Saturday, 2 March 2013

Small Action 5150 Star Navy - Benzo and the Monkey Boys

“Captain, you better get up here. We’re picking up blinkers.”
“On the way,” Benzo fumbled for his pants. As he pulled them on he heard the “general quarters” being sounded. This must be pretty big, he thought as Cezar wasn't prone to panic.
“What’s happening?” she asked.
“Don’t worry love, I’ll be back in a minute,” he replied. “But you may want to get dressed.”
Sonja swore under her breath as she pulled on her shirt. “That’s what I get for hooking up with a pirate,” she muttered.
This is a 5150 Star Navy AAR of a different kind. Star Navy is made for large fleet actions of 20+ ships per side. Recently there has been a desire by the THW Yahoo Group members for a way to play with a small number of ships. More of a personal level game, ship to ship. In this AAR we have three Pirate ships intercepted by a Zhuh-Zhuh squadron of four ships. Seven ships is just the right size battle for trying out the two new optional rules. They are:
·        Increased Hull Size.
·        Concentrating Fire.
For a copy of these rules follow the link at the end of the AAR.
The Pirate fleet consisted of three Class 3 ships. One Raider (Rep 5), Benzo’s Flagship, a second Raider (Rep 3) and a Marauder (Rep 4). The Marauder was a Missile Boat while the Raiders would rely on their guns.
Blinking in was a Zhuh-Zhuh squadron. It was Squadron 4 and consisted of a Cutter (Rep 5 – Flagship), two Missile Boats, both Rep 5, and a Gunboat (Rep 4). The Cutter was equally balanced with 2 missiles and guns. Each Missile Boat had 3 Missiles while the Gunboat mounted 3 guns. Zhuh-Zhuhs are notorious for sacrificing Shields for firepower.
But of more concern would be the higher Reps of the Zhuh-Zhuhs.
Before any game you have to think about the goals of each side. This was pretty easy as the Zhuh-Zhuh military wanted to kill or capture the Pirates.
Now the Pirate goal was a bit different. That Cutter would make a pretty sweet addition to the Pirate fleet but self-preservation had to be in the front of their minds.
The battle started with a Long Range Scan and result wasn't good for the Pirates. The bottom line had the Zhuh-Zhuh ships coming in at a 45 degree angle to the front of the Pirates. The real bad news was that they had blinked in only 24” away.
The Zhuh-Zhuh chose to come in at maximum speed (8”). Their plan would be to get into missile range ASAP.
The Pirates increased their speed to 5”. They hoped to swing around on the side of the Zhuh-Zhuhs.
The only problem was the Zhuh-Zhuhs were active and moving first.
Zhuh-Zhuh Patrol!

First turn the Zhuh-Zhuhs scream forward.
·        The Gunboat scores a Hull hit on the Marauder.
·        The Cutter fires its 2 guns on the lead Raider but the shields hold.
·        The two Missile Boats are out of range.
The Pirates now move their full move and turn Port 45 degrees coming into missile range.
·        The Marauder fires a missile at the lead Zhuh-Zhuh Missile Boat. The Zhuh-Zhuh fails to evade and takes a Hull hit.
·        The Rep 3 Raider and Benzo concentrate fire on the lead Missile Boat. Combined fire has 3 effective guns out of 4. Subtracting 1 shield has 2 hits. One hit does zero damage (hit the AA) but the second takes out the lone shield. Taking a Damage Test the Missile Boat carries on.

Second turn and the Zhuh-Zhuh ships move forwards the Pirates. Slowing down by 3” they finish their move well within missile range
·        The Cutter opens fire at the lead Raider. Two guns versus two shields, the shields shutter under the fire, one going out. The Cutter follows up with two missiles. The Raider fails in its attempt to evade and suffers massive damage, losing 4 Hull and taking an Engine hit. This reduces the Thrust by 1 and the Hull has over 50% damage. Note that using the original rules this would have destroyed the Class 3 ship!
Heavy damage and an Engine hit to boot!
·        The Gunboat now opens fire on the Rep 4 Raider and scores one Hull hit.
·        The lead Missile Boast launches three missiles and all hit. One gun is knocked out, a hull and an Engine hit reducing thrust by 1.
·        The last Missile Boat fires 3 missiles at the Pirate Flagship. Benzo evades 2 but the third hits, damaging the Hull.

The Pirate Flagship comes under fire!

Second turn and the Pirates are in dire straits. Two ships with engine damage, one at half Hull damage and no gun. Part of me wants to stay but being a Pirate it’s better to run for it.
Benzo gives the order to Break Off for the rendezvous point.

Benzo gives the order and the Pirates "blink out".

·        Benzo’s Flagship escapes and is ready to continue its Pirate cruising.
·        The Marauder is out of commission for one mission while being repaired.
·        The other Raider is out of commission for two missions while being repaired.

“That didn't go so well,” Benzo thought as the last of the status reports came in. “Cezar, plot us a course to New Hope, I think we need some R&R.”

Like I mentioned earlier you have to think of the goals of each side when you fight a battle and the Pirate goal is now to escape. But what if instead of Pirates the Zhuh-Zhuhs had run into a military force? We'll explore this in Part Two.

5150 Star Navy Optional Rules

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