As promised, I will try my best to chronicle my learning of DW 2.0. I had my first real learning game. We kept things very simple to make sure we had a firm grasp of the basic rules. We had 500pt fleets that just adhered to the first rule of list building. So we each had one large squadron, a medium squadron, and a small squadron.
I fielded my Chinese Federation (CF) models for the very first time. I took Jian mark I battleship, three Dao cruisers, and four Nu frigates. My friend Robert fielded my Federated States of America (FSA) models, and had a Liberty heavy battleship, three Georgetown cruisers, and three Augusta frigates. I will have to say, after looking at the stats of the two fleets, I was pretty sure the CF were going to be fighting an uphill battle. Both Robert and I had played DW 1.2 a few times, but were by no means experts.
I ran out and bought a new blue table cloth just for the game. :) We rolled for terrain as in the book and only got one item, which I got to put down. So I plopped the largest island from the starter set. That is the FSA on the left, and the CF on the right. I won the roll off for init and went first.
I'll apologize now for not taking activation by activation pictures. Since this was such a small game, I tried to take when something major happened. I started off with moving my frigates around the north side of the island to get some shots off at his cruiser. However, the boats didn't have enough speed to get everyone in range, so no damage was done. Robert then swung his frigates over to shoot at mine, and blew one up with a crit. I passed the motivation test.
I then moved my cruisers forward and linked their fore guns at the battleship. Five sixes later, a nice crit was placed on the FSA BB (I have no idea why battleships are abbreviated as BB). He then activated his kinetic generator to speed his BB an extra 5" forward and launched everything he had at the CF BB, but only succeeded in putting on a single hit. The CF BB then moved forward and fired its broadsides at the FSA BB and put on another critical. Due to the special rules on the CF weapons, I had stripped of several crew and put on raging fire tokens as well. Finally, his cruisers moved up and unleashed on the CF BB, but only succeeded in adding another point of damage.
In the end phase, the FSA BB failed to put out the fire or remove the chaos critical.
Turn 2: (above pic shows status after two activations)
On my first activation, my cruisers moved up to fire upon the BB and the cruisers. The BB was unscathed, but I critted a cruiser and knocked out its engine. He then advanced his BB before it got damaged further and fired upon my battleship. The dice were going well for me, and not so much for him.
Seeing how my BB was screened by my cruisers, I activated my frigates and was able to take out one of his frigates, and damage another. The FSA frigates, now down to two, were still potent enough to take out one of mine in return. All motivation tests were passed.
I then advanced my BB slowly, I was just short of ramming distance, and I didn't want to risk one. Why put damage on my ship when his was hurting so much?
The heavy flamethrowers roasted his BB and put on a crit (this is where I goofed in the rules. Apparently flamethrowers don't put on crit damage, but just add on heaps of fire tokens) So now his BB had fires, corrosive markers, and other damage while it drifted ahead. The broadsides were able to finish off one of the FSA cruisers as well. Those cruisers were still very lethal though, taking down one of mine and damaging another, in fact, he triple critted one of them. Thankfully though the first crit was enough to destroy it (I think his BB had put damage one of the cruisers as well).
In the command phase, his BB was able to stop one of the fires, and one of the corrosive markers, but was slowly burning and melting apart. I think my cruisers had failed their disorder test, but we missed doing its effects in the end phase.
Here is where things went sideways. I finished off his BB with my BB after carefully avoiding the ram. His cruisers then fired at mine, and destroyed another one...but not only destroying it...teleporting it 16", right over the island, and smack dab on top of his two frigates. No lie. We checked the lines and distance over and over again to make sure we were doing it right. The two little boats got crushed by the CF cruiser and sank.
All in all, very unexpected turn of events. I was sure the FSA was going to mop up. As this was a learning game, we knew mistakes were going to be made. However, at every turn, we discussed what the best firing options were for each player. So in those regards, no errors were made. The only tactical error in the game (other than my small ships going too far to get that first turn shot off which didn't do anything but make them a target) was when he used his kinetic generator to catapult his BB ahead. The FSA had the range advantage, and by putting his BB so close to my lines, it let me concentrate my cruisers and BB on it, leaving his cruisers to catch up.
Still, I think the game went reasonable quick for a learning game. We did play for about three hours. I'm sure that repeated play will cut our time down for turns. We are going to slowly introduce other aspects of the game each week. I think we are going to try out the SAS tokens for our next game, and maybe up the points a little.
The weather here in the PACNW is dismal, and not conducive to priming. So you might be seeing a lot of bare ships for a while. However, I do think Robert is going to bust out his Covenant for next week. Lets see if the Chinese Federation can handle them.