Going for the Head

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by Tom Stephens

Welcome to another installment of the Knight Hawks encounter series.  We'd love to hear your experiences playing these scenarios on the forums at the Frontier Explorer website or at editors@frontierexplorer.org.  In this issue we return to more encounters from the start of a possible Second Sathar War campaign game.  In issue 1, the militia was seriously out numbered.  In issue 3, the militia and Sathar forces were more evenly matched.  This time the Sathar bring out the big guns against some of the more heavily populated systems.  But this time they are up against the highly trained and armed UPF Spacefleet.

Going For the Head

The Second Sathar War gets serious as a major sathar fleet drops into the Prenglar System

Background

Just before the battles chronicled in the Hopelessly Outgunned (issue 1 – p38) and Stand Your Ground (issue 3 – p30) encounters, two massive Sathar fleets entered the Frontier.  One entered the K’tsa-Kar system, which was undefended.  The other burst into the heart of the Frontier, entering the Prenglar system, decelerating toward Morgaine’s World.  With Task Force Cassidine pulled out of position to Dramune and unable to jump to Prenglar to assist, Task Force Prenglar must face the Sathar onslaught alone.  Will they be able to repel the invasion?

UPF & Sathar Ship Statistics

Here are the statistics for all the UPF and Sathar ships used in this scenario. 

Fighter

HP: 8     ADF: 5     MR: 5     DCR: 30

Weapons:  AR(x3)

Defenses:  RH

Assault Scout

HP: 15     ADF: 5     MR: 4     DCR: 50

Weapons:  LB, AR(x4)

Defenses:  RH

Frigate

HP: 40     ADF: 4     MR: 3     DCR: 70

Weapons:  LC, LB, RB(x4), T(x2)

Defenses:  RH, MS(x2), ICM(x4)

Destroyer

HP: 50     ADF: 3     MR: 3     DCR: 75

Weapons:  LC, LB, EB, RB(x4), T(x2)

Defenses:  RH, MS(x2), ICM(x5)

Light Cruiser

HP: 70     ADF: 3     MR: 2     DCR: 100

Weapons:  DC, LB, EB, PB, RB(x8), T(x4)

Defenses:  RH, ES, SS, ICM(x8)

Heavy Cruiser

HP: 80     ADF: 2     MR: 1     DCR: 120

Weapons:  DC, LB(x2), PB, EB, RB(x8), T(x4), S(x2)

Defenses:  RH, ES, PS, SS, ICM(x8)

Assault Carrier

HP: 75     ADF: 2     MR: 1     DCR: 150

Weapons:  LB, PB, RB(x8)

Defenses:  RH, MS(x4), ICM(x10)

Battleship

HP: 120     ADF: 2     MR: 2     DCR: 200

Weapons:  DC, LB(x3), EB(x2), PB, RB(x10), T(x8), SM(x2)

Defenses:  RH, ES, PS, SS, ICM(x12)

Minelayer

HP: 50     ADF: 1     MR: 2     DCR: 75

Weapons:  M(x20), SM(x4), LB(x2)

Defenses:  RH, ICM(x4)

UPF Fortress

HP: 300     ADF: 0     MR: 0     DCR: 200

Weapons:  LB(x3), EB, PB, RB(x12)

Defenses:  RH, MS(x3), ES, PS, ICM(x20)

Order of Battle

Task Force Prenglar
  • 5 Assault Scouts
  • 3 Frigates
  • 2 Destroyers
  • 3 Light Cruisers
  • 1 Battleship
  • 2 Minelayers
  • UPF Fortress Gollwin
Sathar Ships
  • 12 Fighters
  • 2 Frigates
  • 3 Destroyers
  • 1 Light Cruiser
  • 2 Heavy Cruisers
  • 2 Assault Carriers

Setup

The Sathar player declares which side of the map the Sathar ships will be entering from.

The UPF player then places a planet marker in the center of the map, places the Fortress in orbit around it, and declares its orbital direction (clockwise or counterclockwise).  They then place the UPF ships anywhere on the map and declare their initial speeds up to a maximum of 10 hexes per turn.

If desired, the UPF can deploy any of the Minelayer’s mines or the Battleship’s and Minelayer’s seeker missiles.  Simply note the hex each of the mines or seeker missiles are deployed into.

Once the UPF ships are placed, and any mines or seeker missiles are deployed, the Sathar player places their ships within five hexes of the side of the map they declared to be entering from.  The ships can be moving at any speed up to 15 hexes per turn, but all ships must be moving at the same speed.

Special Rules

Rearm and repair

The UPF assault scouts can take advantage of the Fortress to rearm and repair.  If they dock with the station and spend 1 full turn docked, consider them to have replenished all their expended assault rockets.  They also get a +10 DCR bonus per turn they spend at the station on the next repair turn.  To dock with the station, an assault scout must end its turn in the same hex as the station and have a speed less than its current ADF.  They are considered to have docked this turn.  On the next turn they may rearm.  They may then leave on any following turn with an initial speed of 0.

The sathar fighters can rearm and repair by docking with either of the assault carriers.  The rules for docking and repair are the same as for the assault scouts and the Fortress except that to dock the fighters must end their turn in the same hex as the carrier and have a speed difference no greater than their ADF.  When they undock they have the same speed as the carrier.

Strike Force Nova

In the Second Sathar War game, there is a 30% chance that Strike Force Nova will appear in the Prenglar system when it is placed on the board.  As an alternates setup to this game, the UPF player may have Strike Force Nova in addition to Task Force Prenglar.  The order of battle for Strike Force Nova is

  • 6 Fighters
  • 3 Assault Scouts
  • 2 Frigates
  • 1 Destroyer
  • 2 Light Cruisers
  • 1 Battleship
  • 1 Assault Carrier

Including Strike Force Nova heavily weights the encounter in favor of the UPF.  But if the Sathar player is up to the challenge, it could be a grand melee on the largest scale.

 

Lancet Class Assault Scouts

As an optional variation, the UPF player can substitute the Lancet Class Assault Scout (described in the Assault Scout article on page 20) for the standard Assault Scout.  This Assault Scout has the same characteristics as a regular Assault Scout except that it has two laser batteries instead of a single laser battery and four assault rockets.

Victory conditions

Note it is possible for both sides to claim victory in this scenario.

Sathar Victory

The Sathar score a minor victory if they manage to destroy the station, the UPF battleship and at least 5 other ships.  They claim a major victory if they destroy all of the UPF ships and the station.

UPF Victory

The UPF can claim a minor victory if they manage to at least destroy the sathar Light Cruiser, Heavy Cruisers, and Assault Carriers.  They can claim a major victory if the Sathar ships are destroyed and the station and at least half of the UPF ships survive.  If all the Sathar ships are eliminated but the fortress and battleship are destroyed, it is only a minor victory.