Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Disaster in the Skies

Maybe this could more accurately be titled Disaster in the Campaign. Nobody had a greater hand in its making than me, the scenario designer.

This sixth campaign game, and the last of the Sky Galleons battles, was drawn from the original three SGoM games I designed years ago. I did some ship design, and tinkered with some modified weapons systems. I used my big scratchbuilt Skyfire named Shastapsh armed with ACW guns--which really did make it more potent as I intended. But I also added some lightweight Smutts launchers, which were far more effective than I envisioned.

The Martians didn't help themselves by setting up close to the British entry point. Deploying on the opposite edge of the table would have forced the Brits to traverse the Shastapsh defenses, which were formidable. Even so, in my heart, I believe I just gave the Brits too much firepower.

The game effectively lasted two turns. The Martians kites, modified with two Nordenfeldt guns and carrying a passle of marines to attempt rams against the British. One kite missed the ram of the small gunboat Hercules, while the other struck Reliant. Reliant would have been a nasty ship to dispose of, but it was the only vessel with a hull size larger than the two Whisperdeaths. Instead, the two vessels were locked in combat, while the Brits raked the Martians with massive Nordenfeldt fire. The Martians suffered massive casualties, and even the huge load of marines was not enough to make the difference in the boarding action

The remainders of the Martian flotilla was torn apart by British weapons. Though there were seven lob cannon on the board, only one hit, and the resulting damage did not cause the kind of plunging trim loss needed to tip the battle. One of the little British torpedo boats was hit and destroyed, but not until it fatally loosed its load into Shastasph.

After turn two, the Martian survivors were forced to beat a hasty retreat up the canal, leaving the British air flotilla to ravage the city's air base. Needless to say, the Martian air minister was publicly impaled. (Would you expect any less?)

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