Monday, July 4, 2011

BFG: Star Wars - Batrep Battle at Cam'Co

 Chiss campaign Turn 8 finally sees some action:
  • The Vaagari 1st and 2nd Fleets perform a combined assault on the Imperial occupied world of Csilla, defended by the Imperial 1st Fleet
  • The Chiss 1st Fleet assaults the Vaagari Hombase system of Cormit
  • The Chiss 2nd Fleet assaults the now poorly defended Imperial Cam'co system.
  • The Rebels liberate Oyokol
  • The Imperials occupy Kinoss
 This is the report of the cowardly Chiss assault on the lightly defended observation and medical station at Cam'Co. With the reduced points (no banners) I had a small battle-group focused around the ISD Monitor, light ISDs Vengeance and Vindictive and the Venator A Relentless. I also ordered the work crews to convert two damaged Nebulon B frigates into Fire-ships, ready to send into any attacking fleets. Group-Captain Pallaeon was muttering something about a "Four Kingdoms Strategy" and it was clear that if an attack fell here there would be no reinforcements.

 And fall it did. The Chiss made a sudden surprise attack, with half again as many forces as the defenders. They emerged from hyperspace dangerously close to the gravity well of Cam'Co. These were the same ships that led the abortive raid on Norporar. Imperial crews rushed back from leave (playing some local game called 'baseball' as Chiss fighters roared overhead) and quickly took shuttles back to man their stations. So close were they in fact that the Chiss battleship was able to launch a massive wave of Proton Torpedoes at Vindictive and Vengeance before they could even get underway. The strike managed to cripple both the Vindictive and the Vengeance.
 As my ships began to get underway, I issued orders to the Captains of both Light ISDs to withdraw. The Captain of the Vengeance was able to do so but the Vindictive was still too occupied with damage control and we could only hope they could endure Chiss fire for a little longer and attempt to place the rest of the fleet between them and our crippled ship. I ordered volleys of turbo-laser fire at the Chiss fleet, in an effort to disrup their fire and sent both Fire-ships on a collision course with their Battleship, with a TIE Screen to hold off enemy bomber runs on them. 
 Turn 2: The Chiss sweep forward, their Battleship screening the fleet carriers. Chiss Admiral Than decides to eliminate the fire-ships but is forced to devote a surprising amount of fire to do so. He attempts to send some fire in the direction of the limping light ISD Vindictive but the looming silhouette of the ISD Monitor occupies their targeting solutions and the shots harmlessly hit the bigger ship's shields. Than then orders Chiss fighter crews to engage and destroy the Imperial TIE Fighter screen. 
 Meanwhile, the Captain of the Vindictive manages to get the situation under control, clear the gravity well, and jump to Hyperspace. Now that this emergency is past, I note that the Chiss Admiral has come perilously close to Monitor, the fool. ISD monitor and Relentless rake his decks with fire, managing to drop his shields and score some hits. Then relentless sends forth TIE Squadrons to eliminate the fighters on CAP... and I embark my Stormtroopers on Assault Shuttles and conduct a series of raids on the Chiss Battleship. 
Turn 3: The raids are a stunning success, between damage from Turbo-laser fire and the Storm-trooper raids, Chiss Admiral Than's nerve breaks and he abandons his fleet in order to preserve the flagship. That will teach those Chiss scum to trifle with the might of the Empire. However, the remaining Chiss Captains posses more steel in their spines and focus fire on the Monitor. They do significant damage, including some hits on critical systems. The Chiss then put up even heavier CAP on their remaining shifts and turn to 'cross the T' behind my fleet.
 In my turn, I attempt to concentrate fire on the nearest Chiss carrier and succeed in crippling it. However, three of their ships remain and I am badly damaged and have pulled out of range to conduct more Storm-trooper assaults. I attempt to withdraw Relentless, so that Monitor too might make an honourable withdrawal, but Relentless' Captain is derelict of duty so with weary heart I keep Monitor in the battle to preserve the smaller Venator.
 Turn 4: The ISD Monitor would be a great prize indeed so the Chiss withdraw the crippled carrier and throw everything that four cruisers have at the retreating Star Destroyer. They cripple her but Monitor survives another turn.
And survives to fight again, as first the Venator Relentless and then the Star Destroyer slip past the asteroid field, into Hyperspace.
Curse the negligent Captain of Relentless, his hide is saved again but I lost some of my most experienced command crew when the bridge collapsed due to enemy fire!

Battle Aftermath:+7 Renown to Chiss Admiral Than, +0 to the Imperial Navy.
Chiss losses: cruiser CES Tethys 4 damage (crippled), battleship CES Typhon 2 damage Imperial losses: ISD Monitor 7 damage (crippled), light cruiser Vengeance 4 damage (crippled), light cruiser Vindictive 3 damage (crippled) Chiss claim control of Cam'co.

Commentary: Despite this loss fitting with my overall strategy, a loss rankles!  That is not least because after driving off the Chiss Flag I had hopes I could actually inflict more damage and withdraw in good order. Relentless failed me there but them's the breaks'. Chiss Admiral Than has good fleet discipline and works his ships together well. His only failing in an otherwise flawless surprise attack was to fail to adequately protect the ships closest to me with CAP. We both do not rate bombers against Battleships but Assault shuttles are another matter. Well done John and that was lots of fun.

Now, as to this 'Four Kingdoms' thing. I noticed last turns that Jason's Rebels were getting an easy ride out of the strategic situation and prospering despite sustaining heavy losses. That happened because I had initially expanded without consideration (because I was not aware) of the Vagaari and Chiss. It took me a while to 'click' but I realised (and playing a Romance of the Three Kingdom's video game jogged my memory) that in situations like this strategic balance is important. So the aim is to have the Imperials as the center of a disc. Then the other three players will control regions surrounding the central hub and have borders with each other and with me in the center. That is why I needed to let Cam'Co go and why I snuck a fleet banner around the top of the map to help consolidate what I see as my core space. It remains to be seen what the others do but now the Chiss have the option of free expansion around the rim and that will take them to the Rebels in a few turns. At the same time, the Vagaari can foll the gap left by Rebel retreat into that empty space to the 'left' of the map. Of course, if they want to keep fighting me, there is nothing I can do to stop them, I am just not forcing them to do so anymore!

Thanks for reading.


  1. It was a fun game. Some big swings of luck for both of us, but that can be entertaining if you're not taking the game too seriously.

    It was annoying having to withdraw my battleship. I suspect adding its fire during those last two turns would have been enough to destroy the ISD Monitor. But with the "Shield Collapsed" critical I don't think there was any other choice, and I guess it would have been on Brace orders anyway.

    Regarding your "Four Kingdoms" strategy, my reading of the map has me and Jason still separated by a couple of your systems. We're moving in the right direction for it, but don't quite contact yet. Also the center systems include most of the high-value civilized worlds, so that gives all three of us an incentive to go for you rather than each other.

  2. Hi John, the strategy is predicated on the idea that everyone will fight everyone, including me. The difference between where I hope to end up (4Ks) and where we are now is that at the moment Jason and you do not share a border and I must then devote more than my fair share of resoures to not giving him a free ride, or he gets a free ride and prospers accordingly. You are strategicly in the same position as Jason in relation to me but not nearly so craven, I mean, cautious.

    Essentially the current sitution allows one player to freeload (in game/strategy terms, not moral terms, Jason) off the agressiveness of other players.

    So the Imperial fleet is moving to get its banners in the right place and then will defend some systems and not others - (I'm with Stupor Mundi on this). Then:
    1. Either everyone gangs up on me, in which case it does not matter how clever I am, though being lucky might help.
    2. Or more likely opponents make ongoing choices over contesting worlds with more repair points or going for less well defended worlds to get banners. Both will assist with the actual goal, accumulating renown, which 'cautious' Jason actually has quite a lot of somehow.

    Since the goal is to win, not make someone else lose, everyone needs to be careful to not allow any one person get too powerful through being left alone.

  3. Just thinking about it... Jason can grab all the free planets he wants, it doesn't matter.

    The victory condition is Renown, not number of planets controlled. Every turn that somebody doesn't play a game or two (even loses usually add renown) they fall behind.

  4. Yes but once you reach three banners, you can put two banners on a target while guarding somewhere else. In addition, the cheaper (in that it is less costly to get them like that rather than fight for them) repair points allow you to be agressive later on without exhausting your roster.

    In a real sense, the four Kingdom's thing is really me admitting that I've been doing it wrong, spending too much time and banners 'filling in the map' when others can have that stuff without it materially affecting me.

    It will be interesting to see what others do but Jason has managed to accumulate quite a lot of renown and is now angling for an edge on the stategy map, one like the one I have now and intend to properly defend (a la Stupor Mundi). If he gets that edge, then that is one he gets to use in every interaton of the subsequent battle for VPS and small advantages accumulate over time.

  5. Damn, their on to me :)

    Seriously Im cautious now as I have had my teeth kicked in twice, and lost planets and ships both roster is sitting around 1800pts and thats after 3 battles worth of appeals and reinforcements!

    My main concern is to hold enough planets to maintain at least 2, and perferably 3 banners so I can form a "frontline" and gradually expand while being able to defend myself.

    I fully intend to get into the action soon, as John is right and I dont want to fall behind!

  6. BTW just to warn everybody, the Chiss have yesterday accepted delivery of 2 new escort carrier and 1 fleet carrier models.

    So they will now be able to WYSIWYG field their entire fleet registry (plus a Despoiler battleship to be requested next turn) on the tabletop.

  7. Yep Jason and I have received a few new Venators between the two of us as well.

    I've become quite the fan of Brigade stuff - perhaps a little 'rough' but great for Wargaming IMO.