Diplomatic Incident… a Stars & Lasers scenario

A Diplomatic Incident is a scenario written by a friend and is one of my favorites, the first time I saw it I loved it, it is such a simple scenario and is always great fun to play.

I can imagine this happening and have seen situations like this on TV before in shows like Star Trek etc. and every time I play it is fun.

I did release this scenario as part of “The Pride & The Passion” a while ago so if you fancy trying it download it and have some fun.

When disputes arise between two powers sharing a common border, both sides often dispatch warships to ‘fly the flag’ and enforce their claim in the dispute (whatever it is)

When the warships of opposing sides meet, a starship duel takes place as both ships try to force the other to leave the disputed area.

These situations can be extremely dangerous, as neither side wishes to back down yet neither side wants to up the stakes too far and turn a dispute into a major diplomatic incident… 

Both sides have one battleship and start at opposite ends of the table.

The Igstrevean battleship IGS Yu’Dha with Captain Draex in command.

The United Earth Federation battleship UEF Cordoba with Captain Emerton in command.

The winner is the side that forces the other to leave the area.

Either ship must leave once they only have 5 or less damage points remaining.

Turn one sees the Yu’Dha and the Cordoba close on each other neither one of the Captains seem to want to let this drop.

Turn two and the Yu’Dha fires off a long-range broadside and only manages to take down one of the Cordoba’s shields, they have done with talking.

Turn three and the Cordoba fires off a long-range broadside of its own and takes down all of the shields from the Yu’Dha, this is starting out to be a game of cat and mouse neither Captain wanting to commit fully yet, both ships are just testing the water.

Turn four and the engineers on both ships manage to get full shields back up again…

Captain Emerton orders the Cordoba to be turned hard around one of the large asteroids and to start her run to get behind the Yu’Dha, but Captain Dreax saw this and moved the Yu’Dha away and tried to use the asteroids as cover.

Turn five and the Cordoba has possibly put herself in the wrong position, the Yu’Dha could make a run at the UEF ship now.

The Cordoba managed to get the drop on the Yu’Dha and fired a full spread of missiles into her at point blank range, but the Yu’Dha’s PDS took out all the missiles! but then the Yu’Dha lost of all its shields from Cordoba’s banks of lasers.

The Yu’Dha answered the Cordoba’s attack with one of her own and stripped the battleships shields away and did some light damage to its hull.

Turn six and there could be trouble for the Yu’Dha as her engineers couldn’t get the ships shields back up!! Captain Draex ignored it and ordered the Yu’Dha to squeeze between two asteroids and started her turn again towards the Cordoba.

Captain Emerton banged his fist on his tactical consul now in frustration, he saw his chance but had not been able to make the most of it, he had to admire this IGS captain he was good.

Turn seven and the Yu’Dha engineers have failed again to get the shields up, they need to get them up soon or the ship will be in a lot of trouble.

The Yu’Dha decided to put a little space between her and the Cordoba to give the engineers time to sort out the problem with the shield generators.

But Captain Emerton had other ideas and followed the Yu’Dha and managed to get two more hits into the rear of the enemy ship as it tried to move away.

Turn eight and a big cheer goes up on the bridge of the Yu’Dha as the shield generators finally come back online.

The Cordoba gets in close behind the Yu’Dha and fires off three more missiles but again the Yu’Dha’s PDS deal with the missiles easily. But the Cordoba strips away the Yu’Dha’s shields again and manages to get some light damage on the big ship.

Turn nine and Captain Emerton orders the Cordoba to come about and to bring all her banks of side lasers to bear on the rear of the Yu’Dha and again strips away her shields and doing more damage to her hull.

Captain Draex was not out of this fight yet, he orders the Yu’Dha to turn sharply around a large asteroid and hits the Cordoba in the rear with everything she had, but Draex was very disappointed with the attack as they only managed to take down the last of Cordoba’s shields.

Turn ten oh dear again the engineers on the Yu’Dha failed to get the shields back up, Captain Draex was furious and decided that his engineers would get some special training after this battle…

But with some good manoeuvring Captain Draex got the Yu’Dha in real close behind the Cordoba and fired off a full spread of missiles, but this time the Cordoba’s PDS stopped the missiles.

Then the Cordoba turned as sharply as the big ship could and fired off a full broadside into the Yu’Dha taking advantage of the big ship having no active shields and ripped huge holes in her all down one side, with the vacuum of space quickly extinguishing the explosions!

Captain Draex heard alarms going off all across his bridge, but he ignored them and watched the Cordoba trying to anticipate what its next move would be…

Turn eleven both ships engineers got the shields generators up and running again.

Captain Draex ordered the Yu’Dha to move in for one more big attack and was granted a little payback by taking down the Cordoba’s shields and putting some damage on the big ship, Captain Draex knew this battle was over and silently congratulated the UEF Captain and ordered his ship to FTL away…

The Cordoba made her final turn towards the Yu’Dha and managed to get more damage on the Igstrevean ship before it FTL’ed out of the sector!

Captain Emerton called for damage reports as soon as the IGS ship had left, he hoped the causality list wasn’t too long…

Well a win for the UEF and hopefully a diplomatic incident has been avoided…

Wow that was going one way in favour of the UEF battleship right from the start, the Igstrevean engineers will definitely be shot I mean retrained when they get back home… they failed to get the shields up three times during that game, the only thing that kept them alive for so long was that the Cordoba had trouble getting into the right position to bring its maximum lasers to bear.

That scenario is always great fun to play no matter which side wins, just two ships and an hour or two spare time always makes for a good fun evening.

It always seems to be a game of cat and mouse right from the start until one ships can get that edge that it needs to win, this time both ships were flying around the asteroids in the middle trying to get the jump on the other ship.

I look forward to the next time I play this, and I will see if the IGS Yu’Dha and Captain Draex can get their revenge on the UEF Cordoba.

Note: I found that some of the pictures for this game were a little boring as there is not much you can do with just two ships going around and around on a table to make the pictures look interesting, but I hope what pictures I have given here at least go some way to show that it was actually an exciting battle.

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  1. Vic

    Hi Mac,

    What Captain Draex needs is a S’K’ottish engineer! Long ago (in a galaxy far, far away) a player of SFB I knew of used to mark 1 unit of crew casualties every time his battlecruisers disruptors missed the target …

    Perhaps Captain Draex’s engineers aren’t on the right pulls … maybe he should execute their trainer ….
    Cue dramatic evil laugh – Bwaa-ha-ha-haaaa … oops .. I think I spilled my cocoa.

    Diplomatic Incident’s a fun fight because it almost reverses the normal intention of most battles – you’ve got to go all out at the enemy (whilst hes doing the same to you) but you lose if you blow him up … 🙁
    When it was written I was playing the FASA Star Trek game a lot – a game where making the enemy go BOOM! with just one shot is easily possible.

    The pics look great – I think I’ll have to revisit this fight some time – I usually use cruisers, butyour battle wagons sure looked fun … hmmm, Leviathans perhaps!

    Vic 🙂

    • Mac

      Hi Vic,

      Oh yeah I really need a S’K’ottish engineer!

      I have played this scenario using cruisers in the past ( and often still do ) and it is great fun, but with my dice rolling things can go so bad so quickly that I do now and again use the bigger ships.
      This is mainly to try and offset my really bad dice rolling ( although it doesn’t always help! ) and will hopefully give me a longer game… Using Leviathan’s would definitely be a longer game.

      Thanks about the pic’s, as I said they often look really boring with just two ships, I find it hard to make them look interesting.


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