Here are a couple of After-Action Reports from the field, in which players just like yourselves detail their triumphs and crushing defeats.
Commander's Log Entry
Anaheim station RD6682
Bank of the Galaxy reps came to us and said they were claiming our territory. They said they would send a fleet to acquire it. Naturally we built up our fleet in preparation, but when we checked BotG’s sector, they hadn't built much of anything. We picked up some radio chatter about not being able to get ship components. You'd think they would have sorted that out before threatening us.
We sent a small scout force to test their defenses. The scouts only took minor casualties before getting out. It was then that we realized not only could we stop the creeps from taking our territory, but we also had a chance to take a shot at them and claim that sector for the Company.
We built a few more ships just in case, then launched an allout assault. What little defense they could muster was no match for our pilots. We ripped through their ships and obliterated their station. Poor guys never had a chance.
On last Saturday, August 8, I had the pleasure of hosting a Hull Breach demo/tutorial for my friends. We had six players including myself, four of whom do not own the game and two of those four had never played before. I will elaborate further in my report below. Also, I am trying to figure out a good date to host a scenario with these friends, as they have enthusiastically requested that I schedule another game; and to host a demo at the store I mentioned. I will keep you informed as those plans develop.
Players in picture:
1. Me (not shown), Operative, playing as Anaheim
2. Kenny Morris (far left), 2nd game, playing as BOTG
3. Jason Kolp (left), 3rd game, playing as STG
4. Michael Maggard (center), potential Operative, playing as RDF
5. Kyle Schaare (right), 1st game!, playing as Xeros
6. Joseph Carroway (far right), 1st game!, playing as Colonists
Summary: The players who had already experienced Hull Breach were excited to get back into the action and help me initiate our friends who had never played before. As an enthusiastic BOTG player, I may have overhyped their strategic abilities, since poor Kenny was constantly harassed; becoming the 1st player to fall, drowned at last in Xeros ships.
As the newer commanders grew more confident and learned the ropes, the more experienced ones attempted to initiate battles, drawing the newcomers out. This tactic backfired on Michael, when he found himself with naught but his station, some marines, and a few wings of fighters. Joseph and his Colonists decided to strike while the iron was hot, and managed to finish off the hated RDF with reasonable losses.
Meanwhile, I had been biding my time and trying to build a strong, well-equipped fleet before launching a full scale assault. Unfortunately, that made the remaining players prioritize my destruction, and send all their interceptors and tactic cards to hinder my movements. While Jason and the STG giggled in the background, amassing a fleet too large for anyone to face directly, my own forces were whittled down during an attack on Xeros that went horribly wrong, and any ships I had left were almost powerless when the STG came to finish me off.
Kyle, to his credit, quickly grasped the concepts of play and used Xeros' production capabilities to their full effect. When he managed to add the mighty Phoenix to his fleet, he thought that he was ready to deal with the Tax Gate once and for all. However, his eagerness to eliminate his foe caused him to forget Xeros' weakness: lack of marines. After a devastating volley phase, Kyle could only groan in frustration as Jason's troops stole his precious flagship in plain view. While he stayed and fought bravely, destroying both his and Jason's fleets, he was unable to complete his objective. Worse still, he was nearly defenseless when the Colonists came calling one turn later. A Pioneer militia company swiftly put him out of his misery.
Last, but least, the STG never recovered from their epic battle with Xeros. Jason's luck seemed to have run out, as he did not manage to draw any more ships to defend his beleaguered station. The stalwart Colonists had weathered everything thrown at them, and with no other commanders left in the game, they were ready to tell the tax collectors exactly where to shove their repossession notices and reporting forms. With his station still scarred from the battle with Xeros and no fleet to speak of, Jason surrendered, and Joseph claimed victory in the name of the Deep Space Colonists.
With tutorials interspersed with gameplay, the whole demo went from 3:00pm to 12:30am. Banter, trash talk, and the scent of pizza flowed freely, and a great time was had by all. The guys are definitely looking forward to me hosting another demo, and Joseph and Kyle have expressed interest in purchasing the game, online if necessary. There was particular interest in testing their might against Azathoth, which I am gleefully looking forward to hosting. We shall see how confident they feel when they are staring down an elder god...