"Intelligence reports said that the FSA had lost both of its battleships in a recent fleet engagement with the Japanese. So until they moved reinforcements into the region, the Eyrie would be relatively undefended. We were not at full strength outselves - the Istvan was still ungoing repairs and could not be deployed. However this was an opportunity that I felt we could not afford to miss, so I transfered my flag temporarily onto SMS Budapest and gathered a taskforce. As we approached air scouts reported a single large vessel. I assumed the spies were wrong and one of the FSAs battleships had survived. But since our dreadnought would be more than a match for a single FSA battleship, we pressed on.
A few moment later I was forcefully shown I was wrong - it was a dreadnought, one of the feared new Enterprise class. I would later learn that it was CSS Ragnarok. And what was more it had been equipped with the 'dual-shield' technology. SMS Budapest would be no match for such a beast in an open gunfight! Thankfully we had more squadrons than they did, and by careful maneuver I was able to keep the two dreadnoughts out of range of each other while the fleets closed."
|My deployment. Budapest is out of shot above the reef in the top left.|
My fleet consisted of a dreadnought (with no shields), 2 cruisers, a destroyer squadron of 4, two frigate squadrons of 4, a squadron of 3 Pflichts, and a squadron of dive bombers. Against this Jamie had a dreadnought (with two shields), two squadrons of 3 cruisers, a squadron of 4 frigates,a squadron of 3 heavy bombers, and a squadron of torpedo bombers. Since I had 7 activations to his 6 I was able to see where his dreadnought deployed before putting mine on the opposite end of the table.
"The opening exchanges inflicted moderate damage to both sides. On the eastern edge of the battle our frigates and destroyers suffered loses from Ragnarok's rockets and rear turret, but managed to sink a cruiser. Budapest suffered some light damage from the Ragnarok's front turrets, and only managed to inflict moderate damage on a bomber in exchange. With both the FSA cruisers and Ragnarok closing on Budapest the situation did not look good. "
|My Pflicts and small vessels advance|
|SMS Budapest facing off with FSA cruisers|
"Then in an instant the tide of battle turned. Our Pflichts, which had been advancing high above the battle, dropped their marines right onto Ragnarok - six full platoons worth. Miraculously they got through the dreadnought's intense flak almost unscathed, and despite heavy losses succeeded in capturing the massive vessel."
|Death from Above! My Pflichts conduct their boarding assault|
As my last action of turn 2 I advanced my Pflichts 10" straight out into the open towards Ragnarok (expecting them to die but absorb a lot of fire first)... and then gained the initiative in turn 3, and got them unharmed into boarding range. Jamie managed to only roll one hit with his AA dice, and my 17 AP managed to wipe out his 12, although with only 2 AP remaining. Since my victory condition was Kill all Enemy Large Ships, I had won.
So a fun game. And I have to give particular credit to Jamie for staying calm and pleasant even after losing the dreadnought that he'd hoped to spring on people as a nasty surprise.