In order to generate a whole bunch of games in order to test scenario balance and the campaign rules, I’ve started running a campaign solo with eight fleets. This is the first battle, where I discover that an iPhone might not be the best tool with which to take pictures.
This battle pits two traditional rivals against each other: Games Workshop’s old Chaos and Imperial Gothic fleets. I’d link to their page, but GW is currently not producing the line. The fleets are commanded fictionally by Chaos Camille and Imperial Zed. The battle is a Fleet Engagement, in the Inner Sphere, and no terrain.
Camille’s fleet won the pre-battle initiative roll, which forced a running entry.
That puts the two fleets on opposite corners of the same board edge, moving at intercept speed. The scenario’s objective is pretty simple: beat the snot out of the other guy. The campaign is running at 1800 points. (The rules suggest 2000, but my Mauridian fleet can only field 1752 points without really twisting and warping the ship designs.)
This means that Camille is fielding an Acheron (the E.S.Blofeld), a Styx (the Baal), and nine escorts; and Zed brought a Gothic (the Escalon), a Lunar (the Keyes), a Dauntless (the Tracy), and three Cobras. Your game designer used his iPhone to take pictures, so you’re only getting good pictures for the first part of the fight.
Camille rolled poorly on initiative, so she decided to swing wide and screen her cruisers aggressively with two squadrons of escorts. The Iconoclasts, with their higher point defense, were split between the cruisers to provide protection against ordinance.
With the exception of his Cobras, Zed’s fleet rolled really well. Because Camille chose to husband her cruisers, Zed was able to let his heavies coast into position. The Chaos escorts were in deep yogurt.
So, too, were the Cobras. After the shooting was over, five Chaos escorts and three Cobras were floating debris fields. (Only the Pettigrew survived the Screen Stomping.) The Baal launched its fighters …
… and the Imperial cruisers launched missiles.
(From here on out, the pictures aren’t so good, but included to help with the story.)
The next turn continued the carnage, as E.S.Blofeld had to move first. Tracy followed: its missile attacked E.S.Blofeld, and Tracy maneuvered into E.S.Blofeld‘s blind spot. Archio destroyed the missile before it could detonate.
Keyes moved next, and thrust just enough to keep E.S.Blofeld in its port broadsides. Its missile also attacked the Chaos squadron, and was also destroyed. (This time, by Megawrath.)
While its escorts were doing their job, things were looking bad for E.S.Blofeld. Baal, however, was able to vector its fighters in on Tracy. It took two of the three flights to do it, but Tracy was destroyed.
Escalon then destroyed the third flight of fighters with its missile, and also put E.S.Blofeld in its port broadside.
Not surprisingly, the combined fire of the two Imperial cruisers was enough to destroy E.S.Blofeld. The real surprise is that the remaining Chaos fleet was able to focus fire on Keyes, crippling her.
At this point, Keyes was reduced to one inch of thrust, so could barely maneuver. It was just enough to avoid mine salvos from Pettigrew, but Keyes was headed off the board, and there was nothing Zed could do to stop it.
The fleets slowly separated, and any thoughts that Camille had finishing Keyes were dismissed when Keyes was able to destroy Megawrath for getting too close.
The game ended when the Imperial cruisers left the table. Zed scored 632 points (half the value of the two retired cruisers), while Camille got 782. The difference of 150 was 8% of the 1800 point fleet value, which meant Camille earned a marginal victory — though her fleet is probably going to be worse off than Zed’s for the next battle.
(Next up: Kharadorn vs. the T.R.N.)
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