Battle Observations is going to be a recurring type of post where I make a short analysis of one or more games I’ve played recently. It is not a detailed battle report but rather the highlights and the observations coming out of the game or games.
The game was 800 point UCM vs PHR, I played the PHR (as usual). The scenario was Power Grab but with the center section replaced with a medium space station without armament and the two 4-sector clusters had 2 industrial and 2 commercial sectors instead of the usual armament. The space station and the two central clusters were critical locations. No command cards.
I fielded my now well-tested 800p cruiser heavy fleet:
- 2 x Medea
My opponent played a scaled-down variety of a 999 p list that looked something like:
- 2 x Moscow
- 2 x New Orleans
- 6 x Toulon
- 2 x New Orleans
- 1 x Lima
I knew his Moscows were dangerous so I made a different tactic to avoid them; I aimed my Ajax-Orpheus battle group at the left corner cluster and my double Medea I split between the right corner cluster and the right center cluster. I double-tapped the medeas and hid the line battle group behind debris fields while going in with max thrust. My other Line battle group was to take the space station while the Agamemnon was to take the attention of his Moscows.
He moved in is Moscows early, but a little too carefully – no max thrust. He moved his Toulons to engage my left corner cluster and his medeas to all the other clusters and the space station. From there on, the battle basically was split in three until the very end; left, right and center.
At the left my Orpheus managed to live long enough to drop troops to the cluster and from then on, he was powerless to prevent me from scoring there. In the end the Orpheus and the Ajax took out all the Toulons (too many light broadsides for the poor frigates) and an undamaged Ajax could engage in the center battle at the very end of the game, while the Orpheus was destroyed.
At the right my Medea came before his New Orleans and I basically outdropped and bombarded him into submission – he never got any points in that sector either.
In the center, it was more interesting. His Moscows commanded control of the airspace, but due to it being a SR 20 battle group and my clever use of Silent Running, they didn’t get to fire a shot before mid-game and the Orpheus managed to drop troops into the space station, while his New Orleans doing the same died to the Agamemnons light broadside. The Orion and the Orpheus in the center managed to cheat the Moscows and fly past them (avoiding the 270° weapons free), but due to a stroke of luck for the UCM player, they managed to take out the Orpheus with just their main railguns.
The Agamemnon was having free reign killing quite a few enemy ships including the Madrid (who had done a good job, btw). It circled around to keep away from the Moscows and in the end, came in for a killing taking down one heavily wounded Moscow and securing the critical location at the end of turn 6.
It wasn’t all that bloody a battle – I still had the Agamemnon, two Medeas and an Ajax left at the end of the game and my opponent had one Moscow and three New Orleans left.
Scoring ended 24 – 18 if memory serves right. The game took 2 hours and 45 minutes.
I love the cruiser heavy fleet. It is quite intimidating for my opponent when my ships need to take so much damage before they are down. It is also quick to play, as you don’t have all that much management with the few ships
The double Orpheus works wonders, and it is hard to prevent me from dropping with the ships no matter how much fire they are receiving.
I am also loving the Agamemnon more and more. Initially I found it quite useless – why do I want a ship with no forward-facing guns? But the speed means it can bring its immense firepower to bear where and when it is needed. It is gradually replacing the Bellerophon as my favourite Heavy-choice.
Critical locations; I need to be better at focusing at them. Not being present in the center made good sense with the intimidating Moscows and meant that they were somewhat wasted – I think they had one round of weapons free in total. But it did mean that he scored for critical locations 3 times and I only scored twice – and the second time was a close call.
I didn’t miss bringing corvettes but I must admit that my light broadsides did not perform as could be expected – I never killed a single strike carrier after it entered atmosphere, and it wasn’t for lack of trying. The odds are not really that bad (18,1 % on an undamage frigate), but it just didn’t work out.
The Lima was a mixed experience. My opponent brought one and while it was very useful for him, I think that at least once, the battle group didn’t go for another special order, so it wasn’t needed (and ship could have done it). I shot it down in turn 3 or 4. I think bringing a single other frigate that can do something makes more sense than bringing a Lima at these point values. However, when bring 2, the situation is different.
The Calypso is an odd ship. I have played this fleet a little handful of times now, and people tend to never fire at the Agamemnon-Calypso group, so the Calypso seems like a waste. But I think the Calypso makes the group very tough in my opponents eyes making him avoid it alltogether. In this game, my Agamemnon was only fired at once or twice (and nothing serious, it didn’t suffer any damage) and when the Moscows in the final round had the opportunity to let loose, they fired at the Calypso. My opponent said that he regarded his odds of destroying something as better when firing at the Calypso, since he found the Agamemnon too tough to realistically destroy in that final round. I guess the Calypso is a kind of ablative armour – either because of its ability to increase lock value or because people decide to fire at it before the ship it is guarding, to make it easier to take down the other ship.
In retrospect, there was little I would do differently. I think that instead of playing avoidance with my center battle groups, I should have engaged the Moscows with the Orion and the Agamemnon simultanously, but because I thought my opponent would be hunting my Agamemnon, I moved it a bit to far away trying to lure him away, but he didn’t bite. Instead I should have engaged more aggressively with it. It fired almost every round so it wasn’t a waste, but there were better targets.
I still enjoy playing this list. I have a 999p game coming up and I think I am aiming for a beefed-up version of this list, maybe like the one I present some time ago.