We began our Monday night disk-games session at Hastur Hobbies (SLDW Garrison #156 / TSI Star Base #???) by punching out the Red Alert! Demo Kit Last Unicorn Games kindly sent our way. Unlike the beta-playtest kit we used at CONduit 10 (read that report here), this kit was comprised of the 40 some-odd fixed flats (see the faction spoiler & scenario spoiler) that most likely come with each boxed starter set for the five factions. At first we were a little concerned about the general esthetics and color schemes of the disks themselves. But as soon as the flats were all punched and the games began, we all grew to like the individual color schemes. By far the most aggressive looking factions (color-scheme wise) have to be the Klingons and the Cardassinas, where as the Ferengi and the Federation are both somewhat pastelic in color (and that's fitting for the Federation). The Romulans are somewhere in the middle. On the flip side, all of the graphic work is out-standing with a good show of actual TV and movie shots (?) of crew members and completely rendered, full color starships. Plus the clipped circular disks for torpedo launch-bay just looks down-right cool.
Red Alert! Demo -- 08/07/00 -- TSI: J. Cooper Cazedessus
After explaining the basic mechanics of the game, each of the newbies were set loose on each other with one Starship, one Crewmember and one Upgrade Tech to duke it in a quick, home-brew, last-man-standing scenario. Each player had their own strategies and ideas ranging from a high-speed, hit-and-runs to a full-stop, bring-it-on show of strength. The demo game was filled with lots of hits and crits, deadly torpedoes and furious phaser fire (what can you expect when one ship is at dead-stop) and plenty of ship-to-ship collisions. In the end only one Klingon ship, I.K.S. Bortas commanded by Shawn Putnam was left flying after his final opponent turned tail and ran plumb-off the board in great haste and fear. The following gamers participated in this Red Alert! Demo; Shawn Putnan, Seth Brown, Luke McLaughlin and Casey Ward. All in all, Red Alert! Demos are fun and easy to run... this will be the first of many to come from the SLDW crew.
In this Scenario, the Federation has to cross the playing field while protecting their robot ship (S.S. Chalga) that is filled with medical supplies and everybody else (Klingons & Romulans in this case) has to stop them. In our game we had the following sides/ships: one Federation ship; U.S.S. Yamato NCC-71807 commanded by Cooper Cazedessus and the robot supply ship, VS. one Klingon ship; I.K.S. Bortas commanded by Jerald Tripp and one Romulan ship; D'Delean Command commanded by David Tripp. The first game went very fast as the Federation was playing it safe ("diplomatic" said Cooper) whereas the Family Tripps were not. The Klingons roared into range and fired a barrage of photon torpedoes, subsequently hitting the S.S. Chalga on the last torpedo phase. This was followed by closing the ranks and fireing phaser at the S.S. Chalga again. After the Klingon assault, the supply ship was now left with only 3 Hull points out of 12. To add insult to injury, the Romulans entered the melee and blasted away at the hobbled robotic ship, ending the game on the 1st phase, of the 2nd turn. Ahhh the power of speed and aggression...
Hell bent on redemption, we then repeated the game with the Federation player AKA Cooper being much more aggressive. The U.S.S. Yamato came out strong attacking the Romulans first. Firing two torpedoes and subsequently hitting on the 3rd phase with massive damage (7 out of 10 possible hits). This onslaught was combined with +2 phaser fire on the 3rd phase. The next turn, the Federation focused fired again, thereby destroying the Romulan craft. (Side Note: Double Fire Crew are very effective as is Fire and Change Heading Crew). From here the game becomes a massive slug-fest with the Klingons AKA Jerald focusing all of their firepower to get the 12 hits needed to destroy the S.S. Chalga and thereby trying to win the game. After several turns with the freighter down to its last 2 Hull points the Federation and their Double Fire Crew left another heap of Klingon rubble adrift in space. Ahhh the power of speed and aggression, again...
After completing the above games we had the flowing question
that could not be easily answered from reading the rules through
and through. It was also strongly mentioned that each of the Critical
Hit effects should be clearly spelled out in the first Red Alert!
FAQ. (SLDWeb masters note: See the Pseudo
F.A.Q. for answers...)
All in all the game players just as good, if not better than the Rules v0.9 we used during the CONduit 10 pre-release games. We were very happy to see/read that Don Mappin was able to convey our concerns with the turn-order and game mechanics of torpedoes, the maximum speeds for each ship size clarification and the point value recommendations for basic scenario play.