Monday, August 28, 2017
Aeronautica Imperialis- Battle Report: Air Raid!
This battle took place as part of the Cleansing of Grex Silex campaign in 2015. It uses custom aircraft, factions and rules from the campaign that can be found in my Aeronautica Imperialis review here.
After successfully repulsing most of the Varingyr's bombing fleet, Kor'O D'yanoi ordered her forces to go on the offensive. Using navigational trajectories and Gwaihaine Geld's knowledge of the system, Tau forces counter-attacked. Barracuda equipped with ground attack Smart Missiles and the dreaded Tigershark Ax-01 launched to take the fight to the Varingyr and their master Galahand Geld.
After the last battle, my wife and I weren't sure what scenario to play. We actually decided to use the campaign rules in the AI rulebook. We rolled a dice to see who would be on the Offensive. 1-4 the Tau and 5-6 the Varingyr. The Tau won, and we randomly rolled up an Air Raid on an airbase. We decided to use the Asteroid Base rules as well.
1 Overlord Airship-
2 Iron Eagles
+Additional Weapon Load – Fusion Lances
The Graceful Hunters
4 Tau Barracudas
+2 with weapon loads
1 Tigershark Ax-01-01
On the Varingyr side of the board we set-up an asteroid base. It was about 1 by 1. Using the rules, we randomly rolled it to be at height 4. We then put 1 bunker (4 hits) and 4 Drop Eagle targets scattered around the base.
The Varingyr Multi-launcher was overlooking the base at height 4. The Overlord and 2 Iron Eagles came on behind the base at altitude 6 and full speed.
The Graceful Hunters deployed on the opposite side. They were split into three groups generally with a fighter accompanying a ground attack ship. The Tigershark was in the middle. They were at various high altitudes and speed 5 for the most part.
The Tau are flying around all weird. They are not going straight for the target area. In fact, the interceptors are hanging back and letting the strike fighters go ahead of them.
The Varingyr bracket the airbase, and the Overlord hovers over it and slowly begins to turn its guns towards the enemy.
The Tau are again doing some strange, crossing over pattern. None of them are looking straight at the targets, and I have no idea what my wife is doing. I hope she is feeling well? The interceptors are way in the back now.
Well, the Tau aren;t the only ones who can do weird stuff. I am wary of the Barracudas forward firepower, so a split our wide with my Iron Eagles, and hope to use their maneuverability to swoop back in before the Tau can attack my ground targets. Now,except for the Multi-launcher and Overlord, their path is clear.
None, everyone is still too far away.
The Tau Strike package with the Tigershark races past Iron Eagle 2 as it turns to engage them. The Varingyr are out-piloted by the Tau yet again! At least I made the Tigershark drop below the asteroid base in the process.
Iron Eagle 1 forces the lone Strike fighter towards the target zone, while the Interceptor moves to engage.
Iron Eagle 1 misses Barracuda 1 with a long range Fusion Lance shot. Barracuda 1 returns the favor and misses the Varingyr with his Ion Cannon. Iron Eagle 2 and Barracuda 2 also trade-shots at long range, and also miss.
The Overlord takes a mid-range broadside shot at Barracuda 4, but the altitude difference causes all the shots to miss.
The Tau easily out maneuver the Iron Eagles, leaving them without any targets. Plus, the Tau strike package blasts past the overlord on overwatch, however, they don;t have a great angle to the target area yet.
The Varingyr Multi-Launcher opens up on Barracuda 4, but fails to hit it.
Huh, we just realized that Burst Cannon Drones are All Around Down firing weapons only. Woops! We've been playing that wrong for how long now?
The Tau move in on the base and there is very little that can be done to stop them at this point. Barracuda 3 narrowly escapes crashing into the side of the asteroid after an overly aggressive power dive, however some fancy flying by way of a pilot test saves his bacon and puts him in good strafing position.
The Multi-launcher sees Barracuda 4 race over it, and opens fire with a barrage. The crews timing was percfect, and they light up the strike fighter with an airburst. The pilot ejects just in the nick of time! Scratch one strike fighter!
The crew's celebration is short lived as the Ax-1-0 lights up the Multi-laucher and destroys it. There went my most effective unit!
I'm glad my wife went for the Ground Defense, as now Iron Eagle 1 has a chance to blast Barracuda 3 from the sky before it can fire. All of its shots hit, but only the Fusion Lance manages to make it count. The Strike Fighter begins to smoke. Plus, Iron Eagle 1 is now Tailing the fighter.
Barracuda 3 opens fire on the Bunker complex, but its targeting system must be damaged. Only the Seeker missile hits the target, and it bounces off the Bunker's armor and deflects wide before detonating harmlessly!
Along range Fusion Lance barrage from the Overlord fails to find the mark on the Tiger Shark.
Tailing Fire: Iron Eagle 1 fires on Barracuda 3. His Mag-cannons manage to catch the Tau flyer in the engine ports and cause them to flame out. Coming in so low to the crater, there is very little the pilot can do as hit craft crashes into the rock below. My first Iron Eagle kill!
The remaining Tau craft slow and get ready to bombard the base. If they lose one more craft they will have to disengage. The Varingy can't get the angle on them yet.
The Tiger Shark unloads on the bunker complex with its mighty Railguns and drone missiles. The Railguns plow up the crater the Bunker is housed in but fail to damage the bunker. Meanwhile, a drone missile hits the bunker and causes some damage. Only 3 hits left!
A desperate long range Fusion Lance barrage from the Overlord managed to strike Barracuda 2 and cause it to blow smoke. However, it is still able to fly and fight. That was the last of the Overlord's long range firepower.
Barracuda 1 and 2 try to strafe one of the grounded Drop Eagles, but miss the mark.
It has turned into a knife fight over the Varingyr base! The Tau are pressing the attack,and the Iron Eagles are in a position to contest them!
Barracuda 2 fires everything at the bunker complex in an attempt to soften it up! However, nothing sticks.
Iron Eagle 2 misses his shots on Barracuda 1.
The Tigershark unloads everything it has on the base, but fails to even scratch it! The Varingyr must build things tough!
Iron Eagle 1 fires Barracuda 2, and manages to strike something delicate. The pilot fails to eject as his bird is downed in the perimeter of the base. That will force a disengagement!
Barracuda 1 also unloads on the Bunker to try and take it out. One of the smart missiles manages to hit something vital in the bunker. It has 2 hits left.
Turn 9- Disengagement Turn
The Tau aren't giving up that easy, and move in for a last parting shot at the Varingyr base.
Iron Eagle 1 uses the last of his ammo on Barracuda 1, but fails to hit.
The Tiger Shark uses the last of its missiles on the bunker, but fails to hit. Barracuda 1 also unloads. This time it is enough and the bunker is reduced to a smoking ruin from a barrage of close range Ion cannon fire!
With that, the Tau engage their afterburners and bug out.
This one is close! It will have to go down to the points!
Tau- 4 Ground Hits and 1 destroyed Multi-Launcher = 52 Points
Varingyr- 3 Dwoned barracuds, 2 with Weapon Loads = 66 Points
Varingyr/Eldar win in Warzone 4
Wow, that was close, but the Stunties won! Things looked pretty bad early on, but the Multi-launcher turned the tide when it took out the Strike Barracuda before it could fire! Plus, that is when the Tau's maneuverability became limited as they were attempting to strafe ground targets. They lost their advantage in numbers, and it became a lot easier to get a bead on them as their attack pattern was locked in.
Despite getting two kills, Iron Eagles still suck! The Tau got some pretty bad strafing rolls, and the Varingyr got lucky on a couple of hit/damage rolls. That is the way of the world. It was a nail-biter all the way down to the wire.