Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Herald of the Storm


One of my most recent additions to my Prussian fleet was the excellent Wolf Pack Flotilla, a well priced expansion that brings some serious electrical power to the Prussian arsenal. The Sturmbringer-class Submarine is the centrepiece of the box set, looking awesome and finally bringing the perpetrator of the infamous London Raid to the gaming table.

The Sturmbringer was a lot of fun to paint, though as a centrepiece and a model I knew I would be using a lot (especially in smaller games) I wanted to make some extra effort with it. Time-wise, this was one of the single most time-consuming pieces in my entire Prussian fleet, matched only by the Markgraf. A great deal of time was spent working out what scheme to use - the traditional camouflage of the rest of the fleet, or just one colour - contenders included red (a striking scheme, no doubt!), black (traditional U-boat), or plain grey.

Dive Dive Dive!

I settled on the grey as the red would be too much and the black... not enough. The hull was painted in sections, starting from the front and moving backwards, completing one section before moving on. This laborious process was done to ensure I did not get lazy and start dry-brushing or cutting corners.  Feathered, streaked layering was done to purposefully look like the submarine had seen some action, with dulled metals tarnished Tesla-weaponry. Some subtle green washes really add to the worn look I wanted to achieve. 

The Sturmbringer is considered one of the most powerful submarines in Dystopian Wars, cost-effective and carrying some brutal weaponry. Defensively it is fantastic, with a high CR, Rugged Construction and Panic Dive, an MAR that seems to work every turn, or not at all. The Tesla Bombard and two Speerschleuders give it one of the best broadsides at range for the Prussian fleet, and also become a force multiplier when combined with other Tesla-carrying ships such as the Donnerfaust and Metzger.

The TFT token is a cherry on top of an already indulgent dessert
 A weakness, surprisingly enough for the Prussian fleet, is the Sturmbringer at close range. Losing a great deal of firepower in Range Band 1, it also has a fairly modest crew for it's size and a low AA, with only Electrical Defences offering a modicum of defence. Unusual compared to the rest of the Prussian fleet tactics, but keep this guy back! It adds a new layer of tactical diversity to the Prussian fleet to have a major firebase sitting behind the main line, rather than just rushing forward.

The famous Commodore Dietrich von Kratz brings an interesting rule to the table with his Gewittersturm, allowing you to roll twice and pick the result of a Critical Hit caused by a Tesla-weapon, but in my experience this has never caused anything exemplary. Given my preference for Stolz-class Destroyers and Konigsberg-class Battlecruisers, it is also preferable to use the National Fleet Commodore rules and get that sweet, sweet Close Gunnery. I can see the advantage in a Tesla-heavy fleet, but for fifteen points I would rather invest in more/better ships.

The Wolf Pack

• Aesthetics - just look at it! U-boats are cool
• So much Tesla weaponry, and great threat range
• Tesla Generator! 
• Awesome MARS - Panic Dive and Rugged Construction are personal favourites
• Free recon plane for extra activations
• Cheap in points for it's power
• Rugged and survivable - Battleship defences and HP
• Submarine! 

• Low crew count - could be Prized quite easily once they get past the defences
• Low auxiliary statistics
• Size - this is not a small submarine

• Working better at long range is a strange one for Prussians and will require some practise. Learn to keep it behind the main battleline, preferably underwater. I always play like I'm going to roll that Panic Dive, and think you should too

As reward for his campaign against the Russians in the North Sea and the capture of the Dreadnought Dzerzhinsky, fleet commander Grunner was granted hunting rights in the Atlantic Ocean. His flotilla was expanded and refitted, new technologies and one of the powerful Sturmbringer-class submarines placed under his command. Grunner would bring his expertise in surprise attack to the Atlantic, and earn himself the enmity of the Federated States and the Kingdom of Britannia as well as the continued hatred of the Russian Coalition...

I purchased the Wolf Pack Flotilla around the time my North Sea Campaign against Winner Dave was coming to an end (the results of which you can see here) and preparations began for our next narrative, the raiding and defending of the Atlantic shipping routes.  My Wolf Pack would be the villains of the piece while Dave's Russians and Ben's FSA attempted to defend the convoys. In a future blog, I will look at the convoys and merchant ships that were built up for this campaign, and post some more battle reports.

Thanks for reading,


No comments:

Post a Comment