Monday, June 12, 2017
Aeronautica Imperialis-Battle report: Intercept at St. Agnes Island
This battle took place as part of the BCurse of the White Wyrm campaign in 2014. It uses custom aircraft and rules from the campaign that can be found in my Aeronautica Imperialis review here.
Chaos forces have built a beachhead on St. Augustine's Island (WZ3) near the Fitzcarraldo Opera House. However, Captain Traz Valsk needed to establish Forward Operating Bases across Arbos. A flight of transport craft from the Cabal of the World Walkers was sent to establish a base on the shores of St. Thaddayus Island (WZ 6). In their holds were technicians and crews to establish a small airbase and Augur station. On their way, they were intercepted by Tau aircraft.
Warzone: 6- St. Agnes Island
Cabal of the World Walkers
1 Hell Blade- Styl'Byk
1 Hell Blade- Ga'Ven
1 Tormentor Bomber- Hwe'vere
3 Vandals- Bly'k, Ka'aw, By'rrd
5 points each
Total= 43 points
The Graceful Hunters
+Ace- Stick Like Glue
Total= 43 Points
For each Transport Point landed in the 12 by 12 landing area, the Chaos forces score +10 VP. For each transport point destroyed the Tau earn +10 VP. The landing zone is a 12 inch by 12 inch saquare a foot away from the opposite board edge. We added three cloud banks for fun, and they were randomly places at altitudes 3, 4, and 6.
The Tau came on off center of the board at medium speed and medium height. The Chaos forces were aimed for the target zone. The Vandals and Tormentor were at Alt 1 and speed 4, while the Hellblades were flanking at altitude 4 and speed 6.
Barracuda 2 sideslips to provide top cover to his wingman as they drop and move to intercept the Chaos transports. The Vandals race forward, blasting across the ocean waves. The Tormentor rises up slightly to cover their approach. The Hellblades turn in to provide top cover.
The two Tau fighters set-up for their attack runs. Ki'ra in Barracuda 1 was lined up at the hard deck on the incoming transports, and H'deo in Barracuda 2 was at Alt 2 and in a good firing position. The Vandals began to slow their approach in preparation for their landing runs. The Tormentor moved in to cover the landing, while the Hellblades dove through the cloud cover and put themselves in the line of fire.
Both Tau took a long range Ion cannon shot at Hellblade 1, but missed. The Chaos forces were still too far away.
Moving: Everyone get stuck on really close as the assault transports try to make the landing zone and the Tau try to intercept.
Hellblade 1viffs and snaps a burst of Auto-cannons shells at Ki'ra in Barracuda 1. Tzeentch must guide his aim as three shots tear into the Tau craft. Ki'ra successfully ejects as her plane is torn apart around her. That was a lucky break for the Chaos forces.
H'deo unloads his forward weapons at the Tormentor, but the elevation difference saves it from being pasted. The shots fly over the target. The Burst cannons also fire on the two vandals bracketing him. But they all fail to find their mark. 13 dice and none hit. Tzeentch be praised!
The Tormentor's turret returns fire on Barracuda 2, but the shots go wide.
Technically, this should be the Disengagement turn, but we decide to play ti out and see if I can actually get the Chaos craft into the landing zone.
Vandal 1 and 3 turn back to tighten their formation and prepare to land with Vandal 2. The Tormentor also lines up on target. The Barracuda cuts out wide and tries to circle back in, but he may not make it in time. The Hellblades try to circle in behind, but two is out of position.
Hellblade 1 unloads a burst at Barracuda 2, but misses as the shots stitch beneath the banking Tau fighter. The Barracudas starboard Burst cannons automatically fire on the Tormentor, but miss. The Tormentor returns fire and a few shells scrap across the Barracuda's hull, but leave it undamaged.
The landing craft are set-up for a picture perfect landing in the drop zone. The Tau pilot uses his fighters slow speed handling to get a nice bead on his targets, but the Hellblades are determined to take him out of the picture.
Sadly for Barracuda 2, Chaos has the initiative. Hellblade 2 opens up with a medium range salvo, but his shells only knick the paint on the Tau fighter.
The Barracuda pilots opens fire with everything he has on the Tormentor. The big transport begins to blow smoke as the Ion cannon blasts into it and showers sparks as the burst cannons light it up. However, it is too little too late.
Hellblade 1 fires on the Tau fighter as close range, and gets good hits, but at the range they simply pierce straight through the Barracuda and fail to hit anything vital.
The Chaos transports successfully land in the target area as their Hellblade escort races by overhead. Truimph!
Meanwhile, Barracuda two makes High-G turn and bugs out. He is eager to report and get his wing leader Ki'ra picked up by friendlies.
No need to even add up the points. To be honest, this mission was an uphill climb for the Tau. They just didn't have enough aircraft and it may have been more even if they had a points bump to start with. Hellblade 1 and his lucky shot taking out Barracuda 1 before she could fire was a pretty big game changer too.
Overall a fun time. I had forgotten how quick and fast a game of AI can be completed.