Thursday, June 17, 2010

Drazi are Fight! Redux: It was the Best of Times, it was the Worst of Times

Today was another fun game with Mark. We played with the same forces as last time, the additional twist being that 30% of my force could enter on turn 3 from a long board edge. So, to recap, I had 1 Primus Battlecruiser, 2 Demos Heavy Warships, and 4 Vorchans plus 7 flights of Sentri fighters. Mark had a mix of Drazi ships including cruisers, carriers and 3 missile ships. He also had the potential for Earth Force reinforcements, which he rolled for each turn to see if they arrived, consisting of two Hyperion-Alphas. I kept the two Demos warships off board and set up my forces, shading slightly to the right. Mark set up his forces in the centre of the far edge, with his missile ships well back. Again, this will be more of a synopsis of what happened, not a blow by blow account. As mentioned in the previous blog, ships are activated when their cards are drawn from a deck which can make for some tense situations. A ship can get destroyed before it gets a chance to shoot, but Mark does allow ships a last shot but the damage it can do is limited.

I needed to get the Primus off the far board edge and my plan was to try and keep it off to one side and screen it with the Vorchans and fighters. I sent the Vorchans ahead at their maximum speed without overthrusting and the Primus lumbered along behind them. My Vorchans closed quickly on the centre group of Drazi ships, destroying one of his escorts in the second turn and the Primus did some long range damage to a cruiser with two lasers, something like 17 points which was not bad. The retributive strike of the escort hurt one of the Vorchans, which was subsequently destroyed by the mass fire of the other Drazi ships. Mark's missile ships let loose a barrage of 18 missiles but they wouldn't hit until the next turn and hopefully my fighters and point defence would knock some of them out.

Turn Three went well for the Centauri, at least to start. Their cards came up early and often, including the two Demos heavy warships which were able to enter the fray. As a result, several Drazi ships were either destroyed or heavily damaged. The heavy warships moved in from from each flank, using there torpedo's and medium arrays to good effect with the Vorchans and the other Lasers from the Primus adding to the carnage. To get the lasers to bear I had to turn the Primus into the main area of combat, but the Drazi centre seemed to be crumbling quickly so I wasn't worried at that time. Mark was also maneuvering his remaining escort for a possible ramming run at the Primus. I damaged it with my medium arrays on the Primus and it was taken out by a Vorchan on the next turn. One of the Demos took heavy damage from Drazi fire and decided it was time to bug out.My fighters had moved up to screen against incoming missile attacks from the missile ships in Mark's backfield. He lost 5 missiles from one group as they failed to make their endurance test and dropped out. His fighters tied some of my squadrons but I was able to assign some to each missile strike. Unfortunately they were not at their best that day and failed to shoot down a single missile. I also failed to shoot any down with my point defence. 5 missiles got through on one of the Vorchans, hitting on a 5+ on a D6, all of which hit! That reduced the Vorchan to an expanding mass of gas and shrapnel. Another Vorchan had been damaged previously was also destroyed by missiles.

I managed to mop up his centre, but then made a major mistake. I was in range of his missile ships, but the Primus used it's point defence to take out a squadron of fighters, leaving it open to a full strike of 18 missiles, which did something like 22 points of damage. Earth Force, in the form of two Hyperion cruisers entered. Though they weren't able to do anything right away, they managed to get their lasers to bear on the next turn, destroying the Primus, and thus I could not win the game. I had a Demos and a Vorchan remaining and decided to fight on, with my goal being to destroy the last of the Drazi ships. I managed to get one of the missile ships, but then the Earthers had a remarkable string of luck. They both managed to get their rear facing medium lasers to bear, one on the Vorchan and one on the Demos. The Vorchan was heavily damaged, taking two critical hits. Mark rolled 15 on a d20 twice, which was +4 damage twice. This destroyed the Vorchan. The Demos was hit by a laser, and Mark rolled max damage (8 points), which also meant he got to roll again for damage as the laser was sustained. This second set of damaged blew the Demos out of the sky.

The game had looked so good around the mid point of turn 3, but it rapidly went downhill. Failing to deal with the big missile strike on the Primus was a critical error on my part. It must be said that it was a bit of a Phyrric victory for the Drazi, who had only two ships out of 9 remaining at the end of the battle. Mark also had some amazingly good die rolls. At least things went better than in the first game.

Next time we will be playing War of the Ring and I will be facing Elves, possibly with an Isengard force.


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