Wednesday, 12 February 2014

White Lightning


Part Two of my Wolf Pack Flotilla breakdown that started with the Sturmbringer-class Submarine continues with the first Prussian small flyer that isn't an airship, the Zerstörer Strike Bomber. Carrying impressive Tesla cluster bombs and packing some speed, the Dystopian Stuka is a lovely addition to the Tesla-heavy Prussian fleet.

The Zerstörer Strike Bomber squadron was the first metal flyers I had painted for the Prussian fleet, though some previous experience with the Jager and Speerwurf Light Zeppelins had warned me of the inherent differences that come with painting a model that is a different material, and one doesn't have a flat bottom! Of course I had previous experience painting metal for other games, but it is always a shock to go between different materials - check it out yourself if you're sceptical!

The Strike Bombers are surprisingly large!
For the scheme, I had already decided to copy the palette developed with the Prussian Tiny Flyer Tokens done before - green for most with a red leader to represent the ace or squadron commander. I had no doubt this striking scheme would work well, and am happy with the result. Initially, I was not planning on carrying over the yellow tails from the bomber squadrons, but I think it adds a lot to the Zerstörer and am happy I did. 

The green is Vallejo Brown Violet highlighted with Buff, feathered and layered in a similar manner to the grey on the Sturmbringer to give the impression of weathering and high speed movement. The Prussian Cross on the wings looks difficult, but the detail of sculpt makes it easier than it looks. Let the model do the hard work - paint the white first and then correct mistakes with the black on the raised central cross. Picking up the details like the rivets really makes these models pop. 

I have only used the Strike Bombers a few times, but their cost effectiveness cannot be doubted. A full squadron for only one hundred points is a fine price, and though I would hesitate to send them against a fully operational Dreadnought, their bombs combined with Pack Hunter make a damaged Large or enemy ship with low AA (such as Russians) an easy target. 

Linked (and with Pack Hunter), they can drop a Tesla-bomb 16AD on one target, or if going for the Medium target (or just feeling lucky!), a round of 10AD and 7AD would be a nasty surprise, especially with Lethal Strike and Devastating Ordnance. Pack Hunter also helps when using their AA to attack other aerial models. 

Some players would recommend the Strike Bombers go forward in the Vanguard and drop their Bombs and Lightning Rod tokens as early as possible, setting up a future brutal Tesla-attack from the rest of the fleet, but I would question their fragility, especially against fleets fielding good AA or Interceptors. Using them later in the game preserves their strength, and can easily finish off a damaged Large or Medium Squadron for some mid-to-late game victory points. 

• Aesthetics - they look fantastic
• Tesla-bombs with Lightning Rods. Start dropping those tokens! 
• Pack Hunter - makes the bombs better and helps with AA
• Cheap - a full squadron for the same price as a Frigate squadron

• Limited attack - bombs are their only weapon
• Bombs. Never the most powerful weapon in Dystopian Wars and difficult to deliver
• Fragile - well, they are only a small flyer! Keep them flying high
• Cost - they may be the same price as a Frigate squadron... would you not just want another Frigate squadron? 

• The squadron is quite big and will attract a lot of firepower purely based on their looks and people's general fear of Bombs. This is great, as it takes attention away from the rest of the fleet, but can be disheartening as they won't all make it into bombing range. 

Thanks for reading, 


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