30 March 2011

The Black Shroud

After the Dwarven victory against Sea Lord Kelven and the Mountain Fury Fleet of the Thaniras Elves in the Helgath Sea, Admiral Redhammer consolidated his ships and ordered repairs and shore leave for sailors.  The Shroud Mages, presuming the Iron Dwarves to be flush with victory and in a weakened state, sent a force led by the indomitable Black Shroud to test the Dwarven defense of these waters.
600 points per side, all of the ships medium or small classes, the Dwarven airship the only exception, so everything had fast movement without any heavy battleships slogging along.  The SM heavy cruiser wearing the modified gun turret is a fan-created ship class which I'm using in this game.

Smoke poured from the stacks of the Shroud Mages fleet as black as that issuing from the funnels of the Iron Dwarf vessals.  But with an airship scouting ahead it was the Shroud Mages spotted first and Redhammers patrol force changed course to intercept and give battle.
End of turn 1: shots exchanged, a SM destroyed sunk on the starboard flank, damage on a SM destroyer to port, and a pair of Dwarven ironclad frigates taking hits.

The Iron Dwarves fired the first salvo.  The Black Shroud, standing at the bridge of the Hornet, the modified heavy cruiser with the white gun turret forward, ordered the ships in his command to return fire.  The destroyers on the right opened fire at the Dwarven airship but the shots were low and splasedh down harmlessly while the Dwarven fire destroyed one of the squadron.  The SM heavy cruisers managed to damage the cruiser H.A.S. Oak.  The destroyers & frigates on the left exchange fire with their counterparts across the water.
Turn 2: the SM destroyers take more damage while moving at full ramming speed toward the enemy cruisers and the action on the left heats up.  The Dwarven airship is distracted, heading directly toward an open bag of cheesy fish crackers.

The captain of the Dwarven airship, waiting for just the right moment to drop the main bomb, missed the opportunity and continued drifting away from the main action, dodging fire from both SM heavy cruisers trying to take down the airship.

End of Turn 2: both SM destroyer squadrons have taken some serious damage, each squadron losing one ship.  But the Iron Dwarves can't manage to put a dent in the Hornet heavy cruiser with turret while the sister ship Wasp takes the brunt of Dwarven cannon.
Turn 3: the Dwarves win initiative and move up the cruisers, but they can't sink those SM destroyers.
Turn 3: overview of the action.  The SM destroyers on the right both turn and ram the nearby cruisers to little damage; both sink before marines can board the cruisers.
Turn 4: Shroud Mages win initiative and move up the heavy cruisers before the airship can drop a bomb on select targets... again!  The Hornet takes some damage in the clash of broadsides.

The Dwarven airship turns again, trying to get back into the action while the last SM destroyer can be seen ramming a Dwarven cruiser in the background.

End of Turn 4: the SM frigates on the left, assisted by a Ripper submersible, destroyed the entire Dwarven squadron on that flank.

Turn 5: the Iron Dwarves refuse to ram the Hornet, but they pour on damage from cannon & carronade at short range.

Turn 5: the Hornet pulls away from the close action after losing all guns on the starboard broadside.  But the Dwarven airship has finally come around to drop that bomb on the heavy cruiser, almost sinking it.
Start Turn 6: Shroud Mages take initiative while one of their powerful magi conjures up a sand spit between the Hornet and Dwarven cruisers.  But a pink, tentacled creature emerges from the depths and drags down the Wasp heavy cruiser.  The SM frigates move into the thick of the action with the Dwarven cruisers, buying a little time for the Hornet to escape and report back to the SM admiralty.

The last moments of the Wasp, after it was shocked by a bomb dropped by an airship but before it was dragged under the wave by sticky tentacles.