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rufus

Rufus' random reports

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@Thyphs: Thanks for the kind words. It indeed was a wonderful event, regarding the "luck", day one was really weird (in a positive way). I think January 23rd must be the German national sturginium flare holiday. There was a game which had 5! of them happening :).

EDIT says: I'll comment on the fleet at the end... right now I am off to look for more excuses on why I lost the last game ;).

 

---

 

On to day two and more excuses for my losses, prepare for propaganda. I was placed third after the first day of the tournament so I prepared for a likely strong fleet, strong player... basically a great challenge.

 

Game 4 with Gobbos, LoIS

 

Stick to the plan...

 

Scenario: Nominate three enemy squadrons, one primary, two secondary targets. The primary is worth triple, the secondary targets are worth double VP IF they are fully destroyed.

 

Affondatore, 6 Assault Craft, 6 SAWs ©

Mars

Ballistae, 6 SAWs

3 Gladius Cruisers, 6 Assault Craft

Minerva

Minerva

4 Cinquedea Frigates

3 Cinqueda Frigates

10 SAWs

 

The LoIS likely are the fleet I know best in DW ... so basically I knew what was coming... When I saw the terrain, I was sure I could not go in this fight heads on. I could not match the LoIS activation count, airforce, speed (including hit & run which would work great with those small islands) or IDF capabilities. I even decided to throw everything to the left flank where there was the biggest space of relatively open waters and do a long flanking move. This would of course lead to a game where turn 1 and likely two would not see too much damage and likely no side would score more than maybe 12-14 tournament points. Nevertheless this seemed the only reasonable choice for the game (see brownish arrow in the plan). However I foolishly chose three tough targets (Affondatore, Mars, Gladii), and I started setting up my forces directly opposing Gobbos fleet.

 

dm8ahoto.jpg

 

After deployment I looked at the table and was pretty sure my fleet was doomed. Why had I decided to do that suicide run on the right flank, (where the LoIS had superior forces) and through that narrow channel, where I could not even hope to get through alive? *BIG FACEPALM*

 

Turn 1: Gobbos played the waiting game and I did not get any good targets to shoot at due to terrain. As some of his last activations he moved the Gladii to RBIII of my obscured Skyfortress and crit it and then 4 frigates just added another crit at RBIII. The second crit was a magazine explosion scoring a massive 5 damage, which left my commodore at 2 HP after just two RBIII attacks.

 

Turn 2: I tried to minimize losses and still go for a lucky punch with a Corvette boarding against the Affondatore, however my marines failed miserably (I could not blame them as I was really pushing my luck here and I did not have any good follow up boardings ready). My Commodore of course was destroyed (big explosion), break tests did not hurt too badly and the other ships started trading some blows while the two nodes were knocking out my defences on a couple of ships.

 

Turn 3-4: I was still trying to keep my most expensive units alive as good as I could and score at least some points. At some point the first Ruler sank (after tanking a lot of fire from one Minerva and the Affondatore + some divebombers). I could cripple the Mars with two Rulers and bring down one of the Minervas while scoring at least half points on the second one.

 

In the end I could score about 430 points while losing more than half of my fleet including several hundred bonus points for Gobbos (triple points for one Hood, double for 5 Corvettes) resulting in a crushing 3:17 from the KoB perspective.

 

Looking back: At the very start of the game Gobbos mentioned he only ever scored two magazine explosions in all his DW games yet. Both of them happened against the KoB. Well, now he can claim a third one ;). However this was in no way the decisive factor in this game, the battle was lost by my inability to stick to the plan and enforce a fight in "open waters" and of course trouble had started earlier with the way too bold choice I made regarding the primary and secondary targets. However it still was a great game and good fun and it sure was a good experience to face the LoIS with me sitting on the KoB side. This actually confirmed my thoughts that there are a couple of things where a "classic KoB setup" simply does not have a decent answer in this matchup (eg the Uccisores) as long as the LoIS player does not do stupid things.

 

R

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Game 5 with Bratr, FSA

 

What plan…!?

 

Scenario: Three towers are set up between the two fleets. Both players can score points for destroying and or capturing them (30 points per HP) and if one should succeed and capture one of them one is free to use its gun and rockets.

 

Boston Submarine ©, 6 Assault Subs

Liberty, Shields

Liberty, Shields

San Francisco, Shields (6 SAW)

Annapolis

B-72

4 Augustas

5 Reveres

5 Reveres

10 SAW (local air support)

 

This time we had a very nice table with a couple of small islands one of which actually looks like Iceland as Bratr recognized. Sadly I don’t have any pictures of this battle myself, but I found one that shows the end of the battle and put online by the organizers. This is the game which I cannot really memorize (maybe Bratr can help here and show my poor explanations are no more than propagandistic lies…). I was pretty confident I could do okay in this game. The FSA fleet is a good allrounder without being extraordinary in any regard and I really hoped to bring my huge number of KoB guns to bear. So I was initially aiming at roughly 10 points or even a couple more and I was pretty sure no side would score more than maybe 14 tournament points… how wrong I was with that assumption ;).

 

dm91musmv.jpg

 

After setup I was still happy how my heavy ships were starting out. The basic idea was to try and lure Bratrs main fleet to advance through the relatively narrow corridor between two islands and then hit these ships hard from two directions. I decided to ignore the opportunity to board those turrets or shoot them and instead wanted to focus my fire on some of Bratrs models to gain a small advantage early on.

 

Turn 1: While Bratr scored about 300 points by destroying two of the neutral towers, I could not get any really good shots at his fleet. However I could take out some frigates and damage the B-72 somewhat. Things were not looking too bad, but I had to realise that instead of just running into my “trap”, Bratr was advancing slower than I had expected and that he was using cover to good effect for the mainstay of his fleet.

Turn 2: The Annapolis and the Boston started to put some damage on one of my Rulers, one of the Liberty BBs added more damage. On my side of things I threw away some of my Corvettes in another futile boarding attack (again without any real options for following attacks). The B-72 was nearly brought down. And then I made quite a big mistake and advanced the Illustrious which led to Bratr having range for two Attack runs for his FSA Fighters against my Commodore. The result were 3 very unnecessary damage points.

Turn 3: The Illustrious took more damage from some Heavy BB shots. The Turtles took out one of my vanguards, which had surfaced to ram some Corvettes. The other one had fallen previously. Towards the end of the turn the Illustrious really should just have died, but instead it tanked the two wings of Fighters, the Boston firing at RBII and the full gunnery of the Annapolis without losing the last hullpoint.

On the left flank some of Bratrs Corvettes had failed to board the last of the three neutral towers and they took some losses. I had lost most Corvettes and the fight for air superiority and I knew I was lacking the means to bring down those two heavy BBs, which were still advancing steadily and gunning down more of my ships including the HMS Hermes (Ruler with the Guardian).

Turn 4: I did a death or glory boarding assault with the Illustrious (which was on the very last HP) against the somewhat damaged San Francisco (which had previously lost some few marines) and subsequently lost all my marines for no effect giving away the Illustrious as a prize. Some of my ships now broke as the Commodore had fallen, however I could still run for cover with the Lord Hoods (one was down on the last hullpoint), and keep two Rulers floating. All other ships had fallen. The battle was lost, I had failed to take out any of the enemy larges and only brought down most enemy smalls, the B-72 and possibly the Annapolis (not sure any more if that one was blown apart by one of the Rulers or not). However the bigger difference came from Bratr being smarter and more effective regarding the Scenario. While I only scored a meagre 60 points from two damage dealt to the neutral fortifications, Bratr had scored 480 points here which in the end led to a decisive 18:2 victory for his FSA fleet.

 

dm9cdjm4.jpg

 

Looking back: While game 4 was lost by one big strategic failure on my side, this game went down in a long series of small and medium mistakes here and there. Thinking about it, this likely was the tactically worst game of DW I played in a while. I threw await my Corvettes for no use and thus lost my best chance to win air superiority, I put the Illustrious in unnecessary danger and gave it away as a prize in the end. One of the Rulers was destroyed without getting any good targets, the second Ruler drifted to the left flank unable to help my last Lord Hood in the fight against the enemy larges… The game still was good fun, the biggest "problem" was that I was too tired to do much conversation or be a more entertaining opponent. Thanks again to Bratr, it was a pleasure to meet and play you.

 

Some thoughts on the tournament and the fleet will follow.

 

Cheers!

 

R

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Conclusion

 

The event: Superb! Very well organized, enough space for all the tables, a good time schedule, cheap and tasty food, great scenarios and games, prizes for everyone and most importantly wonderful people. A big fat Swiss thank you to Thunderbolt for all the work he put into organizing and running that event. The 900 km trip sure was worth it.

The games: I had five fun games with nice opponents. The Scenarios made sure things did not get boring and while I think some pieces of terrain (just 2-3 out of 11 tables) might be a bit too large for DW all tables were suited for very interesting games. The Scenarios felt balanced and it made sense to adjust the tournament point matrix for each Scenario. After the first round there actually were only few 20:0 results with all results being possible. Thanks again to Thunderbolt, Asghar, Earlybird, Gobbos and Bratr for 5 very challenging and memorable games of Dystopian Wars. In the end Thunderbolt finished 3rd, Bratr 4th, Asghar 5th and Gobbos 6th.

 

The other fleets: 21 participants, 11 different factions chosen, none of them was taken more than three times. There were not even two fleet builds that were similar, actually all fleets were pretty unique. Surprisingly (to me) there were a couple of air core fleets present and some of them did pretty well (eg Thunderbolts Chinese which finished 3rd). There were two dreadbots (EoBS and CoA) and both finished on 18th and 20th place. As expected on 1300 points there were quite a few dreadnoughts at the tournament. Again only two made it to the top 10. Some of the lists were tough as nails, using allies had some of the usual suspects showing up however I think the overall list variety was great, the overall balance worked out fine. If we check for similarities within the top three, all of them had a high activation count, a high SV, many SAS and pretty good boarding abilities a high percentage in large/massives and non-core.

 

My fleet: Well here we go. I had decided to go with my KoB. I wanted to build a rather classic fleet that should be competitive enough to keep up with most things to come without going for activation/carrier spam. And what shall I say… I really can’t blame my fleet (or dice) for my results.

Illustrious: A nice commodore. Don’t bother about the “firepower”, use it as a supporter and a reliable place for the Commodore. I really think this model is fine and it works the way a skyfort should.

Rulers: I think the ruler is a nice little battleship. For an affordable 180 points one gets a reliable ship of the line that is best at RBIII and RBII. With the latest update the P/S torps suffer a bit (they switched), but I think the basic concept works out perfectly fine.

Hoods: Top notch battlecruisers. Their speed and reliable firepower was important. As with the Rulers the key is to keep them in formation preferably even covered by the Rulers and tagteam with some of the larges to concentrate fire (the lack of a coherent formation and thus failing to concentrate my firepower on the right targets was crucial for two of the games I lost).

Vanguards: Nice supporters to do things the other ships could not do as well. For 110 points a very affordable unit which cannot be ignored by most opponents.

Swifts: These were key elements. I rightfully lost two games where I threw them away for nothing. If they get to do more than just a boarding rush they really shine as their 2AA can change the course of the battle for the skies.

 

Overall: Is it a good idea to go triple BB for a competive build? Likely not, but one can still play the game without being at a “big” disadvantage. The crucial part is the lack of proper air coverage. The Swifts could help out a bit if played well (which I failed more often than not), but I actually misjudged the amount of SAS to face at the venue. In our local meta one or two Carriers are common for 1250ish points, three are pretty rare. In Berlin all of the top three had about 30 SAS and at least three Carriers. The big exception in the overall picture were Bratrs FSA, which imho speaks a lot for him as a player. However I did not have to face too many Carriers myself and the three games I can’t really blame on my list. I think regarding the matchup it was tough for game 1 (Chinese Air Core, which I won with deployment, movement and luck) and game 3 (LoIS, which I lost due to bad deployment). The other three matchups (KoD, 2x FSA) were more or less even sometimes even with a small edge for my KoB (imho). When I lost I did lose because of clear mistakes on my side and well played enemy fleets.

 

R

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Interesting read and your conclusion speaks volumes of the state of the tournament scene.

I agree 100% about the carriers, its something we have seen in and around the 1250 mark often, 3 seems to just give too much of an edge with activations and utility

Infact for our next league round at the end of the month the 4 of us have imposed strict rules about large massives and strategic value as the 4 large massives with 3 carriers was becoming a little boring....give me an excuse to roll out a couple of Halifax's....

I would have loved to have been there...Thunderbolt, you deserve so much credit for a super looking tournament.

I might start saving now for the next one...those.flights aint cheap :P

I had wrote a list prior to seeing some of the super fleets....not sure how my St Malo and 3 Tourbillons would have faired

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