Thursday, March 26, 2009

And Now, From Space...

Battle of Barnard’s Star
Traveller: Power Projection

This is an interesting scenario taken from an article in JTAS by Prior, Bont & DeGraff*. It has been converted to Power Projection by me, and in so doing a small problem has cropped up, but more of that anon. (*Which, btw, sound like a great law firm. Or laser/lipo surgeons.)

This scenario is based on the Traveller future history of the Interstellar Wars (the same background that has my 15mm Terran ConFed pitted ‘gainst the 15mm Imperials, for those who are keeping track. Anyone? I thought not…)

As I was scheduled to run this at GZG-ECC last month, the various Terran polities were juggled to match up with the Tuffleyverse, but it must be said, the two universes dovetail nicely. (I had to leave the convention early, and never did have the chance to run this.)

The Scenario:
In reprisal for a convoy of Imperial merchants ruthlessly shot up by the Terrans (specifically, the Anglo-American North Atlantic Confederation) the local Imperial governor has sent a punitive expedition to put the wreck on any Terran ships in the Barnard’s Star system. Nations represented include the Russo-Chinese ESU, the French-dominated FEU, and the south-German/Austrian NSL Also representing the Earth is a United Nations Space Agency flotilla of frigates and corvettes.

The NAC, as the party responsible for the shooting spree (this is what you get when you let Brits and Yanks run around space unsupervised) had to stand ready to take whatever the Vilani unleashed, while Europe and Rest of the World happily stood clear to let the Anglo-Americans take a Kick to The Nadlies. The UN squadron, funded by Yankee cash and staffed by Brit mercs also deployed with the NAC.

Turn One: saw the Imperials (played by Megz) make a wobbly acceleration towards the NAC/UN fleet. Megz was learning how to make a vector-based move, which, her being a girl, proved slightly easier than parallel parking. Slightly. The UN/NAC edged forward and loosed their first volley of missiles from the corvettes.

Turn Two: Missiles began to strike their targets (those nifty nuclear-green disks are nukes going up). Two imperial destroyers were damaged, one heavily. A stick of 5 missiles directed at the Imperial light cruiser either missed, were shot down or were blunted by the armour. A direct missile hit on one of the NAC corvettes caused a spontaneous hull breach and the corvette split longwise like a pea pod.
“Uh-oh.” Said the NAC commander, as another corvette lost power and tumbled towards the angry Vilani.

Turn Three:
The remaining NAC/UN corvettes blew up real good. An imperial destroyer also went up. Another stick of six terran missiles converged on what was suspected to be the imperial flagship. They were mostly shot down. With four NAC/UN ships left (one or two with nicks/scrapes from the odd missile) facing an Imperial fleet with three light cruisers and three destroyers, the NAC/UN surrendered. No doubt the Imperials blew them out of space, but we were out of time.

Post-game Thoughts:
This is an odd scenario, as mentioned before, the problem is the Rest of World ships just hanging back, waiting to see what will happen between the NAC/UN and the Imperials. Somehow, I doubt that many gamers are willing to sit for two+ hours, waiting to get into a game. Since the Vilani can’t get all of their victory points by just chewing up the NAC/UN, they will eventually have to engage the Franco-Russo-Chinese-Swabians. My solution will be to break this into a two-session scenario, with the Imperials carrying over any damage/casualties, once they’ve thrashed the NAC/UN.

In the land of frigates, the light cruiser is king. Especially when armed with a royal particle accelerator bay. Any hits scored on the NAC/UN frigates were done by the CL PA’s. (At right, an Imperial light cruiser, with escorts, perfoming a Tokyo Drift. Smug bastards, aren't they?)

I was over-complicating the vector movement. This drove Megz crazy. Heh.

The NAC/UN should have accelerated away from the fight, and not surrendered. Vilani don’t often take prisoners – they foul their own berths, stink up the ship, and complain about the food. Easier to space them. As I mentioned, it was getting late on a Sunday and I was getting tired of making system checks to the sound of Megz and her victory dance. Oh, ohOHoh, OhohOH!

Another option would be to deploy the European Federal States with the NAC, as a gesture of western solidarity, and make the background state that the Euros fired on the merchants, which doesn’t seem likely, unless it was a Sarkozy government. Of course the NAC would stand with the EFS, because the NAC is stoopit, but there you have it.

The idea of the Rest of World, led by the UN, selling the Anglo-Americans out, would feel about right. Ω


Meg said...

Vector math is hard!

Don't pick on me! I'm just a girl!


kmfrye2001 said...

Big girl's blouse, so ye are!