Republic of French
Magenta class pocket battleship
Vauban class sky fortress
Voltaire class heavy interceptors (2 wings)
Alma class frigates
A whole swarm of long range torpedo bombers
Empire of the Blazing Sun
Sokotsu class battleship
Tanuki class gunships
Uwatsu class frigates (3 squadrons)
Fujin class frigates
The Blazing Sun fleet mustered to the south of a small islet and watched tentatively as they caught they first sight of the French ships through the clouds.
Admiral Brouillard du Milieu had standing orders to destroy any Blazing Sun cruisers and gunships encountered, as well as damaging any ships he could. Admiral Hara-Satsu had simpler orders to destroy any French presence in the area.
Hara-Satsu issued orders to keep the fleet in a tight formation behind his flagship.
To the north over a large sandbar, Brouillard du Milieu mustered a line abreast with his main strength around the Vauban.
Brouillard du Milieu signalled his airships forwards; they gunned their engines and with a whine and crackle of Sturginium they advanced into the heart of the Blazing Sun. The French fire concentrated on the Blazing Sun gunships, tearing great chunks out of the vessels. The return fire shattered the French Almas, which crashed beneath the waves in great cascades of burning steel.
The opening exchanges went well for me. While the French were after my mediums for their victory conditions, and the Tanukis took a bit of a battering, I managed to combine Tanuki and Uwatsu fire to destroy the Almas. The Voltaires were now bearing down, closely followed by those fearsome swarms of torpedo bombers...
Hara-Satsu issued congratulations to his fleet, and then directed them to concentrate their fire on the approaching Voltaires. Everyone was trying to ignore the lumbering nightmare of the Vauban fortress. It was closing far to fast...
A vicious exchange of fire saw the remaining Tanukis sunk. Brouillard du Milieu was greatly satisfied, having mostly achieved his standing orders. He instructed the Voltaires to withdraw but too late! The Blazing Sun battleship and shark-fast Fujin frigates blew the interceptors out of the sky.
The mid-game was a brutal exchange that saw my Tanukis shredded, but in response I managed to down all the attacking French units. The next wave to engage would the the torpedo bombers. This is was not looking forwards too!
Brouillard du Milieu ordered a hard to starboard turn and brought the Vauban into threat range of the Blazing Sun flagship. At that moment, the torpedo bombers descended from the clouds and unleashed a mass of deadly missiles. Most were destroyed or missed their mark, but they finally managed to sink the remaining Tanuki, and damage the Sokotsu.
Hara-Satsu finally ordered the frigate swarm forwards, and the Uwastus powered their engines. Their ack-ack raked the French fighter bombers as their turrets chattered across the hull of the Vauban. The Sokotsu joined in and great holes tore open in the Vauban hull.
But time was not on the Blazing Sun side. The Vauban banked into the heart of their enemy and unleashed a merciless and devastating broadside. The Sokotsu juddered and buckled as shell after shell pounded into it...
Then...suddenly...the Sokotsu generators ruptured and in a massive crackling blast of Sturginium energy it popped out of existence. The sea, suddenly empty of the vast hull that had been there only moments before slapped shut in a great rush.
The remaining Blazing Sun fleet turned and sprinted away, leaving the French victorious.
Well, it was a tense game and great fun. My basic plan was to try to maximise my damage across the various range bands and to keep the frigates out of harm until the fleets closed. In past battles i've found it a very successful tactic as the heavier ships soak up the damage on the way in, and a full unit of Uwatsus giving a solid broadside can really ruin and enemy battleship's day!
Everything was going well. We'd exchanged losses but I was definitely ahead. Then the Vauban got into RB1...
Hooboy does it lay down the damage. In a single turn of firing it completely obliterated my battleship, and even if one of the criticals hadn't been a double 6, it would have sunk anyway.
My mediums gone and 50% of my force lost, it was all over. A well deserved win for my opponent.
I've a feeling in future I might need a few Kitsune Class Escorts to take on the French!