We're still using the 1.1 rules and we set up 500-point fleets. I played against Bill, who borrowed my Empire of the Blazing Sun models and was immediately lured in by the fliers.
Some dead sexy AA cruisers.
Worst opening move ever. The dadgummed Gyros double-crit two of my cruisers, one with rockets, the other with gunfire. Holy crap.
I get one back. The Ecuyers maul one of the DFA-170s with AA fire and turret gunfire, sending it crashing into the island below.
Turn 3 I think. My frigates pounce the Japanese gunships, causing a crit! The Ecuyers have also critted one of the Gyros. Huzzah! The early-turn disaster is turning around! I didn't get a picture of the Japanese gunships causing a Sturginium Flare on my remaining Marseille, sending it straight ahead. The Gyros finished it off. My three best offensive ships were gone very quickly.
A turn or two later. Two of my frigates had been seen off, but the other two continued to plague the gunships, tailing them and being a major nuisance. It was beautiful. The damaged Gyro had been destroyed as well!
I bag another bomber as they line up for a run at my ships.
I also managed to send one of the gunships to the bottom, but the fun times weren't to last...
At my suggestion, Bill boarded and captured both frigates, ending their reign of terror.
What a game! I really though it was going to be a severe beat-down of the French when I'd lost three cruisers before I got to activate a single unit in turn 2. Retardant armor my ass. I did lose the game but at least it was respectable and I was close to killing off his third bomber.
As it turned out, his dice went ice-cold after killing my cruisers and mine heated up tremendously. The Ecuyers were completely awesome, but had an ideal opponent - lots of fliers and lots of rockets. The frigates kicked serious ass too, but I've come to expect that from small fast things that have "Elusive Target."
Looking forward to trying these French out again - maybe I'll put the Magenta and subs out next time.