For those interested our force lists were:
1 Kiyohime Carrier w/ 1 Escort
1 Sokotsu Battleship w/ Shield Generator and 1 Escort
3 Armored Cruisers (AKA Gunships)
5 Corvettes (flanking force)
2 Light Cruisers
1 Ace Pilot for one of the SAS Dive Bomber groups
1 Ruler Battleship w/ 3 Escorts
3 Agincourt Gunships
2 Tribal Cruisers (flanking force)
3 Doncaster Bombers
We forgot about rolling for scenario objectives so a few minutes into the game decided to play until one side had suffered a 50% points loss.
The initial setup. Ziggy went heavy to his right which irritated me, but whatever... Since Z had the Operational Advantage he chose his flanking edge as that same edge. My corvettes were a full damn table away.
The Japanese right.
And their center. The light cruisers were off to the left, running up the table edge. The groups of five SAS are torpedo bombers, the groups of three are fighters.
My gunships get the festivities started by unleashing a massive volley of rockets towards their opposite number across the sea.
The damage is severe.
The British gunships steam forward and damage two of my ships in return.
The Doncs come in low and release the first of many torpedo volleys.
One of my light cruisers is set ablaze. Oof. At least the damage doesn't affect the rockets' potency on that cruiser.
The Japanese carrier pushes forward. Its turret trains in on the wounded gunship in the distance and finished it off. Banzai!
The HMS Yardstick (my pet name for the Ruler-class Battleship) empties the tubes towards my carrier, causing a point of damage.
Torpedo Squadron Yellowfin makes its first attack run at the gunships, and fails to make an impression. They are however left dangling in front of a herd of British fighters. That damaged gunship in the back had been victimized by the Battleship a few minutes earlier.
That was pretty much the end of turn 1.
The excitement that was to be turn two got going with another torpedo swarm from the Doncs. The undamaged light cruiser was the intended target.
Two explosions later, the Sturginium engines on the cruiser flared up, transporting the cruiser back and starboard. Feh. Stupid Flares.
I get some more use out of the carrier, crushing another British gunship with torpedoes and cannon fire. The Escort targeted a frigate in the distance with its rockets and surprisingly sank it! Things are looking good for the Japanese fleet so far.
Seeing an opportunity for a great shot, Zig crosses the T with the battleship and unloads all four turrets into my carriers. He scores two crits... Chaos and Disarray then a purple and black explosion followed by a bright flash...
Another blasted Sturginium Flare. This one's pretty catastrophic, as the ship re-appears amidst a Vanuatu village, ruining at least four huts and a multi-million Yen aircraft carrier. Ziggy's cackling was insufferable.
Well, no time to sulk over random chance... time to turn things around a bit. The destroyers zipped forward, guns honed in on the British frigates. The rockets were sent streaming back towards the Doncasters in the distance. One frigate was destroyed and another damaged. The destroyers also attempted to board the ruined gunship but the assault was repelled.
And a Donc set aflame. The bomber was quickly set upon by Japanese fighter planes and damaged further.
Moments later the other squadron of fighters from the recently destroyed carrier also set upon the damaged bomber finishing it off. (The black model that was carelessly left on the table for this picture.)
End of Turn 2. We removed all SAS (small planes) since they were either without targets, ammo or potency. Anything in the interest of speeding things up a tad!
My battleship abuses a frigate. Its rockets do nothing to the distant Doncaster.
The British battleship pulls up for another broadside - this time against my battleship. The Japanese ship receives a critical hit - Weapons Damage. I'm glad I already activated it this turn!
The last Doncaster has a rather successful shooting phase, bombing one light cruiser and torpedoing the other - killing both! And then the son of a gun swoops back into the clouds!
The destroyers get up close and personal with the battleship. Their guns ablaze, British sailors take cover but poor fortune and strong shield generators result in no damage. You have got to be kidding me. Meanwhile, rockets were fired at the remaining killer Doncaster. A crit is scored!
You guessed it - another Sturginium Flare! Four damage kills the plane as it smashes into the hull of the Japanese carrier already on that island.
The Tribals make an appearance but their fire is ineffective.
One last stab with my gunships - the last frigate is sunk but a solid volley of gunfire and another of torpedoes are both for naught as the Yardstick's deflector shields can indeed repel firepower of that magnitude!
Turn three ended and we tallied up the points - it was 570 to 380 in favor of the Blazing Suns. A solid victory for the Empire!
We both really enjoyed the game. I worked over the gunships from the word go knowing they are both a treasure trove of points and really nasty opponents. Zig was unable to bring a similar volume of fire to bear on any single squadron of mine which left my units in decent fighting condition for the duration. Losing the carrier the way I did was a damned tragedy, but it kept the score respectable - that was 205 of the points he scored. The Doncasters fared well but the Tribals were screwed by their late arrival. If they'd been part of the main force I'd have had a lot more trouble.
Be well and good gaming!