I drew Alan and his Russians for my second game. I've never played against the Russians before, but having read up on them a bit, wasn't really looking forward to it.
Anyway, my task force for the day was to be Crane Group, composed of
3 Cruisers with upgraded rockets
for a total of 565 points
The Russians had
1 Repair Thing
+ 3 small transports, 1 large transport and 1 frigate being escorted across the map
for a total of whatever that adds up to
You can see that Alan stacked all his stuff up on one flank.
Alan and one of his students (his assistant for the day)
An FSA player setting up to fight some Prussians
Ziggy's Brits getting worked over by the French, led by Bryan.
Early on my cruisers and destroyers fired quite a few salvos of rockets at the Russian bombers since they were in range and easy to target. I managed to fireball one of them. The remaining three bombers would play no further part in the game.
The Russian convoy works its way around the edge. A wing of Blazing Suns torpedo bombers sank one of the destroyers and completely missed another.
My cruisers and destroyers criss-cross. My cruisers were never going to hold up against the Russian monstrosities at close quarters so they kept their distance and plinked with rockets. Klingon sabre-dancing has come full circle! I was fine with losing the destroyers, plus they couldn't retrograde and still fire at the enemy.
A couple turns later the Russian cruisers had come around the island. My second wing of torpedo bombers put a mighty hit on one of the cruisers but was insignificant because of the "Ablative Armor" special rule. My bombers also loosed a great volley of rockets which broke the ablative armor of another of the Russian vessels. I was muttering curses at this point.
My bombers moved forward and took out another Russian destroyer. The Frigatskys and cruisers took care of my last two cruisers. My frigates made their move against the Russian repair vessel and sank it.
The end of the battle. Alan had some dive bombers take three of my four frigates. The bomb-run that could have happened in the next turn would have been fun, but at over 50% casualties for me, it was game over.
It was a pretty one-sided affair by the end. The last three turns or so, Alan was winning the initiative every time and just working the shit out of my cruisers. If I'd won initiative, I'd have been able to keep the distance up and stay out of range. I got plenty of fun kills, enjoyed myself and thought I played a smart game. Since he'd packed everything together and was escorting a convoy, I figured I was kind of screwed from the outset given the short-range power of the Russians. In retrospect, the bombers and TBs swamping the convoy wouldn't have been bad at all since apparently Russians have really shitty AA. Ah well, live and learn. Good game Alan!