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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Re-opening of the space lanes - Silent Death returns!

Tonight I introduced Daz to an old favourite boardgame of Silent Death. It seems the game has gone through several changes since I played it in the early 90s with an iteration even as an online game through Electronic Arts. Today it seems to be having a slight resurgence under the re-imagined company Metal Express (whose website shows all of the miniatures available).

Tonight's game was a simple dust up between some of the universe's smallest opponents. On one side flew a detachment of Pit Vipers, the lightest, and most difficult to hit, space fighters in the star lanes. They were manned by fairly average pilots who could shoot (just about) in a straight line. These fighters were supported by a single Dart whose speed and manouvrebility is similar, but included a minigun armament to support those pulse lasers. Daz was given some flight training before the main dogfight began.

Against this brave little band stood a flight of four Spirit Riders. These equally small craft packed a stronger punch with a main armament of two Splatterguns, and a pair of Mk10 torpedoes each; a consideration for the enemy when jockeying for that killer shot.

Each team started at opposite sides of the space mat. The initial manouvres began with a position for a head on pass, with a fighter from each side taking a wide angle. The Spirit Riders each released one of their torpedoes at each of the Pit Vipers, causing them some concern as they closed the distance.

By the time both sides had come within cannon range, the Pit Vipers were trying to jam the first salvo of torpedoes, at which they were unsuccessful. Initial shots seemed wild, without damage except for...a lucky shot from the wide Spirit Rider requiring 16 or higher on 3 D6. With a 5,5 and 6 rolled, and the weapon system doing 'low +2 damage', the pit viper sustained 10 points of damage after damage reduction, blowing it into thousands of pieces of space dust.

The next round began with both sides within engagement range. The Spirit Riders each released their final Mk10 torpedoes. The Pit Vipers responded by using their single decoys to jam the multiple warheads facing them, with only a few being jammed.

As the fighters intermingled, the Pit Vipers found it difficult to dodge the torpedoes as they exploded nearby. One fighter disintegrated under the explosion of 2 torps at the same time. A second Viper sustained light damage.

Both sides now began the close in dodging and weaving, looking for the best shot, where deflection had the least impact. The Vipers valiantly struck home their attack, however their light pulse lasers were generally unable to pierce the defensive screen of the Spirit Riders. This was not the case for the damage caused by the Splatterguns armament of the Riders. The remaining Vipers and the Dart began to receive more damage than given. One spirit rider was partially destroyed with it's drive systems reduced. However the Vipers suffered worse, with one of them sustaining heavy engine damage.

At this stage of the game, the remaining Dart and Viper disengaged to return home, licking their wounds.

The game played quickly, with the spacecraft displays containing most of the information needed. The torpedo tracking was a little difficult as the torps are very small markers. We are going to try and create a hexless version of the game using home made turning keys to help the movement system, then we can do away with the hex mat...we'll let you know how we get on...

 

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