Stars & Lasers big game time…

Well I received some spaceships in the post from a friend ( thank you 😉 ) and decided that I would paint them straight away so that I could get a big game with them as soon as I could… so a couple of evenings later and I had a nice little fleet ready for the gaming table.

Nine of these ships I already had I just painted the new ones to match.

These ships are from the Ground Zero Games Full Thrust range and very nice they are, but for my game they will not be Kra’Vak they will be just the “Aliens” as I haven’t got any special rules for them yet, although I might have to write some now that I have a fleet of them.

The force they will be fighting is again mostly GZG stuff but with a few EM4 miniatures fighters ( I use them as Corvettes ) and one very big Firestorm Armada ship, and some other oddities thrown in to make the fleet. This fleet will be the Humans for this battle.

So the quick background story for the battle is a large Alien fleet has invaded Earth territories and a fleet has been sent out to intercept them, including one of Earths last Leviathans.

Can the aliens destroy Earths fleet and move on to capture the planet or will humanities last hope hold against the alien invaders? Every ship that Earth could call upon was sent out to meet the aliens, but will it be enough…

There was going to be 58 ships plus 8 fighter bombers and 4 fighters squadrons and 6 assault ships involved in this battle!! All the big ships just had a simple Railgun and turret upgrade nothing else, I just wanted to keep it simple.

The Aliens had 2 Dreadnoughts, 2 Battlecruisers, 6 Heavy Cruisers, 3 Light Cruisers, 5 Destroyers, 6 Frigates and 11 Corvettes.

They faced a Human force which consisted of, 1 Leviathan, 1 Battleship, 2 Fighter Carriers, 1 Heavy Cruiser, 3 Light Cruisers, 2 Destroyers, 2 Frigates and 5 Corvettes.

Approximate points were –

Aliens 5,990pts ( 35 ships )

Humans 4,345pts ( 23 ships + 6 Assault ships )

The set up was fairly simple, I split the Aliens into three groups two with Dreadnoughts at their centre and one built around a block of six Heavy Cruisers.

The Humans were again split into three groups two built around the two Fighter Carriers and one around the Leviathan.

Turn one –

The Humans stormed forward launching Fighters as they went, the Corvettes released a wave of missiles at the enemy on the right-hand side trying to break them up a little or at least slow them down. They took a few long-range shots but only managed to take down a couple of shields.

The Aliens in return simply moved all three groups forward towards the Human fleet, trying for some long shots but again like the Humans they had no success.

Turn two –

And the Humans get a good start as a Destroyer moves in close to an alien Corvette and manages to get two missiles strikes which send the dead Corvette spinning off into space… First blood to the humans.

An Alien Corvette streaks in on a damaged Destroyer and finishes it off then tries to put a missile into the Human Battleship, but the missile is easily destroyed by the battleships PDS.

The Corvette action in the centre of the table sees one Alien Corvette explode from a critical hit from a missile and another Alien Corvette takes damage from the flying wreckage.

The Human Gunboats moved steadily forward in a line giving the Leviathan covering fire, they poured laser fire into another Alien Corvette but just couldn’t take it out, although with the damage it had suffered it was not happy.

The Aliens continued to move forward at a steady pace but were starting to take a few losses amongst it’s fast Corvettes.

The Leviathan was starting to make its presence felt, but could its massive bulk make a difference against this many Aliens.

Turn three –

The Human Fighter Carrier on the left of the table took many hits from the Alien Destroyers, it was going to be in trouble if its engineers had any trouble reinstating its shields. A Battlecruiser moved in and put an end to an Alien Corvette and a Destroyer, it even managed to destroy a weapon system on one of the Light Cruisers with a critical hit, it looks like the crew had been practicing before this battle.

An Alien Battlecruiser smashed in between a Corvette and a Light Cruiser opening up with its banks of lasers and ripped apart the Corvette and sent the Light Cruiser out of the fight. The Dreadnought on the right of the table moved in for the kill and finished off a Light Cruiser.

The central Alien force found itself flying into a wall of missiles form all the Gunboats and supporting ships.

The turn ended with some ineffectual long-range shooting from the remaining ships on both sides.

Turn four –

A very bad start of the turn for the Human fleet, their engineers failed to reinstate the shields on every ship but one!!!!

The Human fighter Bombers were starting to earn their pay now, they managed to take out a Battlecruiser and a Light Cruiser without too many losses. The rest of the fighters took out the remaining Alien missiles leaving the way clear for their main ships.

The Human pilots in the Assault ships found themselves still alive and with targets in their sights, so they gunned their engines and rammed into two Heavy Cruisers, within the next minute or two they would be destroying the ships from the inside!

The Alien shooting finally found a weakness in the Heavy Cruiser in the centre of the table, one of the hits caused massive internal explosions which blew the big ship apart, flying wreckage from this hit many ships that were close by, also two squadrons of Fighters were destroyed when they were hit by a large section of the ship.

The Leviathan was starting to wake up now and slowly turned into the Alien fleet, huge banks of lasers opened up on the Alien ships, two dead hulks that were once Destroyers spun off into space.

The Alien Dreadnought in the centre of the table took its final damage and spun off no longer able to fight in this battle.

An Alien Battlecruiser moved in close to a Frigate and a Gunboat,  there was not much left of either ship when the Battlecruiser finished firing. A Heavy Cruiser got off three missiles at a Human Frigate and the little ships PDS just couldn’t stop them, another ships goes spinning off into space dead.

Turn five –

Again the Human engineers were having a bad day, they just couldn’t get those shields working, out of the nine ships left they failed to get shields back on seven ships!!!

The marines assaulting one of the Heavy Cruisers finally managed to disable it and left it floating as a dead hulk, the Assault ships left it and went looking for another target. The Alien Dreadnought close by saw this and moved over and destroyed all but one of them and the Fighter Bombers that were near them.

The Leviathan was starting to suffer under the constant barrage of missiles and laser fire, but the beast was not out of the battle yet. It slowly turned again and vaporized a Destroyer and a Heavy Cruiser…

At the end of the turn the Alien Commander decided to give the call to withdraw and FTL’ed back home.

Well a good victory for the Human fleet. They started the battle with the smaller fleet, but they proved they had what it took to beat the Alien scum!!

I learned a few of things from this game –

One, the Leviathan is awesome! And can dish out a lot of pain and take it as well.

Two, the Gunboats were great, flying just in front of the Leviathan gave it a good solid screen, and they can hurt when used together concentrating their fire or missiles.

Three, next time I think I will have to give the Aliens a few Fighters and Fighter Bombers, the Aliens lack of Fighters didn’t lose them the game, but it would have helped them a little if they had had some.

Four, did I mention Leviathan’s are awesome?

Five, I should have paid more attention to the Assault ships as they can really be deadly if they get to their target, I rolled two 20’s for the first attacks and destroyed the Heavy Cruiser in one turn!!! I never roll that well…

Hey it was still a great game and one that I will have to try again sometime, probably after I have written some good rules for the new Alien fleet.

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  1. Vic Dobson

    Hi Mac,

    Great Bat-Rep – and thanks a honking huge battle! All those Kra’Vak on the table makes for an intimidating sight …

    I’ve played several large fleet action games with more individual ships a side (50+ each) but I’ve not tried one with so many of the BIG capital ships a side – and it looks great fun … sort of Jutland in space …
    And having seen that Leviathan swimming through a school of (easily shot-up) minnows I quite fancy having a go myself! But I’ll have to find a suitably enormous battlewagon miniature first – that Dindrenzi Praetorian sure looks the business …

    I’ve found I that in fleet battles of that epic scale I tend to forget a lot of things (like that compacted titanium armour, or that I’ve got turret weapons, or I forget to resolve that boarding action etc) – the more ships you have the more options that you have and so some always seem to get forgotten in the heat of the battle.
    But there’s nothing quite like watching a battle group of capital ships firing one after another into the same target …

    I am surprised the Leviathan survived to the end of the battle – in most of the big fleet games I’ve played in seems to be common that everyone piles fire into the enemies lead ship – whether it’s the biggest or simply the baddest looking – until it goes bang!

    Great looking fight!


    • Mac

      Hi Vic,
      Thanks mate it was a great battle.
      The Leviathan was so much fun to play, I thought it was going to go down at one point in the battle but somehow it survived
      It took so many missiles during the game it was silly, and it was down to its last eight hull points by the end of the game, the problem was that everything that was brave enough to get close to it was destroyed by it and it has loads of shields which really does help.

      I always forget stuff as well that’s why I just went with a basic Rail Gun and Turret on all the big ships that made it easy to remember.

      At the end the day the Kra’Vak just didn’t have the luck that the Humans did, I had two turns where almost all the shields on the Human ships failed to come back up, I thought that would be game over, but the Aliens just could not get their act together their shooting was awful ( ok my dice rolling was awful ) I think that is what lost them the game.
      The Humans shooting was so good all through the game I thought someone else was rolling the dice!!


  2. Vic Dobson

    I love it when it goes like that, down to the wire. Some of my most enjoyable games have been when neither I nor my opponent could tell which way it was going to go until just before the end …

    I’ve found the Pulse Cannons are a good weapon for smaller ship turrets – that extra burst of fire can help strip a target of its shields (if they hit – my dice rolling’s pretty poor too!). A couple of heavy cruisers leading a bigger ship (BC+) in can strip the target of shields and allow the big ship behind them to really kick the stuffing out of the target. And putting a Plasma Cannon (with its big bonus to critical hit rolls) on that BC (or BB, or DN … or Leviathan) led by those 2 CA’s with Pulse Cannons is a nice combination.

    A nice combat group I’ve tried out is a Battlecruiser (with Plasma Cannon), 2 Heavy Cruisers (with Pulse Cannons) and 4 Destroyers. Although it’s hard, if you can get a set-up whereby Destroyer launched missiles arrive at the target at the same time as the cruisers (who’re also launching missiles) and the Battlecruiser …. the target ship can be overwhelmed by the multitude of threats.

    Of course, it does help if your opponent (like mine) uses “Yoicks & away, straight at ’em & head-on into glory” tactics …


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