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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Battle to Re-take DS-9

Time for the nerdiest game I've ever played. Not (just) because it's Star Trek, but because of the serious nerding out that happened during the game.  Fritz offered up his extensive ST: Attack Wing collection, including the beautiful DS-9 centerpiece for an epic recreation of the 2nd Battle of DS-9, where (in the show) the Federation retook the station from the Dominion (with a little help from the wormhole aliens).  Peter, who we met at the store (and in one of those weird quirks of nerd fate, whom I'd actually played alongside in a single session of a Mage: The Ascension RPG about 15 years ago, just long enough to kill his character), is taking up the cause of the Federation.

Fritz and I are playing Weyoun and Gul Dukat respectively. These are our favorite characters from DS-9 and we did not hold back with the quotes and impressions. As I said, incredibly nerdy, and we had a blast.

The forces of the Dominion, a mix of massive Dominion warships and lighter Cardassian ships:

The Federation had a mix of their own big ships, the Defiant, and a good amount of Klingon backup.

We move in. I assure Weyoun that this will be easy.  We have the station, and its considerable firepower, and we just have to hold the Federation off long enough for the minefield to be cleared and then thousands of Dominion ships will pour through the wormhole.

At the last minute I added something to the scenario.  A deck of cards face down, one for the 15 or so turns we allowed ourselves. Inside, one face up card representing Kira, Rom, Quark, etc, who were in the station trying to shut down its weapon systems. Every turn we would draw and see if they managed to succeed.

Battle is met. I turn to Weyoun, I mean Fritz, and tell him that I've issued orders not to fire on the Defiant until all other ships have been destroyed. I try to explain winning is meaningless unless you can get your opponent to admit that he was wrong to oppose you. I want Captain Sisko to understand that his defeat was inevitable, maybe even to repent, before we kill him.

Cardassian fire, backed up with the station's firepower, cuts down the weakest federation ship.

Meanwhile, Gul Danar's ship takes serious damage.

The Klingons lead the way.

With the loss of Gul Danar, the Cardassian flank starts to crumble.

Both sides turn to concentrate their forces. The last Cardassian ship stays clear, hoping to snipe from a distance. If we lose all our ships and the station's shields go down, we lose.

Don't worry Weyoun, in a matter of moments, that wormhole will open up and thousands of Dominion ships will pour through and finish off Sisko and his friends.

With some skillful piloting, Peter manages to keep his best ships intact.

But his numbers are falling before the Cardassian, I mean Dominion, attack.

The battle rages all around the station, and the station's shields go down in the fight. However, Sisko is looking to reclaim the station, not destroy it.  WE WILL NOT EVACUATE IN OUR MOMENT OF GLORY!

A Bird of Prey takes down the last Cardassian ship. Now there are  just two Dominion ships and the station able to fire.

With the destruction of a powerful Dominion ship, the advantage turns to the Federation. With DS-9's powerful weapons still online, as long as we can keep our last ship in the sky, we can hammer away at the damaged Federation ships.

And that's when the Kira card comes up (ignore the text, it was the faceup card), and DS-9s weapons go offline, leaving it completely vulnerable.

No... nooo!  I had victory in my grasp!

With Dukat running off in a traumatized fugue to find his daughter, Weyoun and the other Dominion agents beam onto the last remaining Dominion ship and make a break for it.

Somehow, this went almost exactly as it did on the TV show. Excellent!