Sunday, December 1, 2013

Aquians Attack (Part 1) - A Starfighter Game

Previously, I recounted the exploits of Lts. Ray Gunn and Ty Rowe of the 501st Starfighter Squadron (the Blue Genies). Yesterday, I gamed another encounter.

The devious Aquians have been eyeing the Omicron system. Aware of their interest, the Federation has sent a flotilla, including a carrier with the famed 501st Blue Genie starfighter squadron, to the system to resist any incursions. Previously, Lts. Gunn and Rowe encountered and destroyed a scouting party sent by the Aquians.

As our heroes were out on another patrol, the Aquians tried to slip a small force into the system. Consisting of a torpedo boat and two escorts, the attackers hope to surprise and cripple the Federation carrier, thereby taking the Blue Genies out of the fight. As luck would have it, Gunn and Rowe crossed paths with the attacking party as it approached the carrier.

Gunn and Rowe spot the Aquians. Attack!
Note: Today was the first outing of the star field hex board (using black foam core and a lot of dots!) I made last month. The star field is a little misaligned in areas, but it worked.

Lt. Gunn hits the afterburners in pursuit of the enemy torpedo boat (the flying saucer). It leaves him vulnerable to the enemy escorts and he takes some damage.
 Note: The red and orange flame markers indicate the throttle setting of the spacecraft. Red = afterburners, orange = normal speed, none = slow speed. The gray "asteroids" indicate the initiative order of the craft (rolled on a D6).

Gunn catches up with the torpedo boat but it manages to slip to the side. Meanwhile, an escort has taken a bead on Lt. Rowe, who suffers minor damage.
 Note: I painted the noses of the Federation fighters blue to indicate their squadron. I also painted a couple of red nosed fighters. I keep track of the pilot by colored dots on the wings. You can somewhat make out the 2 dots on Lt Rowe's ship in this picture.

One of the Aquian escorts rushes to the defense of the torpedo boat, but Lt. Gunn takes it out with a heavy burst of blaster fire.

Gunn pours fire into the torpedo boat, but it continues its run toward the Federation carrier.

Oops! Lt. Gunn overruns the torpedo boat. Fortunately, no collision this time.

A Federation interceptor joins the battle. Meanwhile, Lt. Gunn has fixated on the torpedo boat and does not notice the enemy fighter taking aim at him. The accurate fire breaches his hull; Gunn has no choice but to eject. His escape pod is jettisoned just before his ship explodes.
 Note: I wasn't sure if the heroes would be able to catch the TB so at the beginning of the scenario I decided that an interceptor would arrive on a roll of 6. In this turn, it finally arrived. After the destruction of his ship, I allowed Lt. Gunn a survival roll. Because he was my "star" (an idea borrowed from 5150), I decided he would survive unless he rolled really low. He rolled a 3 so I decided it was sufficient.

The interceptor gets some shots on the enemy TB but it maintains course for the carrier.

The enemy torpedo boat flies within range of the carrier's anti-craft guns, which open up. The fighters break away from the barrage. Will the torpedo boat manage to launch its payload or will the anti-craft guns finish it off? Stay tuned for more.
The goal of the game was to prevent the enemy TB from leaving the far edge of the board. Obviously, Gunn and Rowe failed their mission. Still, the TB was pretty beat up and probably would not be able to withstand the anti-craft fire. I'm thinking of gaming out the torpedo run - I just need a carrier stand in!

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