Monday, August 16, 2010

US Battle Report - Piled with Pictures part 4

The tables swung wildly last time.  The Iron Dwarves held a solid advantage at the beginning of turn 5, but by the end of turn 7 the tables were level at best, and more likely in favor of the Shroud Mages.  With the ID battleship far from support, and facing the on-rushing Shroud fleet, things look to go poorly for the good shorties.  But the ID have ships in the rear of the Shroud fleet.  Can the ID support take out the Shroud ships before they demolish the ID battleship?  Or will the now dispersed ID be clobbered by the bricked SM?  All will be revealed in the (hopefully) thrilling conclusion to the most epic battle report I've ever written.

EV wins the initiative in turn 8 and wastes no time bringing the big guns to bear.  The Shroud flagship pulls alongside the ID battleship and hits it with a Full Broadside, damaging the battleship for the first time.

Clash of the Titans is on.
I was holding Full Broadside as well and made some comment about it when EV played his.  I anticipated using it with my battleship on his flagship, perhaps in a rake.

Turn 8, SM 1
Figuring that the flagship can't do any more damage this turn, I send in the frigates to do what they do in endgame.  I manage to get the coveted double rake on the heavily damaged heavy, but do no damage to it.  The single rake works out better though.

Nippin' balls.
I really love the ID frigates.  They're very effective against other frigates, their first target, and in groups can take down cruisers and battleships.  I wish they had multiple shots, but you can't have everything.

Turn 8, ID 1
EV plays my least favorite card, Close Bulkheads.  Fortunately for me it only repairs a single point.

I hate this card so much.
The newly repaired Shroud cruiser doesn't do much other than sit around and look pretty.

Turn 8, SM 2
I would love to wait for the heavies to close in on the group of Shroud ships, but I don't know that it will happen, so I send in the airship.  I manage to catch the frigate, flagship, and cruiser in the blast.  The frigate sinks and the cruiser loses the point of damage it just repaired, but the flagship escapes unharmed.

I have to resist humming "Ride of the Valkyries" in these situations.
I'm trying to take out that cruiser, which is on a collision course with my battleship, but it's taking a lot of damage and still refusing to sink.

Turn 8, ID 2
With no other options remaining, EV moves his heavy cruisers.  I think he shot at the airship to no effect.

Turn 8, SM 3

I line up a rake for my cruiser on the Shroud cruiser, then drop Full Broadside.  I finally take the cruiser down after pouring a ton of fire into it.

Cruiser finally down.
 My heavy cruiser also puts another point on the top Shroud heavy, taking it down to a single remaining point.

Turn 8, ID 3
The battleship goes last, pulling alongside the Shroud flagship and doing a point of damage to it.

Less-than-full broadside.
I try to hold my battleship back a bit and position it in such a way that I won't get rammed.  I'd pulled many anti-ramming and boarding cards throughout the game, but around here I had to start using them as counters.  Then I thought why rely on cards when you have stout Dwarven sailors?  As I played a counter, Dwarven Marines perhaps, I told EV I didn't need it because I wasn't going to let him board my ships.

End of turn 8, ID 4
My bravado was short lived.  EV won initiative and sent in a heavy.  I was still holding some sort of defensive card, but it was to no avail.  After a collision that set the ID ship ablaze, the ensuing melee decrewed both ships.
An all too familiar scene.
Oddly enough, after losing my battleship I'm pretty confident.  I'm now facing a heavy cruiser with one point of hull remaining, and both d3 repair cards already used, plus the flagship that has 3 points on it.  Against that I have a bombless, but whole, airship, mostly intact cruiser squadron, and an understrength but still effective frigate squadron.

Turn 9, SM 1
I move the airship to send it high and protect it from the flagship's AA turret.

Butterfly in the sky, I can fly twice as high...
I missed a picture of it, but EV moved his flagship after I sent the airship up.  In response, I sent in the frigates to continue their work.  With more raking shots, they finished off the barely floating heavy cruiser.

Still hungry for balls after all these turns.
Things are grim for the Shroud flagship now, alone and facing overwhelming odds.  I have the decision of where to send my cruisers all over again.  I could double them back and try to meet the flagship as it clears the island, or I could send them along the path they've been traveling and have them rejoin the frigates.  I pick the second course of action.

End of turn 9, ID 3
The hunt is on now.  I'm missing another picture or two, but the story is clear enough.  EV turns his flagship around, presumably to avoid raking shots, and crits the airship which is turning to pursue.

Turn 10, SM 1/ID 1
With plenty of ground to cover, I send in the frigates to close the gap.  Any firing is ineffective.

Turn 10, ID 2
The cruisers follow along and are also ineffective.

End of turn 10, ID 3
 I consider sending a frigate or cruiser in to prize the SM heavy, but decide against it.  The flagship may be hurt and alone, but it's still dangerous.  Case in point is turn 11, where the flagship fires on the airship again and brings it down.

Oh the humanity!
Looks like the airship nerf adjustment worked out pretty well.

Turn 11, SM 1
In come the cruisers, who deal a point while they close.

Revenge for the airship.
And the full table shot.

Turn 11, ID 1
I figure I should start playing cards as there's no real reason to sit on them.  I drop Lucky Shot when I bring the frigates in.  With ~8AD I think I have a decent shot of hitting 6.  I rolled 6 hits, but I also had an exploding 6 in the bunch, which lead to the odd situation of me hoping that it didn't come up a hit and EV hoping that it did.  It didn't result in a hit, so the SM flagship took a Hard Pounding.

More revenge.  It's a big airship.
Things look even worse for EV now.  His flagship is heavily damaged and literally cornered.

End of turn 11, ID 2
I win initiative in turn 12 and continue to play gunnery cards.  This time it's Red Hot Shot, which sets the flagship on fire when my cruisers damage it.

Out of the frying pan...
So the Shroud flagship is on its last legs and on fire, but things could be worse, right?

Turn 12, ID 1
EV wheels his ship around and lines up the frigates.  Once again I assume that he's going to ram, but he stops short.  Down 7 dice thanks to hull damage, his shots don't connect with the frigates or the cruisers.  He also takes a point of fire damage, reducing the flagship to one remaining hull.

As if injury wasn't enough.
I don't think I have enough move to get my frigates into classic ball nipping position, but I do spot an opportunity for cinematic frigate play.  As such I move my frigates in close to the Shroud flagship and audaciously park one right in front.  If I don't sink the flagship things will be bad for the frigates as one turn will ram or collide the entire squadron.  9AD up close do the trick though and the Shroud fleet is defeated.

The Ball Nippers zoom in for the kill.
The seas at the end of the game.

This was a tightly contested game with plenty of back and forth.  I was pretty confident through most of the game except for a couple turns in the late midgame.  The airship changes, which were the whole point of the game, worked well.  I was a little more cautious with the blimp than usual, and didn't drop the bomb until nearly the end of the game.  The bombing run was still effective, but when EV decide to turn some serious guns on the airship it folded quickly, which is how it should work.  A successful test and an entertaining game.


  1. I was shocked, as we got not a single "Magazine Explosion" result out of all the critical hits! I think this is the first game which wasn't decided (at least in part) by a gigantic fireball.

  2. We do get our fair share of explosions and then some. I thought this was a good game that didn't swing on some freak roll or random dice occurrence.

  3. good stuff, glad it was a close game and not a blow out either way!