ON THE TABLE: “Convoy Ambush” with Talon from GMT Games

Saturday , 22, April 2017 3 Comments

This is our seventh scenario with the game and it’s still the #1 game on our shelves. (So many awesome games gathering dust… because of Talon!) This is the first one that I didn’t really care for and I’ll get to why in a second.

First, though… I’ve got to say, this game gets so much faster once you get the hang of it. We had three ships to a side and played three turns in an hour. Once you’re past the learning curve it’s possible to just blow through the impulses where people are recharging their weapons or getting into position for a shot. With the numbers for power and movement written directly on the counters, you can tell at a glance which ships are about to do something. Even better… you can plan for who is going to do what and when.

Secondly… the differences between the two factions are just plain fun. The Talon are way more maneuverable and a little more volatile. The Terran have more crunch in their weaponry, are sturdier, and have more flexibility in their power systems. That is straight out of the classic Federation/Klingon matchup, but Talon does part company with that other space gaming franchise. The Talon have better small ships, seeking weapons, and a great big space shotgun for their monster vessels. The Terran have a “Yamato Gun” type mega-weapon… and also fighters and carriers. The way these two mismatched technologies interact is a huge part of why this game is so fun.

Now, as to the Convoy Ambush scenario…. This one has a victory condition where if the Terran transport escapes, the Terran wins– and if it is destroyed the Talon wins.

I may have made a critical error in my initial ship placement, but I just can’t see how the Terrans can stop the Talon from destroying the transport. Maybe if they could stay between the Talon and the ship, force them to fly through them… and then maybe take out the two small ships before they can fire on it…? That is going to take an extremely cooperative opponent for that to happen!

The other thing with this one is that the premise of the scenario is that the ships are coming out of some weird terrain where the FTL drives don’t work as normal. I think that… rather than playing this one such that the normal “jump to hyperspace” rules are in effect, the transport needs to have a very clear “be in this area on the map and you will automatically escape and this exact point of the sequence of play” type rule. Similarly, there needs to be a rule about the other ships not being able to FTL at all if they are within a particular area of the map.

In our game, I destroyed the Talon CL and FF in exchange for the Terran transport. The granularity of the system for determining degree of victory was not sufficient to capture the true nature of my awesomeness. I had a blast pounding the CL and taking out its best weapon system… and then executing a maneuver that allowed me to destroy two ships at once at the moment my heavy weapons could recharge. But this particular scenario needs just a little more development.

  • Scott says:

    Not ready to give my color printer a work out but close. On Ebay Talon is going for $51 and 80-something

  • Arturo says:

    So what other awesome games are not getting the play time they deserve?

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