The various races and rules that have been appearing for Star Fleet Battles since I originally played it in the 80s and 90s have mostly left me cold. This may simply be because I have not had a chance to play them. In any case, re-absorbing the game is taking enough of my time and energy. However, occasionally something happens in my ongoing Federation and Empire campaign to change things around a little, and this has happened recently.
I have automated rules for the Andromedans who, unknown two the galactic powers, have finished constructing their network of rapid transit bases. It is now Spring 178 and the Andros are shifting their strategy to probes into the territories of the various empires. Mostly this is intelligence gathering, but they will go for a target of opportunity should it present itself.
This has just happened with an Andromedan force raiding its way across Klingon space in the sensitive rear areas on the Hydran Front. The invaders came across an important Klingon logistics node, a Battle Station sheltering a Fleet Repair Dock, which was in the middle of repairing an F5W War Destroyer. There were no Klingon forces available to help the station, but the Vudar responded by warping in a reasonably substantial force to help their Klingon allies. The probing Andromedans lost a Cobra, with its Conquistador mothership crippled; in return, they vaporized a Vudar Scout Frigate before leaving well enough alone.
This is the second time the Andromedans have done something threatening, with both occasions occurring in Coalition-controlled space. The Alliance has not yet experienced anything similar but it is only a matter of time.
This gave me the opportunity to try out the Vudar and I have to say I really like their ships. They combine powerful ion cannons with a mixture of phaser types on the same hulls, giving them decent firepower. I'd say they are probably offensively stronger than the Klingons, but not as much as the Federation in terms of the amount of damage they can produce. Like the Federation photons, the ion cannon takes two turns to arm. It does not do as much damage, but it has a better chance to hit, rolling two dice in a way similar to the Hydran hellbores. Their defensive capabilities are impressive; they use an ion pulse generator to provide themselves with defensive electronic warfare or to to fry incoming missiles - not that the Andromedans have any of those.
I enjoyed this particular fight. One of the reasons for playing my way through the General War and beyond is not just to satisfy my boardgames cravings; it is also to try out new things as and when they appear. I think by the time I am finished the whole thing I will have enough experience to be able to try different possibilities.