Saturday Seed ~ 108 (Prime Directive / SFB)
This week’s seed is for Star Fleet Battles and Prime Directive, in whichever flavour you play it. I prefer the original flavour of the game system, personally. This is a set-up with equal parts role play and tactical play, but need not run in a linear fashion with the one leading into the other. As envisioned, the scenes could easily be intercut and the session run over one sitting, or several.
The characters are members of a Prime Team aboard a Federation Heavy Cruiser that has just weathered a critical battle serving in defense of a Starbase that has not yet been completed. With two other ships, and old Light Cruiser, and a Destroyer, the Federation achieved a temporary victory, but intelligence and telemetry suggest a second wave of attacks will hit before reinforcements can arrive.
Planting the seed
This seed can be run as a one-off quite easily with characters chosen to suit the mission parameters specifically, or used as the starting point for a campaign heavy on brinkmanship and cold war atmosphere.
As the seed opens, the Heavy Cruiser is undergoing rapid repairs and replenishment of supplies and materiel expended in the previous conflict. The Light Cruiser, too heavily damaged to be ready in time, has to withdraw. The Destroyer may or may not be ready in time, and delaying tactics by the Prime Team will likely be required to… make it so. The only undamaged ships in the zone are the star base’s tugs and shuttles, some of which will need to be reassigned to the defending force if requested.
Some survivors from a stricken enemy ship (I’d choose Romulans responding to a problematic and only partially justified expansion into the neutral zone by the Federation, but this detail is best left to you for the campaign you wish to run) have transported to the surface of the planet below. The engagement ended with the destruction of all of the enemy’s escorts ships which purchased the successful withdrawal of the command vessel.
The present location of the enemy command ship is unknown (and its cloaking status is a mystery as well if you opt for the Romulans). The Captain of the Heavy Cruiser (I’d name it the Bradbury), had been briefed to expect a force to strike on a timeline not dissimilar to this, but was heard to express outrage when he was forced to conclude that the enemy force was twice the size as expected, and apparently coming in two waves.
A plan needs to be formulated and priorities set in order to prevent, or at least delay the second wave of attacks – at least until repairs can be completed, or unlikely reinforcements can arrive.
What is going on
The enemy force is not without problems. The second wave of enemy vessels will significantly outclass the surviving Federation vessels, but will be seeking to extort technology and concessions before committing to an attack. The first wave was considerably more militant and hot-headed.
The survivors on the planet’s surface are a possible source of political and tactical intelligence on the incoming ships, and the possible intentions of the surviving command vessel from the first wave. They are also a source of items that an espionage mission might find helpful. The Prime Team might find a mission to deal with this group to be a priority.
When the second wave of ships arrive, they will want to enter into lopsided negotiations which the Prime Team could either oversee, or use as a diversion for an op.
An additional concern is the other command ship. Seeking it out and dealing with it may take precedence for your group.
The star base has only limited defenses at present and the bulk of its defensive force of ships has been slowly whittled away by bureaucratic mix-ups and political decisions leaving it with a fraction of its normal strength. Protecting the base, as well as ensuring its commander does not do something stupid may also fall to the Prime Team.
The crippled Light Cruiser must get away. It is extremely vulnerable, cannot be protected here, and is a prime target for extreme emotional effect as it is loaded with wounded.
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