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Monday, March 24, 2014

5150: Fighter Command AAR. The Daedalus Campaign Scenario 1

 Captain's Log - Attack Carrier Daedalus - 2114.3.12

    "Negotiations with the Free Company "Rigar's Raiders" have made good progress.  After concluding a series of wargaming scenarios with the Daedalus, the captain of the flagship cruiser FCS Smuggler has invited us aboard to inspect his ship and crew.  We have met at the site of the Company's greatest victory -- their participation in the combined fleet which defeated the Hishen Armada 50 years ago today."




The initial setup:
Sector 1:     Debris Field -- PEF 1 (Hishen Corvette) and PEF 2 (Hishen Light Fighters)

Sector 3:    Dust Clouds  -- PEF Hishen Bombers

Sector 4:    Free Company Cruiser Smuggler facing Sector 9
Sector 7:    Dust Clouds
Sector 9:    Carrier Daedalus facing Sector 4


Note:   The PEFs are "loaded" so I knew what I would be facing, but I didn't know which PEF contained what until they were resolved by sensor contact.  However, for clarity in this report, I identify the PEF as what it would eventually be revealed to be.

Onboard Daedalus

    Exececutive Officer Lt. Cmdr. Michael Cho sipped hot tea while surveying the Combat Information Center.   Captain Rodgers was taking advantage of the presence of Smuggler to provide long range sensor data while Daedalus went through a much needed mainteance cycle.   Just to be on the safe side, though, Cho had ordered 2 flights of Sabre bombers on training runs which would also provide some overlap.
    "Captain, Sabre 3 reports a faint SigInt spike - AI says possible Hishen transmission."
    "Who's the pilot?"
    The crewman looked up from his sensor suite and grinned. "It's Maverick, sir."
    Cho fought not to roll his eyes.  Maverick's desire to get into what he called "real combat" was well-known.  "Ask him to re-verify contact.  Tell him to transmit the bearing, just in case."
    "I have it, sir.  Feeding it to -- Sir!  Sabre 5 now reporting SigInt hit.  AI predicts 83% probability Hishen coded transmission."
    "Bearing?"
    "Triangulating...Sir, it came from Smuggler"
    "What the hell..."
    "Sabre 3 now reporting possible ship signatures in the nebula."
    "Designate possible enemy force as Dagger One. Set condition one throughout the ship.  Launch ready fighters.  And raise Smuggler - let's get the captain back aboard ASAP."
    "Smuggler confirms bogeys inbound - Vampires!  Smuggler has vampires inbound!'
    As the alarm klaxons sounded, Lt. Cmdr Cho realized that Maverick was finally going to hit his wish.

   

TURN ONE

Initiative:  Both sides are active.  The Hishen roll higher than both Smuggler and Daedalus move first.

(Origin's Wing Comander via ign.com)
  Daedalus applies thrust ("Ahead Full"  "Aye, sir, ahead full.  Engine room answers ahead full.  Helm answers Standard by point 3")  and successfully launches the Ready fighters -- 1 Light squadron (led by "Eagle", wingman "Falcon") and 1 Medium squadron (led by "Gargoyle", wingman "Hawkeye").

    Smuggler, the Z-cruiser, also applies thrust (1/2) and the celebration is cut short as the command crew of Daedalus runs to the Assault Boat and prepares to make a dash for the carrier.
   
    PEF Hishen Bombers heads for the edge of the board - clearly trying a pincer movement. ;-)
   

Corvette and light fighters emerge from debris field.

   Hishen light fighters PEF now moves.  Because of the Space Hulk wreckage in sector 1, the PEF emerges and resolves at range 5 from Smuggler -- within AA range!  Because of the sudden appearance of the fighters, I ruled that the AA would count as snap-firing for this round of fire only.  Because of this, Smuggler failed to hit.
   
    At this point, I should have moved the Corvette PEF.  Oops.  Instead I let the Light fighters fire their FF missiles.  No matter as only one hit, causing a Phase Shield test, but the shields hold.
   
    PEF Corvette emerges from the drifting debris and the Corvette triggers an In-Sight with Smuggler.  Smuggler rolls 5d6 for...ZERO successes!  Ouch.  Corvette fires direct fire weapons and launches a torpedo.  I resolve the torpedo first (in retrospect, should resolve Direct Fire first as the torpedoes are slower).   Smuggler accelerates and the AA fires at torpedo and destroys it.  Direct fire against the Smuggler causes one near miss and the Smuggler turns toward her enemy.
       
    Smuggler gets to return fire and makes the most of it.  The cruiser opens up with a Beam near miss which takes down the shields for one turn.  Plasma guns cause one hit, rolls under impact and the 2 damage rolls are devastating.  Shields are _down_ and the Bridge is hit, reducing the Hishen Corvette to Rep 2.  The bridge crew has to take a Recover from Knock Down test (at original Rep or the new reduced?  I use the original Rep) and the Corvette veers to starboard with the bridge crew Out of the Fight until next turn.  This maneuver puts the Corvette one hex away from safely hiding in the Smuggler's rear 60 degree blind spot.

   
The Smuggler proves her worth!
With the In-Sight over, Smuggler gets to act and fires the Beam again at the Corvette.  The Near Miss causes a Received Fire check which results in the Corvette changing course to port and accelerating to Max Speed  (note -- I assume that for both CapShips and Fighters the "Go to Max Speed" result allows it to violate the Acceleration limitation.  Which is pretty fun!  "Emergency thrust!")
   
    Smuggler's AA fire is devastating, now that the gunners have the range.  The lead fighter avoids damage, but fighter 2 takes a Hull damage and fighter 3 disintegrates with a cockpit and 2 gun hits.  Boom!
   
    Whew -- on to turn two!
   

TURN TWO

Initiative:  Smuggler rolls 2.  Star Navy and Hishen roll 3  (Note: I missed the "roll again if doubles" and had the 2 sides roll off.  So while Hishen and Star Navy both activate Reps 3 and above, Hishen counted as "lower" and moved first/acted last)
   
    PEF bomber hits the edge of play and turns starboard, finally heading toward the Daedalus.

    Hishen light "Hell-Bats" pass 0d6 for their NP movement.  This means the Hull Damaged ship retires and the leader moves to join closest group -- which is the Corvette.  So I have him press his attack and move to guns range.  Or try to -- as soon as he twitches the AA on Smuggler open up and kills the pilot Obviously Dead with a cockpit hit.  The retiring fighter is also hit once more with a Guns damage result -- he then moves back into the space hulk debris and disappears amid the debris.  Lucky guy! Er, alien!
   
    Daedalus Helm reports "Helm answers Standard by point 6"  "Launch strike package"  "Hangar bay readying strike package"  The Daedalus tries to launch 2 lights, 2 mediums and 2 bombers but the Hangar Bay crew only pass 1d6 -- the package will be ready to launch next turn.
   
    The assault boat with Daedalus' commander launches from Smuggler and is immediately in range of the Hishen Corvette's AA batteries.  It's hit, but impact fails. 
   
    With the assault boat away, the Smuggler attempts to Warp away and fails.  With the plasmas still recycling, it's one beam weapon scores a near miss.   The Corvette returns fire but at Rep 2 hits nothing.
   

TURN THREE

Initiative Smuggler: 3 (high - see note above), Daedalus: 2, Hishen 3 (low).
    With no reason to hang around, the Smuggler warps out! 
   
The Hishen bombers - all alone!
    The Hishen bombers PEF enters sensor range of "Eagle" and "Falcon" and resolves.  Eagle and Falcon move and end their turn within missile range of the lead bomber.  2 FF missiles speed forward, cause 3 damage rolls and the first bomber goes Boom!
   
    The Hishen corvette lumbers toward Daedalus on a suicde mission, but also prepares to warp out (retire).  (Passed 0d6 on NP movement.  Not surprising with Rep 2.  (Actually, the corvette should have stayed in combat as it had no Hull damage -- only systems damage.  I guess this Hishen was smarter than most!)
   

TURN FOUR - The Wrapup

    Initiative  Star Navy 4, Hishen 3. 
   
    Daedalus launches her strike package and ACTUALLY MOVES forward 1 hex. (It takes a while for these cap ships to get moving from a standstill!)   "Helm answers ahead Standard"
   
    The Hishen bombers lumber forward, but with their higher speed and maneuverability they are sitting ducks for the Star Navy.  Gargoyle and Hawkeye launch 2 fire-and-forget missiles at bomber 3 and get a Guns hit. 
Eagle's Wasp disintegrates in the lower left corner, while Falcon, Gargoyle and Hawkeye chase off the remaining bombers.
   
    Eagle and Falcon move into visual range and trigger an In-Sight with Hishen bomber 2.  They come off the worse for it, though, and the Hishen bomber launches an IR missile and fires its lasers.  4 hits from the lasers and 2 from the IR missile and Eagle's Wasp explodes as he ejects.  Eagle is injured from the flying shrapnel of his disintegrating fighter but he's lucky to be alive at all.
   
    Finally, Falcon returns fire and takes down the bomber's shields and stunds the pilot.  With time running out, I judge that he will easily be taken out by the Daedalus strike package closing fast on the following turn.  The remaining bomber will be allowed to retire as Gargoyle is a "White Knight" and won't fire on an unarmed ship.

(Origin's Wing Commander via www.destructoid.com)
 Note:  Sadly, Eagle later died from his injuries  (In game terms, he took two hits to the same location during the same turn -- this generates a catastrophic explosion with no chance of ejecting).  So Falcon will need to find a new flight leader and Eagle's name gets crossed off the leaderboard.

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