Wednesday 18 July 2012

Sink the ... uh ... Armitage Shanks (Starmada Game)

A commerce raider tentatively identified as the ADF Dreadnought 'Armitage Shanks' has been causing trouble in Bwendi space. Several Dentressangle-class freighters have been destroyed and vital supplies of SpAndrex bottom cleansing product have been disrupted. It is rumoured that the the ADF's rival product to SpAndrex has proven less than popular! That does not surprise Bwendi High Command. They have seen SpIzal for themselves. In response to the ADF incursions, a small task force of the Bwendi Aerospace Patrol was dispatched under the command of Captain Johnny Rockafellah Nicholson to deal with the intruder.

This was a small Starmada game to see how well we got on with the rules. We chose a 'sink the Bismarck' style scenario because we thought it would be interesting and easy. I had constructed a quick and simple hex mat for the game. Note to self: I really need a colour laser printer and more patience in sticking label paper to foamboard!

The BAP Task Force consisted of:
1 M1-class battleship - BSV Newport Pagnell
2 R4-class light cruisers - BSV Jenny Murray and BSV Charlotte Green
2 Cricket-class destroyers - BSV Lords and BSV Edgbaston

Enemy in sight!
The Armitage Shanks was in sight and the BAP Task Force was deployed in line abreast. The Edgbaston quickly took hits and started leaking air as the longer range weaponry of the Armitage Shanks told on the BAP ships. Rockafellah Nicholson ordered the ships to close at full speed. It was the only way they could get their own weapons into range before the task force was destroyed.
Closing too fast!
The Armitage Shanks deploys strike drones. Kablooey!
The Bwendi commander soon discovered a problem with braking as the Edgbaston and the Newport Pagnell went haring towards the Armitage Shanks. He was able to make a passing attack and cause some serious damage but there was no way the ships would return to the fight in time.
Only three Bwendi ships remain
The Edgbaston, despite all the damage successfully turned to rejoin the fray but the Newport Pagnell's engines were shot and it had too much velocity to turn this side of Andromeda. Worse yet, the Armitage Shanks had blasted the Charlotte Green into space dust and all the Bwendi ships were hurting. Still, the Jenny Murray was tailing the Armitage Shanks and had launched a salvo up its backside causing damage once more.
Follow the leader.
The Edgbaston finally cracked up under the pressure of the fight but the Jenny Murray and the Lords were right on the tail of the Armitage Shanks. A mistake by the ADF commander (they are not promoted for their intelligence, you know!) led to the Armitage Shanks not putting enough energy into its rear screens. The ADF commander, who was picked up in a lifepod later, stated that he had hoped to outbrake the two Bwendi ships. Unfortunately their superior manoeuvrability led to them being right in behind his ship. They both unleased all-out heck into the back end of the Armitage Shanks which promptly exploded in a beautiful display of fireworks. The bottoms of the Bwendi people would be safe for a while longer.

This was a great game. We really liked the written orders and simultaneous movement. Combat was quick and easy and we liked the fact that ships' systems were picked off rather than having a general hit points value. I feared that the extreme power of the ADF ships would be too much for my poor craft but deft reading of the rules made me realise that I could exceed the maximum apparent speed of my ships, but at a cost in not being able to manoeuvre for a while due to needing to spend time braking. This led to the Newport Pagnell leaving the battle area before its time but it got my other ships into range before the ADF ship could pick them all apart. I was amazed at how much damage the Edgbaston could take, but that was mainly because Steve's shots picked off the weapons and shields rather than the hull. I got lucky there. I am now looking forward to the next game.

Monday 2 July 2012

June: the conclusion and into July

So, that was June, eh? It went by rather quickly with too little progress. No progress was made on terrain. I did manage to finish off some 28mm figures and some more 15mm sci-fi, as reported in this post. Since then, I have painted 33 more 15mm figures for the Bwendi army. I finished painting them on 30th June but have only finished basing them today. Their IFVs are currently sitting on my painting table in a basic olive drab and awaiting some proper colouring. Not much to show for a whole month really.

Despite the lack of painting, I did get some good gaming in. We played a couple of games of Rally round the King, which were both most excellent, and I have played some solitaire ASL. So, gaming has not been too bad but we did fail to get our May project figures used in a game this month.

My next problem is what to focus on for July. I have way too many projects in storage and have no enthusiasm for any of them at the moment. I wonder if my July project should be to bag up and sell my ULP in its entirety. Then I could start all over again with a resolution to be more discriminating in my enthusiasms!