Wednesday, August 18, 2010

US Battle Report - Two Games, One Night Part Two

We had 5 people show up on Monday night for US, which meant we had a two 1 on 1 games going, which meant someone was watching.  The spectator was kairaven, who suggested we have a group game after the individual games were finished.  EV had just been violently introduced to the Bone Griffon gunline and understandably didn't want a piece of the action.  The BG player had to go, which left just kairaven, vatank, and myself.  We settled on a starter box game, knocked out some deployment zones and went at it.

I started in the middle of one edge, facing opponents in either corner of the opposing edge.  The smart move would be to concentrate on a single enemy, then hope to have enough left to tackle the remaining foe.  That wouldn't have been much fun though, especially since I was in the middle and had a target rich environment to practice my long range gunnery on.

Wind was blowing to the NW I believe, more or less directly in the Ralgard's face.  Turn 1 went as turn 1s go: positioning.  I split off a frigate squadron to send at each foe.

End of turn 1.
Despite my best efforts to stay at range with my frigates, I still lose one in short order.  I'm trying to run them around behind the Ralgard for future raking, but said Ralgard have to ruin my fun by shooting one before I can flank.

I was trying to keep them safe this time.
I get my revenge though, and then some, when I send my battleship into the middle for the first of many glorious double broadsides.  I sink a Ralgard cruiser and damage an Elven one as well.

What is best in life?  Double broadsides.
I thought this next shot was of more Human glory, but if it is I can't figure it out.  It does serve to show how close I got to my favorite bit of terrain, the Lonely Rock.  This little guy was made from offcuts and scraps of material.  I hoped that someday it would influence a game in some way, and today was the day. 

Approaching the Rock.
I didn't notice the Lonely Rock at first, which is probably why it's so lonely.  Then some uppity Elves took a shot at my cruiser and put some sort of steering crit on it.  Suddenly I was made very aware of where the Rock was and how close I was to it.

The Lonely Rock may not be lonely soon.
Considering what the Elves did to my cruiser, it's no surprise that my other squadron of frigates was looking for a pointy-eared fight.  They found it too, taking 2 Elven frigates out of the fight and damaging a third.

The power of multiple shots.
After the slow first turn, turn 2 had some good action.  Normally I'd be thinking that I'm overextending my frigates and begging to be hammered from both sides by two foes, but since I'm looking to do as much damage as I can before going out in a blaze of glory things are going to plan.

End of turn 2.
I managed to fix the steering crit and avoid disaster on the Lonely Rock, at least temporarily.  The Ralgard decided to show those Elves that they could do crits too, and they landed a no-shooting crit on my cruisers, after I repaired them no less.

I just fixed those ships too.
As if the one crit wasn't enough, in come some Ralgard frigates to not only crit, but set one of my cruisers on fire.  That's just inconsiderate.  I may have a suitable reply for them in the works though.

Setting my ship on fire?  That's just rude.
I send in my Elf-fighting frigates for the ram, but those sneaky Elves play some sort of repulsion card that protects one of their frigates, and stops my frigates from shooting as well.  One of my boats makes it in though, and they show the Elves what they can expect: a rough fight where everyone dies.

The neon skulls make all the blood look cuter.
Apparently I missed another shot, probably the Elven battleship going to town on my cruisers.  The one that was on fire has sunk, and now another is on fire.  My battleship is not amused and continues to hammer both sides, sinking a cruiser from both factions, all while carefully steering around the Lonely Rock.

The Lonely Rock is seen, but not engaged.  Poor Rock.
Turn 3 continued the trend of turn 2, with the action heating up even more, especially with all the fire.  The fire token is Kairaven's, a design I've looked at on the Litko site a couple times.  I've been worried that they're too small, but it shows up well enough in this shot.  I may still opt for one size up, from micro to mini I think.

End of turn 3.
I drew Hell's Heart at the beginning of turn 2, and was eying my cruisers throughout the turn for that duty.  I sent the one that was one fire, who managed to fix said fire this turn, in towards the heart of the Ralgard fleet, while the other ran for cover.  I was concerned that the Ralgard would figure out what I was up to, but when their frigates went they shot at my battleship for the most part.  This shooting required some fancy maneuvering, as the Lonely Rock blocked LoS from one of them. 

The Lonely Rock, in the middle again.
On the Elven side, I send my frigates in for a brilliant double double broadside, where each ship fires on both sides and doubleteams the ship in the middle.  I destroy the lead ship and the rear ship, which was derelict from the previous turn's boarding action, but fail to do anything to the ship in the middle.  This shot is from the Elven squad's activation, when the frigate came in for the ram.

I showed that unmanned ship who was boss.
As the Ralgard battleship rolls in, I'm hoping it fires on my almost dead cruiser.  Fortunately it does, sinking my ship and allowing me to play Hell's Heart.  Kairaven looked rather surprised by this, which was awfully satisfying.  The explosion caught most of his fleet, sinking two frigates, his last cruiser, and maybe dinging the battleship too.

Martyrs take note, this is how it's done.
My battleship continues to dish out the punishment, this time just Pounding an Elven cruiser instead of sinking it.

The IH battleship is the clear MVP of all my IH games.
Things have ratcheted up again somehow in turn 4.  All of the fleets are ragged now, and I'm not sure the Ralgard and Elves have taken a shot at each other yet.

End of turn 4.
My battleship finishes off the ship it Pounded last turn, but probably didn't damage either battleship.  If not for the Lonely Rock, I would have had the coveted quad shot, shooting out of all my arcs in a glorious fusilade of pain.

Stuck in the middle, what a place to be.
Back in Elf country, the boarding action is pretty even, with both ships losing a single crew.  My unengaged frigate gets taken out by a cowardly rake.

Don't shoot, join the melee!
On the other side of the board, my Ralgard-fighting frigates suffer some serious RB1 fire and go down.  The Ralgard frigates have 5AD in RB1, just like my ID frigates.  They can potentially get double shots off, but their broadsides instead of turrets, and they're wind-dependent.  I'm not sure if that's a good trade or not.

More frigates gone.
Swinging back once again, the melee rages on, consuming all combatants.  I'm out of frigates now, and cruisers as well.

Everyone fights, everyone dies.
Turn 5 may not have been as bloody as turns 3 or 4 in terms of numbers, but in terms of crippling fleets it was the worst yet.  One cruiser, and Elven one, still floats, along with a handful of frigates and all the battleships.  I've cut a bloody swathe through both fleets, and now the final butcher's bill is about to be presented. 

End of turn 5.
The Ralgard battleship comes in for a rake, double critting my poor battleship.

What kind of coward attacks from behind?
The Elves play some sort of gunnery card that amounts to a front rake.  Getting raked from both ends, my battleships succumbs to the mountain of fire.

The good guys are no more.
The game was called here, at the end of turn 6, because the store was about to close.  I took a good chunk out of both fleets, and it would have been interesting to see how things played out.  Such was not to be however.

I tried to keep my ships at range this game, more so than previously, and things worked out well.  I drew a bad position, being in the middle, and decided to run headlong between the two fleets instead of focusing on one, so I was never going to win.  Instead I wanted to pay out some pain on all sides, which I think I did admirably.  This was a very entertaining game, possibly the most fun I've had with US since the first game EV and I played with paper cutouts.  It goes to show that games don't always have to be evenly matched and on neutral ground to be fun.  Sometimes it can be very amusing to be the meat in the sandwich, though I don't think I'd go for it all the time.


  1. I really enjoy your AARs. I'm considering getting into either US or FA. Can't decide. My 7 year old said, "Just do both." Isn't life sweet when money and time don't mean a thing?!

  2. I haven't played FA and have only "watched" one game from a couple tables down while playing a game myself. I hear the games are similar, but that FA doesn't use line of sight, which would be an interesting change. The FA models are huge, easily twice as large as any US ship, though I hear they're a bit tricky to assemble. In a perfect world we'd all have time and money for all our hobbies, but sadly the real world just doesn't play nice. I think you'll be pleased either way though.