06 February 2011

First Meeting in the Sorylian Strait

The Seventh Elven Expeditionary Fleet had maintained nominal control of the Sorylian Strait waters surrounding the Gray Point Lighthouse until the Dwarven Fleet arrived to challenge the Elven authority.

The game began on a 3x5 board, fleets deployed on the short ends with plenty of space between them before coming within gun range. The rocky point and lighthouse was in the center of the board. Each fleet was 800 points, including battleship and aerial models. Scenario condition was victory awarded by elimination of the other fleet OR elimination of the rival battleship.

The Dwarven fleet came from the Eastern side of the board, windward from the right (starboard) side of the above photo, and the Elven fleet had a challenge meeting them from the Western side where they were pointing directly into a robust breeze. We used my experimental tacking rules for this game, so all of the Elven ships had to begin by turning to tack and then moving at 45 degree angles to the direction of the Dwarven fleet. The Elven Heavy Cruiser Squadron, which was the only portion of the fleet not subject to the wind, was able to make full speed ahead on the first two turns and then came about on the third turn to deliver full broadsides (card played) against the Dwarven cruiser squadron which had moved up to mirror their action. Air elements of the rival fleets also met on this Southern flank of the battle.

The Seventh Elven Fleet was working toward the Southern side of the island with a detachment of frigates covering the Northern side to stop the two squadrons of Dwarven frigates headed that same way. The Dwarven battleship and heavy armored cruisers were kept in reserve at the far Eastern end of the table.

The frigate in the lower left (port) side of the photo, headed in the wrong direction, was part of the squadron farther to the Northeast, but this ship had failed the tacking roll on turn one and ended up out of command range on turn two, making only 2" of movement per turn as the rest of the squadron sailed on ahead without it. The Dragon on the Southern flank pulled up short from grappling with the Dwarven airship to release a powerful acid blast which did far less damage than the barrage offered by the cruisers. In the next turn (4) the Dwarven fleet won initiative and the airship immediately moved forward to drop a devastating bomb on the heavy cruiser squadron. The hesitation on the part of the Dragon to grapple with the airship after the cruiser barrage, at least stopping the airship from a bombing run by engaging in melee, eventually caused for the Elven surrender in these waters.