On the Table: Tholian Attack!
December 1, 2015
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So Thanksgiving Day means games around here… and this year, Federation Commander established itself as game supreme, displacing Ogre: Designer Edition from this coveted position. I had actually planned to get the boys going with the G.E.V. Ceasefire Collapse scenario, but they overruled me by setting up their own game… and leaving me out!
Our host only had copies of Klingon Attack and Tholian Attack, so we had to make do with what ship cards and map panels he could scrounge up from his two supplements. Here’s a look at the resulting action:
Yes, that’s a base station and a Neo-Tholian cruiser there. (The wedding cake is not actually in play, by the way.) You can see how the webcaster successfully broke up the incoming Kzinti fleet. You can also see that the boys will play absolutely crazy scenarios. Stuff I never got around to playing in Star Fleet Battles because the rules were just a bit too complicated– even core stuff like web and cloaks, really– these guys even go beyond it and put it into play without even thinking. (Man, I’m jealous. At this rate they’ll be pitting Andromedans against Hydrans in no time.)
I did end up sitting in a little to look up rules questions and moderate things a little. I noticed our 14-year-old Neo-Tholian player just could not seem to grasp that each ship’s volley was resolved all at once before moving on to the next one. He also wanted to change his targeting based on the outcome of the hits as they were resolved. Getting him to declare everything up front and stick to it and also to record his shield reinforcement from each incoming volley was not easy.
(Not that I haven’t made my share of mistakes this past while. I was letting people phaser down plasma torpedoes on a one-for-one basis a few weeks ago. And my son showed me that I’ve been playing the leaky shields totally wrong for several games now!)
In spite of these nit picky questions of procedure, the game was more or less played within the spirit of the rules and the Neo-Tholians earned a very decisive victory here. The Kzinti just could not seem to score any kind of significant damage on the enemy cruiser. If the drones even posed a threat, the Neo-Tholian webcaster seemed to blunt it altogether. And finally, the phaser-4’s on the base were absolutely devastating:
We only had time to play a couple of turns, but it was plenty to settle this dispute.
Occasionally people claim that SFB doesn’t have terrain, but wow… the Neo-tholians can create terrain and put it wherever they want to. It’s awesome. I had no idea they were this cool.