Well, Adam and I agreed to get in more non-Infinity games since we bought into Dropfleet. So far we’ve been alternating weeks of Dropfleet and Infinity with reasonable results. Damion was kind enough to donate his time to coach us again and lend us some tokens, templates, and so forth. In fact, he was kind enough to give me a few bags of tokens. Thanks Damion!Adam’s primed his ships already, because judging by the amounts of texts I get during the work day about his hobby progress, his full time job is sitting at his painting/hobby station. Jealous! I barely had time to put together enough bases to run all my Echos and frigates!
- Mission: Take and Hold
- Forces: PHR versus UCM – Skirmish (999)
- Deployment: Direct Deployment
We decided to up the points to 999 from last game’s 500, just to see what that was like. Adam had already played a few more games with Damion, so he’s got a leg up on me with the activation card strategy. I’m still sorta faffing about trying to learn the system but I’m starting to build a coherent picture of what’s going on.
PHR – 0 launch assets
SR7 Line battlegroup (190pts)
1 x Orpheus – 130pts – M
2 x Echo – 60pts – L
SR7 Line battlegroup (195pts)
1 x Ganymede – 135pts – M
+ Fleet Vizier (20pts, 2AV)
2 x Echo – 60pts – L
SR6 Pathfinder battlegroup (234pts)
2 x Medea – 78pts – L
2 x Medea – 78pts – L
2 x Medea – 78pts – L
SR8 Pathfinder battlegroup (360pts)
4 x Europa – 160pts – L
4 x Pandora – 200pts – L
Test Fleet 2 – 999pts
UCM – 3 launch assets
SR11 Vanguard battlegroup (227pts)
1 x Perth – 195pts – H
+ UCM Commodore (20pts, 3AV)
1 x Jakarta – 32pts – L
SR14 Line battlegroup (332pts)
2 x New Cairo – 176pts – M
4 x Taipei – 156pts – L
SR10 Line battlegroup (243pts)
1 x San Francisco – 111pts – M
1 x Seattle – 132pts – M
SR6 Pathfinder battlegroup (172pts)
2 x New Orleans – 64pts – L
2 x New Orleans – 64pts – L
2 x Santiago – 44pts – L
Test Fleet 2 – 994pts
Adam does enjoy his space lasers! Perhaps a little too much.
I start things off by cheating and drawing too many cards, mainly because I thought it was one plus your admiral value… which in retrospect doesn’t make any sense. In any case, none of it matters because none of my cards really did anything all game.
Deployment was a predictable affair. There isn’t a good way of doing the Direct Deployment option, so Damion told us that the local rule is to just pretend its a regular turn and use the activation cards as usual, which is what we did.I put my troopships on the flanks with their attendant Echos on the opposite board edge (for no reason). Each cluster got a pair of Medea, and I put the pile of 8 attack frigates in the center of the table, more or less. Adam put his Perth on the my right, protected by his Jakarta (he had assumed that I was going to dump a pile of bombers on everything). The Seattle went on the left with the San Francisco on my right. He dedicated a pair of New Orleans to the left and middle clusters (my perspective), and then piled his Taipei+New Cairo battlegroup of doom in the center in a big blob. The Santiago went on my left to try and take out my Medea over there, but I wasn’t particularly worried, as I had counter deployed them with the Orpheus to get as many dice as possible on them.
Well, thanks to me not taking any cruisers aside from the two troopships, I was doing much better on SR values than Adam. Damion and I had been talking about how to use the Pandoras and Europas to Active Scan and then Flash things with the Pandora’s BTLs, so I tried that. I went first, foolishly, figuring that I might be in range. Sadly, I even though I got off two successful Active Scans, I wasn’t able to shoot anything, so Adam’s Taipei/New Cairo group made it to the center of the board safely. I should’ve let them go first and then I would’ve been in range. Whoops! I guess I’m still gun shy about those Taipei, which are just ruinous. Adam tried the same trick with his Perth and managed to blow up a Europa, I think. The rest of our stuff just powered forward, with our strike carriers dropping a layer along with our troopships. I pushed my Echos and troopships up and failed to damage anything, although I did abuse stealth some with the Echos. A pretty uneventful first turn, aside from me being an idiot with the activation orders. I do have some bombers on my Orpheus to deal with though, on the left.
According to Damion I messed up the card ordering again–apparently I should’ve had the Medeas at the top of the stack so they could safely escape to atmosphere. While I don’t disagree, I was really reluctant to let the Taipei have a shot at my pile of Frigates first. I wanted to at least try to damage some and figured if I could thin their numbers some I would be able to protect the Medeas that way. Plus aren’t PHR Frigates supposed to be invincible or something? I heard that on the intertubes somewhere, I’m pretty sure. I put down an ECM field on the left cluster to protect my Orpheus, which I intended to go weapons free with on this turn, but I really don’t have a good sense for distances in this game yet. It’s interesting how distance eyeballing only half translates from Infinity to this game… I think it’s the peg-to-peg and the lack of terrain for visual reference.
Anyway, I attempt to light up Adam’s strike carriers with another active scan and take some BTL shots at them with the Pandoras. Of course, I roll like garbage and they both survive, albeit one only has a single hull left.The Europas don’t do much better. I’m so used to Tau’s railgun arcs that I forget how restrictive broadsides are. Adam and Damion are very patient with me as I fuss with my tape measure and arcs, finally getting the Perth and some of the Taipeis into my arc. Between the Europa’s broadsides and all the CAW from all the frigates, I manage to only take out one measly Taipei and fail to even scratch the paint on the Perth. Sigh. Adam’s counterstroke almost kills one of my Medeas in the center and a Pandora, but the rest of my frigates escape basically unscathed. Phew! The rest of the turn is just us getting our launch assets into place and me setting up my Echos. The Echos on the left do manage to delete one of Adam’s New Orleans on the left and damage one of his Santiagos.My Medea get in position to drop, but there’s still two Santiagos there… I expect to lose one of them…
Both of us have troopships on the right, so we just dump a ton of infantry there, and my Medeas drop a tank each. I want the military sector to get some extra pew pew, so I take it first.The center is a TOTAL MESS. Adam drops some tanks, and I drop some in the other military sector for pew pew reasons. I don’t understand scoring but I understand more dice!As it turns out, the left is a decidedly boring affair, with me taking the military sector and the two of us taking the … money sign? The Santiagos did manage to put two damage on one of the Medeas, but that internet guy that said PHR Frigates are invincible seems to be right.My poor Orpheus takes some more pummeling from the Seattle’s bombers, but keeps on truckin’.
I really want to deal with those Santiagos and the remaining New Orleans on the left, so I course change with my Echos and take out the damaged Santiago and vaporize the New Orleans with the Echos. The Seattle takes a few hits from my Orpheus, but doesn’t really care.I activate my frigate swarm next and put some BTL hurt on the Seattle…but fail to kill it. The Europa plink a few hull off the Perth and wallop one of the New Cairos, but nothing explodes… Adam dumps BTL fire into my Ganymede on the right, scratching the paint a little while I eat some more of his New Orleans with Echos. The Taipei try to take out my Pandoras but PHR armor weathers the storm with none of them getting crippled. This frustrates Adam greatly, which is of course exactly what I want!There also seems to be some interesting maneuvering going on from the New Cairos…Adam finally activates the Perth, and in spite of me throwing a card down that halves his thrust value (which he espionages away) plays his double BTL card and deletes the Ganymede from the table in one spectacular string of crits.At this point, the store is closing so we throw everything in our bags and let the poor shopkeeper go home. The Orpheus is limping along on one hull left, and Adam’s cruisers are mostly intact…
Thanks to JoDee for staying late to let us clean up. Damion thinks I would’ve won the ground game, but Adam’s still got a big presence in orbit. Who knows. I like this list a lot better than the one I took before. I still feel very outclassed in orbit by UCM, but apparently that’s how I’m supposed to feel? Whatever happened to being super cool cyborg pew pew guys with nanomachines? Ah well.
Thanks to Adam and Damion for being patient with me as I flail around. Adam informed me that he got to fire off his giant space lasers so he was happy regardless of the outcome of the battle. I always leave the DFC table feeling pummeled, but I guess that’s the way PHR work.
- Things are starting to click a little more, I’m starting to understand group/battlegroup composition a little more, as well as activation orders.
- I really really liked having lower SR values than pretty much all of Adam’s cards. Having the full 4 for Skirmish was pretty awesome too, unlike my last game.
- Echos continue to be stupid good. Good thing I bought another blister, bringing me to 12 total!
- I can see why people have a love-hate relationship with Pandoras… I think I will probably take a few in higher point games, but I’m not the biggest fan of them in low point games so far. I want something more consistent.
- I want to do more bomber shenanigans, and that means more Andromedas. Let’s do it!
- I liked the big 8-frigate group of doom, but I hate the broadsides on the Europas. The new PHR Elektras should help with that significantly!
- UCM BTL is disgusting. I understand why Calypsos are good now. If I can get some armor rolls that would be the best.
- PHR 3+ armor is awesome, as are hull 5 Frigates! It seems like presenting a target-rich environment is good, but Adam (being the smart cookie he is) prioritized killing my Ganymede and Orpheus.
- Hopefully I’ll have more useful things to say here once I learn more about the game.