Thursday, July 21, 2011

Icarus Rising

For my first game of Warcosm I decided to break out some Cold Navy miniatures that I'd picked up years ago. These minis were originally produced by Xtreme Hobby but they have changed hands a few times since then. Currently the line is being produced by Ravenstar Studios and they have been expanding the ranges for all four of the races that are covered. I haven't picked up any of the Ravenstar minis but they look very nice on their website and I think I'll look at picking up some more to flesh out my rather small "fleets". The two different factions that I'm using are the Terran Navy and the Kharadorn Royal Navy.

One of the things that the Warcosm rules includes that I really like is a random scenario generator. If you don't have a specific scenario in mind all it takes is a few rolls to breath a little life into what could otherwise be a fairly stale battle. "My ships are gonna blow up yours because you stink. So there." Now that's a great reason for to interplanetary navies to fight each other...

For this first game the scenario is a blockade run. The a couple of Terran warships are trying to break through a Kharadorn blockade to deliver vital information and are attempting to take advantage of an increase in solar flare activity to do this. The flares are disrupting sensors for both fleets but also make entering hyperspace a risky proposition. Their only hope is to break through the blockade before any more Kharadorn ships are alerted and move beyond the flares so they can make good their escape.

From a mechanical perspective, the mission was a blockade run with the Terrans trying to escape the far side of the board. The time limit on the game was triggered when two ships on one side were destroyed at which point the game would end in two turns (this number was determined by a die roll so it could have been much higher). The board was affected by solar flares which effectively reduced all the to hit rolls by one and can make hyperdrives malfunction.

Now that the the stage was set, it was time to unleash the fleets and see who would prevail.

The game opened with the two battle groups approaching each other. Between the limited ranges and the solar flare activity there was no way that either side would be able to hit each other even after they moved so we move swiftly on to the next turn.

The Terrans lost the reaction roll for the second turn so are forced to move first and fire second. As anyone can imagine, loosing the reaction roll can put you at a massive disadvantage as you attempt to guess where your opponent will end up so you can keep him in your firing arcs and then hope you survive the incoming shots so you can return fire. In this case there is little for the Terrans to do but drive straight across the board as they tried to break through the Kharadorn lines. In response the Kharadorn ships sweep into position to launch their opening attack. Combining their firepower, the Karria destroyer and one of the Gerrakk frigate are able to pound through the armor plating on the Masada destroyer and score a critical hit that disabled one of the forward laser turrets. The second Gerrakk focused it fire on the Northhampton frigate but only managed to score a minor hit on its shields. The Terrans were quick to retaliate as the Masada and the Northhampton both focused on the Karria, destroying its shields and armor in one fell blow. Meanwhile the Northhampton also let loose a missile on the first Gerrakk and managed to take down its shields and destroy its armor. Finally, the Terran fighter squads opened fire on the Kharadorn ships. The attack on the Karria failed to inflict any damage but the second squad managed to rip apart the already damaged Gerrakk scoring the first kill of the game.

The Terrans finally managed to win the reaction roll for the third turn which left the Kharadorn at a major disadvantage as they struggled to get into the best position to attack. Meanwhile the Terrans continued to rocket forward toward the far side of the board. As they were not in position to get off the board yet the Terrans were forced to hold back most of their firepower this turn though one of the fighter squads managed to damage the second Gerrakk. The Kharadorns were under no such restrictions and let loose with all their available firepower. The Northhampton managed to escape unscathed but the Masada started bleed out atmosphere as it took damage to its frame.

The Kharadorns won the reaction roll for the fourth turn which left the Terrans in a very poor position as they would be firing second. With little else to do the two captains blasted toward the far side of the board and safety. This was short lived though as the Kharadorns were able to swing their ships into the perfect position to let loose a barrage against both of the Terran vessels. The Northhampton lost its armor plating and the resulting explosions swung its nose to port but the essential systems remained online but the Masada was not so lucky. Laser and rocket fire from the Karri ripped into its hull and blasted the ship apart.

At this point I called the game as it was clear that there was no way for the Kharadorn to stop the remaining Northhampton from escaping to safety making the whole scenario a minor victory for the Terrans.

Final Thoughts

Overall I really enjoyed this system. It is fairly simple in its execution but not so much as to be dull and boring. I realized towards the end of the game that there were some rules that I was misplaying as a few of the rules are a little unclear as to exactly how some things are defined but these were relatively minor in the grand scheme of things. I also quickly noticed that it seems like this system would be able to handle anything from small skirmishes like this all the way up to a full fleet action with relative ease which is impressive in itself. Combine all of this with the very open framework that the game is built on and you have a fun light space combat war game.

No comments: