The Battle for Suchenko
A new jump gate has been discovered in a lost system beyond the Known Worlds. With riches promised, several fleets move in to claim ownership…
Every Tuesday night, the local gaming club hits the Mongoose offices and plays a wide variety of games (consider this an open invitation – they play all sorts!). A group of us got together and decided to set up a campaign of A Call to Arms: Noble Armada. For us, it was also a chance to give a last playtest to the Fleets of the Fading Suns supplement. We drew up a campaign map, and selected fleets. After much debate, we ended up with the following fleets;
Hazat (that would be me!)
Another Li Halan (sparking an argument about who was the real Li Halan…)
We ended up playing through two camapign turns yesterday evening. The first turn kicked off and, frankly, we weren’t expecting any action. This is usually when people just race for territory and set up their starting positions. However, the second Li Halan fleet took exception to the Kurgan grabbing a gas giant with a hidden base, and a small skirmish kicked off to contest the move.
A 500 point Towering Inferno scenario was rolled up, which the Li Halan cunningly got round by taking a destroyer pumped up with all sorts of upgrades. This wrong-footed the Kurgan who started off with a single Galliot and then watched as their fleet came on in drips and drabs. A Mujahidin raider arrived on the battlefield right in front of the destroyer, and was quickly claimed as a prize. Though they had the advantage in numbers when it came to boarding, the Kurgan could just not bring their fleet to bear, and ended up vacating the gas giant, one ship down.
And that was fine. However, on the second turn of the campaign, the other Li Halan player had been taking notes on my actions previously. I had sneaked my fleet past everyone and grabbed the jump gate to the entire system, which meant that not only did I get the lion’s share of resources. I was also stopping transports reaching the other players, penalising their earnings! So, that Li Halan fleet made a beeline for the jump gate, daring any one to make a play for it. Everyone else scattered about the system but, fool that I am, decided that the jump gate belonged to House Hazat.
We rolled up a Space Superiority match, at 1,500 points. Considering this was a small campaign where we started off with 2,000 point fleets, this would be a sizeable amount of forces at war and the result would powerfully affect the rest of the campaign for at least one of us.
There was plenty of stellar debris on the table, with a planet in between the opposing forces, and the Li Halan fleet set up in a classic tight broadside formation. I rather fancied Hazat’s chances, and so set up to attack!
Things went downhill from there. In fact, I had my rear-end handed to me royally.
What I should have done was delayed my main attack for a turn, using the planet to first shield the majority of my force from Li Halan lasers, then use it to slingshot round straight into his massed fleet. With four galliots and two cruisers (including the brand new Shamshir strike cruiser) hitting the rear of his force, I could have seized a destroyer, maybe two, and a couple of frigates into the bargain before the rest of his ships could turn round to respond.
Instead, two galliots were blown out of open space before they got within striking range (though it took the combined firepower of the entire Li Halan fleet two turns to do that – gotta love the Close Blast Doors! Special Actions). Two galliots made it in, diving straight into the middle of the formation (couldn’t reach the back). While they were able to tie up a large amount of his firepower, giving the two cruisers a free turn of bombardment withour real response, they were also immediatly mobbed by the ships travelling in the Li Halan rear, and so the trioops were heavily outnumbered.
The game went on for quite a bit after that, as the Hazat died hard (as they should), but in the end not one Hazat ship left the table alive, leaving me 1,500 points down after the first confrontation.
Yes, that was a mistake!
I will now be spending the next few turns of the campaign trying to make myself look very small while we rebuild and (hopefully) theother players tear each other apart!
At the end of Turn Two, the campaign map looks something like this;