|Long live the Queen!|
The first thing I have to say is: Holy shit man, torpedo spam with British is strong! I played my friend James today and he brought a list with no larges except for the Vengeance Class Submarine. Everything else was Cruisers and smalls, but man, the list was absolutely brutal. After facing such a list, I'm not sure if I would consider the British underpowered anymore.
I'm just going to capture the highlights from the game:
- Overall, I can't say I'm too happy with the performance of the EotBS fleet. The Hachiman Otsu-Gata is still pretty bad for the points and the Raijin War Gyro is just very unimpressive. Flying units in general, unless of course, you're a flying Dread like the CoA Euclid are just awful in this game. They have less protection than naval units, Obscured is just garbage because you're hardly contributing to the battle, and the damage you inflict is mediocre.
- The core design for the EotBS fleet is just a huge gimmick in my opinion. Rockets in general are very subpar in earlier stages of the game when squadrons are healthy and at full strength. They become even more subpar once the enemy closes in on you while your gimmicky rockets and subpar Raging Fire effects get weaker, and can be consistently dispelled with AA and repair rolls. Because of this dependency on rockets, EotBS gunnery takes a huge hit as well (weaker at long range). The design of the faction wants you to weaken the enemy with rockets first, then close in with strong guns and solid boarding. Sadly, if those rockets don't do what they're supposed to do, the enemy closes in and outguns you pretty easily. All this is happening while the other factions hammer you with torpedoes (more difficult to defend against), vastly superior long-range gunnery (4+, no AA or CC protection), and other "gimmicks" that straight up inflict the desired result (Tesla, for example). In short, dependency on rockets and Raging Fire suck.
- This British list I faced however, hot damn it can inflict an assload of damage from all range bands. I'm not sure entirely what his list was, but it had Agincourt Gunships, Dominion Support Cruisers tagging 2x units of Orion Destroyers, 2x Lord Hood Battlecruisers in a squadron, and a squadron of Tribals Cruisers. Once the Dominions started target painting my stuff, it was bad news bears as his Orions just lit up everything that I had. I was very surprised at the lack of larges in this list, but the damage that it was able to inflict on my forces were horrendous.
- It's been a long time since I've seen the British preform this well and I can only imagine that the support box and the Lord Hood helped with that. The Vengeance Sub is just a pain in the back side because he'll just creep along the water on my sides while constantly pouring dice from afar. The good thing about the Sonar Target Painters is that once one target is lit up, everything else that shoots at them get +1 to hit with their torpedoes. This is especially dangerous with the British Destroyers (I think the best DD in the game) because their damage potential is so great. Not just that, their range is insane and the fact the Dominions can be attached to them is just ludicrous. A unit of 4x Orions with an attached Dominion is 215 points, but with this, you gain the ability to do long-range torpedo death. Well worth it to me.
- James' entire list just made sense from a synergy perspective: There was a healthy amount of squadrons, hull points and target saturation on the battlefield, plus the fact there were 4 different Target Painters. With the Target Painters active, Water Hunters all over the place, and torpedoes from every which way, the only thing that was really safe was my Raijin. That is, until he got closer to do damage with his guns and got annihilated by combined gunnery from the British. That 6/9 is just asking to get killed, especially when you can't screen him and you contribute almost nothing to the battlefield if you go Obscured.
- The Lord Hood is by far the best Battlecruiser in the game. It moves 8", has Sharp Turn and packs dreadnought-class guns. Even when it hung out in the backfield, 2 of these things manages to throw out 14 AD from RB4. This becomes 21 dice at RB3, 22 at RB2, and 29 at RB1. Now I'm not sure what the justification was for having this kind of firepower from two of these ships, but these guys were insanely good in the game that we played. The damage potential from these guys made them absolutely killer when cruising parallel of my fleet. That 14/21 at RB4 and 3 just can't be ignored.
- Truth be told, the mission objectives in the game need some work. James needed to kill 70% of my fleet and I only needed to kill 50% of his, including smalls. With my Dreadnought taking up 280 of those points, I managed to snag the game from him when one of my Ikas caught up and ate his Vengeance submarine.
TLDR: If you're playing Kingdom of Brittania, you better be spamming torpedoes.