Sunday, 24 August 2014

AAR - Black Wolf Mercenaries versus The Prussian Empire

"Patrol Fleet Knarr did not return from investigating the mysterious energy readings beyond Hellissandur, and the Kingdom of Denmark immediately appealed to their allies, the Prussian Empire, for assistance. The threat of a foreign power operating in their territorial waters, especially one as impenetrable and secretive as the Covenant of Antarctica, was completely unacceptable.

From the fortified stronghold of Holsteinsborg, Prussian commander Karl-Ehrhart Grunner was instructed to send out a strong force of gunships to attack them directly, joining up with another fleet out of Iceland beyond Kap Farval. This Interdiction Fleet would be lead by his own flagship, the Hetzer, commanded by his subordinate Vice-Admiral Weichmann. 

Covenant spies were aware of this plan even before Grunner, and unable to respond with their own fleet in time, engaged the services of the mercenary Black Company based at Ammassalik. They had suffered a disastrous defeat earlier in the year at Grunner's hands, and were eager to repay the Prussian Navy in kind. A force lead by the Death Bringer-class Submarine Grave Warden sallied from the Rogue Anchorage and intercepted the Prussians in the Labrador Sea, just before Kap Farval. Their target, the flagship of the hated Grunner..."
- Echoes of Greenland - Interception in the Labrador Sea
Naval Battles of 1872

Welcome to the latest Battle Report from Full Spectrum Dominance! It has been a while... a very busy summer, compounded with issues at work, holidays and the distraction of Infinity has meant a bit of a slowing down on the Dystopian Wars front. Hopefully not permanent! Another exhibition match is planned for next week, so that should be a treat before the end of the month.


In this match, Mike and myself decided to play an 1150pt match (though I only ended up running 1075pts), with him using his Prussian Empire while I ran a fleet I have not tried with the Second Edition of Dystopian Wars, the Black Wolf Mercenaries. 

The board was set at 6x4", with a selection of icebergs on one flank, a rock formation in the centre and a pair of islands on the other side. Some small jetties were placed on the islands to break them up a bit. It looked as those most of the action would happen between the islands and the icebergs, though there was room for a few squadrons to engage between the ice floes. 

Secretly drawing Objectives, Mike drew Break Their Backs! meaning he would have to Destroy or Capture all of my Medium vessels, as well as scoring at least 50% of my MFV in Victory Points. In turn I drew Vital Asset Destruction, which meant I would have to Destroy or Capture his Emperor-class Battleship, as well as achieving the same Victory Point conditions. I felt at this point I had the easier job. 

The Grave Warden and Black Company Mercenaries out of Ammassalik, under contract to War Fleet Tiberius and Covenant Warmaster Sakura Obata
My Fleet
Black Wolf Mercenaries

One Death Bringer-class Submarine - the Grave Warden

One Nemesis-class Battle Cruiser with Guardian Generator - the Contemptor
One Nemesis-class Battle Cruiser with Dilation Field Generator - the Deathshroud
One Manticore-class Support Vessel with Main Turret, accompanied by six Reaper-class Attack Submarines
One Manticore-class Support Vessel with Main Turret, accompanied by six Reaper-class Attack Submarines

Two Squadrons of four Fury-class Frigates

Two Squadrons of five Dive Bombers

One Careful Owner... 
One Liberty-class Heavy Battleship with Rocket Battery - the Liberated

47th Interdiction Fleet out of Holsteinsborg, under the command of Vice-Admial Reinhard Wiechmann, aboard the SMS Hetzer
Mike's Fleet
Prussian Empire

One Emperor-class Battleship - the Hetzer

One Konigsberg-class Battlecruiser
Three Hussar-class Gunships
Three Hussar-class Gunships

One Squadron of four Arminius-class Frigates
One Squadron of three Stolz-class Destroyers
One Squadron of five Saxony-class Corvettes

Two Squadrons of five Dive Bombers


The Hussar-class Gunships hold the centre, supported by the Battlecruiser and the Battleship. Frigates and Destroyers lie on the flank
Saxony-class Corvettes on the far side of the island
The Black Wolf Mercenaries lurk behind an iceberg, with the captured Heavy Battleship and the Nemesis-class Battle Cruisers leading the flank while the Support Vessels prepare to float over the iceberg. The Death Bringer-class Submarine prepares to take another route
One squadron of Frigates comes in from the far side
The fleets engage quickly, with the Black Company blurred and obscured by the Dilation Field. Nonetheless, the American vessel is quickly targeted and damaged by Prussian Gunships
The central Hussar from the first squadron is heavily damaged by mercenary turret fire
The second squadron also comes under fire, and the Gunship on the far side is destroyed
Fires rage out of control across the captured American vessel
The Manticore approaches from the flank, powerful Fore Guns and turret fire hitting the magazine of the central Hussar
The massive explosion detonates the target, debris crippling the starboard Hussar of first squadron and damaging its squadron-mate. Behind the carnage, the Konigsberg follows in support
The Saxony-class Corvettes swoop around the island
Their turret fire damages a Fury-class Frigate
The second Manticore begins moving over the ice shelf
Though obscured by the rock formations, powerful ordnance still cripples the navigation of the Battlecruiser
Beyond the iceberg, Arminius-class Frigates open fire on the other squadron of Fury-class Frigates and cause havoc, smashing two and damaging a third
The Grave Warden surfaces 
Fore Guns and Torpedoes obliterate two of the Frigates before they know what hit them
The Emperor-class Battleship advances
Reaper-class Attack Submarines follow their tenders
The Deathshroud takes minor damage from Prussian turrets
The opening moves of the two fleets show them advancing quickly into short range
Turn One saw both fleets close, their firepower stymied by the range and the Dilation Field generated by the Deathshroud. Nonetheless, the Prussians had lost several of the Gunships, and had not caused a huge amount of damage in return. 


The Hussar-class Gunships take the initiative and launch an assault on the Manticore, their Tesla-Generators wrecking the navigation systems of the Support Vessel. Their boarding parties are repulsed, even as their turrets cause critical damage to both the Liberated and the Deathshroud
Aware of the threat posed and having already suffered damage, the Fury squadron swings around and opens fire, destroying three of the Prussian Corvettes
The lone Hussar of second squadron finishes the crippled Deathshroud
Revenge! The Contemptor cripples the lone Hussar before expertly destroying the two damaged Gunships
The Hetzer moves in kind, shredding the AA defences of the Nemesis-class Battle Cruiser
Broadsides and the rear turret are less effective against the Liberated
The Liberty-class Heavy Battleship coasts forward and opens fire in return upon the enemy Battleship
The Emperor-class Battleship suffers for it
The Manticore-class Support Vessel adds more damage to the Battleship. This shot also shows the Konigsberg move forward ineffectually
Reaper-class Attack Submarines join the fray, their torpedoes damaging the Battleship further
Stolz-class Destroyers thread between the rocks
Prussian Dive Bombers attack the Manticore over the ice, causing major structural damage to the Support Vessel
Black Company Dive Bombers cause critical damage to the Konigsberg-class Battlecruiser
Amidst the ice floes, Prussian Frigates finish their opposition
The second Manticore moves into the maelstrom
The Corvettes launch a Boarding action, but are repulsed at great cost
Reaper Attack Submarines destroy a Hussar Gunship
The Grave Warden destroys the remaining Arminius without slowing down
A wide shot of the battle so far - all of the Black Company vessels are damaged, while the Prussian Gunship formation is smashed
The Grave Warden continues its advance unimpeded
Turn Two saw both fleets engaging fully at point-blank range, their Tesla and Kinetic Generators enabling them to close at great speed. The Prussians had lost five of their Gunships, a massive blow, but in turn they had caused deep damage to almost all of the Black Company vessels. A well-timed coup de grace would finish them in short order, while the Prussians still had two almost fully operational capital ships and a Destroyet squadron in the second wave


Chaos reigns around the central rock formation, the sea boiling with torpedoes
The Konigsberg-class Battlecruiser launches a Boarding assault on the lead Manticore, smashing its systems and killing the crew. The Support Vessel is rendered Derelict
The Nemesis-class Battle Cruiser also suffers minor damage
The Nemesis-class Battle Cruiser Contemptor opens fire upon the Emperor-class Battleship, while its broadsides strafe the Saxony-class Corvettes. Boarding parties then attack and scuttle one of the Corvettes
The Hussar-class Gunship finishes the remaining Manticore, bringing it down with Close Range Gunnery
The American Heavy Battleship rains fire upon the Emperor-class Battleship
Torpedoes cause more damage to the Prussian flagship
In retaliation for the damage it has suffered, the Emperor-class Battleship moves close and causes damage to the Fury squadron
The crew of the Contemptor are overrun by elite Prussian Luftlancers from the Hetzer and the ship is Captured, fulfilling the Prussian Objective to Break Their Backs! and cripple the fleet
The Hetzer is finally brought down by shoals of Reaper-class Attack Submarines
The death of the Hetzer shown from above, its prolonged death throes taking down the crew of the Contemptor and damaging the Fury-class Frigates even as the Black Company surround it
Fury-class Frigates turn against the Konigsberg and damage it, but they are too far away to Board it or recapture the Prized Contemptor
Stolz-class Destroyers hit the Liberated, crippling the beleaguered Heavy Battleship
The second squadron of Dive Bombers finish the Konigsberg
Both sides have caused massive amounts of damage, and disengage bloodied and broken
The Grave Warden dives beneath the waters, escaping to fight yet another day
The Black Company scored a grand total of 945 Victory Points and achieved their Objective, destroying the Emperor-class Battleship. In turn, the Prussian Empire also achieved their Objective, destroying all of the Medium vessels just before the loss of the Emperor, and scored 893 Victory Points. With such a close game, and both Objectives being completed within one Activation of each other, the game was judged a DRAW. Not exactly the glorious victory I was hoping for, but an excellent performance by Mike and the Prussian Empire!

Mike's deployment of the Gunships, and the sheer number of Gunships he took, was intimidating. With two turrets, Tesla Generators, 5 Hull Points and Close Gunnery, the Hussar is a real star of the Prussian fleet. They took almost my entire fleet to bring down, leaving his Small squadrons and, crucially, the Battleship protected.

The Black Company have not lost their edge, but poor placement of the Death Bringer-class Submarine meant they were subtly outmatched in the main battle and struggled once the Ablative Armour was knocked down.

Boarding was important in this game, accounting for two of the lost Medium vessels on the Black Company side. Mike played well to the Prussian strengths, where I was more cautious. Having only one ship in each squadron makes me play cagey with my Boarding, as I fear the counter-attack.

I should have placed the Frigates in better positions for Boarding, perhaps where their guns could benefit from the Manticore Combat Co-Ordinator as well.

Putting the Submarine in the centre would have made achieving my Objective a lot easier, as I could have smashed through the wall of Gunships a lot quicker!

They do not, however, feel as powerful (overpowered?) as they once were, and for that I am grateful.

The Liberty-class Battleship was not used in the most efficient way, and could probably use a Shield Generator rather than rockets. Keeping it in better shape would have allowed those powerful turrets to have more of an impact individually, rather than having to Link and only target one enemy ship at a time.

Mike did not rate the Konigsberg in this game, but this may have been down to bad placement more than anything. It is certainly more survivable than before, with 6 Hull Points, but compared to the Hussar-class Gunships was fairly ineffective.

Overall, another fun game, and another great testament to the Second Edition of Dystopian Wars. I look forward to a future game with me running the Prussians, as they have a LOT of cool toys and tricks in this edition, even when using older models.

"...the Covenant of Antarctica had kept their secrets safe for now, and the ocean between Greenland and Iceland was no longer safe for Prussian and Danish shipping. What were they doing? Already stretched, the Prussian Empire could ill afford to invest more ships and troops investigating this new threat. Nonetheless, the question of what would happen if they left them unchallenged loomed in all of their minds..."

Thanks for reading,


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