11 March 2011

Sea Lord Kelven Defeated

After making repairs from a recent battle in the Helgath Sea, Lord Kelven led a smaller force against the Dwarves in the sea.  The previous battle had ended in a draw at the end of the day, but when a Dwarven airship is spotted in the distance the Sea Lord abandons the damaged ships in his fleet, setting out with a reduced force to destroy what insignificant Dwarven force he expects to find just over the horizon.
500 points on each side, playing on a 3x3 foot playing area, the starting deployment zones marked with glass beads (how classy).  The objective for each player is to sink or capture the enemy flagship.
A strong wind was at their backs, providing the Elven fleet the weather guage and confidence in victory.  Start of turn 1.  Dwarven fleet had initiative, the airship scouting ahead.

End of turn 1.  The Elves threw everything they had at the Dwarven airship and destroyed it before it could drop that bomb.  What little damage some Dwarven cruisers did was easily repaired at the start of the next turn.  My strategy was to throw everything around the flank, keeping distance from the Dwarven flagship while taking apart those armored cruisers.  Airship down, no damage on the Elven fleet, and Sea Lord Kelven orders his attendent to bring another cup of tea.

The Elven fleet turned attention toward the enemy cruisers.  The Elven destroyers took a beating in return, but the leading Dwarven cruiser is destroyed and the heavy cruiser Bayonet (the Dwarven cruiser painted white) suffered a stern rake by the swift Elven cruisers from the Watersnake Squadron.
Meanwhile, the Elven frigates had reversed course, sailing close to the wind, and fired a successful salvo at long range against a Dwarven cruiser.  Five hits with rolling five dice.  And with the ball & grape card in play took out an enemy crew point as well.  Three cheers went up and could be heard downwind by the deck crew of the flagship Coral Daemon.  Sea Lord Kelven smirked and turned his attention toward the approaching enemy ships, considering his next set of orders.

Turn 3.  The Elven flagship, destroyer, and cruisers continued to pour on the fire against the remaining 3 Dwarven cruisers while the dragon moved into a raking position against the H.A.S. Redhammer and the frigates, between islands, traded some shots with the cruisers from the other direction.  The Dwarven cruisers took out an Elven cruiser.  Our first loss of a capital ship brought Elven casualties to match Dwarven losses.  The H.A.S. Bayonet, the white cruiser in the lead near the Crow Destroyer, managed to put some damage on the Coral Daemon, and the Dwarven Redhammer fired fore guns which did some nominal damage as well.

Turn 4.  The Dwarven repair crews acted fast to remove damage with the Master Engineers turn card, but the Elven Ship's Mage cast a spell to shift wind direction and the Sea Lord issued orders, seizing initiative again.  The dragon moved into position and unleashed a blast of green acid which does nothing more than melt the paint from the sides of the Dwarven flagship Redhammer which then moves around to take out the rest of the Elven frigates but can do nothing else because of the damaged Bayonet blocking sight of the remaining Crow Destroyer.  The Elven Coral Daemon opened up with a devastating broadside which was clearly blessed by the hand of a deity.  The other Dwarven heavy cruiser took damage again which had just been repaired, but also suffered a critical hit against the engines which sputter and belch black sooty smoke.  The Dwarven cruisers limped along, unable to muster much fire.
Turn 5.  Elven initiative again.  The Elven Ship's Mage calls down lightning from the heavens, but the Dwarven flagship must have some device which foils Elven magic because although dark clouds gather overhead the few bolts of lightning which strike hit the palm trees on the small islands in the area.  The Coral Daemon moved into a prime position against the H.A.S. Redhammer and unleashed a broadside, with the help of a magic spell which allows all weapons on the ship to fire at the same target, of more than 20 dice, but only 4 hits are marked, most of the dice all coming up with 1, 2, or 3 pips.  This is the moment when the Elven tide of fortune has changed.  And Sea Lord Kelven turned to his Ship's Mage, raising an eyebrow.  "Lord," insists the mage in a purple cloak and wearing a skullcap, "I believe the Dwarven flagship posesses a device which stymies my mystical energies, I am sure of it."

The dragon dived to ram the Bayonet with the intention of making it ineffective for the rest of the game, but the attack knocked the dragon unconscious and it sank into the sea.  The Redhammer turned to return fire against the Coral Daemon, causing a critical hit which resulted in a fire breaking out.

Turn 6.  Elven initiative again.  The Coral Daemon slowed to a crawl, unleashing a double broadside, one against the Bayonet and the other against the Redhammer.  Both broadsides were relatively ineffective, but at least a single point of damage was finally inflicted on the Dwarven flagship.  It didn't help that the only Elves attempting to put out the fire on board are some attendents splashing tea into the flames while most of the crew watched the Sea Lord dressing down the Ship's Mage with a litany of curses.  Another point of damage was taken for the raging fire.  Meanwhile, the remaining Elven cruiser circled downwind to fire at the Bayonet, but nothing hit.  Redhammer also slowed to a crawl and fired another salvo which damaged the Elven flagship by one more point.

Turn 7.  Elven initiative as the Coral Daemon came to a stop, fired again, just managed to score enough hits to cause nominal damage, but "It's tougher than it looks," and no damage is actually applied to the Redhammer.  The fire continues to rage, unchecked, and another point of hull was lost.

The Redhammer circled through the islands and fired another salvo against the Coral Daemon, partially blocked, causing only 1 point of hull damage this turn.  Sea Lord Kelven has the Ship's Mage disrobed and thrown overboard, finally turning his attention to the battleship duel now in progress.

Turn 8.  The Dwarves finally won initiative, and when it counted the most, and a final broadside put yet another critical hit on the Coral Daemon.  It wa not enough to explode the ship, just damage it to the point of sinking, but I played my last card to make sure there was a dramatic explosion all the same.  The resulting fireball from orb overload damaged all of the surrounding Dwarven ships, including the Redhammer which was just at the edge of the blast, although the Dwarves clearly won the mission to destroy the enemy flagship first.