A Saurian Affair

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by Tom Stephens

These encounters form a mini campaign detailing the Saurian exodus from Kischen and initial contact with the UPF. They can be played as stand-alone battles or woven into a larger campaign if desired. They introduce scenarios with all of the new ships presented in this issue of the Frontier Explorer.

First Contact

First encounters with ships from a new species.

Background

On patrol in the Liberty system, the UPFS Aundrea Norma, a Talnor Class communications vessel, detects signals originating in the outer system on an unusual frequency and language. She is dispatched to investigate and report back. As she gets closer, a new set of signals appear that are unmistakably Sathar in origin and seem to be converging on the original unknown signal. Arriving at the sources of the unknown signals, the Aundrea Norma finds a battle already in progress between the Sathar and an unknown race. There are several drifting hulks at the edge of detector range. One looks to be a hull size 5 sathar vessel and the other six are small – hull size 1 – probably fighters. The Aundrea Norma's captain doesn't know who these strange new ships belong to, but if they are fighting Sathar, he intends to help them.

UPF & Sathar Ship Statistics

Here are the statistics for all the UPF and Sathar ships used in these scenarios.  For statistics on the Saurian ships, refer to the Saurian Ship Statistics box on the following page.

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)

Talnor Communications Ship

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

Weapons:  LB(x2)

Defenses:  RH, ICM(x20)

Sathar Cutter

HP: 25     ADF: 4     MR: 3     DCR: 60

Weapons:  LB(x2)

Defenses:  RH, MS(x2)

 

Saurian Ship Statistics

Here are the statistics for all the Saurian ships used in the scenarios in this issue.  For statistics on the UPF and Sathar ships, refer to the UPF & Sathar Ship Statistics box on the previous page.

Fighter

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

Weapons:  LP

Defenses:  RH

Battle Ray

HP: 20     ADF: 4     MR: 4     DCR: 50

Weapons:  PLT, MAHEM(x4)

Defenses:  RH

Ark Ship

HP: 100     ADF: 1     MR: 1     DCR: 80

Weapons:  LB(x4)

Defenses:  RH, ICM(x20)

Order of Battle

UPF Ships
  • UPFS Aundrea Norma – a Talnor Class communications vessel
Saurian Ships
  • 4 Saurian Fighters
  • Saurian Ark ship
Sathar ships
  • 2 Sathar Destroyers

Setup

The Saurian Ark ship is first placed in the center of the map about one-third of the way from one short end to the other. It is headed toward the far short edge and has an initial speed of 10 hexes per turn. The four Saurian fighters are placed anywhere within 4 hexes of the Ark ship and have the same starting speed and direction.

The two Sathar destroyers are then placed on the short edge of the map closest to the Ark ship. They can have any initial speed up to 12 hexes per turn.

Finally, the Aundrea Norma is placed on the short edge of the map farthest from the Ark ship and can have any initial speed up to 20 hexes per turn.

The drifting hulks detected are just off the map behind the on-coming Sathar ships and have no influence on play.

Special Rules

As this is a battle in progress, some of the ships have already sustained damage. Apply the following changes to the ships in the game:

  • The Saurian Arc ship has had its engines damaged and currently has 0 ADF and 0 MR. It has also been reduced to 53 of its original 100 HP and has had one laser battery damaged. It also only has 10 ICM's left.
  • One of the Sathar destroyers has lost 8 HP and so only has 42 left.
  • The other Sathar destroyer has had its EB damaged.
  • All other ships are undamaged.

All of these systems are eligible for attempted repairs if playing with the Advanced Rules. Both Sathar destroyers have their full complement of torpedoes and rocket battery salvos.

Victory Conditions

The Sathar achieve victory if they can destroy the Ark ship. If they can also destroy the communications ship, it is considered a major victory.

The UPF achieve a victory if the Arc ship survives. If the communications ship also survives it is a major victory.

 

A Ray of Hope

A squadron of Saurian Battle Rays holds out against Sathar invaders.

Background

After making contact with the Saurian Ark ship, the location of the besieged Saurian home world is provided to the UPF in a bid for assistance against the Sathar. Strike Force Nova, currently in Theseus, is dispatched to provide assistance.  As the Strike Force is assembling and moving out, a small detachment is sent ahead for some "reconnaissance in force". Joining up with the Aundrea Norma in Liberty the small fleet proceeds to the Sauria system with the jump routes provided by the Saurians.

Upon arriving at the Saurian homeworld, it seems the Sathar had the same idea and the UPF vessels find a Sathar reconnaissance force engaging a squadron of Saurian Battle Rays and fighters defending the planet.

Order of Battle

UPF Ships
  • 2 Assault Scouts
  • Frigate
  • Talnor Communications ship
Saurian Ships
  • 6 Saurian Fighters
  • 3 Battle Rays
Sathar ships
  • 1 Frigate
  • 2 Cutters (Frontier Explorer Issue 2, p 6)
  • 3 Destroyers

Setup

Place a planet in the center of the map to represent Kischen. The Sathar player then declares which side of the map their ships will enter from. After the Sathar side is declared, the Saurian ships are placed on the map anywhere within 15 hexes of the planet with any speed up to 10 hexes per turn.

Once the Saurian ships are places, the Sathar player then places their ships within 5 hexes of the edge of the map with any speed up to 15 hexes per turn.

Finally the UPF ships are placed on the other side of the map opposite the Sathar and may have any initial speed up to 15 hexes per turn.

Special Rules

None.

Victory Conditions

The Sathar score a minor victory if they can destroy all of the UPF and Saurian ships. They score a major victory if they can destroy all UPF and Saurian ships except one of the Battle Rays and have two Sathar ships still functioning. This represents an opportunity for the Sathar to capture the Battle Ray. The Sathar have been trying to capture a Battle Ray for several years now as it, like the UPF Assault Scout, is a design that they cannot reproduce and has a new weapon system that they would like to capture.

The UPF score a minor victory if all the Sathar ships are destroyed. If the UPF side still has at least one Battle Ray and the communications ship intact after destroying all the Sathar vessels, they score a major victory.

Last Ship Out

Can the last of the Saurian Ark ships escape the Sathar onslaught?

Background

Strike Force Nova has taken up patrol duties around Kischen as the Saurians complete construction and provisioning on the last of the Ark ships that will be able to leave the planet. Time is up as the Sathar have launched an offensive with an armada that cannot be withstood. All that can be done now is to hold them off long enough to allow the last of the Ark ships to flee.

Order of Battle

UPF Ships – Strike Force Nova
  • 6 Fighters
  • 3 Assault Scouts
  • 2 Frigates
  • Destroyer
  • 2 Light Cruisers
  • Battleship
  • Assault Carrier
  • Talnor Communications Ship
Saurian Ships
  • 20 Saurian Fighters
  • 3 Battle Rays
  • 2 Ark ships
Sathar ships
  • 16 Fighters
  • 3 Frigates
  • 5 Destroyers
  • 3 Light Cruisers
  • 3 Heavy Cruisers
  • 2 Assault Carriers

Setup

A planet counter is placed in the center of the map to represent Kischen and the Sathar player declares which side of the map the sathar ships will enter from. After that, the UPF player sets up all the UPF and Saurian ships expect for the two Ark ships which are still on the planet preparing for launch. The UPF and Saurian ships can be placed anywhere on the map within 20 hexes of the planet and with any initial speed up to 15 hexes per turn. If the UPF player wants to pre-deploy any of the battleship's seeker missiles, they should do so now.

Once all the UPF and Saurian ships have been placed on the board, the Sathar ship should be placed on the map. They must start within five hexes of the side of the map originally declared and may have any initial speed up to 15 hexes per turn but all Sathar ships must have the same starting speed.

Special Rules

The Saurian Ark ships are placed on the map at the beginning of the UPF player's second turn. They are placed on the planet counter and have a speed of zero. They may then move normally starting on that turn. This represents the launching of the ships from their construction facility on the planet's surface.

If the Saurian Arc ships reach the edge of the map but have Sathar ships in pursuit, use the Advanced Game rules for shifting or extending the map until all pursuit or the Ark ships have been eliminated.

Optional Campaign Rule

If playing these scenarios as a campaign, players may optionally reduce the number of ships available to the UPF player by any UPF ships destroyed in the "A Ray of Hope" scenario as the Assault Scouts, Frigate, and Communication ship were part of Strike Force Nova that were deployed in advance of the main fleet. If they were destroyed, they would not be available for the last defense. Conversely, if any of the Saurian ships survived they could be added to the Order of Battle as they are extra ships that survived to fight.

Victory Conditions

The UPF player wins if both Ark ships make it off the side of the map opposite where the Sathar entered without any Sathar in pursuit. A ship is considered to be in pursuit if it is within weapon range and has a speed such that it can close or maintain the separation between the ships. If only one Ark ship makes it off, consider it a minor victory. If the UPF manage to destroy all the attacking Sathar vessels, it is a major victory.

The Sathar player wins if both Ark ships are destroyed. If the Sathar player can also destroy all the UPF Strike Force Nova vessels, it is considered a major victory.