Friday, 1 May 2009

Full Thrust battle report

Friday, May 01, 2009

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So today I had my first proper Full Thrust battle. Granted we were using the light rules and fleets, but it's a step up from cruiser duels.

I was using the Green fleet represented by the UNSC and my friend Paul took command of the Red fleet represented by the FSE. As you may know the red fleet is the faster one with most ships having a thrust rating of six. The green is generally slower with its four, but makes up for that with more hull points and a few more guns. Please excuse the weird green space the ships have stumbled into. I'm going to get a black piece of felt for the next battle.

So we started out at opposite corners about 60 MU apart. Paul split his fleet up a bit with two destroyers and a light cruiser heading off on his right flank.

The Red fleet moving out.

I on the other hand kept my capital ships rather close together with the escorts picketing my flanks; this seemed like the thing to do considering the lower thrust rating on my ships.

The starting setup for the Green fleet.

The first three turns were spent with the two fleets slowly closing in on each other. Having the slower fleet I tried to close quickly so as not to let the red fleet use it's superiour maneuverability. Paul on the other hand started off rather slowly.

On the fourth turn my (surprisingly heavily armed) frigates fired their first shots on one of the destroyers facing them, but not doing much damage. The turn after the two fleets were close enough to open fire en masse and it did not go well for me. Although I did manage to inflict some damage here and there Paul's fire crippled one of my light cruisers, a frigate and a destroyer. It was looking grim...

The two fleets starting to exchange fire.

However things were about to change. The following turn Paul accelerated and split his main group into two, with the battlecruiser and a light cruiser turning starbord and the heavy cruiser continuing straight with the two frigates. I on the other hand braked hard and tried to concentrate my fire on the battlecruiser. At first my fire kept being rather ineffectual but then my own battlecruiser made up for it by destroying both pulse torpedo launchers as well as completely blowing up the engines. Since the red battlecruiser had a velocity of 14 and was pointing to a close by table edge it was effectively out of the game.

"Can I fire on that destroyer?" Yes, yes he could.

The following turn Paul continued with his pincer movement as he kept encircling my core fleet. I tried to make a hedgehog kind of formation, so I wouldn't get overflanked, with my light and heavy cruisers turning one way and my battlecruiser turning another.

The pincer closing and the hedgehog balling up. The FSE light cruiser to the left was destroyed by fire from my heavy cruiser after this picture was taken.

During the fire phase I managed to destroy one of his light cruiser and cripple a frigate while he crippled one of my destroyers. By now my two frigates were dead in the water with no guns left so they were out as well. I managed to inflict some damage on his heavy cruiser but it still had about half it's hull points left.

"Fire broadside!"

By this time we decided to end the game as time was starting to run out. However, Paul admitted defeat as he was in a disadvantaged position, having lost his battlecruiser and a light cruiser while my battle and heavy cruiser were practically unhurt. You can see how the game ended on the picture below.

After the final turn.

I got to say, Full Thrust is as much fun as I thought it would be! I'm really glad I got into it. However I'm looking forward to playing with the full rules next time as things could have been very different if we had used the rules for repair teams etc.
And I want to use fighters, missiles, ECM and... well, all the fun stuff! Hehe!

This time we had eight ships per side and played seven turns which took about three hours, most of which was the last two-three turns when the firing got more intense. Eight ships was good for a starter fleet but as I got more used to writing orders it felt like 10 or 12 wouldn't be a problem. I think around 10 ships is about right for an afternoon while a larger fleet engagement is better reserved for an evening with a pizza break.

Again, loads of fun! Highly recommended!

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