IntroductionArachnophobia', about an alien race of bio-ships with unknown motives invading a Federation star system. This was, I thought, quite an interesting challenge for both sides, but 2 things didn't go quite right:
- There was no option in the scenario for peaceful contact (and therefore no reason for the defender not to start shooting as soon as possible).
- In the game we played previously, the intruder player was unfamiliar with the capabilities of the Sa'vasku bio-ships and tried to simply blast his way through the defenders' line. That reflected poorly on the effort I'd put in to the game's design.
Updated Scenario RulesFor the most part, the scenario works as before. Here are some adjustments to the intruder's special rules, though:
- Objective A: It's spawning time! Additional rule: only 1 bioship may spawn in the planet's atmosphere per turn, though there's no limit to the number that may orbit the planet simultaneously.
- Objective B: Curious. No changes.
- Objective C: Hungry! No changes.
- [New] Objective D: Friendly! The intruder must 'visit' each defending ship and station [including the bulk freighter] by ending a turn with a bioship within 6" of it. Additionally, a bioship must enter the planet's orbit to 'visit' it. These targets don't all have to be visited in the same turn, but the game ends with friendly contact when all ships have been investigated in this manner. Victory is determined by any shooting, thus: if neither side has fired then both sides win a major victory. Otherwise, any side which damaged any opposing ship loses the game - a major loss if they damaged an enemy vessel or a minor loss if they fired and missed. Any side that was fired upon but did not shoot back can claim a minor victory.
Note that for these purposes, the spilled cargo from the bulk freighter counts as Federation items; the Sa'vasku may not fire on it without incurring a loss.
Note also that the intruder player may not reveal his/her chosen victory conditions to the other side in any way until the game is over. Absolutely no dropping hints!
"Right, that's it. We've been patient enough!" snapped Admiral Jeffries. "All ships, open fire - nearest targets. These guys don't want to be friends!".
The Invincible and the Toronto immediately targeted the other small intruder (Zofran) and, despite the range, hurt it quite badly. The startled Zofran was already traveling fast; it now fled at top speed and vanished into the night!
non-critical hits). Her captain ordered the now-deafened crew to abandon ship, hoping that the alien star-creatures didn't eat escape pods!
Near the spilled ore, the other Federation squadron attempted to confront the Sa'vasku battlecruiser, only to find that the beast had accelerated straight past them far quicker than they had imagined possible!
Endeavour suffered the indignity of a non-critical hit on her grey paint locker. The atomised paint was then sucked into the life support systems and sprayed as a fine mist over much of the ship's interior!
Not everything went the Sa'vasku's way, though. Return fire from Federation vessels did serious damage to the second alien destroyer, Rituxan.
The bioship had taken light damage from the Federation heavy units whilst racing past them at long range, perhaps this caused the problem. Or maybe the animal was just tired after spawning - who knows? Whatever the reason, the derelict frigate was completely obliterated by the misdirected fire, while the Antelope then punched more damage onto the hapless cruiser!
ConclusionAs the Sa'vasku player, I tried to draw the Federation fleet away from the spilled cargo that was my goal. In this, I was partly successful, but at very high speeds it was difficult to manoeuvre so as to scoop up the small, tasty chunks. At least all my ships escaped in the end, though the smaller ones were quite badly damaged.
The Federation were indeed confused by the intruders' antics. Indeed, they may have been too confused because rather than attempting to chase the Sa'vasku ships, many of their vessels simply sat still and waited for something to happen. This made it relatively easy for them to reinforce any given area, albeit after a slight delay to build up speed.
Moving the party of alien V.I.P.s onto the small police corvette was probably a big mistake. The Sa'vasku could easily have targeted this ship before she reached safety. Even though the range would have been long, the corvette would have been very easy to destroy or cripple. However, I played in character - the intruders had no interest in the small lifeforms - and let them get away unharmed.