The ScenarioFor this game, I decided to take the "escalating engagement" scenario from Battlefleet Gothic and adapt it for Full Thrust. So, here's how it goes:
- Each side chooses ships to a set number of points value. Their fleet is then split into 4 separate groups. Each group must have at least 1 ship in it, but the groups do not have to be of equal value (note that there is a risk in having highly asymmetric groups).
- For deployment purposes only, the board is split into 1/3rds lengthwise. The central 1/3 is neutral. Each player places 4 "contact markers" in their own 1/3 of the board.
- To start the game and at the beginning of each of turns 2 and 3, one group from each fleet arrives. Note that only 3 of the 4 groups in the fleet will arrive by this means. The 4th group is lost, delayed, recalled, breaks down or otherwise fails to appear. I told you that there was a risk to making your groups widely different in capabilities!
- The side which has lost the initiative resolves their arriving group first, followed by the initiative side.
- To resolve an arrival, choose a group and a contact marker, neither of which have been tested before in this round and roll a dice. On a score of 5 or 6, the group arrives at that point, following all the usual rules for FTL exit in the proximity of other objects. On any other roll, the player must try a different group and contact marker pairing, until either he/she is successful or all groups/contact markers have been tested. If the latter occurs then start again [ultimately, a 5 or 6 will be rolled and a group will be brought into the game].
- Contact markers may be moved up to 12" after orders are written but before ships are moved, so long as they stay in their 1/3 of the table. This is to prevent an unscrupulous opponent from parking frigates on all available entry points and causing your battleship to have a potentially catastrophic warp accident on arrival!
The GameWe played this scenario using my Klingon and Kzinti fleets, to a value of 1000 NPV.
Klingon 14th battle Squadron
- Relentless (Battlecruiser, 358 NPV)
- Ragnarok (Heavy Cruiser, 285 NPV)
- Valhalla (Heavy Cruiser, 285 NPV)
- Victory (Frigate, 74 NPV)
Kzinti "Far Reach" Carrier Group
- Shadowcat (Carrier/Battlecruiser, 580 NPV)
- Claw (Light Cruiser, 181 NPV)
- Leopard and Panther (Destroyers, 2 x 81 NPV)
- Tiger (Destroyer, 81 NPV)
event card. He rolled a '4' for the number of such weapons left over from a previous war and gleefully deployed them around my 2 remaining possible entry points.
ConclusionSometimes, life just isn't fair! For the Kzintis, their weakest ship arrived first and their strongest one didn't arrive at all. For the Klingons, it was exactly the other way round.
What could the Kzinti have done differently? Perhaps a more balanced fleet composition would have helped, though it's worth pointing out that if the gamble had paid off and the Shadowcat had arrived first then the outcome might have been quite different. Alternatively, each Kzinti ship that arrived and saw that it was hopelessly outclass should have attempted to go straight back to warp. This might not have been successful in all cases, but at least some of their ships might have escaped!