Thursday, March 31, 2016

Psi Wars: Spacehips Playtest -- the Revision

The Alliance fleet has escaped from the Dead World Styx and now attempts to liberate the verdant world of Arduín. The Alliance has concieved of a desperate, two pronged attack, and Tobin is in charge of the first, once more facing off against the now-repaired Arc of Dominion. He and Arrow squadron, featuring Punk and Starlet, Stubb's sister who has mixed feelings about joining Arrow squadron in her brother's place, and they'll escort two Wyvern fighters.
The Wyvern fighter can be found on page 12 and 13 of SS 4. They carry hydrogen rather than water for 150g acceleration and 900 mps delta-v (if it matters). They'll be loaded with 10 torpedoes. Punk and Starlet each have 2 torpedo and 3 missiles, and Tobin has a complement of 7 missiles.
The Arc of Dominion is guarded by the Resilient, a Tiger-class Frigate, and two squadrons of five typhoon fighters: Red and Blue. Blue Squadron leader, Lieutenant Harkin, has improved considerably since we last met him.
The particulars:
The Alliance:
  • Arrow Squadron 3 Starhawks:
    • Tobin (as previously described)
      • 7 Missiles
    • Punk: Gunner, Pilot and Artillery 15, Combat Reflexes
      • 2 torpedoes, 3 missiles
    • Starlet: Gunner, Pilot and Artillery 14
      • 2 torpedoes, 3 missiles
  • Breaker Squadron 2 Wyverns: Gunner, Pilot, Artillery 13
    • 10 torpedos
The Empire
  • The Arc of Dominion Empire-Class Dreadnought: All pertinent skills at 12
  • The Resilient Tiger-Class Frigate: All pertinent skills at 12
  • Red Squadron 5 typhoons: All pertinent skills at 12
  • Blue Squadron 5 typhoons: All pertinent skills at 12
    • Liuetenant Harkin: Pilot 16, Gunner 18, Higher Purpose (Dog Fighter), Combat Reflexes
The Arc of Dominion and the Resilient start Holding Course with +0 acceleration. They're keeping this quadrant free of interlopers. Red Squadron is Holding Course in Formation with each other near the Arc of Dominion. Blue Squadron has not been deployed.
Tobin gets to go first.


Turn 1

The Alliance

The Arc of Dominion looms ahead, its presence dominating the majestic planet around which it orbits. Arrow and Breaker hold a close formation. As Tobin speaks, he keeps his eyes focused on the targets ahead while Starlet and Punk look to him.

“Alright. Arrow, I want you to stay with Breaker as they make a bombing run on the Arc of Dominion. Same plan as before: Take out her generators, and leave her dead for the fleet to come finish off the job. Arrow, keep those fighters off of Breaker, and Breaker, if you can take out that frigate along the way, go for it. I'm breaking off. I'm going to take that squadron head on.”

“That's madness!” Starlet's voice crackles over the comms. “There are five of them and one of you.”

“I like those odds.” the daredevil pilot grins.

Punk shakes his head at Starlet, everyone guns their engines and Closes on the Arc of Dominion while Tobin breaks formation and closes with Red Squadron.

Tobin: 7 missiles remaining

Tobin tells TB-7 to power his guns and angle his screens forward.TB-7 succeeds at his increase power roll with a 10. Tobin then makes a Stunt close, streaking away from Arrow squadron in a spinning corkscrew. He's Dogfighting and he's taking on an entire squadron by himself, and thus benefits from Daredevil. He accepts a -4 to his Pilot roll (16) and rolls a 15. Uh... that was close. His ship rattles ominously under the strain of the maneuver he puts it through while TB-7 sends him an alarming stream of data... but Tobin rights the ship and flies towards Red Squadron. He has Pilot 18, +2 from his various advantages, +8 from his acceleration, +2 from handling, +2 from his stunt and -1 from multiple actions: 31, vs Red Squadron's Holding Pattern of 13: He rolls a 6 (critical success!) and they roll a 7. His arcing maneuver works and he gets away from the front of them.

So sailing high above them, he focuses his guns down and fires his guns: Skill 16 +2 from advantages -4 close +0 Tactical Array +2 fixed -1 multi-tasking, -2 from spread fire: 13 or less. He rolls a 9 and hits both Typhoons square on. The Typhoon has a dodge of 8, and fails with a 13, taking 2 hits: 14 and 12, against an effective DR of 3. The Typhoon explodes in a shower of shrapnel. The second attempts to dodge and rolls an 11, another failure . He takes 12 and 10 damage vs an effective DR of 3 and too dies.

Tobin races through the group of shocked Red Squadron pilots, who barely have time to register the death of two of their own as he makes ready to make another round at them.

Arrow Squadron

Punk takes command of Arrow Squadron as they Close on the Arc of Dominion. He orders them to each fire a torpedo at the Resilient, so everyone takes a multiple action penalty of -1.
They can only move as fast as their slowest member, so they gain a +6 to maneuver. With Punk's skill of 15, they have a 22 all told vs the Arc of Dominion's 13. Arrow Squadron rolls a 10, the Arc of Dominion rolls an 8, which is not enough. Arrow squadron Closes to Close.

Then each fires a torpedo at the Resilient: It has no ECM, all three have a tactical array, the Arc is a Corvette, and thus +3 to hit, and they suffer a -1 from multiple actions. They have an effective skill of 17 (punk) 16 (everyone else). They roll: 8, 15, 8 and 5. Only Starlet's misses, as she's unable to get a proper lock thanks to all the shrapnel flying around her distraction with Tobin's antics. Wyvern 2's shot couldn't be more perfect and glides through all defenses. Meanwhile, the Arc makes two point defense attacks against the two shots that it can shoot at, the first with its rapid fire turret will divide 100 shots between the two remaining torpedoes: skill 12 +2 torpedoes fired at close range -4 light torpedo speed, +7 RoF and -2 for divided fire: 15 or less. A 13 and a 14, both torpedoes go down. Only Wyvern 2's makes it and strikes the Resilient on the front for a total of 560. The shields absorb 200, and the hardened armor up front absorbs 60, leaving 300 damage! The Resilient has -200 HP, and must take two survival checks which it makes with an 11 and an 11. The attack destroyed the armor on 1 and disables one major battery on the central hull. The ship burns with the fires stared by the fusion torpedoe's conflagration, but it still lives, even if badly wounded.

The Arc of Dominion

“Scramble Blue Squadron!” The commander's order goes out. Lieutenant Harkin fits his black, glossy helmet over his head, and moves towards his Typhoon Interceptor. Blue Squadron's latest fighters replace the turret with fixed lasers and replace the redundant fusion generator with a spare thruster for spectacular flight capabilities, and he's itching to try it out. This is the first turn of the scramble.
The Arc of Dominion activates both engines and continues to Hold Course, presenting its forward hull to the fighters. It fires all 10 secondary batteries at one Wyvern (Wyvern 2). It will hit with a 4 or less. All ten attacks miss. It keeps its tertiary batteries primed for point defense.

The Resilient: -300 HP, destroyed armor (1) disabled central turret

Wounded, possibly dying, the commander of the Resilient is fanatically loyal to the cause. He remains in formation with the Arc of Dominion and shouts amidst the flames. “Bring all weapons to bear!”

The Resilient still presents its wounded central hull and thus can fire all three of its weapons against Arrow Squadron. It fires its rapid fire laser first, dividing 100 shots between the two wyverns. They have effective skill (12 -4 range +7 rof -2 divided fire -3 relative size -2 damage) 13 or less: to hits with an 6 (5 hits) and a 5 (6 hits). The two wyverns have a dodge of 9: one fails with a 12, the other critically succeed with a 3 (my, my, Wyvern 2). The failing wyvern is hit with 5 hits of 4d(3). It deals 17, 16, 12, 16 and 14 damage vs an effective DR of 10 (screens) + 10 hardened front armor. This means no attack will deal damage, but they do manage to weaken the shields down to 25, not that it matters for getting through the armor.

Then the Resilient fires its central major battery: Skill 12 -4 range -3 relative size: 5 or less. 8. Shame. It's final Antiparticle cannon has an additional -3 to hit, and thus cannot hit. It was a good effort (against the Starhawks, the high RoF laser might have removed a couple!).
“Shields are holding,” Wyvern 2 sends over the comms.

Red Squadron: 3 Typhoons remain

Red Squadron powers all engines and Closes on Tobin. They have a skill of 21 vs Tobin's 29.They roll a 6 and Tobin rolls a 10, so they critically succeed. Tobin loses his Advantage and they gain it, facing his central hull and a +1. Uh oh!

The remaining three open fire! They have skill 12 -4 close -1 multi-tasking +1 advantage, or 8 or less: 9, 16 and 11. They miss.

Turn 2

Tobin

Outflanked? What are the odds. A hail of lasers surround Tobin, but none come close to connecting to his agile starhawk, so he doesn't bat an eye so much as curse under his breath out of professional humiliation and swings his starhawk into a booster-less slide before suddenly igniting the engines and charging at Red squadron from edge on. TB-7 fails to power everything. Tobin only has 3 lasers for this round of combat, so he chooses to switch to missiles as TB-7 charges his laser reserves again.
Tobin makes a -6 stunt with his (effective) skill 20 pilot (+1 daredevil +1 dogfighter) for skill 14. He rolls a 7. He then Closes: Skill 20 + 6 stunt + 8 acceleration +2 handling and -1 multiple actions: 36 vs 21: 15 vs 9, Tobin casually regains Advantage on his opponents.

He locks his missile on Red Squadron leader: Artillery 16 + 2 advantages +2 tactical array -4 ecm +1 accuracy. He applies a -4 deceptive attack (just to test it out) for a 13. He rolls an 11 and fires once the lack is confirmed, feeling the shudder of his ship as the missile soars away, spiraling in an angry corkscrew at Red Squadron leader.

Red Squadron leader isn't Waiting with point defense, and so needs to dodge: He has skill 12 (so 6) + 2 handling, +2 ECM and -2 deceptive attack. He dodges on an 8 or less. He rolls a 10. He's hit! Tobin rolls a 26, vs an effective DR of 2. This is more than the Typhoon's 15 HP, so the GM rules that it explodes. It vanishes in a thunderclap and a burst of plasma lance flames, and then showers of shards scatter off of the canopies of the nearest Typhoons.

Tobin has 6 missiles remaining.

Arrow Squadron: Starlet and Punk: 1 torpedo 3 missiles; Wyverns: 9 torpedoes remaining

“Steady course” Punk issues his command, eyes flitting between the hail of fire from the Resilient and the swirl of explosions and lasers coming from Tobin's' complex battle with Red Squadron, “But if you see a way to take out that corvette, do it.”

Arrow Squadron has a +6 to maneuver. With Punk's skill of 15, they have a 22 all told vs the Arc of Dominion's 13. Arrow Squadron rolls a 13 vs 11. The structure of the armor of the ship rises up around them as they hug close to the Arc of Dominion.

Wyvern 1 and 2 could fire a torpedo at the Arc of Dominion now: They're beneath the shields, but the DR here is 600, more than enough to stop a torpedo dead. Instead, they fire another torpedo each at the Resilient. They have an effective skill of 16. They hit with a 14 and an 11.

The Resilient has no remaining guns to activate as point defense, but the Arc of Dominion does. The attacks come from Point Blank (-0), apply a -4 to point defense, and the gunners have skill 12. That's an 8 or less! After twelve turrets finish shooting, the torpedoes are down. Both torpedoes burst in the void between the Wyverns and the Resilient in a hail of red light.

The Wyvern gunners switch their turrets and swing them around to face the towering cannons of the Arc of Dominion. They're shooting point blank (-0) at armor gaps (-15) against a dreadnought (+9) with no ECM while benefiting from a tactical array (+2) and have a skill of 14... for a total skill of 10. Wyvern 1 hits with a 6, Wyvern 2 misses with a 12. Wyvern 1's attack deals 6d(5) damage, for a total of 18 damage. Punk and Starlet try as well: They have fixed guns (+2) with RoF 4 but have taken multiple actions (-1), so punk has a skill of 13 and Starlet 12. Punk rolls a 13 and barely hits once for 9 damage. Starlet hits with all 4 shots for 12, 20, 21 and 9 damage, or 62 total damage. Together, their attacks are enough to disable the Arc of Dominion's Secondary Batteries (reducing them to 5 working turrets). Starlet's starhawk swoops through explosions while she grins madly, surrounded by her handiwork.

The Arc of Dominion: 611 HP, disabled Secondary Battery.

The commander's gloves creak as he balls his hands into fists while the technical crews shout out the damage to their primary turrets. Explosions rock the ship, but little more than cosmetic damage is sustained to the hull of the ship itself.

“Red Squadron Leader has stopped reporting in.”

“Blue Squadron's new fighters will eliminate them for sure.” The commander growls. “Tell the Resilient to stop attacking and to focus on point defense. Leave the fighters to us.”

“Acknowledged.”

Harkin's canopy closes around him as he finishes his final checks and readies his Typhoon Interceptor for launch.

The Arc of Dominion turns its secondary batteries on the point-blank fighters. The remaining gunners have skill-12, -0 from range, +0 from SM, -5 from relative size, and -2 from hugging. They'll hit on a 5 or less: 14, 13, 11, 7 and 9. No shot hits.

The Tertiary Batteries wait.

The Resilient: -200 HP, destroyed armor (1) disabled central turret

The Captain of the Resilient reluctantly accepts the stand down order and commands the ship to hold course. They keep their high RoF turret at the ready.

Red Squadron: two Typhoons remain

Only two typhoons remain in Red Squadron. Devoted to the cause, they press the attack, attempting to close. They have a skill of 21 vs Tobin's 29 and roll an 8 vs his 9. They fail to gain advantage. They open fire anyway, enjoying a total skill of 7 or less: They roll an 8 and an 11, both still missing.

Turn 3

Tobin: 6 missiles remaining

Tobin deftly slides between the fighters, keeping them at bay while training his guns at them. He doesn't bother with a stunt now. They're his and he knows it. Instead, he throttles up as he finishes bringing them into his sights with a skill of 29 vs their 21: 9 vs 14. He faces their rear and enjoys a +1 advantage bonus.

TB-7 burbles his success at charging all lasers. The force screens and all four lasers are powered! Tobin grins and sweeps an arc of fire across both remaining Typhoons. Skill 16 +1 from advantages (The GM rules that attacking the rear of two clearly outclassed fighters no longer counts as “risky”) -4 close +0 Tactical Array +2 fixed -1 multi-tasking, -2 from spread fire +1 from advantage: 13 or less. He rolls an 8 and a 10, which easily hits both with all shots fired. They have a dodge of 8: They roll 14 and 8. One dodges one laser. Tobin deals 11 and 19 damage to the first, which has an effective DR of 3, This is enough to bring it to 0 HP and the GM rules it destroyed. The second takes 16, with an effective DR of 3, which means it has 2 HP remaining. He destroys one of the (two) Super Fusion Reactors. The GM rules that the remaining Typhoon is still in the fight, but that any additional damage will remove it.

Arrow Squadron: Starlet and Punk: 1 torpedo 3 missiles; Wyverns: 8 torpedoes remaining

Keep an eye out for those turrets! This is all over if they hit us” Punk reminds them as they race up the center of the Arc of Dominion. They make their closing roll: skill 22 vs the Arc of Dominion's 13: 9 and 8. The Arc of Dominion still keeps them from gaining advantage. They face the central hull now.

The Tertiary Batteries trigger on their wait. They open fire: They have skill 12, -0 point blank, -0 hugging, -5 relative size for a skill of 7 (6 vs Punk and Starlet, thanks to their streamlined design). They make 30 attacks and 7 hit, one as a critical hit. One attack is applied to each of Punk, Starlet and 2 to Wyvern 1. Wyvern 2 is automatically hit by the critical attack. Each attack deals 4dx10 (5). The first attack to Wyvern 2 deals 170 damage. Wyvern 2 has 30 shields (effectively DR 10), and hardened front DR of 20, for a total of 17 effective DR. This means it takes 153 damage. It has 30 HP. This is 4 survival checks vs his HT of 12: 7, 10, 11 and 4! He still lives! But he's lost his forward armor (1) and one of his guns has been disabled (4). Punk takes 100 damage, Starlet 50, and Wyvern 1 takes 150 and 130. Punk has a dodge of 10, while Starlet and Wyvern 2 have 9 each. Punk dodges with a 10 (the attack singes his canopy). Starlet does the same with an 8. Wyvern 1 takes both hits for a total of 246 damage and explodes.

Take out those turrets!” an angry Punk shouts.

Wyvern 2 ignores him. He powers up all three torpedo racks and begins to unleash everything he has. The Dreadnought (+9) is point-blank (+0 to point defense), has no ECM (-0), while Wyvern 2 has a tactical array (+2). Wyvern 2 is shooting for any armor weak point he can find (-10), and doesn't care about gaps or specific systems. He has effective skill 15. He rolls a 12: All 3 torpedoes are sailing home towards the Arc of Dominion.

The Resilient activates its point defense: The torpedoes were fired from point blank (-0), are light (-4), and it divides its fire (-2) among all three, for a total RoF of ~60 (+6) for a total skill of 12: 11, 11 and 13. It shoots 2 of the three torpedoes out of the sky. One gets through. The Arc of Dominion makes a half-hearted attempt at a dodge, but fails. The crew within stumbles, and the torpedo hits its mark, dealing 420 damage vs an effective DR of 300 (DR 300, halved for armor weakpoints, and doubled for hardened DR vs a torpedo). 120 damage is enough to disable another system. He disables one of the Arc of Dominion's hyperdrives!

Punk and Starlet focus on the guns once more. Again, Punk has effective skill 13 and Starlet has a 12. Punk hits with all 4 shots with a 9, while Starlet misses outright with a 15, clearly distracted by all the fire and the destruction of one member of Wyvern! The Arc of Dominion, of course, cannot dodge, and Punk deals a total of 53 damage, disabling the Tertiary battery.

Wyvern's remaining turret fires at the Arc of Dominion's turrets as well. Skill 14 -2 for being damaged +9 for size +2 for tactical array -15 for armor gaps: It has 8 or less. It misses with a 13.

The Arc of Dominion: 438 HP remaining, disabled Secondary Battery, Tertiary Battery, Hyperdrive

The gunners who took down Wyvern 2 finish giving each other a high 5 when their ship rocks under a shuddering series of explosions, and then they see Punk's starhawk race towards them and evaporate them in a hail of lasers.

The Arc of Dominion's commander demands an update. “Hyperdrive 2 is down, sir, and we're showing 15 destroyed turrets.”

The commander strikes his fist against his seat. “I want those fighters out of my sky.”
The 15 remaining turrets focus their fire on the three remaining fighters: skill 7 vs Wyvern 2 and skill 6 vs the starhawks. They manage to hit Wyvern 2 and Punk both once each. Punk attempts to dodge with a 12 and fails, while Wyvern 2 manages to survive, shockingly, with a 7. Punk takes 80 (5) damage vs his shields of 20 (effective DR of 4) and his hardened DR of 5 (2), so he suffers 74 damage. That's 3 survival checks: 12, 16, 12.

Punk is in the midst of blowing up turrets when one of the remaining turrets manages to land a shot. He's in the midst of commanding the group to make their way to the rear when he's cut off mid-sentence.

Punk? PUNK!” Starlet shouts and then realizes she's in command of the remains of Arrow Squadron.

Blue Squadron gets the thumbs up from the hangar crew. The bay doors are open, only a thin ward between them and space. They power their engines and launch, racing out into space.

The Resilient: -200 HP, destroyed armor (1) disabled central turret
The captain of the Resilient grins as his viewports show him the near obliteration of the attacking fighters. “Hold fire, wait for my signal.” They hold course, keeping their central hull facing, and ready their UV turret to take torpedoes out of the sky.

Red Squadron: 1 Typhoon remaining.
Red Squadron signals its intent to return for repairs. Arc of Dominion reluctantly gives it the green light.

Turn 3

Tobin: 6 missiles remaining
Tobin watched Punk die. Now he's lost both Stubbs and Punk. He opens the comm channel to Starlet. “Keep steady. You're almost behind the Arc of Dominion. Take her out. I'll keep the Resilient off your backs.”

He lets the last Typhoon go and turns his attention towards the Resilient. He has one shot at this. He cuts free of his pursuit of the lone, wounded Typhoon and makes a Stunt Close on the Resilient. He accepts a -4 to his roll for a total pilot of 14 or less (the GM rules that this isn't a dogfight, nor is it particularly dangerous to go after a crippled corvette). He succeeds with an 11. He then makes a Close: Skill 18 -1 multiple action (he's going to fire a missile), +8 acceleration +2 stunt +2 handling vs skill 12 -1 handling (damaged), +1 acceleration: 29 vs 12. 11 vs 11. Tobin is now Close and Advantaged. He chooses to face the Rear of the ship (it was offering its central hull previously).
Tobin then locks his missile on the rear UV turret. The shields of the Resilient are sufficient to stop the missile... but only half the time. Tobin is gambling that he might get lucky and break through. If so, he might just inflict a bit of damage on that rear turret, but what he's really gambling on is that the ship's captain might blink and shoot it out of the sky, meaning Arrow Squadron can fire torpedoes without dealing with point defense.

His lock signal turns green. He thumbs the missile. His starhawk shudders, and TB-7 whistles as the missile leaves a soaring trail in the direction of the Resilient. He has skill 16 +2 tactical array +3 size +1 accuracy -2 deceptive attack and -5 for the turret, for a total of 15. 13! A hit.
The gunner who is waiting for point defense needs to make an immediate snap decision, because his wait has just triggered, and a missile is arcing straight for him. He chooses to shoot the missile out of the sky: Skill 12 -7 point defense (light missile) -1 deceptive attack + 8 RoF = 12. 16! Too bad. The ship only has a dodge of 5, and so does not bother to attempt it.

The missile inflicts 21 damage against an effective 20 DR shields and an effective 6 DR. It mostly shatters off the shields, but a slightly better roll might have done something.

You're clear,” Tobin tells Arrow Squadron

Arrow Squadron: Starlet: 1 torpedo 3 missiles; Wyvern 2 (-123 HP, destroyed forward armor, disabled forward gun): 5 torpedoes remaining

Starlet needs to lead a wounded Wyvern to the rear of the Arc of Dominion and take her out once and for all. She leads the squadron with her skill 14: +6 acceleration +0 handling (the Wyvern is crippled) and multiple actions for a 19 vs the Arc of Dominion's 13. Arrow Squadron rolls a 6, while the Arc of Dominion rolls a 5. That's a critical success for Arrow Squadron! They gain advantage twice, choosing the face the rear and to gain +1 advantage bonus.

The thunder of the turrets falls silent as they dart between the vast engines of the Arc of Dominion. Starlet doesn't know how much time they have. “Do what you can.” She tells Wyvern 2 while hunting for her own attack point.

Wyvern 2 has skill 14 vs the dreadnought's huge (+9) backside, a tactical array (+2), +1 advantage bonus and -1 for multiple actions and -10 for attacking an armor weak point. It will hit on a 15 or less. It fires 3 torpedoes. A 9 means all three strike home! The Resilient has used up its point defense and the Arc of Dominion cannot fire at the rear anymore, so the torpedoes are home free: 480, 405 and 435 damage, against an effective DR of 300, dealing 180, 105, and 135 damage to the Spinal Battery and, as luck would have it, to both reactors! All three are disabled, and the ship is once more without power.

Seeing Wyvern 2's fortune, Starlet lets her own torpedo fly. She has the same scores and same value, so she too will hit on a 15 or less. She hits with an 8 and deals 405 damage against an effective DR of 300, destroying one of the rear reactors. She feels a grim sense of satisfaction knowing that, whatever happens next, their mission is complete, and that Punk's sacrifice was not in vain.
Wyvern 2's gunner, sensing danger, Waits.

The Arc of Dominion: -87 HP remaining, disabled Secondary Battery, Tertiary Battery, Hyperdrive, Spinal Battery, Super Fusion Reactor; destroyed Super Fusion Reactor

The glow of pulsing red alarm lights provide faint illumination to the Arc of Dominion's command deck.

Damage report.”

Both reactors are down. One is slag. The other we might repair.”

Put some crews on it.” Says the commander, bitterly feeling a sense of deja vu. It's up to Blue Squadron to save him now.

The Resilient: -200 HP, destroyed armor (1) disabled central turret
The Resilient waits for point defense again.

Red Squadron: 1 typhoon remaining
Red squadron lands in the hangar bay, the pilot hopping out to look at the damage to his Typhoon. He knows he's lucky, as he's the only one of his squadron to make it out alive.

Blue Squadron: 5 typhoon interceptors remaining
Harkin and his Blue Squadron of scream to the rescue. With Harkin in the lead, they Close on Arrow squadron. Harkin has skill 16 + 1 dogfighting + 10 acceleration + 2 handling -1 multiple actions: 28 vs Arrow Squadron's 19: 7 vs 8. Blue Squadron closes and faces their central hulls (advantaged).
Harkin indicates to the squadron to focus fire on Wyvern 2, to prevent further torpedo damage. The squadron has skill 12 +2 fixed -4 close -1 multiple actions -3 hugging: 6 or less. 12, 13, 16 and 9. Lasers shower the duo as Blue Squadron screams in... but none hit! One shot just barely misses Wyvern 2, sending a cascade of sparks off of some of the Arc of Dominion's armor that gave Wyvern 2 a moment of cover.

The Wyvern 2 gunner, who waited, takes this chance to fire back: Skill 14 -4 close = 10 or less. He misses with a 15, adding to the general, messy light show of lasers flying everywhere but not actually hitting anything.

It's up to Harkin. He signals the Wyvern with a skull and fires He has a skill 18 + 1 dogfighting +2 fixed -4 close -1 multiple actions -3 hugging: 14 or less. He rolls a 7, hitting with both shots. The Wyvern can dodge with a 7 or less and rolls a 9. Both shots hit. For 16(5) and 12(5) damage. The Wyvern's Screens (DR 30) absorb 6 points from the first and (DR 29) 5 from the second. It's armor (DR 10) absorbs 3 from both, meaning the Wyvern takes an additional 7 and 4 damage, enough to disable two more systems: both shots hit the central habitat, destroying it. Fortunately, the pilot and the gunner are in the control room and the turret, respectively, and in pilot suits, but life support cuts out. They'll need to get back to the fleet sooner than later. They have -134 HP, which doesn't force a survival check. He can't take much more of this, though.

Turn 4

Tobin: 5 missiles remaining

Tobin sees the Arc of Dominion die as the torpedoes strike home, but his whoop dies, unwhooped, as he sees Blue Squadron's dagger-like lines erupt out of the Arc of Dominion and race back towards the tattered remnants of Arrow Squadron. Letting out a curse, he breaks away from the Resilient and attempts to engage Blue Squadron.

Once again, he makes a stunt: after a hard burn, he switches off his engines, swings around and then ignites again, hoping to sail around them to gain an unexpected advantage: Now he's being a dog-fighting daredevil again, so his effective piloting is 20. He accepts a -6, to his stunt roll: He rolls a 10 and succeeds. He has a 32 (multiple actions) vs Blue Squadron's 30. They roll an 11 and 9. Tie! Tobin is unable to close!

Tobin chooses, then, to fire a missile at one of the Blue Squadron Interceptors. Skill 16 +1 accuracy +2 advantages -1 multiple actions -4 deceptive attack for a total of 14 or less: He misses with a 16. Tobin feels fingers of ice crawling into his stomach as he realizes that Arrow Squadron might be doomed.

Arrow Squadron: Starlet: 3 missiles; Wyvern 2 (-134 HP, destroyed forward armor and habitat, disabled forward gun): 2 torpedoes remaining

Wyvern 2 informs Starlet that it still has a payload. Starlet chews her lip as Tobin strains to get close to them, firing his ill-fated missile that swirls past the agile interceptors, and then shakes her head “Negative. We've done what we can here.”

Wyvern 2 acknowledges, and they make an Evasive Action with their full burn, their rear facing all ships. They automatically escape the Arc of Dominion, regaining Neutral range, but Blue Squadron attempts to remain close: Arrow Squadron has a skill of 14 + 12 +0 or 26, vs Blue Squadron's 30. 9 vs 11. Blue Squadron remains close.

Damn, we'll have to shoot them off of us,” the gunner complains as he opens fire: he needs a 10 or less and gets a 14, another miss.

The Arc of Dominion:

Powered down and no longer a threat, they drift through space. The blockade has been broken.

The Resilient
Chooses to remain with the wounded Arc of Dominion, providing what assistance is can.

Blue Squadron: 5 Typhoon's remain.

Harkin signals to Blue Squadron to remain on that Wyvern. “Pick them off one by one.” He hisses, ignoring Tobin's frantic attempts to engage him. They attempt to close on Arrow Squadron with skill 30 vs 26. 16 vs 12. It's a tie. Nothing changes, and Blue Squadron chooses to remain on the rear of Arrow Squadron.

Blue Squadron now has a 9 or less to hit Wyvern 2, now that it's no longer Hugging the Arc of Dominion: 12, 10, 8 and 14. One attack hits twice. Wyvern 2 has a dodge of 7 + 1 from evasion, or an 8. He rolls a 5 and agilely evades the fire.

Harkin presses his advantage. Since the Wyvern 2 isn't hugging, he has a skill of 17. Harkin rolls a 4: Critical success. Both shots hit, and Wyvern 2 cannot dodge. He rolls 17 and 11 damage, vs an effective DR of 9 and 8, for a total of 11 damage. His shot disables one of Wyvern 2's Defensive ECMs and reduces him to -145 damage. The Wyvern 2 is 5 points away from total destruction. Red lights flair everywhere as one more defensive system drops away.

Turn 5

Tobin: 4 missiles remaining

Tobin knows he's Arrow Squadron's last chance. TB-7 informs him that all lasers are powered. Tobin nods and attempts another stunt. He's going to corkscrew towards Blue Squadron, with his thrusters on full, using a centripidal thrust to give him a little extra boost while his ship rattles around him: his effective piloting is 20. He accepts a -6, to his stunt roll: He rolls a 11 and succeeds. He has a 32 (multiple actions) vs Blue Squadron's 30. They roll an 9 and 12. Tobin pulls in to Close.

Tobin then unleashes his lasers at two of the Blue Squadron. He has skill 16 +2 advantages -4 close +2 fixed -2 spreading fire: 14 or less. 13 and 6, both attacks hit twice. They need an 8 or less to dodge and both fail with a 12 and an 11. Tobin deals 14 and 4 vs the first with an effective DR of 5, dealing a total of 9 damage, and 15 and 11 against the second, for a total of 16 damage. One typhoon loses his tactical array (6 HP remaining), while the other explodes.

Arrow Squadron Starlet: 3 missiles; Wyvern 2 (-145 HP, destroyed forward armor and habitat, disabled forward gun): 2 torpedoes remaining

Starlet says a small prayer of thanks under her breath that Tobin was able to pull some heat off of them, listening as Wyvern 2 describes how many of his systems are failing, his voice grim but his piloting steady. Starlet tells Wyvern 2 to attempt to escape without her. She pulls out of formation and turns back towards Blue Squadron.

Wyvern 2 tries to make an Escape all on his own: He has skill 14 + 6 from acceleration +0 from handling, for a 20. Blue Squadron has skill 28. Wyvern 2 rolls a 4... critical success! He escapes! Harkin watches him go, and then furiously turns his attention to Tobin.

Starlet's own repair-bot fails to power all systems, so she keeps her shields up and switches to missiles. She attempts to gain advantage on Blue Squadron by Closing. She has a skill of 23 vs their 28. She rolls a 9 vs their 14. A tie! She gains no advantage.

She does fire her missile at a Typhoon, however. Skill 14 + 1 accuracy +2 tactical array -4 ecm -1 multiple actions gives her a total of 12 or less. She rolls an 8, it rolls an 11 and fails to dodge. Her missile connects and deals 20 damage vs an effective DR of 3. That's enough damage to destroy it completely.

Blue Squadron: Harkin and one whole typhoon remain, one damaged (6 HP, destroyed tactical array) remain.

The formation closes on Starlet: Skill 28 vs skill 23: They roll a 16, she rolls a 9. A tie! She manages to just hold them at bay. All sides remain close.

The damaged typhoon attempts to fire on her: it has a 6 or less (12 -4 close -1 multiple actions -1 streamlined target) while the whole typhoon has an 8 or less. Neither hit.

Harkin, however, adjusts his targeting system and transmit's a skull to Starlet's ship. Suddenly her eyes widen as she realizes, from the reports of Stubb's death, that this man killed her brother. Her mouth thins angrily and vengeance fills her eyes. He fires: Skill 18 +1 dogfighting -1 multiple actions -1 streamlined target -4 close: 13 or less. He rolls an 11 and hits twice. Starlet needs a 9 or less to dodge. She gets exactly 9, which means one shot still hits, inflicting 8 damage vs her effective DR of 6. She takes 2 damage, which is just enough to disable one system: Just some armor (3).

Are you hurt?” Tobin asks, seeing the shot rip off a chunk of her nose.

Just my paint job” she assures him.

Turn 6

Arrow Squadron: Starlet, disabled armor, 18 hp, 2 missiles remaining

Starlet furiously yanks initiative away from Tobin. She's decided she's going to kill Harkin! She demands that her tech-bot charge all systems, and it does so with a 7. Then she makes a dedicated charge at Harkin himself: Close skill 26 vs 28. 7 vs 13: She has advantage! She chooses to face his central hull

She opens fire on Harkin: Skill 14 + 2 fixed +1 rof -4 close: 13 or less. She rolls an 11 and hits with 3 shots. Harkin has a dodge of 11 and rolls an 11, dodging just one of the three shots. The remaining two hits him dead center for 11 and 18 damage vs his effective DR of 3, so he takes a total of 8 and 15 (23) damage. This destroys his only reactor, disables one ECM, destroys his armor and disables more armor and his defensive ECM system.

Tobin: 4 missiles remaining

Tobin watches Starlet's suicide run on Harkin and instead attempts to remove the remaining two Typhoons from the picture before they can kill Starlet.

He closes: Skill 27 vs their 23. He rolls a 4 and gains advantage. He accepts facing their central hull and a +1 advantage bonus. He has skill 16 +2 advantages +1 advantage -4 close +2 fixed -2 spreading fire: 15 or less. 9 and 9, both attacks hit twice. They need an 8 to dodge and neither does so. To the already damaged one, he deals 13 and 5 vs an effective DR of 3, for 10 and 2 damage. This is enough to drop it below 0 HP, and it explodes. Then Tobin deals 8 and 15 damage to the second with an effective DR of 3, for a total of 17 damage, which also destroys that ship as well.

Harkin: -8 HP, Destroyed Reactor, Disabled ECM

Harkin still has reserve power, but he cannot fire his cannons anymore. He decides discretion is the better part of valor and makes a stunt escape, “Using the explosion of his other two comrades as cover to escape”. He makes a -4 pilot stunt to race right through the expanding debris cloud, daring Starlet to do the same. She attempts it. He rolls a 6, she rolls a 17. Critical failure, which means a crash! The GM decides that the debris will inflict some more damage on her systems, but she's also adrift and her engines have been disabled. The debris inflicts 3d damage (14) vs her DR of 5, for a total of 9 damage, which destroys her forward armor completely and brings her down to 9 hp.
She slams her controls in frustration as he makes his escape to Short range and her ship hurtles helplessly through space.

Aftermath

With Harkin unable to continue the fight and the Arc of Dominion damaged, Starlet has the necessary time to power her hyperdrive and make her way to the nearest starport with Tobin assisting her. Her thirst for revenge remains unsated, and her starhawk has seen better days.
With the damage inflicted on the Arc of Dominion, the Alliance is able to break the blockade and bring much needed resources to Arduin. The grip of the empire slips a little bit more.

Thoughts

This time, I sent more ships and more torpedoes against the Arc of Dominion, but had initial fighter cover for the Arc, and added a corvette, to see how it would work out.  I probably could have left the Resilient out of the picture (it didn't make much of a difference), and Tobin was able to eliminate the fighter cover on his own.  The Wyverns turned out to be tough nuts for the Typhoons to take out.  Perhaps I should us the heavy/light division afterall.  On the other hand, the Arc proved more adept at defending itself, without being a giant "I win" button.  Torpedoes worked well, without being vastly superior to missiles.

I felt like the rules were clearer, and did what they needed to do better. I'm sure I could continue to refine, but this feels like a playable space-combat system to me, at least for ridiculous fights like we expect from space opera.


Previously, and I'm sure I was knocked for this, I just bundled up turret fire into one “high RoF” total for ease. This allowed me to get around either some of the huge penalties (with relative size) or to keep a dreadnought from utterly destroying a fighter (in the standard rules). Now, I can use turrets as they were intended without trouble.
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