Well that was fun!!
I put a on a game of Stars & Lasers for two club mates and as this was their first game I thought that it would be good to put a good selection of ship types on the table, this would give them the chance to see how they work and how they work together, I also added some fighter stands into the mix to shake things up a little.
So the line up on each side was –
1 x Battleship
2 x Light Cruisers
1 x Destroyer
1 x Frigate
2 x Corvettes
2 x Fighter stands
2 x Fighter Bomber stands
No special weapons or extras for the ships, that points up to 1,200 points which is a fairly big game, but only about 135 points more than the “You sunk my battleship!!” scenario so still playable in an evening.
Well they had mastered the movement, shooting, missiles and fighters within a turn or two, all was going fairly well and both players seemed to be enjoying the game, this was until one stray missile got through in to a battleship… hey not to bad I hear you say, what’s one little missile going to do? Only D3 hits….
Well this is Stars & Lasers and it is meant to be “cinematic” in game play, you have all seen that scene in the movie when the big spaceship gets ready to destroy all the enemy ships and then the hero gets in the one shot that turns the whole battle, explosion rip through the big ship tearing lumps off everywhere and causing more explosions and then more explosions until the big ship just blows apart.
Well that’s what happened with that one little missile!!
The missile did three hits ignoring shields the attacker then rolled a critical hit and managed to get 2xD3 explosions which caused 6 more hits, he then rolled his 6 dice for this damage and rolled 2 more critical hits, one critical hit caused 2xD3 more hits which came up as another 4 hits and the other critical hit did further damage to the already damaged shield generator which caused 2 more hits… at this point there was a look of total disbelief on the face of the guy controlling the battleship, he had only one hull point left, but he was probably thinking at least his ship was still on the table….. it was then that the attacking ship fired it’s lasers and sent the battleship spinning off into space as a lifeless wreck, game over.
I did say many times at the beginning of the evening that missiles and fighter bombers are really deadly in this game, I also said that the Point Defence Systems are super effective if used correctly, this and the fighters ( which are basically mobile PDS ) makes it really hard to get any missiles or fighter bombers through to do any damage.
I have had this only happen once or twice during my games, it’s not nice when it happens to you, and I guess one of these players will never play the game again! which is a shame, but it is meant to be like the battles you see in films or on TV, with pilots like Mr Luke trusting to the force or Mr Buck showing off his 20th century piloting skills in front of Colonel Wilma, or even Starbuck and Apollo doing what they do best for Commander Adama, it’s close up deadly action that throws in that unexpected crazy moment just when you least expect it.
I am putting on a smaller game next week with a first timer and I will be running the battleships one again, I might reduce the number of ships on the table by one or two so it is a slightly faster game, but I still want to show how the different ships work with each other so I will still try and put a good mix on the table…. and of course, there will have to be a few fighters there as well.
Hopefully Mr L Skywalker will not be there so damage may be a little less spectacular…..
For anyone interested in seeing what the rules are like, they are on sale here – http://www.wargamevault.com/product/210571/Stars–Lasers?src=latest_rule_sets