Thursday, October 24, 2013

Mechani-Kon this weekend!

I know it's late notice, but...

Mechani-Kon is this Saturday, October 26, if you happen to be in the Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada area.  While primarily a GW 40K Tournament, there will also be a Warmachine/Hoards Tournament going on as well.

Unfortunately, I won't be playing in the tournament this year, but come on down and say hi to everyone!  I know the 40k tournament is pretty full, but they MAY have a couple of open slots at the door - it was filled to capacity weeks ago.  You never know if anyone is going to drop out at the last minute, though.

Check out the info on their website for location and times:

Monday, October 21, 2013

BatRep: 500 Pt “Highlander” Battle: Kingdom of Britannia vs Russian Coalition

Admiral Dimitry Orlov was unhappy in his cabin on the Russian Batttleship Georgy Pobedonosets II ("St George the Victorious II" in English).  His last battleship had taken him a while to get comfortable in and now he had to start the cycle all over again.

At least he was alive to complain about it…

As part of the break-down cruise, the Admiral was participating in a Fleet Exercise against a small British Task Force. 

“What a waste of time!” growled Orlov.  “Everyone knows that we’re ready to fight the enemy!  Let us get started!  I want back in the FIGHT!”

A whistle through the speaking tubes caught Orlov’s attention.

“Attention – British fleet spotted.  Prepare for battle drills.  Admiral to the Bridge, please”

Well, let’s get this over with…

So, checking out the Spartan Community on their Website, a lot of Tournament and Event Organizers are talking about running “Highlander” events.  If you’ve never seen the movie (why NOT?!?!?), the important line is: “There can be only ONE!”

In a Highlander event, you have your normal restrictions – no matter the game, BUT you can take only one of each unit/selection/whatever.  With Dystopian Wars, that means you can take one of each Squadron type, whether it be Destroyers, Frigates, Cruisers, Gunships, but ONLY 1!  Also, you still need to meet your minimum fleet organizations: 1 Small, 1 Medium and 1 Large/Massive choice.  At 500 points, that’s almost all that you can afford – unless you play around with your squadron sizes and options a bit.  To make the game play faster, I also suggested we use no Tiny Fliers unless one of the fleet choices was a Carrier.
I wanted to know a little bit more about this format so Graham and I decided to test it out.  I decided to test the format with the following fleet restrictions/requirements:
  • 500 point game size
  • Minimum 1 squad of each size (Small, Medium & Large/Massive)
  • Standard 40% Max on Smalls, 70% on Medium and Large/Massive
  • No Dreadnoughts
  • No Tiny Fliers unless you paid for a Carrier
  • No unit type could be selected more than once – whether as a squadron, attachment, etc.

Graham kept threatening me with “something new” and mentioned the Chinese Federation fleet, so I opted for the Russians.  (Besides, I had just finished re-inking them and wanted some feedback on how they looked!)  Before the game, I had made about 6 fleet lists for my Russian Coalition (RC), but chose the following:
  • 1 Pesets Submarine (Submerged)
  • 4 Novgorod Frigates with a Borodino Battleship (Torpedo Breaker) following behind
  • 2 Suvorov Cruisers

Of course, Graham decided to try and trick me, so instead of the Chinese, he showed up with the British!  For the Kingdom of Britannia (KoB), Graham decided to deploy:

  • 3 Orion Destroyers (Proxied by frigates) followed by a Ruler Battleship and 1 Bastion Escort
  • 3 Tribal Cruisers

After deployment, we rolled for missions.  The British rolled a 1: the default 70% of the enemy fleet captured or destroyed.  The Russians rolled “Capture the Commodore” and I figured: “Why Not?”  I had wanted to see if random missions would work or not, so I may as well stick with it!

Start of Game!

Turn 1:
Russians won the Initiative

The Russian Sub moved first, submerged, with both Echoes moving in different directions and speeds.  The British Destroyers moved forward about 8”.  A few activations later, Graham would remember that the Destroyers had forward firing torpedoes that he forgot to fire.  Russian Frigates moved to the left at about a 45 degree angle, their weapons all Out-Of-Range.  The British Battleship moved forward, turning to the right to present Broadsides to the Russians, and it’s Escort blocking Line Of Sight to the center of the Battleship.  The Battleship fired and was able to sink one of the Russian Frigates.  The Russian Frigate Squadron shocked at the unexpected sinking of a squadron-mate, failed its Break Test!

First Blood to the British!

The Russian Cruisers moved forward and though the Turrets were Out-Of-Range, the Broadsides had a shot at the British Destroyers (which missed)!  The British Cruisers had no such problems, moving and turning right to form a line, they managed to remove the Ablative Armor on one of the Russian Cruisers.  In the final activation, the Russian Battleship failed to activate its Sturginium Boost, but advanced forward as fast as it could.  Sadly, everything was out of range of the Battleship.

In the End Phase, the Russian Frigates successfully rallied.

RC:         25pts
KOB:      0!

Turn 2:
Russians won Initiative!

The Russians started things with a Bang!  The Cruisers advanced at full speed, their turrets damaged 1 British Cruiser while the broadsides sank 1 Destroyer and damaged a 2nd!  The British Frigates passed their Break Test.

Cruisers advance and fire!

The British Destroyers countered: an attack run resulted in one Russian Frigate sunk, but the Frigates passed their Break Test this time.

Long Range Destroyer Fire!

The Russian Frigates retaliated with their own attack on the British Destroyers, sinking both with Guns and Mortars!

The Frigates get their Revenge!

The British Cruisers continued their turn Line of Battle as they circled the Russian Cruisers.  When the British firing finished, the damaged Russian sank beneath the waves while the second cruiser lost its Ablative Armour.

British Cruiser's Line of Battle proves EFFECTIVE!

The Russian Battleship passed its Sturginium Boost this time and moved forward at maximum speed, but its guns were still Out-Of-Range!  The British Battleship had no such problems as it continued its course to the right.  After declaring the Battleship would fire both turrets and torpedoes at the remaining Russian Cruiser, the Turrets got a Crit: Sturginium Flair!  This moved the Russian Cruiser forward 9”, into a closer range band (and MORE torpedoes) from the British ship.  The resultant torpedo spread resulted in the sinking of the 2nd Russian cruiser in one turn!

Second Russian Cruiser sunk in 1 Turn!

As the final Activation of the turn, the Russian Sub’s Echoes continued their courses at maximum speed, submerged.

End of Turn 2

RC:         190pts
KoB:       105pts

Turn 3:
British won Initiative!

Well, I was nervous.  I had been counting on a 1 – 2 boarding punch with the Cruisers followed by the Battleship to capture the enemy Commodore.  That wasn’t going to happen now!  Things weren’t looking good for the Russians!  I didn’t think we had a chance anymore but was determined to go down fighting!

The British Cruisers went first, continuing their arching path around the Russian Battleship at Range Band 2.  However, the Cruiser’s Turrets failed to damage and the Battleship’s Torpedo Breaker diverted 3 torpedoes to the Sub while the Concussion Charges reduced the impact of the rest: No Damage!  The Russian Battleship passed its Sturginium Boost and advanced forward at maximum speed, turning slightly to the right.  The Russian Turrets inflicted a Crit on the British Battleship (Systems Offline) while the Broadsides crit a Cruiser (Hard Pounding – 1 AP left)!  Not bad…

Russian Guns Speak Loudly!

The British Battleship and escort moved forward next, turning slightly to keep the torpedoes aimed at the Russian Battleship and unleashed Heck!  When the dust settled, the British managed to remove the Ablative Armor on the Russian Vessel.  The Russian Sub, in an attempt to reduce fire on the Battleship, surfaced and attacked the Cruiser squadron.  While its torpedoes failed to do any damage, the Main Guns managed a Crit (Gun Damaged) and the Hard Pounding effect shifted the Cruiser back 2” – sadly missing the following cruiser.

Sub Attack!

In the final activation, the Russian Frigates moved across the board at maximum speed, but were unable to get in range to shoot at anything.

In the End Phase, the British Battleship managed to repair their Systems Failure, but the Cruiser was unable to repair its Gun Damaged effect.

End of Turn 4

KoB:       169pts
RC:         190pts

Turn 4:
British won initiative!

Cackling, the British Commander moved his Battleship and Escort first!  Sadly, the Turrets all failed to damage the Russian Battleship and when torpedoes were launched, the Russian’s Torpedo Breaker redirected 3 torpedoes against the nearest frigate, damaging it.  The remaining torpedoes failed to cause any damage to the Russian Battleship.  The Russian Battleship moved next, turning in front of the British Battleship to intercept next turn (hopefully).  The Russian Battleship’s turrets caused another HP of damage on the British Battleship while the broadsides sank a British Cruiser.  The British Cruisers passed their Break Test.

The Russian Battleship Strikes Again!

The British Cruisers moved forward and managed to Crit the Russian Sub (Sturginium Flair); which caused the Sub to move to the right 5” – and out of the follow-up Torpedo Attack’s arc of fire!  That crit may have just saved the Sub’s life!  The Russian Sub moved forward and turned to face the undamaged Cruiser.  The Guns failed to damage the Cruiser and as both cruisers were too close for a torpedo attack, the sub fired its Torpedo Turret at the British Escort – somehow sinking the escort!

2nd Sub Attack

Finally, the Russian Frigates moved to the right at full speed and managed to sink one of the British Cruisers with their Mortars!  The surviving Cruiser didn’t need to pass another Break Test as they had already passed one test this turn.

Nothing for either side to repair in the End Phase.

End of Turn 4

KoB:       235pts
RC:         202pts

Turn 5:
Russians won the Initiative.

Hoping to end the battle quickly, the Russians activated their Battleship first.  (Before it could be sunk or damaged badly by the British Battleship!)  The Russian ship failed it’s Sturginium Boost test, so only moved its normal maximum speed of 5” – not enough to get into Boarding Range.  With nothing to lose, the Russians fired the turrets and managed a Crit on the Battleship (Raging Fire – 6AP left).  The Russian’s broadsides caused another HP of damage on the last British Cruiser.

The Battleships face off!

The British Battleship moved next, fired its turrets at the Russian Battleship and caused an HP of damage, while the broadsides managed to sink the damaged Russian Frigate.  The surviving Frigate failed its Break Test (AGAIN)!

British Battleship Fire

The Russian Sub realized it was going to be involved in a collision if it stayed on the surface, so it dove and turned towards the British Battleship – just in case it would be needed next turn.  The British Cruiser turned once more and brought torpedoes and both turrets to bear on the Russian Battleship.  The turrets caused another HP of damage, but once again, the Torpedo Breaker diverted 3 torpedoes to an adjacent frigate – this time both ships avoided torpedo damage.

British Cruiser Circles the Russians

As the final activation, the Russian Frigate ran around the far side of the Russian Battleship to avoid taking fire from the British Cruiser next turn.

In the End Phase, the British failed to put out the fire on the Battleship, reducing their AP to 5.

End of Turn 5

KoB:       325pts
RC:         255pts

Turn 6:
Russians won Initiative.

This was our chance!  The Russian Battleship moved forward at maximum speed and boarded the British Battleship.  After some tense dice rolling, the Russians successfully captured the Battleship,Commodore’s Ship, at a cost of 5 AP!  The Boarding Party left 3 AP behind on the prized Battleship – just in case 2 AP were lost trying to put out the fire.  The Russian Objective was complete - the Commodore's Ship was theirs!!!

The British Commodore is Captured!

The British Cruiser fired torps and turrets at both the Frigate and Sub, but failed to damage either.  Failing to damage or capture 350 points of the enemy fleet, the game ended with a Russian Victory!

The Last British Cruiser fails to damage anything in the last turn.

Great Game!  To the best of my memory – this was the longest game we ever played.  I think our personal best before this was 4 turns!

The “Highlander” format was fun and with only 500 points for your fleet choices, I think it’ll make things manageable and fast.  Most fleets will only be able to have 3 Squadrons, unless they’re willing to reduce the number of ships from Maximum squadron sizes, use unusual (cheaper) squadron selections or points for various options.  Keeping the free tiny fliers off the board really helped speed up the game as well.  The only problem I see with 500pt fleets is that fleets will be vulnerable to "Kill all Smalls" or "Kill all Mediums" missions.  I'll try a couple more battles at this level before making the final decision what size to use for a fun event.

Looking at my (the Russian) fleet selection, I took a chance dropping one cruiser to get the sub (and an extra activation), but I think it was worthwhile.  The extra activation allowed me to keep the Battleship relatively safe by moving it after the British were done all their moves until I was willing to move it first and attack with the Battleship.  Though my Cruisers got chewed up and spit out pretty fast, the Sub was a constant threat for most of the game – able to surface and attack at a moment’s notice.  More importantly, it gave me a second Medium choice.  If Graham had drawn "50% & all Medium Choices", Graham could have potentially won on Turn 5 or drawn on Turn 6.

This is the weakness of the 500pt limit.

Graham always complains about the Ablative Armour of the Russian Fleet, but this time, I think he figured it out.  He stripped through all of it by the end of Turn 3.  The British fleet played it safe by trying to keep outside of Range Band 2 until they could bring overwhelming fire to pierce the Armour.  It worked against the Cruisers, but unfortunately for Graham, he just couldn't damage the Russian Battleship fast enough to prevent the Russian ship from launching its entire load of 12AP at his crippled Battleship.

The fact that the British Battleship lost over half their AP before I attempted the boarding just made it worse.  I lucked out on the fact the Criticals and Raging Fire did exactly the right type of damage I needed him to take so that my Conscript Crew had a chance to overwhelm his own crew.  The 6 turns also gave me the time to trap his Battleship that I would not have been able to do in a shorter game.

Over all, this was a fun game that played quite quickly for 6 Turns.  I look forward to another mission soon!

Monday, October 7, 2013

BatRep: Road to Rabaul Campaign Book, Screamin’ Demons

Taking a break from Dystopian Wars, we went to the second mission in the campaign book.

Historically, an Australian Coast Watcher reported a large formation of bombers with escorts on their way to Darwin.  The American “Screamin’ Demons” of the 7th Pursuit Squadron made their attack shortly after the bombers had dropped their payload.

The Japanese Navy Air Force consisted of a formation of8 (9?) G4M1 “Betty” Twin-Engine Bombers in a “V” formation at TAL 3 with 2 sections of 3 Zeroes escorting in front, one at TAL 1, the other at TAL6.  Finally, a lone Zero followed the bombers as a rear-guard on the same TAL level (3).

The Americans started out with 8 P40 Warhawks BUT 5 of the pilots are “Green”.  They were so inexperienced, one of the pilots broke formation and went charging off on his own! 

On the table, the Bombers were set up in the middle of ‘C’ section of the playing field, with 2 sections of Zeros set up in Section ‘D’ and the lone Zero behind the bombers.  The Americans then setup their fighters in the ‘E’ section.  Per the tactics of the time, there were two Formations, 1 Attack Flight and 1 Support Flight.  All the American fighters started off at TAL 5 – charging at the Bombers from above!  To represent the “hot head” that broke formation way too soon, the Attack flight had only 3 planes while the “Lone Eagle” set up on his own.  Historically, this “Lone Eagle” dove through the bomber formation on his own, firing his guns and emptying them in one pass!

After Aircraft were placed, we both rolled for the Variable Rules”.  The Americans rolled “Buck Fever”: All Green Pilots are Out Of Formation.  This was bad as it meant that they could not stay in formation and take advantage of the Skilled or Veteran Pilot’s abilities.  The Japanese rolled “Usagi No Ashi” (“Rabbit’s Foot” if I can trust Google): Any G4M1 Bomber ignores the first damage roll (Basically a free hit!).

Looking at the deployment photos it looks like the 2 V sections of Zeroes are in a bad position and I was worried that they wouldn’t be useful where they were but that was pretty much as close as I could set them up per the mission instructions.  The Bombers, with a speed of 2 hexes per turn, would take about 10 turns to make it off the board edge on the opposite side of the map.

With 8 Warhawks screaming at them, I was worried about the bombers…


Turn 1:
The Betty bombers trucked forward 2 hexes to maintain formation.  The US “Green” pilots had to move next in sequence as they had all broken formation per the “Buck Fever”.  This allowed all the Zeroes (whose flights were all led by Skilled pilots) to move in the Skilled Move Group.  The two V formations of Zeroes turned right to engage the US Fighters, the flight at TAL1 climbing to TAL2 and dropping to Speed 2 while the Solo Zero moved forward and slipped to the right.  The Americans all dove to TAL 4 so that they could shoot at the bombers, move an extra hex and increased their speed to 4 for next turn.  An extra “free” hex move as was allowed per the rules.  By the time the Americans completed their moves, I was unable to determine if there was any formation – it looked like a Free-For-All! 

After all the moves were completed, we started the Fire Phase.  All shooting is Simultaneous, so we started with the Warhawks first.  The only one to hit was the Lone Eagle on one of the Bombers, but due to the “Usagi No Ashi” rule, it ignored the damage!  The bombers fired next but the only shots they had were with the Waist Guns which were single Light Machine Guns, so we didn’t really expect anything to happen.  And we were not surprised!  No damage from the bombers!  Finally, the “Tail Flight” Zero fired (it was the only Zero with a shot) and successfully blew the Lone Eagle Flight from the skies with lucky Cannon fire (I needed a modified roll of 11 to hit and GOT it)!  Out of curiosity, we rolled and confirmed that Harold Martin successfully bailed out before the plane crashed.
First Kill for the Japanese Navy!

End of turn 1

Turn 2:
So the Bombers started things off, dawdling forward 2 hexes again.  The Japanese at TAL2 climbed to TAL3 and dropped to speed 1 while the Zeroes at TAL6 dropped to TAL5, maintaining speed 3 and turning towards the Americans.  Most of the American fighters continued to charge towards the Bombers at speed 4 except for 2 planes; Plane 1 which turned to engage the solo Zero and Plane 2 which turned to engage one of the flights of Zeros.

In the Fire Phase, the Veteran P40 and Trailing Zero fired at each other Head-To-Head, both failing to hit.  Meanwhile on of the bombers with the Pop-Gun managed to hit the Veteran P40, forcing it to roll on the Robustness table to prevent damage.  Unfortunately, the Vet rolled doubles, resulting in a Lucky Hit: which resulted in a 12: Explosion!  Kill for the Bomber!  Another bomber got another hit on Warhawk #3, which also failed its Robustness Roll; Airframe Damage!


End of Turn 2
Turn 3:
Attempting to spoil the American Attacks, the Bomber formation made a side-skip to the right, into the American Fighters.  The ploy worked as some fighters overflew the formation.  The Zeros flying high also side-slipped as they dove down towards the American Fighters, while the Trailing Zero side-slipped as well, catching the 7th Warhawk in his sights.  The Zeroes that had climbed from TAL1 side-slipped towards the Bombers, and managed to increase their speed to 2 by flying level.

We started attacks with the Americans this time.  The Warhawk in the Trailing Zero’s sights managed to cause Airframe damage to one bomber, while a second fighter got a Lucky Hit on another bomber – and promptly rolled Double-6: ANOTHER mid-air Explosion!

The Trailing Zero managed to get Airframe Damage on the Warhawk directly ahead, but ran out of ammo in the process!  The Diving Zeros then pounced on the Warhawks from above: Two Zeroes shared a kill on one Warhawk (the pilot bailing out successfully), and the 3rd Zero shot down a second fighter on his own (this pilot also successfully bailed out)!

End of Turn 3

Turn 4:
The Americans had suffered enough and cut their losses.  Using their superior dive speed (and catching the Japanese completely off guard), the Warhawks all dove to TAL1.  As the sides were 2+ TAL levels apart, there could be no shooting this turn.  Graham conceded the game and announced he would disengage below TAL1 next turn.

Now we had to figure out the points:

None of the Zeros were damaged or shot down so there were no Victory Points there.  One Betty Bomber was shot down and one was damaged.  Rolling to see what happened to the damaged bomber, we discovered it crashed on landing – counting as a second Kill.  As a twin bomber, they were worth 8 points each for a total of 16 points for the Americans.  Not very good news.

On the other side, the Japanese Shot down 4 Warhawks and damaged another which had crashed on landing for a total of 5 Fighters at 4 points each.  There was a bonus of 2 points for shooting down the Veteran US Pilot.  That was a total of 22 “Normal” Victory Points.  Also, the mission awarded bonus points for each bomber than would make it safely to base (4 Points each for 6 bombers) for an additional 24 points.  (Re-reading the mission, I was supposed to only have 8 bombers, not 9).  This gave the Japanese a total of 46 Victory Points – a major Victory!

WOW!  I was expecting a lot worse damage on the Japanese Bombers, but dice conspired against the American P40 Warhawks this time.  This is probably the shortest game of Check Your 6! I've ever played.

Usually, the Betty doesn’t do well against American Fighters.  Using Light Machine Guns,on the front, sides and top, they only get to do D4 damage unless the enemy flies behind the bomber were a Low Velocity Cannon can roll a D10 for damage.  Graham knows this so avoids being behind the Betties whenever he can.  What the LMG does is forces the fighters to make a Robustness save and (hopefully) cause a Lucky Hit when doubles are rolled.  Usually these are frustrating or annoying penalties.  We’ve never had a game where we had 2 Lucky Hits that caused Explosions before.

The other thing that really hampered the Americans this mission was the large number of “Green” pilots.  While historically accurate, it really hampered their attacks on the Bombers this time.

The Trailing Zero was a problem for Graham, shooting down 1 Warhawk and damaging another.  It was a threat that he couldn’t ignore.  Once the other Zeroes got into position in Turn 3 (shooting down 2 more Warhawks in a single turn), Graham really didn’t have any other option other than to disengage.  If he had stayed, the full might of the 6 Zeroes that lead the formation would have been in the rear of most of his fighters and he just wouldn’t have survived that.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

BatRep: 1k pts - Prussian Empire Wolf Pack vs Covenant of Antarctica (Incomplete Game)

Admiral Von Shtupp was bored.

He was onboard one of the Empire’s latest innovations – a Sturmbringer Submarine and was being shown around by a junior officer.  While an impressive achievement, Von Shtupp didn’t need to be shown galleys and crew bunks – they were all pretty much the same on all Imperial Ships.

Suddenly the Klaxon sounded – “Action Stations! Action Stations!  Admiral to the Bridge!”

Oh dear.  They’re putting on a show for me.  At least it’ll end this awful boring tour…

“Captain, what’s the situation?”

“Admiral!  We’ve spotted an Antarctican Fleet heading this way.  We still have your launch tied along side.  We can get you to shore before we engage…”

“Captain!  I will not permit you to endanger this ship or its escorts while you worry about me!  Cast-off the lines and get underway IMMEDIATELY!  Consider this a test for your new command and don’t you let down the Emperor!”

“Sir!?!?  Are you sure you wouldn’t like to take command?”

“No Captain, I haven’t the experience with your task force or this ship.  Consider me an Observer for this action.”

Well, thought Von Shtupp, this could be an interesting day after all…



So I received my “Wolf Pack” box set and wanted to try it out.  My opponent and I agreed to 1ooo points and away we went…


Prussian Deployment (Top to Bottom):

3 Arminus Frigates
2 Pflicht Scoutships
3 Arminus Frigates
Wing of Fighters
5 Zerstorer Strike Bombers followed by
1 Rhine Carrier with a Fighter Wing & Spotter Token deployed
3 Donnerfaust Support Cruisers
Wing of Dive Bombers
1 Sturmbringer Submarine with Spotter Plane launched.
3 Arminus Frigates


Antarctica Deployment (Top to Bottom):

2 Plutarch Destroyers
3 Diogenes Frigates
1 Daedalus Skyship
Wing of Fighter Drones
3 Diogenes Frigates
1 Aristotle Battleship
2 Plato cruisers with 1 Fresnel Support Cruiser
3 Diogenes Frigates with
1 Aronax (the “Worm”) Submersible



Being lazy, we both opted for the standard 70% Victory Points mission.


Turn 1:
PE won initiative

I didn’t really want first activation, so I stalled by moving the sub’s Spotter forward at ½ speed.  CoA Destroyers moved forward about ½ speed, baiting my frigates.  I didn’t fall for it; I moved the Carrier’s spotter plane around the left of the island on my table side.  CoA Fighters moved forward at ½ speed to kill an activation.  Prussian Dive Bombers moved forward at full speed.  The CoA Skyship moved forward over an island.  Prussian Fighters moved forward at full speed.  The CoA Worm advanced, submerged, turning towards the frigates on the right side of the table.  Prussian Frigates on the right moved forward about 4”.  CoA Frigates on the left moved forward about ½ speed.  Prussian Strike Bombers stayed obscured and moved over the island at ½ speed.  CoA Frigates in the center moved forward at ½ speed.  Prussian Scoutships stayed high and moved forward 4”.  CoA Fighters moved forward at ½ speed.  Prussian Frigates moved forward in the center.  Finally the CoA Battleship moved out, coming to surface level and firing broadsides at one of the Zepps and Critting it (Raging Fire – 4AP left).  The rest of the shooting from the Battleship missed or failed to damage anything – but first significant damage of the game was made!

The Prussian Frigates on the left moved forward at maximum speed and fired on the Destroyers, sinking one.  First Blood to the Prussians!

CoA Frigates moved forward on the right about 4”.  The last Prussian Fighter squadron moved and landed on the Carrier to be re-purposed.  CoA Cruisers moved forward and turned to the left, bringing all their turrets to bear on one of the Prussian Cruisers.  The Fresnel’s Accumilator activated successfully and in some of the worst rolling of the game, barely managed to crit one of the Cruisers (Nav Lock).  It should have double or triple crit the cruiser with the amount of dice being rolled!  Sadly for the CoA, this was their last activation of the turn!

The Prussian Admiral realized that the Fresnel could not be allowed to live.  The Prussian Sub rolled an extra 2” movement from the Tesla Generator and moved forward, then turned to the right, presenting broadsides.  The Speerschleuder turrets managed to double-crit the Fresnel and sank it.  Sadly, the Bombard failed to damage the CoA Battleship.  The CoA Cruisers did fail their Break Test.  The Sub failed to Panic Dive – leaving it vulnerable on the surface.

Prussian Cruisers went next – the one stuck moving straight ahead, the other 2 turning to the left – hoping to protect the sub (but not quite getting there.  Linked fire from the Cruisers managed to cause a Crit on one of the remaining Cruisers (Engine Damage).  Finally, the Carrier moved forward 4”, hiding behind the island as best it could.

As the final activation, the Prussian Carrier moved forward 4”, trying to stay behind the island as much as possible.


In the End Phase:

The Prussians failed to repair the Nav Lock on the cruiser AND failed to put out the fire on the Zepp (3AP left).

The CoA were able to repair their damaged Nav Lock on their Cruiser.

CoA:      147 pts
PE:          0!  Nothing was crippled or sunk!  (That wouldn’t last long!)


Turn 2:
CoA Won the Initiative!

So the Worm went first!  Though it failed its Sturginium Boost roll, it came to the surface and attacked the Prussian Sub, getting a Crit (Hard Pounding – 1AP left!) with the Particle Accelerator.  The Worm then fired off its Cloud Generator as it failed its Panic Dive.  The Prussian Dive Bombers attacked the Worm, causing 1 HP damage for the cost of 2 tokens.

The CoA Cruisers continued their course to the left of the table and managed to Crit the damaged Zepp again (Guns Damaged – 1 HP left) - finally crippling the Zepp.

The Prussian Sub moved forward and fired all weapons on the Worm, but only managed to get 1HP of damage on the Worm.  But that was enough – it also added a Lightning Rod token to the worm.

CoA Frigates made a torpedo run on the Prussian Sub, but failed to damage it.  The Frigates did manage to shoot down another Dive Bomber.  PE Cruisers surrounded the CoA Worm and the Frigates.  Thanks to the Lightning Rod, the Worm was sunk with a double-crit and a Frigate was sunk with a Broadside shot while a second Frigate was zapped by a Tesla Generator (Nav Lock).  The lightning display was too much for the surviving frigates – they failed their Break Test.

The CoA Battleship moved forward and opened fire, critting 2 Prussian Cruisers (the Damaged Cruiser was Fusion Leak – 1 HP left, a second one was Nav Locked). 

Prussian Fighters attacked a wing of Drones and shot down all 5 drones for a cost of 3 tokens.  The CoA Destroyers moved forward and sank 1 Prussian Frigate, damaged another and lost all their AP attempting to board the 3rd Frigate on the left.  The Frigates passed their Break Test.

The Prussian Frigates on the left charged past the CoA Destroyer, firing aft Tesla as they passed and guns at the Frigates in front – the result was to damage both the Destroyer and 1 Frigate.  The CoA Frigates on the left moved forward and caught the Prussian Frigates in a perfect cross-fire – sinking both!

The Prussian Carrier launched a full wing of Torpedo Bombers, then moved forward 3”.  The CoA Skyship came down to Flying Height, turned to present broadsides and shot down the damaged Zepp.

Prussian Frigates on the far right maneuvered around the Subs and Cruisers to attack the CoA Frigates, and sank 1 Frigate.

The last CoA Drone Wing attacked the last 2 Prussian Fighters, reducing their fuel to 1 for no losses in return.  One of the Prussian Spotters landed on the Carrier to re-purpose.  CoA Frigates in the center attempt a torpedo attack on the damaged Cruiser but failed to damage it.  The CoA Frigates did manage to shoot down the last two Prussian Fighters.  This was the last activation for the CoA.

Free to act as they wished, the Prussians moved their last spotter plane forward at ½ speed, and the Strike Bombers made an attack run on the CoA Frigates in the center, splitting their attacks and damaging 2 of the 3 Frigates – as well as adding Lightning Tokens to both!  Prussian Frigates attacked the lead (damaged) CoA Cruiser and sank it with a double-crit.  Finally, the last Prussian Zepp dropped to Flying Height and sank the last CoA Destroyer.


In the End Phase:

The CoA were able to repair the Tesla Effect on their Frigate, but were unable to dislodge the Lightning Rods.  The Broken Squadrons failed their Rally Test.

The PE repaired 1 cruiser but failed to repair the Crippled Cruiser.


Sadly, at this point, we ran out of time.


CoA:      396
PE:          182


A Draw!


Well, that was a shock!  I got a charge out of that!

Sorry – I was just channeling my old Electronics teacher there…

I would have liked another turn or two – just to see what would/could have happened.  I think the CoA suffered more from bad dice rolls rather than bad tactics on his part or brilliant tactics on my part.

So what’s my impression of the “Wolf Pack”?

The Sturmbringer Submarine is interesting, but a sub that is unable to fire torpedoes or any other long-ranged fire while submerged. . I don’t know.  The fact that it has extremely limited availability (1 per 1250pts or part thereof) means it won’t be too many battles with multiple subs.  I do like the weapons load and it would have been nice if I could ever pass a Dive test, but I’m still on the fence here.  The sub definitely needs more play-testing on my part to learn how best to use it.  The sub does work well with the tactics of the Support Cruisers.  The extra Spotter Plane token granting an extra activation was nice, too!

Donnerfaust Support Cruisers were very interesting.  Unlike most Prussian ships, the Support Cruisers don’t have large boarding potential and do require turning and presenting their Broadsides to maximize their turrets.  While the same is true with the Dreadnought, most Prussian Battleships usually have a generator stuck on the back turret ring and other mediums tend to be “forward firing” so that they can close (and board) as quickly as possible.  While a departure from standard Prussian Tactics, the potential broadside attacks with both Turrets is impressive and deadly!

The Zerstorer Strike Bombers are limited but useful in a follow-up capacity.  You need the numbers in case some are lost on the way in.  Staying at Obscured makes them much harder to hit (6’s only for most ordinance).  I’d like another flight of 5, but I’m not sure I want the whole box set.  Definitely another choice I need to play-test some more.

I took the Pflicht Zepps because I wanted the “extra” spotters for the Tesla Bombards.  While I don’t think it was a bad decision, I never did use them for that purpose.  They did act as “Fire-Magnets” and the extra HP damage it took to cripple and destroy them was a pain for the CoA.  In this case, I think they earned their points by distracting the fire from the Skyships and the Cruisers from more important targets.

The Arminus Frigates did what they do best – spread destruction and distraction as best they could.  While I lost one squadron on the left, the other two squadrons went out and wreaked havoc on the right.  Don’t leave home without them!

The Rhine Carrier did what I wanted it to – provide a landing and launch platform, I didn’t use it to its full potential.  It would have been able to start bombarding the CoA Battleship next turn and the Torpedo Bombers would have been in range to attack as well.  I would have been able to launch another Wing the turn after (I could have done an under-sized 3-strong wing next turn, but figured the Bombard would have been more important against the Battleship).

On the other side, the CoA were doing well until the dice failed him.  Once he started rolling bad, he couldn’t seem to get out of the dumpster.  The Battleship was starting to make its presence felt and turning things around.  The game would be decided next turn dependent on what happened with the Battleship next turn.