Re-capping our first meeting we completed turn 1 with the Kzinti destroying five small Lyran ships of the southern combined fleet, and the Lyrans heavily damaging two Kzinti battle cruisers.
The Photos: The orange markers (mostly to the left), and white markers to the right are mines. The Lyran ships are yellow markers (bottom center below), the Hydrans are green (top center and to the right), and the Kzinti are white (mixed with Lyran, almost in the center below, and nearly indistinguishable form the Lyrans (sorry)).
Session 2: Near the start, the Lyrans exchange
ships with the Kzinti near the center of the board.
In our second meeting, turn two action picked up almost immediately with the Kzinti unloading on two more small Lyran ships, vaporizing a frigate and a police corvette, and then pulling a high energy turn to break off with the Lyrans. The Lyrans responded by taking out four of the battle cruisers at the cost of another 4 small ships. Turn two ended with both the Kzinti and Lyran fleets separating and regrouping.
During turn three, the Kzinti linked up with Hydran forces, accomplishing one of the game objectives while the Lyran northern fleet merged with the southern fleet, and then advanced to render one more Kzinti BC into dust. Turn three ended with both fleets maneuvering, and attempting to find an advantage among the nearly endless mine fields that had been laid thus far during the battle. These two turns took about five hours to play.
Session 3: The Lyrans losing ships as they fight through Hydran
fighters, the surviving Kzinti have withdrawn behind a small group of
orange mines center right.
Our third session involved two turns of the Lyrans wading through a large number of Hydran fighters, with heavy losses of escorts and finally losing a larger war cruiser. Approximately 120 Hydran fighters were killed, but only one Kzinti BC was lost during the two turns. My Lryans lost eight more police frigates, frigates, and a dd, in addition to the war cruiser mention about.
This session involved about 4 hours of gaming, with the current losses standing at 20 Lyran ships for the cost of 6 Kzinti battle cruisers. Not good thus far.
Session 4: The Lyrans working their way through mines
trying to get at the Hydrans.
During the fourth meeting, we played a single turn in about 3.5 hours. This was a brutal turn with continuous ship combat as the core of the fleets finally moved into range as each advanced through a corridor defined by the two extensive minefields.
At first, the Lyrans continued to take losses of smaller ships, FFs, and DDs mostly, until the Lyran CLs and CWs got into the range, then things began to level out, first with the Kzintis losing two more BCs, and then the first Hyrdan losses finally came, in the form of a couple Dragoons, heavy cruiser classed vessels. As the Lyran heavy cruisers came into range, their War cruisers began to waver, two being destroyed, and others fleeing with heavy damage.
But, by this time, the Hydrans had largely expended their weapons, and took damage while trying to maneuver around mines and away from the faster Lyrans. By the end of the turn an additional 4 Hydran ships had been destroyed, including two more heavy cruisers, and several others had significant damage.
In all seven kzinti and Hydran ships had been destroyed (including 5 CA/CC/BC classes vessels) for the loss of 9 Lyran vessels (2xCW, and 7x DD or smaller classed).
Session 5: Near the start of the last turn. the Lyrans pursue
the Hydrans, who are beginning their escape.
The fifth and last meeting involved playing only one more turn in about three hours of gaming.
The fleets started the turn with ships only about 5 hexes apart, and with the Hydrans having turned and starting to move away from the Lyrans. As it turned out, the Hydran Hellbores were devastating to the Lyran ships hit by the weapons, but the two turn arming cycle proved to be a greater burden than anticipated, when combined with negotiating the mines. This resulted in the Hrdrans accelerating to speed 30 in an effort to escape.
The Lyran fleet expended much energy to maintain a fleet speed of 22, and had to sacrifice energizing some weapons on many of the ships. Thus, some disruptors and phaser Is, and many of their phaser IIs could not be brought to bare, allowing several lucky Hydrans ships to get away, that otherwise may not have.
The turn started with Lyran ships blazing away, and in the following impulses, destroying two more Dragoons (Heavy cruisers), and a couple of Lancers (DDs?) for no losses. A number of other Hydran ships received damage, but none could be destroyed as range began to increase as Hydrans raced away.
The Lyrans turned away to begin picking up the many admin shuttles that they had dropped to act as a screen against the remaining enemy drones and fighters. As weapons came into arc, they also fired a parting salvo against a damaged Kzinti BC that had been limping away for the last four turns, destroying it in the process.
In the end, the turn yielded 5 enemy losses to no Lyran losses before the Hydrans disengaged.
Total losses for the battle were 29 Lyran ships to 19 Hydran/Kzinti ships and 120 fighters. The real story is better told by losses per class:
Pol 10x Cuirassier 2x
FF 11x Lancer 4x
DD 3x Dragoon 2x
DW 1x Lord Marshal 2x
CW 3x Kzinti BC 9x
The fighter losses are replaceable, as the Hydrans are withdrawing to the captured Lyran planet and support fleet with FRD, mobile base, and freighters. The point values of the ships favors to a small Lyan tactical victory, but in the strategic scope of the game, I think this is a Hydran victory.
The Hydran fleet suffered a small number of losses, with their loss of CAs be replaced by the Kzinti additions. The Lyrans lost a huge number of small escorts, losing much of their ability to screen Hyran fighters, and greatly reducing their ability to respond to multiple locations simultaneously (which may not be an issue, given Hydran tactics thus far).
One side benefit from the battle, is that I have learned how to deal with Hydran fighters and weapons, and the Hydrans seemed to have lost faith in their ability to dominate with fusion beams and Hellbores.
The end: Weapons expended, the Lyrans pass through the mines
and turn back to recover shuttles, the Hydrans off in the upper right
of the map.
This is the largest pure fleet battle that we've ever played. The battle consisted of roughly 120 fighting ships (a small number of scouts, freighters and Q-ships broke away from the fighting), and 158 fighters. Of those, 48 ships and 120 fighters were destroyed, during 7 turns played over 18 hours in 5 days.
Whats Next: We still have two battles to fight to complete the strategic turn; a Lyran attack on a Kzinti base station (with miniatures), and a Klingon attack on a Kzinti starbase (using counters). We haven't decided which to play first.