ACTA Battle Report Kzinti vs. Klingons: 1300 Points

Hi all! I had my first game of ACTA: SF yesterday and thought I would post a few pictures and a short battle report. I didn’t get as many pictures as I would normally (too focused on learning the rules…doh!) but will do better next time. It was a 1300 point game and we played the A Call To Arms scenario.

Kzinti Fleet (me):
DN 305
NCA 170
NCA 170
NCA 170
CM 160
CM 160
CM 160
Note: I hadn’t realized that the command upgrade on the DN was mandatory so was playing the pre-errata version of the DN (it had smaller bridge so no command team was present :lol: ). Also, playing the part of the Kzinti were my NSL ships from Full Thrust (please pardon the heresy of using non-SF models :oops:
I took the DN at the last minute on a lark (just because its fun to say “now my DREADNOUGHT is firing”). In the end I wish I had taken 2 smaller ships for the points. Still, it’s a beast and never was in any danger :twisted:

Klingon Fleet (Joe):
D7 BC (Command)
5x D5
2 x F5
1x E4
Joe was using Mckinstry’s (from the forums) Klingon models (great looking ships!!). I think he used the C8 Model to represent the D7.

As this was my first game of this version of ACTA, we decided to play the standard A Call to Arms scenario so I could get a better handle of the mechanics. Joe had played Klingons several times but I had been lurking in the forums and theorycrafting with the KzinitI for a week or so. My plan was to keep as much open space between us for as long as possible. If I could deplete his ADD before he got in close, I could start making him make the tough decisions with his Phasers (defense or Offense) in the later turns.

McKinstry rolled our terrain and we ended up with 7 pieces mostly placed in the middle area of the board. I lost the setup initiative roll and had to set up my fleet first. I choose one of the corners in hopes to put some open space between me and all the terrain I knew Joe would want to use to cover his approach. Joe set up directly across from 2 dust clouds.

Turn 1:
Both fleets did the special orders: All Power To Engines to get into better position. I headed for the open area to my right and Joe blasted ahead between two dust clouds. Joe had left one FF barely exposed to several of my NCAs but the shots were ineffectual. Since the rest of his fleet was behind the dust clouds, he couldn’t shoot back at me.

Turn 2:
Joe came out from behind the dust clouds with all guns blazing. He did a lot of “Boost Energy to Shields” SA so was only moving 6” in most cases but that was enough to get him out of the dust cloud for un-obscured targeting. Not wanting to get any closer to the super agile Klingon ships, I did the same thing (BEtS SA) and rotated on the spot to bring my guns in line with the cruiser I had marked for death. Joe focused his fire on one of my NCAs while I returned the favor to one of his D5s.

When the smoke had cleared (is there smoke in space?? <grin>), both ships were destroyed. I ended up killing the D5 with a few ships to fire and did a few hits on another D5 but nothing much besides that. A side note, the Kzinti NCA is a tough nut to crack. I had rolled poorly on my SA and only got 2 extra shields. Even with that, he focused his entire fleet on that ship it only died in the end phase due to 2 escalate results on the crit table…so far, its one of my fav Kzinti ships.

Side view of the destroyed ships:

Turn 3:
With the loss of his favorite D5 ship, the klingon commander used his agility and speed to get back behind the dust clouds. We both agreed after the battle that this was a mistake. It allowed me a full turn to back up and put even more range between us. Joe indicated that he should have sped forward and started using the Agile trait to mess up my firing arcs and make me spread my shots. As I told him, I will take all the mistakes I can get (since I am usually the one making them!).

Also, in Joe’s defense, we had a little kid running around the clubhouse and kept distracting Joe (all part of my evil plan…little does Joe know, but I had paid him to keep asking him questions and picking up dice/ships…mwahahahahahahahha).

So Turn 3 was a bust with me moving back 4” with my entire fleet and Joe “regrouping” behind the dust cloud. One funny item was he had left an FF in the dust cloud so I could actually see it. My entire fleet fired at (mostly Drones with a few Disruptors) the little ship and still couldn’t kill it (came close…I think it had 2 hits left). Oh well, such is war.

The "regrouping" Klingon fleet:

Turn 4:
I didn’t get any pictures of this turn :oops: Joe moved back out from behind the dust cloud while I repositioned my ships (some staying stationary, some moving forwards or backwards just a little) while boosting shields to my entire fleet. I decided to try and finish off the almost dead frigate as well as kill the other frigate (hoping to get some more VP before we ended). The damaged FF stayed in the dust cloud so absorbed way more shots than I had anticipated but in the end I was able to kill it (with a spectacular explosion that stripped most of the extra shields from his fleet. I also killed the other small FF but that’s about it. In return, Joe killed one of my CMs

Turn 5:
It was getting late so this was our last turn. Joe sped forward to get some nice close range and even Killzone shots on my fleet. He focused on one of my NCAs while I focused on a D5 that had lost a few shields due to the earlier explosion. Due to some great rolling on his ADD, the D5 survived (just took too long to strip those damnable Klingon shields <grin>). It was 2 hits away from being crippled with several annoying crits (so I know it will be out of the war for months while it sits in space dock). My NCA got of easier with its shields stripped but wasn’t even at half damage.


Wrap Up:

At that point we called it with a very minor win for the Kzinti (365 VP to Joe’s 330 VP).

It was a fun game and good learning experience for both of us. I look forward to playing some of the other scenarios soon as well. Those Klingon ships are nasty with agile and the shield really have to hammer them to make a dent. I loved my NCAs and the CMs will probably do really well in games of manauver. The DN was fun to take but probably want see much use in the smaller games...I would have been better served with 2 ships instead to offset all the small ships Joe had.

Im not sure if this was a good test of Kzinti long range shooting since set up zones were so close and we had fairly heavy terrain (7 pieces all in front of setup zones). I hope to get a few games in this week and upcoming weekend using some of the scenarios where players are 36” + inches apart. I will keep you all posted of how it goes.
mojo said:
where did the space mat come from?

Our buddy owns Sabol Designs (the army transport company) and he used to sell them but he pulled them a while ago. If you are interested, PM me and I can put you in touch with him to see if he has any more for sell.
Where did you get the 'dust clouds', or how did you make them - MDF and rod ? Look really good as the 3D effect was the one thing i don't generally get with space terrain, and definately want.
Keeper Nilbog said:
Where did you get the 'dust clouds', or how did you make them - MDF and rod ? Look really good as the 3D effect was the one thing i don't generally get with space terrain, and definately want.

The same guy who owns the clubhouse and the space mat (mentioned above), made them (as well as the asteroid fields). I believe thats what he used (mdf board cut in different sizes and then posted them with rods for the height). I agree, I think they make the game much better (definitely better than my cardboard cut outs... :shock: ).

Here is a link to his site...there should be a button on the main page to his "studios" which has pics of all his terrain...the guy is a genius when it comes to making our boards look amazing...heck, you dont even mind loosing when playing on his tables :D
Hi all! I just spoke with Matt and he doenst have any extra space mats laying around (sorry). I think its been mentioned before but Hotz Mats makes some great felt mats (you can get with or without hexes).
I like hotz mats. I currently am using a full sized double sided mat - one side "enhanced deep space" the other side "deep space" with hexes. I use the enhanced side for ACTA and the other side for space games that need hexes!

to the OP:
Nice BatRep. Can you comment on the drone warfare aspect of the game. Did the Kzinti have an overwhelming advantage (didn't seem that way) or were the Klingon's own ADDs and drones able to hold them at bay?

AdmiralGrafSpee said:
to the OP:
Nice BatRep. Can you comment on the drone warfare aspect of the game. Did the Kzinti have an overwhelming advantage (didn't seem that way) or were the Klingon's own ADDs and drones able to hold them at bay?


Thanks Tim! This was probably not the best test for the big debates going on for the following reasons:

1) We had a lot of terrain (7 pieces compared to the 3-4 that was discussed in another thread) and most was right in the middle or in front of both deployment zones. Since we were playing ACTA scenario, you had to set up in the "middle" area of the board (no hugging the far corners :oops: ). Unfortunately for me, that was where all the terrain was. I lost the rolloff and set up as far away from the terrain as possible angled to get me into the wide areas of the table. Joe was able to zoom across the table and hide behind the terrain and then pop out in medium range thus preventing the true potential of the 36" range drones. Some of the scenarios have you setting up no closer than 36” (with the possibility of even more space) between your fleets. In those games, it “seems” the drone should do some damage or the at very least drain the opponents ADD before the battle truly starts (my plan before I saw the table). As I side note, I think if Joe had just set up directly across from me, and came straight on, it would have been bloody for me since once he gets behind me, I can’t concentrate all my weapons at the same ship.

2) I think the Klingons are a great race to counter the drones for several reasons. They have good ADD coverage and their shield special rule was a pain to get my attacks through (I think all game, I only got 2 salvos through).

3) This was my first game with the Kzinti (and with ACTA:SF). So Im sure I made some good ol’ rookie mistakes.

Overall, we didn’t feel they overpowered the fleet or the game. Obviously, I need to play more games as well as get some different scenarios in. I don’t seem them “erasing” a ship per turn with long range drone fire (at least against the Klingons). I was able to kill a CA in one turn but that was at medium range with Phasers and Disruptors firing from pretty my much entire fleet (about what you would expect).

Now having said all of that, I think they will be terrifying vs. the Gorn or uncloaked Romulans (not sure about the Feds, but don’t they have some special ADD rules to help them?).
Thanks for the reply!

I can definitely see the threat of drones being heavily mitigated with lots of stellar debris and going up against Klingons. Given the Kzinti ships you took (new ones with ADDs) there would be little reason for your Klingon opponent to sacrifice his defensive use of drones to try to take you down (you've got both lots of ph3's and adds). There might be the odd situation or two, but really if he uses his own for defense on top of his drones and phaser 2's (and double front shields) it really takes a lot to get through his defenses.

Yes, feds do have a special rule that lets them use their drone racks as adds for the turn. So they would be next on your list after Klingons - but most of their ships only have one drone rack so its certainly not a super defense by any means. The Gorn and Romulans will have some issues with massed drones.

AdmiralGrafSpee said:
The Gorn and Romulans will have some issues with massed drones.


Which is why Im desperately trying to talk all my friends into playing Gorns and Romulans :shock: :lol:

You are also right on Joe holding back his drones. Once he know what ship was my target, he would always hold his two drones back for some extra defense on that one.


Pavlov Grenadier said:
AdmiralGrafSpee said:
The Gorn and Romulans will have some issues with massed drones.


Which is why Im desperately trying to talk all my friends into playing Gorns and Romulans :shock: :lol:

You are also right on Joe holding back his drones. Once he know what ship was my target, he would always hold his two drones back for some extra defense on that one.

I'll be playing Romulans but we'll be playing on a 4 x 4 table with 14 pieces of stellar debris. :twisted:
Romulans are pretty good with stellar debris - not the part where they accidently drive into it and lose their cloaking - but when they "uncloak" onto the otherside of a piece of debris - surprise!



Nice report !!! Good space debris and nice ships , Played kzinti without any terrain last week using the mega counters and ADB maps . Brutal at long range with drones against Feds in deep space . My ADD and phaser fire not enough plus the use of SA Tractors and boost shields would be recommended or more terrain :D
Looks like a good battle and fun had by all. 8)

Something I noticed from your photos above though.

You were using your Kzinti fleet as a fleet, that is to say keeping it reasonably close together.

Against the Klingon’s this is not the best tactic for two reasons.

Firstly you are giving him a single direction to point his strong front shields at, if all your ships are together every shot is going to be on a front shield.

Secondly there is no reason for the Kzinti fleet, or any other Drone heavy fleet to Concentrate themselves against a low Drone fleet. Doing so actually sacrifices the strategic Initiative even if you have more ships since the enemy knows roughly where all your ships will be as they are grouped. Operating as squadrons, pairs or solos your actions are much harder to predict since a pair of ships moving on one flank may join up with another pair on the other flank and turn into a full attack on his rear or they may be a decoy.

I know it seems odd to split up a fleet but having ships tightly grouped for protection doesn't work unless you need a lot of IDF against a drone heavy fleet (or you are the Gorn :roll: ). Just be carefull the enemy cannot catch your flanking force while hidden from your main force.

With the Kzinti fleet you listed (or one with more FFs) you could have split into three. A heavy group to wander round in front of the enemy to keep his attention and squadrons to go for the flanks. It doesn't matter if the enemy fleet gangs up on one of your ships, they will be doing that anyway Fleet or not. What it does mean is that many of your shots are going to be on the flanks and rear where that Klink Shield rule doesn't work.

On the cover heavy map you had splitting some ships away from the rest and going down the sides would give you shots behind the cover and with APE you would be past and behind him quickly, also you can use the cover to hide from close range shots and get to the other end of the map that way.

A number of the Kzinti ships also have F/S and F/P disruptors which means you can fly parallel to the enemy and get in two disruptor shots, several 18" Phaser shots and 4 Drones. Pick a target you can hit the side or rear of and hit that with Direct fire and drones till its shield is gone then switch to a secondary target. Your big stuff in front of the Klinks then has an unshielded Klingon to murder.

If the Klingon’s turn ships round to cover the flanks they are also turning their sides and rear to the rest of your ships, Klingons from the front are tough because of the half damage. Klingon’s from behind are fragile and go bang very quickly. You don't need enough firepower behind then to destroy them, just enough Drones or long range weapons to take down the shields, the big guys then have a nice tasty shield less klink for target practice. Three salvos of 4 Drones each is enough to get past the Phasers of a Klingon cruiser and take down the shileds as well, if you are within 24" or 18" and can add those sideways phasers and Disruptors as well two ships can mostly do it.

I know the temptation is there to close the range and use the Disruptors and Phasers but the Kzinti are even more of a keep your distance fleet than the Klingon’s are. Think of the Klingon’s as an old western, the enemy are the wagons in the middle and the klingons are the ones riding round them in a circle. Then think of the Kzinti as the guys who are riding round in an even bigger circle. :lol: :wink:

Go for a re match without the terrain set up in the middle and see what happens :twisted:


Nasty Kzintis :evil: . Played like that the furry boys can be a real 'stand off ' fleet and a menace with their drones and manuvering .
Davros1 said:
Nasty Kzintis :evil: . Played like that the furry boys can be a real 'stand off ' fleet and a menace with their drones and manuvering .

Hence a lot of debate about the subject on many a topic :roll:

I think we are basically going to have to wait and see if our worse case scenario comes true and Kzinti fleets start chewing up everyone once the tournaments get underway.

People who use the Kzinti to maximise Drone firepower and don't try to use traditional Firepower are going to be hard to fight for a number of fleets. Using the Kzinti like Klingon’s and closing to use Disruptors and Phasers as main weapons simply doesn't use the massive range advantage the Kzinti have. With less terrain and with it being somewhere other than the areas deliberately designed to block Drones I think we will see more Kzinti players doing much of what I said tactics wise.

If they do and suddenly half the fleets are Kzinti because "DRONES RULZ" then we may see some official response. Though not from Matt who is apparently not "Official" though I'm sure he is kidding no one but himself with that response :lol: :wink:
Captain Jonah, thanks for the reply! You are absolutely right…its so counterintuitive for me to split the fleet (from all my other space game systems), but I think you hit it dead on. One of my biggest problems was trying to force shots through the front shields. I will definitely try spreading the fleet out next time and let you know how it works. The only danger I see is boards with medium or dense terrain where the opponent could isolate a portion of the fleet with no fear from the rest due to LOS issue. Still, it’s a good concept and one I will hopefully test out soon.

You mention FFs. Have you (or anyone) used the Kzinti FF? On paper it seems a bit overpriced. Yes, it has 4 drones but has low shields, no ADD (not that I worry about drones much :twisted: ) and for 120, seems expensive as a Int. sink. I was definitely at a big Int. disadvantage during our game (some was due to the DN of course). Anyone have any thoughts on the FF??

On a side note, Mckinstry said he rolled the terrain randomly but I had stepped out of the room so he and Joe probably conspired to set it up in a way to hurt me (never trust anyone who doesn’t have fur all over their body :wink: )

Thanks again for all the responses!
Basically you need to look at what your plan is and then look at the ships available.
Your fleet was:
DN 305
NCA 170
NCA 170
NCA 170
CM 160
CM 160
CM 160
The NCA has 4 AD of Disruptors in the F arc, the CM has 3 AD of Disruptors also F arc. The NCA is NOT agile but does have a TURN MODE 4. The CM is AGILE.

Both of these ships are Front attack ships, they need to be pointed at the enemy to use Disruptors. This limits what you can do with them, in particular the NCAs since they need to be facing the enemy to use Disruptors. You cannot flank with them properly as they need to turn in to face the targets which leaves them making turns to get away next turn. Each also has 2AD of Phaser-1 in the PH/SH arcs giving them only two Phasers while moving parallel to an enemy.

Likewise the DN is a front attack ship with its 6AD of F arc Disruptors.

Your force was designed to fight like the Klingon’s, face the enemy and use Drones inside Disruptor range. This limited your options as in order to fire Disruptors you had to face the enemy with limits to how you could move. Nothing wrong with that as a tactic but it doesn’t play to the true strength of the Kzinti. You can fight your fleet like the Klingon’s but they have better front shields :lol:

BCs give you a solid core of ships with decent shields and hulls plus each can fire 2AD of Disruptors sideways. You have less Phaser-1s but a silly number of Phaser-3s allowing you to handle most of a Klingon Fleets Drones on a single ship without needing IDF. Well till the Klinks get Drone ships anyway. This force can attack Forwards but also move sideways and keep attacking.

The BCH is an option as its turn mode and lumbering make it as much of a problem as the DN.

The CL is agile and has TURN MODE 4 but is a bit fragile with only Shield 16, it does have 2 AD of disruptors to each side so can flank well with Drones and Disruptors but has only 1AD of Phaser 1 to each side.

The DW Has only 1AD of Disruptors to each side but has better shields than the CL (and they are 20 so get 2D6 when boosted) plus 4AD of Phaser-1 to the side. They lack Phaser-3s but have an ADD and are as AGILE as the CL.

The FF is very fragile and cannot fire its Disruptor sideways and has a whole 1AD of phaser-1 sideways. Against an enemy like the Klingon’s they will be hunted down and killed but in doing so they will do some damage. Against a Plasma race they do much better because it’s far easier to keep out of 8” of a Plasma race than it is to keep out of 24” of the Klingon’s. I look at the FF as either a filler or a swarm, one or two to make up points or loads and loads of them :lol:

Now you can field A BC and 9 FFs for your points, expect the FFs to steadily go bang but in return you can have ships everywhere on the board and that’s 40AD of Drones so never mind the Disruptors. The point with a force like this is to accept that you will lose at least a ship every turn because of how fragile they are but aim to kill and enemy ship AND damage another every turn or force them to go IDF and still kill a ship a turn. Or 2 BCx, 7 FFs and make both BCs command ships.

A core of BCs can be used to keep the attention of an enemy force while lighter stuff flanks them, the BCs can go nose on or can fly parallel while still laying down decent firepower. 4 BCs with 4 FFs gives you three forces that can fly parallel to the enemy, keep moving and flank. “ FFs down the sides and 4 BCs at the front. Anything that turns to go after the FFs allows the BCs to hit it from the back. No command bonus though

6 DWs or CLs and a pair of BCs also comes to 1300 points. It gives you a weaker front force but stronger flanking forces, use either CLs for more firepower or DWs for tougher ships.

Everything can move at speed or go APE and still fire Drones while moving past the enemy, by keeping their speed down to 12 they can fire Disruptors and Phasers sideways at closer targets while Dumping big Drone waves against the back or side shields of your Klingon foe.

Comparing the Klingon’s to Horse archers is correct when talking about the ships with FH disruptors, the older ships with F arc Disruptors can circle round you but are forced to turn in to fire. The Kzinti can be the true horse archers, flying past at 18” and firing sideways as they go.

Anyway hope these ideas help, Now go forth and kill some klingons.

PS it’s a sign that Drone heavy fleets need some looking at if people are moving the terrain to handicap the Kzinti.

PPS Wait a minute what do you mean never trust anything without FUR. That is species’ discrimination, what about scales. You got a problem with people having scales FURBALL. :evil: :wink:
Awesome summary Captian J...thanks!'ve given me more to ponder. I am so jonesing to play right now (you think the client will mind if I set up a gaming table in the office?).

Scales?? I just saw TOS episode 19 (Arena) and Im pretty sure Gorn are covered with cheap latex (and have old style microphones for eyes) :lol:

Seriously though, scales are great...its all those squishy beings with no coverings at all...(yuk!)