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Leaving the Lima 1250pts vs PHR

Tell the world how you trashed your enemies on the battlefield, or how you tactically withdrew to fight another day!
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Cry of the Wind

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Leaving the Lima 1250pts vs PHR

PostWed May 24, 2017 4:50 am

I have a thread going in the UCM Tactics section about how you don't need to use a Lima all the time to get your Active Scanning done. This battle of 1250pts with my UCM vs PHR is an example of that theory in action and in my eyes a perfect example of why you don't need the over priced scanners in every list. I'll post the lists at the end.

Mission was Power Grab with the Planetary Ring variant in play. Deployment was Column.

Turns 1-2

Like most games nothing too exciting with Column deployments. I sent a Madrid after each power plant assuming that I would not be able to hold them. My New Orleans went for the the middle cluster as well as the 2 far ones. Goal was to make power plants less valuable and take over the military sectors. I succeeded in destroying one plant while the other was left with 1 health. *Note here we both forgot that as soon as the power plant was destroyed those clusters are worth 0 points*

In return the PHR player brought on 1 Orpheus and 2 Achilles! Those heavy cruisers were able to destroy one of the Madrid in short order as 8 dice on 3+ crit 4+ combined with a pair of 6's for the crippling table will gut most ships in the game. He only brought on 2 Medea on Turn 1 and on Turn 2 he sent his other pair to the middle fight leaving one flank unopposed for my 3 committed New Orleans there.

Image

Turns 3-4

I finished off the second power plant and moved my Madrid away from the fight so as to cap Critical Locations with it later in the game. It would score one far Critical Location on Turn 4. Turn 3 would see my Saratoga Group gun down one Orphesus. I was unable to bring any of my heavier cruisers firepower to bear until Turn 4 as the PHR player used premeasuring well and was always a fraction of an inch away from my maximum firing range (move + sig + scan + major spike). While this slowed his advance down a little bit and bringing on the 2 Orpheus Turn 2 it didn't really matter as I had 3 New Orleans dropping against 2 Medea and an Oprhesus with only 1 turn head start. I would actually do alright in the ground game in the centre cluster till turn 6 but it was always going to go to PHR. I did get to Weapons Free with my St. Pete in turn 4 which did heavy damage to the second Orphesus which would let the Rio and Berlin finish it off.

Image

His Achilles were a real pain for me. Both torpedoes got critical hits on the Saratoga they were targetting which killed both of them with the crippling damage. I tried to course change away but alas no 6's were rolled. The third Saratoga was in their side arc and so was promptly killed by thier broadsides. I was hoping to have at least one of them alive to make a suicide run in turn 5 but wasn't to be. This also highlights the issue with torpedoes. Since he rolled crits on both of them I lost 2 ships, if they were not crits I would likely had 1 if not 2 still alive for another turn and he would have been in a very difficult position. As it was he made light work of my group of light cruisers. During this time I had Active Scanned with my 'extra' New Orleans and Jakarta as well as one of the Saratoga. In the end none of that matter since the Achilles just sat on the edge of my effective range and the lead Orpheus was too high priorty a target for them to ignore anyways. By the time I was able to engage the Achilles my cruiers were gone.

Image

Turns 5-6

By now his Bellerophon were in position to start launching bombers and we both didn't have all the much left. I clearly won each flanking cluster and their critical locations while he held the centre firmly. My Rio, Berlin and St Pete were all quickly wiped off the table by bombers while I finished off the last Achilles in return. Nothing to exciting going on beyond that.

Final score ended up 24-22 in favour of my UCM. We used the tournament kill points and he was able to gain 8 while I only scored 5. Nice swing for wiping out most of my fleet however he was unable to capture all 3 centre critical locations due to positioning and only having 2 cruisers left there (my Madrid made a sneaky dash 180 on Turns 5 and 6 to zoom back to one of the side centre locations. If we remembered the power plant rule correctly I think the score would change to 23-16 as there would have been no way for the Orpheus to get to either side flank in time based on the deployment at the time of the power plant destruction, regardless I blew them up fast enough it was basically like playing a normal cluster game instead of the special scenario anyway.

Things I learned:

-Use pre measuring well and you will almost always get to shoot first against someone with a lower scan value (or someone who isn't pre measuring/paying attention). There was nothing I could do to seriously engage his ships until turn 3 based on how fast(slow) he moved and my maximum possible threat distance. Nothing new with this obvious thought but this was another game that fact in action. You could have added 5 Lima to my list for free and it would not have changed the outcome.

-Planetary Ring is almost pointless in this game. We basically all dived to Low Orbit fairly quickly and stayed out of weapons range without relying on the Ring for protection. I used on for my Madrids on the way in but he didn't bring anything to threaten them before they dived down. By turn 4 everything was in Low Orbit.

-Limas would have done absolutely nothing for me this game. In fact my 'extra' New Orleans was able to join the centre cluster fight and dropped 3 tanks after Active Scanning the turn it came on. Jakarata was also helpful and kept the Rio alive one turn longer than it might have otherwise.

-St Petersburg is actually a nice ship. Twice this game I was able to go Weapons Free and fire both Cobras and the shoulder guns. With 3 Clusters in the centre on a map like this one its not so hard to position where several ships will have to drift past you line of fire!

-13 hull ships take a lot of punishment when you need to kill 4 of them fast :cry: I wasn't even rolling bad with my burnthroughs. It just took an extra turn to kill the Achilles which was all they needed to wreck my light cruisers.

-Achilles are decent ships with the new rules. While this time they didn't actually fire their double broadsides against my main ships they did send enough lead into atmosphere on their other side to kill a New Orleans and 2 Santiago. They also scared off my Madrid forcing it out of play since they could freely shoot both sides. If they couldn't I would have kept it closer to centre and added its close action to the fleet fight and would have bombarded the centre some more reducing his victory points. Twice he had to turn to get his side arc into play so the Madrid would never have been in a Weapons Free angle.

My UCM:

--------------------------------------
Tourny UCM 1250 - 1247pts
UCM - 0 launch assets

SR10 Vanguard battlegroup (155pts)
1 x St Petersburg - 155pts - H
+ UCM Captain (20pts, 2AV)

SR17 Line battlegroup (328pts)
1 x Jakarta - 32pts - L
3 x New Cairo - 264pts - M
1 x New Orleans - 32pts - L

SR9 Line battlegroup (207pts)
2 x New Orleans - 64pts - L
2 x New Orleans - 64pts - L
1 x Madrid - 79pts - M

SR10 Line battlegroup (210pts)
1 x Rio - 105pts - M
1 x Berlin - 105pts - M

SR5 Pathfinder battlegroup (120pts)
1 x New Orleans - 32pts - L
2 x Santiago - 44pts - L
2 x Santiago - 44pts - L

SR9 Pathfinder battlegroup (207pts)
2 x New Orleans - 64pts - L
2 x New Orleans - 64pts - L
1 x Madrid - 79pts - M
------------- dflist.com -------------

PHR:

--------------------------------------
PHR 1250 - 1246pts
PHR - 10 launch assets

SR20 Vanguard battlegroup (330pts)
1 x Achilles - 165pts - H
1 x Achilles - 165pts - H

SR20 Vanguard battlegroup (360pts)
1 x Bellerophon - 180pts - H
+ Fleet Vizier (20pts, 2AV)
1 x Bellerophon - 180pts - H

SR7 Line battlegroup (208pts)
2 x Medea - 78pts - L
1 x Orpheus - 130pts - M

SR7 Line battlegroup (208pts)
2 x Medea - 78pts - L
1 x Orpheus - 130pts - M

SR2 Pathfinder battlegroup (60pts)
2 x Echo - 60pts - L

SR2 Pathfinder battlegroup (60pts)
2 x Echo - 60pts - L
------------- dflist.com -------------
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J.D. Welch

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Re: Leaving the Lima 1250pts vs PHR

PostWed May 24, 2017 8:16 am

Nice batrep! Thanks!

10 New Orleans, eh? I know two of them were your designated "extras" whose job it was to Active Scan early, and then drop tanks as opportunities presented themselves; but that's a decent number of Strike Carriers. I salute you.

On the other hand, the PHR with only four Medea and two Orpheus... :? I realize he had a lot of points tied up in the four Heavy cruiser hulls, and it seemed like they did their job wrecking stuff, but you're never going to win the Ground Game in the end with that few Drop capabilities. At least, IMO he's not. And then two sets of 2x Echo isn't going to do much on their own, are they? I just put up a 1,500 point PHR list (go check it out!) with two Groups of 3x Echoes, in separate BGs, and I'm concerned that 3 each isn't enough -- they can team up if they have to, however, but the reasoning behind how I set them up the way I did was to give me options for covering the board.

How did the Rio work out for you? I'm not terribly impressed with it on paper, and am curious why you didn't take a second Berlin for the same points? Would that have been too much Burnthrough and not enough mass drivers at that point? Or so the Rio and Berlin could split up if they had to?

How did the four Santiagos work out for you?

One Madrid with 4x New Orleans is an interesting configuration. I'll have to remember that...

Do you think Groups might've survived longer if one or two of your solo New Orleans were Jakartas instead? It's a trade off between PD boosts where you need them and (late) Dropping tanks, with pluses to both.

I'm glad to hear that the St. Pete worked out as well as it did. I still don't have one, don't have a spare hull from which to build one, but Talon points will take care of that. I think the Burnthrough(8), while itself not that much of a buff to the ship, is something that will help "push" players into the "Maybe I'll give this a try now" territory, and then they can find that they can go WF with it a few times and really use it for what it was designed for.

We're you able to use command cards?

Thanks again!

(Maybe a VBR in the future?) :)
I love my job (well, I love having a job), but a bad day of gaming beats a good day of work every time!

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Cry of the Wind

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Re: Leaving the Lima 1250pts vs PHR

PostWed May 24, 2017 4:11 pm

Thanks for the comments J.D.! I'll see if I can address them all.

Actually only 1 New Orleans was designated as an Active Scan ship. The one with the Santiago was a backup if needed (which it wasn't this game) for scanning. Its real purpose was to let me have a back up New Orleans to go to whichever Cluster looked like it would need help after the enemy already committed.

What I've found as a UCM player is that PHR can get away with fewer Medea against us as the Santiago is so lacklustre in performance that I really can't shift them off Clusters before they have already made their impact. To combine this with the question on 4 Santiago, while I won't be dropping them from my lists I won't be counting on them winning the Atmospheric game for me. Their intended target are enemy corvettes not strike carriers as they can actually kill those. Now in this game they took out one Medea by focusing all their firepower on it over 2 turns. They didn't need to hunt the Echos as those split off with 2 going after each of my flanking New Orleans groups. I figured correctly that 3 New Orleans can handle 2 Echo (after all their firepower is almost as crap as Santiago in atmosphere). My Santiago died in the following turns to combined fire from the Achilles and Bellerophon who had nothing better to shoot at in their arcs/range when I had them try and make the jump from their kill to go hunt a more central Medea. Even if I made it there would have been negligible impact on the game as I wouldn't have likely killed their new target till Turn 6 anyway. Honestly in this game they didn't actually effect the outcome at all. I was hoping that I could kill the Orphesus faster but he kept them the perfect range away that spikes or not I could not hit them. As a result he got 3 troopship drops on that Cluster filling it with infantry and 2 Defence Batteries (just in case). If he had been slightly careless then it would have been a very different outcome with my Saratoga having a nice target on Turn 2 but he was paying attention and premeasuring like you should.

As for the Rio, well it did OK. I only used it because I only have 1 Berlin after some mistakes being made in which ships I though I had snap fit vs super glued when I tore up my other Berlin to make a second Madrid (I now have 2 New Cairo and 3 Saratoga because I glued too many light cruisers down). Apparently I was more glue happy than I remember when I built them all and my dreams of a snap fit fleet have been crushed till I figured out how to break them without breaking them. During the game it didn't do anything exceptional as by the time it arrived with the Berlin and St Pete on Turn 3 it was just at an awkward timing for ranges. It fired twice before it died getting 3 crits and 3 normal hits which is fine I suppose. If it were a Berlin I don't think it would have mattered even if it crit all the time since by then all the cruisers had to shoot were the Achilles one of which was already damaged. Again that problem of the Bellerophon coming on Turn 3 as well and coasting in outside of max threat range prevented me from firing on them before the bombers started coming in. That said I may keep it in the list anyway since the option to split up for Critical Locations late game could be very important and the firepower reduction isn't huge.

I'm loving the Madrid/New Orleans BG so far. First time out with it and it was great for scaring the enemy (he admitted after the game that he sent both Orpheus and Achilles to the centre because of them). Having the large bunch of New Orleans split into 2 activation's allowed me to see his movements before committing my second wave. SR is a little high however as his troopships did get to move second this game and I see it as a problem for future games as well.

Switching any New Orleans for Jakarta in this list is a mistake I think. I have found in my experience if the enemy is going to have nasty bombers/CAWs your ships are dead no matter how much PD you stack on them. It is much easier to roll 4+ crits with PHR bombers than it is to roll those 5+'s. Same goes for a nasty Scourge CAW attack. There are simply too many crits/hits to make it worthwhile. So instead I try to just stay out of range as long as I can and mentally write off any ship straying too close hoping the rest of the fleet can make a lethal counter attack. Even if I had a pair of Seattle this game it wouldn't have made too much impact. I could send bombers after the combat/troopships and the Belles would send fighters since they were out of range. Once we got closer my ships would just be hit with 8 bombers and die, even if I sent all fighters to help that would mean my firepower against the Achilles would be less and they would survive to just shoot me instead. By having New Orleans I can at least dive into atmo and maybe score some points.

I agree that the Burnthrough (8) is something that will make people at least try the ship. Even when it was 3 attacks instead I found myself able to go Weapons Free often enough to make it worth it. Having the T10 and AV boost are nice on such a cheap hull as well. The extra hull even kept it from being crippled a turn early much to the PHR despair (he was all ready to roll on the table after his last shot brought it to 5 damage). With this ship more that most Weapons Free ships you really need to look at where the enemy ships are going to end up which is how I managed 2 double shots this game. Orpheus couldn't turn right to keep in the fight and had to turn a little left to hit the centre cluster, so that is where I aimed and sure enough it flew into my sights and died. An Achilles met a similar problem when it had to turn to fire a broadside at my Berlin, distance was far enough that it was still in my Narrow arc.

No Command Cards, people are still struggling to get Battleships out of our local distributors as no one in the city has had them besides an initial release of maybe 4 of each at one store (no restock since). Hopefully we will see an initial release soon so our eager players can get them before the run out of stock never to be seen again... I've got another store in the city that rumours have them stocking DFC in June so hopefully they have a different distributor, will be chatting with them this week anyway to set up some demo days so with any luck this is a turning point for Hawk Wargaming in Calgary.

Doubt I will ever do a VBR, I forget to take pictures most of the time as it is!

I'm planning on keeping this UCM list as is for a little while and see where its true weaknesses are before doing any more tweaking. Been a month sitting in DFList without hitting the table so it needs some playtime for sure. If only I can get people to actually play DFC every week now...

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