Well Monday saw my second-round game of the Stars & Lasers league, and I was standing in for a player who couldn’t make it.
The scenario was “Hold the Line” which was a slightly adjusted version of the Colony Ships supplement “Defend the Line” I just removed Victory Points as they were not needed for the league.
I decided to take a basic force of standard ships –
1 x Heavy Cruiser with a turreted Railgun and Compacted Titanium armour
2 x Destroyers
2 x Frigates
4 x Fighter Bomber stands
2 x Fighter stands
My opponent had his 6 Gunboats ( as part of his planetary defence line ) plus 4 x Fighter stands and –
1 x Destoyer
4 x Frigates
1 x Corvette
But the problem I was going to have to deal with was that he was playing Centaurus Class ships!! these ships are nasty, they have turned away from normal lasers and use Heavy Combat Cannons and horrible missile packs, although their weapons are short ranged they all ignore shields, which meant my ships would be almost defenseless, except my Heavy Cruiser with its extra armour ( the only weapons my shields would protect me from were the lasers on his Gunboats )
My problems were increased by the fact that my mission was to get past his ships and destroy his Gunboats… already I saw problems.
Note: although these ships are really hard, they can be beat, but you do have to really think about the ships that you take and you have to try and keep away from them and use your longer ranged weapons to hit them from a distance, but this scenario didn’t allow for that.
So, turn one saw a mass of missiles coming across the table at my ships, I avoided the first few but the second wave were all on target, I fired off a few missiles at his ships in reply but they didn’t look as threatening as the ten missiles coming at my ships!!
I had some good early success with a hit with the Railgun which hit one of his Destroyers missile salvo packs which did loads of extra damage, but the damn thing hung on with just one point of damage left, then just stayed and sacrificing itself by letting two missiles hit it rather than letting them go on towards one of his Gunboats… but still that was Ok, first kill to me so things were looking good.
Turn two saw most of his missiles come in on my Destoyers and my PDS only managed to stop one of them, one Destoryer span off dead and my other Destroyer was badly damaged, oh dear that wasn’t great.
My Fighter Bombers moved forward supported by the Fighters but were to far away from his ships to do any damage this turn.
My Railgun found its target again and managed to do some critical damage on one of his Frigates, which was enough to send it spinning off into space.
Then his remaining Frigates managed to finish off my second Destroyer, damn a second turn of almost ineffective PDS, oh things were going horribly wrong.
Turn three saw some crazy dog fighting between the groups of Fighters, I lost a couple of Bombers but on the whole my Fighters did well and came out on top.
My opponent had managed to get more missiles into my Heavy Cruiser, it was like I never had any PDS, I could not stop his missiles, my armour was taking a lot of the impacts but I was starting to worry about my ship now.
Turn Four and I was in trouble, I hadn’t managed to do any damage to any of his Gunboats, my Heavycruiser was on its own now and very vulnerable even with its superior armour, if I could have held back I may have picked his ships off but my mission was to go forward and close on those Gunboats, and well after some more useless PDS the armour on the Heavycruiser finally failed it was down to just one hull point left, and it had taken a critical hit to its shields so it was sitting defenseless in the middle of a battle, my opponent had rolled maximum damage for all of his missiles!!!
Then just to rub salt into the wounds one of his Gunboats slowly turned and brought its laser around to fire at it… and yep he managed a really long range shot and that was it, my only ship left on the table was a very lonely Corvette.
I still had some of my Fighters and my Bombers left so I couldn’t give up.
The Corvette made a desperate run at one of the enemy Gunboats and fired off its last missile hoping for some luck…. But alas his PDS was more accurate than mine had been and took it out before it reached its target.
Turn Five and my Corvette loses its last hull point and spins off towards the planet and burns up as it enters the atmosphere, my last flight of Bombers moved in on a lone Gunboat and they manage to take it out before being blow apart by one of his Frigates.
And that was that, even though I lost I had a lot of fun, in the end I failed my mission badly but it could have gone either way, I blame my PDS, I think that I only stopped about two missiles the whole game, and I was hit by at least eight in one turn!!!
I have to say that my opponent played extremely well, he got his tactics perfect and right from the beginning he had me under pressure and on the defensive when I should have been moving forward and attacking, but I just could not roll at all well with most of my shooting and all of my PDS, the only thing that worked well was the Railgun, it really is a scary weapon when it works correctly.
My Fighters were also really great in the game, they were causing my opponent lots of problems, I just could not get them in to the Gunboats soon enough to make any difference to the outcome.
The dice Gods were definitely not on my side in this game, hey maybe next time…