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1k - KoD vs KoB - The Return of Hjalmar Stark

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Aalborg

“We have prepared your new flagship, sir.” the lieutenant reported tersely, looking up at the insane man she regarded as a liability, even though he was in many ways a living legend of the Dystopian War; Hjalmar Stark. Despite several rumours that he’d been killed or captured in the Aegean whilst working for the Ottomans, and several more reports that he’d detoured through Poland on his dash back across Europe, the Daring Dane had been fresh-faced in his meeting with the High Council.

 

And now he was reinstated as a Knight of the Dannebrøg, recommissioned as Commodore in the King’s Fleet, and was being gifted with state-of-the-art ships for a new raid into Coalition waters. Lt. Mirjam Ulfsson was, at best, disgruntled at being assigned to this maniac's command.

 

“Good work, Mirjam! You can be my first mate and bodyguard!” he grinned, despite her dissatisfied expression. She’d learn how remarkable he was soon enough, just like everyone else had! “Now let’s go hunt us some Britannian beef!”

 

Frowning, the promoted officer pulled out a sheet of orders.

 

“Sir, we’re suppose-”

 

“I can’t hear you over the sound of my brand new carrier!” The Commodore interjected, appearing almost giddy as he frogmarched her up the gangplank. “We’re off on an adventure, m’dear!”

 

Mirjam sighed and closed her eyes. This could be a very long deployment indeed…

 

The North Sea

Fresh from the Solent academy, Commodore Jennifer Wittingdon-Smythe looked out over the choppy waters of the shallow North sea, her first military convoy assigned the simple task of patrolling the northern mouth of the Channel for French shipping trying to reach Scandinavia. As was going well, but on the third day the reconnaissance plane filed a sighting that caught both the young commodore (and even her more experienced first mate) entirely off guard.

 

Danish ships on the horizon, ma’am. Returning to the carrier for a refuel.

 

Danes? This far south?

 

She sounded the alarm and prepared for battle.

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FORCES - 1k Naval

 

Kingdom of Denmark

190 - Asgard + Shield + Calc gen

150 - Ragnarok + Shield

160 - 2x MkI Skaggerak

180 - 3x Sigurd

120 - 4x Magni

100 - 4x Korsor

100 - 4x Korsor

 

Kingdom of Britannia

215 - Ruler + Guardian + Stoic

155 - Regent + Stoic

115 - Lord Hood

115 - Lord Hood

115 - Lord Hood

100 - 5x Swift

185 - 4x Attacker + Dominion Support Cruiser

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Turn One

 

Mostly posturing, a little bit of fire from range, but more or less just getting the two fleets into position around a large central island. The three Lord Hoods and frigates were on course to meet the Ragnarok, Sigurds and a unit of Korsors down one flank, with the Regent and Ruler, with Swifts on the vanguard, on course to meet the Skagerraks, Magni and other unit of Korsors. The TFTs were mostly barrelling down over the island to prepare to intercept each other, with KoB opting for all fighters and the Danes opting for a mix of Dive Bombers and Fighters. The Asgard remained fairly central with its Tyr class speedboats hugging the island as best they could.

 

No casualties, one unrepaired 'shredded defences' on a swift from a Skagerrak's generator.

 

KoD - 0pts

KoB - 0pts

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Turn Two

 

After two tense draws on the initiative roll, the Danes got the decisive first move. The Tyr struck out at one of the Lord Hoods, reducing its crew to 3 but losing lots of men to rather fortunate AA on the way in. The Lord Hoods responded by striking out at the Sigurds, heavily damaging one. The Korsors moved in to try and kill two Hood's in one activation, deploying a mighty linked mine in the path of one, and attempting to board another. Their plucky cannons, however, caused the ship for which they'd laid their mine to teleport back into its deployment zone! Their boarding was also unsuccessful. The Britannians hit back, the frigates striking the damaged sigurd and sinking it. They forged on regardless and finally cracked one Lord Hood (damaged in crossfire during turn 1) and boarded the other.

 

On the other side of the board, the Ruler forged forwards, throwing its power at the Skaggeraks and causing damage to them both. They attempted to reply by knocking the AA offline, but both failed to hit the mark, so they settled on broadsides wiping some Swifts out. Hitherto unseen, however, were the Magni. They descended straight onto the Ruler and, in its slightly weakened state, overwhelmed it. The TFTs, acting slightly too late, picked off the Magni as they failed to get back into the clouds, and the derelict Ruler blocked the path of the Regent's huge fore-guns.

 

The Asgard, seeing the Regent on its way, chose the far side of the island and made good its escape. The Korsors, however, had one last present up their sleeves. They trashed the remaining Swifts (And the heavily damaged Skaggeraks) in two huge explosions, taking ineffective potshots at the Regent.

 

KoD - 670

KoB - 275

 

At this point, the KoB conceded.

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Analysis

 

The KoB player on this game is very new to the game, and I wanted to try and give him the choices to do as he pleased, and then help him not make those choices again. He also had some rotten shield dice, and the Korsor cannons were much more effective than usual. Don't know what Stark's been feeding them.

 

The Magni are absolute brutes, don't let them anywhere near your things or they will break them. 12 aggressive vikings will open up pretty much any sub-dread choice, especially if the Calcification gens get their act together.

 

The Tyr were underwhelming this time, but in their defence the Hood did manage to roll a couple of solid AA hits making it a much more even fight. On another day, I can see their 12 regular AP being very threatening to battlecruisers and the like.

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Epilogue

 

Seeing their Commodore swarmed by the unexpected Danish strike, the Britannians disbanded. Distress calls were thrown far and wide.

 

One of the Magni blimps landed squarely atop the Asgard, two surly Scandinavians marching out of the bomb-bay with a prisoner between them. They had captured the Britannian commodore!

 

"Good work, chaps!" Hjalmar replied enthusiastically in his native Danish before switching to English to address his defeated foe. The best tutelage in the Kingdom had given him a fine grasp of foreign tongues.

 

"Welcome aboard!" He offered. The Britannian's face was streaked with tears, and he was struck by how very young she looked. His tone changed rapidly to become more accommodating. "My dear, as a Commodore of the Grand Coalition, I would expect a far stiffer lip!"

 

Jennifer looked up at this strange man in bemusement. His eyes were wild and keen, like those of a wolf, and his rugged face had a distinct duelling scar. The traditional swordplay of mensur in Northern European high-borns had clearly taken their toll on this one. But, underneath this wildness, there was also a mote of humour. Having lived so far from Stark's escapades along the turkish coastline, and being so freshly out of the Academy as she was, Lady Wittingdon-Smythe had had little time to learn of the reputation of the man.

 

"I, erm, surrender."

 

The wild Dane laughed heartily at her and patted her roughly on the shoulder. Seizing an opportunity, Jennifer grabbed his wrist firmly and attempted to throw him to the floor, only to see his disposition flip on a sixpence. The kindness vanished and he almost snarled as he used her momentum to drop her to the decking before kicking her hard in the stomach. She wailed in pain and vomited, the tight knot of fear in her stomach unravelling into sobbing and coughing.

 

"Fængsle hende" Stark commanded coldly. The two marines that had brought her aboard picked her bawling frame up, dragging her easily down into the bowels of the carrier.

 

 

Off the Coast of Norfolk

 

Returning from a long summer protecting arctic merchant fleets bound for Russia, Admiral John Coburg-Fortescue, cousin of Stark's disgraced nemesis Lord Fortescue, came across a fleeing Regent class...

 

 

Hjalmar Stark will return in 'The Wolf in Dogger'

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