Brief synopsis, details to follow:
3 Battles, victories 2 Belkov, 1 “undecided but probable” Belkov
B) Free4 L 420, victory = going in Belkov’s favor but game crashes
C) Free4 L 440, victory = Belkov (mostly)
I wouldn’t deny the last battle going to Belkov as a “win”, but there are victories of many sorts… Belkov’s 3 SaberHawks were prevailing against Montel’s CM & NCB. After the first battle passes, the CM was severely damaged and I switched to the NCB. After some maneuvering, I swung around to tractor the CM and use my transporters to “rescue the crew.” (Actually, I was grabbing some spare parts off of the CM, but if this was the paper game, I would have rescued the crew.) With Belkov’s 3 ships still in pursuit and all in fairly good shape, I decided discretion was the better part of blah blah blah, and dropped the tractor and took the NCB to the map edge. Tactically, two interesting things happened. When my NCB disengaged, the lead SBH in pursuit essentially followed it to warp; at the very least, it wandered far off map and refused to take Belkov’s commands. It also turned out that despite a lot of damage, the CM’s engines wern’t too bad off, and the remaining SBH had maintained pursuit of the NCB, leaving them some distance from the CM. Dropping weapons arming and prioritizing engine repairs, I pointed the CM i the opposite direction and floored it. The SBH did give chase and continued firing but not enough to slow down the CM, which made the border and warped out.
Again, clearly a “win” for Belkov according to the Mission Debriefing,, but any “loss” that comes with “Player fleet losses = 0” is better than nothing. In a campaign, setting, we live to fight again…