And then something else...
# of players: 3-6
Forces - NAC:
The NAC set up on one side of the table, the ESU on the opposite side. No ship can be further than 15 mu from the edge of the table. The table measures 4'x6' (typically-sized playing area). Courses and speeds are at the option of the owning players, but no ship may be travelling faster than 3x that ship's thrust rating
The Phalons, when they appear, will show up at the center of the middle edge of the table. Speeds can be upwards of 2x the respective ship's thrust, and course can be any the Phalon player(s) wishes.
The Phalons do not show up immediately. The referee (assuming there is one) rolls a 1d6 to determine when the Phalons appear. On a 1-2 they appear on 1 turn after combat between the NAC and ESU commences. On a 3-4 they appear 2 turns later. On a 5-6 they appear 3 turns after combat has started. If there is no referee, the Phalon player must make this roll (and keep it secret from the ESU and NAC players in order to maintain suspense).
While waiting for the Phalons to appear, the ESU and NAC are under orders to attack each other, in order to eliminate the opposing force from the system. They may not delay the game waiting for the Phalons to show up in order to gang up on the Phalons together. If the referee (or the Phalon player(s)) feel that the NAC/ESU are delaying the game, the ref or Phalon player(s) can choose exactly where they will come on the board (but no closer than 8 mu away from a NAC or ESU ship). The Phalons will appear at this spot next turn.
The Phalon Rules as outlined in the playtest pack are being used for this scenario.
Special: non-standard ships (and Phalon designs)br> The ESU have one non-standard ship design in this scenario, while the NAC have two. They are covered below. If you wish to play with strictly Fleetbook ships, replace the ESU BC-V with a BC (you get no fighters, then, of course), the NAC BC/P with a BC, and the NAC DDG with a standard DD. (the balance difference is negligible)
Phalon Ship Systems Configurations:
These Special Optional Core Systems will be used, but not the Optional Core Systems from the FleetBook.
In the opening stages of the conflict the NAC and ESU forces manuevered into attack positions (which is pretty standard). At extreme range the NAC, hoping for a lucky strike, opened fire upon the ESU, with the "Black Knight" smashing into the "Dominion" with heavy damage from pulse torps. All other damage inflicted is minor or non-significant.
As the range closed the ESU fleet retaliated hard, blowing a number of holes through the NAC CE "Reliant" and NAC DD "Shiloh" (destroying both) and giving a severe mauling to the NAC DD "Essex". The NAC BB "Sheridan" also gets raped, becoming nearly combat ineffective. Return fire to the ESU does telling damage, but not as much as the ESU dished out: moderate damage was done to the BC "Dominion" and CE "Taiwan". The fighter squadrons from the "Liven" were clawed down by 75%. Then the fun began...
Suddenly jump points opened, and 6 alien, snail-like ships appeared. Never having encountered these beings before, and assuming they were ESU allies, the NAC attempt to bolt. The "Shiloh" attempts to activate her FTL drive, but is destroyed by ESU fire. The "Black Knight", being in the best shape of all NAC ships, attempts to slow and turn, but she is flying too fast and is too far away from the fray to do much of anything. She starts to consider FTLing when the slug-like ships open fire on the ESU with plasma balls and some kind of beam battery fire. The ESU DD "Krivak" is enveloped in a plasma ball, but suffers minimal damage. The rest of the ESU fleet (who really aren't in position to deal with this new threat) attempt to do what they can to the Phalons (believing them to be NAC allies) and dent the side of the light cruiser-sized ship "Proiettore".
The NAC ships are almost useless at this point. The "Black Knight" is still too far away to do anything, the "Sheridan" has been mauled and her FTL drive is out, leaving only the missile destroyer "Harrower" left to do anything with the ESU so dumps some salvo missiles on the "Liven" and "Gepard", but all missiles are shot down by point-defense. The ESU keep the pressure on the NAC, despite the presence of the new aliens (later learned to be the Phalons). The ESU's ships were poorly placed to deal with the aliens, and still believing they were NAC allies, continued concentrating their fire on the NAC ships (notably the "Sheridan"). They were able to destroy the "Proiettore", but that was all the damage the Phalon ships suffered. The Phalons, in return, spear a number of ESU ships, forcing systems to short out left, right, and center.
Suddenly the Phalons split their forces. The battlecruiser-carrier "Liven" was attempting to leave the area, but now is being pursued by "Giavellotto", "Tuono", and "Freccia", while the rest of the Phalons spin to follow behind the remaining ESU ships, who were chasing the "Sheridan" and attempting to pull and intercept on the "Black Knight". This costs the Phalons, however, as their flagship, "Dominare", is the target of a lot of fire from the ESU (and suffers moderate damage), yet deals ineffectual damage in return. Long-range fire from the "Giavellotto" and "Freccia" doing minor damage to the "Liven". The "Liven" runs for it while the Phalons pursue at the same acceleration (a long chase ensues). Finally the "Sheridan" gets her FTL online begins the procedure for warping out.
Suddenly the ESU get the Phalons in their forward arcs and the ESU ships literally strip the hide off of the "Dominare"; her return fire is negligible. The "Lumaca" is destroyed by the ESU "Krivak". The "Black Knight" *finally* gets turned around and can do something - and fires a shot at the "Dominare", doing minimal damage. However, this sets up the "Dominare" for the next round of fire, as the "Black Knight" fires another volley into the stricken "Dominare", destroying her before her FTL drive cycles. The ESU ships realize that the alien vessel was not a NAC ally and decide, for the moment, to not continue their current aggression against the NAC. A temporary truce is called (if only for this sector of space). The three destroyers who were chasing the "Liven" realize that it is a fruitless battle, as there are larger ships remaining on the field, and eventually they will be forced to deal with them. Add to that the fact that the "Liven" was staying at extreme range, and it would be a long while before they had a chance of slowing her down, the three Phalon destroyers decide it's best to vacate while the vacating is good. They activate their FTL drives and depart for destinations unknown to the humans.
In the meantime the humans pick up lifepods and sort through the wreckage of the remaining Phalon ships. Each side takes samples and warps out to take the news of this new alien menace to their respective governments.