06/03/2014: our first Intercept Orbit game

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06/03/2014: our first Intercept Orbit game

Postby Scrape » Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:12 am

My first foray into the Battle for June! I've got some more writeups coming! :twisted:
Edit: changed the thread title to match my other battle reports, so I can easily parse which ones are mine)

So my friend Pete and I played our first IO game two weeks ago and I'm finally getting around to writing it up. This was rules draft v0.5 and we were figuring things out, so we played a rather short game (each of us ticking the Doomsday down every turn) to get a feel for the rules while making it still a legit game. I got totally trounced by Pete, and here's how it went down. But first, a shot of Pete's cool ships. I love them!

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First off, I ended up as defender with a starting score of 49 to 27. I fielded two frigates (one with a catapult) and a big bulky capital ship with only one catapult for a total of three ships and two frame companies (this proved to be my undoing) I also fielded a Green Ace. Pete fielded two frigates and a capital ship as well, but with three total frame squads (which were key to his victory). He chose the Yellow Ace. From now on, Team Brown is me, the defender. Team Blue is Pete, the attacker. We weren't sure about deployment strategies at all, so here's what our board looked like at the start:

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Right off the bat I was rolling poorly: my opening salvo failed and I couldn't deal much damage at all the whole turn.Team blue did a great job maneuvering close and we both got our frame squads out into position. Blue sent some frames over to threaten one of Brown's HVAs, but Brown retaliated with a really sweet move using his Green Ace: With a rolled movement of 8, the Green Ace was able to do a big swinging arc around the table and tag two of its own ships and the enemy frame squad that threatened his HVA. Brown was able to move one of his ships further along its intended path, bumped the second out of firing range of Blue's frame squad, and finally bumped Blue's frame squad far enough away that it was no longer threatening the HVA. Green Aces are awesome! The score ping-ponged quite a bit just in the first round, with HVAs stolen on both sides, but the decisive moment occurred at the end of the round, when Blue boarded and took over Brown's Capital ship. Tragedy!

All the ships begin to coalesce in the middle of the table if you're not careful, and we weren't, so there was a massive logjam that made it hard to maneuver. Frigates helped immensely here! Brown managed to use this to his advantage, swooping in to steal an HVA with a high-rolling frigate. The score at this point was 56 to 24 and things looked good for the defender, especially after Brown took that HVA (which hadn't yet moved) and moved it full force toward the far edge of the battlefield, hoping to keep it from being recaptured (or at least hoping that Blue would have to dedicate a frame squad to taking it back).

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Unfortunately, Blue had a different plan: after seeing how effective the Green Ace could be, Blue sent two of his frame squads straight to Brown's Green Ace and focused fire hard. Using the Yellow Ace's ability to place both an 8 Spot and a 6 Spot on Brown's Ace company and then managing to roll a solid 6 attack... You can imagine how that went down: utter and total destruction of Brown's Green Ace. This was a crippling loss.

Brown was struggling at this point: the score was still in his favor but things looked bad. Brown managed to use his last remaining frame company to board the capital ship that was stolen from him, hoping for some repairing and refueling (and hoping for those points back). It worked! Though his company took 4 systems of damage, Brown took back his carrier ship. Then, with more fancy frigate maneuvering, Brown managed to hold on to two HVAs with a single frigate. The third was heading in the wrong direction and would soon be lost, so Brown sent it as far away as possible, forcing Blue to send a ship after it to reclaim his score. Things were looking up again for Brown. The score was now 49 to 24, not looking bad though tactically Brown was fading fast.

In the final few turns, Brown's luck ran out: his newly-retaken capital ship rolled total garbage and was unable to repair or refuel the frames that had nearly died to retake it. Blue pressed his fleet's advantage hard and started blasting Blue to bits. The best attack came as Blue attempted a crazy thing: using a nearly dead ship with no weapon systems but within dogfight range, he made a point defense attack using his white dice and rolled a 6, managing to deal 4 systems of damage to Brown's untouched frigate! Then he turned around and used the second six as movement, ramming the very same ship. Miraculously, the ramming dice dealt damage entirely to Brown and absolutely no damage to the kamikaze ship itself. Brown's ship was destroyed to a nearly dead ship that he had no longer considered a threat. A decisive moment for the game, for sure.

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Blue was able to move in and destroy Brown's last remaining frame company which pretty much sealed victory. After that it was all mop up: Blue launched a frame company over and re-took Brown's capital ship, which simultaneously captured the HVA it was holding.

Final score: 30-21 with Blue (attacker) winning the match.


A few things we learned:

1. Make space debris bigger if you want it to be more fun. The little stuff seems to not provide real cover and isn't really an issue.
2. Frames really are king of the battlefield. Having three frame companies enabled Blue to be in more places threatening more things, and allowed him to gang up on single targets reliably.
3. Point Defense weapons are not all that awesome and don't help you hold your ship: they only damage boarding parties. Their range is so very close, too... we didn't use them very effectively.
4. The Yellow Ace seems crazy powerful, but keep in mind that you need to be very close to something to spot it. The Green Ace was able to pull off some seriously fun maneuvers before it died and was able to shape the battlefield around it very well. It was enough of a threat that Blue sent a dedicated team out to destroy it specifically.
Scrape
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Re: 06/03/2014: our first Intercept Orbit game

Postby whiteboye37 » Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:01 pm

Alright so I have just read the rules for IO last night and had some questions that MK answered so now I finally understand what the heck has been going on in this fight. Before it was all jargon and now (especially being bored at work was a blast reading. Taking pictures throughout the fight definitely helped you remember and capture it well for others to envision.

These aces are crazy, I think IO even more than RA is meant to have more than 1 player, grant it its hard getting one friend over and have frames built let alone 2+
whiteboye37
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Re: 06/03/2014: our first Intercept Orbit game

Postby Scrape » Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:38 am

Glad it helped! We were confused before actually playing it, too. :IO is a little less intuitive, I think.
Scrape
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