Monday, April 13, 2015

Star Trek Attack Wing Scenario: Balance of Terror

Season 1, episode 19 of the Original Star Trek Show is entitled "Balance of Terror". In the episode the USS Enterprise, Captained by James T. Kirk, is inspecting a line of manned Federation outposts, only to find they are being destroyed by an unknown enemy.

Kirk discovers that the attacker is a Romulan Bird of Prey equipped with a cloaking device.  The cloak is not perfect - the Enterprise can track the ship, which is returning home to report on weaknesses in the Federation's defenses.

A cat-and-mouse game ensues, with each ship having its strengths and weaknesses. The Enterprise is faster and more maneuverable, while the Romulan ship has the cloaking device and an arsenal of immensely destructive plasma torpedoes, but their range is limited and firing them requires so much power that the ship must decloak temporarily. The two commanders are soon locked in a battle of wits; at one point the Romulan commander refers to Kirk as a "sorcerer" who can read his thoughts.

For this game I will need a few things - the first of with are ships.  Attack Wing makes both of these ships, but I feel they are tiny and not very detailed.

So I am going to use my Micro Machine variants of these ships.

The bases were 3D printed, and I made cards that reflect the same values and abilities for each ship that the Attack Wing ships have.  For a better description of how I made the bases please look at my last blog entry Star Trek Attack Wing Scenario: The Ultimate Computer

In addition to the Enterprise and a Romulan Bird of Prey, I will need 4 "Earth Outposts".  For the outposts I will use some more Star Trek Micro Machines pieces, specifically 2 original Space Stations and 2 Space Docks.

I just needed to make new cards for the bases - Earth Outposts 4,5,6 and 7.

These outposts have no shields, agility or armament.  They all have only a hull value of 3.  I printed my new cards and cut them out for the new bases.

Next, I need to add a neutral zone to my game board.  For this game I'll be using my star field game board.

I thought of a few ideas to make a Neutral Zone, but I wasn't really happy with any of them.  I didn't want to cut any wood or cardboard to be 4-feet in length, plus worry about making it stick to the game board so it doesn't move during game play.  Very often the simplest solution is best: I used masking tape.

Masking tape (or painters tape) is ideal since it has low tact.  It will stay on as long as I want it to...

...and it wont leave any sticky residue, or peel up paint when removing.

With my pieces and game board done, I can start playing.

===================GAME RULES===================

When you buy the Romulan Bird of Prey Booster pack it comes with rules for the very same game called "Destroy The Outposts". My scenario rules will be similar, with a few changes.

Mission Overview:
Number of players: 2
Special Components: Earth Outposts #4, #5, #6, #7, Neutral Zone.

A single Romulan ship has crossed the Romulan Neutral Zone into Federation Space and is destroying the Federation Outposts located nearby.  There is only one Federation ship in the quadrant close enough to confront the Romulan ship and protect the outposts.  Will the Enterprise ship arrive in time, or will the Romulans complete their mission of terror?

Set Up:
Romulan Bird of Prey: 45 squadron points, including only 1 ship
USS Enterprise: squadron 45 points, including only 1 ship

The ships are set up as shown in the image below:

Special Rules:

The red line that divides the game board is the Neutral Zone. A ship is considered to be inside either Federation or Romulan space if any part of its base is within the borders established by the Neutral Zone on the game board.

While playing as the Romulans, your ship must follow these rules:
-You can not attack any Earth Outposts unless you are in Federation space.  The Neutral Zone marker should be outside firing range of any station if possible.

While playing as the Federation, your ship must follow these rules:
-When you enter the Neutral Zone into Romulan space, place an Auxiliary Power token on your ship.  This token can not be removed until you enter Federation space again.  If you sustain any additional Auxiliary Power tokens, those can only be removed by the normal routine outlined in the Star Trek Attack Wing Instruction Manual.
-You may still use Photon Torpedoes while in Romulan Space (without a Target Lock).  If you do, the Romulans Roll defense dice equal to the value of the Photon Torpedoes in addition to defense dice rolled during a normal attack.

Federation Outposts:
-The outposts have no Primary Weapons, Agility or Shield values and each one has a hull value of 3.  The outposts have no Maneuvers.  Each time an outpost is attacked, convert all of the enemy ship's Critical hit results into Normal hits results.
-If the Enterprise is within Range 1 of an outpost that has suffered damage, the Enterprise may transfer any amount of damage to its own Shields (if possible).

Romulan Player:
Destroy at least 2 Federation Outposts and have your ship enter the Romulan Neutral Zone (i.e. exit the play area through your starting point).  If the Romulan player fails to destroy at least 2 outposts before exiting the playing area, the Romulan loses.  If the Romulan exits the play area anywhere other than their starting point, the Romulan player loses.  Alternatively, the Romulan player wins by destroying the Enterprise.

Federation Player:
Destroy the Romulan ship and protect the Earth Outposts. At least 2 outposts must survive to win.  If more than 2 outposts are destroyed, as well as the Romulan ship, the game is considered a draw.

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