So, as per my normal Monday activity my friends and I got together for a game of Firestorm at our local game store in Salem, Oregon. I was anticipating watching the other 2 play out the first scenario from the new Invasion System but alas the one friend was not feeling well so I got to jump in for a pick up game.
Directorate: 1200 Point List +++++ Designation: Swordfish
(1) Anarchist Battleship - Hard points: +2 WC, -1Sh + Stealth Systems, Dirty Secrets. Upgrades: Biohazard Beams, Corrosive Torpedos
Accompaniment: (2) Liquidator Frigates - Upgrades: Biohazard Beams. Wings: (5) Bombers
(1) Dominance Carrier - Hard points: +2 WC, Cyberwarfare Fore. Upgrades: None
Accompaniment: (2) Tormentor R&D Cruisers - Upgrades: None Wings: (5) Bombers, (3) Interceptors
(3) Executioner Cruisers - Upgrades: Biohazard Beams, Special Forces
(3) Justice Heavy Cruisers - Upgrades: Biohazard Beams
(4) Liquidator Frigates - Upgrades: None
(4) Liquidator Frigates - Upgrades: None
Terran: 1200 Point List (W/ Aquan Allies) +++++ Designation: N/a
(This is an approximation - Full details unknown at this time)
(1) Tyrant Battleship - Hardpoints: +2 PD, +3 WC, Shield Projector (Self) Upgrades: Quicklaunch
Accompaniment: (2) Squire Escorts Upgrades: N/a Wings: 3 Support Shuttles
(1) Ares Carrier - Hardpoints: +1 Shield, +3WC Upgrades: None
Accompaniment: (2) Aegis Shield Cruisers - Hardpoints: Command Distance +3 Wings: (6) Interceptors & (6) Bombers
Aquan Ally - Tier 1
(1) Oannes Heavy Carrier - Hardpoints: Difficult Target Upgrades: +1 Move, Energy Transfer (2)
Accompaninment: None Wings: (6) Bombers
(3) Hermes Cruiser Squadron - Hardpoints: +1 HP Upgrades: Weapon Shielding
(4) Missionary Frigate Squadron - Upgrades: None
(4) Armsmen Frigate Squadron - Upgrades: N/a
Terrain: The playing field was set up initially as to where the center was open with a piece of terrain on each corner and along each board edge due to the nature of a mission my friend was going to play from the new Invasion Fleet. Unfortunately, he had to leave so I took over at a larger point game, and we decided to just add two (2) extra planets in the middle and calling it good. Basically it came down to one side having two (2) gas clouds in the corner and an astroid field in the center in/near the deployment zone, and the other side being the opposite with two (2) astroid fields in the corners, and a gas cloud in the center in/near the deployment zone. This left two other terrain features which I believe were a debris field and possibly another gas cloud, in addition to 2 planets which were spaced slightly askew as to create a more A-symetrical battlefield.
I won the the initiative roll and selected the side with the gas cloud in the center, as I prefer being able to have a wide space in the center to combine my forces, and wanted to make my opponent have to deploy around the astroid field and have to contend with it as an obstacle. I also won the roll off for deployment, but opted to make him deploy first as to better counter depoly his forces. We took turns placing, starting with our least valuable units. He had placed his Armsmen on the board to snipe with Torps behind the center astroid field, and his Missionaries in reserve. He also placed his Cruisers in a cloud on the right (His left). During this time, I had lined my frigates up to barely fit within the cloud in the center of my table edge, and placed another on the right had corner which were isolated from the rest of my deployment area by Asteroids, in an attempt to counter deploy the Cruisers, as well as act as kind of a Red Herring hoping to draw more of his forces to deploy on this side of the map, as I knew he couldn't fit everything in there comfortably within that space. I deployed my Cruisers on the opposite side of those astroids, trying to bide my time before his larger assets were on the table. He proceeded to deploy his Carrier/Shield Cruiser squadron to the right (His left) of the battle field between his Cruisers and Frigates which were on the board, but closer to the edge of his deployment space. At this point, I was relatively certain he would deploy his 2 other Tier 1 ships on the left side (His right) of the astroid field which was in the center of his deployment zone. I proceeded to deploy my H. Cruisers behind my Frigates in the Center, my Anarchist BB between the H. Cruisers and the standard Cruisers, and my Carrier/Cyberwarfare squadron on the left between the left most astroid field and my H. Cruisers. He had deployed as anticipated to the left of the astroids with his Tyrant and Oannes H.Carrier. I knew at this point my goal was to essentially ignore the units which occupied the right hand side of the board, consisting primarily of the Cruisers and Carrier squadrons, and move everything to the left/center to engage the Admiral's vessel (Tyrant). Due to enough SRS and natural PD I knew the cruisers primary torpedos would not do much, and he had them at full stop in the corner to maximize the angle of his Sector Shielding. I also wanted to avoid his 6 Bomber wings from the Terran Cruiser, adding a great deal to that decision.
I knew immediately my goal was to stop the Oannes from advancing and reduce the crew of the Tyrant until boarding was a viable option. This did not go as planned, but any good CEO will always have a back up plan. We went to play TAC cards and I declined, he used Drives to Max, attempting to bounce it between the two Tier 1 squadrons which I was most threatened by, and used Dirty Secrets to negate it in an attempt to slow his approach. We took turns moving things forward. I believe he was able to put out 1 point of damage to my Cruisers and 1 to a squad of frigates but destroyed nothing. In turn, I was able to deal what I believe was damage his Carrier but was suprisingly able to Crit his Shield Cruiser with just 3 attack dice from a Frigate which could not fire at the Carrier with the rest of the squad due to line of sight issues with a planet. This caused a weapon disabled effect on the Cruiser's only weapon in the front arc, which was not repaired during the entire course of the game. Not much else happened, everything moved up with me listing lazily to the left. I attempted to Cyber Warfare his Oannes but I rolled poorly and he had diffcult target (why does this effect cyberwarfare again? Lol) and was unable to cause a success, which I was planning to use to shut down his engines hopes of slowing his attack run with his SRS tokens.
Turn 2: A little more happened here, his Frigates came in which dropped via Shunting behind my Frigates in my right corner in an attempt to protect his Cruisers (little did he know it wasn't my real target). I was able to move up dealing more damage to the Carrier, I think I managed to get a single damage on the Tyrant with Biohazard and vented some crew in the Oannes. Unfortunately he had been able also Disable Firing Arc on one of my Tormentors as well, reducing my overall Cyberwarfare capabilities, with a Crit. I had suffered more damage on my Cruiser Squadron at this point, and I believe a couple of more Frigates by this point, but was in relatively good shape with no points being given up by either side (and myself being at -1 due to Dirty Secrets). His Tyrant had turned towards the center, flying between the planets, with the Oannes kiting around the outside of the planets. I was concerned he would keep them grouped up, making it harder to prioritize my targets and keeping his Support Shuttles in range of healing the Oannes. I was moving my Frigates and Cruisers to the center to act as a distracting against the Tyrant, and pushed the Anarchist, Dominance, and Justice squadron towards the Oannes, which was either undamaged or had only suffered 1 damage at this point. I found that it's -1 to hit penalty was incredibly frustating, but decided that an assault would be the best option if possible and wanted to focus my efforts there most of all, as the survivability/damage output of that thing is just GROSS! As I recall, this was also the turn I attempted to bombing run from my carrier after he advanced forward, where he proceeded to roll 3 6's reducing my dice pool from 15 to 6 on my Carrier's Bombers.
Turn 3: My Anarchist was within 16" of the Oannes so I used the Cyberwarfare TAC and spend the point in an attempt to make it easier to assault. I believe I vented 2 crew from this reducing his overall crew by 2 leaving him with only 4 left.... He must have been damaged because I recall him only getting 5 defense dice in the upcoming engagement, but he had been able to heal some when his shuttles were in range so it was primarily hull points and not crew loss. I had been winning a lot of the initiative rolls (surprisingly with only 1 Fleet Tactic Bonus) and this turn was no different. I moved the Heavy Cruisers up after de-cloaking in an attempt to board and take over the Oannes without the negative modifier, in fact I was going to be getting +1 due to Special Forces. I managed to roll only 8 total successes on 15 dice.... That was not more than double his remaining crew which left me with no chance to take over the ship and gain extra points this turn. I believe he reduced it down from a Crit to just a Damage and I believe I had opted to kill more crew members to either enable my Carrier to assault in the next engagement, or possibly force a disorder test eventually to prevent the SRS from launching. I also took a pop-shot with 1 of the Heavy Cruisers dealing 1 damage to the Tyrant. He moved up his Oannes to try to maximize damage while he could, killing off the damaged Tormentor from my Carrier Squad. I then moved my Cruisers up, which had been heavily damaged at this time, in an attempt to damage the Tyrant. I moved forward, firing my beams at the Terran's Carrier squad and Assaulting the Tyrant, which went better than expected in as much as it actually did some damage. Mostly I didn't want to lose a model before activating and was trying to maximize their effectiveness in this turn, since the Crusiers had 1 at full HP, 1 which had 3 HP remaining, and one which had only 1 HP remaining. This was also the turn when he used the Shield TAC card, boosting his Tyrant to +1 Shield for the turn (I had kind of wished I saved Dirty Secrets, but I think board control early on was the best decision) and managed to score 25 successes with the Tyrant on my Heavy Cruiser, abliterating it from the field after triple (3x) criting it!!!! I couldn't believe it!!! But, it was only 1 of 3 so it hadn't given up a point, and I managed to move up with my Anarchist to finish off the Oannes with bombing runs and through Beams. My Cyberwarfare went to venting more crew from the Tyrant. All the while our frigates had been slugging it out, his Cruisers were still trying to lay down supressive Torp fire at my Cruisers, and the Carrier was woe-fully out of range to be effective with it's weapons and bombers.
Turn 4: This was a mop up round. I had both my Anarchist and Dominance undamaged at this point, missing only 1 R&D Cruiser, and a Heavy Cruiser squad with 2 squad members at full strength. He had his Armsmen at full strength and his Hermes at full strength, tagging far behind the remaining Terran fleet, with his Carrier and Battleship both badly damaged. I quickly moved up to engage the Armsmen which were advancing, as I have underestimated them before, and opened fire with my 2 Heavy Cruisers placing 2 beams on 2 separate frigates and 2 torpedo volleys on the other 2, destroying 2 and effectively weakening the remainder of the squad. I also had been sniping his other Frigate squad when able to through out the game with Torps as well, which my friend joked about breaking the gentleman's agreement of a frigate on frigate duel. xD I was able to vent some crew of the Cruiser with the Dominance and was just widdling away his forces. By next turn it was clear I would mop up his remaing Tier 1's and we called it there, as I had 2 Tier 1's at full strength (Minus missing wings/accompaniment)
All in all I would say it was a success. He had been bringing Dreadnoughts in the last few games we've played so I was trying to calculate my assests to best counter that during fleet construction. Thankfully he left it at home, but the Oannes is a tough nut to crack, with it's only real weakness being it's low AP, leaving it vulnerable to assaults. Aside from his 25 successes on my Heavy Cruiser, I would say that my opponent rolled below average in general. Normally his shields are game changing but they fell flat in this engagement, and I had above average successes so I think it could have gone either way at any point, honestly. The biggest differences that were where ships ended up going, IMO. Flying far and away from the Carrier to negate it's 18AD from the SRS was a major factor, and also the fact that he split his Tyrant away from his Oannes mid battle to try to contend with my forces in the middle (Although, this was mostly due to Support SRS playing a roll with the Oannes's crew) but gave me a chance to move everything around the planet defensively to engage the Oannes with 3 very strong squads at close range (re-roll 1's baby!)
I think the battle ended at Directorate: 6 ~ Terran: 1 ... But that would have quickly swung into Directorate: 13 ~ Terran: -7 in turn 5 due to finishing off his Tier 1's which I believe was a very strong likelyhood, with the some other opportunties to swing points one way or the other depending on the results. Thanks for reading about my Directorate escapades! I will try to take pictures/notes in the future so that I may more readily provide Bat.Reps. for the forum. I know I've left some things out due to having played the game on Monday and am trying to recall it now that it's Friday. But hopefully you've all enjoyed it! Thanks for reading!!!