DFC: After Action Report. 1500pts PHR vs Scourge

Djinn made for a horrifying alpha strike!
I had a truly excellent game with my buddy Steve on Thursday evening. We met down at the Hamilton MIGS (Military Interests Gaming Society) clubhouse where they have a whole ton of terrain and tables for various scales of wargames.

We played 1500pts a side which is the largest I've played yet and fought a Take and Hold scenario. Scourge is one of my favourite factions to play against. Not only do they have an excellent background, but their playstyle is something that I enjoy very much playing against. The fact that they are supremely fast, built for up-close engagement, and typically are on the opposite end of the tactical spectrum from PHR makes for a very enjoyable battle.

Echoes respond to the right flank threat.
Steve had decided to perform an early game alpha strike by running his 4 strong Djinn frigate squad right up the right flank table overtop of the medium sized city I was positioning 2 Medea towards. It was a devastingly effective tactic and one that I hadn't expected at all, he managed to take them out in a single volley.

What's more is the display of power was such that I would ignore them at my peril; I had to do
something about them.

Since we were playing a scenario that had a Column approach type, it meant that in the early game I had to commit a sizeable degree of my fleet towards dealing with the Djinn problem lest I expose my right flank and encourage him to start harrying more important assets in my fleet.

Thus, I responded with my 4 strong Echoes, an Orpheus troopship as well as my Scipio battlecruiser with Calypso ECM frigate in tow.

Admiral in the Scipio watches enemy right flank attack crumble.
I had some extreme concerns that if I didn't deal with them very quickly that I would end up sacrificing the left side of the battlefield and potentially giving Steve control of 3 of the cities on that side that we were fighting over.

Meanwhile I ran my Pandora frigates up the left side flank in hopes that I could respond to his own troopship as well as the bulk of his fleet that seemed to be deploying on that side. I hid behind a dense debris field to mask my approach, though he did manage to send some bombers on me in the early game.

I got lucky however, I managed to get a full volley of VERY effective burnthrough laser fire onto his troopship and destroy it in one action. This of course painted a HUGE target on their heads as a good portion of Steve's fleet started to focus fire on taking out that threat.

Meanwhile, I did manage to take the right most city with 2 Medeas even though they were getting
Pandoras focus on taking out the Chimera.
pummeled by bombardment fire from Steve's Charybdis frigates. I wasn't overly concerned about the ground game; Steve had taken 4 Gargoyles and a Chimera troopship which I had already taken out. Conversely I had 2 Orpheus troopships and 6 Medeas. That being said, Steve had some seriously concerning firepower in his heavy cruisers and Hydra fleet carriers, so I had to be careful about the orbital game, lest I end up getting destroyed before I was able to get to turn 4 for scoring.

By turn 4 it looked as if I had the game pretty handily. I believe the score was somewhere around 21 for the PHR to 11 for the Scourge.

However, in the bottom end of the game Steve's fleet was able to get into its optimal range and started just wreaking havoc on my fleet. My Scipio battlecruiser and Orpheus troopship were destroyed quite quickly even though my Calypsos were star performers. There is only so much that the Calypsos can protect against. By turn 6 the deadpile on both sides was quite heavy, though I think that Steve had a
Scipio and Shenlong trade blows, much to the Scipio's demise.
considerable advantage in the end. I was able to hold onto the objectives in the end though and by my count the score was 36 for the PHR to 21 for the Scourge. Not a bad victory, though certainly a pyrrhic victory what with all the dead cyborgs floating in space. :)

A great game!

The three things that I learned out of this game about the PHR fleet were:

  • Calpysos are worth their weight in gold. If you have a heavy investment in any particular assets, definitely find the 37pts to field one to protect them. I had 2, one with the Scipio and another with my 2 Bellerophons. They were absolutely worth the points.
  • Pandoras: Fielded in 4s they are expensive, yes, costing 200pts for the squad. But good god, they have an absolutely devastating alpha strike.
  • Scipio: I see its value now. Having a launch capacity of 4 along with 12 light calibre broadsides, it can field a decent degree of threat. In my opinion though, the real advantage of the Scipio is it's speed. Having 10" movement a turn allows for a tremendous increase in possible threat range for my bombers. While I LOVE the Bellerophons, having a movement of 7" means that they are typically relegated to backfield firing and don't have a great capability of repositioning. The Scipio's movement can address both of these issues.

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