Power Armor

Power Armor
Khurasan power armor infantry with conversions

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Rail Gun playtest: Attack on a merchant convoy

I played out a solid Rail Gun playtest today, with a small force of small ships attacking an enemy merchant convoy.  The game was sort of a blend between a naval convoy scenario and an air-combat bomber game. Some pics and a description of the game below. Thanks for looking!

The game featured 4 Merchants escorted by two destroyers.  The interceptors were two gunships, one corvette, and two "one-way tickets", small, cheap craft (basically a heavy gun with an engine).

The interceptors managed a clean intercept, hitting the merchant force squarely but not simultaneously.  The one-way tickets (good only for a single pass---they are launched at high speed but lack the engine power to quickly decelerate and maneuver).  The escorting destroyers did not maneuver aggressively enough at the beginning of the game to stop any of the attackers, but later in the game burned hard to get into good firing positions.

In the first passes, the attackers reduced one merchant to slag.  However, a gunship, speeding into the fight, ran into the hurtling wreckage of that merchant, failed the resulting dice rolls, and was itself destroyed!

The escort destroyers adjusted their positions, with high acceleration, were able to give the interceptors a good fight. The interceptors forced a second merchant to abandon ship by smothering it with hits. In the final turn of combat, the escorts managed to smash the corvette. All in all, a middling intercept: two small warships for two merchants.

This last picture shows the movement routes of the two sides, and where ships were destroyed or abandoned:

This was a very productive playtest. I decided that an "Abandon Ship" rule would be appropriate, since ships can get smothered with hits and lots of Stress, but not suffer any actual damage---now, there's a chance that all that Stress can force the abandonment.  The game played well. The interceptors had to maneuver hard to get more than one effective pass, and if the escorts had been more effectively used early in the game, they might have knocked out an interceptor or two.

The one-way-tickets were a lark. How well they'll work is mostly up to chance, as they'll typically only get a single pass before they speed on out of the combat.

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