Tuesday, 16 January 2018

The Invasion of Scipio - Chapter 7 - Hive Ship Assault on Mago

The invasion of Scipio has been repelled:

The xeno fleet is in full retreat while the Imperials were taking stock and rebuilding their orbital defences to prevent another invasion taking them by surprise. 

Whie conducting mop up operations, Imperial scout ships have found unusual activity on the opposite side of Mago, the next closest planet to Scipio.
Upon closer inspection of the anomaly, Imperial scanners picked up the possible presence of a large xeno presence. It is thought that this is where they staged their invasion, using the uninhabitable planet Mago to shield their activity.
A large xeno space station, the mother ship, is thought to be the command and control centre of the entire hive fleet. If the Imperial forces can destroy it, it could mean the end of the hive, the negation of future threat and vengeance for the damage done to the Delta Valley.
Hive mother ship orbiting the far side of Mago
The Imperial fleet prepares itself to conduct the counterattack. They take what ships are remaining or serviceable and organise their fleet.

This scenario will be played with Dropfleet Commander, however, there will be no ground objectives, this will be a straight up spaceship fight. Rhe destruction of the space station, which counts as a critical location, being the main aim of the Imperial troops, winner will determined by kill points. I gave the Imperial troops a 100 point advantage but also gave the Xenos a large station with 16 hull.

Imperial troops deploy in a battle line, focusing their heavy ships on their right flank

The xenos, although reduced in number, send in everything they have to defend their most valuable asset, the hive mind aboard the station.

The opening salvos are fired on the right flank of the Imperial troops, the New Cairos use their burn through lasers to open up on the a pair of Strix xeno cruisers and cause serious damage, but also take a beating from the close action weapons in return. The xenos seeing that their left flank is outnumbered reinforce it with their main battlegroup.

Imperial troops launch bombers against the deadly cruisers, these are countered by the superior fighter launch assets that the xenos have.

In the next turn the Imperials take out the damaged Strix with a salvo, while the remaining cruiser makes an aggressive move towards the St Petersburg heavy cruisers and engages with more closed action weapons. The xeno battlecruiser, Basilisk, follows up behind and finishes off the New Cairos with support from the Djinn frigates moving up to support.

End of turn 2, the close action frigates and main battlegroup of the xenos move across the table to support while in the Imperials still have a battlegroup in reserve  on their left moving into the fray.

The Basilisk finds itself in a bad position and attracts the attention of the Atlantis taking heavy damage from multiple ships. Meanwhile the Strix does it's best to damage the Moscow before going down to combined fire from lasers and turrets.

The Djinns move up to close range and finish off the St Petersburg with their close action weapons. The Imperial right flank has seen both sides take heavy losses as the field opens up.

Meanwhile on the other side of the table the pair of Rio cruisers supported by Toulons move in on the flank of the Xenos.

At the end of Turn 3, the untouched Imperial battlegroup focuses fire on the Hydra and takes it out as the Xeno heavy cruiser, Shenlong moves in to finish the Atlantis, the Imperials flagship.
The Shenlong goes weapons free and takes out the Atlantis, the admiral of the Imperial Fleet, Clive Owen, goes down with his ship in a burning wreck.

Second to last turn and the xeno fleet defending the hive ship have been wittled down to the last remaining ship, the Imperials have also lose a significant number of heavy ships but are in better position to finish things off.
Instead of going for the mother ship as the mission dictated, the last intact Imperial battlegroup decided to exact revenge for the loss of their admiral and attack the remaining xeno ships.

The game ended in an effective draw, the Imperial side had one more victory point based on kill points, however they failed to destroy or damage the mother ship, a critical location. The invasion has been repulsed but the xeno hive mind was still in tact and able to escape the galaxy.

Some closing thoughts on the game and the campaign:
- This is the last official battle in the campaign, but don't worry there will be an epilogue and other campaigns I have brewing in my mind in the near future.
- As the xeno (Scourge) player I have struggled in these space battles with positioning myself correctly, I think the Imperial fleet (UCM) are much more forgiving in their play style but also less deadly.
- I wanted to try playing DCF without ground assets and in some ways I prefer it this way. Less mechanics to worry about, faster game that still retains the tactical feel of orbital layers, different weapons systems and signatures. I still like the option of having ground objectives, it adds variety to a genre of games that can get repetitive and stale, however I sometimes think the ground game can dominate the game too much whereas I prefer spaceships blowing each other up.
- Thanks to all those who viewed this page and liked the links on facebook.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

The Invasion of Scipio - Chapter 6 - The Battle of Flavius

The Delta valley was a ruin and most of the cities were wiped out by nuclear weapons deployed by both sides in an attempt to deny the other territory. You can read about the state of the invasion here:
The only two cities left in tact are Theseus and Flavius, both of them would have to be evacuated in the short term to avoid the effects of the nuclear fallout but could be saved and eventually rebuilt. Flavius was of particular importance for it's industrial and energy infrastructure. Xeno droptroops are assaulting the city while the Imperial defenders have dug in and are lined up to oppose them. 

The battle lines are drawn around Flavius with the Xenos having landed and consolidated their position in the north-west commercial sector and the Imperial defenders still holding onto the damaged industrial sectors in the south-east.
Map of the Flavius showing battle lines.
View of Flavius battlefield showing the deployment of the troops, damage caused by the orbital bombardment is evident in the industrial ruins in the top right of the photo.
This battle would be played out using Epic Armageddon, each side has three objectives on their half including the blitz, 1 point would be scored per objective held at the end of three turns. Lists used were the following:
The war drums of the Imperial machine are beating as the final battle in the campaign begins. Imperial troops ready their lasguns as the xeno horde positions itself for a final assault.

Xeno Dominatrix war engine taking position ready to assault the Imperial lines.

The Imperial armour lined up to oppose the attackers and counter-attack at the first opportunity.

 Xeno troops lined up using the cover of the buildings, ready to assault the Imperial defenders.

Imperial infantry company with heavy fire support have bunkered down in the middle of the table to provide a strong point for resistance.

Firing opens on the xeno right flank, the dominatrix and the shadow sword exchange shots from their large guns, each of them taking damage as a result but neither destroying the other.

On the opposite flank Imperial Chimeras and infantry attack a swarm of genestealers as they advance, they manage to surprise the xenos and force them to retreat out of the warehouse.

Both sides pour more troops into the middle of the field, Imperial tank regiment advances down the middle as Xenos spread out amongst the warehouse and silos.

On the other side of the battlefield, the xeno orbital bombardment fails to arrive at the designated time. The scouts of both sides skirmish off against one another, the genestealers charge the sentinels and wipe them out in one round of combat.

Imperial troops fire on the xenos and advance once again into the warehouses at close range, they overwhelming power causes losses on the bugs as they are forced to retreat.

Meanwhile the tank regiment and bombards fire upon the bio-titan and surrounding troops causing damage and shock.

The carnifex and hive tyrant finally make an assault on the tank regiment, however, they take fire from the infantry regiment bunkered up in the middle of the table. As a result their strength is reduced and their assault against the tanks flounders.

On the other flank, Once again the xeno orbital bombardment fails to land, robbing the xenos of their offensive power. The Shadowsword is forced to retreat due to fire from the Dominatrix, the xeno swarms advance through the power plant and onto the objective. The resulting assault ends in both sides taking heavy losses as one swarm is wiped out and the chimeras are broken the objective remains contested.

In the middle of the table the swarms have taken heavy losses from their failed assaults and from Imperial artillery. The Imperial armour advances taking the objectives on their opponent's board.
In the final move of the game, the Shadowsword lines up the bio-titan and finishes it off with it's macro-weapon, the resistance on this flank has collapsed.

The game ended on turn three, the xenos were contesting one objective in enemy territory but had lost the objectives on their own side of the table. The Imperial player was very clever with assaulting out of the Chimeras early to prevent the xenos getting their assaults off. Furthermore, the orbital bombardment failed to activate twice while the Imperial bombards were devastating in their effect.

Flavius was saved and the xeno threat has been wiped from the Delta Valley. The cost for the planet was high as three cities and untold millions have been wiped out completely but now the rebuilding process could begin. There was still work to do to hunt down the remnants of the invasion fleet and whatever bugs had managed to survive the nuclear fallout...........
The ruins of Flavius, now purged of xenos.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

The Invasion of Scipio - Chapter 5 - The Second Wave

The Imperium was suspecting a second invasion, Imperial intelligence had rightly estimated that the first invasion was a reconnaissance in force to test the planetary defences.
As the Xenos ships approached to retake the Delta valley the Imperial ships lined up in formation to meet them. This would be the final to determine the fate of planet Scipio. 
Xeno ships approaching in formation.
The Eastern part of the Delta Valley is still held by Xeno forces after the Imperial troops failed to liberate the area following with a hasty counter attack. You can read about the battle here:

This game was played using Dropfleet Commander with 1250 points per side, the fleet compositions are as follows:
The invasion fleet and the Imperial fleet are arrayed in their battle formations facing each other.

Close up of the Xeno fleet deployed in line ready for action.

The Imperial defenders have deployed to meet them while making sure the cities they control and their troops have cover from space.

The Xeno ships use their speed to approach quickly to keep the defenders off balance. They drop off reinforcements at Barca to shore up their defences.

Two Xeno Strix light cruisers and the Basilisk battle cruiser advance to use their close action weapons (CAW) against the Imperial troopship squadron.

The squadron disappears from one round of shooting, the Xeno CAW weapons are devastating. The Atlantis battle cruiser returns fire and shoots down a Strix damaging the squadron.

Meanwhile on the other side of the board the two Imperil light cruisers use their burnthrough lasers to seriously damage the carrier Hydra, but not before it launches it's bombers.

The Atlantis and Basilisk get into close quarters and exchange fire, the Atlantis manages to fire first and causes more damage, eventually taking the Basilisk down.

Meanwhile on the far flank, a Xeno battlegroup has managed to get around the Imperial ships and is heading for the undefended city of Flavius.

With the Xenos having lost their carriers and heavy cruisers the Imperials have a firepower edge in the middle of the board and they proceed to cut down enemy ships.

Meanwhile the Xenos make a last ditch effort at capturing Flavius and drop troops on the city. It is obvious that they are losing the battle and are becoming desperate.

However, the Imperial oversight and their exuberance to cut down enemy ships has cost them. A lone Hydra carrier that is badly damaged manages to get within range of Gnaeus and drops the ultimate weapon......
In an instant Gnaeus goes up in the flame of a mushroom cloud as the Xenos deploy their version of a nuclear weapon. Imperium command's oversight in has cost them thousands of lives and the entire city.

The shocked Imperium troops gather their courage and rush back to finish off the rogue cruiser while overwhelming the remaining Xeno ships. 
The Imperial ships now surrounded Gisco which was Xeno held. Their last attempt at liberation of the city had failed and it was unlikely any civilians remained, to allow the Xeno land troops to remin entrenched would enable them to spread throughout the valley and eventually the planet....
This left only one logical conclusion for both Gisco and Barca..............

Gisco and Barca were immediately made inhabitable, the Imperial leadership is hoping that the nukes were enough to wipe out the bugs once and for all.

This left only the fate of the city of Flavius in doubt. Xeno ships were bombarding the defenders and began to drop their own troops.

The Xeno invasion was repelled once again but the Delta valley is in ruin, only Flavius and Theseus were left untouched. Both of these cities would eventually have to be evacuated due to the nuclear fallout but the valuable infrastructure could be salvaged in time. The only battle left to fight would be to save Flavius, if the defenders couldn't hold on here it would also be subject to nuclear extermination.