Sunday, September 21, 2014

BatRep: Dystopian Wars V2 - 1000pt Kingdom of Britannia vs Prussian Empire

Admiral Von Shtupp looked out over the tranquil seas of the Caribbean from his Command Ship, the Elbe-class Fleet Carrier SMS Graf Zeppelin.  After having been reinforced, re-supplied and repaired at their new base, the Prussians were out on a search and destroy mission against their old foes, the Kingdom O Britannia.

Von Shtupp wanted revenge after the humiliation he suffered from his last battle.  This was going to be his opportunity.  Now, Von Shtupp’s task force was sailing through the island chains, acting on a tip from some local islanders that the British were searching for an easy attack route to the Prussian’s base and determine how weak the Prussian Defenses were.  Von Shtupp intended to demonstrate the latter were not weak at all...

“Admiral!  We’re approaching the point of interception.  What are your orders?”

“Launch all Dive Bombers.  I want to launch an all-out effort as soon as we know where the British are.  Have the Kaiser Karl form up beside us and deploy the rest of the fleet on both flanks.  Have all ships go to High Alert.”

“Yes Sir!  Will you be coming into the Command Centre now?”

“Not yet.  I want the pilots to see that I’m watching them as they launch.  It helps to inspire both them and myself to fight our best.”

“Yes Sir.  I’ll go inside and send out your orders.”

Von Shtupp was already looking back over the rail, listening as the great Carrier’s elevators and deck crews started preparing the Dive Bombers to launch.

“Soon.  Very soon I will have my vengeance…”


So, the Grudge Match was on!  The same Prussian Fleet (more or less) was facing off against the same Kingdom of Britannia fleet (more or less) that humiliated the Prussians not so long ago…

(Maybe humiliation’s a little too strong a word, but I wanted revenge anyway!)  ;)

We decided on a 4’ X 4’ play surface to help speed up the game (we were a little limited for time).  Our battle zone consisted of 4 Massive islands, 2 on the south edge on opposite corners, one in the North-East corner and the last was a little off-center in the middle of the table.

The British won Strategic Advantage and the Prussians the Operational Advantage.  British deployed their forces on the North table edge, the Prussians the South edge.

Neither force had any Advance, Flank or Reserve Forces.  As we had Operational Advantage, the Prussians made the British start deployment. 

Deployment of the Kingdom of Britannia (KoB)
(West to East)
  • 1 X Hood Battle Cruiser
  • 1 X Hood Battle Cruiser
  • 4 X Attacker Frigates
  • 1 X Ruler Battleship with Guardian Generator
  • 2 X Fighter SAS (5 Tokens each)
  • 1 X Ruler Battleship with Guardian Generator (Commodore’s Flag Ship)
  • 2 Squadrons of 4 X Attack Frigates, 1 Squadron behind the other

Deployment of the Prussian Empire (PE)
(West to East)
  • 3 X Saxony Corvettes
  • 1 X Konigsberg Battle Cruisers
  • 3 X Uhlan Cruisers
  • 1 Fighter SAS (5 Tokens)
  • 1 Kaiser Karl Heavy Battleship
  • 1 X Elbe Fleet Carrier with 2 Dive Bomber Squadrons (1 with 5 tokens, 1 with 4 tokens) (Commodore’s Flag Ship)
  • 1 Fighter SAS (5 Tokens)
  • 4 X Arminius Frigates & 4 Saxony Corvettes (interlaced)

Start of Game

Both players drew their Mission Cards but the Prussians drew “Commodore’s Discretion”, allowing the Prussians to choose whatever mission they wanted.  Bwa-Ha-Haaaa!!!

Both players then go through their decks and selected their 6 TAC cards.  Then, we were ready to play!

Turn 1
In the TAC phase, BOTH players played “Lost Orders”, allowing each player to randomly draw a card from the other player’s TAC hand.  The KOB lost “Radio Intercept” (Grants +d3 to an Initiative roll) and the Prussians lost “Devastating Barrage” (One attack from a Squadron gains Devastating Munitions Type.)  As a result of this double back-stabbing – both players ended up with 20 VPs!

Prussians won the Initiative.

To stall for time, the smaller Prussian Dive Bomber SAS moved forward.  A British Battleship moved forward and turned its great turrets towards the Prussian Carrier, but failed to damage it.  The Prussian Corvettes on the left moved forward, trying to stay in the shelter of the westernmost island.  The British Battle Cruiser proved they didn’t do a good enough job; moved forward and blasted 2 Corvettes into splinters while rear turret failed to damage one of the Prussian Cruisers.  First Blood to the Britannians!

Prussian Corvettes Take Fire

Breaking tradition, the Prussians activated the Battle Cruiser!  The Tesla Generator granted the ship an extra 1 inch movement.  Moving at full speed, the Battle Cruiser managed to peek around the island and draw Line-of-Sight to the British Battle Cruiser between the islands.  While the turrets failed to damage the British ship, the broadsides managed an HP of damage and the Speerschleuder got a Crit (Nav Lock) as well as adding a Lightning Rod and zapping away an AP!  Who needs turrets?  More importantly, this was the first time ever that the Prussian Battle Cruiser caused any damage!!!  WOO-Hoo!  Laughingly, my opponent decided to designate this Battle Cruiser as the HMS Hood.  The other he designated as HMS Anson.

Prussian Battle Cruiser FINALLY does Damage!

 The other British Battle Cruiser turned to starboard to present broadsides to the Carrier and unloaded everything.  When the smoke cleared, there was no damage on the Carrier.  The Prussian Cruiser squadron moved forward and cut a turn to port, in front of the Prussian Battle Cruiser to get Line-of-Sight on the damaged British Battle Cruiser.  The Battle Cruiser’s shields managed to save it from taking any damage.

The British Commodore’s Battleship moved forward from behind the island, though only enough to expose the two front turrets.  The Battleship fired its torpedoes at the Prussian Cruisers, but all were stopped by the concussion charges.  The Turrets fired at but failed to damage the Prussian Battleship.

Prussian Dive Bombers moved to the left towards the central island.  British Frigates in the east moved forward from behind the island.  Prussian Corvettes moved forward on the west of their island, but their guns failed to damage anything.  The central set of the British Frigates moved forward from behind the Battleships and fired at the Prussian Corvettes and sank 1.  The Corvettes passed their Disorder Test.

British Frigates Sink a Corvette

The Prussian Carrier started its activation by re-purposing a squadron of Fighters as Dive Bombers.  The great ship moved forward and tried to draw Line-of-Sight to the Commodore’s Battleship, but couldn’t get the line it needed.  Suddenly, realized it had clear Line-of-Sight with its Teslas at the other Battleship and a Battlecruiser.  Making a choice, the Carrier fired its weapons at the Battle Cruiser (easier to damage).  As man-made lightning arched towards the hapless ship, the Battle Cruiser suffered a Crit (Guns Damaged) as well as adding a Lightning Rod and zapping away an extra AP.

British Fighters moved forward towards the islands on the west, while more Prussian Dive Bombers also made their way westward.  Another flight of British Fighters flew straight ahead, keeping to the Starboard side of the Prussian Carrier.  Finally, the Prussian Fighters took up station between the two Dive Bomber squadrons on the west, to provide a limited escort.  As the last British activation of the turn, the last squadron of Frigates moved forward on the east of the table, taking station behind the 1st squadron. 

In their final activation, the Prussian Battleship moved forward and turned to port, firing all turrets and broadsides at the British Frigates.  In a series of dismal rolls, only 1 Frigate was sunk, and that by the Broadsides.  The Battleship fired its Speerschleuder at the Battle Cruiser.  With the Lightning Rod boosting the damage, the Anson suffered a Crit (Generators offline) as well as putting a 2nd Lightning Rod on the Anson and zapping away a 2nd AP!  The Frigates passed their Disorder Test.

Kaiser Karl shoots at 4 Frigates . . Sinks 1!

End Phase:
The British repaired the Nav Lock on HMS Hood but failed to remove the Lightning Rod.  On HMS Anson, they repaired the Generator and removed 1 Lightning Rod, but failed to repair the Gun Damage and remove a second Lightning Rod.  That could prove troublesome later…

On the Prussian side, the Disordered Corvette on the west side of the map lost an AP and rallied.

KoB:       80
PE:          50

End of Turn 1!

Turn 2
This time, neither side played a TAC in the TAC phase.  (I guess it was just too embarrassing after last turn!)

Prussians won the Initiative!

Prussians started the turn activating the Cruiser Squadron. (Really had to – otherwise the Battle Cruiser would have rammed their own ships!)  As the Cruisers raced through the gap between the islands, they dropped mines to plug the gap.  Then, forming a rough Line-of-Battle, the Prussians turned their turrets and broadsides towards HMS Hood.  If a flurry of gunfire, the Hood was sunk with a triple Crit!

Prussian Cruisers Sink the HMS Hood!

The British Battleship rushed forward to avenge the Hood, and turned to starboard slightly to fire all weapons at the Prussian Cruisers.  All 3 Prussian Cruisers were hit in the volley.  One Cruiser suffered minor damage, but the other two Cruisers suffered Double-Crits!  One Cruiser suffered a Raging Fire (1) and Nav lock, the other Cruiser suffered Nav Lock and Generators Offline.  OUCH!!! 

The Prussian Battleship did a hard turn to port (~90 degrees) and sank the other Battle Cruiser HMS Anson with a crit.

SMS Kaiser Karl sinks HMS Anson!

Elsewhere, British Fighters attacked the under-sized Dive Bomber squadron and shot down all 4 tokens for the loss of 1.  Prussian Fighters attacked the other British Fighter SAS, shot down 4 tokens for the loss of 1.  The surviving British token bravely attacked a full squadron of Dive Bombers and died gallantly, not having shot down a single Dive Bomber.

The Prussian Corvettes in the east charged forward at full speed.  Guns sank 1 British Frigate and the Corvettes managed to board and leave a 2nd Frigate a derelict.  The Surviving British Frigate failed its Disorder Test.

Corvettes Sink 1, Derelict 1 and Disroder the 3rd!

The British Commodore’s Battleship moved forward at maximum speed and sank all 3 Corvettes in a series of collisions that did not damage the Battleship.  OUCH!!!  60 VPs and he hadn’t fired a shot yet!  Firing all weapons at the Prussian Battleship, the British were shocked when the Prussian shields stopped 7 hits, reducing a potential crit to just 1 HP!

"I said GET OUT OF THE WAY!!!"

The Prussian Battle Cruiser moved forward at full speed, pulling up beside the Prussian Battleship.  Firing everything, the Prussian managed to crit the Commodore’s Battleship (Hard Pounding – lost an additional 2AP).  The lone Disordered British Frigate turned and fired on the Prussian Battle Cruiser.  Though the guns did nothing, the torpedoes managed to do an HP of damage to the Battle Cruiser.

Prussian Dive Bombers moved forward, over the central island, within easy attack range of both British Battleships next turn.  British Frigates in the far east table side did a U-Turn to starboard to form a Line-of-Battle to fire on the Prussian Battleship.  CC & Shields stopped the torpedo attack and shields reduced the guns from a potential crit to another lost HP to the Prussian Battleship.

The second Prussian Dive Bomber SAS moved forward to get in range of both British Battleships for next turn.  The last British activation was to move the second Frigate squadron in the east to starboard, but there was no shots fired.

The Prussian Carrier moved forward.  The Tesla & Speerschleuder failed to damage the Commodore’s Battleship and AA failed to damage the Fighter SAS, but were still able to sink a Frigate.  The Frigate Squadron passed their Disorder test.

Lots of shots, but only 1 Frigate Sunk!

Prussian Frigates moved around to the right side of the eastern island and managed to sink 2 more Frigates.  The Survivor passed its Disorder Test.  Finally, the sole surviving Corvette in the west zipped around to hide behind an island, into safety.  (I hoped!)

End Phase
For the Prussians, they managed to repair the Generator on 1 Cruiser, put out the fire on the second Cruiser, but both failed to repair the Nav Locks on both!

For the British, their damaged Frigate rolled a loss of 2 HP/AP during the Rallying Phase.  Sadly for the British, that removed the only AP and the last HP of the Frigate, sinking it…

At that point, my opponent conceded the loss.

End of Turn 2 & Game

KoB        140         Mission: “Free To Engage”: 70% of the enemy’s fleet – Incomplete
PE:          510         Mission: “Break Their Backs”: 50% of the Enemy Fleet & All Mediums (Both Complete)

TACs Not Played:

KoB: Battlefield Repair (D3+1 HPs repaired in a Squadron) – 60 VP
Devastating Barrage (1 Attack from the Squadron gains Devastating Munitions Type (initial 6’s count as 2 hits and roll 2 Dice instead of 1)) – 40 VP
Stoke the Engines (Increase the movement of the squadron by D3+1”) – 40 VP
Espionage (Cancels the effects of another TAC in play) – 40VP

Prepare My Personal Transport
(If Commodore’s ship is sunk – place Commodore on any friendly Capital Class Ship within 16” (Prevents Disorder Checks for the entire fleet if ship is lost)) – 60VP
Battlefield Repair (D3+1 HPs repaired in a Squadron) – 60 VP
Espionage (Cancels the effects of another TAC in play) – 40VP
Lucky or Unlucky Shot! (Re-roll one or both dice after a roll is made on the Critical Hit table) – 40VP

Well, the Prussians certainly got their revenge this time!

It was a good battle to demonstrate both the strengths and the weaknesses of Battle Cruisers.  While the Prussian Battle Cruiser managed to do a lot of damage this time, the British Battle Cruisers showed how vulnerable they were to return fire. Both HMS Hood and HMS Anson managed to do quite a bit before they took damage, then folded quickly.  As the previous battles with my fleet showed, the Prussian’s Battle Cruiser were just as vulnerable.  Battle Cruisers are very much a Glass Cannon.  If they get the chance, their attacks are impressive.  If they don’t, they are a single ship and easier to disable and destroy than most full sized squadrons of other Mediums.  The Prussians were lucky this time – the British were not.  If you take them, PROTECT your Battle Cruisers!

I was much more aggressive with my Elbe Fleet Carrier this time, too.  While I did have 3 squadrons of Dive Bombers out, none of them did anything (except a single Fighter token).  They were in good position for Turn 3, but the battle was won by then.  What made the Carrier useful was its weapons; Broadsides, 4 Speerschleuders and a forward-facing Tesla Coil.  The Elbe has almost as much firepower as a Battleship.  Though risky to use it as such, the Prussian Fleet Carrier certainly was tough enough to do it.

The Kaiser Karl Heavy Battleship was, once more, a very tough nut to crack.  Though it didn’t put out that much damage (it missed most of the Frigates and only succeeded in sinking a crippled Battle Cruiser), it was an effective Fire-Magnet (got to love that Rugged Construction (2) AND Shields(2))!  Definitely something to keep in my inventory!

The Uhlan Cruisers did a good job this game too.  Good Fire-power and dropping the mines to block the gap to prevent someone from flanking me around the island.  The mines weren’t needed in the end, but it helped give me some peace of mind.  The fact that two Cruisers took double-crits and were still able to float, denying important victory points to the British shows the advantage of squadrons over single ships.  He could have tried to blow apart just 1 Cruiser (and would have succeeded), but I would still have 2 ships and an activation.  Sinking his single Battle Cruiser(s) cost him both VPs and an activation he couldn’t afford to give up – not even taking my mission (destroy all Mediums) into consideration.

On the British side, this was a tough fleet and the first time this configuration had been beaten by me.  Two Battleships is tough for anyone to face.  I think I was just lucky my opponent had such bad luck this time and that I drew the “Right” mission to face it.  The British drawing the 70% mission objective meant he had to destroy or capture either the Carrier or the Battleship – both tough nuts to crack.  He simply ran out of time.  If he hadn’t lost that last frigate trying to Rally in the end phase, I would have been under 50% and he might have taken the chance to attack with both his Battleships in a coordinated fashion.  He might have been able to pull out a draw.


Someone asked that I post the reasons why I chose the TAC cards I selected in a battle.  So, here’s my cards and the logic behind them:

Radio Intercept:  It’s a fun card to play.  At only 20VP, it’s a good “First Turn” card to play.  You might get lucky and draw a very important card from your opponent’s hand.  If he stops you, it’s a free 20VPs (or more).

Devastating Barrage:  A good attack boost for only 40VP.  I usually don’t expect to get this card to succeed as most opponents are scared to let it go off.  That means they have to block it (giving me a “free” 40VP or more) or let the potential damage through, allowing a better chance of at least a Crit.

Prepare My Personal Transport:  I’ve lost battles when most my fleet failed their Disorder Test after the Commodore’s ship is sunk.  This is a “Hope I don’t need it but nice to have just in case” card.  With my Carrier (already a high-value and Prime Target) being the Commodore’s ship, I expected it to come under a lot of fire. 

Battlefield Repair:  Once again, it’s a very expensive card with very important results that most opponents won’t allow to be played.  I either try to wait until I’ve drawn out my opponent’s “Espionage” card and most of their hand, or I play it hoping to get some free VPs.

Espionage:  This is one of those “Must Include” cards that will appear in most player’s hands (usually only the brave go home without it).  Usually it’s used to “save” some VPs (played against a 60VP cards) or just prevent an effect from another 40VP card.  Most people won’t waste the card on a 20VP card.

Lucky or Unlucky Shot!:  This is just in case I suffer a Magazine Explosion or other critical effect on one of my critical ships.  If it’s a ship that’s about to be sunk anyway, there’s little point in using this card.  The other (Primary) use is as a Cancelling card – preventing other cards from working.

Hopefully, this helps those who want to know my mindset when I choose my cards.  I must warn you that I’ll “shuffle” my choices to try something different…

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the report!  See you next time!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Dystopian Wars V2: 1000pts Prussian Empire vs Empire of the Blazing Sun

Admiral Von Shtupp looked out over the flight deck of the new Elbe-class Fleet Carrier SMS Graf Zeppelin.

Interesting choice of name, Von Shtupp thought.  I wonder if it was to honour Zeppelin or to confuse our enemies...

His gaze wandered to the horizon.  He could just make out the islands of the Caribbean.  His mission was a simple training mission with their eastern allies, The Empire of the Blazing Sun.  It was a new flotilla that Von Shtupp sailed with.  He wasn't sure he liked the composition of the force, but it was interesting.  A New Heavy Battleship, a new Battlecruiser - both ships he had little experience with, not to mention a whole new class of Cruisers.  At least he still had his Arminius Frigates & Saxony Corvetts - they hadn't changed!

It was a good force to command, thought Von Shtupp.  Though he did miss the use of the Pflicht Scout Zeppelins...


So, my Prussians were out seeking revenge and instead of the British, I’m facing the Empire of the Blazing Sun, my “allies”!  What a Stinker!!!

This would be another 1000pt game, with Tactical Action Cards (TACs).  Standard force organizations, no extra secondary objectives this time.  This would be a "Typical" Version 2 game.

The Blazing Suns won the Strategic Advantage, the Prussians the Operational Advantage.  The North edge of the table had an Island in each corner and the south had a sand bar roughly in table center.  Having won Strategic advantage, the Blazing Suns chose the north edge, depriving the Prussians any cover.  (Rats!)

Empire of the Blazing Sun (EotBS) Deployment, West to East:
Advance Deployment:
  • 2 Inari Scout Gyros in– roughly Center Table
Main Deployment:
  • Fighter SAS
  • 3 Tetsubo Interceptors
  • 3 Tanuki Armoured Cruisers
  • Fighter SAS
  • 1 Hachiman Dreadnought with Tesla and a Shield Generator
  • 4 Yurgi Destroyers

Prussian Empire (PE) Deployment, West to East:
Main Deployment:
  • 4 Arminius Frigates
  • Fighter SAS
  • Fighter SAS
  • 1 Elbe Fleet Carrier with a 5 Token and 4 Token Fighter SAS Squadrons
  • 3 Uhlan Cruisers
  • 1 Kaiser Karl Heavy Battleship
  • Konigsberg Battle Cruiser
  • 4 Saxony Corvettes
  • 3 Saxony Corvettes
Start of Game!
(view from the South, facing North)

We then drew our missions and selected our Tactical Action Cards (TACs).  Remember, you start off with a deck of 16 cards and chose the ones you want (6 for this game) after you learn what your mission is.  Then, after the obligatory trash talk and glaring, we started the game!

Turn 1:
In the TAC phase, the Blazing Suns played “Radio Intercept”, and rolled +2 for the Initiative roll.  Prussians played “Lost Orders” and drew “Stoke the Engines” from the Blazing Sun’s hand.  This granted both sides a “free” 20 Points before the first shots were fired!

The Blazing Sun won the Initiative.

So the Sun’s Scout Gyros started things off by moving forward and turning to starboard.  Firing turrets and rockets at separate targets, the Gyros managed to damage 1 Frigate (and left it on fire) and sank another.  The Frigates passed their Disorder test.  One of the Scout Gyros managed to climb into the cover of the clouds, but the other wasn’t as fortunate.

Scout Gyros Take 1st Blood!

Wanting to waste an activation (and hopefully bait out the Sun’s Destroyers), the smaller Prussian Corvette squadron raced up the Eastern table edge at full speed.  The Admiral of the Blazing Suns din't take the bait.  The Sun’s Cruisers managed to sink another Frigate, but the Prussian Carrier’s AA was sufficient that not one rocket impacted on the Carrier!  The Frigates passed a second Disorder test.

EotBS Cruisers continue to pick on my Frigates!!!

Using the logic “Use ‘em or Lose ‘em”, the Prussian Frigates raced forward and targeted one of the Cruisers.  Though they failed to damage the Cruiser, the linked AA managed to damage the low-flying Scout Gyro!  Sun’s Interceptors came racing over at Flying level and targeted both the Frigates.  The damaged Frigate escaped further damage, but the undamaged Frigate was hit, lighting it on fire as well.  Things were not looking up for the Prussians.  Finally, the Prussians did something when a Fighter SAS attacked the Scout Gyro in the clouds, and managed to double-crit it (Weapons Damaged and Hard Pounding – 2AP left), for the loss of 1 token!

The Sun’s Fighters attacked the Prussian Fighters as they disengaged from the Gyro.  In a horrific “Fur Ball”, both sides lost 2 tokens.  A second Prussian Fighter Squadron attacked the Sun’s, and shot down the remaining 3 tokens for a loss of 1!  The Prussians seemed to be winning the Air War, at least.

The Sun’s Dreadnought moved forward and turned to port, targeting everything on the Battlecruiser.  When the smoke cleared, the Battlecruiser suffered 2 crits (Shredded Defenses and Generator Offline) and 2 Fires due to Incendiary effects.

The Prussian Carrier activated.  First, it repurposed the smaller 4-token SAS as Dive Bombers, then gained 2” movement from its Tesla Generator, and advanced towards one of the Cruisers, using its Tesla weapons on one Cruiser, getting a crit (Chaos & Disarray), as well as adding a Lightning Rod and removing an AP.  None of the Carrier’s other shots did any damage.

The Sun’s Destroyers finally activated, though I wouldn’t like the results.  After maneuvering around their Dreadnought, the Destroyers fired on and crit the Prussian Battlecruiser, sinking it!  The Poor Battlecruiser was sunk before she could fire a shot!

EotBS Destroyers Finish Off the Battlecruiser 

Seeking revenge, the Prussian Cruisers advanced, but at point-blank range, failed to do anything except damage 1 Cruiser.

For the Sun’s last activation, the last Fighter Squadron attacked a Prussian Fighter Squadron and shot down the last 2 tokens of the squadron, for the loss of 1!

Now unopposed, the Prussian’s last Fighter Squadron attacked and shot down the last 4 tokens of the Sun’s fighters for the loss of 3 tokens.  Prussian Dive Bombers moved forward at maximum speed, the Prussian Battleship moved forward and turned to starboard, firing all weapons on the Dreadnought.  Sadly the Battleship only damaged the Dreadnought once.  Finally, the last Prussian Corvette squadron moved forward and sank 1 Destroyer.  The Survivors passed their Disorder test.

PE Corvettes Get The Prussian's 1st Kill!

In the End Phase, the Prussians put out 1 fire, but the other Frigate lost an AP when they failed to put out the fire.  The Blazing Suns repaired all the damage on their Cruiser, but the Scout Gyro still continued to suffered weapons damage.

EotBS:   215pts
PE:          60pts

End of Turn 1!

Turn 2:
In the TAC Phase, the Blazing Sun played “Lost Order”, but the Prussians countered it with “Lucky/Unlucky Shot”.  Though the “Lost Order” card was only worth 20 points and the “Lucky/Unlucky Shot” card was worth 40 points, I didn’t want to risk losing one of the “critical” cards I thought I would need.  So it was with a HEAVY heart I “gave up” an extra 20 points (for a total of 40 free points to the Blazing Sun) and basically “chose” which card I was going to lose.

The Prussians won initiative this turn.

While I had initiative, I really didn’t have a choice as to what I was going to do.  I moved the Fighter Squadron with only 2 tokens back towards the Carrier and out of the line of fire, hoping to save the squadron.  The Sun’s Scout Gyros both came down below the clouds and made a bombing run on the Prussian Frigates and sank 1.  The Survivor passed its Disorder test.  Neither Gyro was able to climb into the safety of the clouds this time.

Another Frigate Gone!

Prussian Fighters attacked and shot down the damaged Gyro for no loss.  Finally, something good was happening for the Prussians!

Avenging the Frigates!

The Sun’s Destroyers moved at maximum speed towards the smaller Corvette squadron, sank 1 Corvette and damaged another.  The Corvettes failed their disorder test!

This can't be good...

Prussian Dive Bombers attacked the damaged Cruiser, but only managed to damage the ship, leaving it with 1 hull point while having lost 1 token to AA fire.  The Sun’s Dreadnought moved forward and targeted each weapon on a different Corvette.  When the smoke cleared, the Prussians lost 3 of 4 Corvettes and the survivor failed its Disorder Test.
There's a reason they call it a "Dread"nought...

The Prussian Cruisers maneuvered to fire on both the Sun’s Dreadnought and Cruisers.  The Cruisers managed to inflict 2 damage point on the Dreadnought and sank the Damaged Cruiser.  The surviving Cruisers passed their Disorder Test.

Finally, more VPs for the Prussians!

The Sun’s Cruisers made a hard turn to port, targeting 2 of the Prussian Cruisers with torpedoes, declaring fire in all directions.  Then, before firing, the Suns played “Devastating Barrage” on one of the attacks.  Wanting to save a card (and writing off the Cruiser in my mind), I let it be played unopposed (and gaining some free VPs).  When the smoke cleared, the Prussians had a Cruiser with double-crit (Chaos & Disarray and Generator Offline), the last Frigate was sunk, the entire Dive Bomber Squadron was destroyed and the Fighters lost a token!  WOW!!!

The EotBS Cruisers survey the havoc they've unleashed

The Prussian Carrier activated, replenishing the Fighter Squadron up to full strength, then moved forward towards the closest Cruiser.  The Carrier zapped  the Cruiser with its Tesla Generator, causing Chaos & Disarray.  The forward Tesla Weapons then damaged the Cruiser, taking away an AP and inflicting a Lightening Rod on the Cruiser.  The Carriers Starboard weapons fired separately and managed a hit and a Crit (Nav Lock) on the last Scout Gyro, inflicting another Lightning Rod and -2 AP.

For their last activation of the turn and seeking vengeance, the Suns’ Interceptors attacked the Carrier, but the Carrier’s AA once again protected the great ship from the Rocket attack.

The Prussians ended their turn by attempting to hide the Corvettes behind the Island on the North East corner, while the Prussian Battleship moved straight forward, preparing to “Cross the T” with the Dreadnought.  In spite of all the weapons firing at the Dreadnought, the Battleship managed to inflict only 1 HP damage.

In the End Phase, The Blazing Sun were able to repair the Chaos & Disarray on the Cruiser, but the Gyro was unable to repair anything.  The Prussians were able to repair the damaged Generator but not the Chaos & Disarray on their Cruiser.  While attempting to rally from the Disorder Tests, the Prussians lost enough AP & HP to lose 2 Corvettes, wiping out 1 squadron and reducing the other squadron to a single Corvette!  More VPs for the Blazing Suns!

EotBS:   435
PE:          265

End of Turn 2

Turn 3:
In the TAC phase, the Blazing Suns attempted to repair their Dreadnought by playing “Battlefield Repairs” but the Prussians cancelled it with “Espionage”, giving up another 40 VPs to the Blazing Suns.

The Blazing Suns won the Initiative.  (This was gonna hurt...)

The Sun’s Dreadnought activated first, moved forward and shot in all directions.  Rockets aimed at the Carrier were shot down by AA.  The Battleship took a Crit (Raging Fire) from a torpedo attack, 1 cruiser took a double-crit (Generators Offline and Engine Damage), while the other damaged Cruiser was sunk by a Crit.  The surviving Cruisers passed their Disorder Test, but the damage was done.

EotBS Dreadnought hammers the Prussians!

The Prussian Carrier activated, moved forward and Double-crit the previously damaged Cruiser, sinking it while the Speerschleuder shot down the last Gyro.  Unfortunately, the Carrier was unable to damage the Sun’s Dreadnought.  The Sun’s remaining Cruiser did fail its Disorder Test.

The Prussian Carrier tries to make up for the rest of the fleet!

The Blazing Suns’ Destroyers made a hard 180 degree turn and chased down the last Prussian Corvette, sinking it.

Just a little out-numbered...

Knowing it had little chance of working, the Prussian Battleship moved from directly in front of the Dreadnought and played “Devastating Barrage”, which drew out the last card from the Suns’ hand – Espionage, cancelling the Prussian TAC (but giving the Prussians 40VP).  Regardless, all weapons from the Battleship fired on the Dreadnought and managed to inflict . . 1 Hull Point of damage at Point-Blank range. (...)

The last Sun Cruiser moved forward, torpedoed a Prussian Cruiser and sank it.  The Rocket attack on the Prussian Battleship was all stopped by AA fire.

ANOTHER Prussian ship bites the dust!

Prussian Fighters attacked and destroyed an Interceptor for no loss.

Prussian Fighters take on EotBS Interceptors

The Blazing Suns’ Interceptors, in their last activation of the turn, overflew the Carrier to fire a barrage of rockets at the Prussian Cruiser, damaging the Cruiser and lighting another fire on deck.  Prussian Fighters attacked and damaged an Interceptor as they flew back towards the Carrier for replacements and the Prussian Cruiser turned to port, firing on both the Dreadnought and the Cruiser.  Though it failed to damage the Dreadnought, the badly damaged Prussian Cruiser did damage the Blazing Suns’ Cruiser, earning a minor moral victory.  The Cruiser's Broadsides bounced off the side of the Dreadnought, now at Point-Blank Range.  How Point-Blank?  Check the photo below...

"Um, Sir? Aren't we a little close to that Dreadnought?"
"Be Quiet!  He can't depress his guns low enough to shot us here!"

EotBS:   625pts   Sink all Smalls & 50% of the Fleet Value – COMPLETED!
PE:          505pts   Sink 70% of the Enemy Fleet – Incomplete.

Victory for the Empire of the Blazing Sun!


Well, another loss for the Prussians.  I can still hear Graham laughing at me.

(Actually, he wasn’t that bad – he was actually very polite about it.)

So what happened?
While I was expecting to fight the Kingdom of Britannia, that didn’t affect my fleet choice.  I was trying to make the new Box set “work” for me with minimal changes.  (All I did to make 1000points was to add 2 extra Corvettes and split the Corvettes into 2 separate squadrons.)  While it is a decent force, it certainly wasn’t intended to stand up to a Dreadnought!

Why did I concentrate so much effort on the Dread?  My mission was 70% of the fleet and after hearing what my opponent had done to upgrade the Dread, I guessed (correctly) that the Dread was worth over 300 points.  No matter what I did to accomplish my mission, the Dread had to be destroyed or captured.  I didn't even have the luxury of choosing a different mission as I had drawn the Default mission!

My “hope” was to Damage the Dreadnought enough that it was “neutralized” and I could then go after the rest of his forces, then deal with the Dreadnought afterwards.  Needless to say, I never did neutralize that Dreadnought.  We discussed it afterwards and I may have had better luck if I had concentrated all the might of the Carrier AND the Battleship against the Dreadnought, but I kept the Carrier busy dealing with the Sun’s Air Power and trying to protect the Cruisers’ and Battleship’s flank from attack.  The other option (and probably better choice knowing my play style) was to concentrate everything on the rest of the fleet, neutralizing or destroying them, THEN concentrate on the Dreadnought.

I COULD have brought a Dreadnought myself, but I tend to think that’s too many points in too small a game.  I had more activations than the Blazing Suns did for the entire game, in spite of all the losses I suffered.  If I had drawn 50% and either All Smalls or All Mediums for a mission, it would have been a much easier mission to fight for as I could have ignored the Dreadnought completely.  But that’s the luck of the Mission Draw.

Looking at the fleet:

The Poor Battlecruiser just keeps getting blasted before it can do anything useful.  I think Battlecruisers are too vulnerable when deployed as singles.  They’re too easy to target and disable or destroy a full squadron (of one) than a multi-ship squadron.  IF I had had some cover to hide behind OR had multiple Battlecruisers to split enemy fire, the Battlecruiser(s) may have lasted long enough to do something.  Obviously I held it back too long in this game and the Battlecruiser suffered for it.  I could have activated it sooner and perhaps done some damage before it was destroyed.

The new Kaiser Karl Heavy Battleship is an impressive ship.  Robustness 2 AND 2 shields makes it a tough contender.  Unfortunately, it’s missing the ever-popular Tesla Generator, so it’s not as fast as the Emperor unless you leave off a turret.  Not always the best option as this severely limits the firepower as a result.  Overall, I'm very happy with the ship.  It just couldn't (and shouldn't) have stood up to the Dreadnought on its own.

The Elbe Carrier is a Great Carrier!  Forward Tesla AND 4 Speerschleuders to blast lightning everywhere, as well as 9 SAWs to configure how I please.  What’s not to like?  The Elbe’s defensive capabilities were enough to protect itself without the additional help of a CAP.  As I said earlier, if I had combined its efforts with the Battleship, the two may have been able to deal with the Dreadnought.

Uhlan Cruisers seem fine, but again, this wasn’t the best way to use them as I did this game.  I got fixated on the Dreadnought and should have used these guys to:
1) screen the Battlecruiser,
2) shoot up smaller stuff and
3) protect the left flank while the Battleship & Carrier tried to knock out the Dreadnought

The Frigates and Corvettes are same as before.  I enjoy them both, though I definitely played both poorly in this game.

Anyway, the new box set is good for the most part.  I just need to learn how to use it properly.

On the Blazing Suns’ Side, well played!  The Scout Gyros are a pain and the Armoured Cruisers made my life heck!  The only thing I didn’t like about the list was the lack of activations.  Graham didn't allow that to hinder him.  He was very aggressive with his fleet, which is what you need to do when confronting someone with that many more activations.

The lack of activations within the Blazing Suns' force can be blamed on the Dreadnought.  Before anyone comments that this was a “Cheesy” fleet list at 1000pts, I do want to point out that the Dreadnought is the only Large/Massive vessel Graham has at the moment.  To play EotBS, he HAD to use the Dreadnought.  I had told him to prepare both a 1000 and 1500 point list and the Dreadnought is appropriate for the larger list.  I just caught him off guard by doing only 1000pts for this battle.

Now I just need to finish off my Blucher Dreadnought for my Prussians...