Trevor herded cosmic ship captains on Sunday, as Heston and Ealing Wargamers welcomed the Kingston Gaming Group to Rob's War Room, for a Star Trek club match between the Klingons and visiting B'Krath...
Encountering the B'Krath (Deborah, Sean, Larry, Chris, Doug) for the first time (the race allegedly hailed from the back of beyond, star date 1090902), the Klingons (Brian, Douglas, Neil, Simon, Rob) were tasked with gathering intel and/or blowing them up over three interlinked scenarios.
The B'Krath were led by Queen K'Tanth III (Deborah, ably assisted by His Excellency Vice-Admiral Larry), whereas the Klingons were commanded by Mostly Grand Admiral Swie'tex (Brian). What follows is an objective account for the Intergalactic Annals...
Scenario One: First Contact
The Klingons had been alerted to the presence of a lone B'Krath destroyer dubbed the doughnut (piloted by Larry), and had to either scan, capture or destroy it.
The Klingons duly approached in formation and scanned it, but were then surprised to see four Federation ships arrive. These were tasked with protecting the B'Krath ship, and lulling the Klingons into a false sense of security.
In a moment of controversy, the B'Krath then fired on Brian's bird of prey, alleging Klingon threats had been made. Larry would brook no Klingon aggression and refused to vacate 'his' space. But while the Klingons took the shot as justification for open hostilities... the Federation could claim Klingon 'retaliation' as a cause of war...
While Larry's doughnut slowly pulled back, the Klingons fired on him, inflicting mounting damage. The Federation was soon drawn in to a general melee, as the Klingons fired on USS Equinox (Doug), USS Yosemite (Sean), and USS Wyoming (Chris), who all fired back.
Douglas inflicted six damage cards on Trevor's Federation ship, and four on his namesake Doug. I (ensconced on board a Klingon scout, purely for journalistic reasons) took significant damage from Chris's ship, losing weapons, aft shields and free movement. A general pell-mell fight ensued with all ships trading blows, and Brian's ship gradually becoming isolated.
General mayhem continued, however, before Neil transported two Klingon marine squads onto USS Baker (Trevor), one of which was killed. Neil then inflicted a further eight cards of damage on Trevor's ship. Trevor then beamed off his ship, which was in Klingon hands, but began a countdown...
By turn nine, the badly damaged B'Krath destroyer had warped out as soon as it had regained some power. The USS Baker blew up, and the Klingons were declared victors with one Federation ship destroyed and the B'Krath gone ('tactically repositioning').
The remaining Federation ships had inflicted damage on the Klingon fleet, but had received more in return.
Scenario Two: The Monarchy Strikes Back
An upgraded Klingon fleet (destroyer, frigate, two birds of prey, a cruiser) had tracked the B'Krath back to their space, and now had to destroy, capture, or scan as many of the B'Krath ships as possible, without being captured themselves.
Was Her Majesty Herself on board one of the B'Krath vessels? The B'Krath were tasked with joining forces effectively to muller the Klingons...
The Klingons and B'Krath duly faced-off in line abreast - five ships each.
The B'Krath saucers began taking heavy blows from Douglas (controlling ships on both ends of the Klingon line) - who punished Larry (five cards) and Sean (eight cards). Brian's flagship, the cruiser Klothos, also inflicted eight hits on Sean's ship.
But now the B'Krath unveiled the tactical card up their sleeve, as they began to coordinate: Sean, Larry and Chris together dealing six cards against Simon's ship, even as Sean launched a shuttle of marines against Brian.
Larry and Sean took more damage, but four B'Krath shuttles had now been launched against the Klothos. They landed and a close fight for the cruiser began on board.
Sean, Larry and Chris launched more shuttles - Chris landing three on Brian's cruiser. However, Rob (taking over from Simon) and Brian dealt eight cards of damage to Sean's ship. Sean's marines continued to fight Brian's over possession of the cruiser...
Rob's ship was now in a bad state, having taken six more damage cards. By turn six, he had 19 cards of damage and only his rear shields intact. Like a true Klingon, he planned to fire and ram!
And the B'Krath boarding tactics continued, with Douglas's Fury assailed by marines. Brian, however, knocked out two shuttles; and Douglas repelled Trevor's boarding attempt.
Rob's death run was initiated. However, he took a further 18 cards of damage from Doug, Larry, Chris and Sean.
A severely damaged 'Pincushion' Rob moved away, pursued by Trevor. Only for Trevor, Larry and Doug to deal him another 11 cards of damage!
Nevertheless, a collision between two B'Krath saucers (Chris and Sean) led to each suffering four damage cards! And Neil and Brian destroyed another three B'Krath shuttles between them...
Still, Rob was now forced to don emergency equipment to maintain life support, but took another 10 cards' damage from the B'Krath saucers. Brian and Neil answered this by giving Chris 10 more damage cards.
Neil and Douglas's marines arrived on the Klothos to assist Admiral Swie'tex, which helped stabilise the situation for the Klingons.
In the end, Brian and Douglas shot down six more B'Krath shuttles, and Brian wiped out the remaining marines sent by Sean. While Rob took seven more cards of damage from Larry, he managed to survive.
Trevor ruled the scenario to be drawn.
Scenario Three: Take the Fight to the Heart of the Enemy
A powerful Klingon fleet (a dreadnought, battleship, battlecruiser, light cruiser, cruiser) led by Brian, Douglas and Rob took on five B'Krath vessels (including Her Majesty's) near a formidable B'Krath space station.
The Klingons had to either capture or destroy the station, destroy the Queen's ship, or down two B'Krath vessels, to win.
For four turns, both sides deployed and moved into position around the space station, which soon began to scan the ships in its vicinity.
The Klingons, marshalled by Rob, were attempting a coordinated fleet action. On turn five, they formed line astern and presented their broadsides, while scanning the B'Krath ships.
Rob was at the end of the line, and immediately took 14 cards of damage from the combined fire of Trevor, Sean, and Doug.
The Klingons fired in return, dealing Larry five damage points. They needed to go in closer to fire their torpedoes...
On turn six, the Klingons turned to face the space station, and moved closer.
Again, Rob was met with concentrated fire, suffering five cards of damage. The Klingons dealt nine points worth of damage to Larry's ship, besides minor damage to the other B'Krath.
Brian destroyed two B'Krath shuttles, meanwhile Sean took six more cards of damage from Brian and Douglas. But Doug launched more shuttles...
Rob, not best amused, took another 15 cards of damage from Deborah, Doug and Larry, while Douglas took five more.
Rob destroyed two of Doug's shuttles, whereas Brian inflicted eight more strikes on Chris.
Now Brian's second ship, the Klothos, was teleported away from the action by a warphole attack, spinning out of range.
Near the end of the scenario, Rob and Doug rammed each other and took 10 cards of damage a piece, and the Klothos returned to threaten the Queen's ship.
Rob took nine more cards from Deborah and Doug, but Douglas retaliated and inflicted damage on the Queen's ship and on Doug's vessel.
In the end, the Klingons conceded after losing their battleship, but one B'Krath ship was on self-destruct and another had just two hull points left.
The space station warped a B'Krath ship about to be boarded to safety.
The B'Krath thus won the scenario, but the game was an overall tie - with one win apiece and one draw.
By the third scenario, both sides were attempting to coordinate their ships in fleet actions. The B'Krath boarding tactics were quite potent, but ultimately did not manage to take over any Klingon ships. B'Krath captains did well to target individual Klingon ships (well, Rob's), however.
By game's end, the two sides' tactical differences had become apparent. The B'Krath ships had unusual 360 degree shields which negated much of the Klingon firepower and the Klingons needed to get within torpedo range to do any real damage. The Klingons only managed to get the B'Krath shields completely down twice in the entire game. The B'Krath also had better long-range weapons, helped by some crew cards that allowed re-rolls of missed hits and positive modifiers to hit at long range.
Thanks to Trevor, recently celebrating his birthday, for organising and umpiring what proved to be an entertaining and friendly day's play, and for ordering everyone pizza. The game was a treat for all sci-fi fans present, and thoroughly challenging. Nice to meet everyone from Kingston Gaming Group, and thanks to Rob for painting the ships goodly, game development, setting up and hosting us all at the War Room...