Kingdom of Britannia Fleet Composition
1 Ruler Class Battleship equipped with 2 turrets and 2 shield generators
3 Tribal Class Cruisers equipped with 1 turret, 1 shield generator and experienced engineers
9 Attacker Class Frigates
3 Orion Class Destroyers
6 Bastion Class Escorts*
Total Points = 870
*We later learnt the special rules regarding escorts but as this was a demo best to learn it now.
Empire of the Blazing Sun Fleet Composition
1 Sokotsu Class Battleship equipped with a shield generator
3 Nakatsu Class Cruisers equipped with incendiary rounds
9 Uwatsu Class Frigates
2 DFA-170 Class Bombers
2 Inari Class Scout Gyros
Total Points = 860
As this was Pete's first game and none of us possess carriers we opted to leave out the fighter tokens. We also didn't make notes for this demo report and are therefore relying on pictures and my memory. (Apologies now if it seems disjointed but I'll try and include the major events)
Pete won the roll for deployment and placed his first squadron. Deployment then alternates between players until all squadrons are placed.
Players then roll 2D6 for initiative, with the highest result winning, which resulted in the plucky Brits making the first activation. Players roll for initiative at the beginning of each turn.
The first few activations normally amount to very little due to most units being out of range which means less attack dice (AD) are rolled.
On this occasion, however, my Inaris damaged a Britannian Frigate through the use of linked fire.
To calculate linked fire you choose your main unit in the squadron which receives its full AD at the range band they are firing at, with each range band set at 8 inches. For each other model in the squadron you then halve their attack dice and round down.
At range band 2 my Inaris each receive 6 AD for their primary turrets. This means I can either fire two separate 6 AD rolls or I can link fire for one 9 AD attack (6 + 6/2 = 3 so 6 + 3 = 9).
To inflict a hit under normal conditions requires a roll of a 4, 5 or 6. Fours and fives are classed as one hit whilst a six counts as 2 hits and a re-roll. This is called the 'exploding dice mechanic' and can culminate in some crazy results. In a later attack Pete rolled four 6's, for eight hits, then re-rolled for another 6 which rolled into another 6 which rolled into a 4 for a total of 13 hits!
So how do you damage units?
In Dystopian Wars, each model has a Hull Point (HP) rating which is how many hits the model can sustain before being destroyed.
The model then has a Damage Rating (DR) which is the number of hits needed to remove a HP.
A model will also have a Critical Rating (CR). If the number of hits inflicted equals or exceeds the CR number then you roll 2D6 and consult the Critical Hit Table. This can result in anything from a damaged rudder, meaning the model is unable to turn, to a magazine explosion which instantly destroys the unit. Most critical results also result in the loss of two HP.
Every time a HP is lost the number of AD you roll is reduced by the amount of damage suffered.
My Battleship then linked its two primary turrets together at range band three for 9 AD and rolled hot; managing to penetrate the shields of the Britannian battleship to cause 1 HP of damage.
The British Cruisers also made a linked gun attack on my Inaris and managed to inflict a critical hit, despite only being able to hit on sixes, which resulted in a hard pounding. (Loss of 2 HP and 2 AP) AP is a ships Assault Point rating which represents the number of rocket marines aboard. AP is used when initiating a boarding assault in an attempt to capture, or recapture, a model.
Once all squadrons have been activated by both sides the turn ends.
At the beginning of turn two the Japanese won the initiative and I activated my Inaris. One of which made a starboard rocket battery attack on the Britannian Battleship for no effect due to a combination of needing to hit on sixes, two shield generators and Ack Ack.
The British response was to move up some Frigates on their right flank.
The Blazing Sun Frigates on my right flank then activated and made a nine gun attack on a Britannian Cruiser resulting in a critical hit on its weapon systems.
Unfortunately, Pete was unable to use his on-board experienced engineers as my second Frigate squadron advanced and consequently sunk the stricken Cruiser.
The next big event occurred when two British Cruisers collided with a Blazing Sun Frigate which sent it to the bottom of the sea. This was to be the beginning of Pete's ramming spree which resulted in some interesting game play.
A few turns passed to no real effect then Pete moved a squadron of escorts up and attached them to his Battleship. Although escorts have no offensive fire-power, they can help to protect capital class models against flying and submerged units.
My Frigates on the left flank then moved up and made two separate gun attacks on Pete's Frigates, sinking one and damaging another. In response, Pete swung all of his small ships into that channel but couldn't take any shots as his models at the front blocked line of sight.
At the start of turn three, Pete's Britannians won the initiative and activated his Cruiser squadron which proceeded to ram one of my Cruisers which suffered two HP of damage.
In response to this reckless behaviour, I activated my Cruiser squadron and swung it around to make the most of my port and starboard batteries. This resulted in my rammed Cruiser sinking its aggressor but unfortunately, my other Cruisers gunners were asleep and failed to damage the sole survivor of the squadron.
Not to be outdone, Pete then activated his Battleship and sunk my rammed cruiser with a linked fire primary attack but couldn't torpedo the Cruisers on his port side in range band 1.
Meanwhile on my left flank, my inaris advanced along the island mass in preparation for a bombing run on the Britannian small ships.
Then it was on to the fourth, and final, turn.
My Japanese navy won the initiative and tried with numerous activations to inflict further damage on the British Battleship. In subsequent attacks my ships were able to inflict two extra Hull Points of damage. Pete's shield generators also kicked in, preventing one attack from inducing a Critical Hit.
The Inaris then decended from the clouds and launched turret and bombing runs on the Britannian frigates. One Inari was reduced to one Hull Point by the defensive Ack Ack but was able to sink a Frigate. The other Inari, meanwhile, suffered a Critical Hit on its rudder; leaving it in a precarious position on the edge of the table.
The Britannians then activated their small ships and in a blaze of turrets and anti-aircraft fire destroyed the severly damaged Inari.
On my final activation of the game, the Blazing Sun bombers decended out of the cloud cover and made a combined bombing run on the Britannian Battleship. The defensive Ack Ack fire from the battleship and its Escorts inflicted 1 HP of damage on one bomber. Bombs, however, are not effected by HP damage and shield generators cannot prevent them from dealing damage.
My bombers then resolved a 12 AD roll which resulted in a critical hit on Pete's Battleship, leading to a damaged rudder and the loss of 2 HP.
At this point we both decided to work out our Victory Points (VP). Final results were as follows:
Kingdom of Britannia
4 Frigates sunk = 100 VP
2 Frigates at half HP = 24 VP
1 Cruiser sunk = 65 VP
1 Cruiser at half HP = 32 VP
1 Inari destroyed = 70 VP
Total Victory Points = 291
Empire of the Blazing Sun -
1 Battleship at half HP = 90 VP
2 Cruisers sunk = 130 VP
1 Cruiser at half HP = 32 VP
Frigates sunk = 75 VP
Frigates at half HP = 12 VP
1 Destroyer sunk = 40 VP
Escorts sunk - Although I sunk a few of Pete's Escorts we later discovered that you do not receive Victory points for doing so. Instead, points are awarded when Escorts are forced to leave the combat zone by destroying models they can attach to.
Total Victory Points = 379
The game resulted in a resounding victory for the Empire of the Blazing Sun as they sunk more than 30% of the Britannians Victory Points.
I hope this has given some insight into playing Dystopian Wars. As mentioned before, this was a demo game so we are still learning and exploring the rules. Any comments would be greatly appreciated.
John of the Blazing Sun