"Some weeks after the triumph at the Gates of Holsteinsborg and the lifting of the blockade of the Davis Strait, the Prussian Empire despatched reinforcements to support their Greenland-based raiding fleets. Featuring new ships with the latest technologies and weaponry developed by Prussian scientists, the Empire was ready to go on the offensive once more.
Their first target was the refuelling station at St. Anthony, site of a shameful defeat some months past that needed to be expunged. Their objective would be to deny the enemy any chance to escape by disabling their fastest ships, then deal with any defending capital ships before bombarding the station out of existence.
Against them, the Britannian Navy had stationed one of their Dominion fleets, the Royal Australian North Atlantic Reserve Squadron. They were supported by the Federated States of America, whose 18th Patrol Fleet had a small flotilla passing close by, and had picked up on the approach of the Prussian fleet some hours beforehand.
The stage was set for another titanic showdown...
- Echoes of Greenland - The Second Battle of St. Anthony
Naval Battles of 1872
Mike has a curiously familiar colour scheme for his Prussian fleet - he commissioned me to paint his fleet last year in the same scheme as my own. Combined with all the ships I've painted for myself, we probably have roughly 8,000pts together! In this game, he borrowed my Kaiser Karl-class Heavy Battleship, Elbe-class Fleet Carrier and squadron of Uhlan-class Cruisers.
The board was set with icebergs and small islands scattered around, and a large formation of rigs and platforms on the side to represent the refuelling station of St. Anthony. The majority of the Australian fleet would be arranged to defend the station, while the Americans would be deployed on the other side of the zone as reinforcements rushing to aid their allies. The Prussian fleet had a large gap between the rocks and the ice floe to deploy, and concentrated the majority of their ships there. One squadron of Corvettes was placed in amongst the icebergs,where they could sneak forward without being seen.
For secretly drawn Field Objectives, Mike had to destroy all of my Small vessels and 50% of the fleet, an Objective that would not be particularly difficult looking at my fleet! Of course I was not aware of his Objective at this point. In turn, my Objective was to score 70% Victory Points - 1050pts in this case.
With the board set, it was time to explore the power of the new Royal Australians and the new Prussian ships in the open water!
|The Prussian Raiding Fleet out of Greenland|
One Cerberus-class Battleship
One Cerberus-class Battleship
Two Victoria-class Monitors
Two Victoria-class Monitors
Two Tasmania-class Submarine Tenders with eight Crocodile-class Attack Submarines
One Squadron of four Protector-class Frigates
Two Squadrons of Dive Bombers
|The Federated States 18th Patrol Fleet, en-route from Newfoundland|
Federated States of America
Federated States of America
One Liberty-class Heavy Battleship with Rocket Battery
Three Georgetown-class Cruisers with Rocket Batteries
One Squadron of five Revere-class Corvettes
|The Prussian Deployment|
|The bulk of the fleet attacks through the strait, while the Corvettes snake through the ice floe|
|The Grand Coalition defenders, with the FSA fleet rushing to assist|
|The Australian Fleet sallies forth to defend the platforms|
|The American Fleet comes in from the flank|
|The Prussian Empire advance at speed, the Konigsberg-class Battle Cruiser taking damage|
|Potshots at the Elbe-class Fleet Carrier are ineffective|
|The Cerberus-class Battleship takes several hits from the Speerschleuders of the Konigsberg and the Kaiser Karl|
|FSA vessels move at speed|
|The Cerberus is destroyed by mass gunnery from the Hussar-class Gunship squadron|
|The Victoria-class Monitors retaliate, causing damage to the Gunships with their powerful Battle Cannons|
|Their weaponry is not as effective as hoped|
|The Donnerfaust-class Support Cruisers present their broadsides|
|Protector-class Frigates are damaged by Tesla-weaponry, sinking one|
|The second Australian Battleship moves forward and fires the fore turret, damaging another Gunship|
|The Stolz-class Destroyers take out one of the Protector-class Frigates|
|Revere-class Corvettes enter weapon range and cause a critical hit on the lead Donnerfaust, sending it across the ocean in a flare of Sturginium|
|The Support Cruiser reappears behind the main Prussian force, badly damaged by the journey|
|The rest of the Australian squadrons begin moving from behind the island|
|Saxony-class Corvettes destroy one of the Revere-class Corvettes|
|The closing moves of Turn One see both fleets closing on one another|
|The FSA reserves are close to entering the fight properly|
Turn One was dominated by the swift movement of both fleets to the centre of the board, with the destruction of the lead Cerberus-class Battleship as the explosive highlight. The Grand Coalition have taken very little damage other than this, while the Prussian Empire have taken numerous hits across a number of their Medium squadrons.
|The damaged Gunship squadron moves into close range, damaging a Monitor and destroying both remaining Protector-class Frigates|
|The Victoria-class Monitors pass through the Gunship squadron, their broadsides causing dmaage|
|One Battle Cannon targets the Battle Cruiser, destroying it messily|
|The second fires at the Donnerfaust, causing a fusion leak that begins eating into the hull|
|In a bloody manoeuvre, the Saxony-class Corvettes launch a close assault on the Revere squadron, their turrets destroying two vessels while Boarding parties scuttle the other two|
|The Cerberus-class Battleship opens fire on the Gunships, whittling them down even further|
|The Americans enter the fight, with the Georgetown squadron taking out one of the damaged Gunships and a Stolz-class Destroyer|
|Another angle on the Cruiser squadron's firing|
|Uhlan-class Cruisers close with the Victoria-class Monitor and cripple it with close range gunnery. The Stolz-class Destroyers add further misery|
|The Liberty-class Heavy Battleship destroys two of the Corvettes|
|It also causes minor damage to a Donnerfaust with long-range rockets|
|The Kaiser Karl Heavy Battleship smashes the right-hand Victoria|
|Both fleets have entered extreme close range, circling one another|
|The second squadron of Monitors open fire on the Kaiser Karl but are ineffective, though their broadsides and Boarding parties succeed in sinking both of the remaining Hussar Gunships|
|Dive Bombers blitz one of the damaged Victoria Monitors and destroy it|
|A wide shot of the carnage, as both fleets pour their squadrons into the chaos in the centre|
|The Tasmania-class Submarine Tenders engage the Cruiser squadron, crippling the closest vessel|
|The Donnerfaust-class Support Cruisers present their broadsides and cause critical damage to two Monitors, sinking one|
|Australian Bombers bring down one of the Support Cruisers|
|The Elbe-class Fleet Carrier turns the prow Tesla-array on the Battleship and smashes its defences|
|The second Austrslian Bomber squadron fly through a hail of AA and cripple an Uhlan|
|Their defences open, the Crocodile Assault Submarines launch an attack on two of the Cruisers, rendering them both Derelict|
|Prussian Dive Bombers hit the magazine of the Georgetown-class Cruiser and destroy it in a massive explosion! Both remaining ships in the squadron are badly damaged by the blast|
|Another view of the explosion, which has almost taken the entire squadron out of the fight|
|A wide shot of the state of play at the end of Turn Two|
|The Grand Coalition have advanced deep into the Prussian fleet, and taken a huge amount of damage on the way|
A game-defining turn, some unexpectedly poor shooting from the Victoria-class Monitors has let the Prussians able to get in close with the Australian and American ships and really let loose with their Close Gunnery. Suffering damage to all three of their Medium squadrons, the Prussian Empire has lost 723 Victory Points by the end Turn Two, while scoring 715 Victory Points from the Grand Coalition. Crucially, however, the Prussian Empire has destroyed all of the enemy Small ships, and will only need to score another 35pts to achieve their Field Objective.
|The closing moves of the battle see the Australian fleet surrounded and on the point of being overwhelmed, but they are not done yet|
|The Battle Cannons of the Victoria-class Monitors are too close to be truly effective, and fail to damage the mighty Kaiser Karl. Broadside fire does manage to hole one of the Stolz-class Destroyers, however|
|Neither of the Victoria-class Monitors can resist the firepower of the Heavy Battleship, and sink beneath the waves under a hail of shells|
|The Speerschleuder transfixes the lead Georgetown, causing electrical fires that rip through the vessel|
|Once again, the incredible defences of the Kaiser Karl stop it from suffering any damage|
|The Liberty shows it still has teeth, destroying a Stolz-class Destroyer and the third Uhlan-class Cruiser|
|Aft-guns also destroy one of the Saxony-class Corvettes|
|The Donnerfaust squadron brace the Liberty-class Heavy Battleship, landing two Speerschleuders and arcing electrical death across the ship|
|Badly damaged, the Cerberus still manages to finish the final Destroyer|
|The Elbe once again shows its power, damaging the Australian Battleship and then obliterating the Georgetown squadron with the prow Tesla-array. Hitting the magazine of the lead Cruiser, both ships are overcome but a massive explosion|
|The immense explosion ends any chance for a Grand Coalition victory|
|The Tasmania-class Submarine Tenders skirt around the rocky outcrop and destroy the nearest Donnerfaust-class Support Cruiser|
|Dive Bombers swoop down onto the damaged Heavy Battleship, crippling it|
|The Submarines make a half-hearted attempt to Board the Kaiser Karl. None survive the wall of AA fire|
|The scattered survivors - though the Prussian fleet has been gutted, both of the capital ships remain unscathed. The Australian and American Battleships are barely holding together|
|Parting shot... the beleagured defenders can offer little resistance to the might of the Prussian Empire|
Smashed from all angles, their Cruiser squadron engulfed in a massive explosion and the Monitor ships surrounded and sunk, the Grand Coalition fleet is a mess. Their surviving Battleships are both crippled, and their Submarines are empty. In turn, the Prussian Empire has paid dearly, losing nearly all of their squadrons except for the Heavy Battleship and Fleet Carrier, which are both remarkably undamaged.
The Prussian Empire has achieved its Objective, destroying the Frigates and Corvettes and scoring 1158 Victory Points. The Australian and American ships fought tenaciously, but were undone and have only scored 970 Victory Points.
Victory for the Prussian Empire!
CONCLUSIONS AND LEARNING POINTS
The Prussian Empire got good! Mike has a pretty poor track record with his Prussian fleet, while I have never lost a game before with my Australians... it seems with the new Edition the tables have turned!
Rugged Construction across the fleet and some great Close Gunnery made the Prussian Medium squadrons a nightmare to deal with, and their Heavy Battleship was indomitable - like facing a Dreadnought! Mike did well to smash any threats to his Large vessels early in the game, and throw as many ships down the centre as he could so my brutal Devastating Ordnance had few targets.
I was really impressed with Mike's fleet, both in rules and composition. So many Medium squadrons gave him the firepower and me an overwhelming number of targets, which is difficult for a fleet that works with few, but powerful guns. In a tactic similar to one I used against the Black Wolf Mercenaries in a previous game, taking several squadrons of ships with 5HP means the enemy cannot destroy opposition ships fast enough, and will get surrounded and shot.
My deployment and early activations were unhelpful - putting most of the fleet behind an island gave Mike the time to move his fleet forward and get into optimum range. I also put the Battleship forward too soon, resulting in the loss of a Cerberus on Turn One, as well as blocking the line of fire for the Australian fleet. The Americans were not presented with any good targets as they were out of position and too far along the flank - teach me for trying to set up something that looked good rather than what would work in the game! Ah, the narrative/competition balance.
Another great experience with Dystopian Wars 2.0 - as before, the new tiny flyer system is great, only a shame my fleet had no carriers. Gunnery is much more powerful now, and squadrons with lots of turrets like the Hussar-class Gunships are really worth their points.
"...the Prussian Empire scored a resounding victory at St. Anthony, destroying the Frigate and Corvette squadrons of the enemy and stopping them from escaping to report the attack. By the time Federacy reinforcements arrived, it was too late and the station was a flaming ruin."
Thanks for reading,