Wednesday, 5 February 2014

AAR - Prussian Empire versus Federated States of America

"The summer of 1872 saw the World War reach new heights of chaos as the Ottoman Empire pledged themselves to the Imperial Bond and the Grand Republique of France launched its forces south across the Mediterranean. All eyes turned to the new front, North Africa... or at least, almost all. 

In the Atlantic, Prussian raiding had caused untold damage to the convoys crossing between Europe and the Americas. Operating out of bases at Greenland, Iceland and the new Bermudan territories, their reach was long and repercussions had been all but non-existent as the Britannian and American fleets struggled to allocate resources away from protecting the convoys, the major operations in the Pacific, and around mainland Europe. 

Nonetheless, early June 1872 saw the Federated States of America appoint the veteran Rear-Admiral Curt J. Spaatz a small expedition of ships to test the defences of one of the major Prussian harbours on Greenland, Holsteinsborg - the northernmost ice-free port in the country. His mission, to break off from convoy duty and engage the Prussian fleet at Holsteinsborg as they sat in anchor, aiming to cripple the core fleet of the infamous reaver Karl-Ehrhart Grunner. 

Grunner, however, was fully aware of Spaatz' approach..."
 - The Blockade of Greenland, 
Naval Battles of 1872 

Welcome of the first Battle Report for Full Spectrum Dominance! Taking advice from the guys over at Breakthrough Assault, this report will be mainly pictures. After all, who wants to wade through pages and pages of text... just ignore the small novel of background I've started the report with, I do like my narrative!

This game was played between myself and my Good Friend Ben (lead photographer for the blog and founder of Breakthrough Assault). 1250pts chosen using the normal rules, with the Core Fleet and Percentage restrictions listed in the rulebook. Rolling up our missions after choosing fleets, Ben was tasked with destroying my Core Fleet - Rhine-class Fleet Carrier, the Donnerfaust-class Support Cruiser squadron, and one of the squadrons of Arminius-class Frigates, while in turn I had to capture, damage or destroy 70% of his fleet.

In the narrative, I described this as the Americans wanting to cripple the raiding fleet anchored at Holsteinsborg, while in turn the Prussians simply need to survive and damage the encroaching American force as much as they could.

Onward to the game!
The Board - lots of platforms and rocky outcrops 
The FSA Fleet - dominated by the Dreadnought Argo and Sky Fortress. The Lee-class Scoutships ran as one squadron
Ben's Fleet:
Enterprise-class Dreadnought with one shield generator
Savannah-class Sky Fortress with two wings of three Fighter TFTs
Four Lee-class Scoutships
Two Reinforced Cruiser Squadrons - both consisting of one Princeton-class Gunship and two Lexington-class Cruisers with shield generators
Two Squadrons of Augusta-class Frigates 
Two Wings of five Dive Bomber TFTs
The valiant Prussian defenders - representing my usual convoy-raiding fleet caught in port
My Prussian Fleet
Rhine-class Fleet Carrier with a Recon Plane and five Dive Bomber TFTs, and one Wachter-class Escort
Sturmbringer-class Submarine
Two Metzger Ausf.B-class Robots
One Squadron of Stolz-class Destroyers
One Squadron of Saxony-class Corvettes
Two Squadrons of Arminius-class Frigates
Two Wings of five Dive Bomber TFTs

FSA setup - concentrating on their left most flank and avoiding the major islands
Prussian deployment is tightly packed between the two large islands
Dive Bombers rush forward as the fleet avoids moving into rocket range too early
Delaying Tactics - with the Prussian fleet unwilling to commit, the FSA Torpedo Bombers fly past the derricks
First Blood! The Augusta-class Frigates suffer some long range potshots from eager Arminius-class Frigates
Revenge! The FSA left flank sees the Augusta-class Frigates destroy two Arminius-class Frigates in return
Taking a Gamble - on the FSA right flank, the Arminius-class Frigates attempt to damage the second squadron of Augusta-class Frigates. No luck. 
Big Guns Never Tire - the Reinforced Cruiser Squadron targets the Stolz-class Destroyers and take out two
Moving In - the Reinforced Cruiser Squadron on the left flank moves forward alongside the Lee-class Scoutship Squadron

The Prussian fleet advances behind the cover of the rusted sea fort 
Turn One saw a lot of hesitant manoeuvring and holding back, with neither commodore willing to commit their ships too early. On the flanks, the matching frigate squadrons caused minimal damage at long range, while in the last activations of the turn, the FSA Dreadnought caused minor damage to the Rhine-class Fleet Carrier and the right-most Reinforced Cruiser Squadron took out two of the Destroyers. In return, the limited firepower of the Prussian fleet damaged the the Gunships in both FSA Cruiser Squadrons. The Prussian fleet steamed ahead quickly, while the FSA were more cautious, relying on their rockets and long-range gunnery.


The Augusta-class Frigates make their presence felt, sweeping forward and emptying their guns and Marines into the Prussian squadrons. They destroyed four, a disastrous blow
On the other flank, the two remaining Arminius deal some revenge with boarding of their own
On the other side of the sea fort, the Metzgers advance toward the left-most Cruiser Squadron, taking shots as they go
The Reinforced Cruiser Squadron is destroyed in one violent activation as the Metzgers get in close
The untouched Dreadnought continues to rain fire on the Rhine-class Fleet Carrier, stripping off more hull points
After their excellent performance earlier, the Augusta-class Frigates are destroyed by the Marines of the Saxony-class Corvettes
The Donnerfaust-class Support Cruisers deal with the remaining Reinforced Cruiser Squadron
In return, the Sky Fortress opens up with its broadsides and severely damages the lead Donnerfaust
Chaos as the Americans retaliate with everything they can against the Support Cruisers
A giant hole is blown in the centre of the Prussian fleet as the central Donnerfaust suffers a Magazine Explosion, taking out four other ships with it and leaving the final Support Cruiser crippled
Turn Two saw things heat up immeasurably. In the early activations, both fleet's small squadrons practically wiped each other out, leaving only a few damaged stragglers, while the entry of the Metzgers into the game saw the destruction of the Reinforced Cruiser Squadron on the left flank. On the right, the Donnerfaust-class Support Cruisers destroyed the other Lexington-class Cruisers and left the last Gunship on only two HP, but had brought themselves into range of the Dreadnought and Sky Fortress. In the ensuing shooting phase, the central Donnerfaust suffered a Magazine Explosion and blew a rather large gap in the centre of the board!

The Prussian fleet seemed to have pulled two powerful moves in destroying the Reinforced Cruiser Squadrons and the majority of the Frigate squadrons, but the FSA counter-attack had left the Prussians reeling. All this, and the Lee-class Scoutships had not even descended yet!


More tragedy for the Prussian fleet as the Lee-class Scoutships fly over the Metzgers, damaging them and then boarding the Sturmbringer, killing its crew and rendering it Derelict 
Prussian Dive Bombers swarm over the Lee-class Scoutships, while the second Metzger reaches up and rips the crew compartment from the Lee above it, leaving it Derelict. This combat got messy! Tokens everywhere
The Rhine-class Fleet Carrier finally succumbs to the Dreadnought's massed rockets and gunnery
The two remaining Arminius-class Frigates finish off the last Augusta-class Frigate on the left flank
The crippled Donnerfaust avoids the Dreadnought's attention and limps to safety, denying the FSA their objective! 
Last Act of Spite - the Saxony-class Corvettes swing in and Prize one the Lee-class Scoutships, leaving the FSA fleet with only one Lee, the Sky Fortress and the Dreadnought. The Prussian fleet is not looking much better though...
Turn Three saw the loss of the Sturmbringer to an overwhelming Boarding Assault by the Scoutship Squadron and the ensuing maelstrom between the derricks as the Prussian fleet attempted to deal with them - destroying one, rendering another Derelict and Prizing a third. The fourth escapes, and with it, those precious few Victory Points needed for a Prussian victory. In turn, the last, crippled Donnerfaust desperately attempts to survive and carry with it the FSA victory, somehow surviving the Dreadnought's fusillade!

With the end of Turn Three, we called it the end of the game and added up the Victory Points and Objectives. Ben scored an impressive 885pts, just over the 70% margin, but crucially he had failed to destroy the Prussian Core Fleet - the last Donnerfaust was badly bruised but still alive. In return, I had only scored 850pts - not the 875pts needed to achieved my objective.

We both reasoned that had the game continued, the last Donnerfaust would be dead, and I had enough firepower left to cripple or capture the last Lee, leaving us both having scored our objectives but with the same result - a draw. (We both make a point of resolving the VP's at the end of turn rather than on an activation by activation basis - not strictly the rules in the book but the "new" rules recommended by Spartan games designers and playtesters and something that will no doubt make it into 2nd Edition)

With Ben having achieved 70% however, it was resolved as a Draw in the FSA favour.

Great game! Another bloodbath for the forces of the Prussian Empire and the Federated States. It became incredibly tight around the central sea fort, with multiple ships threatening to smash into one another and manoeuvring space running out very quickly, leading to the final turn's intense Boarding actions.

My games with Ben are always close; we know each others fleets very well and the power of certain units. I feel a Draw is perhaps a disservice to the Americans in this game when they would have won by scoring 70% Victory Points, but the Field Objectives are a good leveller and bring something fresh to the "Pitched Battle" scenario.

Next time, the Lee-class Scoutships need to be dealt with quicker! By Turn Three they were close enough to bomb my Robots and board my Submarine undamaged, and it was all too late for me to stop them. Time to invest in some Interceptors... or actually field some Fighters instead of just Dive Bombers! Maybe some of those fancy Danish TFTs, with More Machine Guns will help?

Unit of the game? I'm tempted to say the Metzgers, taking out an entire Reinforced Cruiser Squadron in one turn, and later helping deal with the Lee Squadron, albeit too late. The Saxony-class Corvettes were also fantastic, destroying an entire Frigate Squadron and later Prizing a Scoutship for some last minute Victory Points.

For Ben, the Scoutships were a game changer, but the Sky Fortress also caused no end of trouble taking out my centre line with those punishing broadsides. The Dreadnought was perhaps not the game-decider it usually is, spending most of the game scoring points on the Rhine and suffering some bad luck with its rockets. Nevertheless, with me almost ignoring it all game there was little chance to score big on the Victory Points.

Dreadnoughts, especially the Enterprise, are a nightmare if you don't have a big ship of your own. Boarding would have been my plan but the small squadrons were dealt with too early in the game, or distracted by easier/nearer targets.

Boarding still wins games, even with this much firepower on the table. The FSA pack a lot of Marines in their ships, even compared to the Prussians, and can play the boarding game just as well.

Next time, we will take more pictures of the board as a whole! Sorry for this being a bit of a confusing mess. First Report = lots learned. Hope you guys could follow it...

With the supporting fleet smashed, the Argo was forced to withdraw from its assault on Holsteinsborg to regroup at Newfoundland. The ragged Prussian defenders were in no position to pursue, though their breaker crews readied to recover the hulk of the Sturmbringer and clear the Davis Strait of debris.

The intentions of the Federated States had been made clear; piracy by Prussian Empire out of Greenland would no longer be tolerated. In turn, the Prussian and Danish fleets anchored at Holsteinsborg and across Greenland had been granted a reprieve, a chance to ready their defences and strike out before any significant American force could be mustered. Taking charge of the situation, Grunner decreed the next engagement would not be fought in Prussian waters, but on the open sea. 

Thanks for reading!



  1. Awesome, was a pleasant read. Found your Batrep through the Spartan forums. Thanks for posting. Very well painted fleets too. I'm personally a little too timid to try a pattern like your Prussians but they look outstanding.

  2. Hello,

    Nice little write up and lovin the blog!

    I have a question though; where did you get the stands your TFTs are using? I need a bunch of these for my FSA (I have the 10 from the starter box, 18 from my three Saratogas, and 30 from the blister pack...).

  3. The tiny flyer trays are from a company called Red Vectors. I bought them off eBay, and though I don't think they have any listed currently if you go to the Red Vector website you can contact them and buy some I'm sure.