ConstantiYESple? RC vs Ottoman Empire II Electric Boogaloo

The Russians, still hurting from last battle, were back up against the exact same fleet as last time. The Russians will be happy to make it through without getting pantsed. The Ottoman Empire, triumphant… maybe cocky… were ready to put out some more hurt.

It was time for the Black Sea Battle 2 – Odessa Offensive! (I’ve run out of puns that don’t involve the Crimean peninsula…)

Wanting to test all my theories straight up I went for:

1x Tunguska
1x Borodino
2x Pesets
4x Rostov’s
2x Veliky’s
4x Novgorods

The Ottoman Empire had the same fleet:
1 x Kanuni Class Dreadnought
2 x Sinop Class Armoured Cruisers
2x 2x Avci Class Destroyers
3 x Zuhâf Class Small Flyers
4 x Mizrak Class Frigate

Deployments (Well, after the first move anyway…)

  Turn 1 Turn 1 Deploy   Tunguska gets first damage of the game with a hit on the Dread! Was it a sign of things to come?

T Damage

First blood really goes to the Ottoman Empire, however with the Mizraks taking out the Velikys. Novgorods get revenge moving up and wiping out most of the squadron. The Novgorods pay a heavy price for their maneuver though with the Sinops killing a couple in return.

Meanwhile on the other flank things are getting congested, with mines, submarines, destroyers and flyers all getting funnelled into the small gap. The Tunguska is rewarded for its shirtiness by having its ablative stripped and then being dealt a critical by some TFTs. Sturingium Flare sending it back 4 inches. Things were getting tough.

t flare

Mines annihilate some Rostovs and the Tunguska takes yet more damage, another critical and is starting to look decidedly unhealthy.

Mines

T Crit

Soon inevitable death comes – swift and relentless. And to cap it all off the Dread had managed to heal its only point of damage, thanks to a STAR card. It seemed like history was repeating…

Nobody told the Borodino this however, who rolled into town and took a startling dislike to the two Sinops and decided they shouldn’t exist anymore. Some fantastic (for me) die rolls and a STAR card later they were dead. Both of them. Straight up murdered. This may not seem like much but coming from last game where I could barely damage a frigate this was huge.

One down, one damaged, still with dice in hand

One down, one damaged, still with dice in hand

Soon all the Rostovs on the other side were dead. The storms had been playing havoc with the TFTs, slowing them down no end. The Pesets moved in and attempted a torpedo strike on the dread with no effect, even if i had missed completely the CC would have annulled any hits. The two flanks were almost mirror images of each other.

Last Pesests

The Borodino finished off everything on its side leaving it with nothing to do and way too much distance to cover. I was down to only 2 squadrons comprised of the 1 Pesests sub and the Borodino. The last sub being the difference between achieving 70% or not for the Ottoman Empire. Whereas I had to kill the Dread to achieve it no matter what else happened.

End Game

Needless to say the last Pesets perished. The TFTs having been taken out much earlier by enemy fighters.

Regardless of the ultimate result, the Russian Coalition made its presence felt. It was not a pushover. It could take the fight right up in their faces and… yes… still lose, but… shut up! They did just fine! Its about how you play the war, not the result that counts. I’ll sat that now anyway…

Things to take away:

  1. The Borodino packs more impact than Vladimir Putin’s hairy man nips. Ok not that much punch but still a lot
  2. The Tunguska did well but was out gunned against the Dred. It would have been a very differnet game if the Boro and the Tunguska had switched places
  3. I needed to bum rush my TFTs in, rather than minimum move, which through a storm is 4 inches. It took all game to get them close and they never got to attack at all (the dread anyway)
  4. I was lucky to avoid some of the bombard shots thanks to fixed channel and different operational priorities, this help the Borodino arrive in striking distance at full strength
  5. The Pesets didn’t do much and seem to lack the punch required to take on the dread but may do ok against their cruisers, essentially they too were on the wrong flank
  6. the Rostovs, taken for ‘Hard Impact’, were never in a great position for it. Points may be better spent on more Novgorods.

What will I take next time?

  • Maybe a very similar list. The Pesets are a good psychological weapon, if nothing else. Rostovs may be rotated out though.
  • Do i need to try the Moskova? Maybe, it is an up armoured Borodino after all. Although it a flat out stat v. stat comparison with the Ottoman dread its still not really up to the task by itself and it is expensive.
  • Could the PLC Zamiec be the answer? Shield generators for things to mimic? More TFTs, flame throwers could work??? Might be an option…
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Instanbul was ConstantiNOOOple

It had been a while since I last played Dystopian Wars. It was all the way back in the heady days of 2013, such a distant memory now. I had an itch that needed a scratch, as anyone infected with the potent, but lovely, STD of DW can attest.

I was lucky enough to find a local game group that had a number of players with a wide range of factions but no naval Russians so along I went, glad that I would soon be sated. Bitter sweet was the outcome, as it always is…

I was up against the Ottoman Empire. It was all set to be a Black Sea Shakedown, a Big Bash on the Bosphorus, a Dardanelles Dalliance, an Istanbul Infraction. It was time to settle a grudge as old as Russia itself.

I went with:

1x Kostroma
1x Kthanga
3x Suvurovs
2x 4x Novgorods
3x Velikys (attached to the Kostroma)

The Ottoman Empire had:

1 x Kanuni Class Dreadnought
2 x Sinop Class Armoured Cruisers
2x 2x Avci Class Destroyers
3 x Zuhâf Class Small Flyers
4 x Mizrak Class Frigate

I deployed the Russians neatly in a tight formation behind an island. The Suvurovs ready to head one way the Kostroma and Kthanga the other. Novgorods were arrayed in a defensive wall to shield the larges.

RC Deploy

The Ottomans spread out along the opposite side with the Dreadnaught on one end.

Not the best photo but you get the idea

I won’t go exactly through each turn in minute detail but here is what went down:

Russians moved forward as did the Ottomans. Several Novgorods fall. First blood to the Ottoman Empire. Russians retaliated by taking down some small skimmers.

Early

Then the storms started to gather, oh to literally, around my larges. It slowed movement down considerably as well as hampered my efforts at long range fire. It was not too long before the abalative was stripped from the Kthanga, it was the beginning of the end.

Ablative gone

Soon there were no escorts or frigates left for the Russians. A light drizzle of Novgorod parts had started though.There had been very little damage done in return apart from a few skimmers and mine planes taken out, but not putting any serious dents in the Ottoman offensive.

The corrosive weapons from the Ottoman ships were eating through both the carrier and the ice breaker. The Kthanga like a tired, wounded bull thrashes trying to hit the matador doing little but refusing to give up.

Kthanga fights on

While remote controlled mines ripped through the Suvurovs.

Mines

TFTs attempt diving run on dread, come up short with only minor damage resulting inflicted. Then a collision! Not a ram, unfortunately, occurs doing some damage to the enemy… the drill was so close! It was nearly magic.

Collision

The Ottoman dread moves in brandishing both broadsides the Kthanga is, finally, down (rest well my sweet) and the Kostroma sensing the futility of life (so Russian) decides to go the same way.

K goes down

Kostroma goes down

Game. Set. Ottoman.

It was a whitewash, plain and simple. The Ottoman ships were powerful at range and the storms wreaked havock for me trying to get into the fray. By the time i was there it was too late.

I also made some tactical errors, my targeting was almost random, very unfocused. Which is not helpful.

Lessons learnt:

1. If you have a newly painted Tunguska USE IT the movement, power, and mimic generator should have put it front and centre, indeed i intended to play it but didn’t, thinking longer ranged weapons would have been better.

2. Range, in this case, wasn’t as advantageous as it seemed thanks to storms. I found myself, toward the end wishing I had brought a Borodinosaur instead, despite the fact that the Kthanga took out some of the only units i managed to kill.

3. Boarding could do ok here, I should have tried it more, instead of shooting. You never know what some vodka fueled serfs might achieve. Indeed I think this might be an ok tactic against them more generally, not that I have much experience against them.

4. Ottoman units have a lot of MARs and generators but some are fragile underneath, some of their units had very low HP, so focused damage is the way to go.

5. After much discussion afterwards it was agreed that submerged units would probably also do quite well against them. As the bombards wouldn’t be so effective against them.

So with all that in mind I should have included in my force in order of perceived usefulness

1. Tunguska
2. Pesets Subs
3. Borodino
4. Rostovs, just to throw another shrimp on the proverbial… Fast, hard impact = solid potential.

When I next face the Ottoman Empire I will be far more prepared and focussed, unfortunately so too will my opponent who was already hatching plans involving islands, all stops and other nasties to impede the Russian advance.

Turning it Around – From Loss to Win in 2014 – Part 2

Hi Dystopian Fans,

Welcome to part 2 of my blog where I layout my attempts to go from loss to win in 2014.  Before I start I’d like to say thank you to all those who provided comments and suggestions on my last post – your ideas have been very much appreciated. So without further ado lets dive into part 2 of my journey.

Armed with a new Russian Coalition list I headed to my FLGS.  This list was not such a big change from the last list – here it is for reference.

1000 points – Borodino Battleship + 2x Escorts (230), 8x Novgorod Frigates (200), 2x Pesets Submarines (160), 3x Rostov Destroyers (120), 3x Suvorov Cruisers (195) and a Landing Field (95).

As you can see, the Myshkin are gone (and good riddance as well) the Novgorod’s are back to 2 full sized squadrons and I added a Landing Field.  The Landing Field might seem like a strange inclusion but I have learned the value of Russian Tiny Flyers, especially Fighters.  With their ability to ignore Abort results and then “dive-bomb” into a target with Hard Shell(2) on each token I really wanted to get as many tokens onto the board as possible.

Image

Game number 1 for the day was against Micky and his Republique of France aerial force.  Micky’s victory condition was to destroy 50% of my core fleet points plus all Medium models – meaning my Pesets and Suvorov’s were his primary targets.  Mine was to destroy all Large and Massive models – his fleet carrier and large flyer.  I felt confident that I could achieve this within the game’s turn limit.

I now realise that focusing on your opponent’s objectives is just as important as yours – for some stupid reason, and I still don’t know why, I moved my medium models FORWARD!  Besides from this gaff the battle was tough but I did manage to bring down his large flyer.  His battle carrier, which I dropped in AP, moved forward to use its heat lance.  I saw an opportunity to push forward with my battleship and board it (I was confident of boarding with my 12AP vs 5AP plus I had the STAR card in my hand dropping my boarding rolls from 5 to 4).

Unfortunately it was not to be – a mix up of my activations allowed his fleet carrier to fire first.  The Borodino, which had already lost its ablative armour, suffered a Magazine Explosion!  Goodbye battleship, 2 escorts, 1 frigate and my last Medium sized ship.  With only a squadron of Novgorod’s left it was congratulations Micky on achieving his victory condition.

Image

Game number 2 and I was up against my old sparring partner – Luke and his Ottomans.  Luke’s list was an Ottoman static list which included a Hussar and a Dreadnought.  My victory condition was to destroy all Medium models and 50% of his fleet points; Luke’s was 70% of my fleet – all within 4 turns + variable turn limit.

Taking Luke’s earlier advice I set up a refused flank on the left hand side of the table.  The game went well for me as at turn 3 I had managed to destroy his only two medium models on the board.  However destroying the dreadnought or Hussar proved more difficult. In the end Luke managed to achieve his victory condition before mine.

While both games were a loss I did feel that I was making progress and I was more confident with the fleet.  I don’t feel that the current fleet needs anymore changes;  I just need to better organise my deployment and REMEMBER all victory conditions.

In a fortnight I’ll have this fleet back on the table and ready for another go at victory.  Then I’m taking a break for a month while I attend a Dreadball tournament – after that I’ll be back with my first go, in over a year, with my Prussians.

Till next blog – watch out for those exploding 6’s.  I know I will be.