Tuesday, 29 October 2013

A Magnificent Day...

About an hour after waking Fleet Commodore James Harrison (Harry to his men, Jimmy to his old school mates at the race track) was feeling magnificent.  There really was no other word for it, he had gone to bed dreading the worst of what a night of whiskey and cards might bring come morning, but come morning he felt glorious.  The night before the cards had fallen his way and he now had a pocket full of bank notes.  To add to the jubilation he had received a telegram, freshly wired, informing him the horse he’d backed in Melbourne had come through by a full length the day before.  Today was a magnificent day, there was no doubting it.

Happier and more sprightly than a man who had helped knock off a bottle of Grouse should have any right be, Harry took his time over breakfast, and took it in good stride even when a second wire arrived informing him the joint fleet of Covenant and Free Australian ships he was leading had finally caught wind of the Russians they had been chasing.  Weeks at sea chasing rumour and wreckage had yielded nought, but Harry had had a feeling and taken a gamble; trying to step ahead of his enemy rather than following their wake.  The gamble had paid out, and now the rumours and mist they’d been chasing had turned into ships and men they had found. today was a magnificent day...

Harry, lucky to head the Russians off in all the open sea, lines his ships up.  A mixed force representing a joint operation between the Free Australians and the Covenant of Antarctica.

The Russians, keeping their knock-out punch solidly in the middle...

Taking water and whatever fresh supplies they could from a small island chain in the vastness of the Indian ocean the Russians had a right to feel unlucky to have been caught by the fleet so far following only the rumour of their wake.

A mix of the frigates and Victoria Class gunships concentrate their fire on the opposing fleet commodore and the squadron of cruisers making up the right of the Russian strong centre.  Some lucky strikes manage to shatter the ablative armour of their opponents.

With the plan hinging on a boarding action against the Russian commodore, a submerged Aronax heads directly.  It's advance is preempted by heavy fire from the Bounty, the Victoria gunships and the Protector Frigates - all of whom, with some luck and daring, manage to inflict some early damage.

The Protectors roll in, and with some incredible luck both their gunnery and broadsides manage to break the ablative armour of the Cruisers ahead of them, and shred half a squadron of heavy frigates to their left.

While the barrage of fire from the frigates, the gunships and Harry's own Bounty manage to wreak merry hell on the Russian fleet a squadron of dive bombers swoop in and light the afternoon with some spectacular fireworks.

Surfacing in order to shred the escorts and pile more damage on the Russian flag ship the Aronax proves it's fearsome mettle...

Under the burning sun and after a lucky guess, the pride of the Russians was withering under a storm of hellfire... Harry couldn't stop from smiling, today was a magnificent day.


And we called it not long afterwards, James and Ewen (joint Covenant/Australian and the Russian commanders respectively) had to leave, and the battle was heavily skewed in favour of the Covenant and Australian forces.  The range of heavy damage from the Bounty and the Victoria class gunships had managed to crack the usually frightening armour of the Russian ships early, and some insanely lucky rolling meant that anytime the dice were thrown, the Russians would suffer.

This game really moved at a fast clip, and 1000 points made for a nice and interesting fleet, some heavy hitters, some mediums, and some smalls.  A great game and a lot of fun (well, I was joint commander of the Aussie/Covenant Fleet - so things went my way).

Can't wait to play again!