I ran 2 ACTA:SF games on Sunday at Cold Wars in Lancaster PA, USA.
The first was a fixed map with 6 players, each running 2 ships. 3 Klingon players, 3 Federation players, playing a Fight to the Death scenario.
End of Turn 1 movement:
End of Turn 2 movement:
The lower D7 was destroyed by massed fire from the 2 Fed NCA and 2 NCL, including some lucky rolls of a '6' when firing Photons.
On one flank, 2 Klingon D5 and a D5W attempt to mug a pair of Fed CAs. Unfortunately the second D5 sped on past the lead CA and pinged away at the second CA. If it had stuck with it's fellows attacking the lead CA, the CA would have been destroyed. The lead CA took damage but escaped. This was the pivotal mistake the Klingons made, and it eventually cost them the battle.
End of Turn 3 movement:
During Turn 3 a D7 got mugged by 2 Fed NCA over-running him and using centerlined rear phasers to eat up the D7's shields. Then 2 Fed NCL in front of the D7 then ripped him up with massed Phaser-1 fire.
I did not get a picture of Turn 4, but the Klingons lost more ships, eventually ending up with a D5W and a D5 left. The Feds lost no ships, and did quite well.
I will be running 3 games of this format at Origins.
Game 2 was called "Assault on the Alliance Base Complex". It had a large Klingon force attacking a pair of Alliance bases (Fed Battle Station and Gorn Mobile Base) hiding in a density 7 asteroid field. Defending the bases were a Fed NCA, 2 FF, Gorn HDD + 2 BDD, and Kzinti BC + 2 FF.
Turn 1 after movement:
The Kzinti and Gorns in a defensive huddle, supporting each other and looking good.
The Klingons moved rather timidly, and made alot of IDF rolls. There were some drone exchanges, with minimal hits. I had thought to start the Klingons 12" in from the right side, rather than them entering the map on the right side on Turn 1. I thought putting them 12" in would save time, which would have been a good thing, enabling us to start Turn 4. But having them enter the map turn 1 did allow them to get some practice moving their ships, fire drones, and conduct defensive fire before they were committed at medium range.
End of Turn 2 movement:
The Klingons conducted major IDF rolls here, making 8 of 10 attempts.
The C8 for some reason led the way with no close in support. The Alliance scored some light damage on it, but that was all.
Wall of Klingon cruisers:
End of movement Turn 3:
The Gorns set up an assault on the Klingon C8, with the Kzinti supporting them with massed drone fire on the C8. A Gorn BDD makes an end run around the asteroid field on the lower right and came up behind the Klingons for some reason (thinking to draw some ships off to deal with it?)
Some Fed ships trying to distract the Klingons from firing on the Battle Station
The Klingon main force, packed in like sardines, which would be a problem later in the turn:
The Klingon C8 falls to massed drone and plasma fire from the Kzinti and Gorn ships. It explodes and damages 2 F5W and 2 C7 with 20 dice damage each.
At this point the Klingons became rather demoralized, saying that the scenario objective was impossible to achieve. I disagreed and encouraged them to see if we could get in Turn 4, have them close to close range with overloads and destroy the Battle Station. Unfortunately my decision to have the Klingons start the game entering the map cost 45 minutes conducting an ineffectual Turn 1, time which could have enabled us to conduct Turn 4 (with a little overtime play past the scheduled game time perhaps) and see what would have happened.
The Klingons conceded.
The Klingons were REALLY tentative and not very aggressive for most of the game. They seemed unwilling to enter within 10" of the Battle Station (Killzone range for the Phaser-4s). They seemed to lack the nerve to face close range phaser-4 fire, though it would have been halved due to the Klingon front shield rule. I think that if they had braved the Phaser-4 fire and gotten themselves into 6" of the base, their combined overloaded Disruptors and killzoned-Phaser-1s would have done the job. At worst they might have lost a couple of cruisers. Unfortunately we won't get to find out this time.
The Kzinti player, who was a Star Fleet Battle veteran, but who had never played ACTA:SF before, did a great job. He stayed within support range of the Gorns, and didn't get in too close, which would probably have cost him the 2 FF's. He said he was going to buy the game and minis, so I guess I made a convert.
I did make some errors in GM'ing this playtest game.
1) I should really have started the Klingons 12" in from the right map edge. I plan to to do this at Origins.
2) While I explained that the Klingon's objective was to destroy one of the bases, and said that this one was a lightly armed Mobile Base, and that this base is a Battle Station, I didn't give much more information about their statistics. I assumed that the Klingons would go for the easier Mobile base as their target, when they chose the Battle Station. Strangely enough, no one on the Klingon side thought to ask any questions about the stations or their stats/capabilities. One guy finally did during Turn 3, when it was basically too late to switch targets. I will have to make SURE the players at Origins understand exactly what they are going up against, giving them a copy of the base's record sheets and saying "read this very important info".
I put the bases into an asteroid field, thinking to enhance their survivability. Statistically, about 33% of the damage scored against them should have been negated by the asteroid field. For some reason I cannot fathom, I rolled really, really well on the Stealth rolls, and at least 50% of the incoming damage was stopped by the asteroids. I NEVER roll this well, which was what made it so weird. I could tell the Klingons were getting pretty frustrated by not being able to score enough damage against the Battle Station. At game's end, the Battle Station had no shields, about 25 hits, and 2 ongoing Critical hits (including Crew and Weapons).
I do have to make some adjustments to the scenario, based upon feedback from some of the players and Mckinstry who coached and advised the Klingons. He was supposed to play as the Klingon commander and run the C8, but he VERY graciously gave up his C8 to a late arriving walkup player. My not wanting to turn any potential recruits away, I allowed it.
But he did a great job as the defacto Klingon commander, advising them as necessary and helping them.
Kudos to Mckinstry for all his help and graciousness. He allowed me to borrow the 3 Kzinti from his personal fleet because I did not yet have the Kzinti ships. He also hooked me up with some decals for the Gorn ships, and was an all in all gentleman.
I had a good time running the game, and I hope that eventually someone else will take up the torch and run some ACTA:SF games at this convention so I can actually play the game myself.