Destroyer Demoltion Derby
Also available in widescreen on my blog.

Somewhat to my surprise, after Patch and I finished up "Arctic Crossroads" he suggested an SFB  game. He wanted smaller ships, and something other than Klingons, so I  looked to a Kzinti-Lyran fight (appropriate as they're also involved in  the Four Powers War right now) with squadrons using ships smaller than  CAs.

The Kzinti produce their first Destroyer in Y159 (our current  playing date), and I certainly wanted to show it off, as I don't think  it appears in many scenarios. It's mostly known as an 'also ran' ship,  as production is halted in favor of the later Medium Cruiser, and it is  relegated to second-line duty during the General War. But right now, it  is brand new, and effectively the one of the most advanced designs  around, and certainly the best ship the Kzinti have for the tonnage. At a  Move Cost of 1/2, it has 24 power, 2xdisruptors, 4xph-1, 2xph-3, and  4xdrone racks. This is more power and firepower than the larger Light  Cruiser class, which it is effectively replacing (the CL will be  refitted to have more power, more disruptors, and bring its drone racks  up to 4, but that's a few years away still). It shows a shift from ph-3  to ph-1s, and an increase in drone throw weight (eventually, just about  all Kzinti ships have at least four drone racks, but until now, that's  only been true on the much larger CS/CA/CC hull as well as the seven  racks on the much larger DNE).

Then I chose a Lyran Light Cruiser  to lead the opposite squadron. It has the exact same BPV as the DD  (after adjusting for the lack of ESG capacitors), and while larger with  more internals, and it has slightly better phasers (4xph-1, 4xph-3),  coverage isn't quite as good, and its shields are slightly weaker than  the DD's.

Both sides' squadrons were rounded out by a pair of  frigates, which also happen to have the exact same BPV, and fairly  similar characteristics. Patch, as it turned out, went for a full load  of Type-II (speed 12) drones, with no larger Type-Vs, for a total cost  of 16 BPV. I vaguely contemplated taking some transporter bombs, and I  should have, but neither of us took any.

We set up, and rolled  randomly for Weapon Status (with a +1 for a war zone), and ended up with  WS III. That was to my advantage, as the Kzinti don't have any  multi-turn weapons, and it meant my ESGs were already fully charged. I  also had a suicide shuttle pre-charged on the CL. The Kzinti squadron  went speed 15 for the first turn, as did my CL, while my FFs went 16. We  simply closed the range for the first half of the turn, but the DD  turned off at about range 25. During impulses 28-30, we fired as ships  hit range 15. I stuck to disruptors, which all missed with six straight  5s. Patch launched half his drones on each ship, and volleyed all his  disruptors, which all missed with three 6s and a 4, while four phasers  he fired also missed on "better" rolls (two 3s and two 4s). On impulse  32, I turned towards the Kzinti FFs to see if could engage them  separately from the DD.

With ranges coming down fast, I decided to  put power into overloads on CL, and EW on the FFs, and went speed 9 for  the CL and speed 13 on the FFs. Meanwhile, Patch sped up to 19 on his  FFs while the DD stayed 15. Patch was surprised I hadn't boosted speed  as well, which I had considered, but I wanted to be prepared for a  close-range pass (and the FFs stayed on regular disruptors in case  something like this happened). Sadly, I only had slightly better EW than  Patch, but it meant I would have even shots at his FFs while everyone  else was at a +1 to fire at each other.

Patch's FFs turned off on  Impulse 4, confirming my fears that he would just dance around my  slower-moving squadron this turn. On Impulse 10, I turned towards the  gap between Patch's forces and starting warming up an ESG to tackle the  wave of drones that was in there. To my surprise, Patch turned his DD in  shortly after, allowing me to get closer to it. Things started coming  to a head on Impulse 15, when my FF-1 started sweeping the drones with  its ESG, and my FF-2 and the DD traded shots. Both ships hit with one  disruptor, and missed with the other, and had similar phaser rolls,  though the ph-2s on my FF led to less damage being done.

On  Impulse 18, I turned towards the DD, as it turned back away, launching  its last two drones for the turn (the other racks had staggered fire  over the previous few impulses). The DD scored another 4 points on the  front shield of FF-2 with the 360-phasers, while the CL did 15 points to  shield #3 of the DD, hitting with both disruptors and one good phaser  roll (a second phaser missed entirely...). The next impulse, FF-2  announced its ESG, and I fired another three phasers at the DD. FF-1's  phaser missed, but the remaining ph-1s on the CL both rolled 1s to knock  down the shield and do 5 internals, including a ph-3 and two power.  That was pretty much it for the turn, though on Impulse 28, the two  Kzinti FFs fired disruptors at my FF-1, with one hitting, and on the  next couple impulses, they launched drones.

Turn 2, Impulse 18, showing movement throughout the turn.

 Patch's FFs slowed to speed 16 for Turn 3, but everything else sped up,  with his DD going 20, while my CL went 15, and the FFs got up to 17.  Speeding up meant dropping some of my EW, and the FFs only powered one  disruptor each, as they started trickling power into the ESGs. I was  mostly planning on trying to get the ESGs partly charged before having  another real pass, and Patch was going faster than I could really catch  him anyway. As soon as they cleared to fire, the Kzinti FFs fired their  disruptors at the CL, hitting with one for 6 damage on shield #5, and  then turned in a couple impulses later. Phaser fire knocked down the  shield, but didn't get any internals. Meanwhile, I maneuvered to keep  away from the wave of drones and shut down the ESGs (which each had a  couple points of damage left) so I could bring them back up earlier next  turn. On Impulse 25, Patch launched another two drones from the DD, and  my FFs fired their powered disruptors at his FF-1, but missed with  both.

Both of us were feeling out of position this turn. Patch had  wanted to reunite his squadron, but the FFs were still 16 hexes from  the DD (though at least I was now far behind both sets of ships), and my  attempt to avoid spending power by just avoiding the drone wave from  his FFs kept me from being able to engage them when they got a bit  close. Instead, I lost a shield on the CL and didn't do anything in  return.

Turn 3, Impulse 10, showing movement throughout the turn.

For  Turn 4, Patch sprinted his FFs at 25, while the DD slowed to 15.  However, I stayed a speed 15 for the CL, while the FFs dropped by 1 to  speed 16. The phasers were completely charged, the FF's ESGs were each  up to 3 power, and the FFs were able to charge both disruptors this  time. EW fell off for both of us this turn, with 1 or 2 points of ECM  and no ECCM on all ships. Looking at the long ranges and his high  speeds, I fired all the FFs' disruptors at his FF-1 on Impulse 3,  hitting with two of them.

I successfully left the previous wave of  drones behind, but got into trouble with the two drones the DD launched  last turn. Not paying enough attention, I ended up two hexes away with  them with my FFs scheduled to move at the same time as the drones; I  killed them with two phaser-3 shots each, but only after using a lab to  figure out which FF they were targeted on, and play with the movement.  Patch turned in towards me at the last third of the turn, and the range  started dropping fast. Patch fired most everything on Impulse 25, with  the FFs knocking down shield #3 on my FF-2, while the DD's disruptors  did six points to the #1. With his FFs coming in fast, I turned towards  them, which prompted drone launches, and then the DD turned in to close  with the still separated FFs, and launched a full spread of four drones.  In response, both of my FFs announced ESGs (which wouldn't go up until  Impulse 1 of the next turn, when they'd have further power from my EA).

On  Impulse 28, both sides opened fire, with Patch's two FFs each firing a  ph-1 at my FF-2, doing 2 internals through the #1 shield. Meanwhile my  CL fired its disruptors, 2xph-1, and FF-2 fired 2xph-2s at his FF-2.  Ironically, the closer FF-2 missed with both, while the CL had good  rolls to do 13 damage, and knock down the #6 shield.

Turn 4, Impulse 25, showing movement from Impulses 16 to 31.

I  was a little surprised when the FF moved on the next impulse and it  slipped away, but did not turn the down shield away. I fired FF-1's  ph-2s at it, but poor rolls did no damage. On Impulse 32, both FFs  turned in, going for a point-blank run with my FFs, with plenty of  drones right there. With Turn 5 starting at everyone at close range,  speeds dropped. My CL went 12, with the FFs going 10, while the DD went  14, though the Kzinti FFs slowed to 9. My CL put up 3 ECM, and 1 ECCM,  but that was the only EW active. The ESGs came up on Impulse 1 (at 4  power) with the drones a hex away, but I shot up a couple of them anyway  to preserve the ESGs for later and possible further drone launches.

...And  FF-1 launched a new drone the next Impulse. The CL announced an ESG on  Impulse 3, and my FF-2 moved onto his FF-2's down shield #6, but missed  on a disruptor shot at range 2. On Impulse 4, both of his FFs slipped  left, and my FF-2 moved into the hex, hitting them with it's strength-12  ESG, and FF-1 slipped to line up a similar shot. However, Patch  tractored my FFs with his, more or less halting my planned battle pass  (and, annoyingly, tractoring my FF-1 with his FF-2, and vice versa), and  launched two more drones. I immediately knocked them down with ph-3  fire from FF-2, and did one internal to his FF-2 with horrible rolls  (6,6) from a pair of ph-2s. My FF-2 took 29 internals from a ph-1 and  overloaded disruptor from each of his FFs. (And I just realized that we  missed doing the feedback damage of range-0 disruptors. Not a big deal  for his FF-1, but that's another 2 internals on FF-2.) This pretty much  crippled my FF, though it had decent weapons left.

On Impulse 5,  the CL announced its second ESG, Patch's FF-2 did 7 damage to the #1 of  FF-1 with a pair of ph-3s, and I did 10 internals to FF-2 with an  overloaded disruptor from FF-1. On 6, the CL turned to engage the DD,  while two drones hit FF-1's ESG, leaving 8 strength on it. Patch  launched the final available drone, transported 3 boarding parties onto  FF-2, and launched shuttles from both FFs. This time his FF-1 fired  ph-3s, doing 7 more damage, and almost knocking down my FF-1's #1. I  knocked down the latest drone with a ph-3, and did five more internals  to his FF-2 from a disruptor fired by FF-1.

On Impulse 7, the DD  approached to range 1 of the CL and tractored it while launching a full  set of drones it just as a range 0 ESG came up. The DD fired off almost  everything, doing 15 internals to the CL. The CL responded in kind, but  missed with an overloaded disruptor to only do 7 internals. The CL  mostly lost padding, but did lose the #2 ESG before it could even come  up. FF-1 plinked his FF-2 for another three internals, but still wasn't  getting the hits I wanted (I'd really been hoping to knock out the  tractor beam). On Impulse 8, Patch dropped his tractor on my FF-1, and  fired a ph-1 at each of my ships with a spare on each of his ships. This  merely damaged shields on the FFs, but the CL took another 4 internals,  and lost a disruptor. Meanwhile, the remaining-ph-3s on the CL took out  all but one drone from the second wave from the DD, leaving it with a  4-point ESG and one drone left for it to handle. On the next Impulse,  Patch dropped the tractor on FF-2, and transported three boarding  parties over to the CL.

Turn 5, Impulse 4, showing movement from Impulses 1 to 8.

With  them released from tractors, my FFs moved on Impulse 10, and FF-1  slipped in to hit Patch's FF-2 for eight points with the ESG (on the  intact shield #2, sadly), and followed it up with a ph-1 and 2xph-3 shot  at range 0 with good dice to do 10 internals. At this point, it only  had the 360 ph-1 and a drone rack left, and all three front shields were  down. On Impulse 14, Patch's shuttles are clear to fire, and they do 3  points to shield #4 of FF-2. On 15, Patch drops the tractor on the CL,  which is very fortuitous timing for him. Otherwise, I would have  launched the suicide shuttle which would have traveled down the tractor  beam on 16 and detonated. If he'd released earlier, I may have been able  to maneuver to drop the shuttle on him at this point. If I'd launched  earlier, it would have smacked into the ESG before it got the drone. As  it was, I never got a good chance to use it.

All shot out, we  slowly worked apart for the rest of the turn; Patch kept together, but I  was still trying to re-form at the end of the turn. Patch's boarding  parties killed two of the four on FF-2, while I only killed one in  return. On the CL, his three BPs didn't do any damage, while the nine  there wiped him out.

Turn 5, Impulse 32, showing movement from Impulses 9 to 32.

The  CL dropped to speed 9 for Turn 6 as it struggled to recharge batteries,  patch up shields and put some power into the phasers and ESG. FF-1 went  speed 10 with similar problems, while FF-2 was down to 5 power. It only  went speed 4, partly because I charged the remaining disruptor. The DD  went speed 10, Patch's FF-1 12, and his FF-2, with power but no weapons,  16. In addition, his FF-2 was only using minimum shields, and mine was  using Low-Power Fire Control. On Impulse 1, Patch's FF-2 fired a drone  from the remaining drone rack before pulling out of the fight. On 5,  FF-2 fired the disruptor at his FF-1, but missed. On 8, Patch launched  drones from the DD and FF-1, while my FF-1 fired disruptors at the DD as  it went out of arc and hit with one. On Impulse 10, FF-1 fired a pair  of ph-3s at a shuttle, and crippled it, though there had been good odds  of killing it.

The other shuttle fired on the next impulse, doing 4  points to FF-1's #6, and the CL hit with both disruptors on the DD's  #4. The latest wave of drones became a real problem as I struggled to  get FF-1 in range to help the CL (who was definitely the target) deal  with them. The CL got one on Impulse 17 with a downfired phaser. Then I  turned the CL so that it would start drawing the drones closer to FF-1.

This was a mistake, as it also turned the down #1 towards the Kzinti, who were 8 hexes away at that point.

On  Impulse 19, his FF-1 hit with a disruptor and ph-1, doing 7 internals  through the down #1, taking out 3 phasers and the remaining ESG. On  Impulse 22, the CL downfired the remaining ph-1s at the drones, and  killed 2. FF-1 killed the damaged one and the fourth on the following  impulse. At the same time, the DD and Patch's FF-1 fired on my FF-1,  hitting with two disruptors and a ph-1 to do six internals through the  #6 shield, knocking out two phasers. On 26, the DD and FF-1 each fired  another ph-1 to do 5 more internals through the #1 shield of my FF-1,  getting 4 hull... and the ESG. The next impulse, the DD fired two more  ph-1s to do 8 internals to FF-1, taking out another phaser and a  disruptor.

Boarding party combat continued on FF-2 with both sides  killing one boarding party to reduce both to one BP left. The CL  emergency repaired the second disruptor as a range-10 version.

Turn 6, Impulse 23, showing movement throughout the turn.

Somewhat  by happenstance, all my ships ended up going speed 12 for Turn 7. The  CL had lost three power on Turn 5, and one more on 6, and was slowly  putting some shields back together. FF-1 had only lost two power, but  needed to recharge the remaining phasers, while FF-2 abandoned the  disruptor and went max speed other than shields. The DD went 10, Patch's  FF-1 went 12, and his FF-2 went 18. His intact ships put up one point  each of ECM and ECCM, but I had no power to spare for EW.

After  the big pass on turn 5, my plan was to stick around; I was in about as  good shape as Patch's squadron, and FF-2 could be a decent phaser boat,  while Patch made it obvious that his was leaving. After losing all my  ESGs and a number of ph-3s last turn at was at a serious disadvantage as  long as Patch's drones held out. So I started preparations to  disengage. The problem was that FF-2 didn't have the power to disengage  by acceleration. We played out the turn, but neither of us really  engaged and ended up paralleling each other in direction F at several  hexes distance, with the DD slowly losing ground.

Meanwhile,  Patch's FF-2 headed off to disengage, and my FF-2 headed away to gain  distance. At the end of the turn, Patch's ship made the jump to high  warp, and my FF-2 was at range 20 to Patch's nearest ship. Boarding  party combat went well with my last BP killing his, while he did  nothing. FF-2 also finished repairs on an APR that turn, so would be  able to go 15 on Turn 8 (using the APR for shields, and putting all 5  warp into movement). I discussed with Patch that my goal was to keep him  from going after FF-2 until it could get to 50 hex range and disengage  by separation, and then disengage by acceleration, and we called the  game there with me disengaging.

The victory points surprised me:

 Lyran: DD Damaged 9 + 8 (drones) + Z-FF-1 4 (drones) + Z-FF-2 Crippled 31 + 4 (drones) = 56 VP  

Kzinti: CL Disengaged 22.5 + L-FF-1 Disengaged 15.5 + L-FF-2 Crippled 31 = 69 VP

69/56 = 123% = Kzinti Marginal Victory

All  the Type-II drones Patch had bought gave me 2 Victory Points per drone  rack, and with eight racks, 16 VP was a noticeable amount of our totals.  If I'd bought four transporter bombs, it would have equaled that out  (and pushed Patch to a Tactical Victory), and I could have used some  more drone defense. (I probably would have just bought two, if I'd done  more than vaguely think about it.)

I did well in the early part of  the game, but things started going wrong on turn 5. I didn't think  about tractor beams, and paid for it. The plan with the CL was to  overrun the DD, with the second ESG coming up at range-1, and probably  hitting the DD as I moved out of its hex. As it was, I figured I'd still  come out slightly ahead until the CL's second disruptor missed. With  it, the two big ships would have taken nearly equal internals, and the  since the CL is a slightly bigger ship, should absorb it better. Without  it, I just didn't do much to the DD.

With my FF-2 still  technically combat capable, I figured I still had a good shot at things,  but my turn into him on 6 was a major mistake that cost me most of my  anti-drone capabilities. Losing the final ESG in my squadron was what  decided me to disengage. Of course, I was trying to solve two problems  there; I needed to deal with more drones, and my FF-2 was lagging  behind, and it looked like Patch was going to go finish it off. I saved  FF-2, but at the cost of continuing the battle. The big mistake of  course was assuming the battle would move away and stay away from the  ship, and going speed 4 to power the disruptor. I should have maneuvered  FF-2 until I knew it was safer, and then tried to get a couple shield  boxes up and return to battle. Of course, that would have taken quite a while...