IntroductionTonight at the Games Club, my son and I needed to leave a few minutes ahead of the official end time. This was because the Dog Training club he attends was to hold its AGM and they would start rather earlier than normal. Tuesday evenings are our busy time! That being so, I had to be able to pack up my game quickly when we had finished. There's only 1 candidate for this from my regular stable of rules: Full Thrust!
So, a spaceship game, eh? Now I needed a scenario. For a change, I thought it would be nice to use some lighter ships such as frigates and destroyers, rather than the more usual cruisers and above. Right, so what are these light forces to do? Hmm... I know - how about escaping from a blockaded planet! One side (let's call them "Rebels") have been discovered operating from a remote world. The local enemy light forces (I'll call them "Imperials") have penned them in there, but are awaiting heavy units before they can assault the base itself. The Rebels must escape before the rest of the Imperial fleet arrives, or they'll be caught and annihilated. How's that?
- Monarch (large destroyer)
- Despot (large destroyer)
- Hammer (frigate)
- Iron Fist (frigate)
The blockading squadron was permitted to set up anywhere on the map (but beware the planet's defences; see below). Their goal: stop all the Rebel scum from escaping!
- Tiger (destroyer)
- Panther (destroyer)
- Lynx (destroyer)
- Leopard (destroyer)
- Martian Princess (light freighter)
- Olympic (light freighter)
- Lady Godiva (medium freighter)
- Peregrine (small free trader)
In addition to the ships, the planet contained:
- 2 missile bases. Each could fire 1 salvo of missiles per turn up to a range of 24" (the missiles would then home in on the nearest enemy within 6", thus giving them an absolute maximum range of 30", if you were lucky). Given that the biggest enemy ship was only a destroyer, these bases were a very useful way of holding the Imperials at a distance!
Victory ConditionsTo escape, a rebel ship had to exit the far end of the table with its warp drive functioning, or at least with the capacity to mend it if damaged.
The Rebel players were given 3 "items" that they must preserve:
- A popular hero of the rebellion
- An important Rebel diplomat/statesman (/princess?)
- Plans for the next part of their campaign.
Iron Fist managed to damage the Olympic, though not seriously. However, more missiles were launched from the Rebel planet and some of them locked on to the Imperial ship. Like her sister ship, the small frigate could not withstand such firepower and was lost with all hands!
Meanwhile, the last 2 Rebel ships (the destroyer Leopard and the small, fast trader Peregrine) thought they could now sneak through the unguarded hole in between the 2 Star Destroyers.
event cards. At this point, the Rebel team decided to play an Energy Vortex card. Luckily for them, the Monarch was selected randomly and was spun round by 2 points to starboard. This left her ion cannon unable to bear on the intended target, though beam weapons did a small amount of damage.
Back in the Middle
SummaryThe Imperials lost 2 frigates (the 3rd one, Iron Fist II, made an accidental high-speed pass of the planet after a manoeuvring error, narrowly missing both the rogue comet and the furious missile salvos from the automated defence systems). I doubt the Emperor will be bothered by this; frigates are completely expendable.
Rebel losses were as follows:
- Tiger: destroyed
- Lynx: lost (out of control and heading for another Imperial blockade sector)
- Leopard: lost (abandoned, crew saved by being transported to Peregrine)
- Panther: damaged, but escaped.
- Martian Princess: damaged. Escaped, but with a warp core breach! Very hairy for 4 or 5 turns, but eventually managed to bring it under control.
- Olympic: destroyed
- Lady Godiva: escaped, slightly damaged
- Peregrine: escaped, undamaged