Well another Monday night and another game of Stars & Lasers, and it was a good one…
I decided to bring a different force to the table this week because my opponent had played before so knew the rules reasonably well and so would be able to cope with an alien force to fight.
So, I got out my Reformers, I have enjoyed many games with these alien ships, and I know how hard they can be to beat, so I was looking forward to a victory!!
They can dish out a lot of pain, and of course can heal ( “reform” ) the Hive battleship making that outlast almost every other ship in the game.
Their pulse lasers are frightening when you roll well, so my opponent was looking very worried as I was explaining their rules and what they did.
The basic storyline behind the battle was that the Reformers were attacking an area of human space that had a repair station in it, they were after the raw materials that they needed to make more ships.
And obviously the humans were going to try and stop that from happening.
The forces we used were around the 1500 points mark, with this being made up as the following pictures show.
The Humans had four corvettes, one Destroyer, two Frigates, two Light Cruisers, one Fighter Carrier ( with three fighter squadrons and three fighter bomber squadrons ) and one Battleship with a Railgun and three extra teams of Engineers.
The Reformers had eight Splinters, four “Darts” and four “Hammers”, with these they had two Hive Light Cruisers and one Hive Battleship which was the “Hive Mind” this was equipped with a Meta-Disruptor and three extra Drones ( for the repairs ) and four groups of fighter bombers.
Note: I was going to take lots of photos during the game, but we got caught up in the battle so much that I never took as many as I had planned, but hopefully there are enough to show how good the game was.
The Humans set up with one Light Cruiser and the Destroyer docked with the repair station at speed zero, the rest of the human force came on spread out along their table edge, I was hoping that he had spread his ships a little to far apart so that I could maybe pick off a few that were on their own, but he had kept his Battleship and his Fighter Carrier close together ( that was going to be a real problem, if I wanted to hurt them I would have to try and split them up a bit )
I came in along my table edge with the Hive Battleship in the centre, I sent my fighter bombers and my “Darts” to loop around from the left supported by one of the Light Cruisers and sent the rest towards the repair station.
Turn One –
Both fleets moved predictably towards each other, not much shooting from either side while we both tried to get into good positions for turn two, but a few long-range shots did find one of my “Hammers” but nothing too worrying.
My Hive Battleship was keeping itself safe behind a large asteroid until it could see where the main attack from the humans was going to come from.
Turn Two –
This turn saw a lot more shots going both ways, but mine were not scoring as many hits as my opponents were, so already I was losing ships!!
Two of my Splinters “Hammers” had gone down to concentrated laser fire from his Frigates and Corvettes, even his Carrier was getting in on the action, he had launched two squadrons of fighter bombers which was not a good thing for my smaller ships that were flying around near the repair station.
My fighter bombers moved to place themselves in the shelter of another large asteroid keeping them safe for now, this seemed like a good plan.
The railgun fired but never found its target, which I was very grateful for, I then targeted a Corvette with my Meta-Disruptor and hit and took out his missiles for the turn, he managed to repair them in the following turn.
I managed to get damage on lots of the ships in his fleet, but nothing was destroyed, but he was hurting me, not the big ships but my Splinters ( without these little ships I was not going to be able to “reform” my Hive Battleship once it started to take damage )
I was hoping that turn three would see my ships doing better…
Turn three –
Well now things were starting to get crazy, my super-fast Splinters were getting into some good positions, they had streaked past his ships and got in behind them and had started to hit things with their pulse lasers and missiles… but still nothing of his would die!!!
Another Splinter was destroyed by those damn fighter bombers! They were going to cause me problems if they manage to get close to my Battleship.
The Railgun fired again… and missed, I never laughed, then I fired the Meta-disruptor at a Frigate and… missed, he laughed!
This turn I lost a Light Cruiser and a Splinter, oh dear things were not looking good for the Reformers.
Turn four –
This turn saw my Hive Battleship move forward towards a Light cruiser and the fleet Carrier, and I fired everything I could at them, did a small amount of damage on the Light Cruiser and took out communications on the Fighter Carrier with another hit with the Meta-disruptor, well at least the carrier would be doing nothing this turn.
His Battleship then moved around a small asteroid and came up close to my Hive Battleship, the hive mind was now panicking!!! I saw whole section of the Hive ship fall away from concentrated laser fire, luckily, he couldn’t get any missiles into it or I would have been in serious trouble… but what he had done though was put his Battleship within range of my fighter bombers who were waiting for just this moment.
This turn saw the first causalities suffered on the Human side, one corvette and a frigate finally spin off into space dead.
But all I have left on the table is one Splinter, one almost dead Light Cruiser, and a badly damaged Hive Battleship with no way of healing it back up… but I did have the four lots of bombers waiting to destroy that Human Battleship!!
Turn five –
I hate dice………
Out of twelve fighter bombers, with the potential of getting thirty-six hits, I managed to do twelve!! His point defence systems took out two of the first three bombers, the one that was left did one hit, I then moved in the three groups without fear of them being hit, and I rolled eleven more hits, out of that lot I got one critical hit which took out one of his lasers, that wasn’t the best outcome I could have got.
Then everything went a bit hazy, I lost the last splinter on the table and my Light Cruiser finally died, and then my Hive Battleship took a pounding, it took a critical which took out it’s shields and I wasn’t getting them back next turn either, and it was down to about half hull points left, it then decided that it would be a good time to hit the FTL drive and escape while it still could…
Oh dear! That didn’t go as well as I had expected, I made so many mistakes, I threw away my splinters and I should have kept them back, I should know the tactics and how to use these aliens as I wrote the rules!
They are really hard to beat with the Splinters reforming into the Hive Battleship to repair it, but if you lose them all then it is just another ship.
The Meta-Disruptor was fun to use as always, it never seems to overpower the game which is great, the poor crew firing the Railgun will need to be re-trained though as I think they only hit once the whole game, I was worrying about this weapon as it can really cause problems when it hits.
My fighter bombers were very disappointing, four stands of them should have destroyed that Battleship or at least got a few critical hits, but no, I am just rubbish at rolling dice.
As always it was a fun game, with some great play by my opponent, and a well-deserved victory for him.
The Reformers will return to sector Alpha29 one day, and when they do victory will be theirs…