Hidden Dangers

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by Tom Stephens

Just one scenario this month but it is one with many variations and possibilities.  It was inspired by two articles in this issue and on in issue 23 of the Star Frontiersman magazine.  As always, we’d love to hear of your experiences playing this scenario or ideas you have for scenarios of your own.  Send all comments and feedback to editors@frontierexplorer.org.

Ship Statistics

Here are the statistics for all the UPF monitoring ship and the Sathar Plague Wind Frigate used in this scenario. 

Monitoring Ship

HP: 30     ADF: 3     MR: 3     DCR: 40

Weapons:  LB, LB

Defenses:  RH

Plague Wind Frigate

HP: 50     ADF: 4     MR: 3     DCR: 60

Weapons:  LC, LB, RB(x4), T(x2)

Defenses:  RH, MS(x2), ICM(x5), Decoy(x2)

 

Hidden Dangers

Something is lurking in the asteroid field as the new UPF fighter drone are tested.

Background

The sathar are interested in the new UPF fighter drones being tested and have sent a ship to spy on the trials.  It is one of the new Plague Wind class vessels (see p 11).  However, one of the drones discovers it while passing through the asteroid field during the test and properly identifies it as a sathar vessel.

Their cover blown, the sathar must make their escape while destroying as many of the drones as possible.

Order of Battle

UPF Ships
  • Monitoring ship
  • 5-8 Drones (see setup rules)
  • 1 Plague Wind frigate
Sathar ships

Setup

The Drones

The UPF begins by picking the drones they want to use for this scenario from the drones presented in the Drone Wars article (p. 28).  The UPF can have up to 50 HP worth of drones but may only have one of any given type of drone.  The board game statistics for each of the drones are reproduced in the sidebar on the following page for easy reference.  Refer to the Drone Wars article for details on the specific weapons and defenses carried by each drone.

The map

Place 60 upside down counters in a band 16 to 20 hexes wide across the center of the map to represent the asteroid field.  Each counter should be placed on the intersections of three hexes as described in the Knight Hawks Campaign Book p 34.  The rules from the Campaign Book covering movement through asteroid fields apply to this scenario.  [Author’s Note:  This level of asteroid density is completely unrealistic but it makes the play much more interesting.]

Next, the UPF player should place the drones on the map somewhere inside the asteroid field.  No two drones can be in the same hex or within 5 hexes of each other.  Their starting speed should be less than 5 hexes per turn. 

Next, the monitoring ship should be placed on the map in the middle of one of the asteroid free regions on the left or right side of the map.  Its initial speed is 0 as it is watching the drones traverse the asteroid field.

Finally, the sathar Plague Wind Frigate is placed on the map.  It must be placed within the asteroid field in a hex containing asteroid and must be within 3 hexes of one of the drones (representing it’s detection.  Its initial speed is 0 as it has been at rest watching the test just like the monitoring ship.

Special Rules

Escaping the Battle

Any ship that makes it off either of the short edges of the board, with no other ship in weapon’s range, or with a higher speed and ADF than any pursuer, is considered to have escaped the battle.

Victory Conditions

The sathar achieve a minor victory if the Plague Wind frigate makes it off the short edge of the map on the side opposite where the monitoring ship started.  They score a major victory if they can destroy all of the drones or the monitoring ship in the process.

The UPF achieve victory if they destroy the Plague Wind frigate. They score a major victory if the monitoring ship and more than half of their drones also survive.

Variations

Different Drones

The obvious variation is to play the game again with a different mix of drones for the UPF player.  This brings a different weapon mix to the game and allows the player to explore the different capabilities of the different ships.

Two of a Kind

Related to choosing different drones, this variation has two of each type of drone selected.  Thus when a type is picked, you get two of these drones instead of one.  In this variation the drones of the same type work together as a mini squadron (staying in the same hex if possible) throughout the game.

Full Flight

In this variation, the UPF player picks a single drone type and gets 5 or 6 drones of that type to use.  The number will depend on the drone type’s HP but no more than 6 drones may be used

A Different Spy

Alternately, the Sathar player could choose to use a different ship, one designed specifically for spying.  In this variation, the Sathar player uses the DDLO Sathar “Stealth” ship (From p 17 in Star Frontiersman issue 24, part of the Starfall: Incursion adventure). 

The ship does not have a reflective hull (remember to use the correct combat table column) and is equipped with ion drives.  Its stealth construction means that it cannot be detected unless within 1 hexes of a UPF ship.  The KH game statistics for this ship are:

Sathar Stealth Destroyer

HP: 50     ADF: 1    MR: 3     DCR: 75

Weapons:  LC, LB, LB, LB

Defenses:  ICM(x6), stealth construction

In this variation the sathar ship is considered to have escaped from the map if it can get at least 15 hexes away from all UPF ships.  This represents its stealth technology and being able to disappear from the radar of the UPF vessels.

Give  Me One of Each

To make life truly difficult for the sathar player, ignore the 50 HP drone limit and simply give the UPF team one of each type of drone.  The sathar ship will be completely outgunned and needs to use all of its wiles to escape.

More or Less

A final variation is to simply vary the hull point total that the UPF team is allowed to have.  Giving them more drones makes UPF victory easier while fewer drones makes the sathar victory easier

Drone Statistics

DH-02C Brigand

HP: 8     ADF: 5     MR: 4     DCR: 30

Weapons:  PL, AR(x1)

Defenses:  RH, Armor (heavy)

S-11CE Piranha

HP: 5     ADF: 5     MR: 5     DCR: 25

Weapons:  IC, AR(x1)

Defenses:  RH

S-2CE Manta

HP: 8     ADF: 3     MR: 4     DCR: 30

Weapons:  PL, AR(x4)

Defenses:  RH, Armor (heavy)

S-3CE Barracuda

HP: 6     ADF: 5     MR: 5     DCR: 30

Weapons:  PL(x2, linked)

Defenses:  RH, Armor (light)

PF-5D Shadow Star

HP: 8     ADF: 5     MR: 5     DCR: 25

Weapons:  PL (long range)

Defenses:  RH, Armor (heavy)

P-4D Ranger

HP: 8     ADF: 5(6)   MR: 5     DCR: 30

Weapons:  PL, AR(x1)

Defenses:  RH, Armor (heavy)

F-42R Eliminator

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

Weapons:  PL, AR(x2)

Defenses:  RH, Armor (heavy)

F-20 Bolt

HP: 7     ADF: 6     MR: 5     DCR: 30

Weapons:  PL, AR(x2)

Defenses:  RH, Armor (medium)

RT-100RO Black Phoenix

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

Weapons:  PL, AR(x1)

Defenses:  RH, Armor(heavy)

TRE-11 Trident

HP: 5     ADF: 1     MR: 2     DCR: 23

Weapons:  PL (long range)

Defenses:  RH

KZ-3D Kaydlitz

HP: 6     ADF: 5     MR: 5     DCR: 30

Weapons:  PL

Defenses:  RH, Armor (light)

NIT-7R Mauler

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

Weapons:  STM(x2), STM(x2)

Defenses:  RH, Armor (heavy)

IID-MK3 Vik’t-ziir

HP: 5     ADF: 5     MR: 5     DCR: 23

Weapons:  PL, FFR(x2)

Defenses:  RH

ME-6 Axe

HP: 5     ADF: 6     MR: 4     DCR: 30

Weapons:  LP

Defenses:  RH

Standard UPF Fighter

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

Weapons:  AR(x4)

Defenses:  RH