Wednesday 30 November 2016

VSF Landships Clash - Battle of Denmark Crossing FUBAR AAR

This is the first game I have played where I pit Landship against Landship with my FUBAR VSF Lanship rules in effect! I've tested the rules for Landships in games where there is one is involved and they seem to work fine so given we needed a game in a hurry for our regular group catch up I hurriedly put this together.

The Forces

Battle Squadron from the 1st Steam Legion
1 x USLS Lexington
1 x Amoured Steam Wagon Mk VI
4 x Triambulator all armed with a Light Cannon
1 x Steam Blimp

Elements of the 1st Landship Squadron and the Queens Own Dragoons 
1 x HMLS Hood
2 x Armoured Steam Wagons Mk I
1 x Armoured Steam Wagon Mk III
1 x Steam Blimp

Game Length
8 Turns (options for up to 10 turns)
Turn 9 occurs on a roll on a D6 of 3+ after the completion of Turn 8
Turn 10 occurs on a roll on a D6 of 4+ after the completion of Turn 9

Victory Conditions
At the end of the game tally the number of destroyed, wrecked and abandoned (crew dead) guns each side has 'suffered' and the side with the smaller total 'lost' wins, a tie is a draw.

Special Rules
* There are no AA eligible weapons available to either side
* Each Steam Blimp has 1 Bomb that attack with 6FP
* All vehicles are automatically 'activated ' for Turn 1
* Include special Rules for Lexington Class Landship i.e. weaker side armour allowance

The Situation...

During the Second Great Steam War the two great democracies of the world, Great Britain and the United States of America fell out over the arrogant British Navy's suspect inspections of American merchant vessels utilising European Ports and more importantly their practise of press ganging members of American ship crews!

The American President, Arthur at the advice of the War Office declared war on Great Britain after the British Parliament willfully disregarded the USA's entreaties regarding the Royal Navy's vile and unlawful practises. Within days of the commencement of hostilities small groups of Americans troops invaded Canada but it was several weeks before the first great assaults were launched in early June 1882. By this time though the British Government had dispatched several well trained and experienced units to support their Colony, forces that would have been much better employed fighting the tyrannical Crowned Heads of Eastern Europe and thwart their greedy land grabs! 

July 4 1882 to the north east of the small township of Denmark Crossing, Ontario Commodore Folly aboard his Flagship the HMLS Hood led elements of the 1st Landship Squadron and the Queens Own Dragoons against a strong force of American vehicles from 1st Steam Legion under the command of one of their hero's of the American Civil War ,Lieutenant Commander Hanley...

Let the carnage begin!


Turn 1 and both the British and Americans barreled onto the battlefield at top speed. The Americans entered in a solid phalanx and the British in two groups, one Armoured Steam Wagon peeled off from the main force to attempt to flank the American's Landship. 

Turn 2 Saw the Landships fire long range salvos and the USLS Lexington scored hits on one of the British Steam Wagons damaging its steering while the HMLS Hood put one of the Yankee Triambulators out of action, first blood to the Brits Huzzah!

View of the battlefield at the end of Turn 2 the British in the foreground...

Turn 3 and the both sides continued to close the range so the vehicles with lighter cannons could get into action, during this time the British were at a disadvantage with only two heavy guns bearing on the enemy while due to the design of their Landship the Americans had four heavy guns available!

Two views of the battlefield at the end of Turns 3 & 4 the British again in the foreground...

Turn 4 and the HMLS Hood swung to bring its full broadside into action and it loosed a salvo. The trained crew were spot on target registering 13 hits on the USLS Lexington which manged only 6 saves the 7 hits wrought terrible damage, 2 crew killed, a heavy gun was knocked out, 2 steering hits were scored, a speed hit was registered and a wreck hit recorded! A note here that on a Landship 3 of any of these type of special hits are needed for the full effect of the hit type to kick in i.e. 3 wrecks are required to kill a Landship any other type of vehicle and one does the trick! The other British vehicles fired ineffectively while their Steam Blimp manoeuvred closer the the Lexington now shrouded in smoke. This turn much to the Americans dismay both their Landship and Steam Blimp scored stall breakdowns while all their other vehicles moved into cover to avoid fire from the HMLS Hood!

HMLS Hood fires a salvo, the Lexington is in the distance!

Turn 5 and the Yankees gain the initiative but due to the stall the USLS Lexington fails its activation roll! luckily though the men on board the HMLS Hood are busy toiling to reload their heavy guns so the Lexington may still get a first shot in next turn. To add the the American woes their steam Blimp remained inactive too! Meanwhile the British Amoured Steam Wagons targeted the Lexington and it acquired more damage but nothing significant. With the last activation of the turn the American Amoured Steam Wagon entered the action and took a pot shot at the Hood with it's light cannons, seconds later everyone was stunned...the Hood was required to take two damage rolls the first disabled one if it's rapid fire light cannons but the second though was a critical hit...from a distance onlookers saw on the deck of the Hood a flicker of orange and then that was followed instantly by a giant ball of red flames as the HMLS Hood had suffered a critical hit and was totally destroyed! The game balance had changed in a moment. To add to the British troubles one of their Steam Wagons was too near the blast and suffered damage too resulting its steering being locked.

The wreck of the HMLS Hood!

The American forces at the end of turn 5 the vanquisher of the HMLS Hood is in the foreground on the right!

Turn 6 and the USLS Lexington fires on two of the remaining British Armoured Steam Wagons inflicting minor damage on each while their Steam Blimp attempted to catch the flanking British vehicle with no luck. The British Steam Wagons scored a couple more hits on the Lexington knocking out another gun on it and injuring more crewmen they also hit a Triambulator which bursts into flames!
View of the battlefield at the end of Turn 6 the Americans are to the left...

Turn 7 and the British Steam Blimp lined up and took a run at bombing the Lexington, the Pilot smiled as his bomb hit the Landship but his expression turned to a frown as it bounced along the deck and rolled onto the ground with no effect! The last real British hope of getting 'back into' the game had passed. Meanwhile the Triambulator that caught fire from a hit in turn 6 was engulfed in flames and put out of action! The Lexington hit the flanking British Steam Wagon and it ground to a halt its remaining crewmen were killed and the American Steam Blimp with its quarry destroyed moved after a new target!

The USLS Lexington fires in 'anger'!

The British Steam Blimp 'bombs' the Landship Lexington with no effect...

Turn 8, the last two British Armoured Steam Wagons despite only having two functioning light cannons between them continued to engage the USLS Lexington hoping for a lucky hit but none was forthcoming! In desperation the British Steam Blimp even strafed the mighty Landship with its HMG also to no avail!

View of the battlefield at the end of the game the Americans are to the left...

So Victory to the New World as the Americans win 'destroying' 14 weapons to the lowly British total of 4! 

A big lesson was learnt in this game...

Okay the Landship rules simulated a battleship action on land quite well for me; the USLS Lexington ended the game with several dead crewmen, 1 Wreck hit, 2 Speed hits, 2 Steering hits and two guns knocked out so it took quite a bit of punishment but was still hanging in there, whereas the Hood on the other hand took only two hits (from light cannons to boot) and it was obliterated by a critical hit...PERFECT. So the rules worked well with two Landships on the table, I have enough of these to get five on the table at once so I'll have to work out a 'Jutland' scenario! First up though this scenario needs a replay hopefully without the devastating explosion of the HMLS Hood it may be a bit closer!

Next Time hopefully the AAR for Scenario 5 of 'The Russians are Coming' Campaign!