Genghis con WC battle report

Astro commander

2nd Lieutenant
Wing Commander Tabletop After Action Report. February 2011

Operation: The liberation of Kilrah. Genghis Con XXXII

Objective: Penetrate into the Kilrah system and destroy the wormhole gate structure.

Secondary objective: Investigate a Steltek installation recently deciphered from the ruins on Mars. It is believed that the Steltek knew something about this region of space might enable a wormhole to be opened and placed a monitoring station in system. It is suspected that the Steltek were aware of the Nephilim as a potential threat to the galaxy. Though why the installation didn’t appear to do anything when the first wormhole opened is unknown. Investigate for potential weapons or data. (Unrevealed objective until turn 4, must have held the objective for one turn to have attracted attention of a Steltek carrier)





First, let me apologize for not having taken pictures of every turn. I get into a game and usually forget pictures. Next I apologize for any errors in the report as this was written after the fact. A LOT happened in this game. Also, the tone flips back and forth because, while I was commanding Nephilim, we all want the humans to win. There were 3 players including myself; one commanding each fleet, with myself aiding in the Neph defense, splitting the Neph fleet in half left and right (my) side. Jump points were setup at the L2 Lagrange points as these points allowed the intruders to take cover behind a planet in short order against the dreadnaught plasma guns. Plasma guns had a range of 18, with a velocity of 12. This means its instant death to be within 12” of a primed Dreadnaught. At extreme range the fleet can disperse to minimize casualties. Missiles from fighters were disabled to keep the game from becoming unplayable in 6 hrs. Capships, and the gate, could only be hurt by cap weapons (lasers, plasma, cap missiles) or bomber torpedoes (in the form of expendable torpedoes (range=12”) with limited ammo (4/squad), and unlimited point blank torpedo runs)


Figure 1. This is actually turn 2. Green notes Neph, Red notes Cats, Blue is Confed. Purple is pursued stealth recon.

The game started with the Bugs in the Kilrah system. The wormhole is bottom left with the double green circle, and is the ultimate objective. It must be destroyed at all costs. A secondary objective was to secure one of 3 planets, noted by a dark blue square. These were chosen at random and the Nephilim knew which 3 might have the objective, the invaders knew exactly which planet (to be revealed to the Nephilim(me) in turn 4 to determine if the objective was achieved). One Dreadnaught was in the middle of the map ready to fire on anyone who jumped in, the second was on the dark side of Kilrah (far left) ready to cover the two “back door” jump points. The Neph weapons were primed and ready, as they had been waiting for this breach into the Kilrah system, while the Confed and Kilrathi ships only had half of their fighter compliments, and discharged weapon banks (a result of the fight to take the other side of the jump points).

The Neph already deployed, their locations known due to 4 stealth wings in system (2 dragons, 2 Excaliburs, and 4 Salthi) The cloaked recons were being pursued each by 3 fighters and one manta as the Nephilim could partially track a cloaked ship. The recon units were close to the jump points, so it was advantageous for the intruders to divert some resources to rescue their pursued scouts, as cloaked ships are quite useful (read annoying as heck to the Nephilim). Their importance is compounded by the Salthi’s ability to carry a single short-range skipper torpedo, and the Confed scouts ability to carry a Flash-pack. Confed/UBW had access to 4 flashbacks for the game.



The Confed jumped in at two points, furthest away from the Neph, with the Tigerclaw and Gilgamesh escorts through one point (middle blue circle) and the Midway and Tallahassee (modified cruiser) at the right most blue circle and held tight to the far side of the planet to avoid direct fire from the Kraken’s plasma cannon. Yes the Tigerclaw and Gilgamesh are old and pretty weak, but for this invasion the Boarderworlds and Confed pulled ships from mothball, where possible, to project as much force as possible for this mission. The boarder worlds held the Durango and Southampton escorts in reserve.

The Kilrathi jumped in at the right two most jump points with a cruiser and Snakier carrier in the bottom right, while a Fralthi and Tri klah heavy cruiser jumped in top right. The Dreadnaught, held in reserve, jumped in on turn 2, coming around the planet opposite the TriKlah.



Turn 1: Sticking your neck out.



The Noted forces jumped in system and, where possible, rescued their recon ships suffering minimal losses. The Boarderworld/Confed alliance loaded 3 flash packs on their ships and sent them back out to get that gate. While not a single flash pack got used. The number of ships diverted throughout the game to hunt down those cloaked pests more than paid for the loss of use.


Figure 2. The Kilrathi fleet, fired upon by the Kraken at extreme range prepares to disperse leaving the heavy cruiser to its fate. After this the escort to the Tri'klah disperses leaving it to its fate. Two squadrons of Excaliburs burn hard to join the Hvar'Kann with their Flasphacks well protected.





The Bugs fired their plasma cannons at extreme range, a premature mistake, as this gave the enemy time to disperse thus only loosing the Tigerclaw and Tri’klah in the resulting explosion.



Turn 2: Let the chaos begin!



The bugs began to accelerate their dreadnaughts to take out the midway. The Tiamat started its ponderous burn around Kilrah and the Kraken likewise headed toward the Midway. However, now that the plasmas had been fired all fleets jumped their reinforcements in and launched bombers to take care of those pesky dreadnaughts. The Kraken, being so far out away from most of its escort, as its escort had been pursuing pesky stealth ships with Flash-packs, managed to survive several attempts by bombers to take its main gun offline with close range torpedo runs. Both the Kraken and the Midway would be charged again by turn three and ready to fire point blank.


Figure 3. Kraken all ahead full, to flush the midway out so it, or the Tiamat, can get a firing solution in turn 3. A plasma weapon is the only weapon on the board capable of destroying the gate in one hit. IT MUST DIE! Bottom right: the Kracken's escort successfully destroyed one cloaked fighter, but the other escaped with its flash pack thanks to the sacrifice of some Kilrathi fighters, and is now hiding with the Kilrathi fleet.



The midway sent its remaining compliment after the Kraken, and the orca and barracudas, as well as firing several flights of missiles at fighters and the barracudas.


Figure 4. UBW jumped in after confirmation the Tiamat had fired. Coming in hot through the jump point, bombers launched torpedoes and headed for close range attack runs, escorted by banshee fighters. The Tiamat Realized its mistake and diverted turrets and escorts in a vain attempt to rectify the situation.

On the far side of Kilrah, the Tiamat is accelerating to get a firing solution on the Midway for turn 3. But having lost its bite for one turn the Boarderworlds jump in the Durango with full escort already launched. The bombers let loose with 4 torpedoes, escorted by fighters. The Tiamat is only capable of shooting missiles at the fighter escort hoping to whittle them down so its turrets have an easier time shooting down torpedoes. It diverts half of its fighters to assist, but a combination of torpedo and direct bomber attacks manage to not only knock out the main plasma gun, they also knock out the engines leaving the Tiamat to be a drifting turret platform letting its momentum carry it.





Turn 3. Something’s gotta give.



The Counterattack by the Tiamat’s fighter and bomber escort is fierce. With the assistance of a hydra and its long range interceptors, they wipe out the majority of the human fighters, bombers, and all but one Southampton. However, many interceptors are diverted to also deal with two dragons carrying Flash-packs. One is taken down but not without destroying more than its fair share of opponents. Pesky stealth fighters!

Unfortunately for the bugs……


Figure 5. The Kraken is charged and ready to fire. Most interceptors, missiles, and bombers have been mutually neutralized. A lone orca and a flight of bombers stand ready in case the kraken fails to annihilate the midway. The kraken repels attempts by bombers and torpedoes to destroy its main gun narrowly with minimal escort, loosing said escort in the process...


Figure 6. …only to get blindsided by a barrage from the Hvar’Kann utterly destroying the Nephilim Dreadnaught thus saving the midway.



The Tallahassee is aiming its single large laser at the kraken, hoping to knock out the now charged plasma cannon. Several bombers also attempted to strike the Kraken. Thankfully, valiant defenses by the bug escort knock out the bombers and a single bomber manages to knock out the Tallahassee’s laser before it can fire. And yet…the Hvar’Kann is also in range now and opens up with 3 fully charged heavy lasers. The Hvar'Kann can charge 1.5 lasers per turn and relishes the resulting explosion of the Kraken robbing it if its ability to destroy the midway with its plasma cannon at point blank range. However, the resulting explosion obliterated the Tallahassee and the surviving nearby Kraken escort within 4 hexes. The Midway is now charged but holds the weapon in reserve for the wormhole. Instead, the midway uses its fighter launch tubes to begin launching limited capmissiles at the Orca and Hydra standing between it and the wormhole. Bug fighters move to intercept and deal with the Midway.

In the bottom right of the map, the single Hydra and escort attempt to disable the Ralaxath cruiser as the only heavy ship in the region capable of harming the gate. A combination of cap missiles from the Hydra and torpedoes from the bomber escort start pounding at the Ralaxath. However, the Ralaxath and Snakier’s escort valiantly fend off the first two waves of attacks from turn 2 and 3 whittling down the Hydras escort. Thank goodness for continual Nephilim fighter reinforcement from the wormhole!

The Bugs, having lost their shipkillers, divert every bomber in the central region to take out the Midway. The Midway’s missiles and fighters attempt to intercept, though in half the cases, are themselves neutralized by squid interceptors and missiles from the Orca. Sufficient effort is put into neutralizing all incoming bombers and torpedoes, but a lone Barracuda manages to get a lucky shot in knocking out the plasma weapon on the Midway.









Turn 4: This is going to be close!


On the left, the lone Southampton is attacked by a handful of bomber torpedoes and a cap missile from the hydra, while the rest of the bug fighters/bombers, in this region go after the remaining Dragon, successfully destroying it with fewer losses than expected. Meanwhile, the bugs underestimated the valor of the Southampton’s crew who manage to shoot down the cap missile and torpedoes bearing on it. The captain, realizing he has no weapons capable of harming the wormhole support structure, sets a collision course. This is no simple feat, as attempting to hit an object in space is actually quite difficult since it requires proper accounting of momentum and available thrust. Such an action requires sufficient calculation into the next turn to set the proper course in this turn. A course solution is found and locked, and the lone ship barrels past the Hydra with purpose. The Tiamat now drifts forward hoping it can thin out the fighters in its path with its turrets and escorting Barracuda, to releave pressure on the bug bombers going after the bigger ships. Remaining fighters and bombers of the Tiamat intercept the Boarderworld bomber killing it, its escort, and Flash-pack payload with relative ease (for a change!)

Bombers from the bugs unleash hell on the Midway as the Midway also launches more capmissiles at the Orca and Hydra. The swarm of bombers find their mark and destroy the Midway suffering decent losses. They now turning their attention to the Hvar’Kann which has been continuing to accelerate while charging its battery of lasers to take out the gate.


Figure 7. Hvar'Kann and escort proceed ahead full, charging weapons for the gate, hoping a combination of heavy lasers will do the trick. If not, they plan to escort the cloaked Excaliburs to the gate to deliver a Flash-pack.



The Hydra in the lower left turns to go after the Hvar’Kann, leaving 4 fresh squadrons of bombers from the gate to deal with the Southampton.



Figure 8. Lower right hydra faces off against the Ralaxath, both effectively neutralizing each other. Having knocked out each others bridge and/or engines they are doomed to drift past each other as mere observers, the Ralaxath able to fire its last cap missile at long range at the wormhole. The torpedo narrowly avoids interception and helps to helping to whittle the gate down.

The hydra in the lower right gets its bridge knocked out and is left to drift off the map past the Ralaxath. However, simultaneously it and its escort took out the Ralaxath’s bridge disabling energy allocation to the primary laser leaving the Ralaxath to drift past. Its last useful weapon, a cap missile launcher, fires its remaining round at the gate as fighters move to intercept said missile.



Turn 5: Fast forwarded.



At this point we were running late, since there were a LOT of ships and ordinance flying back and forth eating time. With half an hour left we estimated that the invaders would unlikely be able to deliver sufficient damage to the gate before another Tiamat was scheduled to come though fully charged and ready to obliterate the only real remaining threat, the Hvar’Kann. Yet, there was the matter of the secondary objective. Because the bugs ignored this, since the 3 planets were unreasonably far away, the coalition activated a Steltek beacon. The Steltek, not wanting to see the galaxy they nearly destroyed themselves, overrun by bugs, hopped in a Transcendent Carrier and Cruiser just out of strike range of the gate.


Figure 9. Steltek reinforcement jumped (hopped since it wasn’t at a jump point) in turning the battle back toward the coalition. Every fighter, bomber, and torpedo left at the bug’s disposal is diverted to take that behemoth out... The lone Orca stands defiantly against the carrier, but the carrier takes no notice and proceeds to its objective leaving the insignificant Orca for later. If the Nephilim can hold out one more turn another Tiamat is scheduled to come through. But with the Steltek carrier Transcendent, and the Hvar’Kann incoming, the gate may be lost regardless.
 

Attachments

Astro commander

2nd Lieutenant
The Transcendent and escort of drones, scouts, and cruiser accelerate hard towards the gate to get within weapon range. The Steltek were fabled to have had weapons of terrible power. This carrier does not disappoint. The defense grid, coupled with the seemingly unstoppable drone/scout escort sweeps away over 8 torpedoes and about as many fighters and bombers without suffering a casualty. (In retrospect I may have made the Transcendent a little too powerful, but they were supposed to be a great power ancient race… and they got a very lucky roll!). The primary weapon fires… and obliterates the gate with ease without any question in the margin of the dice roll.



Honestly, I designed the game for the bugs to loose, but I did not design it well enough it seems since the game came so close. This is likely because the Nephilim had a lot more fighters and bombers, even though they were spread out across the entire map making force concentration difficult. Thus, it is a good thing I gave the option of the Steltek backup. Though, admittedly I didn’t calculate said backup to likely be THAT effective. The total number of bug fighter/bomber casualties is estimated around 70 squadrons. Confed lost nearly 18 squadrons, and the Kilrathi lost around 10 squadrons, as they were more cautious. Confed lost a Bengal, 2 Southampton’s, 1 Gilgamesh, 1 Midway, and one Durango. The Kilrathi lost one Tri’klah and effectively one Ralaxath. The Nephilim lost 1 Tiamat (to a Durango and escort… how insulting), 1 Kraken to the Hvar’Kann, 3 Barracudas, and one Hydra, and one Orca, fired from the Midway but landing after the Midway’s demise.


Figure 10. The Steltek, after having left the galaxy they themselves nearly brought to ruin, have saved the galaxy from a similar fate at the hands of the less benevolent Nephilim.





This mess brought to you (and painted) by ThirdFateCreations.
 

Attachments

Bob McDob

Better Health Through Less Flavor
This is amazing. It's one thing to see the ships printed, another to see them painted, but something else entirely to see them in action like this.

For lack of better words, "Well Done".
 

Aginor

Vice Admiral
This is amazing. It's one thing to see the ships printed, another to see them painted, but something else entirely to see them in action like this.

For lack of better words, "Well Done".
I agree, well done!

Also it seems that you had a lot of fun there. I almost considered playing a tabletop game once more (played a game named "confrontation" some years ago but quit).

Really nice, I'm looking forward to some more.
 

Oggy

Rear Admiral
Thats awesome mate,

really enjoyed reading about it (sounds like it was an epic battle) and looking at the models.
 

JCales

Spaceman
This was a fun game to play. I played the Confed units including the Border World ships and thoroughly got it handed to me by the Nephilem. I think one of the biggest problems I faced was the fact that two ship killing weapons were able to strike me from two possible gate jump points. The Tigers Claw being an antiquated carrier was no match for Neph ships, even with two Gilgamesh escorts. Eventually I took over the Skeltek ship, which was "THAT' powerful. I agree that it probably tipped the scales too quickly. But the game was fun.
 

Astro commander

2nd Lieutenant
Im glad you had fun. I thought it was great. Chaos, but I love the organized chaos of fleet battles.

Frankly, I thought you played your hand exceptionally well. The cats were much more cautious because they could be, and because they figured it was better to let a few monkeys die first after loosing kilrah.

However, you took but a single plasma hit and I was impressed, and insulted, that the durango and escort took out the Tiamat! Beautifully done. Plus you played those stealth ships well diverting a lot of attention. It was bad luck that the kracken would have taken out the midway in round three but the fuzzy cowards came through.. to an extent. They didnt burn hard enough so you still ate it from the bombers.

If I had placed your jump points further away I dont think youd have done as well since Id have ad an easier time alternating plasma shots between the dreadnaughts when either of your fleets finally came within range. In retrospect, the firing of the plasmas early was more a scare tactic, which worked, to keep you dispersed and more cautious.

When I designed the game I figured the players would take a more two pronged attack to go straight to the gate and use carriers to accelerate balls to the wall to deliver bombers point blank while the dreadnoughts drew fire. I think with just a little more pressure from the kilrathi in concert with your forces would have been the necessary tipping of the scales to not requires the steltek. I really think that was the one failing. Improper balancing of pressure from the two sides allowed me to mostly ignore the kilrathi and hold them at bay with 10 or so squads of fighters/bombers and one hydra.

But look at the kill statistics in the end. You alone probably took out at least 40 squadrons of fighters and bombers with your 20 squadrons. You disabled the Tiamat, embarrassed a hydra by flying right by it as it ponderously came about... You probably would have taken the game if I had given you 10 more squadrons, or enabled 4 mace's to be carried. Not very useful against capships, but hell on wheels against swarms of bugs.
 

Astro commander

2nd Lieutenant
Tacticon WC Mission Prep

I will be running another wing commander game at this tacticon in denver
http://www.denvergamers.org/


However I am attempting to determine what mission to run and realized this is probably the best place to get such info. please PM me if you have suggestions and I will consider/integrate aspects that I hope will make the game fun for all involved or watching.

Forces available
Quite a bit of Terran(confed/UBW), Kitty, Bug, and a tinny bit of steltek that needs some dialing down in power.

Thanks for any suggestions!

I will eventually update this link but its old info for genghis con is accurate enough for rules
http://sites.google.com/site/thirdfatecreations/upcoming-seminars
 

Saleem

1st Lieutenant
I've always thought those figures of yours were awesome same with the paint jobs on them, but now I see their actual size and I am just dumbstruck! Awesome is not awesome enough to describe what you have there.
 
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