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Metaverse - Sneak Peak
2014-12-30 12:00:00

Before delving into the details of the first product of Battlespace Publishing I thought I would give a sneak peek and a visual tease of one of our beta test games. Metaverse is a starship combat game designed to be adapted to the player's desire. We are nearing the end of the beta phase and are confident in its adaptability. To further test this statement we played a game set in the Star Wars universe both for its inherent geek factor and for its tactical complexity. A Star Wars conflict contains a wide variety of interacting components including capital ships, escorts, starfighters, and even the missile or two. This means that as developers we can more easily discover any imbalances in the many interactions this creates.

For this particular game a Rebel task force was attempting a convoy raid based on captured intelligence. The task force involved contained a MC80 Mon Calamari cruiser (properly termed a star destroyer in the Anaxes War College classification system), a Nebulon B frigate, a Marauder corvette, and a DP20 corvette. The MC80 arrived loaded with two squadrons of X-Wings, two squadrons of A-Wings, two squadrons of B-Wings loaded with concussion missiles, two squadrons of Z-95 Headhunters, and four squadrons of Y-Wings loaded with proton torpedoes. The Nebulon B arrived loaded with a squadron of Y-Wings and a squadron of Z-95 Headhunters. The Marauder arrived without starfighters.

The Rebel task force arrives from hyperspace. The starfighters arrived still in the hanger bays due to the distance the task force traveled to get here.

The still embarked starfighter squadrons were placed at the edge of the table until needed.

The Nebulon B arrived at the far forward/right of the formation.

The target of this task force was a munitions convoy performing a rendevous near a gas giant. The Bothan spies reported that the convoy would be lightly protected.

The Imperial convoy of four transports guarded by a single Nebulon B frigate.

As the Rebel task force organised itself for the apparently easy kill they detected hyperspace emergences between themselves and the convoy. Five emergent points were detected and it soon appeared that this "easy kill" may be a trap. Within seconds an Imperial task force emerged from hyperspace in attack formation ready to intercept the Rebels. To make matters worse shortly after the Imperial emergence it became clear that the Rebels would be forced to fight their way out as the Imperial force included an Interdictor! The Imperial force consisted of a Dragoon class star destroyer (an invention of mine, basically a smaller star destroyer between the victory and imperial designed for pursuit and capture), two Carrack class cruisers, one Immobilizer class heavy cruiser (the interdictor), and one Tartan class corvette. Worse still, in formation around the star destroyer were four squadrons of XG-1 Star Wings (assault gunboats) and six ATR-6 Assault Transports (presumably loaded with stormtroopers). The Imperials were clearly looking for a capture rather than just a destroy.

The Imperial task force emerges from hyperspace in attack formation.

The Marauder corvette finds itself nearly in the middle of the enemy's force as it emerged from hyperspace.

As the Imperials organized themselves the Rebel's opened fire. The Marauder which found itself under 120,000 km from the star destroyer opted to release a torrent of light turbolaser fire at the assault transports and was rewarded with four kills! This would prove to be the last positive effect this little ship would have. The DP20 on the far left accelerated at its maximum rating and released concussion missiles towards the assault gunboats. The Nebulon B being so far on the right flank fired ranging shots that neither impressed or disapointed. The MC80, however, opened up on the star destroyer with its heavy guns, including a number of heavy ion cannons, and dealt noticeable damage to its forward shields.

The Imperial task force responded by completely ignoring the monstrous Mon Calamari ship and focused on the escorts. In the ensuing barrage the Marauder's port shields collapsed and its hull visibly buckled under the combined fire. The Nebulon B's port shields nearly collapsed but the star of the show was the DP20 which managed to dodge every turbolaser, ion cannon, and laser cannon directed her way. As a final hurrah for the lucky corvette, its concussion missiles struck home and wiped out an entire squadron of assault gunboats.

The DP20 looks to make a left flank run.

The starfighters of the two sides jockey for position as assault gunboats begin a strike run on the DP20 followed closely by pursuing A-Wings.

The Y-Wings form up for a run at the star destroyer while one of the Carrack cruisers looks to chase down the Rebels flanking Nebulon B.

As the game progressed the star destroyer eventually turned its attention onto the Mon Cal and these two behemoths began a death duel that made them largely irrelevant to the larger battle. With the combined fire of secondary guns on the Mon Cal and the Nebulon B one of the Carrack cruisers was eventually split into two distinct ships counter to the designers intentions allowing the Nebulon B to continue its flanking run towards the convoy. The Marauder's murder of four assault transports was avenged when the remaining two "docked" and unloaded two platoons of stormtroopers on the hapless crew. On the left flank, although the defending A-wings were successful in eliminating some of the assault gunboats, the remaining gunboats unloaded concussion missiles upon the DP20 which dealt significant damage and importantly knocked out the corvette's primary and secondary sensor arrays.

The Y-Wings take devastating losses from the star destroyers laser cannon batteries as X-Wings, Tie Fighters, and Tie Interceptors stare each other down.

The remaining Carrack cruiser faces down a strike mission of B-Wings and Z-95s. This attack would see the Carrack wrecked with its secondary sensor and electronic warfare arrays disabled.

As the battle unfolded the Rebels managed to gain the upper hand. The Imperial commander watched as one of his Carrack cruisers had been destroyed by concentrated fire, his other Carrack wrecked by a fighter strike, his Tartan completely obliterated in an after thought by the Mon Cal, and his star destroyer's shields dropping faster that the Mon Cal's. It was when he realized that his Immobilizer was coming into range of the big Rebel ship and his fighters were dropping faster than his opponents that he decided to ex-filtrate his remaining forces and concede the battlefield. The Rebel commander was not pleased that his convoy raid did not go as planned (the freighters escaped with the rest of the Imperial fleet) but was ecstatic that he had fought his way out of an ambush and had won a sizeable propaganda victory.

This game saw the interaction of capital ships, escorts, starfighters, and even missiles. All the components played a role and had an effect on the outcome of the battle and proved the flexibility of the system. Look here in the near future for a more detailed look at the mechanisms of Metaverse!

Next: Metaverse - A First Look
Last: Battlespace Publishing at Hotlead 2016