STAR FLEET BATTLES

PLAYTEST SCENARIO

(SP1270.0) KNIFE, THE MAC
(Y179) by Tony Zbaraschuk, Washington

    After a particularly fierce Klingon-Kzinti battle in Y179, both sides were too badly damaged to renew the fight. As a parting shot, the Klingons bombarded the retreating Kzintis with long-range drones launched from D6D drone cruisers. The Kzinti admiral, "Cat-with-Many-Arrows", could not simply move out of range, as several of his ships were crippled and needed emergency repairs just to reach the nearest base, while several more were refueling from a supply tug. His carrier’s lone surviving escort, the Medium Aegis Cruiser Knife, was the only undamaged ship available. "Many-Arrows" hastily loaded it with most of his remaining drones, fighters, and Interceptors, and sent it out to intercept the drone swarm. The Klingons tried to counter-intercept the MAC with their remaining PFs.

(SP1270.1) NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2; the Kzinti player and the Klingon player.

(SP1270.2) INITIAL SET-UP:
KZINTIS:  MAC Knife in 4218, heading E.
               2 TAAS within 3 hexes of 4218, heading E.
               2 Spike interceptors within 5 hexes of 4218, heading E.
               All forces speed 20, WS-III.

KLINGONS:  G1 PF in 0115, heading C.
                    Klingon reinforcement PFs enter by (SP1270.45).
                    Klingon type-IIIXXM drones enter by (SP1270.46).
                    All forces speed 20, WS-III.

(SP1270.3) LENGTH OF SCENARIO: The scenario continues until all forces of one side have been destroyed, captured, or have disengaged. Note that if the Kzintis disengage, any drones that have not arrived can be considered to have reached their targets.

(SP1270.4) SPECIAL RULES
(SP1270.41) MAP: The map is fixed; it does not float. Any unit leaving the map has disengaged and cannot return [but see (SP1270.467)]. The Kzinti units can only disengage off the xx01 map edge. The Klingon units can only disengage off the 42xx map edge. Units which disengage in unauthorized areas are considered destroyed.

(SP1270.42) SHUTTLES AND PFs: All PFs and interceptors in this scenario have warp booster packs; no fighters or shuttles do.

(SP1270.421) No ship in this scenario is qualified to carry an MRS shuttle, but in a variant of the scenario where that is possible, they may be purchased [up to the limits in (J8.5)] under (SP1270.431).

(SP1270.422) The Kzinti TAAS fighters aboard the MAC were transferred from the carrier to help the MAC intercept more drones. They replace the MAC’s admin shuttles. No EW fighters are used in this scenario; players may purchase them in some of the variants.

(SP1270.423) The Kzinti interceptors are standard designs. All Klingon PFs are standard G1s; there are no leader or scout variants.

(SP1270.43) COMMANDER’S OPTION ITEMS
(SP1270.431) The Kzintis have 30 points to purchase Commander’s Option Items (e.g., T-bombs, better drones, extra deck crews, etc.).

(SP1270.432) All drones are "medium," i.e. speed 20. The Kzintis can upgrade drone speed under the Commander’s Option rules (SP1270.431) within the limits specified in (FD10.6). The Klingon PFs have only type-IM drones, except that each PF may have one type-III-ECM drone. The Klingons cannot upgrade drones.

(SP1270.433) The MAC has double identical reloads for the fighters and interceptors, in addition to its own racks, their reloads, and the drones loaded on the fighters and interceptors at start. It has no additional drones unless it purchases them under (SP1270.431).

(SP1270.434) No ship in this scenario normally carries a Prime Team (G32.0), but such Teams are sometimes assigned to various ships. Players may experiment with Prime Teams, perhaps as a balance factor.

(SP1270.44) REFITS: The MAC has the mechlink refit, no other refits have been applied to any units in this scenario.

(SP1270.45) KLINGON REINFORCEMENTS: The Klingon PFs had been spread out along the flight path of the drones and thus arrived piecemeal.

(SP1270.451) During the Energy Allocation phase of Turn #1, the Klingon rolls a die and adds it to the turn number. This gives the turn when the second Klingon PF will arrive. The Klingon player repeats this procedure each time a PF arrives.

EXAMPLE: A PF arrives on Turn #4, so the Klingon rolls a die during the Energy Allocation phase of Turn #4. The result is a "3", so the next G1 arrives on Turn #7.

(SP1270.452) The Klingon rolls are not secret; the sensors on the MAC can detect arriving Klingon PFs long before they enter the battle-zone.

(SP1270.453) Klingon PFs enter within 10 hexes of 0115, heading B or C, speed max, WS-III.

(SP1270.454) The Klingon must send in PFs the turn they arrive; he cannot ‘hold them back’ until other PFs arrive.

(SP1270.455) There are only 6 Klingon PFs in the area; after the sixth PF, the Klingon ceases rolling for new arrivals.

(SP1270.46) KLINGON DRONE RULES: The Klingon type-IIIXXM drones were all programmed on a specific course before they were launched. To reflect this, the Klingon player must use the following rules.

(SP1270.461) On Impulse #1 of every turn from Turn #1 to Turn #23, 20 Klingon type-IIIXXM drones enter along the 01xx edge of the map.

(SP1270.462) Each such drone must be assigned to a specific ‘group’ containing no less than 3 and no more than 6 drones; it must always travel in the same hex as the other drones in its group.

(SP1270.463) Each group must have a pre-assigned course. The Klingon player must write down the hex where the group will enter the map (on the 01xx edge) and the hex from which it will leave the map (on the 42xx edge). He can assign zero, one, or two intermediate target hexes.

(SP1270.464) After entering the map, a drone group will seek each of its target hexes in turn, following a ballistic course (F4.0).

(SP1270.465) The Klingon player must plot the course of each group three turns before it enters the map. He plots courses for the drones that enter on Turns #1 through #3 before the Kzinti sets up, and for Turn #4 during the Energy Allocation phase of Turn #1, continuing this process until he has plotted courses for the drones that will arrive on Turn #23.

EXAMPLE: For Turn #1, the Klingon plots as follows.

Group #1: 4 drones, 0101-1209-2102-4213
Group #2: 5 drones, 0119-4219
Group #3: 6 drones, 0108-1508-1910-4201
Group #4: 5 drones, 0129-2021-4223

(SP1270.466) Type-IIIXXM drones will not ‘wake up’ during the scenario; the only action they can take is to follow their pre-programmed courses.

(SP1270.467) Type-IIIXXM drone are assumed to have 50 turns of endurance left when they arrive on the map; thus, if they are held in a tractor beam and subsequently released, they count for victory conditions normally. Drones shoved off the xx01 and xx30 map edges have been displaced from their intended courses badly enough that they count for the normal number of victory points (round fractions up).

(SP1270.468) To avoid confusing the type-IIIXXM drones with those fired from the Klingon PFs, players may wish to use the generic or Federation drone counters for the type-IIIXXM drones.

(SP1270.5) VICTORY CONDITIONS: Victory is determined by the intensity of the drone stream arriving at the Kzinti fleet. The Klingon player scores points as follows:

First five drones to leave the map during each turn = 1 point each
Drones 6-10 = 2 points each
Drones 11-15 = 3 points each
Drones 16-20 = 4 points each
Drones 21+ =5 points each

Take the total point value, and use it as the percentage level for the Victory Conditions. If the MAC is destroyed, the Klingons score at least a tactical victory.

(SP1270.6) VARIATIONS: The scenario can be played again under different conditions by making one or more of the following changes:
(SP1270.61) Use forces of different races.

(SP1270.611) Assume Many-Arrows called in his own drone attack on the Klingons. Replace the Kzinti forces with an AD5, two Z-Y fighters, and two H-1 interceptors. Replace the Klingon PFs with Kzinti Needles (first prototypes).

(SP1270.612) Assume the Kzintis are bombarding the Lyrans. Replace the Kzinti forces with a CWA, 2 Z-Y fighters, and three Lynx interceptors. Replace the Klingon PFs with Kzinti Needles (first prototypes).

(SP1270.613) Assume the Klingons are bombarding the Federation. Replace the Kzinti forces with two FFAs and four F-18s, or with a DEA and two F-14s or F-15s.

(SP1270.614) Assume the Klingons are bombarding the Hydrans. Replace the Kzinti forces with an Aegis-Lancer with only four Stinger-2s, no interceptors.

(SP1270.62) Change the Klingon PF designs. The Kzintis do not know what variant or version the PFs are until they can identify them under the Tactical Intelligence rules (D17.0).

(SP1270.621) Simply replace each G1 with another variant (G1B, G1D, G1P, or G1K).

(SP1270.622) Use a standard PF flotilla (any variant). Before the scenario begins, the Klingon specifies which PFs in the entry order are the scout and leader for the flotilla.

(SP1270.623) Assume that Kollos Kumerian’s flotilla was in the area. The PFs are a G1K flotilla with two ace crews, one of them on the leader and another on one of the standard PFs.

(SP1270.63) Assume that the Klingons did not have full drone reserves for the D6D squadron. Reduce the type-IIIXXM drones to 12 per turn over 20 turns. Kzinti forces consist of one DWA with 2x TAAS fighters. Replace each Klingon PF with two Z-V fighters; one of the 12 (chosen before the scenario) is a Z-VE if the players are using EWFs.

(SP1270.64) Allow the Kzintis to select 225 points worth of defending units rather than the force given. (Feds and Hydrans limited to a maximum of 150 points due to their gatling phasers.) This cannot include more than one size class-3 or two size class-4 ships.

(SP1270.65) Solitaire version: 25 Klingon drones arrive for each of 16 turns. Delete the Klingon PFs. The Klingon drones enter in 5 groups of 5 each. The entry hex for each group is randomly determined. Roll 1 die and multiply by six, then subtract the roll of another die to determine the entry hex. If this yields an entry hex 0-2 hexes away from another entry hex, re-roll. The drones will proceed straight across the map (move 1 hex in B or C, then sideslip), so as to exit just opposite their entry hex.

(SP1270.7) BALANCE: The scenario can be balanced between players of different skill levels by one or more of the following:

(SP1270.71) Favors Kzintis:

  1. Use prototype TADS fighters instead of TAAS, or replace the Spike interceptors with Needle PFs.
  2. Replace the MAC with 2 DWAs, each having 1 mech-link with interceptor, 1 TAAS, and 1 admin shuttle.
  3. Replace the Klingon PFs with H-1 interceptors, reduce the number of PFs arriving, or increase the time between arrivals.
  4. Reduce the number of drones arriving each turn.

(SP1270.72) Favors Klingons:

  1. Replace the TAAS with HAAS fighters.
  2. Replace the MAC with a DWA.
  3. Increase the total number of Klingon PFs, or decrease the time between arrivals.
  4. Increase the number of drones arriving each turn.

(SP1270.8) TACTICS

KLINGON: The Klingons can either hurl their PFs one-at-a-time, trying to destroy Kzinti fighters and interceptors, or can try to distract the MAC from the heaviest concentration of drones. Their best bet seems to be to evade until three or four PFs can rush the MAC all at once. Destroying it WILL win the scenario for you.... if you can do it. At least initially you will have to keep your drone stacks as small as possible so that the MAC cannot use its supply of T-bombs to get too many of them at one time.

KZINTIS: The Kzintis need to keep the MAC safe for its reload capacity, but equally they need to kill Klingon PFs as soon as they arrive, and the MAC is the only unit that can do that. Remember that the scenario will last a long time, and you will need to protect your fighters and interceptors as well. Drone selection can make or break the scenario: you will have to load the ADDs (and G-racks) with a number of type-VI drones for fighter reloads, but remember that your interceptors can only fire type-I or type-III drones.

(SP1270.9) PLAYTESTER COMMENTS:

Eagerly awaited.

(SP1270.X) DESIGNER’S NOTES:

HISTORICAL OUTCOME

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Copyright 1998 Amarillo Design Bureau, All Rights Reserved

Last updated 25 April 1998