. :)

Capture worked reasonably well as a way to make the scenario balance a
Too often, an escort mission which only requires the raiding party to
the merchants is too easily won by the raiders.  If any of my ships had
survived long enough, we would have been playing ping pong with raiding
as we attempted to gain and regain control of the merchants, requiring
skill in maneuvering than in rolling beam attacks.

> To achieve orbit, the merchants had to enter either 'a' edge at a
speed of
> 8 and a vector of 45 degrees or less to the edge of the mat.The NAC
> player's ships entered the game from the mat edge (speed 8) next to
> orbit box - roll randomly for each ship to see which side of the orbit
> it enters at.

We'd also determined that ships exiting the planet edge of the board
would either skip off the atmosphere (in the case of ships missing the
box entirely) or leave a really large crater on the planet surface (for
entering the orbit box at the wrong velocity or vector).  Not easy in
with a thrust of 2.

> The UM exited the starboard table edge on turn 6 and was considered
> I managed to get the UMH - with one cargo hold undamaged - turned
> without falling off the edge.

There's a reason I don't often use ships with a thrust of 2.  I'm kind
opposed to a turning radius of several light minutes.  :)

> Lonnie's forces were split about equally on entry - so we managed to
> perform some fancy closing scissors between my ships and his.  Mass
> confusion and chaos ensued.

This is an understatement.  I tried to retarget the two groups of ships
I had
so I could concentrate fire from all four DDs on his CQ, but I misjudged
closing velocity and zipped straight through his formations.  Given the
scattered layout of my fleet and a few ships with engine damage, turning
about was anything but organized.  After an initial close-range firing
pass, my
ships were generally dead ahead of his through the rest of the game. 
shoot very effectively when all my targets are in the rear arc . . .

> Game Highlights:
> * K'rathri FF getting "popped" in turn with 14 points of damage in one
> turn.  BIG boom.

Great shooting, too bad there weren't any more like this.  The damage
caused by a pair of 2 batteries, two 1s, and a pair of PDS (the ships
were no
more than 2" apart).  All dice in the barrage scored hits, and I
rerolled some
sixes at least twice.  I don't normally do this kind of damage with a
BB, much
less a DD.

> * Heavily damaged NAC DD crossed right in front of the K'rathri DQ,
> proceeded to seriously overkill him with fire from 0" range Pulse
> 2x Class 2, 2x Class 1, and 2x PDS.  Pulse Torp gunner fired first and
> the kill.

This was the same DD who got that great shot off earlier in the game. 
have made somebody on the other side really cranky.  :)

> * All NAC forces - except the DD mentioned above - managed to avoid
> front arc of both the CQ and the DQ - which left the CQ's Class 3
> gunner *very* frustrated for the entire game.

Not to mention bored.  The K'rathri being a feline race, it wouldn't
me if the Class 3 gunner took a cat nap for the rest of the engagement.

> * Lonnie rolls even worse initiative dice than I do - I didn't think
> was possible!  I would roll a 4, he'd roll a 3.  I roll a 6, he rolls
a 5.
> This was consistent for the first 9 turns, until he *finally* won
> initiative for turns 10 & 11.  By this time his ships were streaming
> serious wreckage and missing FiCons <eg>.

Great strategist, lousy die roller.  I think I used up all my luck with
amazing shot from the DD.

> * Lonnie's last shot was at the freighter - which he managed to hit
> of).	Unfortunately, he was one point short before losing all of his
> to threshold checks.

This seemed like the only merciful thing to do for the remaining crew of
captured freighter.  Large, aggressive carnivore species don't tend to
their prisoners well.  :/
   It was also somewhat consoling to think that, though I'd managed to
most of a fleet of small craft, as well as a merchant vessel, at least
raiding party was going home with very little captured cargo.  I left
freighter with a single cargo hold of the four it started with, and the
rest of
the ship was held together with bailing wire and duct tape.  It's
unlikely that
the commander of the K'rathri forces will live long when he reports his
less-than-stellar victory to his superiors...

/|\ Lonnie Foster  <>  
\|/   You owe it to posterity to live a cohesive, succinct life that can
/|\   summed up nicely in 90 minutes.

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