Sunday, September 7, 2014

Federation Commander Solo Wargaming AAR

In my last post about Federation Commander, I played a simple solo game against a human opponent. Federation Commander is designed to be played against a live player but there are a few scenarios designed to be played solo. Today I'll be showing an After Action Report I played solo against Robot Rules. To be fair playing with the Robot Rules isn't as good as a human opponent and is a bit limiting but it is a good way to be able to play solo or to practice with a new ship, weapon, or strategy before you face an opponent.

The rules for the robot can be downloaded here for free from ADB's website. The rules are set up to be played against a Klingon D-7 (The Klingon ship from Star Trek The Original Series) or with a Kzinti BC because it has the same weapons. The rules are set up for Squadron Scale. I'll be using the Klingon D-7 as the enemy and for my ship, I'll be using the Federation Light Cruiser which is a weaker ship than the Klingon so hopefully, it will give me a better challenge.

I set up the two ships in the corners of the map and began turn 1. I set my speed at 8 and rolled for the Klingon's speed and he will be moving at 8 as well. I spent 4 energy and preloaded my photon torpedoes and we started Impulse 1. We moved toward each other for all 8 Impulses and at the end of the 8th, the rules determined I would launch 2 drones from the Klingon ship. I also have 1 drone available to launch and I did. We both put energy into our batteries and that ended the first turn.

The map at the end of Turn 1
For turn 2 I set my speed at 8 and rolled for the Klingon and he will be moving at 16. I paid to finish arming my photon torpedoes and we began Impulse 1 on turn 2. At the end of Impulse 1, I rolled for the Klingon and it said he would fire everything he had at me including overloaded disruptors if the energy is available. For the overloaded disruptors, I rolled 3 misses and one hit for 6 damage to shield 1. For the 3 phaser 1's I rolled 3 hits but due to the range only took 9 damage. The 6 phaser 2's had 3 hits out of 6 for 6 damage which was the end of my 1 shield plus 3 damage so I used 3 energy to keep from sustaining internal damage. That was the end of the Klingon's so he was out and I decided to hold off until I got closer to him to fire.

At the beginning of Impulse 2, the Klingon decided to hold off on his drones but I launched my only drone. Since the Klingon had fired all his weapons the rules had him turn off and because of our speed differences, I had to accelerate to keep up with him. At the end of Impulse 3 the Klingon's drones entered my hex, I fired my 2 phaser 3's and rolled high enough to destroy both drones. To end the impulse I rolled for the Klingon had he decided not to fire drones once again.

End of Impulse 3 Turn 2
During Impulse 4 my first drone entered the Klingon's hex, he had enough energy to tractor it so he did. At the end of the Impulse, the second drone impacted but the Klingon was out of options so he took 11 damage to shield 3 and 1 internal which was a lab. At the end of the 4th Impulse, the Klingon decided to fire 2 drones at me and that brought an end to Impulse 4

End of Impulse 4 Turn 2
In Impulse 5 I kept moving closer and the Klingon kept running from me. In the last sub-pulse his drones impacted my 1 shield and I had to use 2 phasers 1's to stop the drones and at this range, they were an instant kill.

During Impulse 6 my opponent was in trouble. He was getting to the edge of the map and had to turn away from it which brought him closer to me. I wanted to overload my torpedoes so I only could fire 2 of my phaser 1's and I scored 9 damage which he took to shield 2. I fired my double overloaded photons at range 1 which did 32 damage to him. The damage to the Klingon was bad but not game-ending. He has 2 tractor beam emitters and I was able to damage 1 but not both which would have dealt him another 12 damage due to the drone he was currently holding.

With that Impulse 6 ended and since we both had no energy and no more drones to launch we danced around the map for the rest of the turn. At the end of the turn, the Klingon repaired one of his phaser 2's on his right side so he would have full phaser coverage to his ship and I transferred 5 of his shield damage from shield 2 to shield 1. I had no damage to repair so I used my damage control points to reload my drones and transferred 5 damage from shield 1 to shield 2 to end turn 2.

The map at the end of Turn 2
At the beginning of Turn 3, I set a speed of 8 and the Klingon set a speed of 16. The Klingon repaired 2 shield boxes on shield 2 and paid 1 energy to hold the drone in his tractor beam. I prearmed my photon torpedoes and we began Impulse 1.

At the End of Impulse 4, the Klingon fired a phaser 2 to destroy the drone about to impact and fired his last phaser 2 at me for 4 damage to shield 2 and I canceled it with 4 energy through my batteries. We continued moving until the end of the turn when he was able to fire 2 drones and 4 overloaded disruptors at me scoring 24 damage to my shield 3, I took 16 to the shield and used 8 energy to eat the rest. With the turn over I put my last 2 energy into the batteries. I used my damage control points to reload my drone launcher, the Klingon repaired one of his phaser 2's.

The map at the end of Turn 3
For Turn 4 I set a speed of 16 as did the Klingon. I transferred 5 energy from the most damaged shield to a more powerful one on both ships. At the end of Impulse 1, the Klingon fired 3 phaser 1's at me for 8 damage. I decided I didn't want any more damaged shield so I used my energy to eat them which only left me with 9 energy for the turn. As a parting shot, he also fired 1 drone at me.

On Impulse 2 I accelerated to try to get to range 9 on the Klingon but he accelerated as well and at the end of the Impulse he overloaded his disruptors and did 18 damage to my 4 shield so I had to use 2 energy keep from receiving any internal damage.

I realized I would need to fire on the Klingon in this turn while he had no energy to do anything about it so in Impulse 4 I spent energy to do a high energy turn. The Klingon was heading into a corner again and I knew he would have to turn back in my direction.

On Impulse 4 the drone he launched was going to impact so I had to fire a phaser 1 to destroy it leaving me 2 energy left. In impulse 5 I realized the Klingons would move out of my forward firing arc for the photons so I had to spend 1 energy to decelerate. I fired 2 photons and 1 phaser 1 and dropped his shield 2 and scored 13 internals including 1 damage to his frame. I also fired 1 drone at him to end Impulse 5.

The drone I launched impacted the Klingon's shield 2 and did 12 more internal damage. We continued moving to the end of the turn. I swapped some shield boxes around for both ships, he repaired a phaser 2. I end the turn with damage on all shields except 6 but no internal damage. The Klingon was in much worse shape with 1 Frame box left and most of his internals damaged but still was able to make 29 energy as well as have 3 phaser 1's and all disruptors not damaged so he still has a shot.

The map at the end of Turn 4
For Turn 5 I set a speed 8 and the Klingon set 16. I prearmed my torpedoes and repaired 5 boxes of shields and the Klingon repaired 2. The turn involved both ships just maneuvering with no weapons fire exchanged. The Klingon repaired a phaser 2 and the turn ended.

When Turn 6 began I started to think about executing a second high energy turn. If I could turn around I would be in great shape for a most likely game-ending alpha strike. The Klingon only has 10 energy left and would only be able to do so much damage to me, not enough to destroy my ship. I would wait until after Impulse 1 to decide what to do if the Klingon fires before I turn around it would make my decision easier. At the end of Impulse 1, he was within 4 hexes and fired all 4 disruptors with one being overloaded. My luck held up and the overloaded disruptor missed but the other 3 hit for 12 damage to my number 3 shield. I needed to use 4 energy to keep from receiving any internals but I was OK with 20 power left and the Klingon had 0.

Beginning on Impulse 2 I decided to gamble and..... it worked!! I used a high energy turn making the Klingon turn away from me and exposing his shield 6 which had the least amount of damage. I double overloaded my photons and both hit for 32 damage and that was enough to take out his Frame and destroy his ship.

In the end, the Robot scored 0 Victory Points and I scored 138 Victory Points. I had fun playing the game but would have had more fun with a human opponent. The Robot Rules are not perfect but I believe they are as good as they can be for a game of this type. I always thought it would be cool to write an app that could run the rules for you and ask you the questions about the current situation and make the determination for you on what the Robot would do. If you enjoy solo wargaming this isn't a perfect situation but you should have a good time. The time the game took to play it ended up taking longer to play than a standard duel does to me having to look up the Robots Rules but it didn't ruin the experience for me. If you have any interest in download the rules, you have nothing to lose with them being free.

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