Monday, May 16, 2022

On the Painting Desk- Dark Age Irish are Done (Insert Clever Title Here)


One of the key goals for 2022 was to order and complete painting a Wargames Atlantic Dark Age Irish army.  This was to act as an opposition force for my Victrix Vikings that I painted in 2021.  The idea was to use these two forces to help with the marketing and post-production work for a new game system for Viking Age warfare called Fury of the Northman.  This game is based on the Men of Bronze engine and therefore uses armies of similar size.  

In this case, the Dark Age Irish army was supposed to have about 6 units so about 60 models, and include two units of warriors, two units of slingers, and two units of skirmishers.  The focus of this force is greater mobility and firepower than my Viking force.  

In my last post, you got to see some progress on the Skirmishers and Slingers.  There, I also broke down the colors I used with my Armypainter Paints. For brushes, I used basic, big-box purchased brushes.  So, with that let's get into the pretty pictures! 

Here we have the finished Skirmisher units.  The Irish army in miniature format is famous for a few things, including Irish Wolfhounds in battle.  Personally, I think their actually use in battle is VASTLY overstated in wargaming, but it is a fun flavorful unit that makes the army distinctly Irish.  The Wargame Atlantic sprue comes with several of the "Good Boyz" so I figured I might as well use them! 

I also avoided giving the Skirmishers shields for the most part, as I figured those would limited their ability to move quickly and easily through the brush.  This is also the unit I put the most "shirtless" models in, as I also assumed the poorest members of the community would end up here in the army.  

For basing, I used a cheap acrylic paint from a big box retailer, globbed it on heavy with a cheap brush, over the hardware purchased washer, and then sprinkled it with left-over lichen/moss found at the bottom of my terrain storage box.  No need to waste it after all! 

Now, onto the Slingers and how they turned out once I based them.....

and then the other unit of slingers......

Not much to say about these guys.  They have a mix of slingers and just guys throwing rocks.  Or I guess charitably you could say they were there to re-load the slings.  I prefer to think they are just throwing the rocks.

The, the warriors....

 All the shields are hand painted, because I did not buy transfers.  I had forgotten how much I disliked painting shields, so it was a good thing only two units of warriors had them, plus a couple other here and there for unit leaders.  I base panted half Oak Brown, and the other half Leather Brown.  I then used a combination of Monster Brown, Desert Yellow, and Army Green.  The white white ones are Mummies' Robes while the red one is Rust Red.  I then used the same colors on contrasting backgrounds to make the symbols and marks.  Finally, I gave them all a Strong Tone wash.  I tried to paint them all on the sprue, and that made it a lot easier.  After cutting them out and gluing them to the warrior, I had to touch up the contact points with the shield's base color. 

Here is the warrior unit with their Chieftain to lead the force.....

Unlike the Viking army I built earlier, the Dark Age Irish do not make use of the Shieldwall.  Therefore, they will mostly be acting in dispersed, Open Order units.  They did not need to rank up as tightly.  The Chieftain I wanted to have some more vibrant colors and an all metal shield to help him stand out a bit.  

Here is the full army together....


I look forward to these guys hitting the table and fighting against the Viking raiders in the coming weeks and months.  I still want to add two more forces to my Dark Age armies, the first is a Anglo-Saxon army because it is iconic to the era.  The second is an Arab force because I am enamored with the historical Battle of Talyata where the Vikings and Arabs fought an engagement.  Plus, it would be a big departure from my other Dark Age armies.

Here's a preview of some Vikings vs. Dark Age Irish action!   

  You can see the rules on the Blood and Spectacles Wargame Vault page to find Fury of the Northman  

In addition to finishing the Dark Age Irish, I also finished up painting my Corinthian War alliance fleet for Poseidon's Warriors.  It is 2 units of 5 fast trireme from Athens, and 15 cataphract triremes from Corinth.  

Next up, I need to 3D print 25 more Spartan cataphract Triremes for the opposing forces.  I look forward to launching a Corinthian War campaign using land and sea battles soon!   

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Monday, May 9, 2022

Castles in the Sky: The Indo-China Campaign Part II - French vs British


Welcome back to the Indo-China campaign for Castles in the Sky from Osprey Games.  The last battle the French tried a raid on British Siam at night.  The raid did not go as planned, and the French command ship took a beating.  They were forced to withdraw and the British took a 2-0 lead in the campaign.  

After the French Cuchinchina was seriously damaged, it managed to limp its way to safety in Saigon.  The French authorities there promptly began to repair the damaged airship.  However, Commodore Duckworth the commander of the Royal Navy of Siam, decided to try and thwart the French efforts to repair the ship by blockading Saigon from receiving shipments of parts needed to repair the Cuchinchina.  

French Commodore Aubre knew that losing the Cuchinchina would tip the balance of power to the British.  Therefore, he needed to break the blockade and prove that it was an ineffective strategy.  This would put diplomatic pressure on Duckworth to lift the blockade and allow the French armored cruiser the parts it would need to be repaired.  

The British as the blockaders (defenders) are allowed 25 Operational Value from their fleet, but can not have a single battleship.  Meanwhile, the French will be the Attackers with 20 Operational value and no battleships.  The Camot is on station near Tourane (Da Nang).


Royal Navy (of Siam)

HMS Malaya- Commodore Duckworth- Command 2
Queen Elizabeth Class Battleship

HMS Achilles- Captain Durham- Command 4
Warrior Class Cruiser

HMS Medusa- Captain Butler- Command 2
Active Class Light Cruiser

HMS Corsair- Commander Montgomery- Command 4
Bull Finch Class Destroyer- Torpedo   

This gives the British 23 Operational Value

L'aire National

Tourane- Captain de Genouilily- Command 2
Descartes Class Cruiser

Tonkin- Captain de Vence- Command 2
D'Iberville Class Cruiser

Hue- Captain Senez- Command 2
D'Iberville Class Cruiser

Fantassin- Captain Valjean  - Command 4
Chasseur Class Destroyer- Torpedo  

Rapier- Captain Sault  - Command 3
Chasseur Class Destroyer- Torpedo

The French have 18 Operational Value.

For today's Raid, we will be playing on a 48MU by 48MU board.  We determined terrain randomly using the chart in the rulebook: 

Grid 1 = No terrain
Grid 2 = Alt 3 mountain
Grid 3 = Alt 3 Mountain
Grid 4 = No terrain

We also rolled for complications and got.... cloud cover which is at Altitude 3 for this game.  Rather low! 

The British deployed closer to their  right side of the board, and were set to go diagonal across the board.  The HMS Malaya led the way at altitude 4 and speed 4, with the HMS Medusa nearby at altitude 5, speed 4.  Behind them was the HMS Achilles at Altitude 5 and speed 4, paired up with the HMS Corsair at Altitude 6 and Speed 4.  This formation would put them in the center by mid-game and give them good protection against air torpedoes.  The formation is starting to look familiar!   

The French set-up with their Destroyers heading straight for the British ships at Altitude 3, so in the clouds and speed 6.  The rest were in the center of the board in line a stern, with the Tourane leading the way.  They are at altitude 4 and speed 6. 

Turn 1: 
Initiative: The French win with 2 Commands to 2.  However, they have a higher Command Dice so win turn 1.  They decide to go first.  

The Tourane moves forward and speeds up to 7.  Meanwhile, the HMS Malaya tries to go All Ahead Full, but fails.  She stills speeds up 1 from her air screw. 

The Tonkin speeds up to 7 too.  The Achilles makes a come to New Heading command successfully.  She speeds up and bleeds altitude to gain more speed.   

The Hue also speeds up to 7.  The Medusa tries to stay with her charge. 

The French Destroyers do not pick up speed.  Meanwhile, the Corsair speeds up to 6 and turns to escort the Achilles.

None.  No one has the range yet.  

Turn 2: 
 The French win again, 3 to 1.  They elect to continue to move first.  

The Tourane shies away from the oncoming British battleship, she decides to blow smoke.  Meanwhile, the Achilles tries to Come to a New Heading, but fails.  They narrowly avoid the mountainside.  

The Two French Destroyers crest the cloud line, to advance on the Achilles, their torpedo tubes open.  Meanwhile, HMS Corsair races towards them, eager to engage.  

The HMS Malaya, tacks to try and cut off the French as she gains speed. The Medusa stays with her, while the two French cruisers follow their command ship.  The Hue is closer tot eh HMS Malay and blows smoke.  

The French Destroyers and the HMS Achilles trade torpedo and battery fire.  The Corsair also jumps into the exchange.  The French destroyers both take a hit, and a single friction.  Meanwhile, the British Achilles also takes a hit and 5 Friction.  

The HMS Malaya fires, but misses thanks to the range, class difference, and  smoke reducing her firepower.  

The Achilles takes Bridge Damage in the exchange. 
Fantassin loses armor
Rapier has her screw fouled.  She loses 2 speed. 

However, Repair crews quickly get the special damage resolved on each ship.  

The board has7 Friction, and which the two commanders easily remove.  

Turn 3: 
The British win 2 Commands to 1, and decide to go first.  

The HMS Malay moves to intercept the French Blockade Runners.  The Tourane moves to try to cut across her path, and blow smoke.  However, the critical command is failed! 

The HMS Corsair turns erratically and tried to bleed speed  to avoid over-shooting her targets.  However, the effort seems in vain, as the slower moving Rapier manages to speed up and dive into the cover of the cloud bank.  

The HMS Achilles aggressively dives down into the cloud bank as well, trying to get a good set of shots off at her prey before they blow past her.  The Fantassin also steers erratically as she dives into the cloud cover and pours on the speed.  

The HMS Medusa stays with her command ship as an escort.  The French torpedo cruisers suddenly break away from the Tourane and angle for the broadside of the Malaya, perhaps hoping to sneak behind her, they dive into the clouds.   

Despite the cloud cover, the Achilles is close enough to see the two French Destroyers.  The commander makes a Fire for Effect command, and the batteries come to life.  The cloud bank is lit up, and the Fantassin is peppered with light battery shells, causing 4 Friction.  The Rapier is hit with the forward Medium battery and takes 1 friction and 1 hit.  

The Tourane fires a broadside at the HMS Malaya, and causes 1 friction.  Enough to reduce incoming fire, the French hope.  The HMS Malaya returns fire, and the Tourane is lucky to sail away with only two friction! The Hue is also in short range, so the HMS Malaya's rear battery fires on her. Along with fire from the light batteries, the Hue takes 4 friction and 1 hit.  

The Fantassin takes a potshot at the passing Corsair at short range, but misses and jams her forward gun.  The Corsair declines to return fire and reloads her torpedo tubes.  The Rapier's main gun also jams after firing on the Corsair.  

The Tonkin desperately fires her light batteries and torpedoes at the HMS Malaya.  The Point Defenses of the battleship and her escort take out 2.  When it is over, the HMS Malaya has 7 Friction on her.

The Hue loses 1 armor. 
The Rapier explodes from the Achilles shelling!  

The Fantassin manages to repair her forward gun.  
There is 17 Friction markers on the board. The British remove 6 from the Malaya, leaving 1.  The French remove them from the Fantassin and the Hue, leaving 2 on the Tourane.  

Turn 4
The French score 2 to 1, and elect to go first.  

The Fantassin continues to speed up and heads for safety in the cloud bank.  The HMS Corsair comes about to give chase, but can not see the French destroyer in the cloud cover.  

The Tourane moves forward, slowed by the friction.  The HMS Malaya makes a Come to a New Heading command, but can not due to the Friction on her.  She tries to turn to get the French into her broadsides, and dives into the cloud bank. However, this causes her to stall as she goes over the max speed!  

The Hue and the Tonkin break for the safety of the open sky while hiding in the cloud banks.  The Hue also reloads her torpedo tubes.  

The Medusa breaks from her partner ship and heads for the Tourane.  The Achilles tries to come to ne heading, but can no longer see its prey. 

The Tourane hits the Medusa for 1 Friction. The Medusa did 1 Friction in return. 

The board has only 5 Friction markers left.  They are all easily removed by the commanders. 

The Medusa also fired her stern battery on the Tonkin, but jammed the guns.   

The HMS Malaya drops to Altitude 2, and to Speed 6.  However, she does manage to re-start her engines.  

Turn 5: 
The British win with 2 commands to 1.  They opt to go first.  

The Achilles Comes to a New Heading and tried to race back into the fray.  

The Fantassin is almost off the board.  However, the HMS Corsair is right behind. However, maneuvering around the mountain means they lose the French ship in the clouds.  

The Tourane drops into the clouds and accelerates to maximum speed.  She is pursued by the Medusa. 

The HMS Malaya, slows her speed and slowly begins to turn about.  

The Tourane and the Medusa ineffectually exchange fire.  The French end up with 1 Friction to the Medusa's two.  

All 3 Friction markers are removed.  

Turn 6: Final Turn
British win 3 to 1, and go first.

The Achilles steams close to the mountain.  The Fantassin leaves the board. 

The HMS Corsair moves in on the Hue, but it also flees off the board. 

The HMS Malaya keeps slowing down and going straight.  The Tonkin escapes the blockade. 

The HMS Medusa gives chase, but the Tourane escapes through the clouds and off the board.  

The French successfully run the British blockade, but there is a large cost!  The Rapier and her skilled Captain were lost in the effort.  Technically, the French lost 8 armor, the British only losing 1 armor.  However, the French met their victory conditions. 

This leaves the British still ahead in the campaign, 2 points to 1.  The Achilles and the Fantassin easily repair the damage to their ships.  The Medusa is also able to repair her Stern Battery.  However the damage to the Hue is a bit more serious, and the crew is unable to repair it.     

Participants gain the following experience: 

Malaya- 5 + 2 = 7
Medusa- 2 + 1= 3
Achilles- 0 + 3 = 3
Corsair- 2 + 2 = 4

Tourane- 2 + 5 = 7
Tonkin- 2 + 5 = 7
Hue- 0 + 5 = 5
Fantassin- 0 + 5 = 5 

No ship earns enough experience to gain any advances.  

After the battle, no Strategic Assets change hands.  However, the Cuchinchina is still in Saigon going refits and repairs for another 2 turns.  Hue uses the Strategic Asset of Tourane to repair her 1 lost armor point.  The British decides to turn their three Assets into re-rolls next game, while the French use their last asset for a single re-roll.    
With French ships able to break the blockade, Commodore Duckworth lifted it voluntarily rather than exposing his ships to further embarrassment, wear, and fatigue.  The French Commodore Aubre was grateful to see a French merchant ship arrived in country with the parts to continue repairing the Cuchinchina.  Her armor and firepower would be needed when it came time to push back the British decisively.  Until that time, Commodore Aubre knew he had to play for time and avoid a final battle, and perhaps gain some reinforcements from the South Pacific squadrons.    

Meanwhile, Commodore Duckworth pushed to put the French on the ropes and aggressively ordered offensive activity to push the boundaries in the region.  The Foreign Office cautioned him on such measures, but Duckworth's blood was up and he wanted this business wrapped up before the Cuchinchina could be re-launched.      

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Monday, May 2, 2022

Castles in the Sky: Indo-China Campaign - French vs. British


One of the features on the Castles in the Sky rules from Osprey is the option to run a campaign with a series of linked games.  I figured since I want to do several battle reports for my loyal readers leading up to the release of the book from Osprey, now would be a good time to run a campaign myself!  

The French Foreign Ministry decided that their colony in Indo-China had an excellent strategic positions via-a-vis the British interests in the South China Sea.  Despite the advent of Airships, the South China Sea was still one of the busiest trading routes in the world.  Both air and naval ships travelled through the area carrying valuable cargos.  

In addition, the area saw a regional war in 1893 that allowed the French to gain further territorial concessions from Siam.  However, the Siam Government had appealed to the British for aid.  At the time, the British left it a local matter between Siam and France.  However, if an opportunity arose like that again, the French government was not so certain the British would not intervene.

To help secure their position, the French sent a pre-dreadnought battleship to the region to act as the Flag vessel for their Indo-china squadron.  The Camot took station in Tourane (Da Nang) with classic colonial fan fare.  However, the British had unsuccessfully tried to thwart the arrival of the Camot, using the nearby independent county of Siam as a cover for their operation.  This attempt was ultimately and disastrously unsuccessful and put the region on edge. 

The British themselves hurriedly signed a deal with the independent nation of Siam to help reinforce their interests in the area.  The British gave the Siam government assurances of support, trading provisions, financial support, and limited missionary work in the country.  In exchange, the Royal Navy was also given coaling stations and operational abilities from Siam.  

These moves only heightened tension with the French in the area.  Soon, French eyes were looking eagerly to absorb Siam into their own Indo-China sphere of influence, and controlling the trade and traffic through the region.  

For the record, this is an alt-history campaign and I am by no means an expert on the history, geography, cultures, or much else about the region!  It just seemed like a good place to set-up a colonial brushfire war in the sky that fit in with the time period Castles in the Sky  takes place in. 

The Campaign

The campaign itself will be a small campaign between the French and the British.  This is just a regional flare-up after all.  Therefore, I will only be playing a "small" campaign per the rules.  That means each side will have a fleet of 50 Operational Value and 3 Strategic Assets.  There are some limits on Battleships, but for this campaign we are going to limit each side to 1 per fleet, therefore the bulk of the fleets will be Cruisers and Escorts.  

The French Strategic Assets will be: 
1. Tourane - Indo-China Capital
2. Saigon- Largest City
3. Hanoi - Largest Northern City

The British Strategic Assets will be: 
1. Phra Nakon - Siam Capital
2. Kra Isthmus - Narrows that connect to the Malay peninsula
3. Laem Chabang- The Busiest Deepwater port in the city of Sattahip

As stated in the rules, the campaign triggers the "Final Battle" at 7 campaign points and one side must be ahead by at least 2 points for the final battle to trigger.  


The Fleets   

Per the campaign rules, each fleet can be up to 50 Operational Value for a small campaign.  For this one, I decided to limit both sides to 1 battleship and to 35 Operational Value.  That should give enough different ships to be able to swap them around as needed, but not flexible enough to shrug off or ignore damaged craft.  

L'Aire National

Camot- Commodore Aubre- Command 4
Charles Martel Class Heavy Cruiser (Battleship)   

Cuchinchina - Captain Gourdon- Command 2
Gloire Armored Cruiser

Tourane- Captain de Genouilily- Command 2
Descartes Class Cruiser

Tonkin- Captain de Vence- Command 2
D'Iberville Class Cruiser

Hue- Captain Senez- Command 2
D'Iberville Class Cruiser

Fantassin- Captain Valjean  - Command 4
Chasseur Class Destroyer- Torpedo  

Rapier- Captain Sault  - Command 3
Chasseur Class Destroyer- Torpedo

Tromblom- Commander Morice- Command 2 
Chasseur Class Destroyer - Sky Mines

The Royal Navy (of Siam) 

HMS Malaya- Commodore Duckworth- Command 2
Queen Elizabeth Class Battleship

HMS Archeron- Captain Manby- Command 3
Duke of Edinburgh Class Cruiser

HMS Achilles- Captain Durham- Command 4
Warrior Class Cruiser

HMS Arrogant- Captain Knowles- Command 2
Arethusa Class Light Cruiser

HMS Medusa- Captain Butler- Command 2
Active Class Light Cruiser

HMS Corsair- Commander Montgomery- Command 4
Bull Finch Class Destroyer- Torpedo

HMS Hasty- Commander Rawley- Command 2
Bull Finch Class Destroyer- Sky Mines 

Both sides of the campaign will pick ships from these two lists to play the campaign.  This should allow us to see how damage and experience plays out with each ship and captain as it progresses through the campaign.  The Battleship is the Flagship of each fleet.  

Campaign- Turn 1
Both fleets choose to take a Defensive orders to start the campaign.  As a result, we roll up a Raid scenario with the British as the Defenders.  In addition, the French have decided to launch their raid at night!  

The Raid will be played on a 48MU by 48MU board using random terrain as follows.  

1= Altitude 4 Mountain
2= Altitude 4 Mountain
3= No terrain
4= Cloud bank

We place a river across the board, with the mountains along the shore line.  There is no other terrain except the cloud bank at altitude 7.  

The French Raiders have 18 Operational value with:
  1. Cuchinchina
  2. Tourane
  3. Tonkin
  4. Rapier
The British have 23 Operational Value with: 
  1. Malaya - Flagship
  2. Achilles
  3. Medusa
  4. Corsair
The target of the Raid would be the HMS Malaya.

The British are set-up in the center of their deployment zone, line a stern across the board.  The Malaya is in the lead, with the Acheron behind.  The Medusa and Corsair are set-up to defend them with Point Defense support.  The big ships are are altitude 4 and 5 respectively and speed 4.  Their escorts are one altitude above and matching speed.  

The French are on the opposite side of the board coming on at line abreast.  From French left to right it is the Tourane, Cuchinchina, Tonkin, and then Rapier.  They are at altitude 5 across the board and speed 6.  

For complications, it is Night time.  Well, that will make things interesting! 

Turn 1:
 Command: The British win with 2 successes to 0.  They elect to go first. 

The two sides trade off with the Malaya going first.  The British speed up to 5, with the rest of the ships staying in formation.  The French Cuchinchina speeds up by dropping to Altitude 4 and going to get cover behind the main mountain.  The rest of the French fleet also drops to gain speed and cover, but turns towards the back of the British fleet. 

No one has the range due tot he darkness.  Once we get close, things are going to get loud really fast! 

Turn 2: 
Command: British win again 3 to 2.  They decide to go first again. 

Again, the British stay in formation, while the French stay low for some cover, and angle to surround the British forces.  The Rapier and Tonkin are arrowing towards the center of the British fleet, while their fellow ships move around the twin mountains.  The Rapier choose to blow smoke to screen their approach, unsure of the range.    

In the night, no one has range to fire yet.   

Turn 3: 
Command: This time the two forces tie with 2 each.  The British maintain the initiative.  

The Malaya goes first, and decides to Come to a New Heading!  This gives them extra turns!  She also speed up to 6 to try and get around the mountain.  She skirts dangerously close to the mountain side!  

The Cuchinchina uses a command to blow smoke, as she drops to Alitude 3 and picks up speed to her Maximum.  

The Medusa struggles to stay with her partner, and lags behind, losing the extra Point Defense cover for the Malaya. 

The Tourane continues forward and rounds the Mountain, but the British have moved beyond her reach.  No one is there!  

The Archeron continues following her command ship, and finds the French destroyer Rapier coming up fast on her starboard from below.  Captain Manly of the British cruiser decides to try to prepare for the inevitable Torpedo attack.  However, his crew fail to heed the command.  

The Corsair prepares her Point Defense guns as the enemy Destroyer races in on the Archeron.  She stays in position to support. 

The Tonkin drops to Altitude 3 and follows the Rapier in on her attack run.  

As the  HMS Malaya swings into view, Captain Gourdon orders his crew to Brace themselves from the British ships big guns.  They man their stations and prepare for impact.  The Malaya sees the French ship in her smoke cloud, and opens fire with her Bow heavy battery.  The big gun easily damages the smaller cruiser.  

The Point Defense gunners on the Corsair and Archeron were ready, as they blast the Rapier's air torpedoes out of the sky.  The Archeron has 3 Friction.  The Light Batteries of the Archeron returnt eh favor on the Rapier with a barrage of fire, causing 3 friction back, but no penetrating hits.  

The Tonkin launches a clutch of Air Torpedoes at the Archeron.  The Point Defense destroys two inbound, but one gets through and blasts past the cruiser's defenses.  The Corasir is also caught in the salvo, and an air torpedo hits her in the armored belt.  The Archeron has 5 Friction and the Corsair 1.    

The Cuchinchina can not return fire due to the altitude difference and her smoke screen.  No one else has the range, angle, or Line-of-sight to fire.

All Damage is applied.  
- The Cuchinchina has lost an armor point and has her rudder potentially jammed!
- The Archeron has lost an armor point, and her Point defenses are potentially out!

However, engineers from the two cruisers manage to repair the Rudder and re-arm the point defenses.  

There is 10 Friction markers on the board, and the two commanders roll a 13.  All friction is removed. 

Turn 4: 
Command: French win 2 to 1 this time.  They choose to let the British go first. 

The Archeron moves forward but drop altitude to possibly get cover behind the mountain.  

The Tourane makes her turns and comes in on the Stern of the British forces.  Meanwhile, the Corsair drops altitude with her charge as an escort.  

The Rapier moves to shadow the British fleet to their Port side.  

The Malaya turns to bring the French cruiser into her Broadside at close range.  The French Commodore sees the move, and orders and Emergency climb!  This allows him past the Malaya, and allows him to cross the T of the HMS Archeron and Corsair.      

The Medusa drops 2 altitude and speeds up to get back in station with the Malaya.  

Finally, the Tonkin turns to get behind the Archeron and reloads her Torpedo tubes, ready to fire.   

The Archeron decides to "Fire for Effect" against the Cuchinchina, Tonkin and the Rapier.  The gunnery is amazingly accurate, with the Cuchinchina taking three hits, the Tonkin 1, and the Rapier 1 as well!  Ouch!  Plus, it laid out 11 Friction markers on the foe.  I guess letting the British fire first was a bad idea! 

The Tonkin's salvo of torpedoes back at the Archeron cause 1 hit, and 5 friction markers.  

The Corsair also fires on the Cuchinchina with her light battery and torpedoes.  The French Point Defense destroys one torp, while two more outright miss.  The last torp and the light battery cause 2 Friction.  

The Cuchinchina fires back at the Archeron using her Broadside and causes 3 friction and 1 hit on the British cruiser.  

The HMS Malaya's rear battery fires on the Cuchinchina, and smashes deeo into her causing three more hits and taking her up to 11 total Friction.  

The Rapier has no targets, and the Tourane is too far away to fire.  

The Medusa  also fires a stern shot with her Medium batteries and adds two more Friction to the French Gloire class cruiser, giving her a total of 13 friction.  

We applied damage first:
- Cuchinchina lost 6 more Armor points for a total of 7 lost out of 8!  Her Rudder was jammed, her bridge damaged, and she was crippled!  
- The Archeron was also crippled in the fighting!  
- The Tonkin lost a stern light battery
- The Rapier lost 1 armor

The Cuchinchina is sinking from being crippled and drops to Altitude 4.  
The Archeron is also crippled and drops to Altitude 3.    

Strike Your Colors
- The Cuchinchina strikes her colors as she is crippled and heavily damaged.  
- The Archeron is crippled, but does not strike her colors, she can keep on trying to fight as she goes down!

All damaged ships have friction so can not test. 

There is 28 Friction on the board.  Since the French command ship has struck their colors, Captain de Genouilily of the Tourane takes command of the French force.  

The British roll to remove 11, and take all friction off the Archeron, and the rest off the Cuchinchina.  The French roll 8, and remove all Friction from the Rapier and Tonkin.  The Cuchinchina still has 8 friction.  

Turn 5: 
Command: Both score two successes, but the French have a Command rating of 3, so maintain initiative. They choose to go first this time.  

The Tourane moves up towards the crippled HMS Archeron.  

The HMS Malaya makes a Come to New Heading command, and heads towards the board edge.    

The Rapier tries to reload Torpedoes and fails.  She moves towards the board edge as well.  The Corsair tries to reload Torps and also fails.  They give chase to the fleeing French Destroyer. 

The Tonkin makes a quick ascent to Altitude 4 to avoid the sinking Archeron.  They also seem content to try and flee the battle into the night.  

The HMS Medusa tries to stay with her charge.     

The Tourane does not have a great angle, but her Starboard battery sinks a shell into the Archeron.  The Archeron's stern battery jams when it tries to return fire.  However, her port light batteries find the fleeing Tonkin and riddle her armor for three friction.     

The Corsair takes a pot shot at the Rapier, and only causes Friction. 

The Archeron loses another armor point.  

Stalling, both the Cuchinchina and the Archeron fall.  The French crew is busy abandoning ship.  

The Tonkin manages to fix her stern light battery.

All Friction is removed this turn. 

Turn 6: Final Turn
Command: The French win, 3 commands to 1.  The French continue to go first. 

The Rapier disengages from the board.  

The HMS Malaya turns and stays on the board in case her broadsides are needed.  

The Tonkin accelerates away into the night.  The HMS Corsair chases after the Rapier and disengages, losing the French ship in the night.  

The Tourane also turns and flies off into the night, content to get to safety. The HMS Medusa also disengages off the board. 

The fleets leave to let the damaged ships flounder, and will try to recover them at a later date. 


The Cuchinchina and the Archeron drops another altitude, leaving them dangerously close to crashing.  However, the game ends before that happens and they are assumed to stabilize themselves for recovery later.  

The French lost 9 armor to the British 4.  British Decisive Victory, and the French barely escaped with their Armored Cruiser alive!  The HMS Malaya and HMS Archeron took the poor Cuchinchina to school!  The British now lead the campaign 2 points to 0. 

After the battle waned, the crew of the Archeron managed to repair 1 armor point before limping back to Laem Chabang for further refit and repair.  The British tap their three Assets to repair her back to full capability.  The Rapier and the Tonkin both managed to repair their ships back to full armor.  The crew of the Chuchinchina also worked tirelessly to stabilize their ship, repair two armor, and get it running enough to fly back into Saigon for further repair work.  The French decide to use Saigon to fully repair the Cuchinchina, but it will take 3 campaign turns to repair the ship fully.  The French also decide to use Hue and Tonkin strategic assets to get a 2 re-rolls next game.           

The participants gained the following experience: 
 HMS Malaya- 5
HMS Archeron- 7
HMS Medusa- 2
HMS Corsair- 2

Tourane- 2
Cuchinchina- 3
Tonkin- 2
 Rapier- 1

This is not enough for any ship to gain an advance.

The British ambassador used the French incursion and night attack to further entrench themselves with the independent kingdom of Siam's king.  They pointed to the dangerous neighbor on the king's border and urged him to deepen his relationship with the British.  

For the French part, they claimed that the confusion of night time operations and navigation led to the unfortunate incursion into Siam airspace.  The French ambassador also pointedly remind the British of how the French had studiously avoided raising a fuss when the British had tried to interdict the Camot from arriving in Indo-china.  The British ambassador nodded in agreement.  

However, despite the diplomatic efforts to brush the incident under the rug, the respective Commodore's of both nations were busy plotting their next moves.  Their careers depended on success in the region. Therefore, peace was not going to be an option.      

You can pick up the rules for Castles in the Sky at the link from Amazon. 


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