Today we played our second game with the armoured forces. We had 3 players, so decided to use 2 forces, with 2 people commanding the forces of the Prussian Empire and 1 the proud army of the Kingdom of Britannia. To keep things simple we used the starter land box, added an extra landship and 3 Bombers, 3 Medium Flyers and the 10 free land based fighters. Each armoured force consisted of:
5 Small Tanks
5 Small Tanks
3 Medium Tanks
3 Medium Tanks
3 Medium Flyers
10 Tiny Flyers
The terrain consisted of a series of hills, a small city, some forests and farms. The British elected to try one mortar fitting and one turret fitting for their landships (the drawbacks of the icon fitting seeming to far outweigh the benefits given the relative fragility of landships we’d seen in the first game).
The British deployed their Hawks, a squadron of medium tanks on one flank, supported by the powerful Cromwell bombards which used a hill for cover – firing indirectly with a recon flyer spotter. Opposing them was a Prussian landship – the ‘Frederick’ and squadron of medium tanks, also sheltering behind a hill.
The bulk of the Prussian force was deployed in centre of the battlefield – Grier bombers, a squadron of medium tanks, bombards, and a squadron of tiny tanks, tasked with entering the city and claiming it for the glory of the Prussian Empire. The British were more conservative, fearing the combined power of the bombers and bombards, however, as leaving the city to the Prussians would be bad-form they deployed the landship ‘The King James’ supported by a squadron of medium tanks, and detailed their own small tanks to race into the city streets.
On the other flank, a second lumbering Prussian landship ‘Sigismund’ faced off with the British ‘King Charles’ landship. Both sides deployed a squadron of small tanks, and the fearsome Pflicht scoutships were opposed by British dive-bombers.
As the battle commenced both sides rumbled forward, causing the ground to shake and filling the air with the creak of tracks. The Prussian bombards advanced and scored an early hit on a British mark II, leaving it a blazing ruin. The small tanks on both sides raced for the city streets, while the bombers and medium flyers remained obscured by the clouds, ignoring the few eager shots directed at them. The Pflicht scoutships, sensing that they may be needed in the centre of the battlefield, coasted ominously over the Prussian lines, then seized the opportunity to descend from the clouds and open up on the approaching Doncaster bombers, which had been tasked with striking the Prussian bombards. Raked by lethal broadside fire, one of the great bombers plunged smoking from the sky.
Sensing the opportunity to deal with the Pflicht threat, the British Landship ‘King James’ and Mark II’s opened up on the floating menace, wrecking massive damage, setting one of the great zeppelin on fire, and damaging the rudder of another. In return the huge and lumbering ‘King James’ was targeted widely by the Prussian tanks, and it’s iron sides were left pock-marked and smoking from the fearsome barrage. Even the Frederick landship couldn’t resist the opporuntiy, and driving to the top of the hill it had been sheletering behind, fired up it’s massive tesla coil, sending electricity arcing over the city, causing thousands lightbulbs to flare and explode.
Now that the ‘Frederick’ had revealed itself the British bombards opened up, hammering the metal giant, and the Hawks darted forward, joining the fray. The Prussians sent their medium tanks forward to support the ‘Frederick’ but these were countered by the British Mark II’s who destroyed one of the ominous machines. The Prussian small tanks had won the race into the streets of the city, and entered triumphantly, but too late discovered the British Terrier tanks had barricaded a street and poured fire down it, destroying the first Prussian tank to appear. Then, both of the squadron commanders received urgent orders to abandon the city and reinforce the battle on the flank, where the ‘Frederick’ risked being overwhelmed.
In the centre of the battlefield the Prussians were having more success, their combined fire had caused massive damage aboard the ‘King James’ and the bombers swooped down and struck true – their ordinance causing the massive landship to be torn apart in a storm of fore and steel. Ignoring the carnage behind them and the flak around them, the remaining Doncaster pilots pressed on, and were rewarded for their efforts by the destruction of one Prussian bombard after another. So closely were they following their mission they did not realise how close they had gotten to the Pflicht scoutships until it was too late! Prussian rocket commando’s from the zeppelin forced their way aboard and comandeered the aircraft.
On the other flank, the ‘King Charles’ traded shots with the ‘Sigismund’. The British mortars were getting the better of the engagement, and satisfied that the landship was suitable weakened, the British divebombers swooped down and rained death on the huge smoking machine. The damage was terrible, but still the ‘Sigismund’ fought on defiantly, the few gunners still alive remaining at their posts and firing in all directions. Sensing the flank might be lost, the Prussians ordered a squadron of medium tanks to reinforce the landship, and ordered their bombers to shift their target to the ‘King Charles’.
Meanwhile the British forces on the other flank finally destroyed the ‘Frederick’ the huge explosion of the mighty landship shattering windows in the city below. The Prussian medium tanks were also picked off, one by one, by the combined fire of the Hawks and bombards, but not before one of the Hawks was shot down, and another severely damaged. The small tanks did battle on the plain, telsa and shells traded in ferocious close range combat – but the British had the upper hand.
Things were not going as well on the other flank. The British small tanks were being picked off one by one, by the Prussian medium tanks. However, their defiant fire finally claimed the badly damaged ‘Sigismund’, which was finally destroyed. The British had not time to celebrate, however, as the Grier bombers swooped on the ‘King Charles’ their bombs and Tesla fire ripping it apart with a deafening boom.
In the final act of the battle two of the badly damaged Pflicht scoutships were downed by stubborn British fire, for the loss of a British bombard and medium tank. Both sides having lost their commanders, the signal was given for a general retreat, and the remaining armour disengaged to leave the smoking wrecks of their tanks littering the battlefield.
Although the fighting had proved inconclusive, and overall casualties favoured the British, the Prussian commando’s recovered critical codebooks and plans aboard the captured Doncaster bombers, giving them a slightly better than ‘marginal victory’ result.