Selected for the vanguard, Lts. Gunn and Rowe were among the first starfighters to launch. They experienced a slight delay waiting for the entire squadron to form up, but soon they were rocketing toward the enemy fleet. They were nearing the disputed zone when a swarm of enemy scouts attacked. As one passed, its laser cannons raked Rowe's ship, causing minor damage. The Genies itched for a dogfight but were ordered to press on to the main fleet ASAP. They managed to disengage and continued on their mission.
Entering enemy territory, Aquian scouts again pounced on the Genies. The Genies tried to pass through but the scout attacks would not relent. The starfighters circled through space, looking for a clear shot. Rowe maneuvered himself into position; his blasters annihilated one of the attackers. He then turned and found himself behind another Aquian. Again, his blasters licked out and another enemy was gone. The remaining scouts broke off and ran for their base.
The Genies neared the expected position of the Aquian fleet but were disappointed to find only a rearguard. The core of the fleet had already retreated from the sector. Still, there were Aquian targets so the Genies rushed to the attack. Enemy scouts swarmed forth to block the Genies. Once again, starfighters arced and curved through space. Once again, Rowe blasted two enemies into oblivion. The way was open! Gunn and Rowe led the attack. They launched torpedoes and then turned for home. Other Federation starfighters and torpedo boats followed. Explosions blossomed from the Aquian destroyers and cruisers. The rearguard was devastated.
The return home was more suspenseful than expected. The Genies few through several patches of space debris, testament to earlier battles. In one patch, Gunn was struck by a large object that knocked out his engines. He was stranded until help could come. Rowe continued home but was ambushed by 3 scouts as he neared the moonbase. He managed to destroy one vessel and elude the rest.
After Action Report:
- Enemy destroyed: 5 (all by Rowe)
- Enemy damaged: 0
- Enemy getting through: N/A
- Friendly ships lost: 1
- Friendly ships damaged: 1
- Torpedo hits: 2
Another victory for Gunn and Rowe.
So far I am enjoying these rules. They allow for quick and simple starfighter actions. I still feel like I need to tweak the rules a bit. I pretty much lifted the rules from Eindekker, but they don't always seem to fit. For example, I am ambivalent about allowing the starfighters to evade the enemy on the outbound leg of an offensive mission. Also, in Eindekker, the planes run out of fuel after 10 turns. This creates some interesting decision points in the game - do I turn for home now or stretch the mission a little longer? In this mission, the Genies were not going to head for home prior to reaching the enemy fleet so that game mechanic seemed irrelevant. I am going to pull out Down in Flames and see if I can steal some ideas from that game.