Stars & Lasers, are smaller ships better?

What a fun and cinematic game, like a battle scene from Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica, it was very exciting!

Forces were –

Mine –

Battleships + turret and railgun, 3 engineers

Fighter Carrier + 3 engineers, 2 fighters, 4 bombers

3 x Frigates

My opponents –

Fighter Carrier + 3 fighters, 3 bombers

12 x Corvettes

3 x Frigates

3 x Clippers

Turn one saw a mad rush from the other side of the table, every ship sped towards my Battleship, but I was keeping as far away as I could and made sure that the Carrier and the Frigates set up a good screen.

The Carrier dropped off two squadrons of Fighter Bombers, which would be kept back until good targets became available, I was not going to rush them in and lose them too early, the enemy Carrier dropped off two bomber squadrons as well but a long way away from my Battleship so for the time being I could ignore them.

Turn two and my Frigates started to take a pounding from concentrated laser fire and a few missiles, but they still held on.

I dropped off two more fighter Bombers and saw two fighters leave the enemy Carrier.

I managed to take out one of his Corvettes and put a little bit of hurt on a couple more.

I continued to move my Battleship away along my table edge and kept the Frigate screen in place, I was tempted to turn them into the smaller enemy ships, but I resisted, when you are out number like this you have to keep a screen as long as you can, or your big ships will suffer.

Turn three… oh dear this was not looking good, my dice rolling was keeping to it’s normal standard, complete rubbish!!

I used all of my Fighter Carriers PDS to take out one missile and missed it completely, and several critical hits later Kaboom!!!

One dead Carrier plus my two Fighter squadrons! They were my main defence against his fighter Bombers.

At the end of the turn the Victory Points points were 4 / 3 to me.

Turn four, saw one of my Frigates spin off dead, the other two were still in one piece but they were starting to suffer.

Some of the enemy corvettes were starting to get through the very thin screen and were getting a few hits on my Battleship, which again failed to get it’s shields back up, but luckily so far, no missiles had made it through nor had the enemy Bombers.

A couple more of his smaller ships died keeping me in front with 8 / 5 VP’s

Turn five was the make or break turn for me, my Battleship had almost no screening ships left and was going to get swamped this turn by many of his smaller and faster ships, and probably some of his Fighter Bombers, so I turned her sharply around and flew her into the middle of the enemy ships and opened up with everything that she had.

I managed to get three Corvettes down to their last hull points as well as a Frigate, but I just couldn’t kill any…

Then disaster struck again, my PDS was just not working, I couldn’t hit a thing, this time two enemy Fighter Bombers got through and produced a number of critical hits which ripped my Battleship apart, she spun off into space a dead hulk.

My last Frigate hit a Corvette at close range and with a missile but just couldn’t kill it.

Turn six saw my last already badly damaged Frigate die from laser fire and a hit from a missile, and that was the game over…

So, let’s try and put this game into perspective, the final score was 8 points for me and 9 points for my opponent, a really close game, and just to show how close he was to losing I would like to point out that he had about three ships that would have fallen apart in a strong breeze…

My tactics were tried and tested and normally work, nothing got near my Battleship until the forth turn, my screen worked perfectly… almost!

It’s those damn dice gods…

So my thoughts on the Game, it was fun, it was cinematic ( at my expense ) but I would have easily won if I had rolled even average dice during the game and my opponent hadn’t rolled so many critical hits.

If the Carrier had survived one more turn then I would have had those Fighters on the table to help protect the Battleship, and if the Battleship had managed to take out two more small ships I would have won the game.

Although I did learn from the game that for me it is worth taking extra armour rather than extra engineers, I failed all my shield repair rolls of 7+ for the Carrier and the Battleship, they spent most of the game with no shields!!

Lots of little ships give a big advantage in Stars & Lasers, you get to move lots more in to kill ships, although my opponent never did in this game, he won with lots of critical hits.

My Frigates did a good job of keeping the main attacks away from my Battleship.

My Bombers timed their attacks well and took out several of my opponents small ships.

The victory point system made it that my opponents nineteen ships got nine points if they destroyed all my ships, and my five ships only needed to destroy ten of his to win.

I only needed one more point for a draw and two more points to win, oh it was so close, lots of ships makes it very hard ( and scary ) but a good screen and good timing and a little bit of luck and you can win against the swarm fleets.

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