The British had one battleship, one fleet carrier, eight frigates, and two submarines. Against them we had the battleships Zinyi and Toldi, the newly commissioned dreadnought SMS Szent István, plus three frigates. The British were well supported by aircraft (approximately 16 flights of fighters and dive bombers, plus two heavy bombers) but thankfully we had ten flights of our own fighters providing air cover plus two heavy bombers. Our fleet formed up into a "twin sword" formation, with Zrinyi and Tolid on the left, Szent Istvan on the right. The British deployed their frigate squadrons on the left and center, while their submarines, carrier, and battleship went into close formation on the right.
As my battleships advanced they directed their gunfire at the enemy frigates, to only moderate effect. More practise for the gunnery crews is definitely needed! However they reduced both frigate squadrons to half strength, and prevented them from coordinating their fire. Enemy dive bombers also advanced, skimming close to an island to avoid flak. The fighter squadron I had assigned to provide CAP for Toldi broke formation and went after the dive bombers, but were gunned down.
On the right the Szent Istvan came to port and opened up with it's full broardside on the British capital ships. After an initial salvo at the battleship (inflicting light damage) I realised that the carrier was much more vulnerable, and focused all guns on the massive vessel. Despite taking increasingly heavy damage the British ships all continued to advance, firing torpedoes all the way. Thankfully the concussion charges and heavy armour of the Istvan saved it from taking any damage.
|Istvan unleashes its powerful broadside|
On the left flank, the loss of Toldi's fighter defense proved very costly. She was pounded by wave after wave of dive bombers, her flak becoming less and less effective as the damage increased. Finally at 21:34 hours a bomb must have struck her reactor - she exploded, with the loss of all hands.
|Last moments of the battleship Toldi|
The loss of Toldi was a major blow. However on the right the Istvan was having greater success. Still proving impervious to the British torpedoes, she had sunk both the carrier and a submarine. However her course was now taking her out of sight of the British battleship. At approximately 22:10 hours both sides disengaged and the battle was over. "
So, a fun second game of Dystopian Wars, and my first using both airpower and the actual fleet list. Some good lessons learned, and I remain very comfortable with the effectiveness of an all big-gun fleet.