Thursday, January 31, 2013

SFKH – Skirmish Scenario Play

Here's a play-through of the Star Frontiers: Knight Hawks Scenario Delta-1 that was posted last Saturday. This was a game at my friend John's place as I introduced him to the game (lighting not so great over his kitchen table). His first game I played the UPF and pretty much wrecked him right off the bat (even accidentally giving myself a smaller ship than the scenario dictates). This will be his second game, and in response he's chosen the UPF and cooked up a fairly novel strategy.

Turn 1 -- I have a house-rule which prohibits starting the game with a speed above 10 hexes/turn. Partly to short-circuit this rule, what John's doing is have his UPF forces circle on the far side of the board as they increase speed. My Sathar destroyer and frigate are plowing directly forward towards this trap.


Turn 3 -- John's having a bit of troubling controlling his ships (just his 2nd game, after all), and the assault scout's gotten a bit farther ahead than his two frigates.I take the opportunity to accelerate forward and pick off his forward scout with laser-cannon fire. This succeeds, blowing up the scout, and I now have an advantage in total ship firepower.


Turn 4 -- John takes this opportunity, using his frigate's increased speed, to jump my ships and the first close-up attacks (only the moving player can use the powerful Torpedo weapons, nuclear missiles in space, so they constitute a very important offensive capability). He lands several shots on my destroyer -- but interceptor missiles (ICM's) ward off the torpedoes, and the destroyer is tough enough to withstand the hits it takes.


Turn 5 --  With somewhat reduced mobility, I am forced to circle around my Sathar ships to the side of the board, hoping to catch the enemy in a turn or two. Here John plots out his next move. He will actually succeed in landing the next offensive attack, but his attack dice are so poor that he lands almost no hits at all, and my defensive fire actually blows up one of his two frigates.


Turn 8 -- On this move I made a rather broad turn after his remaining frigate; I could directly catch it with my own frigate, but the best my sluggish and highly damaged destroyer could do is a fly-by from 4 hexes away (40K km for you exacting types). John aimed defensive fire to finish him off, landing hits, and the destroyer finally blew up. My frigate launched all its weapons at his remaining vessel, landing almost every one (laser cannon, laser battery, and torpedo), and the resulting huge damage roll decisively finished him off. Victory to the Sathar!


Commentary -- Honestly, John was really robbed of this game; his attack and damage rolls were miserable, while mine were spectacular all the time. I made at least one mistake in movement to allow him another attack (circa turn 7), but escaped when his only hit took left my destroyer with 2 hull points (out of an initial 50). An interesting opening strategy of circling the far board to gain speed -- again, basically a dodge of my maximum initial speed rule, and a tactic the reminds me of Steve Jackson's advice for the Ogre game (have the Ogre putter around its side of the board until the opposition gets frustrated and breaks out of formation to get it).


3 comments:

  1. I almost bought Knight Hawks when I was a kid. (I passed over it and got The Last Starfighter Combat Game and (later) Star Fleet Battles instead.) I have always wondered about it, though, and really appreciate the session report!

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  2. this sounds like a great game! Thanks for the tips on playing it.

    Is the game map that useful?

    Did you know your oedgames site appears to be down? And the email address associated with it doesn't seem to be working either.

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    1. Yeah, my web/mail server totally died early on Monday and I haven't had time to rebuild it until this weekend. As I write this I've got the website back, now working on email.

      (I like the hexmap game, but also plan to try it with miniatures and no map at some point.)

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