Monday, October 23, 2017

Aquanautica Imperialis: Battle Report- Sea Swarm ambushes the North Ammoriss Naval PDF

The Tyranid Fleet was one of the first ones I sculpted.  I had a pretty good idea of how I wanted to approach it after struggling with the Ammoriss Naval PDF.  I had learned a few tricks of the trade and as I got better at sculpting I learned that the organic shapes of the Tyranids were actually easier to make then the hard edges of the Imperium. 

This was also one of the first forces were I tried using simple push molds and Resin casting.  Overall, I was not super pleased with the results, but as you see the fleet in battle check to see if you can find the recasts. 

Despite being one of the first fleets I had built, this will be the first time I have used it on the board.  I have no idea how it will play since I never even used it in Template form.  This should be interesting!

You can find all the rules and stuff to try it for yourself here: 

The Forces:
Ammoriss Naval PDF
AN Sovereign
Reliable Class Cruiser- 250 Points

Harpoon Squadron 486 Alpha
2 Constant Class Escorts- 150 Points

Dagger Squadron 245 Beta
2 Assured Class Escorts- 100 Points

Total= 500 Points

Tyranid Sea Swarm
3 Atrocities- 120 Points

2 Abominations- 90 Points
-          Scything Talons

2 Adherrations- 150 Points
-          Submerge

1 Gruesome- 255 Points
-          Scything Talons
-          Synapse Link

Total= 615 Points

Today’s scenario is an Ambush mission.  In this situation, the Tyranids are using the Atrocities to lure the Human prey into chasing them into the remainder of the Sea Swarm.  The bulk of the Sea Swarm is deployed off table and in reserve.  The trick for the Ammoriss Naval PDF will be to destroy the Atrocities before being driven off by the rest of the Tyranid fleet.

Local fishing ships near the Alset Range had been disappearing and the locals reported it to NavComm North.  In these dark times, such reports had to be taken seriously and followed up on.  Taskforce: Divine Light had been sent to scout the area and destroy any potential threats.  NavComm feared pirates or Orks.  

Upon arriving on station, the officers began to receive troubling reports of sea monsters.  At first, it was hard to take them seriously.  However, when they were reported to the NavComm Office of Strategic Intelligence liaison the blanching of his face had to be taken seriously. 

In a private meeting with the Captain, XO, and Squadron Commanders the Liaison briefed them on the threat they faced.  After hearing about the Tyranid menace and the true danger it posed the other officers took the fisherman’s tales very, very seriously. 

A few days later, the watch officer aboard the Sovereign reported a sighting.  The flotilla changed course and gave chase.  Their spotters were able to confirm the worst as they closed in.  The Tyranids were active off the shores of North Ammoriss.

This battle will be played on a 4x4 table.  A large island is to the center north.  The Tyranid’s are in the center of the board per the scenario.  They are headed east.  The PDF are on the west side of the board along the board edge. 

Turn 1:
Initiative: Tyranids  

The Atrocities move away from the Imperial ships at full speed.  The Assureds give pursuit, while the Reliable and Constants move to go out a bit wide.  The Reliable is hoping to get them in his broadside. 

The Atrocities spit out a screen of Gargoyles behind them who race towards the Assureds. 

The Reliable’s broadsides open up at range and through the screen at the Atrocities.  A difficult shot.  However, one shell forces the Tyranids to brace and it manages to avoid causing damage.  The Assured gunboats fire on the approaching swarm and knock one from the sky.  The Constants fire a spread of Torpedoes at the retreating Tyranid ships. 

The Gargoyles move to swarm the Assureds, and the little boats will have to move through them next turn.  Meanwhile, the Torpedoes fail to lock-on to the Tyranids bio-signatures and go past. 
The only Wake marker is removed. 

Turn 2:
Initiative: PDF

The Constants change course to try and catch–up to the Atrocities  and re-load ordinance.  The Assureds also give chase.  They blast their way through the Gargoyle swarms, downing one swarm and avoiding getting damaged in return.  That was a close run thing! The Reliable continues on course to get a firing arc on the fleeing creatures. 

Meanwhile, the Tyranid reserves of a Gruesome and 2 Abominations arrive on board. 

As they flee, the Atrocities are targeted by a pair of Torpedoes again, but they fail to detonate.  The new arrivals make a bead for the human craft. 

The Assured gunboats open fire on the Atrocities.  This time, the Atrocities fail to Brace despite the Synapse on the Gruesome.  Two of the creatures killed, and they begin to drift.  A blast of shells from the Constants sends the last creature to the bottom!

The Reliable then targets the Gruesome with a forward barrage, and two shells connect.  Will the Gruesome Brace?  It chooses not too. Two hits penetrate its shell and reduce it to 6 DP.

In return, the Gruesome launches its bio-torpedoes into the fray. 

The Gargoyles turn and swarm the Assured gunboats once more.  The Point Defense splashes one, but three more attack the trailing Assured. However, the crew takes shelter and avoids the Gargoyle’s attacks. 

The Gruesome’s torpedoes get to the Constat’s but PD destroys one.  The rest flash by underneath missing their targets. 

One of the Atrocities sinks, while the other continues to drift. 

All wake is removed.

Turn 3:
Initiative: Tyranids

The Abherrations fail to arrive.

The Gruesome goes all ahead full and smashes into a Constant.  He smashes the little ship into small pieces and sends it to the bottom.  He takes two hits in return though, sending him down to 4 DP and crippling him!  The smaller atrocities move to support the Gruesome’s attack. 

The other Constant unintentionally collides with the beast and is also sent to the bottom, but causes 1 more DP loss to the Tyranid beast.  

 The Assureds close in on the smaller Tyranid beasts and fight off the Gargoyle swarms again.  Meanwhile the Reliable stays on course and gets the Gruesome in his broadsides. 

The abominations fire on the Reliable, and cause 1 hit.  The Captain chooses not to Brace, and the armor takes the hit.

The Reliable locks-on and opens fire on the Gruesome to finish it off.  The creature braces for the salvo, but 8 hits blast into it!  The end result after Bracing and armor is 3 DP, reducing it to a lifeless mass! 

The Assureds flank the Abominations and open fire, killing one with gunfire. 

Stray PDF torpedoes hit and sink the drifting Atrocity.  The Gargoyle swarms fail to catch-up with the Assureds. 

An Abomination and the Gruesome corpses drift.

Turn 4:
Initiative: PDF

The last Abomination rams the Reliable.  They all Brace.  The Reliable ends up taking a hit, while the Abomination is destroyed in the attack. 

However, Aberrations enter play and move to a firing depth on the Assureds. 

The only firing available is the Abherration torpedo attacks.  However, they fail their instinctive behavior checks and decide to drift instead. 

The Gargoyles can not reach a target. 

The Gruesome explodes, but no one is injured.    

One abomination drifts, but the other in entangled. 

The Tyranids decide to call it a battle, and that they lost.  The Abherrations would be ineffective due to the loss of their Synapse Creature with the Gruesome and would be unlikely to swing the battle in their favor.  The North Ammoriss Naval PDF would have a tough time eliminating the last two vessels so it would have been a frustrating couple of turns.     

This was the first time I have used the Tyranids so I have some observations.  This fleet plays very differently than the ones I have used in the past.  The Gruesome was surprisingly fragile!  The 6+ armor was very weak and it was no match for the PDF cruiser’s guns.  Plus, its weapons are forward firing so you need to maneuver it more carefully than I was expecting.  In addition, the poor armor made ramming not as effective as I would have hoped. 

Gargoyle Swarms are also a “go big or go home” unit.  The few I had on the board were not enough.  Also, due to their speed they can not keep up with some of the escorts they would be best at killing.  I should have kept the swarms closer to the escort bait ships in this battle to keep them as a protective screen and make them harder to hit.  That was a key learning. 

Ultimately, my lack of a Battleship class Tyranid vessel was a big weakness.  If I had used a Submerged Gruesome instead of Abherrations as it would have been more effective.  However, the improved armor and Hull of a Gargantuan or Monstrosity would have been the most effective. 

It was really fun to ram stuff!  I don’t normally do that.  Using some of the smaller Tyranid escorts as disposable rams against enemy cruisers and battleships would be great fun! I am unsure how effective such a swarm backed up by a Battleship would be, but I think it would be immensely satisfying to play.

Ultimately, the Tyranids are a very different play style than I normally play.  Next time I will have a better feel for the fleet and its playstyle.  Therefore, I will be better next time.  Maybe I can get some new Tyranid bio-ships built for it too?        

Taskforce: Divine Light’s vox transmission came in late in the afternoon.  Like all such reports, it was processed through the enormous bureaucracy of NavComm.  Servitors and scribes transcribed it, annotated it, and data-stamped it.  It was carried by hand from adepts desk to adepts desk. 

By early evening, it had arrived at the desk for a Startego in the Office of Strategic Intelligence, deep within the bowels of NavComm North.  He read the report, and was disquieted.  The taskforce had been successful, but where there was one Tyranid bio-ship there were more.  He turned to his keypad and began typing furiously. 

Taskforce: Divine Lights job was just beginning.    

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