Thursday, October 6, 2016

GateCon FSA Megabattle Debrief!

Greetings all. It was a busy weekend for me. I had two events going on this past weekend. I played in an I.T.S. event and we had an FSA mega battle at Evolution Games on Sunday. It is this event I want to talk about. We decided to kick off the War Gaming season with a Massive fleet battle that tied into the Flashpoint Amber campaign. Granted we did take some liberties as we wanted our own FSA personas to be involved. This was a 5 on 5 game of Zenian League vs Kurak Alliance. It was 1000 points per player for a total of 10,000 points of ships on the table. We got a little bit of a late start due to the grilling of steak. You can’t battle on an empty stomach. The whole battle took about 6 hours or so. Let’s dive in and take a look at how the battle unfolded.

The Zenian League Fleet was comprised of 2 Relthoza players, 1 Directorate, 1 Kedorian Alliance fleet and A Dindrenzi fleet. Spellduckwrong at the Dindrenzi Admiral was overall fleet commander. His persona Fleet Marshal Declet lead the fight from is only moderately sexy Nausca Battleship. The Kurak Invasion fleet was composed of 2 Sorylian fleets, 1 STL Mercenary Fleet a Terquai Fleet and an Aquan fleet. The Supreme commander was Shoal Commander Telarion aka the North American Champ Larry.

The board was actually made of three 4x6 space boards that were put into an “I” pattern or “dog bone” configuration. We thought about playing long ways but decided squaring off across from each other along the long sides of the table was best. This gave the player on the center table a 6-foot-long and 4-inch-deep deployment zone while the players on the end tables had a 24-inch-long and 16-inch-deep deployment zone. We did have to hash out a few things after we had set the tables up and decided on the set up procedure. One of the big challenges with a team game or big multi-player games is how to handle T.A.C.’s and what Fleet Tactics rating to use.

For Fleet Tactics and initiative rolls we used the value of the Supreme Commander. In retrospect though we may just leave the value out all together as this makes it more fair. The supreme commander almost always ends up being the player with the highest rating. In the interest of fair play in the future we are going to just use a strait dice roll that can only be modified by the Intel Gathered T.A.C. this makes sense as when you have an alliance fleet you always use the lowest Fleet Tactics rating, which means in big games you almost always have one player with a rating of 1. A strait roll is more fair and adds some more suspense and excitement to the game.
For T.A.C.’s each player had their own which would only affect their own ships. I plan on making some “Team T.A.C.’s” for future events, like Adepticon, that the Supreme Commander can play instead of one of his own that will have an effect on the whole Alliance fleet. That way we can add some new and interesting things to the game.

Once we had these things hammered out we came up with a mission. A big brawl is fun, but we wanted to set the scope and length of the game. That is, we wanted to give each table or sector some objectives to gain battle log and give our fleets a reason for meeting. In this case the Zenian League had established some waypoints to help gather a large fleet that was supposed to be hidden from prying Kurak eyes. These waypoints were positioned at the tables on the ends. There were two per table. We used the same rules from the hold the waypoint mission from the rulebook to make it easy to determine how to hold and who was holding the way point as well as how much battle log was gained per turn for holding it. In the center board and centerline on the table we used the ghost station rules as an objective. This represented the neutral trade station the Zenian League was using as a staging and logistics base. There were also a series of gun satellites that used our rules from last year’s Adepticon. If you held these satellites’, you could use the weapon systems on them. In this case they were a gravity weapon with a limited range. This made the center table pretty dangerous as there were 4 of these stations on the centerline of the table with a massive “Ghost Station” in the dead center of the table.

With the board set and the rules of the mission laid down, we rolled for setup. The Zenian league won the roll so the Kurak Alliance was the first to set up. Rather than do 1 squadron at a time and going back and forth, each player on the Kurak side deployed one squadron. Then each player on the Zenian side placed a squadron. We went back and forth like this until we were deployed. This was done in the interest of time. With our ships deployed we started the game.
Rather than give a blow by blow of a 7-hour mega game I am going to go over the high points. The opening turn was basically everybody getting on a war footing and feeling out the other side with long range weaponry. The Zenian Fleet was composed of a lot of big vessels while the Kurak fleets were bigger in terms of numbers. On my side of the table I had a horde of Sorylians bearing down on me. I had Knightperson’s Relth to my left and Vogrins Directorate to my right. Since I was running an Apex Dreadnought I charged Forward. You may want a look at my list before I go on.
Strike Fleet Indigo
Apex Dreadnought
3x Huntsman Heavy Cruisers
3x Venom Gunships
3x Iramon Light Cruisers
4x Nidus Frigates.

With wings and some upgrades here and there I was at exactly 1000 points. Vogrin and I had to deal with a massive Sorylian fleet which was being led by a Carrier and a Battleship. We advanced enough turn one to start tickling each other with torpedoes with mixed results. The Aquans and Terquai at the other end waited as the Kedorians and Works Raptor vessels hit them with torpedoes. When the Kurak went half the Aquan fleet went into fold space. You see we had instituted a combat jump rule. A ship could declare a fold space jump and gain a token. At the end of the turn you could then pull the ship. The following turn they could arrive on any of the other tables and roll on the fold space table as normal. Basically doing a combat jump. This proved to be a really good strategy by the North American champ, because he jumped his ships all over to support his fellow admirals in the fight. We did not have any hit our end table, which was good because the Spiders were setting a trap up for turn 3. The Sorylians really dove into our lines. The directorate took the brunt and I lost a couple cruisers on the way in. Turn 3 was the big turn though, The Apex and my other ships were in position. The Cruisers and Gunships had dropped cloak in turn 2 and were hitting a War Wolf Gunship squadron hard. The Directorate had been taking the brunt of the onslaught though. On the other side of the table the Aquans were tearing into the Dindrenzi with support from an STL cruiser squadron that had shunt deployed behind the flagship.

It was not looking good for the Zenians, but the resiliency of the big ships started to pay off as did the firepower they brought. The Apex dropped its cloak in turn three and engaged the Sorylian Carrier. The roll was epic producing nine 6’s and causing a triple critical. This obliterated the carrier in one go and really rallied the Zenian players. One of the the Relthozian battleships from the center board also dropped in to support springing our trap. It hit the rear guard Sorylian destroyers and engaged the gunships as my ships tore into the fleet.

Combat was bloody and it was not clear who the winner was going to be. After the 4th turn ended we added up the total battle log and the Zenian Fleet came out on top by the narrowest of margins. 27-26. It was hard fought, but the battle was won. Casualties on both sides were high. This was a great day and a very fun game. It was a good kick off to the season. The summer in Michigan sees the numbers at the game store thin as the weather gets nice. Fall is now rolling in and everybody is back to play and hash out some Adepticon fun.

Next time I will be talking Infinity and the new Tagline Narrative Campaign event that just dropped. I will also be delving into some Halo soon. I will be running demos at UCon in November. Halo Ground Command, Halo Fleet Battles and Firestorm Armada are all on the Agenda. I will be talking about that more next week.

Until next time crush the Alliance and as always….


1 comment:

  1. I will share my Relthoza list, which was also exactly 1000 points. It's the list I ran at Adepticon this year that I affectionately call The Glacier. It's 2 battleships with upgraded PD, AP, wing capacity (bombers), and corrosive ammunition. Tier 2 is a single squad of heavy cruisers with corrosive, and tier 3 is 3 squads of 4 drone frigates. Basically, the toughest and slowest things I can field, with speeds of 6, 7, and 10 inches, but all modes but the frigates are running corrosive ammo and self repair. Sadly, they didn't feel all that tough against a dense pack of Syndicate ships across the table from me! The battleship that shunted over to the other table did some damage, but most of the rest of my stuff got chewed up pretty fast. I'm taking it as a compliment that my stuff looked scary enough to take that amount of fire, and because alternative explanations are less appealing.