Sunday, 18 May 2014

AAR - Prussian Empire versus the Federated States of America and Eclipse Company Mercenaries

"...after weeks of stalemate around the Davis Strait, the Federated States of America made their move and began the attack on Holsteinsborg. The 27th Bomb Group were to lead a preliminary bombing run that would cripple the outer defences of the port, defences where the Americans had been stalled some months previously at the outset of the conflict. 

With the American fleet already stretched across innumerable theatres and oceans, their numbers were bolstered with mercenaries from the Honourable Eclipse Company. This contract would be their undoing, however, as spies within the Company quickly revealed for any pertinent information on fleet movements, dispositions and weaknesses to their Prussian paymasters. 

As the 27th Bomb Group made their way under the cover of darkness, a small Prussian fleet was hurriedly assembled and sallied forth - at dawn the two fleets spotted one another and battle was joined...
- The Blockade of Greenland
Naval Battles of 1872

Welcome to Game Eight of the Greenland Campaign, and the Blockade of Greenland is entering full swing as the Federated States of America make their first move. Advancing a large force of bombers down the Davis Strait towards the Prussian port at Holsteinsborg, the FSA have played their hand and must break through the Prussian defences or rethink their strategy.

Once again, I will be controlling the FSA against Mike and his Prussian fleet.

In order to bypass and simply fly over the Prussian defenders, the Federated States have sent an entirely Aerial force, much to Mike's surprise. With their powerful rockets and immense bomb bays, the Americans have potent weaponry for any range, bolstered the mercenary airships of the Honourable Eclipse Company. In turn, the Prussian fleet is based around the Dreadnought, with a balanced force of Medium and Small squadrons. Had he been warned is opponent would be an Aerial force, Mike may have made some different decisions...

Onwards to the game...

At the narrowest point of the Davis Strait, the Prussian Empire attempt to halt the FSA Bombardment Group
Mike's Fleet 
Prussian Empire
One Blucher-class Dreadnought with two shield generators
Two Hussar-class Gunships
Two Reiver-class Cruisers with one attached Donnerfaust-class Support Cruiser
Two Squadrons of three Stolz-class Destroyers
One Squadron of four Arminius-class Frigates
Two Wings of five Fighter Plane TFTs

My Fleet
The Federated States of America
One Valley-class Airship
One Savannah-class Sky Fortress with one Wing of five Torpedo Bomber TFTs and a Recon Plane
Four Lee-class Scoutships
Two Wings of five Torpedo Bomber TFTs
(We were aware the FSA contingent had no Small squadron as part of its Core Fleet but this was allowed)

Mercenaries - The Honourable Eclipse Company
One Apollo-class Support Carrier with one Wing of four Torpedo Bomber TFTs
Three Phoenician-class Scout Airships
One Squadron of five Hades-class Interceptors

The Americans and their allies concentrate on their port flank, avoiding the larger rock formations. The Valley holds the starboard
The Prussian Empire match their deployment, with a strong force of Cruisers, Gunships and the mighty Dreadnought on the starboard
The Prussian deployment from another angle

The entire Bombardment Group moves forward at full speed, many of the squadrons descending to open fire on the Prussian vessels
The Eclipse Company concentrate their fire on the Gunship squadron, crippling the lead Hussar. The rest of the fleet fires on the Cruisers, damaging the Donnerfaust and a Stolz-class Destroyer
A wide shot shows the damage inflicted upon the Lee-class Scoutship squadron by the Prussian guns
Turn One was aggressive for both sides, the Prussian fleet advancing just as fast the Americans and their allies. Potshots from both sides caused minor damage, with the Lee-class Scoutships taking the brunt of the Prussian firepower. In turn, the Cruiser and Gunship squadrons suffered hits. 


The Prussians take the initiative and launch a massive assault on the Scoutships, causing even more damage with their powerful turrets and Tesla weaponry
The Phoenician squadron finishes what they started and destroys both Hussar-class Gunships with rapid-firing turrets
The carnage from another angle
The Valley-class Airship makes its presence felt, damaging a Reiver with its broadsides and smashing through the AA fire and Shields of the Dreadnought with its rocket batteries
The Cruiser squadron under fire
The Dreadnought returns fire, destroying a Hades-class Interceptor, crippling the undamaged Lee-class Scoutship and causing minor damage to the Valley-class Airship
The Scoutships enter the fray, causing light damage to the Support Cruiser. Their rockets are knocked out of the sky by AA fire before they can harm the Dreadnought
Prussian Destroyers swoop forward, their Luftlancers jetting up into the Scoutship squadron and sabotaging one. They are repulsed from the second
The second squadron of Destroyers is raked by fire from the Hades-class Interceptors, losing two of their number
Prussian Frigates move against the Airship, scoring a hit
Prussian Fighter Planes take down one of the Interceptors
...and the second squadron of Fighters take down another two
The American Torpedo Bombers mark their target, two squadrons attacking and sinking the Donnerfaust
The third squadron finishes off the damaged Reiver
The Savannah-class Sky Fortress suffers damage
The Prussian defence is shattered
A wide shot shows the American fleet and their allies encircling the Prussian ships
Though the Prussian force has suffered major losses, the American Airships are all damaged, some barely holding together

Turn Two was far more exciting, with the early activations seeing the Prussian Gunship squadron destroyed by the Eclipse Company Airships, and the Cruiser squadron suffer the attentions of the Torpedo Bombers. In retaliation, the Prussians concentrated their fire on the Lee-class Scoutships and launched a boarding assault that finished off one and left the squadron in a sorry state. 

The Eclipse Company Interceptors were shot down by Prussian Fighters, and the Dreadnought caused damage to the two large FSA Airships, but the Blucher was damaged by the Valley's rocket batteries and several Destroyers were also lost - overall, a fairly even turn. Looking forward to Turn Three however, the FSA seemed to be in a better position as their airships were all in optimum ranges for bombing and boarding. 


The Phoenician Scoutships rake the Dreadnought, shredding its AA guns and leaving it defenceless
Their Marines also leap down onto the last Reiver, killing the crew and rendering it Derelict, though both Boarding Parties are lost in the action
Stolz-class Destroyers attack the Airship, to little effect
With the defences smashed, the Lee-class Scoutships empty their Marine complements into the Dreadnought and succeed in Prizing it, though they lose almost all of their man doing so. A costly achievement!
A wide shot of the chaos in the centre of the board, as dozens of planes and airships struggle against one another over the burning ruin of the Prussian fleet, the air thick with Boarding Marines from multiple Nations 
The Prussian retaliation renders all three of the surviving Scoutships drifting, burning hulks
The Valley-class Airship moves to support the ruined Scoutship squadron, but the Boarding Party is lost attacking the Frigates
Parting shot - the Prussian fleet is broken, but the FSA and their allies have expended almost all of their Marines to take Dreadnought
The end of Turn Three saw the Prussians scoring 415 Victory Points for destroying the Hades-class Interceptor squadron and rendering the Lee-class Scoutship squadron Derelict. The Federated States of America, having  destroyed two Stolz-class Destroyers and both of the Medium squadrons as well as Prizing the mighty Dreadnought, scored an impressive 1017.5 Victory Points.

Looking at the points, it seemed a rather one sided affair, but looking closer at the state of the American fleet revealed they were in a very precarious position - two of the Phoenician-class Scout Airships and the Valley-class Large Airship were all bereft of AP, and worth a total of 620 Victory Points had they been Prized by the still active Frigate squadron.

The FSA may have broken the Prussian counter-attack, but they were not in a fit state to continue their attack down the Davis Strait - they would need resupply and reinforcement.

An Aerial fleet versus a Navy fleet makes for a very different game to the usual, and I know Mike was wrong-footed from the beginning of the game - he said he would have considered a very different fleet list had he known what he was facing - more Tesla weaponry and vessels suited to anti-aircraft roles, for sure.

The Eclipse Company Phoenician-class Scout Airships are a solid investment, and in many ways superior to the Lee-class Scoutships, for only a small increase in points.

Stolz-class Destroyers continued to impress, I have little idea why they are so maligned by so many Prussian players. The strength of their AA with Pack Hunter combined with their 3AP made for a fine force in this scenario.

The best way to take out a Dreadnought remains flooding it with Marines - I was incredibly lucky to get an early Shredded Defences result on the Blucher, otherwise the assault and capture of the vessel may have had to wait till Turn Four.

As usual with my games with Mike, it ends with a giant mess in the middle of the board. Too may tokens, TFTs and burning ships to keep track of!

...the 27th Bomb Group were stalled some miles distant of their target, their crews and bomb bays exhausted by the unexpected fleet engagement. The Prussian fleet was smashed and the wreckage left to block the channel, but the bombers were forced to retire to rearm and refuel - all Grunner had managed was to stall for time, perhaps at an unsustainable cost..." 

Thanks for reading,



  1. I absolutely love these AARs! You rock these unlike anyone else in the Dystopian Wars community. I've been sort of haunting your blog for awhile now and just wanted to tell you that you're doing a great job. I dropped a link to your blog off small Podcast's Facebook page today, greetings from the Outpost 309 Podcast!

  2. Thank you for the kind words! This is the kind of feedback that keeps me churning these out.

    Look out in the future for new oceans and new fleets - I think we've almost seen our fill of Greenland