Second game at the club after COVID restrictions ease and it is back to Stars & Lasers, this was just going to be a simple meet-and-greet battle with about 1,300 points each.
We ended up with nine ships each, I went for a Battleship and Carrier supported by three Frigates and four Corvettes, while my opponent decided to go with a Carrier and two Heavy Cruisers and a Light Cruiser, two Destroyers and three Frigates.
As for upgrades my opponent went with straight up basic ships and didn’t take any, but I wanted a little extra to try and give me a little edge in the battle so I went with a turreted Pulse Cannon on my Carrier and a turreted Railgun on my Battleship.
And just as an extra for the few points I had left I added a VAS system to my Battleship to try and help with any missiles my opponent fires at me ( VAS – Variable Alternating Shield – is a system which switches normal shields into IDS – Increased Density Shields – to try and stop non energy weapons getting through, this is from the ‘Even More Lasers’ expansion, I hoped this would keep my Battleship alive through this battle )
Well the ships were setup and we were ready to battle…
Oh before I go any further I would just like to say that my opponent was using some really lovely models for this game, I think these are models from Shattered Void, and although they are meant to be fighters they fit in with Stars & Lasers fine, these would make a lovely alien race and with the lovely paint job they look very much like some sort of bio-ships.
So back to the battle…
Right from the setup I split my force with all four Corvettes on my right and the rest of my ships on my left, I thought that I would hold back my big ships until I had launched all my fighters and bombers, and pester his ships with my fast moving Corvettes ( Note: I am not sure why I make plans because as soon as I start moving my ships I normally forget all about plans!! )
My opponent placed his Carrier in the centre of his line and spread the rest of his ships fairly evenly across the table.
Turn one I put my plan into action and moved my Carrier and Battleship hard to my left trying to hide behind a few asteroids on that side of the table, and I moved my Corvettes fast across the table to pester his ships there.
My opponent came steadily forward and fired off a few very accurate long shots at my ships stripping most of my shields from my smaller ships.
Turn two and my Corvettes moved in close and actually managed to take out one of the enemy Frigates, they did take a lot of hits in reply but they were still flying.
My Carrier kept launching its fighters and bombers and moved further to my left with Battleship following, I used my Frigates as a screen to help keep the enemy ships away.
My opponent was launching his fighters and bombers as well so things were going to get really nasty very soon.
This was not good I failed all my shield rolls except one on a single Corvette, so I would be going into this turn with no shields on six of my smaller ships and my Battleship, I had a bad feeling about this.
The enemy bombers started their bombing runs on my Battleship and its PDS took out all but one bomber from the first flight, this bomber did a fair bit of damage ( note: you need active shields for the VAS system to work against incoming missiles, but as my shields were down the VAS system was useless )
I sent in my first flight of bombers against an enemy Light Cruiser, two were shot down by PDS but the remaining one got through but only managed to do some light damage!!
My Battleship took some more damage from my opponent’s bombers, my fighters did take out a couple more of the enemy bombers though which was good.
During this turn I lost my first Corvette from heavy fire coming from an enemy Heavy Cruiser, my Frigates moved away from my Battleship and moved in to threaten the enemy Carrier, but the supporting Light Cruiser and Frigates did well to stop my Frigates getting close.
Now at this point things were look about even we had both lost two ships each, but looking closely at my ships damage I noticed that all of my ships had taken damage except my Carrier compared to my opponents ships that had taken almost none!
Over the next turn or two I lost three more small ships, two Corvettes and a Frigate and what was really bad was that my Battleship had taken a critical hit on its shield generators so now had no shields which meant it had no VAS system either!!
I was losing at this point, I had lost more ships than my opponent and what I had left was badly damaged ( except my Carrier which had still not taken any damage )
The next turn things swung back to me a little.
I found my Battleship was stuck with nowhere to go without ramming an enemy ship, but as my Battleship was almost dead I couldn’t afford to move it yet, so I had to do something to help it.
I moved my Carrier around behind one of the enemy ships surrounding my Battleship which was a Light Cruiser and opened up with everything that I had and stripped away its shields and then sent the dead ship spinning off into space, the Pulse Cannon can be a great tool for stripping away a ships shields.
The Carrier then focused it lasers on a Frigate that was close by ( which luckily had no shields ) and destroyed it.
This opened up a gap for my Battleship to squeeze through, it moved around and opened up with everything it had taking out two more enemy Frigates.
Could I turn this battle around and snatch a last-minute victory…?
Probably not, at this point I had my Battleship with only a couple of points of hull remaining and with no shields, a Frigate with no shields and again only a couple of points of hull left and my Carrier, I still had a bomber and a couple of flights of fighters, but not enough to really cause my opponent any real trouble.
So the remaining enemy bombers moved in for the kill and took out my Battleship, my PDS took out two of the horrible bombers as they came in to attack but that still left one which did the final killing blow on the big Battleship, so I was down to the Carrier and a badly damaged Frigate.
The Frigate took its final hit and the Carrier lost contact with it, well that was that the Captain of the Carrier looked at what was left of the enemy force and made the decision to FTL away from this sector while he still could.
I was robbed!!!! That was a really good game and so could have been my victory, but so many things went wrong.
My opponent played really well, his long-range accuracy was very painful added to the fact that my dice rolling was really really bad, there was no way I was going to win this game.
I had about four or five missiles find their targets in this battle plus a few bombers made their bombing runs on target and not one of them did more than one point of damage each!
I failed to reinstate my shields on most of my ships at least three times! And I never got to use the VAS system once in the game!
But on the plus side the Carrier was incredible it never lost a single point of damage during this battle and when it moved in close to help the Battleship it was brilliant taking out two enemy ships.
Oh and did I mention that on at least two turns my opponent got to activate nearly all of his ships before I activated any!! That did cause a lot of pain for my ships and a few laughs 🤣
I can’t take anything away from my opponent for the good solid win that he got, no matter how bad my dice rolling was, it was still a very enjoyable game and he played really well.
My Carrier is now looking for some new ships to escort her back to this sector for some revenge…