Airship Dragoon Battle Log
The Situation So Far:
Playing as the British Royalists (gor blimey guvnor, it's six bonger I say old chap, ilkley moor bar tat, ee-by-gum matey ...) I'd randomly started with a Dreadnaught Class Heavy Dirigible, which allows for a carry capacity of 15 troops (yay!) and a move range of 2 hexes (not yay ... ). I'd expanded territories quickly, before suffering a defeat in which I lost my top officer and a number of other veterans, and my dirigible had been kicked all the way back to my original fort. This rapid expansion had brought me into contact with the dastardly forces of the People's Collective (a mystery, wrapped in an enigma, placed in a box, thrown in a sack, burried in a churchyard under a new moon on Saint Crispins Day ...). They too had the advantage/disadvantage of a Dreadnaught class airship and had started to chip away at my more undefendable conquests near what I presumed was their main garrison. After swallowing up a number of my resource rich but population low arid hexes, they finally came into a temperate environment where I had the chance to deploy a few more troops against them.
Anti-pirate operations were about to be suspended as the distant enemy Dreadnaught came into view
Whilst my selection of veteran defenders wasn't anything to write home about, I did have one thing going for me and that was the weather. It was stormy, with low visibility and the majority of my available troops were of the close range class. This meant that they could return fire during the enemy's phase if a target of opportunity walked into their sights, and the poor weather would prevent them from being picked off at range.
Not exactly the world's greatest elite shock troops :/
Take the high ground and peer through the storm at the enemy objective
The enemy had established themselves on my territory, and so it was the job of the brave chaps of King George the Gouty to go forth into the raging storm and capture their flag. Moving quickly to take the high ground midway from the objective I could survey the terrain ahead and decide upon my tactical plan. It was pretty simple, move forward cautiously, Sergeant Archiblad Devon (Recce) on point to scan for enemy booby traps that the others may walk into unseen, keeping an arc of close range Fusiliers around the others for reactive fire protection and move down and use the hedges as cover.
Contact! Contact! Twitchy Bum Time!
No sooner had I started to move down the hill as there was incoming fire from a lone defender to the front. What appeared perfect time to blood my lone Conscript in his first ever battle proved otherwise as he emptied his entire magazine without scoring a hit. Sergeant Lesley Sheffield (Fusilier) records the mission's first kill. Moving slowly forwards in cautious mode Sheffield encounters and kills another defender without reply. Things going nicely.
Setting up an arc formation of close range troops ready for anything.
Moving down to the base of the hill I establish my defensive arc of Fusiliers and am about to set off for the cover of the hedgerows when all hell breaks loose. Sgt Major Kai Lancaster comes under heavy fire from from the centre with one round ricocheting off his armour and another lightly wounding him before green tracer of a heavy sniper rifle comes rushing down from the hill to the left flank. Sergeant Les Sheffield bears the main brunt of the attack from the right flank with scores of red tracer from light rounds landing nearby.
Lance Corporal Frederich Norfolk finds himself somewhat in the crossfire of all of these missing bullets, and though not actually hit panics, spraying bullets into the mist. Devon returns fire scoring a kill and Dick Scarborough finally gets into the action, winging an opponent who flees into cover. Les moves up only to come under small calibre automatic fire and responds by wounding his opponent. Conscript Weymouth continues to squeeze off shots with nothing to show for it. Sgt-Major Kai Lancaster, the expedition's imperious leader, fails to hit back and then fails to make it into cover. Everyone seems to be using a lot of ammunition up ...
... but it looks like it's working! The enemy to the centre flees and those to the flank panic enmass, pouring a huge amount of mostly innaccurate fire over the heads of my troops. Mostly inaccurate as both Les and Devon are struck by stray rounds. Deciding he's had enough of this, Les jumps to his feet and flees back up the hill to safety.
Break out the Aid Kit, it's where I keep my hipflask!
Wounded but still going, Devon moves up, wounds another defender who is in turn finished off by Scarborough. The enemy still seem to be in somewhat of a panic but large calibre rifle rounds keep coming down from the hill to the left flank. Norfolk has regained his composure enough to spray the hill with suppressing fire whilst Lancaster leads a lone charge up the side of sniper hill. Conscript Weymouth tries to get into the firefight but continues to be unable to hit a bull in the butt with a bazooka, drawing automatic weapon fire his short lived advance turns into a route and he flees in panic.
Cover! Get into cover!
Automatic light machine gun fire suddenly erupts from sniper hill. Norfolk returns fire with his large calibre semi-auto rifle, scoring a headshot on the fraction of the gunner that he can see. Nice shooting, Tex! However he is now worryingly down to just 15 rounds ...
Les patches himself up with a health kit before returning to the action, whilst Devon scores more hits on enemies to the right flank causing them to flee in panic. All the time Scarborough moves up unopposed and gets into the cover of the hedgerows, just short of the enemy flag.
Boom Headshot! End of the threat from Sniper Hill
Lancaster makes it to the top of sniper hill, ending the threat of the large calibre marksman with a nicely placed headshot. Everyone else presses forwards into the hedges where Scarborough waits, ready to launch the final assault. Which is just when an enemy walks around the corner and Scarborough shoots him dead at point blank range. Nice reactions there, sonny!
Tip-toe ... through the hedges ...
Lancs moves along sniper hill and starts his descent to the flank of the flag before coming under fire, his armour stopping a bullet. Heavier incoming fire penetrates his armour though, and he turns and flees. Norfolk decides on a fast assault, but spotting four enemies camped near the base of the objective, he wounds one before withdrawing into cover. Sheffield moves up to support the attack and records his hat-trick, killing the defender who had wounded Lancs.
As the enemy attempt to pursue the fleeing commander, they cross into the line of fire of Scarborough and Sheffield who pour down numerous volleys before Sheffield finally kills one. As Conscript Weymouth rejoins the battle after his soiling his briches in panic, Norfolk takes the opportunity to fire upon the now routed enemies. In utter disarray the enemy panics, fleeing, shooting wildly and at this point I decided it's about time Weymouth actual did something useful. Pulling a frag grenade, he pops the pin - hoping that no one is still lucid enough to shoot him before he has chance to throw it - and launches an assault on the enemy flag.
Weymouth always tried to look nonchelant immediately after murdering someone with a grenade ...
With the enemy truly routed, Weymouth takes the chance to record his first ever kill with the grenade before moving over to capture the flag. And the battle is mine! With no fatalities amongst my troops ... which ... was a surprise. Weymouth was promoted to Sapper class as a result and became one of my team's core veterans.
A miracle victory! Which is also an unlockable achievement ... which was nice. :)
The victory really came about from a variety of random factors. The weather was one of them, with the view distance reduced my troops were safe from long range fire meaning that I could move towards the objective unhindered. Randomization of previously promoted conscripts had given me a glut of Fusiliers, making my choice of veterans unnaturally balanced to the short range class which was perfect for the reduced visibility. Armour repeatedly saved the lives of the troops and the final factor would be luck - there was an enormous amount of incoming fire which struck the ground at the feet of my troops, or flew just over their heads.
Promotions for everyone! - except the boss who gets shrapnel picked out of his arse ...