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Action Phase

Steve has the following Action Cards
Card Description
Cultural Crisis Player of your choice loses all racial special abilities (+ and -) this round.
Direct Hit! Destroy 1 damaged Dreadnought or War Sun.
Direct Hit! (Steve has 2) Destroy 1 damaged Dreadnought or War Sun.
Rare Mineral You get 3 free Trade Goods when you successfully invade a neutral planet.
Sabotage Cancel any other action card (can't be used against another Sabotage)
Skilled Retreat Choose 1 of your fleets that is in a space battle, put a Command Counter from supply in an adjacent system and move your fleet there.
Strategic Bombardment Play in system in which you have War Sun and enemy planets: exhaust all planets. Then roll die: 1-5= discard this card 6+ = return card to your hand

The official FAQ/Errata document published by Fantasy Flight Games adds the following comment to the "Direct Hit!" Action Card:
Play immediately after the ship has been damaged in a Space Battle in which you participate.

Steve has 2 "Direct Hit!" Action Cards. However, the rules of the game prohibit playing the same Action Card twice in a round on the same entity. (For example. you cannot play the same Action Card on the same fleet in a round). Also, the odds are pretty much against him. He's thinking that retreat may be the best (if not only) plan.

The FAQ also contains information about retreats.
When retreating, the retreating player must retreat into a previously activated system that contains no enemy ships (but can contain enemy planets with Ground Forces, PDS, and Space Docks).

Having the "Skilled Retreat" Action Card changes how Steve might think about a retreat.

The only place Steve could move to in a retreat is the previously activated system containing his 2 Dreadnoughts and a Carrier. But that is not a good choice because of his current Fleet Supply. He has 4 Command Counters there, limiting the total number of ships in any one system to 4. With three ships already in that system, he cannot retreat all three of his Cruisers from "Mecatol Rex" into that space. (Assuming more than 1 Cruiser survives the battle).

However Steve could use the "Skilled Retreat", if he does retreat, to exit into the "Thibah" system.

That would be legal since there is only an enemy Ground Force there.

Before any actual combat begins the players must resolve any pre-combat conditions. The official order of pre-combat conditions are as follows:

None of the pre-combat conditions apply in this battle. A Space Battle follows this sequence:

  1. Announce withdrawls/retreats
  2. Roll combat dice
  3. Remove casualties
  4. Execute withdrawls/retreats

The sequence (1 thru 4) repeats until only one player's ships are remaining in the system.

Continue the Space Battle.

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