|Tessarae Major. The ground base is just visible as a blue atmospheric shield on the far side of the planet|
Victory ConditionsIt's very simple: if the Klingons capture the base (and can therefore retrieve vital military data) then they win. If the base is destroyed by either side then it's a draw. Otherwise, if the defenders retain control of the base, then the Romulans win.
Klingon ForcesThe Klingon raiding force consists of 1 battleship, 1 battlecruiser and 2 heavy cruisers. Should be more than enough to deal with the base, right? 2 frigates are also available as reserves, in case any of the three players lost their entire command. The attacking fleet enters from the far end of the board, with an initial speed of 8.
Note that in order to capture the base the Klingons must land marines by transporter or shuttle. Either way, the standard, abstract "boarding" rules require the ship to be within 6" of the base and travelling at a speed of 1 or less!
As well as the research base (which is approximately the strength of a battlecruiser), the Romulans have 2 heavy cruisers and 2 destroyers. The Klingons don't know about these ships, either their numbers or classes! The defending vessels are deployed, cloaked, as follows:
- There are 10 numbered "blip" counters scattered around the board.
- Each Romulan ship writes down the number of the blip from which it will begin. Also, as per the rules for cloaking devices in Full Thrust, it must decide how many turns it will remain hidden and write its movement orders in advance for those turns.
- When a Romulan ship uncloaks for the first time, it will be placed initially on the chosen blip and then its pre-plotted movement will be executed; this gives it the final location for the uncloaked model.
The plan was that the 2 cruisers would race ahead, using their superior manoeuvrability to stop near the base and send in assault teams while the 2 capital ships provided fire support. Some long-range fire was attempted on the Romulan hemisphere, but a freak accident sent energy back along the ionised trail of the phaser shot and inflicted minor damaged to the Admiral Kang.
Phaser fire from the base destroyed the heavily-damaged Asgard quite easily. Fortunately for the Romulans (bearing in mind the Klingons' Moral High Ground), the ship was only just out of action and at least some of the crew would have survived in sealed compartments within the wreckage.
To add insult to injury, the base's heavy phasers then fired on the retreating battleship Admiral Kang. The base tried to play a "Match their shield harmonics!" to make the salvo even more deadly, but Klingon shield technicians were easily up to the challenge and stabilised their defences [i.e. they played a "That's not fair!" card of their own]. As it happened, the Romulans didn't need the extra boost; their weapons blew chunks out of the battleship's engines and rendered them completely inoperable.
AfterwardsWe did play on for a bit after this, to fill the time. However, the game was effectively over at this point; it was obvious that the arrival of 2 Klingon frigates wouldn't make any difference whatsoever to the outcome. Instead of a slow, blow-by-blow account of that action, here's the final summary:
- Admiral Kang (BB): drifted away from the fight with no engine power and few functioning weapons. Warp drive still operational, so she can probably make it back to Klingon space.
- Relentless (BC): Unable to make a high-speed turn, so flew off the table. Allowed to come back a few turns later only to be crippled by both Romulan cruisers.
- Valhalla (CA): made a big, smoking hole in Tessarae Major.
- Asgard (CA): destroyed by phaser fire from Hawk base.
- Warrior (FG, reinforcement): destroyed.
- Conquest (FG, reinforcement): undamaged, though next on the target list for the entire Romulan force.
- Firebird (CA): Slightly damaged when exchanging phaser fire with Relentless.
- Dragon (CA): Barely scratched.
- Lorica (DD): Armour damage only.
- Pilum (DD): Heavily damaged by the Admiral Kang, but saved when a "Makeshift Repairs" card sacrificed the warp drive to restore control to the bridge, just in time to navigate around the planet and avoid hitting it!