14 March 2011

Drouble Harbour

"Dwarven airships spotted on horizon, bearing east by northeast," Elven guards on the watchtower at the mouth of the Drouble Harbour called down to the garrison, sounding the alarm.  The Dwarven fleet attacked at dawn, an offshore breeze hindering the Elven ships relying on sails to form up to defend the harbour.
Elven fleet had 1000 points at dockside, only 2 squadrons ready to move on the first turn, the rest raising sail to move starting on the second turn, 200 points off board as reinforcements.  The Dwarven fleet had 1200 points, the airships leading the attack.

Turn 2.  The Elven Battleship Waterwitch moved to a position with broadside aimed through the harbour entrance, dropping anchor to hold and fire while the rest of the squadrons began to move.  The cruiser squadron, including the Viper Class Fang, took advantage of the gap across the shoals between watchtower and breakwater to fire on the enemy airships fast approaching the fleet at anchor.
The Crow Destroyers moved into position to damage but not destroy the lead Bellows Airship.  I used my new splash markers to indicate hull points damaged on the center ship rather than the usual dice.  Already a raging fire had broken out as well, and this ship would not last until the end of the turn.
End of turn 2.  One Crow Destroyer sank after burning to the waterline and the Viper Fang took heavy damage including helm lines severed from the barrages from the airships above.  Lightning attacks from the Waterwitch, the frigate squadron, and the Cobra Cruiser squadron, although doing some damage to the airships, didn't down either one.  The droning sound of the strange Dwarven craft grew louder as their shadows loomed long across the Elven ships still in harbour.
Turn 3.  Elven admiral rolled to bring on reinforcements... and failed.  Dwarves siezed initiative, and the airships immediately moved over the harbour, dropping bombs and firing aerial barrages.
At the end of the turn both airships have crashed into the water, but not before they destroyed a full cruiser squadron, damaged the other, and took out most of the frigates.
The Crow Destroyers had left the harbour to turn about and fire at the last airship from a stern rake position, but the last ship in the squadron was then surprised by a ramming attack by a surfacing Dwarven submersible.  The Dwarven contraption was tangled in the Elven ship after ramming and Master Mennellaeus led his crew in a swift boarding action to take the submersible without loss of a single hand.
Turn 4.  A blurred shot from above, but the Dwarven fleet had arrived at the mouth of the harbour while the Elven reinforcements arrive and just in time.
The last Crow Destroyer rammed another ship, a frigate, but the Dwarves were ready and the Elven crew fought to the last Elf.  The Raven Assault Destroyers rammed and blocked the leading ships of the Dwarven fleet in a desperate attempt to keep them at a range more suitable for the Elven battleship and cruisers to strike from a distance.
Turn 5.  The Fleet's Mage in the tower at the harbour's mouth called upon the heavens to bring down bolts of lightning which struck the three leading squadrons of the Dwarven fleet, slowing them down but doing no real damage.
The assault destroyers and dragon did their duty to delay the Dwarven invasion force, but the broadsides from the Elven capital ships just didn't do any serious damage during the course of the turn.
Turn 6.  After an exciting roll off, the Dwarven admiral finally won initiative, and the H.A.S. Foe Hammer turned across the mouth of the harbour to unleash a devastating broadside against the Waterwitch.  The Elven Heavy Cruiser squadron responded in turn by moving directly against the enemy.
The commander of the Heavy Cruiser squadron had already ordered the safety plugs to be pulled from the magic orbs powering the lead ship, and as it was destroyed by heavy Dwarven cannon fire it exploded in a blast of energy which destroyed all of the small ships and damaged the capital ships in the Dwarven fleet, squaring the odds.  A desperate gambit, playing Orb Overload, but it worked.

The battle was called for time, casualties added up, and the Elven fleet surrendered after taking severe damage to the Waterwitch while the Dwarves still had two battleships in action.