|Melting through all your ships.|
I played a game today vs. my friend Kyle's FSA force with my French. Since my Attack Flotilla haven't arrived yet, you will not see any of the newer stuff here. No matter though, at 1000 points, my French were well-equipped to fight against the opposition.
Charlemagne DN, Cloud
Magenta MkII, Cloud
Couronne BCV, Cloud
5x Fighters, 1x Recon
3x Escuyer CA
4x Chevalier DD
+2x Springfield Escorts
4x Lee Scoutships
3x Lexington CA
4x Augusta FF
4x Augusta FF
Some notes from the game:
- The Toulon MkII ships are great upgrades for my heavier ships. Not only do they add extra dice on the defense of my larger vessels, but the extra Heat Lance is absolutely monstrous. This elevates the relatively unimpressive 2x DR to 3x on a major target and that's just amazing. For the extra 80 points, this brings the Charlemagne package up to 320 points. Pretty expensive, but worth the points if you deploy and screen well.
- His Independence BB got within RB3 of my forces, went full stop and started pounding my Couronne. Sadly, he was unable to inflict any damage on my forces over the course of 3 turns. On the third turn, I was able to throw 21 dice with my Charlemagne + Toulon's Heat Lances into the BB, forcing a crit that he turned into no damage with some incredible shield saves (-7 damage). No matter though, the Indie was pretty much deadweight since it did not do any damage to any of my forces.
- The combination of Retardant Armor and Cloud Generator is super strong at denying enemy damage. When the dust settled, the only bit of damage that my opponent inflicted was on activation turns that he was able to 1. seize initiative and 2. go before my Cloud generator could activate. Where a few of my ships took good damage from his forces, the Redoubtable Heat Lances just kept chewing through his forces (due to FSA's high DR).
- I was extremely surprised at how much damage his Augutas were pouring out. Not only do they have good 4/5 DR/CR, but they were throwing out upwards of 16 dice at some of my ships. With their good speed and damage, I will be wise never to underestimate them again. I had Torpedo planes ready to go most of the time but I was saving them for the bigger ships. A mistake I'll never make again, that's for sure.
- Speaking of surprises, the Lexington CAs have an amazing amount of AP to throw around. FSA in general took me a little off-guard with the sheer amount of boarding actions that they can take. Not only do they have Sharpshooters to drop my AP, but their Lees and Lexingtons can really put on the hurt in boarding. Lee Scoutships are really solid when it comes to boarding my ships: They can throw huge amounts of AP at me while I'm unable to board his ships in return because they're flying.
- After the game, Kyle said it probably would of been better if he had went Obscured for more rounds to deny my shooting since he was shooting at Cloud Genrators anyway. This was a pretty good call. The Valley and the Lees didn't do as much damage as he would of liked because of the French's fleet's AA.
- Speaking of AA, a lot of people look down on Escuyers but I find them to be quite good for 165 points for 3x. They have a crazy amount of shots against enemy air with their threat range of 22" (6" move + 16" guns) and re-rolls, plus their 90 degree secondary turrets are solid firing solutions with 7/6/5/-. For the points, I find them hard to beat for how much versatility they can put out. Maybe this will change if my opponents stop bringing air units completely.
- My Chevalier DDs were largely useless this game and most of our TFT did nothing to each other's ships. Kyle said he'll probably swap out the Valley for the New Orleans the next time around and maybe take a dreadnought of his own. While a lot of people see the Charlemagne as a lesser DN, I find it to be very good in every single game I've ever taken her. She has an amazing amount of gun coverage and firing solutions as well as 2x Heat Lances that can be directed on either side. Now with the ability to take a supporting Toulon, I can't see myself playing a larger game without it.
Which brings me to another point: Do you think dreadnoughts should be LA 1250? Are they too much for a player to handle at 1000 points if they don't bring one? Are they undercosted, or are they fine?