Friday, 9 May 2014

AAR - Federated States of America versus Prussian Empire

"After many weeks of research, the Prussian scientists in Greenland finally cracked the secrets recovered from the Argo - schematics for the next generation of FSA warships and a powerful Submarine - a vessel that would change the war in the Atlantic forever. 

This information had to be delivered to the Prussian High Command as soon as possible, but radio transmission was deemed too unreliable and liable to interception - as it stood, the FSA were still unaware the Prussian Empire had recovered the lost plans. A small fleet was prepared which would launch for Iceland and avoid the blockade fleet massing around western Greenland. 

Unfortunately for them, the FSA had moved faster than anticipated. The very ships to discover the blockade were those who needed to break it the most...
- The Blockade of Greenland
Naval Battles of 1872

Game Seven for the Greenland Campaign, and after several weeks of proxy wars with mercenary forces and treacherous allies, the Prussian Empire and the Federated States of America meet once more... but this time, I (George) will be playing the Federated States, while Mike and his Prussians will be attempting to break through the blockade and bring word of the latest American developments to Arctic-North Atlantic Command. This information is the secret plans for the new FSA vessels - the Vital Objective recovered from the wreck of the Argo in this game.

A small game with only a few photos, this match represents the Prussian fleet escorting a squadron out of Holsteinsborg and to the mouth of the Davis Strait, where they can send them off to Iceland or Mainland Europe. Unbeknownst to them, the FSA have begun their grand plan for a blockade of Holsteinsborg. Can the Prussian Empire breakthrough and deliver the secret information?

Onwards to the game...


The board was set for the Prussians to lead a breakout against the FSA blockade, carrying important information back to the Mainland. One of Mike's squadrons was nominated to carry the secret information (kept secret from myself) while the objective of the rest of the fleet was to damage the FSA as much as they could and break past if possible. The FSA merely had to stop them!
Recovered from the wreck of the Argo, secret plans for new FSA vessels

Mike's Fleet
One Gewitterwolke-class Airship
Two Pflicht-class Scoutships
Two Reiver-class Cruisers with one attached Donnerfaust-class Support Cruiser
Two Hussar-class Gunships with one attached Konigsberg-class Battlecruiser
One Squadron of four Stolz-class Destroyers
One Squadron of four Arminius-class Frigates
Two Wings of five Fighter TFTs
(We noticed Mike had not taken a Large for his Core Naval force, but agreed this was fine)

My Fleet
One Independence-class Battleship with shield generator
One Savannah-class Sky Fortress with one Wing of five Fighter TFTs and a Recon Plane
Four Lee-class Scoutships
Three Lexington-class Cruisers with shield generators
One Squadron of four Guilford-class Destroyers
One Squadron of four Augusta-class Frigates
Two Wings of five Torpedo Bomber TFTs

DEPLOYMENT 

The rocky outcrops in the centre dominate the board, with the Prussian fleet concentrating on the port flank. A single squadron of Frigates sit on the far starboard, planning to snake through the rocks and attempt a breakout
TURN ONE

The Prussian fleet advances, concentrating what firepower they can muster against the Sky Fortress
The American response is far more spread out, damaging a Scoutship and a Gunship, as well as sinking one of the Stolz-class Destroyers
The Arminius-class Frigates move forward, hoping to break through the weak portside flank...

Turn One saw the Prussians move forward boldly, while the FSA were more restrained, trusting to their long range firepower. In this, they were rewarded, with some early damage to three different Prussian squadrons. In turn, however, the Prussians manage to cripple the Savannah-class Sky Fortress.

TURN TWO

The Arminius-class Frigates are surrounded and destroyed
Carnage! The Sky Fortress goes up in flames, the FSA Battleship is damaged by the Gunship squadron and a Lee-class Scoutship is destroyed by the Prussian airforce
The FSA manage to take out another Destroyer, the Lexington-class Cruiser squadron destroys a Hussar and the Lee squadron moves against the Pflicht-class Scoutships, destroying one and boarding the second, rendering it Derelict
Turn Two was a brutal affair, with the early activations seeing the Prussian Empire concentrate on taking down the Sky Fortress before splitting their fire between the Battleship and the Scoutship squadron. The FSA made sure to target the Medium squadrons this turn, removing the Pflicht Scoutship squadron from the game and also causing severe damage to the Gunship squadron, sinking a Hussar. On the flank, the Augusta-class Frigates were brutally effective against the Arminius squadron, taking them out before they could sneak past the blockade. 

Turn Three

The FSA continue their rampage, with the combined shooting of the Battleship, Cruiser, and Destroyer  squadrons destroying the Reiver-class Cruisers, crippling the Donnerfaust as it attempted to squeeze through, and also sinking the Konigsberg Battlecruiser. The Lee-class Scoutships launch another major Boarding action, capturing the Gewitterwolke as their Prize
As the Prussian fleet collapses, the Stolz-class Destroyers move behind and unload their Luftlancers, capturing both a Lee-class Scoutship and the Independence-class Battleship! A mighty Prize for the Prussian Empire! 
ENDGAME
The game ended there, with the FSA forces having scored 907.5 Victory Points to the Prussian fleet's (respectable) score of 630. A decisive win for the FSA, especially given the failure of the Prussian fleet to break through the blockade with their Vital Objective, which would have given them a bonus 250 Victory Points. .

By the end of the game it felt like the fleets were swapping crews, with the Gewitterwolke, Independence-class Battleship and one of the Lee-class Scoutships all Prized. Despite these fine prizes, the Prussian fleet was in a sorry state by the end, and would not have survived a fourth turn.

CONCLUSIONS AND LEARNING POINTS
This was my first game using the FSA, and it was good! They felt like a slow but impressive fleet, quite happy to let the opponent come to them. The Lee-class Scoutships were especially brutal, and though the other ships were somewhat limited in their number of weapon systems, what they could fire did well.

After two years of Dive Bombers, using Torpedo Bombers for the first time was wholly unimpressive. I imagine these will be better in 2.0, but still, meh.

The mission was always going to be difficult for the Prussian fleet, running into the FSA fleet on a fairly narrow board, but Mike seemed quite happy with the damage he inflicted and the Prizes captured.

Prussian Aerial forces are generally maligned, and deservedly so. Compared to the newer ships like the Donnerfaust and the Konigsberg, the Pflicht is no longer a contender.

Considering how much of a mess the centre of the board became, we did not suffer any Collisions! These crews must be very protective of their paintwork, it seems.

THE NARRATIVE
"The Prussian blockade runners were unsuccessful in forcing their way out of the Davis Strait, and fleet commander Grunner was shocked at the speed of the FSA mobilisation - mere weeks ago they were scattered and broken with the destruction of the Argo, and now they had massed enough ships to blockade half of Greenland. His only consolation was the recovery of the Dreadnought Sachsen from Ammasalik - in time, they would be able to repair the vessel and sally forth... hopefully before the FSA moved in and bombarded Holsteinsborg out of existence...

Thanks for reading,

George

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