Sorry for the delay in posting this up - work seems to have intervened. However back to the action
Actually something the more observant may have noticed, I didn't update on the ground battle, and it was here that the game was starting to firmly swing in favour of the Scourge. They had managed to land significant troop concentrations on both the Southern Communication Cluster AND Military Complex. In return the presence of the Scourge Corvettes had caused the PHR Strike Carriers to veer away from their original target, and the Troopships were also not keen to risk entering the maelstrom that the centre of the map was becoming. This gave the Scourge control of at least one Military Complex, and its attending orbital defence weaponry, an advantage they hammered home by playing a Command Card that added a second burn through laser to the defences. This produced a massive barrage of deadly ground fire that chopped one PHR Troopship in two.
Back in orbit and the new turn began well for the PHR. The Battleship and Scourge Shenlong (Flagship) exchanged fire and again the Dark Matter Cannon proved lethal, detonating the Shenlong and frying the Scourge Admiral. Whatever joy that gave was short-lived as the Scourge Djinn Class Frigate Squadron with it's frankly horrifying close combat plasma weapons pounced on the Battleship. Losing the Admiral had dropped the Scourge Command rating to one, but the card they now played was devastating - allowing the Djinn Squadron to maximise its firepower - 24 attack dice. The Battleship boiled, then died.
And that was pretty much that. The PHR Admiral decided it was not worth further contesting the objectives and to fight another day.
Uncontested Corvettes pose a significant threat to Strike Carriers (you don't say!) however the Scourge Corvettes on this game actually delivered very little other than act as a deterrent. In some ways that was a game winner, allowing the Scourge to get troops onto objectives unchallenged, however in truth they were very badly handled and missed several chances to pick off PHR ships - all down to Admiral Klutz I'm afraid. Must do better next time.
The PHR Battleship was a truly trouser-filling opponent. The Dark Matter Cannon main armament ripped targets apart with a single hit. I don'y know the answer to that except maybe run lots of small targets that are not individually worth the effort, or bring a Battleship of my own? The Djinn again proved excellent and are cementing their place as a "must have" in my lists.
Thanks to Paul Davison for being such a worthy opponent.