Tuesday, 20 September 2016

19C - War of the Antipodes - Battle Report 3 - Battle for Bare Island

This is the third battle to test my new rules 19C VSF.

Bare Island is just inside the entrance of Botany Bay and on it is constructed a small fort to protect Sydney’s rear door.

The game described below is actually a repeat. The first game ended in only two turns with both the Victorian ships sunk. Which goes to show that you should never attempt to force an entrance past a well defended and ready fortress. In this game I am starting all the NSW forces as unprepared with a reliability level of red. They have to roll on the Activation points table each turn and for every activation point they get their reliability increases one level.

NSW defenders are:
One ray gun
Two fortress guns – Heavy Artillery
Two companies of infantry

Victorian attackers are:
Two ships, one carrying two companies of infantry and one carrying a squadron of cavalry and one company of infantry.
Two Airships. Each armed with a medium artillery and a Gatling gun.
Opening positions

Starting positions - Blue troops on bottom right are the troops in the Victorian boats

Turn 1
The Victorians advance.

The ships coming through the entrance directly in front of the NSW guns with one ship heading for the shore line in front of Bare Island to disembark its two infantry companies while the other makes a beeline for the wharf behind Bare Island where it can disembark its cavalry squadron and infantry company. The airships have cleverly flown over land and approach Bare Island from the south where the guns can’t fire.

NSW starts to wake up. One of the fortress guns goes to Yellow reliability as does the infantry in the fortress.

Victorian ships - air and sea advance in a coordinated assault.

Turn 2

More movement. The Victorian ships disembarks its two infantry companies on NSW territory and the other ship continues to the wharf. The airships move forward to attack the fortress from behind.
NSW continues to wake up. The Raygun rolls a 6 and gets two activation points so moves to green reliability. Both fortress guns get one activation point each so one moves to green reliability and the other to yellow. The infantry in the fortress also move to green reliability. The infantry on the shore stay asleep.

End of turn 2

Close up of the Victorian landings on "Sword" Beach

Turn 3

More moving from the Victorians.
The infantry on land advance against the Raygun. Capturing the small tower will help them to isolate Bare Island fortress.

The ships and airships move forward.

NSW is finally awake enough to fight back.

The Raygun fires at the Victorian VII infantry and score 9 hits with 9 damage. Two bases are lost and reliability moves to yellow.

One of the fortress guns fire at the red hulled ship and gets 8 hits with 5 damage and reduces it to yellow reliability. But it is nearly past the fortress and it should be an easy run to the wharf.

The other fortress gun moves to green reliability and the infantry on the fortress move to Blue reliability. The infantry on land stubbornly stick to their beds and won’t get up.

End of turn 3

The Victorians sneaking past the fortress

Turn 4

The Victorian infantry continue their advance on the tower.

The ships move forward. In the air one of the airships blasts at the fortress guns but despite getting 3 hits causes on damage. It fires its cannon at the raygun and also despite getting 2 hits causes no damage.


The raygun blasts the Victorian VII infantry and gets 10 hits and causes 9 damage. The infantry is reduced to one base and has red reliability.

With the red hulled ship past the fortress the guns concentrate on the green hulled ship. Together they get 18 hits and cause 6 damage.

The NSW Infantry in the fortress move to cover the walls as the Victorian ship moves past.

The infantry on land refuse to be woken early and keep to their beds.

End of turn 4

Turn 5

The Victorian Infantry on land continue their advance towards the tower.

The green hulled ship fires its Gatling gun at the fortress artillery but despite getting three hits causes no damage.

The red hulled ship continues towards the wharf, safe from the fortress guns.

Airship III fires its Gatling gun at the fortress artillery and gets one hit and causes one damage.

Airship II fires its cannon at the raygun and gets four hits and causes two damage.

The Raygun gets two action points and pivots to fire on the Victorian infantry and scores 7 hits and cause 5 damage. The Victorian infantry lose a base and go down to green reliability.

The fortress guns fire on the green hulled Victorian ship and cause 2 more damage points which sink it.

And finally on land the NSW infantry finally rolls a 6 and goes to green reliability. It is ready for action. Maybe all the guns firing woke them up.

End of turn 5 - looking at the photos I realised I should have shown the sunken Victorian ship just with its masts sticking up out of the water.

Turn 6

The Victorian infantry get two action points and close assault the raygun destroying it with 3 damage points to none. As the raygun must retreat but cannot to move it is destroyed.

The Victorian Infantry occupy the tower just in time to thwart the lay-in-bed NSW infantry.

With their only threat now destroyed the Airships now target the NSW infantry near the tower. They get 19 hits between them and then 12 damage. The NSW infantry lose two bases and go down to red reliability.

NSW is really had it now. They cannot target the airships or the ship. All that is going to happen is that Victorian troops will stand off and destroy the remaining NSW infantry before assaulting the fortress. So the white flag goes up and Victoria is Victorious.

End of turn 6 and game over for NSW - I need some white flags

Lessons learned from this play test.

The ships are too vulnerable. I will decrease their save roll from 3 to 2. This should make them twice as strong.

Airships were too slow. I will increase their speed to 30cm and ships to 20cm.

The one move action if in LOS of the enemy is too restrictive. Infantry and Cavalry will be able to use one action point to change formation, line to column or reverse, and also a second one to move if they manage to roll two or then close assault if they got three action points.

Infantry loses its reliability too quickly and then becomes useless. Therefore I will change the rules so that Infantry and Cavalry gets to save their reliability decrease if they roll equal to or less than the number of bases remaining in the unit, including the command base. Also, if they win a close assault they automatically do not lose any reliability. If they lose a close assault they automatically do lose reliability. This will add some flavour to the game and give these unit types more power.

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