Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Long Time Ago, In A Galaxy Far, Far Away

With 5150 Fringe Space now in truly playtestable form (that is, it is typed), and myself finally having some time to relax from the ever present "Real Life," I got in a quick game testing some of the more recent developments, especially boarding actions, as well as some of the pre-made ship designs in the rule book.

So, here we have a classic scene: The Tantive IV, a Blockade Runner, pursued by an Imperial Star Destroyer (Battleship)!

The Tantive IV cruising at a fair pace, near Tatooine
The Star Destroyer comes into view!
Trading shots, (both ships have a bunch of Reaction weapons so the gunfights between the two can last pretty long) the Tantive IV takes two Special Damages, as the sensors get zapped and a large, shaking hit knocks out several soldiers.

The Corellian Corvette hits the burns the Antimatter Drives!
Seeing that resistance is futile, the Tantive IV decides to run.... the Imperial Victory condition is to take the ship by boarding action (alive) while the Droids have not escaped by, er, escape pod... which they won't do until they're either boarded or fail a Cohesion Test. Staying as far away as possible from the Star Destroyer is just about the best thing they can do.
They seem to be getting away!
Indeed, it almost looked like the Tantive IV would escape! However, Tantive IV was already approaching the half way point when it comes to fuel, and the planet's gravity slowed the ship down as it pulled away... 

Seeing that making the Tantive IV run low on fuel was the only way to beat them, the Star Destroyer puts all of its actions into using its sensors to target the Tantive IV precisely with its largest weapon, its medium laser. 

It hits! Tantive IV is quickly reduced to just enough fuel to STOP, let alone keep going!

Distance keeps growing...
Despite the seeming inevitability of Tantive IV losing the race, the fact of the matter is that the Imperial Star Destroyer will take several turns to catch up to the Tantive IV, and until that point, the Tantive IV can repair in relative safety, beyond the effective range of most of the Star Destroyer's weapons.

The Star Destroyer goes to ludicrous speed!
With several turns of repairs and careful maneuvering, the Star Destroyer hits the Antimatter Drive button... it is now matching the speed of the Blockade Runner!

Uh oh...
Two turns later, after a turn of the Star Destroyer again using the Antimatter Drives and then getting some lucky shots (with its weakest guns-- too risky to shoot with anything larger) on Tantive IV's thrusters, the Star Destroyer reaches the Tantive IV... both are now running a bit short on fuel (The Star Destroyer has enough to stop, the Tantive IV doesn't unless it repairs its thrusters, and then only barely), but the Star Destroyer gets its boarding attempt. It succeeds, in part due to its PDS being powerful enough to force the Tantive IV into an intercept... 

Maybe PDS can represent tractor beams? Or maybe they were just able to 'head off' the enemy ship and 'corner' it with a large volume of cheap ammo... 

Anyway, the ships lock together, the smaller ship becomes locked to the larger ship's speed, and...
In a swift and brutal attack, the Tantive IV's crew either surrenders or dies, all in one turn. The Stormtroopers take insignificant casualties.

However, are the droids lost?

Probably, yeah. But in the spirit of the movies and the game, I decided to let the Droids pull a Challenge test on the Stormtrooper's searching abilities.... 4 dice vs 4 dice, counting successes. The Droids need to succeed not once, but twice (for two turns it takes to escape on escape pods).

They succeed! The adventure continues!

1) The high speeds that come up in a pursuit game make me think about reducing all ship speeds... At a certain point in there the Star Destroyer was going something like 40" per turn (Thats when it caught up). Not really something that needs to be changed, though perhaps I should halve speeds, at least contextually (that is, make 2"=1" in pursuit games). 
2) Uneven games can be depressing: The Tantive IV stood no chance, and I rolled very poorly for its crew stats... so it was basically a massacre, just watching one ship hammer the other til it died. There were a few tough decisions for the Imperials, though (Rebels were basically stuck most of the time due to getting hammered so bad). Targeted shots vs. antimatter can be tough.
3) I came up with a minor adjustment for the shooting table about half way through that would make ship stats matter a bit more in whether or not they get hit. It'd basically give them a saving roll based upon their mobility. 
4) in retrospect the Blockade Runner, perhaps, should have tried turning around about at the planet and THEN going as fast as possible the other way... can't guarantee it would've worked (who activated when would matter a lot there), but looking at the 'deltaV' of the two ships, its pretty inevitable that the star destroyer would win in a straight up race... though the Tantive IV taking a hit to engines was a big part of that (they otherwise could've gotten far ahead enough for long enough to prepare a better defense).

Regardless, twas quick and fun.

1 comment:

  1. Great BatRep Joey. If I understand feel there is no speed limit for a ship ?