"The Argo may have been destroyed by the Black Company, but its legacy remained - the debris from the wreck had spread over a large area in the time since the attack. From these pieces, Prussian fleet commander Karl-Ehrhart Grunner reasoned, some rather valuable technology or information could be secured.
Grunner despatched his best hunter, commander Jürgen Grönemeyer, and his recently refitted Sturmbringer-class Submarine with a small fleet of fast ships to track down the pieces of the Argo and recover anything valuable. The Wolf Pack rendezvoused with a Danish patrol out of Daneborg some days later.
Tracking some interesting readings, the Prussian scientists attached to Grönemeyer's fleet directed them south of Nanortalik, an area rarely travelled by Prussian fleets due to the iceberg floes prevalent in the spring months. There, they discovered more than just the remains of the Argo..."
- The Blockade of Greenland
Naval Battles of 1872
Welcome to the fourth Battle Report for the Greenland Campaign - this time featuring one of the latest releases from Spartan Games, the Honourable Eclipse Company. Old faces, new fleets - this time Good Friend Ben was abandoning his Federated States of America for the latest shiny thing, while I would be allying in some nice Danish ships to my Prussian force.
For this game we also used the new Objective Set from Spartan Games, deploying all eight tokens over the board to represent debris from Ben's FSA Dreadnought destroyed in our last game. These would add some flavour to the game and continue the narrative nicely.
So onward to the game! The Prussian Empire have despatched a small fleet to recover valuable technologies from the wreck of the Argo, and found themselves in the middle of Eclipse Company territory. As their fortifications rise from the depths and their grand airships descend from the clouds, can the Prussian fleet retrieve their objective before it's too late?
|The two Eclipse Company box sets makes for a formidable, if compact 1250pt force|
Elysium-class Large Airship with two wings of three Fighter TFTs
Three Phoenician-class Scout Flyers
Four Oceanus-class Bombers
Five Hades-class Interceptors
Tartarus-class Fortification with eight Stingray-class Attack Submarines
Two Gadeiros-class Fortifications with eight Atlas-class Assault Ships
Two Wings of five Dive Bomber TFTs
|The Wolf Pack joins the Kingdom of Denmark in tracking down valuable debris from the wreck of the Argo|
Kingdom of Denmark
Ragnarok-class Pocket Battleship
Three Sigurd-class Cruisers
Two Fafnir-class Light Airships each with four Fighter TFTs
Five Korsor-class Corvettes
Three Wings of four Fighter TFTs
Three Donnerfaust-class Support Cruisers
Four Arminius-class Frigates
Five Zerstörer-class Strike Bombers
|Danish and Prussian Deployment - Right Flank|
|Danish and Prussian Deployment - Left Flank|
|The Tartarus-class Fortification and the Stingray-class Attack Submarines|
|Gadeiros-class Fortifications and their Atlas-class Assault Ships block the channel|
|Hades-class Interceptors and the Elysium-class Large Airship, Griffon's Roost|
|The Griffon's Roost with it's Fighter Wings and Oceanus-class Bombers|
|Oceanus-class Bombers, Dive Bomber TFTs and the Phoenician squadron|
|Using their Pre-Game move, the Atlas-class Assault Ships move forward aggressively|
|The Atlas-class Assault Ships surge forward and cause massive damage to the Fafnir-class Light Airship with their Volley Guns. Their Ack-Ack fire also takes down some of the Danish Fighter Planes|
|The Danish Cruiser Squadron advances, failing to recover the Objective but damaging the Tartarus Fortification with their powerful turrets|
|The Phoenician-class Scout Flyers advance over the iceberg|
|Their powerful turrets cripple the Sigurd squadron, sinking one and severely damaging the others|
|Ramming speed! The Ragnarok ploughs through the Atlas-class Assault Ships and opens up with its broadsides, destroying three|
|The Main Turrets of the Ragnarok cripple the Gadeiros Fortification|
|The Fafnir-class Light Airships cause serious damage to the second Gadeiros Fortification|
|The Hades-class Interceptors move forward, passing low over one of the Objectives and suffering a Raging Fire for their effort|
|Danish Fighter Planes shoot down one of the Atlas-class Assault Ships|
|Oceanus-class Bombers surge forward|
|Donnerfaust-class Support Cruisers open fire on the Tartarus, lancing it with their Speerschleuders|
|The Elysium prepares to bring its weaponry to bear|
|Support Cruisers feel the wrath of the Earth Shaker Cannon|
|The Sturmbringer reveals itself, opening fire on the Tartarus-class Fortification|
|Danish Fighter planes try to cut down some of the Stingray-class Attack Submarines|
|Eclipse Company Dive Bombers advance cautiously, wary of the Danish Fighter Planes|
|Zerstörer-class Strike Bombers move ahead, picking their target|
|Another Fighter wing drops down to attack the Atlas squadron, but are ineffective|
|Korsor-class Corvettes investigate one of the Objectives, but find a booby trap! One Corvette is destroyed and another damaged in the explosion|
|Eclipse Company Fighters rush forward to defend the fortifications|
|The Arminius-class Frigates move up and take some potshots at the Tartarus, but achieve nothing|
|The End of Turn One|
By the end of Turn One, both sides had caused a great deal of damage - the Fortifications were all looking worse for wear while the Danish/Prussian Alliance had suffered critical hits on almost of their squadrons. The tiny squadrons of Attack Submarines and Assault Ships were breaking up the advance and causing the Prussians to be unusually cautious. The loss of one of the Fafnir-class Light Airships was a blow, but with the Imperial Bond now in close range, would their Tesla-weaponry and powerful turrets turn the tide?
|The Elysium turns sharply to face the Danish Cruisers|
|Sheaf Fire! The Earth Shaker Cannon destroys both remaining Sigurd-class Cruisers and an Arminius, damaging a second|
|The Phoenician squadron targets the Arminius-class Frigates, destroying one and damaging the others|
|Repel Boarders! The Ragnarok is overwhelmed by the Stingray-class Attack Submarines, who rampage through the decks and render it Derelict - a big blow for the Danish and Prussian forces|
|The Donnerfaust squadron advances and presents their broadside to the Phoenician squadron, causing massive damage to two of the airships|
|In retaliation, the Oceanus-class Bombers commit to a bombing run against the Support Cruisers, causing critical hits on two of their targets and damaging the lead Donnerfaust|
|The Fafnir-class Light Airship show the power of Danish gunnery, causing terrible damage to the grand Elysium|
|The Hades-class Interceptors move to attack the Fafnir|
|The Griffon's Roost is finished by strafing Danish Fighter Planes, More Machine Guns taking their toll|
|Dive Bombers move against the lead Donnerfaust|
|The Sturmbringer causes critical damage to one of the Oceanus-class Bombers and smashes another one out of the sky|
|The whine of descending Dive Bombers spells the doom of the third Donnerfaust|
|The Tartarus-class Fortification struggles to damage the Support Cruisers|
|Danish Fighters strafe the Stingray-class Attack Submarines|
|Atlas-class Assault Ships use their volley guns to further damage the Fafnir|
|Korsor-class Corvettes move to capture another objective, but find only fire!|
|Fighter planes finish the job and bring down the last Fafnir-class Light Airship|
|Limping away from the carnage, the Arminius-class Frigates recover the Priceless Artefact and the 250 Victory Points with it!|
|End of Turn Two from the Prussian perspective - only the Sturmbringer remains undamaged, every other squadron has lost two or more of their ships. But the Arminius-class Frigates flee with the Priceless Artefact!|
|Endgame from the Eclipse Company perspective. Brutal!|
The Prussian and Danish fleet had suffered huge losses by the end of Turn Two - Ben had managed to score 890 Victory Points even without any of the Objectives. In turn, the Eclipse Company had only lost 632.5 Victory Points, but the Priceless Artefact recovered by the Prussian Frigates gave them a further 250pts (for a total of 882.5) and made the game a DRAW.
Overall, we were both satisfied with the result - the power of the Eclipse Company had been revealed, while the Prussian fleet showed that playing the scenario always pays off!
CONCLUSIONS AND LEARNING POINTS
The first game for the Honourable Eclipse Company saw both of us learn a great deal about their strengths and weaknesses, and ultimately how powerful their relatively small force can be. Flying high and with the Fortifications distracting the opponent, the rest of the fleet can move into a prime position where their bombs and close-range gunnery can really shine. Their boarding power is also not to be underestimated - the Stingray-class Attack Submarines can wield the same power as the Australian Crocodiles, and spelt doom for the Ragnarok on Turn Two thanks to Ferocious and Dash & Elan from the supporting Elysium.
Speaking as the opponent of the Eclipse Company, I never felt overwhelmed by their statistics or special rules - leave that for the Black Wolf Mercenaries. Instead, they were a competent force with lots of distractions like the the tiny squadrons of Assault Ships and Attack Submarines, and could avoid the worst of my firepower by flying high and becoming Obscured.
The Prussian and Danish alliance may not have been the most powerful build, but against an Aerial force like the Eclipse Company I imagined their superior Fighter Planes and the ability of Tesla weaponry to fire at Flying models in RB1 would give a good advantage. Ultimately, I underestimated the squadrons of Attack Submarines and Assault Ships, which cost me dear in the opening phases of Turn One and Two. The defences of the Danish ships were also rather lacking - without good terrain to hide behind, their weaker armour really showed.
Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable game and far more interesting than the Black Wolf Mercenaries destroying every ship and squadron they look at. I think the Eclipse Company will be a fine addition to Dystopian Wars, and their potential as Allies should not be considered by every nation.
The Prussian and Danish forces retreated from the Eclipse Company territory with their prize, satisfied despite the horrific losses sustained by both fleet commanders. The mysterious artefact was whisked back to the Prussian laboratories hidden within Greenland. There, its secrets could be plundered and a potential new weapon or technology developed for the Imperial Bond.
The Honourable Eclipse Company had acquitted themselves well, suffering relatively light casualties aside from the loss of the airship Griffon's Roost and the severe damage suffered by the fortifications. Whether they were aware of the value of the artefact they had allowed to slip through their fingers was unknown to the Prussian commander, but would become apparent soon enough...
Thanks for reading,
George and Ben