Monday, 29 December 2014

AAR - The Russian Coalition versus The Federated States of America

"For a number of years, the weather station at Kiska Island had been all-but abandoned, leaving the remote outpost undefended against potential aggression from the Empire of the Blazing Sun. The strategic importance of the island was questionable, but the some within the intelligence agencies of the Federated States of America believed there was a chance the Blazing Sun (or the Russian Coalition...) could use Kiska and the rest of the Aleutian Island chain in an island-hopping campaign up from Kuril Islands and the Kamchatka Peninsula, into Canada and then down into FSA territory. 

Tensions with the Russian Coalition had been high for the entire War, especially for those captains based in the North Pacific and the Bering Sea in the wake of the Bering Incident. Seeking to score political points and show-up the Russian Navy, Admiral Franklin E. King ordered an Expeditionary Fleet to secure Kiska in the interest of national security and to salvage any leftover Russian technology from their barely-manned weather station. 

Such a blatantly aggressive move was not in the interests of the American Congress or General Staff, and in the tense months that followed, few could justify the order for the attempted annexation beyond the personal vendetta of Admiral King. The truth behind who gave the order would be lost in the political debacle that followed...

...regardless of the explanation for the deployment of the Expeditionary Fleet, nothing would matter as they sailed unsuspectingly into the guns of the Russian's secret Aleutian Patrol Fleet, Battlegroup Chirikov, and began the first major naval engagement between the Federated States and the Russian Coalition in nearly three years..."
- Shadows of Bering: Skirmish at Kiska
Naval Battles of 1872

Welcome to Battle Report Nineteen for Full Spectrum Dominance, and the return of my old foe Ben to the field with his Federated States of America. Against him, I have managed to get the Russian Coalition ready - only a 950pt fleet, but enough for a small exhibition match to end the year.

Playing with smaller fleets, we have set-up a smaller board, albeit one with a large amount to terrain to represent the treacherous icebergs that the two fleets will duel amongst. Amidst the confusion of the ice and the proximity of the island, the two supposed allies will face one another.

Drawing Secret Objectives, Ben chose to settle for the easy choice and aim to destroy seventy percent of the fleet value - a touch prospect with the impressive armour of the Russian Coalition, but perhaps easier than targeting one particular class of ship given my fleet roster. In turn, the Russian Coalition would have to capture or destroy fifty percent of Ben's fleet, and take out his Commodore - in this case, the San Francisco-class Assault Carrier. My experience with destroying Carriers is not fantastic, but given the aggressive role of the Assault Carrier, it would be unusual for Ben to hide it out of harm's way - all I need to do is not reveal my Objective too soon!

Onto the game...


Aleutian Islands Patrol Fleet, Battlegroup Chirikov
My Fleet
The Russian Coalition

One Borodino-class Battleship with Mimic Generator
One Dudinka-class Assault Carrier with Glacier Generator, carrying one Recon Plane and one squadron of five Dive Bombers

One Azov-class Battle Cruiser with Regular crew
Three Suvorov-class Cruisers

One Squadron of four Rostov-class Destroyers
One Squadron of five Kazimov-class Corvettes

Two Squadrons of five Dive Bombers

North Pacific 6th Expeditionary Flotilla
Ben's Fleet
The Federated States of America

One Boston-class Attack Submarine accompanied by six Turtle-class Assault Submersibles
One San Francisco-class Assault Carrier with Rocket Battery, with one Recon Plane and one squadron of five Dive Bombers

One Annapolis-class Battle Cruiser with rocket battery and Kinetic Generator
Three Georgetown-class Cruisers with rocket batteries

Two Squadrons of four Guilford-class Destroyers

Two Squadrons of five Dive Bombers

The two fleets meet amid the ice, fighting close to the once-abandoned weather station
The American fleet is parted by the central iceberg, with their flanks held by Destroyer squadrons
The Russian fleet forms a wall of iron, but is ready to split amid the icebergs once they enter the field

The Russian Carrier forms a wall of ice before it, and the flagship moves alongside. The Mimic Generator copies the Rocket Jammer of the Azov-class Battle Cruiser, giving the Battleship a measure of protection against the American rocketry
Russian long-range fire is ineffective, and the FSA fleet advances
Most of the powerful Russian ordnance falls short
The San Francisco-class Assault Carrier swings about, lining up a shot with the Devastating Ordnance of the Fore Guns
The Russian flagship takes damage, but is protected by the Ablative Armour plating from a critical strike
Rostov-class Destroyers bring their powerful cannons to bear
The port-side Cruiser feels their wrath, the main turret of the vessel taking damage
Guilford-class Destroyers move in support
Rocket Jammers and Ablative Armour protect the Battleship once more
The American fleet is aggressive, driven to arrogance by the short-range of the Russian turrets
Massed gunnery and waves of rocketry only cause minor damage to the Russian heavy-hitters - not enough to slow them down
The threat of the Corvettes is appreciated, but their speed and small stature allow them to evade a great deal of damage
The Submarines hug the cover of the icebergs, while the Cruiser squadron and Destroyers hold the centre
The Russian fleet splits between the icebergs to prevent any flanking manoeuvres by the FSA
The FSA port flank is anchored by the second Destroyer squadron and an Annapolis-class Battle Cruiser
The Russians commit to the central strait with three of their largest vessels, supported by the no-less dangerous Destroyers
Neither side have suffered much damage, and the American Admiral is beginning to realise how close the Russian fleet will be when the next salvo comes in - should he have acted more cautiously? Where will the hammer fall first?

The Rostov-class Destroyers advance and cripple the San Francisco-class Assault Carrier, but the Guilford-class Destroyers counter, first launching a wave of rockets into the Borodino-class Battleship 
As rockets launch overhead, the Fore Guns and several Boarding Parties of Marines attack the Rostov-class Destroyers, leaving the squadron a scattered ruin
Counter-Assault - the Kazimov-class Corvettes use their incredible speed to overwhelm the Annapolis-class Battle Cruiser, flooding the decks with furious, drunken conscripts
Shocked at the loss of their escort, the Destroyer evade the Russian Corvettes and move forward
Rocket fire and gunnery causes damage to two of the Russian Cruisers
Across the ice flow, the damaged Borodino-class Battleship opens fire upon the Guilford-class Destroyers, destroying one and crippling a second
The Boston-class Submarine emerges from the depths and launches a Disruption Node amid the Russian fleet, knocking out the Rocket Jammers on all three of the capital ships. The powerful Fore Guns then smash into the deck of the Russian flagship and cause critical damage
The Carrier moves to protect the Battleship, powerful broadsides damaging the Submarine
The Fore Guns do the majority of the work, and alongside the two Heavy Mortars succeed in demolishing the Federacy flagship, breaking it apart with incredible ferocity. The FSA leadership is scattered amid the burning wreckage, and the fleet falls into disarray
Dive Bombers descend upon the Russian flagship and finally break through the layered Ablative Armour, leaving it badly wounded and exposed
The Suvorov-class Cruiser squadron engages the Destroyers, destroying two and damaging a third with their powerful ordnance
The Georgetown-class Cruisers open fire upon the Russian Carrier, smashing the rudder
The Azov-class Battle Cruiser moves to retaliate, turrets entering close range and crippling two of the American vessels
Turtle-class Assault Submarines flood the decks with their Boarding Parties, and though they are beaten off at great cost they manage to Sabotage the fore guns and cripple the vessels long-range firepower
Dive Bombers swoop over the Cruiser squadron, destroying the central vessel
In turn, Federacy Dive Bombers smash the crew compartments of the Azov-class Battle Cruiser and cause significant dmaage
The second squadron of Russian Dive Bombers finish another Georgetown-class Cruiser
Chain Reaction! The last squadron of American bombers hit the magazine of a Suvorov-class Cruiser, detonating the ordnance stockpile and destroying everything in close proximity. Only one of the Cruisers survives the horror, surrounded by burning wreckage
It is not enough, however, as the Federacy fleet is smashed bloody by the Eastern Goliath and signals for clemency
The lone Cruiser and the Destroyers reach an accord on the far side of the iceberg
Bloodied but unbroken, the wall of Russian ships prepare to clear the bottle-neck and assert their control of the Kiska Island weather station
After a furiously bloody two turns, the game was over and the Russian Coalition stood victorious, having achieved their Secret Objective in destroying the Commodore's vessel and scoring a total of 635 Victory Points. In turn, the Federated States had slowed the Russian onslaught but only scored 340 Victory Points.

Had the game continued, the Russians would have lost a great deal more as their ships were battered and positioned close to one another, but in turn the Americans would have sacrificed a great deal of their surviving ships. It was always going to be a difficult game for Ben, especially when the Destroyers and Assault Carrier managed to score so many hits on his flagship and smash it in two rounds of shooting, and the Battle Cruiser was lost to Boarding in the same turn. The terrain was in the Russian favour, and next time, we will aim for a bigger board and less dense placement of the islands and icebergs.

  • The Russian Coalition show their strengths in the new addition, with Ablative Armour being an excellent (and easy to use) defensive rule. The improved Critical value saved my ships from suffering double-critical results on more than one occasion. 
  • The defences of the Target Jammers were less impressive, but Ben was wise to use his Disruption Generator early in the game to take those Generators Offline
  • Offensively, the Russians were brilliant in Range Band 1 and 2, as they have always been. They did have some gunnery in further Bands, but was fairly inconsequential. Still, nice to be able to do something in the early turns of the game. 
  • The failures of the American gunnery in Turn One lead to the problems in Turn Two, as the Destroyers and Assault Carrier were able to attack the American flagship unhindered, and the Corvettes could surround the Battle Cruiser without much trouble.
  • In the future, I believe Ben will aim to hold back a bit with some of his more valuable vessels! He was largely unimpressed with his fleet's performance in this game, and I believe his next Battle Report will see the Chinese Federation return to the water. I, in turn, enjoyed playing the Russian Coalition and would like to try some of their longer-ranged ships and give the mortars a try. 
"...the chaos that followed the engagement at Kiska threatened the stability of the entire Grand Coaltion - this despite initial reports from both governments denying any action had even occurred. Agitators pressed the issue and roused the general populace, seemingly intent on causing a major diplomatic incident. Their mutual enemies in the Imperial Bond preyed on the weakness to try and divide the Great Powers, attributing many of their own attacks to the Russians or Americans in an attempt to cause greater confusion. 

Neither side were willing to make concessions, but following a series of secret meetings it was decided that the two fleets had "engaged briefly" following false information of a marauding Blazing Sun fleet in the area. The attack was labelled as a "gross accident," and for a time, the fire that threatened to engulf the alliance of the Russian Coalition and the Federacy burned low once more..."

Till the next time! 

Thanks for reading,


1 comment:

  1. Great report! As an FSA player, I know how tough the Russians can be. You have to keep your distance and use your gunnery to soften them up before they got to close. One trick that really works for me is deploying sideways, that way you get to keep the enemy at bay, while using your rear guns. This came handy against russians, prussians and other close quarter brawlers. One other thing: The destroyers are quite lethal, but they should be keep at RB 3 and hitting with to linked attacks of 10 dice, to minimize the effect of the AA