Here is the follow up to Rear-Admiral Hitorio Hanso's punitive expedition to teach that pig Sheridan a lesson...This was our first game using the revised rules from Blog Updates and overall they work really well. The new critical hit table, updated MAR's and unit tweaks really make a difference.
Kiagun Shosho Hitorio Hanso stood in the atypical Japanese Naval Officers pose, rigid, one hand behind the small of his back while his sword hand gripped the hilt of his Katana. The knuckles of his sword had went white when the wireless operations officer informed him that recon planes of the Ho-o Air Armada had sighted the enemy.
|DFA-170's alpha-strike the FAS Battleship|
The IJNS Masaka was steaming in line abreast with the crusiers of Ryu Squadron in close support. The IJAF heavy bombers and scout gyros were further out to starboard. It appeared that the FSA fleet was concentrated opposite the IJNS Naval group and Hitorio sent an order for the IJAF forces to move towards what looked to be two Battleships and engage.
The DFA-170 Bombers in close formation sighted the first Independence class Battleship and let loose their massed rocketry...scoring a palpable hit! Hitorio smiled coldly as fires broke out across its decks.
Suddenly lookouts called out that giant flying Iron Men were approaching...these must be the "John Henry" robots he had heard about. All forces were directed to engage and they were eventually bought down in a storm of cannon and rockets.
The fleets close rapidly, with the Heavy Flyers taking the centre while the Cruiser squadron races around the flanks, wary of the combined firepower of TWO Independence class Battleships Hitorio orders them to proceed with caution.
The small Fighter's and Torpedo Bombers were far to the west when the enemy main strength was discovered, and now move to intercept...but they observe the enemy small flyers and a massive vessel of some unknown class through the straight between two islands. Could this be one of the Fleet Carriers the Shinobi have alerted us too?
Back towards the main action Hitorio is please with how the battle is fairing. Sheridan sends in FSA Frigates and a Cruiser Squadron to support his doomed flying Robots, and they are punished by the the combined fire of the Inari Scout Gyros, Nakatsu Crusiers and the mighty Masaka himself. The FSA Cruisers drive in close and (combined with fire from the Battleships) down a couple of DFA-170s. One of the bombers exploded in a spectacular explosion that almost downed his wing mate as well. In future Hitorio will order that Battle Spacing and not Parade Spacing is the order of the day for manoeuvres!
Hitorio now orders the remaining cruisers of Ryu squadron in close. They had been punished by the FSA Battleships but had sufficient strength left to punish a frigate squadron and then Board the survivors, claiming their quaint paddle steamers in the name of Empress Shizuna. They shall be broken down for scrap as they are unseaworthy.
Finally the Shinob Intelligence report is proven, when the last remaining DFA-170 takes a recon photo of the massive hulk that is a Saratoga Class fleet carrier as it appears from behind an Island...
Finally the crews of Ichi Frigate Squadron get the shock of their lives when the FSA cruiser they have smothered in cannon fire blinks out of existence...only to re-appear directly between two frigates!
It is burning end to end and silently sinks beneath the waves without any sign of life on board...its as if the crew have vanished completely...
Hitorio feels that the battle is well in hand when the FSA cruiser squadron is reduced to one vessel under the crushing weight of the Maska's and the Inari Squadrons firepower. He then orders in the small flyers to finish the enemy off. The Fighter Squadron clears the airspace of all enemy flyers in a storm of ,machine gun fire and then the Torpedo Bombers make their run. Highspeed torpedo's drive past the pathetic defences of the cruiser and break its back.
As dusk rapidly approaches it becomes apparent the cowardly Sheridan has decided to disengage. Hitorio feels that Honour has been amemnded slightly as he holds the field, but he has yet to sink any FSA Capital ships or better yet capture Sheridan...he is sure they will meet again.
Game ended with the Blazing Sun forces ahead by more than 10% of the MFV (1000pts) so we chalked this us as a win to me. I failed my Field Order (kill or capture 70% of the enemy fleet) while Jamie failed his (kill or capture my Flagship)
Hitorio will be back for another attempt to expunge the honour stain on the Empress's name. Next up: DW Campaign, complete with resources, repairs and persistent experience!