Saturday, March 24, 2018

The Star Fleet Death Probe

Last weekend, my brother and I played a scenario of the old starship wargame Star Fleet Battles involving something called the Death Probe.

The scenario plays out like this; the Death Probe is attacking a planet and the fleet of ships orbitting the planet has to destroy the probe before it's too late. Big brother opted for three Romulan battle cruisers to defend the planet against the probe while I got to play the probe. This was determined on the simple basis that big brother was the planet-killer on the last monster scenario we played a couple weeks back.

One problem; according to the scenario, the planet was on one side of the board, the probe was a dozen or so hexes away, while the Romulan fleet started on the other side of the board. So while the Romulan fleet was making its way towards the home planet, I was already pelting away at it with full weapons.

The Death Probe is obstensibly a mobile starbase; its two main weapons are two Phaser-IVs (the most powerful phaser in SFB that's normally found on starbases) and six photon torpedo launchers. It also has six standard phasers banks and two phaser-Gs (basically eight Phaser-IIIs) that can be fired in any direction. It can move up to speed 32 (speed determines how many moves you make per turn; 32 means I can move 32 times), repairs 20 points of damage, and has as much power needed for what it's able to do.

The primary goal of the Death Probe is the destruction of the planet while the Romulan fleet's goal is to destroy the probe before it kills the planet. For two turns, the Romulans are slowly making their way towards the planet while I'm pelting away at the planet. By turn #3, all three battlecruisers are lobbing plasma torpedoes at me, but the probe is so far off that the overall effectiveness of the torpedoes are considerably minimized (though still very damaging).

At one point, my brother decided to launch a squadron of shuttle craft to attack my probe while his cruisers kept a safe distance. Unfortunately for him, I had enough phasers to clear those shuttles away, but unfortunately for me, that meant fewer weapons to lay waste to the planet that turn.

After twelve turns, big bro's Romulan fleet managed to destroy my Death Probe... but no before I was able to destroy one of his cruisers and do considerable damage to the planet. This was probably one of the more lengthy scenarios we've played thus far and was a nice diversion from the overall campaign that we've playing for months now.

Anyway, that's just a fun little thing.

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