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Grey Mage

1500pts KoB vs KoD

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So, I wont name my honorable opponent because this was a bit of a massacre.

I took:

1 Lendlease Emperor- replacing rear turret with a shield.
1 Asguard- with a shield.
2 Ragnaroks- with shields.
2 Fafnirs
3 Sigurds
1 Mark 1 Skaggerrak
2x5 Korsors
1x4 Magni.

He had
1 Monarch
1 Ruler- with guardian
1 Regent- with guardian
3 Tribals
3 Vanguards- with piercing.
1 Lord Hood
4 Frigates
5 Corvettes
4 Destroyers.

Terrain was four large and two small islands, split more or less evenly across the map, which was 6x4. His deployment split each side to try and force my close range boarders to pick a target, and to maxmize the use of his guardian generators. I deployed to maximize my ability to take on his mediums and had a middle reserve force I felt contained good firepower.

At the end of the game we had each removed all of each others mediums, which mission we had each drawn, save for one of my sigurd cruisers which was crippled. I had also removed his smalls saving three corvettes, and had successfully boarded his Ruler with 3 magni- he had destroyed one, as well as two korsors. It was the end of turn 2, and I was in position to board his somewhat damage carrier the next turn, and he in turn had nothing left that could threaten my carrier, or numerous enough to deal with the remaining smalls.

I didnt take any smaller prussian lendlease forces because a cruiser squadron price for 4 short ranged guns seemed a bad trade off, so no destroyers for me, and my air support was likely to be unneeded vs brittanianas somewhat lacking air forces. Mines took out the vanguards early turn 2- they had gotten off good shots turn one, removing my skag from the game. They advanced slowly to maximize their time shooting, but the korsors speed and 5 linked mines put paid to that idea. A fluke roll had killed the third with a double crit.

I had a squadron of korsors, the Asgard, the Magnis, and the Skagg on my left flank facing off against his tribals, and ruler. The tribals were removed with RB3 and RB 2 firepower from my larges and mines from the Magnis as they descended to board the ruler the next turn. The Korsors finished them off with RB 2 firepower and a quick boarding action from another korsor squadron.

His destroyers whiffed their attack on my sigurds on the rightmost flank, and paid for it with their lives. He attempted several shots at about 8 dice each on my ragnarok, forgetting about my shield I believe, and nothing scratched the paint. In return the ragnarok destroyed the destroyer squadron, and the sigurds advanced to take on the battle carrier and corvettes. I fired to much at the corvettes I suppose, and was overtaken by them and the firepower from the monarch. He didnt bother trying to hurt my ragnarok turn 2, the cruisers were to high a priority.

The fafnirs, emperor, and another korsor squadron had taken center field. He fired one shot on the emperor, having put alot of fire into the fafnirs and assuring their destruction turn one. Not only was this because of their excellent support capabilities, but also because he had the destroy all mediums mission..... the korsors were lated removed, having helped finish off the tribals. His attackers had been more middle deployed, and I removed them with extreme prejudice using the emperor, fafnirs, and korsor fire during turn 1. Guardian one was not enough to stave off the onslaught, and they were simply to dangerous to let live.



So, post game talking it over... it was a massacre. I had enough small and medium boarding threats that he never felt capable of putting the dice together to smash into my larges, which accounted for ~45% of my force. This in turn made it exceedingly difficult for him to hunt down the medium+50%. We agreed that while brittanian air is a little lack luster, not having any merlins really gave the magni full run of the table. We also agreed he likely would have done better using his fighters as CAP instead of using them to aggressively hunt my planes- he was unsuccessful at stopping my fafnir led torpedo bombers from assaulting his submarines, and my fighters had no target other than his poor outnumbered fellows.

I in turn maintain that I strongly dislike the new lendlease rules. I felt quite pidgeon holed into my choices for boarders, and likely that my list would have been stronger with two more fafnirs rather than an Emperor. It was tough, but known for being tough it didnt take much fire- and the firepower it put out in turn was adequate, but not amazing. Fafnirs would have brought two additional activations and two additional turrets. I am considering a 6 Fafnir list at 1500pts, just to try it on for size in 2.0, they are spending, but they play to the danes strengths with extra activations and solid gunnery.

I think Korsors are fine. The get one turn of incredible potential and are solid otherwise, if a bit short on defenses. Feels very danish that. Asgard also seems fine- its like having a ragnarok in the back with its closing firepower, but with 3 additional activations and no desire to board anything. I find myself guarding it closely, and have no desire to jam it into the opponents battle line, so thus far its speciality crew have been for naught.

I really want to play with some Mk2 Skaggs, but the enormous price point for a 3 strong squadron combined with such fragility has thus far deterred me. Maybe next week.

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One of my favorite KoB squads is now the Halifax/Merlin specialist squadron and especially against a close range army.  If the Halifax survives long enough to activate in turn two it will have a choice of targets.  The Merlins are fast enough to dance around sniping flyers and smalls while maintaining coherency.

 

Danish fighter sas would be brutal but if the Halifax caps it's fighters and keeps the Merlins close it becomes a one way ticket.

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@Grey Mage: Thanks for taking the time to type this report. There are a couple of very good points about the KoD in it. This kind of feedback is really helpful (and at the same time a good read for me as a DW-nerd).

 

- When facing the KoD I usually go all fighters and try to focus on the biggest threats. One will usually lose the fight for air superiority, but if the fighters can bring down some enemy SAS (torpedo)bombers and one or two Magnis while keeping enemy fighters busy for a bit, this is a full success.

- How did you perceive the pretty big activation advantage (something like 18-13) for the KoD, did this tip balance?

- Besides the lacking air cover for the KoB: What do you think did give you the decisive edge in this game? Was it more due to the deployment and tactical choices or can you see any substantial balancing issues there?

 

R

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The danes have top tier CC, which plays into fighting the British. Coupled with shields on larges you're forcing turrets to do the heavy lifting, which degrade with damage (albeit slowly). Torps are no problem for the danes.

As for the KoB list, I really think an eagle would make sense. They're tough as old boots and capable of harming both smalls (bomb bays) and the eggshell mediums. Maybe if the regent had kept her pulse gen it would have helped too, denying you as many mine laying opportunities.

Merlins would certainly have helped here, too. Easily the best in the interceptor class.

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Its possible, but generally speaking the mines activated almost immediately. He did make a comment along those lines, and I only dropped mines from 3 squadrons in the game really... so it may have tipped the scales by keeping two of his subs alive, or saving the tribals.

@Grey Mage: Thanks for taking the time to type this report. There are a couple of very good points about the KoD in it. This kind of feedback is really helpful (and at the same time a good read for me as a DW-nerd).

 

- When facing the KoD I usually go all fighters and try to focus on the biggest threats. One will usually lose the fight for air superiority, but if the fighters can bring down some enemy SAS (torpedo)bombers and one or two Magnis while keeping enemy fighters busy for a bit, this is a full success.

- How did you perceive the pretty big activation advantage (something like 18-13) for the KoD, did this tip balance?

- Besides the lacking air cover for the KoB: What do you think did give you the decisive edge in this game? Was it more due to the deployment and tactical choices or can you see any substantial balancing issues there?

 

R

I think that having 3 3-strong squadrons of SAS, one for each large, would have helped him, as would the 2 extra activations that would have brought (including 4rth, a spotter) over the 2x5 fighters. However, that would have required knowing I was taking Danes- though to be fair, he had a strong suspicion as its one of only two fleets I own.

The activation balance was huge. While I did activate some things ahead of my SAS, like the Fafnirs, it was because it was the tactically sound choice to do so- while he was forced to simply float towards me, at least a bit, to get shots- and often more than float so he could line up fixed channels. He repeatedly said he regretted not taking the fleet carrier, or the dreadnaught for its better guardian- guardian two would have saved many of his smalls.

I think if he was going to split his forces he needed to do more in that field. Partially because I was was fielding more units than he, I didnt ever need to bring any of my squadrons out of support range until later in the game, where he simply didnt have enough left to support it. He also aggressively used his smalls turn 1, as they had the speed to get in range and do real damage- I think thats a trap alot of people end up playing into against the Danes, partially because any smart Danish admiral uses activation spam as a shield. I would also note that his right flank largely had their torpedoes invalidated by islands, which was a conscious decision I made when I placed my Asgard close to it with support as the 2nd deployment of the game.

He had a few rolls where it felt like he just got consistently unlucky- such as ~12 shots at 7-8 dice vs the magni killing one and damaging two others, though I think the math actually works out on that one- but he was splitting his shots up alot using that plethora of english turrets to hunt smalls and mediums, so..... if theyre designed for their total firepower, of course the numbers might be off for doing what it feels like they should be good at- shotgun style assaults on enemy formations. I should note hes not an inexperienced player, but that he usually plays smaller battles than this.

Largely I think one of the advantages was mechanical- in general its better to have a die of offense than a die of defense. This is because offensive dice are likely to hit on better numbers, and have fewer restrictions on exploding etc. The KoB has always been tough, the problem has usually been 'are they though enough to be a little pillowfisted'. This time the answer was no.
 

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Oh, I should note: we played with tac cards. He played two small ones I didnt bother cancelling, and he cancelled my medics and terror tactics cards, I played no others.

Im used to longer games than 2nd turn, so tend to hoard them a bit.

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