It was time to take my newly painted Prussian boats out for a sail. I wanted to try a tesla focused list, limited somewhat by what I had available painted. I had no idea quite what I would be facing across the board as my regular opponent, who wants to be known as “My Fiendish Opponent” (hereafter MFO), has a fair few fleets. It turns out it was Black Wolf mercenaries which I might have faced once a pure force but mostly fight as a allies to MFOs Covenant of Antarctica.
We decided to play an Ironclad scenario devised by the ingenious Gaz and after going “no we don’t want that one” or “I’ve played that one recently” we went for Fusion Leak, which is one objective in the centre of the board which can be boarded and captured with up to 5 AP (crew). It is however essentially an oil rig on fire, so at the end of every turn it gains D6-1 fire markers and any ships within 2D6 gain the same number. Scenario points are gained if you control it at the end of the turn and/or you have a ship within 4inches of it. So a boarding and survival scenario. Below is a photo of the objective and my fleet:
I brought an Elb fleet carrier, a Rhine battle carrier, a squadron of Uhlan cruisers, a Kaiser Karl with elite crew upgrade, tesla generator and commodore and two squadrons of Arminius frigates. At the back there are two Adler heavy bombers and the squadrons of tiny flyers, up front some newly painted mine templates. The Elb and Kaiser Karl are solid larges, the Karl is (in theory) particularly hard to shoot with rugged 2 and shield 2.
MFOs fleet had the Deathbringer submarine with nasty close range Deavastating guns (6s to hit roll 2 extra dice not 1) and high payloadtorpedoes, a Manticore skimmer with attached Fury frigates with Devastating fore gun (in this case Swapped out for a dilation field generator) and Devastating turrets on the frigates, you begin to see a pattern, no? Essentially all Black Wolf turrets and fore guns are Devastating, but don’t fire many dice outside of rangeland 2 (16″ from the weapon) to compensate. Most medium and large models do have access to rockets which fire at longer distances, though if they do then they don’t get the nifty generators BW have access to. In addition to the above there were a squadron of Chimera flyers, a Sky Fortress (flying carrier) a squadron of Fury frigates and 2 Nemesis battle cruisers, one with a dilation field (half attack dice for anything passing through the field) and one with a guardian shield generator. A note on the dilation field generator, it is in many ways broken. Once it is up it’s very difficult to damage anything in it. The only hope is hitting the ship before it activates and uses the generator. It’s Nemesii (sp?) that I have most encountered before and raged against. In reserve were a squadron of Wraiths, flying frigate like things that can be nasty. On to deployment which is shown below.
My Arminius frigates and Adler heavy bombers were deployed in advance, partly to take advantage of the islands and partly so the bombers could start bombing quickly. One squad of frigates on either side and both bombers to the sides of centre. Centre left my my Elb fleet carrier which can operate independently for a bit, then my Karl, Rhine and Uhlans bunched up together, too close together really, this was a mistake as they were just going to get in each other’s way with the Uhlans not really achieving much. Facing a fair number of flying units my local air support was fighters and both carriers deployed as fighters. This was perhaps unnecessarily cautious but certainly proved useful. I will say at this point the actual battle will be less well documented as my phone died and we didn’t take loads of photos and only managed two turns, but it will still pretty fun and there is some stuff to see.
The opening activations were mostly squadroned air support and as I had two carriers I out activated MFO, not that it really made much difference. One of my first meaningful activations was the right hand Arminius squadron who sped forward for a range band 2 shot at a Nemesis battlecruiser. The one they could see was equipped with a dilation field generator but had yet to activate and so the generator was no advantage. This was the time to strike…
The plucky frigates managed to double crit the battlecruiser causing a raging fire and a hard pounding effects. While this was not the generators offline I might have hopped for it was none the less better than I expected. There no comes a bit of a gap in the photos as both fleets closed with each other and we forgot about photos and remembering what happened. The next photo shows a lone Nemesis battlecruiser and a patch of empty sea where it’s friend used to be. I can’t remember which of the Karl, Rhine or Uhlans it was that accomplished this but it was a satisfying result. As you can see from the left of the photo things were starting to get crowded round the objective. By the end of the first turn, which was I think just before this photo MFO had boarded the objective and I had a ship next to it having boarded it first and had it taken away, so scenario victory so far MFO…
This photo shows the end of the first turn I think in more detail. My left Adler had boarded the objective which had then be taken away by the now empty Fury squadron. The right hand Adler had taken a pounding but was still alive much to MFOs annoyance. One of the Chimeras had been picked on sufficiently for it to die and the Manticore had taken some damage though less than it should due to the dilation field generator. Onwards to turn two.The second turn highlight is shown by the next two photos. If I remember rightly it came in two parts firstly you see the Chimera on the left? This was critted and teleported over the side of the island, much to its surprise. It’s squadron mate was not so luckly, attacked by a squad of fighters it suffered a magazine explosion and died, taking with it 3 Fury frigates and my almost dead Adler. At some point in all this my left hand Adler was boarded and derilicked.After this point the details become a bit hazy but the Manticore bit the dust and the Rhine in a Stirling board action took and derelicted the other Nemesis. The Uhlans we all still alive in varying states of damage but we’re ready to board something, however the Commodore insisted on first picks and the Karl boarded and prized the objective giving me 1 point for objective and 1 for a ship within 4″. The Wraiths held in reserved arrived and charged forward but weren’t able to make a difference this turn. With the staff at the Outpost wanting a social life on a Sunday of all days we had to call it there as a scenario draw with 3 points a piece. How it would have turned out next turn we debated as we were packing up. Both our fleets had taken a pounding and I had failed to deal with either the Deahtbringer submarine or the Sky Fortress, both of which could take the objective, or indeed my Kaiser Karl (killing my commodore is normally game over as everything tends to break and become useless at that point). We both agreed we could do with playing faster…
We will undoubtably have another game soon and there are some photos of a game we played before this I will put up with any detail I can remember. Happy boating.