Saturday, August 23, 2008

More Multilevel Surprises

Saturday night play had four Klingon heavy cruisers (IKS Chang2, IKS Drunken Warrior, IKS Kor, and IKS tIQghoB) trying to finish off the two surviving Federation heavy cruisers. (USS Chang and USS Gordon2). The Chang2 and the Drunken Warrior were lined up against the Gordon2, and the Kor and the tIQghoB were lined up against the USS Chang2.

Normally, both battles would be routs. However, (and that's why I still call this a work in progress) I thought that a lone starship deserves the opportunity to sacrifice itself for the greater good. In both battles, the Federation ship had enough of a roll to defeat one of their attackers. So I decided to allow the defender to direct all offensive points to a single attacker. That takes the game a step away from cold mathematics and a step toward real game play. Real decision making. So while the Federation fleet is now completely wiped out, heroic actions by two captains weakened the Klingons enough to stop them from destroying shipyards. The two surviving Klingon ships (the Drunken Warrior and the tIQghoB) will now have to wait for more ships to come out of the shipyards. I thought it'd be interesting to have them wait just out of weapons range and each attack a single emerging Federation ship as it launches, or even to gang up two on one. If they were each victorious in one-on-one combat, the Federation would have to wait five more turns to assemble a fleet. If they fought two-on-one, they'd risk losing a ship and having to rebuild, and allow another Federation to launch unmolested. On the other hand, if the Drunken Warrior and tIQghoB lose, the Klingon Fleet is gone, and there are five Federation starships running unopposed. In that case, the Federation fleet would most likely start eliminating Klingon shipyards.

All of this points to the real need for a single player, in this primitive stage of the game, to play as the fleet commander on both sides. In a sense, the object of this game is not to win, but to enjoy a good game. Until I make some progress on learning Java, this is single-player Fantasy Trek. To make things more interesting, one day we'll see troop ships full of boarding parties, construction ships to build more shipyards, and jamming cruisers that provide electronic warfare protection for combat ships. Sauce for the goose. And of course, different scenarios.

More next time...


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