Spacestation Defence, a Stars & Lasers game…

Wow what a game, I am a wreck!! There was a bucket load of tension and excitement in last nights game at the club, I had such a great game playtesting a new scenario with two great opponents (my friend and his son) it was such an enjoyable night.

This was going to be the second time I had played this scenario so it was still rough and probably not set right to make it playable, but it would probably be fun trying… oh how right was that!!

The basic scenario was simple, it is two large forces (2,500 points each) fighting around a large spacestation, one side would be defending while the other was attacking.

There are a few basic ways of winning but essentially the attacker had to destroy the station and FTL away from the battle with half or more of their ships, and the defender had to stop this etc. etc.

So for an absolute treat we were going to be using my opponents lovely BFG fleets!! So Imperial against Eldar, but of course using Stars & Lasers rules.

The forces were – for the Imperial side

1 x Battleship with a plasma cannon on a turret

1 x Fighter Carrier with a plasma cannon on a turret carrying 3 x fighters and 3 x Fighter bombers

4 x Assault Class Phobos Heavy Cruisers with a plasma cannon on a turret

1 x Destroyer

5 x Frigates

This fleet was over loaded with deadly plasma cannons with the Phobos cruisers carrying their two front mounted linked plasma cannons as well as all the turreted ones, I did not want to get anywhere near these nasty weapons.

For the Eldar side

1 x Battleship with a super ion cannon on a turret

1 x Fighter Carrier with a super ion cannon on a turret and carrying 3 x Fighters and 3 x Fighter Bombers

2 x Heavy Gorbovskie Class Cruisers with a railgun on a trurret

2 x Scitaliss Class Cruisers

1 x Destroyer

1 x Frigate

Well we set up and started moving towards the centre of the table and the spacestation my opponent and his son trying to defend the super large thing and me trying to destroy it… damn it was a lovely model.

Well it all went horribly wrong for the Imperial side, the spacestation took a load of hits from missiles at the beginning of the third turn and that was that, game over!

I thought that they would have trouble when they never launched some of their fighters from their carrier, these were quick enough to be able to get to the spacestation and protect it from all the missiles I was going to throw at the it, also by the third turn my bombers were within strike range, so that was the game over…

We had plenty of time to try that again, so this time the Imperial fighters launched from the carrier as fast as they could and on the second turn the remaining fighter launched with a flight of their bombers as well.

This time things were going better for the imperial force, they also realised that they could fire missiles to try and make me hesitate and maybe make me move my ships away from the spacestation, which to be fair worked well for them.

My ships got hit by many missiles during this game and they really really hurt!!!

And another thing that really really hurt was those damn plasma cannons, note to self – don’t get close to them… ever!

I have to say at this point that my friend and his son had so much bad luck with the critical hit rolls, so much so that I was having trouble stopping myself from laughing… 🙄

The plasma cannon gives a plus three to the critical hit roll and they only had about two or three successful rolls during the whole game.

As you can see from the pictures it was crazy around the spacestation, I hit the thing with everything that I could and also really hit a few of the Imperial ship hard causing lots of damage.

The spacestation rocked a few times from the missiles that got through all the Imperial PDS, they did really well to stop as many of the Eldar missiles as they did during the game, but the damage was starting to mount up on the big spacestation, could they hold out long enough to destroy enough of my ships to stop me?

Well my battleship took a huge pounding along with two of my Gorbovskie cruisers as well as my little frigate, that little ship just kept going, but was finally taken out by an enemy missile.

One of my destroyers was also hammered by three of the imperial ships but it also just kept flying.

By the end of turn three it was looking really bad for the Imperial side as the spacestation was basically destroyed, I only needed three or four more points of damage and it was finished.

The beginning of the fourth turn was crazy, missiles were flying everywhere, I lost count of how many were in flight, but I know that three of my ships took loads of hits from them, my fighters did manage to take out a lot but not enough to stop them all hitting my ships.

I only managed to do enough damage on the spacestation to leave it with only one point of damage and its four shields to protect it… could the imperial ships take out enough of my ships to force me into a minor win before I took out the last point of damage on the spacestation to get a major win?

Well it was nerve racking! I had lost two ships already and had to lose three more to drop minor win, well the Imperial ships moved in firing everything they could at my most heavily damaged ships, pounding away ripping huge holes in their hulls but my Eldar ships just kept flying.

Then one of the Scitaliss cruisers hit a missile and was taken out of the fight, then one of the Gorbovskie cruisers was destroyed with heavy fire from three of the Imperial cruisers and a frigate.

So now I was on three ships lost and still I hadn’t had a chance to hit the spacestation, then at last I managed to take down the four shields on the spacestation but that is all I managed to do, nooooo!!!! Somehow I had failed to hit the thing, so just one more hit and the game would be over and I would get the major win…

The Imperial ships kept pouring fire into the Eldar ships and still they couldn’t finish off any more, then I got the break I was waiting my destroyer moved around swinging around to attack the spacestation firing all its lasers and that was it, the spacestation was destroyed my remaining ships fired their FTL engines and left the Imperial forces to take stock of the damage done to them.

Well that last turn was painful, almost every Imperial ship had activated before the Eldar ships could do anything, and I lost track of how many critical hit rolls my friend and his son had missed in that last turn, it was a silly amount.

By the end of the game they had come so close to actually winning it was silly, I had at least three ships on the last point of damage and still they couldn’t destroy them!

Well I did learn a lot from the game as well, I do need to adjust one or two things in the scenario to make it just that little bit easier for the defenders, not too much but definitely easier as I did feel the defender was out of it for at least one turn longer than they should have been.

They have to launch their fighters in the first turn, that’s the main reason the first game was so short, they couldn’t defend against the first wave of missiles I sent at the spacestation.

But their ships also need to be closer to the spacestation by the beginning of turn two so they need to start at a faster speed and I think one or two possibly need to start close to the spacestation as if patrolling the area or one or two could be docked.

Well hopefully I can get in another game or two to test it some more.

This will be one of the new scenarios in the next free scenario pack, the other one is an interesting scenario written by a good friend and I can’t wait to playtest that one.

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  1. Vic

    Hi Mac – great looking battle! And great idea to use those awesome BFG miniatures – I’ve not seen so many of them on a table since I last played BFG myself in the early 00’s
    And the scenario looks nice too!

    The use of those plasma assault cruisers with plasma turrets is a scary idea … all those +3 to crits (despite your opponents bad luck I’ve found them to be reliable ship killers), compounded by the number of them … a total of 8 plasma cannons across the fleet … nasty!

    How did the Super Ion Cannon work out for you – I’ve found them to be long reaching & quite demoralizingly accurate at medium to short ranges, but I’d rather have a Rail Gun or Plasma Cannon myself …

    • Mac

      Hi Vic,
      It was great to see those ships on the table, I never really like the BFG rules but I do like the ships.

      Those plasma cannons are very scary!! I didn’t want to get too close, but the amount of critical hits my opponents missed was getting rather silly by the end of the battle, they should have destroyed my ships really quickly but somehow they kept surviving… I really did try to not laugh.

      I was not impressed with the Ion Cannons they hit twice but my bad dice rolling didn’t produce much damage, next time I may take railguns.


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