Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Samurai Boats Vs Teleporting Energy Beam Bastards

I am loving Dystopian Wars.
I got a game in last night versus Bringer and his British Fleet (now with added air support) and last Wednesday got another game in versus Mark - a local lad I've known and played since I started playing 40k at the start of 5th ed. Mark is what some of the guys refer to as a "Power Gamer" I think, jokingly, that'll be his handle on the blog.. or just "Power" maybe, PG for short.

Today, I'd jsut like to talk about Power and his frozen fleet..

PG plays the Covenant of Antarctica Fleet (or CoA for short) who are what he calls a 'finesse' fleet.
I didn't see too much of that finesse..
I just saw a blunt hammer.
Power ran a few small, fast corvettes some Cruisers sized ships, some Ptolemy Bombers and then a Dreadnought with an escort and CAP.
This is not a finesse army, but a death star.
It seems that even in Dystopian Wars you can create a deathstar...of sorts.

Let me explain a couple of elements:
- My fleet specialises in long range Rockets/Missiles
- These can be shot down by short ranged, coutner attack fire known as "Ack, Ack" - reducing the effectiveness of the Rockets
- In order to damage a vehicle you must roll enough hits to equal or beat the damage rating (armour) of the enemy.
- This becomes hard when a target has a high level of "Ack Ack" or AA fire.

That mechanic is pretty straight forward yes? Now, most ships only have a few points of Ack Ack and only knock a missile down on a 5+ on a D6, so it's not all bad.
On the otherhand, my rockets fire at most 7 shots from one ship, perhaps 10 with "Linked Fire" - where multiple ships add their fire power together, for an overall greater chance of beating the armour rating.
Whilst it is impossible to provide a statistical model (for me anyway) of how many hits I should produce due to the "Exploding 6" mechanic, hitting on 4+'s means roughly just over half, perhaps 60-70% will hit, taking into account roughly the fact that 6's to hit produce 2 hits and you get to roll again.

To illustrate this example we'll say that from 10 shots, I may get 7 hits? If I'm lucky and roll a 6 followed by another 4+. 7 is what we'll work with.

Now then, to this Deathstar! The Dreadnought is basically the largest Naval unit in the game, each race has access to one, of varying quality. The Antarctica Dread seem pretty damn good. We'll forget all the other features of it for the moment.
It has an Ack Ack of 7. It does need to roll 5's to knock a missile down, but 50% of those hits will double (due to being 6's) and will get to roll again.
Next, Power brought along an Escort.
This consisted of 2 'Escort' class ships, the Galen. These have an Ack Ack of 2 each, which they can link then add to the Dreadnoughts, bringing the total AA up to 10 so far.
Power also brought a 5 strong Combat Air Patrol (or CAP) of Tiny Flyers, which swarm around the Dreadnought and protect it from short range bombings and boarding actions etc. They too can add their Ack Ack of 2 each to the total. They use Combined Fire rather than linked fire accoring to Power and they therefore add 10 more Ack Ack.

The Dreadnought has a total available Ack Ack, usable against every single Rocket attack I make, of 20 dice.
Now, only a third of those will work out for him. Making it around 6.
This means that Power reduces the number of hits I succeed with, by the number of Ack Ack hits he makes from his Dread-Death Star.

Next, the Dreadnought is equipped with a Shield Generator which allows him to roll 2D6 after this to each attack and try to reduce the incoming hits even further. Remember, 6's still explode. In addition to this, the Antarctica fleet have a special rule known as 'Inventive Scientist' or something, which allows a single reroll per turn for each unit when they use a Generator.. This will knock down incoming attacks even further.

The final nail in the impregnable-coffin? The Dreadnought has a Damage Rating (armour) of 7 in the first place..which is pretty much equal to the maximum number of hits I am likely to make.
And 10 Hull Points..which means it can take 10 points of damage before it sinks.
Then Power gets to roll his 20 dice...typically, he just needs to roll a couple of 5's...
Does any of you think you could fail to roll even ONE 5+ from 20 dice?

Without seeming like a whinging bitch...

Did I mention this thing can be teleported ANYWHERE on the board and then activate normally, bringing all of its IMMENSE firepower to bear. I'm not going to go into firepower.. suffice to say this ship is literally twice the size of my largest Battleship, of which I have one...and a proportionately larger amount of guns.

So we have a Death Star, tailored to my army, that I cannot harm realistically and who can teleport into the midst of my army and unleash its mega guns?

I clearly lost this game right?


I won.

We were playing a small game. Putting this much firepower into just one unit meant the same as it does in 40K.
Deathstar equals unbalanced army.
Means I can pulp the rest of his army and try and avoid the Death Star until I am ready to do so.
So I did.
I gunned down his Bombers, knowing how lethal they can be when they fly over my small frigates and drop Mines on me.
I took apart his Cruisers and Corvetts with the bulk of my force and ignored his teleporting device.. if he was going to do it, let him do it.
To tie up the Dreadnought I threw forward as bait my Tanuki Gunships, these carry the greatest amount of fire power in my fleet (that I own) and thought they could tie it up for a turn.
This was a bad idea, 2 got vapoirsed by a critical hit from the Dreadnought almost instantly. That left one Tanuki, roughly 1/8th the size of the Dreadnought to engage it alone and try and take out its escorts to make it more vulnerable.
He succeeded.
To finish the game, Power teleported his Dread in...after a couple of rounds of being outmanouevred and slowly shot with regular gunnery over missiles (my primary strength) by my Battleship, thus weakened it teleported in and my Battleship - Sokotsu, had one activation to cripple the Dreadnought before it savaged me.
I hit with everything, he cancelled almost everything. I missed with everything else.

But then lady luck smiled on me and likewise, Power failed to damage my Sokotsu in any meaningful way.
I call it karmic justice.
Or just a fluke.
Either way, I picked up a minor victory on the equivalent of VPs...and learned a good few lessons about Dystopian Wars.

This was my 3rd ever game of Dystopian Wars. I'm learning the hard way.

I love this game and seriously urge people to try it out.. On a side note, I have a 40K tournament this weekend, I probably should have practiced...I went for fun over competitiveness in my hobby this time.. possibly a first!


  1. Matt and I on the other hand are having a couple of practice games for Blog Wars tomorrow. Not that I've got an anywhere near competitive list. Matt on the other hand....

  2. Get stuck into this! It's wicked! The scale is truly Epic in nature.. pushing the little, nippy boats around is cool, but when you unleash one of the big boys, you can really pick up on the change in scale..the sheer havoc they cause is awesome.
    Easy mechanics to learn, easy to PAINT! and cheap to get stuck in.. so cool

    Oh, and I look forward to mashing yet another Grey Knight list from Matt at Blog Wars (banter!) haha ;)

    1. Well after you posted your list up he wants to test his GK out against it so that's what we're doing tomorrow with me proxying tau and other stuff as necrons. He's pretty confident he can beat it....

      I'm tempted to get into Dystopian Wars but Matt is keen on Malifaux being our next venture....

  3. Malifaux is awesome, been playing it since book 1.. so far.. I'd say Malifaux has more character due to the back story support in the books, but I'd say they both fulfill a very different need.

    As for Blog Wars.. it's not just the list bud, it's the player ;)

    I'm eschewing practice games in favour of Dystopian Wars!

  4. Dude where were u tonight?!! Need to get a game in with you.

    Re: Dread, take either your own dread to counter it or even better 2 Ika and board it. With 9 AP each and him not being able to AA the boarders before the assault they are ideal. His overall fleet suffers from low AP and if even one of the Ika get near him bye bye Dread ;) hope that helps :)

    1. The Ika's were what drew me to the faction in the first place, they have been ordered.
      Just too cool not too!
      I was going to order more Inari's and the War Gyro..but soon as Bringer specialises in torpedoes..that didn't seem fair!

      Couldn't do last night as I have had too much wedding prep to do.. 7 days til the big day so understandably a lot going on. Won't be down next week either, but planning on getting some gaming in over the long Bank Hol if you are about mate? Try and do gaming/bbq/beers at mine for a day?

    2. Are submerged models only hit on 6's mate? I can't find it in the rulebook for some reason!

    3. i might well be in Cambs on the Monday. if you are gaming then, let me know.

    4. OK mate, will do. I'll see which day I can swing with Mikaela - in her hyper-stressed wedding mode for the last few days!

  5. Ah fair enough with the wedding, would definitely be cool to catch up over the bank holiday I should be free all weekend..

    Yeah the Ikas are both cool and very effective! Indeed submerged are only hit on 6's other than by concussion charges I think? However when you board they have to come up making them vulnerable for a turn but they should be tough enough to take it especially as you know your boarders will make it aboard.

  6. Cool about Bank Hol weekend..we'll try and organise something for the Jubilee - get Bringer's british fleet in to the limelight or something!

    So they have to surface for a turn before they board? OK, so that means they can get shot to shit before they do anything.. cool. I'll read up on them, hoopefully will be in hand for next week