Friday 5 April 2013

Billy and the Mercs - 5150 Fighter Command AAR

"Strap me in, Teach!  Let's get some Mercenary A...!"

"Shut up kid, just keep your eyes up." snapped the the Volunteer Pilot. "This guy could be trouble. Why do I always get  "hotshots" for Wingmen?

This is an After Action Report from the upcoming 5150: Fighter Command. It's getting close to release and that means intense final play testing. In Fighter Command, like Javier the writer and driving force behind FC says, "The fighter pilot is the star" and it delivers. Yes, there are Capital Ships (CapShips) in the game and rules for fighting with them in more detail than Star Navy  but the fighters are where the action is. 

Combat is quick and dirty and with the Reaction Tests you'll be able to fight solo or same side. That's what this test is about, a solo furball where I'll be running the two Volunteer PDF Pilots against some mercenary Free Company Fighters. Gaea Prime Planetary Defense Forces always welcome "volunteer" Pilots with experience and they pay pretty well too. Which is why Billy Pink is here. 

Billy is a Rep 5 Star with two Attributes. I chose Exceptional Pilot (+1d6 when attempting a Special Maneuver and more) then rolled Poser (roll only 1d6 when taking the Received Fire and Ship Down Tests - nothing to worry about) Billy  is flying a Bee Light Fighter. Note that these Attributes only apply when flying in FC and not in other rules sets like New Beginnings.

Lafitte a Rep 3 rookie with the Maverick Attribute (let's just say he's easily distracted)  flies a Wasp Light Fighter. I'm not feeling good about Lafitte.

The plan is to fly Patrol and turn back any Mercenary Free Company spacecraft.

The Black Heart Free Company had a two fighter Flight. Both Pilots were  Rep 4 Grunts flying GA-16 Light Fighters.
I played them straight up with only their Navy Attributes. This is Risk Adverse or -1 to Rep when the Ship Down Test is taken.  

Lafitte had just been assigned as Billy's Wingman so I wanted to get into a fight as fast as possible to get him some Fame Points.

So what we'll do in this AAR is go right down the Checklist you'll find in FC to walk you through your very first time. After the first Mission most of this will not have to be checked again. Here we go.

1 - Choose your Star. Check.
2 - Choose which Navy. Check - PDF Volunteers
3 - Reps.  Check. Billy 5 Lafitte 3.
4 - Fighter Roster Sheet. Check. All the info for the ships and their Pilots
5 - Black Box - Check. This is a sheet that places all the current info of each ship in the player's hands. You do one at the start of every Mission, think of it as the flight recorder. You do not plot movement!
6 - Campaign Morale. Check. Both 3.
7 - Controlling. Check. This is a PDF controlled system.
8 - Mission. Check. Patrol.
9 - Terrain. Check.
10 - Investment Level. Check. PDF 2.
11 - Bad Weather. Check. All clear.
12 - Mission Intel. Check. Conflicting reports at first but it proved to be Good Intel. On top of that the Free Company Investment Level was known before the Mission. It was 3.
13 - Deployment. Check, We'd enter section 8.
14 - Place PEFs. Check. Two in section 1 and one in section 5, dead ahead.
And so the game begins.
15 - Three Navigation Points in sections 1, 2 and 3 to be searched.

The game starts with the PEF in section 5 resolved by Billy's Long Range Scanner. Nothing solid but passing 1d6 on the PEF Resolution Table drives the Enemy Investment Level for this Mission up by 1, to 4. This increases the odds of running into activity.

Billy and Lafitte cruise towards section 5 at the Wasp's top speed, 5".

"Look alive , we got company!" Billy said. "Two fighters at 10 o'clock. They're coming around! Stay close kid and cover my ass, we're going in!"

Part Two

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