Tuesday, August 17, 2010

US Battle Report - Two Games, One Night Part One

We had a good turnout at the FLGS last night with 5 US and 2 Firestorm Armada players.  I got in two games with the humans, the first an Elves vs Humans battle with vatank.  I hadn't played him 1 on 1 yet, so it was good to get a game in. 

Imperial Humans
Battleship - 110
3 Cruisers - 165
3 Frigates - 90
3 Frigates - 90

3 Martyrs - 75
530 total

Thaniras Elves
Battleship - 110
2 Cruisers -110
2 Cruisers - 110
3 Frigates - 90
3 Frigates - 90
510 total

The wind started blowing to the north, neutral for us both.  I'm still coming to terms with the wind and how to account for it.  I favored the south a bit in deployment to allow me to run north before having to turn around and run afoul of the wind.  I didn't really have a plan going in to this game.  Mostly I wanted to keep my battleship and range and shoot over my frigates.  I put the Martyrs in the middle to try and hide them from fire so they could peek-a-boo a nice cluster of Elves.

Things start poorly again for my frigates as vatank sinks one and damages another in the southern squadron.

Poor frigate never had a chance.
It's no better for the northern frigates as another one is sunk.

I'll figure these guys out eventually.
I trafficjam my cruisers pretty good to get a weak shot against some Elf frigates, managing just a point on one.

All that work was worth it, right?

Turn 1 was pretty eventful as first turns go.  Looking at this picture now I can already see things going wrong as I try to close the gap instead of maintain it.  Who would have thought that a slow, in-close, tough fleet would play so different from a fast, long-range, not-so-tough fleet?

End of turn 1.
Things continue to go poorly in the middle with my wavy frigates getting wiped out and one of my cruisers getting critted by a single frigate squadron.

This is why I should stay at range.
Throughout the night the Human battleship was a stand-out.  I got 3 shots out of it this turn, sinking two frigates, damaging another and critting a cruiser as well.

Battleship gets it done.
Back in the middle my cruisers take more fire, this time from their Elven counterparts.

Where's that Master Shipwright card?  Oh right, in the ID deck.
This is my worst move of the game.  I see a marginal chance to hit a single Elf cruiser with my Martyrs and jump on it.  2 of the 3 don't explode, and the one that does gets the minimum 5 AD for the blast.  Said blast catches just the one cruiser and does nothing to it.  75 points well used there.

These guys won't be getting a pardon.
I continue to play my Humans like my Dwarves by sending my cruisers in closer.  They sink a frigate and do a point to an Elven cruiser.

Maybe when I put the sails on I'll remember to keep them at range.
The Elven battleship moves up and takes out one of my identity-confused cruisers.  At least it was already damaged.

Still looking for Master Shipwright...
Turn 2 was brutal for me, and it was mostly my own fault.  I was far too eager with the Martyrs, and the cruisers, and my frigates.  Of note is the southern frigate squadron which appears to have not moved.  That's because they didn't.  Vatank played a card that froze them in place which I could have countered, but chose not to.  I don't know that it would have made a difference though.

End of turn 2.
My cruisers are a decent match-up against frigates, which is unfortunate because they should be engaging cruisers.  At least they sunk a ship.  I apparently also found the repair card I was looking for, so there's that at least.

A pair of cruisers show a lone frigate who the boss is.
I was pretty proud of this move.  I sent in my only remaining frigates against two Eleven frigates and aligned them to get a fore shot and a broadside on each one.  I sunk one frigate, but only damaged the other.  Human frigates have lots of potential, I just have to figure out how to use them.

Double fork attack.
My battleship continues to do well, finishing off the frigate my frigates just damaged and one of the cruisers as well.  Perhaps my battleship has done so well because I've kept it at range.

At least one ship understands how to operate.
Turn 3 was better for me, but I still have a big hill to climb.  My battleship is in a decent position, but my frigates are well away from the battle while my cruisers are right in the middle of it and just begging to get raked multiple times.  I should note the wind was whipping around the first couple turns, but I think it settled down from here until the end.

End of turn 3.
Sure enough, my cruisers get raked in short order.  One goes down, leaving it's mate all alone in the middle of the board.

And then there was one.
My cruiser decides that the middle isn't where it should be and books for cover, doing a point to the Elven cruiser on the way.

Parting shot indeed.
 The lone cruiser can't escape that easily though.  The other squadron of Elven cruisers heads in and puts a point on the retreating Human cruiser.

Cruiser duel in full effect.
 I muffed the last picture and this one as well.  The damage on the lead green cruiser came from my battleship, which rolled in after my cruiser was damaged.  I took the two pictures together after the damage counters were already down.

The Human MVP at work again.
Seeing how effective the Human battleship has been, the Elven battleship gets in on the action, putting a point of damage on the Human cruiser from long range.

Battleships getting it done.
 Things are grim for the Humans now.  The frigates are still a turn or two away from engaging, the cruiser is still in a bad position, but at least the battleship is still undamaged and laying down fire.  The wind is in a bad place as well that will make the frigates take a weird line towards the fight and prevent the cruiser from just wrapping around the island.

End of turn 4.
The Human battleship gets it going, sinking an Elven frigate.  I may have put a point on the battleship as well, though I'm not sure about it.

One less squadron to deal with.
 The Elven cruisers close in.  Their fire on the battleship is ineffective, but they sink the cruiser.  The one cruiser is not ramming, just sitting very close.

Kill a squadron, lose a squadron.
My frigates finally rejoin the fight and put a point of damage on the not-quite-ramming cruiser.

Frigates to the rescue.
The frigate celebration is short lived though as the Elven battleship comes in  and sinks one.

Who will rescue the rescuers?
If I wasn't about to be forced into a boarding action, I'd say that things were bad for the Humans but still possible.  Boarding will be a disaster though, as I'll almost surely lose crew and be pinned for the Elven battleship to come around and fire.

End of turn 5.
I take the initiative and collide with the cruiser.  I don't sink it on the collision, but I do prize the ship.  It costs me 4 crew though, a big blow to the effectiveness of my battleship.  I hoped to crit, and sink, the cruiser on the collision, which would have allowed me to fire on the other cruiser and saved my crew, but it didn't work out.
Prized, but not entirely satisfying.
I had drawn Hell's Heart this turn, so I sent my last frigate in to tempt the battleship.  The frigate's fire had not effect, and the battleship quickly polished it off.  The explosion was a long shot to begin with and did no damage either.  The positioning of the battleship made me hope it might just sail off the edge.

More explosions.
 It's basically over now.  My battleship is outnumbered and about to be raked.  If it was just the two battleships I could hope for a crew repair card, but against two ships it's all but hopeless.  Still, I soldier on.

End of turn 6.
My battleship turns a bit and puts a point on the cruiser, who responds by putting some sort of status effect on my battleship.  I should really get/make some more detailed markers.  Flipping a marker over works to draw the attention, but isn't so informative in the postgame.

Close range exchange.
I think I missed a couple pictures.  This appears to be the end of turn 8, judging from how my battleship moved.  I've been taking a pounding and am at half hull and down to 3 remaining crew.

End of turn 8?
The Elven cruiser comes in to finish things off.  I hope to crit and sink it on the collision, but no such luck.  My marines fight bravely, but are overwhelmed in the end.

I continue to learn the lesson that I should keep my ships at range.  The Humans are a little tricksy in this because the larger ships want to stay in RB3, while the frigates need to be at least RB2 to shoot, and preferably RB1 to bring the fore guns in as well.  I think I'll have to start hiding the frigates behind terrain, or bigger ships, to keep them around a little longer while the bigger ships get in the long ranged fire.  The battleship was a real winner in this game and seems much more effective than the ID battleship for some reason.  Learning this new fleet has been bumpy so far, but I think I'm starting to begin to figure some of it out.

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