NOTE TO SELF:-Next time I play any type of game against bro, before the game starts, take his bloody dice off him!!!
So after a bit of a late night/ early morning shift I managed to get my bro's Shroud Mage Cruisers completed on Saturday, so his fleet was now complete and perhaps not surprisingly, he was keen to see how his new charges would perform in the heat and terror of combat on the Uncharted Seas.
Angus Wargames Club, had a meeting on Saturday night and so it was that we duly turned up at the club, with Ruarok once again bringing his Orcs and Cammie successfully deploying the sniffer dogs to locate his Dwarven fleet from the bowels of his bedroom. With my Dwarf fleet in attendance the scene was set for the Dwarven Alliance to cleanse the sea lanes of the strategically unimportant Cannymaka Sound from the pestiliance of a Combined Orc/ Shroud Mage task force.
Cannymaka Sound, looking North.
The might of the Dwarf Alliance stand ready to engage the Enemy More Closely.
Looking South East, wind blowing North Westerly (which was just as well for the Shroud Mages as it meant they didn't have the whiff of Orc Flatulence in their faces).
The Shroud Mages -
deployed in my bro's classic "I don't what I'm doing so I will set them up like an inverted "L" " formation.
I thought Cammie and I had a plan on how to counter the oncoming menace. Cammie thought he and I had a plan on how to counter the oncoming menace. Problem was we both had different plans. Cammie claimed we had agreed that he would sail his fleet in to the Southern part of the Sound and take up a gun line covering both entrances while I would sail straight ahead and engage the Shroud Mage Fleet head on. I claimed that he would guard the Western part of the Sound, while I would swing round to guard the Eastern part. Clearly, my plan was tactically much more astute and out of the Nelsonian hand book of Naval tactics.
You see the problem with Cammie's idea of me sailing forward and engaging the Shroud Mages head on tactic had a couple of flaws in it. Firstly, the Dwarf Cruisers have no forward firing weapons. Secondly the Shroud Mage Cruisers and Battleship have pointy bits at the front of their ships so they are quite good at ramming.
So I set forth with what I thought was the agreed plan, and Cammie set his plan in motion too. The Shroud Mage Battleship, "Big Bertha" (most original name of bro's - not) opened up at long distance and scored the first hit of the game on my Dwarven Cruiser, DS "Invincible Hammer Blow of the Dwarf Hegemony" (my names are much more inventive).
A mere scratch on the paintwork.
Soon the Shroud Mages would feel the fury of the Dwarven firepower and a rain of shells rained down on a poor Shroud Mage Frigate and scored - 1 hit.
The Frigate's end was only slightly delayed and another merciless salvo from the Dwarves resulted in the predicted (by me) demise of the hapless craft - cue the cotton wool.
It was at this point that my bro emptied out his dice bag and started picking up his cubes in anticipation of firing his Cruiser gunline at my gallant Frigate DS "Thou Shalt Know No Fear In The Face Of The Enemy".
Nasty bullying Shroud Mage Cruisers, about to gang up on my valiant Frigate.
Okay, if I'm honest, I did expect my Frigate to die. It only has 2 hull points (meaning it takes a total of 6 hits before sinking) and the firing Cruisers could bring down 9 attack dice on it, needing 5's or better to hit. Yes, okay I know that according to the law of averages that rolling that number of dice needing 5's should only have resulted in 3 hits for 1 damage point in total, but have you seen my bro roll dice????
As it was, the Frigate, didn't just suffer 3 hits, or 6 hits but instead took a massive 15 hits (if you roll a 6, it counts as 2 hits and you get to roll the dice again and so my bro did, and again and again)
A suitably large wad of cotton wool to emphasise the complete overkill of the Frigate
Okay, a set back, but that only levelled the losses at 1 Frigate each but I should have seen it as the foretaste of what was to come. In the meantime on the opposite side of the sound Cammie's Battleship and Cruisers were gliding serenely into their gun line while his Frigates sailed fullsteam ahead to where I was intending to go.
The Orcs were about somewhere....
The Orcish Fleet, timidly tacking past one of The Uncharted Seas mystical fog banks.
Big Bertha had paddled her way into a position which gave her what I thought would be a Range 2 attack on the Cruiser at the end of my gunline, the DS "Bringer of Woe Upon Her Enemies". Okay, range 2, not good, but not the end of the world. Then the scumbag, sorry I mean my bro, plays a card from his hand (each fleet can have a hand of cards which can bestow a variety of boons on the fleet) which allowed him to reduce the range to Band 1, which meant he was firing with a full battery on the unsuspecting Cruiser. 22 hits later, this happened -
However, the misery didn't end there. 22 hits meant that in fact the Cruiser had also suffered 3 Critical Hits. As you would expect, Critical Hits are not good. But the ship was sunk anyway, so really it was going to be another example of overkill on my bro's part and so it was with the first 2 rolls, which killed some crew and then took out a battery of guns. Then he rolled for the third time
I quote the appropriate entry from The Uncharted Seas Critical Hit Table -
"2: Magazine Explosion: Ship turns into a ball of flame before sinking - ships within an 8" radius of the centre of the exploding ship are attacked with a number of D6 equal to DOUBLE the Hull Points of the exploding ship i.e the bigger the ship, the bigger the bang! Affects ALL ships - friend or foe"
As you will have seen Dear Reader from the pic of the exploding Cruiser there were several ships within close proximity of the fireball and unfortunately most were mine and Cammie's.
Afrika Korps deploying for some Blitzkreig Commander II. The Brits were hiding at the start of the battle but were then pummelled by some disasterous Command Blunder rolls and Axis air strikes.
The Shermans never got a chance to take out the half tracks, these were just put on the table to pose for the photograph!!
The British RHA running away! No spirit of Nery here boys!
British Regulars about to teach some Mohican savages how to dress appropriately for dinner
I gather the savages were having none of it however!
Well I eventually went back to our game. We had agreed that prior to the start that whenever a fleet was reduced to 50% of it's starting strength that the game would finish at the end of that turn. The fireball conlflaguration ensured that the Dwarves were only 2 ships away from that breaking point. The Shroud Mage Cruisers moved in looking for any vessels that had survived the fireball
While Big Bertha and my Dwarven Battleship, DS "Immense Pride At Being Such A Big Vessel" traded shots and scored some ineffectual damage on each other.
The Shroud Mages, however, took the easy option and took out my last remaining crippled Cruiser, DS "We Shall Not be Sunk By An Inferior Enemy" and my Frigate, DS "Always Look On The Bright Side of Life" (okay yes, that isn't very original but by that time in the game, I was out of inspiration).
The scene at the end of the game. Ruarok's Orcish fleet can be seen at long last getting into the fight.
So a triumphant first outing for the Shroud Mage fleet, with Ruarok's Orcs clinging on to the Shroud Mage coat tails to claim some of the glory for the Victory.
If Cammie had stuck to my plan, then we wouldn't have had so many of our ships in such a small area of Ocean when my Cruiser blew up. Court Martial hearings have been duly set by the Dwarf Admiralty for the respective Commanders of the Dwarf contigents to hear the explanations for the debacle (and in the meantime, I'm going to "lose" my bro's dice bag"!)