|The Tholian Border Patrol (1 heavy cruiser and 2 corvettes) englobing the Minotaur with web|
Unfortunately for the MacTavishes, these xenophobic aliens have encountered the freighter already and have immobilised it with one of their strange energy webs while they await instructions from their leaders.
|The MacTavish squadron: 2 light cruisers and 2 heavy destroyers|
- The MacTavish Squadron (500 NPV) arrives from one table edge on turn 1. They have an initial speed of 10.
- The Border Patrol (330 NPV) starts in the middle of the table. They have already surrounded the bulk freighter Minotaur with web.
- The Rapid Response Force (400 NPV) arrives later in the game, from the opposite table edge to the Orions. From the start of turn 5, the Tholian player may dice for the arrival of these reinforcements. To arrive on turn 5 requires a roll of 5+, to arrive on turn 6 needs a 4+ and so on.
- If the freighter escapes off the Orion table edge whilst still under Orion control then the Orion player wins a major victory.
- If the freighter is in Tholian hands when the game ends (by agreement or when all forces on the Orion side are destroyed or have fled) then the Tholians win a major victory.
- If neither side holds the freighter (i.e. it has been destroyed!) then the side that was responsible for its destruction loses. The other player scores a minor victory.
Seeing that the Tholian cruiser was outside the web and on its own, the Orion squadron accelerated hard. They planned to obliterate the larger enemy vessel before braking and turning sharply. The smaller Tholian patrol craft could be mopped up at leisure.
When the Orion squadron reached effective range, things didn't go quite according to plan, though. The Orion light cruiser Pegasus prepared to fire on the agreed target, but suffered a software fault in her targeting arrays. Her entire volley was directed at the small Tholian corvette Topaz instead. Even though the Topaz was partly shielded by the energy web, the tiny vessel took 3 damage points out of her allotment of 4 (a triple threshold check) and virtually every system on the ship went offline. With the bridge wrecked and life support failing, the remaining crew abandoned ship.
This mistake didn't save the Lithos though, as the other 3 Orion ships all pummelled the Tholian cruiser. In particular, the heavy destroyer Cyclone scored a runaway series of '6's, causing massive penetrating damage that (amongst other things) knocked out both of the Lithos' fire control systems. Without these, she couldn't fire back!
Bizarrely, the Cyclone was then struck by a severe energy vortex which spun the destroyer almost back in the direction from which she had come. Perhaps it was an effect of the over-charged phaser volley she had just fired, or maybe a spatial anomaly caused by the strange Tholian weapon? Whatever the cause, the Cyclone didn't try to rejoin the rest of the Orion fleet. A combination of asteroid fields and high speed would have made such a manoeuvre quite risky! Instead, over the next couple of turns she sailed off the table.
The Orion ships were braking hard now, but they were still going to overshoot the freighter. Almost contemptuously, the cruiser Manticore swatted the second Tholian corvette (Zircon), thus leaving the web without any power. At the same time, the other Orion ships continued to hurt the crippled Tholian cruiser. This time, the damage caused her warp core to go critical and her internal life-support atmosphere boiled away into space through the gaping holes in her hull.
As the web collapsed, the freighter Minotaur was finally able to move. She started to accelerate in order to escape, but painfully slowly. Meanwhile the Orion ships turned hard and the Tholian cruiser drifted away slowly, abandoned by her crew. This was (I think) turn 7, and still the Tholian reinforcements hadn't arrived!
Finally, the Tholian battleship Tholos thundered on. She was a long way from the action, but travelling at high speed. Could she catch the Minotaur before the merchantman escaped?
In a bizarre mistaken order, the light cruiser Pegasus actually turned towards the huge battleship, though the other 2 Orion warships both fled.
Even though the range was moderately long, the Pegasus didn't stand a chance against the Tholian behemoth. The Tholos' broadside scored multiple hits, resulting in a runaway warp reactor which exploded immediately.
Judging that the Minotaur had too great a lead, the Tholian Inspector General fired some long range warning shots at it. He was hoping to scare the freighter into surrendering, or perhaps damage its engines. Instead, a single phaser hit caused a series of explosions (the Minotaur was carrying fuel and engine parts, I suppose) which ripped through the containment field controls for the reactor.
At this point, fate intervened. The Minotaur's chief engineer had been killed in the fire, but one of the deckhands stepped forward. "I know what to do!" he exclaimed. "I've got a feeling about this". Before anyone could dissuade him, he activated the controls to flood the engine compartment with triclozine. [With 2 damage control parties, I needed to roll a 2 or under to shut down the critical warp core. By playing the "Use The Force" card I could halve the result of the dice, thus improving my chances considerably.]
Sadly, the crewman had chosen the wrong option [I rolled a '5'! Even though the card allowed me to halve this, it still rounded up to a '3' and so the warp core was still critical. We then rolled to see if it went supercritical and promptly came up with the necessary 5 or 6]. The Minotaur blew up in a spectacular fireball, thus ending the game rather promptly. Actually, the 2 Orion warships that were still on the table were departing too fast to be caught by the battleship anyway, so there was little point in playing on for 1 turn until they made their "official" departure.
OK, that really didn't go as I had expected at all! I think that the Tholian player made a bad mistake when he deployed the heavy cruiser outside the web. Apparently he was hoping to draw off the Orion forces by manoeuvring, but this just wasn't realistic. Once the Lithos was crippled, the Tholian corvettes were easy meat for the Orion ships. If I had been running the Tholians, I think I would have tried to board the Minotaur and capture her instead.
The Tholian reinforcements took a long time in coming. Because of the earlier losses, this meant that the Orion squadron was already on its way home. Indeed, if the Minotaur had had Thrust-2 instead of Thrust-1, they would probably have been quite out of reach by the time the Tholos arrived. As it was, an unlucky long-range shot wiped out the prize!
Technically, this was a minor Tholian loss, since they destroyed the prize freighter. In any case, 3 of the 4 Orion warships escaped with only superficial damage. The Pegasus would probably have made it also, if her captain hadn't blundered his orders. The Tholians lost a heavy cruiser and a corvette destroyed and another corvette reduced to an abandoned hulk, so the Tholians would have lost on material as well.
I don't think there was anything much wrong with the scenario, but I do think that playing the Tholians will take a bit of thought!
Nice batrep dude.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Bob. I don't think it's one of my best reports, though.Delete
Although not a Trek fan I do enjoy your Fullthrust games in the Trek universe. Nice batrep.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Clint. I had to rush this article somewhat and I'm not entirely happy with it.Delete
I totally agree with what Clint said!ReplyDelete
Have you ever considered Space gaming yourself? You strike me as more likely to be a Borg fan (aka "space zombies"!).Delete
Spaceship combat is not something I have tried or even wanted to try. But I can see the appeal of it. And yes, I wouldn't mind playing the Borg!Delete
Now that looks like it was fun!ReplyDelete
I've rarely seen anything like this before. There were only a few times that any of the ships fired, but when they did the volleys tended to run away with multiple '6's and caused massive penetrating damage!Delete
Action packed game report. If you can't take it for yourself then destroy it!ReplyDelete
To be fair, the Tholian player was trying to halt the freighter *without* destroying it. He just got unlucky (though not as unlucky as the freighter's crew!).Delete
Yet another very entertaining scenario that has a lot more still to offer.ReplyDelete
The event cards always add a nice "twist" to your scenarios, which otherwise could maybe be bit easier to predict.
I did think the Tholians had this one wrapped up until I realised that their heaviest vessel was outside the web - big mistake imo.
Very strange final outcome that probably frustrated all involved, but vastly amusing for us onlookers (ok, just me then.
Indeed, as the attacker I was expecting that I'd take losses whilst digging the defenders out of the web and recapturing the freighter. However, this turned out not to be necessary.Delete
The final outcome just goes to show why one shouldn't play with guns - someone might get hurt :-) !
Nice AAR as always, Hugh. Fast and furious, like you said. Sometimes, the die rolls just go that way (not often enough though!)ReplyDelete
What material is that you are using to depict the web? It looks like some sort of clear acetate? Like the pattern, looks just right.
Thanks. The web is just some lines on a black background that I drew in PowerPoint and printed on paper, since I didn't have time for anything more elaborate. I'm thrilled that you thought it was something fancier than that :-) .Delete
Can't say much that hasn't been said already - great report as usual. Not a star trek fan so I don't really "get it", but I really like how your reports have objectives and are rarely a pure bloodbath. Very inspirational.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Mathyoo. It's always good to get considered feedback.Delete
Hugh,great AAR as usual. Mind sending me the file on your Tholian web for personal use in my solo FT game,as well as the rules you used for the web please?ReplyDelete
the drake 70458 at yahoo dot com
I've uploaded my web template to here: http://www.mediafire.com/view/be9q47dm4bbwz7q/web.pptx .Delete
The rules that I used for the Tholian web were mentioned in a previous post, here: http://colgar6.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/not-star-trek-tholian-fleet.html .
I'd be very interested to hear about your experiences with these :-) .
Saved the pic of the tanker in the web,and used it to ask Litko for a price on getting the web made for me in 6" round acrylic version. Will let you know if they can make one for me for my own personal space gaming use. Thx,Mark
Thanks for letting me know. I'll be interested to see how this turns out :-) .Delete