Sunday, June 12, 2011

Never Tackle a Battleship Alone!

The remains of frigate scout squadron Snake Eyes (Zu, Ness & Scylla) have brought word to cruiser patrols Vipers Bite (Scatha & Smaug) and Wryverns Claw (Glaurung & Xiuhcoatl) that the remains of a Shroud Mage battle squadron is trying to escape a recent battle. The two understrength cruiser squadrons are ordered to destroy the interlopers. (This was a standard scenario from the Uncharted Seas rules. The Dragon Lords were allowed 50% more than the Shroud Mages. The only victory conditions were the battleship had to be destroyed by the Dragon Lords or exit off the board for a Shroud Mage victory).

The battleship Enchantress Le Fey and cruiser consort Sorceress are making full speed to try and escape before more powerful Dragon Lords units can close the noose.

The Dragon Lords decide to use their speed advantage to surround the advancing Shroud Mage ships. Command signals are confused which causes Squadron Vipers Bite to mask Wyverns Claw so the latter could not fire. The frigates move to try for rear rakes later.

Not wanting to make the same error, the cruiser Sorceress prepares to pull ahead of the Enchantress to open favorable firing arcs for both ships.

The Sorceress takes the brunt of the firepower of the three squadrons of Dragon Lords (to the surprise of many, the frigates did the lions share of damage on the cruiser).

The situation is clear, the Dragon Lords are trying to box in the Shroud Mage ships. The Sorceress has taken fearful damage while the Scatha has been lightly hit. While as yet all shots against the battleship have bounced off harmlessly, confidence is high in the Dragon Lord ships.

Then the Enchantress La Fey lets loose with a fearsome broadside and the Smaug disappears as her hull disintegrates and the Scatha is seriously damaged. In vengeance the Sorceress dies from a volley of accurate combined fire from the frigates.
The Enchantress La Fey now comes under fire from the entire Dragon Lords fleet...and comes through unscathed! In return Glaurung looses half her hull from another shattering broadside.

Throwing caution to the wind the Scatha attempts to close and board the Enchantress La Fey. Big mistake, the massive undamaged battleship crushes the hull of Scatha sinking her with all hands. To little to late the frigate squadron rakes the mighty battle ship and slightly damages her hull. Seeing the swift demise of the Scatha, and with only two cruisers, one crippled, left the Dragon Lord loose heart and pile on all speed to quit the field of battle. (Through a miss reading of the rules the end was originally a bit different as the two ships fought a boarding action and the crew of the Scatha massacred the battleships crew and captured the ship. I had miss read the collision rules and mistakenly underestimated the damage done to Scatha so she was able to close and board-oops. A quick reread and the error was exposed and the already 50% damaged Scatha slipped ingloriously beneath the waves.)

This game had Richard as the Shroud Mages admiral while I controlled the Dragon Lords. My initial moves (except the frigates who did almost all the damage the Shroud Mage ships took) were very poor. I greatly underestimated the staying power of my cruisers and over estimated their firepower. Lessons learned: 1-Only massed fire at close range (or lots of lucky dice) from lighter ships can harm a battleship. 2-Closing with a battleship is going to lose you a ship a turn sunk or seriously damaged. 3-Raking is very effective vs any ship. 4-Never-never-never collide/ram an undamaged battleship with a damaged cruiser! Regardless, it was a fun, fast game.

All the ships were resin models from

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