On Saturday I dropped by at John's place to give him a game of BFG. I hadn't played John in ages, in fact not since our last game of BFG.
John was playing the Chaos fleet: Despoiler Battleship, Grand Cruiser, 2x Devastation battlecarriers, 2x Murder Class Cruisers and four (not the five I have in the pic) gun escorts.
I took the same simple fleet as I had last time: Emperor Heavy Carrier, Retribution Battleship, Dominator Artillery ship, three Dauntless lightcruisers with lances and two more with torpedos.
The board had two asteroid fields (which John maintains are still not in anyway risky) modeled here in dark grey, two dust clouds, modeled here in light Grey and two small planetoids.
All pics are end of Imperial turn. So to get an idea of LOS, imagine the imperial ships in the place they were last turn, and then look at the position of the Chaos ships for the new turn. John's red fleet went first. He sent the Murder class cruisers and escorts, with the fighters from the Devastations on CAP, on a wide outflanking arc, while the rest of the fleet turned slowly toward the middle. He carefully kept his angle of approach to be 'abeam' of my own fleet, at worst. This way, my shooting would have less effect.
In my turn, I used the planetoid to whip the Battleships around 9o deg; sent the two torp Dauntlesses (note, much less points in my out flankers) in an outflanking move of my own; moved the other three Dauntlesses as fast as possible from their risky starting position to the far right of the board (would the Chaos ships draw LOS on them before they can escape?); the artillery ship drifted a little and turned, before unleashing the Nova cannon. It landed off target dead between two ships lightly impacting on the shields of one. The Emperor launched fighters in case the out flankers were a feint and set up a screen to ward of bombers. We exchanged gunnery fire a little that turn, but it was next turn that the meaningful battle would commence....
Turn two...ouch. He is now in range of my battleships and so Red Fleet calls 'Lock On' (LO) orders. Like a dopey newbie, I forget there is such a thing as 'Brace for Impact' (BFI) (see later for how consequential that order can be!) and so I pay, oh do I pay. With the Retribution crippled I am in serious trouble right out of the starting blocks. I get a new wave of bombers out this turn though. This turn I again take the hits from Chaos, but stay braced and survive. His flankers are shooting me up as well, but the Imperials weather the storm well. I get off torps from both the crippled Battleship (half strength) and the two sneaky light cruisers - who are now firing up the Red Fleet's tailpipes. Best of all, gunnery begins a good job on one of the Devastations, then my bombers finish it off. Despite the LO alpha-strike that I suffer last turn, it is the Imperials who draw first blood.
With topedos streaking through their space, the red fleet maneuvers the grand cruiser to avoid but is unable to angle the remaining Devastation or battleship to avoid. Luckily for Chaos, the their gunnery forces the Retribution to again BFI, so they will be unable to reload their torpedos.We exchange gunnery and lance fire, doing moderate damage. The Dominator is almost crippled, despite being forced to BFI. Two of my existing three torp waves crash into the red fleet. In a bout of supreme luck, the score a critical on the red battleship and it suffers 'shield collapse'. It is now in serious trouble. However, when it BFI's, every single shot from two battleships and approaching light cruisers is 'saved' by the efforts of the red crew. That's a lot of bodies plugging holes! When it comes to my turn, the flankers fail to reload their torpedos either. So no more a relaunched.
That stated. The final turn sees a red fleet with a crippled battleship, one Devastation down and the second heavily damaged, facing a very angry imperial fleet at close range. He finishes off the Dominator but is unable to more than scratch my battleships. The return fire sees close range lance fire form the light cruisers backed by gunnery from the battleships. The Emperor's bomber waves wipe out all four red fleet escorts, while the torpedo waves finally destroy their remaining Devastation and red flagship.
Phew! I thought I was in trouble when the Retribution was crippled so early. Getting that critical result on the red flagship sure helped me, but John balanced that out with incredibly good BFI rolls. I think what hurt him most was that his flankers were not able to contribute enough, while my much cheaper flanking force was able to set up the torpedo crossfire that put me back into the game. I was surprised to see gun armed escorts, since John has sprung torp armed ones on me before, and seriously hurt me with them.
Good game, John. BFG is always a blast to play, and that contest could have gone to either one of us.