'Shortly after the outbreak of hostilities between the Kingdom of Britannia (KoB) and the Empire of the Blazing Sun (EotBS), two small fleets under the command of Admiral Gordon and Admiral Haradi met at Tuo Island in the South China Sea...'
This is one of our first battles 'in anger' using the excellent Dystopian Wars rules. Using forces of 800 points I took my EotBS fleet up against a fearsome KoB fleet.
EotBS order of battle
1x Tsukuyomi Class War Gyro
2x DFA-170 Class Bombers
1x Ika Class Mechanical Squid
3x Tanuki Class Gunship
8x Uwatsu Class Frigates
10x Tiny fliers (torpedo bombers)
Kob order of battle
1x Ruler Class Battleship
3x Bastion Class Escorts
4x Attacker Class Frigates
3x Tribal Class Cruisers
2x Vanguard Class Submarines
5x Merlin Class Light Interceptor
1x Tiny fliers (dive bombers)
We deployed the majority of our fleets to the south of the islands.
The KoB deployed in a solid line abreast with most of its flyers lurking about to the north of the island.
Bedecked in the livery of the Royal ships, they are a splendid and terrifying sight!
I deployed the EotBS to meet this threat with most of my light and medium surface fleet. Lurking behind the Tanukis was the Ika, trying to stay out of trouble. I also put my flyers over the island and to the north.
All the submarines were submerged and all the flyers on both sides were obscure, flying high and ready to swoop in for the kill.
The KoB needed to kil 50% plus all my mediums, i needed 50% of his plus all his small units. Tough going for both sides.
We opened proceedings with our light ships swarming out, and as usual, the KoB broadsides battered my Uwatsu's at range, and we streamed forwards at top speed. The Uwatsu's needed to get into the KoB lights, to strip off a path for the Ika.
I brought my bombers and War Gyro across the island to dominate the centre of the battle, screen off the KoB flyers, and bring some pain down on the KoB medium ships chugging forwards. It also gave them something to shoot at, distracting them from the sneaky Ika...
The KoB responded by sending those nasty sky hunter Merlins forwards to try and bring down my bombers.
The KoB surface fleet also opened up with a mass of torpedoes and gunfire, badly smashing the lead Tanuki. My gunships responded with rockets that set one of the escorts ablaze...its not much but better than usual in the exchanges we've has so far. The KoB AA fire simply negates our incendiary rockets.
Caught between the Tribals and Merlins, my air power took a bit of a battering but no worry...
...it relieved the pressure on my Tanukis and allowed them to make good progress into the heart of the KoB fleet. They brought their turrets to bear up close and fired off the rockets at the incoming Merlins.
The battle was really getting hectic now with both fleets mixed up in close proximity and desperately trying to gain the upper hand. As usual the KoB were dealing out more damage than i could, but the Ika was rumbling slowly forwards, largely unmolested.
Beginning to panic, Admiral Gordon brought his frigates forwards to try and screen off the battleship.
I sprung my trap and swarmed all over the frigates with my Uwatsus.
The KoB frigates were obliterated in some brutal close ranged broadsides, and that freed the route through the melee for the Ika. The sea boiled as it surfaced with a great groan and raked the KoB flagship with poisoned gas. The KoB crew were decimated as their Admiral abandoned ship in a personal flyer yacht, leaving the pride of the fleet a derelict hulk.
Meanwhile, the Tanukis lost the close ranged brawl and the Merlins shot down the EotBS bombers. These units also concentrated their fire on Admiral Haradi's War Gyro flagship severely damaging it.
The unseemly brawl ended the final turn with both fleets in a mess. They withdrew to lick their wounds and in the final reckoning, the EotBS gained a narrow victory on points. Overall, another great game. We're still learning the rules so things are a bit clunky but its definitely getting there and our fleets and tactics are developing well.
From the EotBS perspective i find the KoB fleet a very tough proposition. They dish out a lot of damage, yet seem to be immune to my return fire (being mainly rockets). That said, the Ika is consistently devastating and pretty much obliterates any ship it boards in a single turn. I'm also finding my light frigates to have potential. They die in droves, but they seem to dish out far more damage than my bigger ships, and although they die easily, there's always enough that seem to get through to do some hard damage. I think i'll try out a 'swarm fleet' at some point...
Dystopian Wars is a very nice little rule set with some lovely models. I suspect we'll be playing more of it, especially as the other chaps are buying fleets!