Thursday, July 8, 2010

US Battle Report - The Marathon Battle

Today was sorta the first day for the new lists at 900 points.  The FLGS hasn't gotten the destroyer models yet, so I'm proxying them with regular cruisers.  The FLGS also hasn't had Rippers in for a while.  EV ordered some a week ago.  They didn't arrive before we started, but they did call in the middle of the game, so EV will have them for next time.  To make up points (somewhat), he had an extra battleship.  Was this strictly following fleet composition?  No.  Did I mind?  Not at all.  He was playing 30 points down anyway, so it seemed like a fair enough trade.  Plus he was fielding all the ships he had, so we made do as best possible.  You'll also notice the fancy blue cloth and larger playing surface, both new additions.  It was a day of firsts.

Iron Dwarves

 Flagship - 160
Battleship - 120
 Airship - 85
Cruiser+Heavy Cruiser - 135
Cruiser+Heavy Cruiser - 135
2 Frigates + Destroyer - 115
2 Frigates + Destroyer - 115

 Kraken - 35
 Total: 900

 Shroud Mages
Flagship - 155
Battleship - 110
Battleship - 110
2 Heavy Cruisers - 150
3 Cruisers - 165
3 Frigates - 90
3 Frigates - 90
 Total : 870

We both rolled the same perk for our flagship, the one that lets you ignore 1 hit on a 4+.  I picked the central island to run around.  I planned to come around and rake the Shrouds, leading with the flagship and following with the battleship.  Each larger ship had a cruiser squadron to go with it.  EV set his heavies up on the extreme flank again.  The northern bluff token, the one off by itself, is the sub.  Setup:

Turn 1 was uneventful as usual.

EV scores a lucky magazine explosion on a cruiser.  The blast dings the battleship and airship, while it crits the heavy cruiser and destroyer.  The frigate and bluff token escape unharmed.  Not the best start ever.

The rest of turn 2 is more positioning.  My airship is where the black die on the island is.  The battleship is already starting to lag behind, but I hope it works out.  End of turn 2.

I win the initiative in turn 3 and go in to drop the bomb.  I do a pair of crits, but no explosions.  The airship takes lots of damage from Defensive Fire on the way in, with both the battleship and the cruisers firing.  I was surprised at how much damage I took from DF.  It's possible that this was the first time EV used it from so many ships at once.

EV sends in the flagship and takes out the airship for the first time.  Sadly, there was again a lack of explosions.

The foreground explosion in this shot is my Kraken.  EV had brought his heavies in tight and close to the rocks, so I decided to block him up with the sub and cause a collision.  I send the Kraken in and bounce right off the hull, then fall back from what would have been a boarding action per the sub rules.  This ricochet takes me well away from where I wanted to be.  Naturally I fail the Panic Dive roll as well.

Fortunately, EV was much closer to the rocks than I thought at first glance and ran into them all the same.  This caused the second Magazine Explosion of the game, another first. It dinged his other heavy and took out my sub.  My block didn't work, but I got the result I was after anyway.

As the center begins to populate, my heavy cruiser strikes a blow for justice and takes out a Shroud cruiser.

This turn wasn't the greatest for me.  I lost the airship, the Kraken, and a cruiser.  The bomb did some damage, but didn't take out any ships.  My cunning ploy with the Kraken mostly failed and ultimately cost me the ship.  I've done some damage to most of the Shroud fleet though.  You can see the swirl beginning to develop, as well as my battleship lagging behind.  End of turn 3.

My heavy had taken a no shooting crit, so this destroyed cruiser belongs to my battleship.

A frigate squadron comes in to finish off the cruisers.  I tried to get 2 shots out of the destroyer, but it didn't work out so well.  I had this problem throughout the game, often ending up in RB 1 when trying to use the rockets or just not getting both shots off.  I'm sure I'll figure it out with experience.

EV blows up a frigate in response.

I'm pretty happy with how the game is going so far.  I've cleared out most of EV's cruisers and have started putting damage on his flagship.  My own flagship is taking its time getting around the island and I'm concerned about getting my butt chewed up as I try to round the island.  I've been using the heavy as cover for my battleship, but it's taking a lot of fire, so I route some frigates to support my rear.  End of turn 4. 

The center starts to become a real shooting gallery.  My cover heavy goes down, so I take out some frigates in response.  I manage to get 2 shots out of the destroyer, but the puny broadside does nothing against the flagship.

My other destroyer had taken a hard pounding earlier, and EV now finishes it off.

My fleet is getting real stretched out now.  Putting the slower moving battleship in the position to have to cover more distance was a bad idea.  I have a notion to block up EV's flagship with a frigate as his battleship is very close behind it.  Fleet separation aside, I'm feeling pretty good here.  I've cleared out almost all of the smaller Shroud ships and though the big ones aren't damaged, they're together enough that I should be able to get double shots into them.  This is around the time EV finished his deck off, yet another first.  End of turn 5.

I win initiative, something I did more than I normally do, and went ahead with Operation Blocking.  I want to use a frigate, but neither one can make it, so I send in the destroyer.

EV tries to blow up the block before impact, but to no avail.  The flagship makes short work of the destroyer.

And my plan works out as the Shroud battleship gets into the rear of the flagship.  Unfortunately only a single point of damage was caused between both ships.

I'm definitely feeling better now.  The damage is slowing building on the Shroud big ships, and thanks to the destroyer block my battleship finally has some breathing room.  My smaller ships are dwindling, but my big ships are untouched so far.  Meanwhile EV has a traffic jam going on in the middle and my flagship is about to enter the fray.  End of turn 6.

EV has enjoyed a squadron, and hand size, advantage over me for a couple turns, so I decide to try and whittle away at it.  I send in a frigate to take out one of his and make some room for my incoming cruisers.

EV sends his frigate into mine, ending another of my squads and prizing the ship as well.

I respond with a much larger, and redder, ram of my own.  I finish the frigate and retake my prized ship.

Things are still going well.  My heavy is very banged up, but what remains of my fleet is generally in good shape.  I've taken a battleship to about half dead, and it looks like EV might be splitting up his big ships.  My very slow flanking maneuver is about to work.  It only took 7 turns for it to materialize.

EV finished the badly damaged heavy cruiser.

Then he takes out the regular cruiser as well.

It's amazing how losing two ships can change you whole outlook.  Now I'm worried.  While I still mostly pristine big ships, and EV's are still hurting, he has 3 to my 2.  Added to that is his heavy cruiser shows up from its own long flanking maneuver.  While it isn't in the mix yet, it will be soon.  I send my frigate off to a corner to preserve my hand size, which is getting smaller and smaller.  End of turn 8.

From here on in the pictures sorta break down.  I've missed more than a few as the pace of the game picks up.  With just the big ships, for the most part, remaining, turns have become much quicker.  The game has been longer than I expected to this point, though I shouldn't be surprised as we added almost 50% to our existing fleets.

EV's heavy has run down my battleship.  The ensuing boarding action decrews both ships.  You can also see my flagship has been getting shot up and is on fire.  EV still has 3 big ships floating around.

Later, I finish off one of the battleships.  The one at the bottom of the picture had 5-6 hull damage on it, but EV managed to draw, and play, both his d3 hull repair cards on it in the same turn.  I was somewhat disheartened.  Still, the odds are better now, only 2 on 1.

EV has his flagship on cleanup duty.  First stop, scuttling his ship.  I was happy to let him mess around with the adrift ships as it kept him from shooting my flagship.

He follows up into my battleship and prizes it, though he takes a point of damage for his troubles.

The battle has devolved into a spiral in the center as my flagship and EV's battleship flail away at each other without really accomplishing anything.  I'm not sure what turn this is, so I'm going to call it 10.

I play a d3 repair card of my own and patch up my flagship.  My gunners finally wake up and crit the battleship, taking out some port guns.  EV's flagship has finished salvage operations and is rejoining the battle.  End of turn 11.

Things are coming to a head now.  If I can win initiative, I'm going to ram the battleship.  It's down to 2 hull left, and I have 10 dice worth of red ram, so I like my odds.  End of turn 12.

The ram is a success, though I take a point of damage in the collision.  This has been a marathon game, but it's coming to a close.  It's just flagship on flagship now.  Each of us has a frigate remaining, but they're staying out of the way.

EV closes the gap, but doesn't do any shooting damage to me.  The next turn will be the last, one way or another.  End of turn 12.

I win initiative and get the ram.  I decrew his ship, while my own has a point or two of crew remaining.  It was a long and bloody battle, but I emerged victorious, if only barely.

Hopefully I'll add more reflection here tomorrow or Friday.  For now, it's very late.

1 comment:

  1. Very good and very very close