Gothic Campaign – Finale

August 23, 2014
23 Aug/14

Liam Perseus, Chapter Master of the Azure Flames, strode onto the bridge of His Hammer II with a look of disgust on his face.  In a rare display, Admiral Piers looked up from the monitors surrounding his command throne.

“How went the Exterminatus of the Kutner system, my lord?” Piers asked before turning his attention back to orchestrating the machinations of his Battle Barge.

“It was unnecessary.  The Necrons are gone.” Perseus spat.

Piers raised one eyebrow.  “You sound disappointed.”

“Wouldn’t you be?” Perseus shot back. “The filthy xenos don’t have the stomach for a fight.  I wanted to cleanse that world of them, but it seems that they have done so for us.”

“Their disappearance allows me to proceed with the final phase of this crusade.”  Piers began typing almost too fast for Perseus to follow.  “Brother O’Brien, open a channel to all Imperial ships, Emerald encryption.”  Piers waited for confirmation before beginning.  ” Attention Imperial Navy vessels.  This is Admiral Piers in command of the Azure Flames fleet.  Although you refuse to submit to our authority, we do have a common enemy.  We move to chase the Tau who fled this sector to preserve their homeworld.  You would be welcome in cleansing this xenos scum alongside us.  In the Emperor’s name.”  Piers ended the transmission.  “Brother, dispatch orders to Flame, Wrath, and Blade squadrons to begin warp translation and pursue the Tau fleet.”

“You have no intention of chasing the Tau all the way back to the Damocles Gulf.”  Perseus stated in a flat, emotionless cadence.

“Of course not, my lord.” Piers replied.

“…and the Imperials know that Emerald level encryption has been broken by the cowardly aliens?” Perseus continued in the same tone.

In the most blase voice possible, Piers answered “They remain unaware.  The Tau will decipher that message within minutes.”

“So,” Perseus yelled, his voice growing to a shout, “You have just informed the Traitors that we will leave Laurie’s Hope undefended, and allowed the aliens to KNOW?  The Tau will double their retreat, forever preventing us from crushing them, and the Imperials WILL THROW EVERYTHING THEY HAVE AT US!”

Piers turned and looked Perseus directly in the eye, and smiled.  “Yes my lord.  They most certainly will.”


In the final game of the campaign, Nathaniel, the only other surviving opponent played a winner-take all Planetary Assault against the Hive World of Laurie’s Hope!  Will the Space Marines be able to defend this prize, or will the Imperials take it away from them?

Planetary Assault – 1500pts


Nathaniel – Imperial Navy

-Emperor Battleship Thor’s Gaze, Shark Assault Boats

-Retribution Battleship Nieman Lion

-Mars Battlecruiser Saratoga, third turret, Flagship, Admiral Ld8 with one Re-roll

-Overlord Battlecruiser Centaur, third turret, left shift on batteries

-Cobra Squadron x4 Exemplar Squadron

-Two Transports

-Two Transports

-Heavy Transport Argosy


Bozeman – Azure Flames Space Marines

-Battle Barge His Hammer II, Honour Guard, Terminator Boarding Parties, Flagship: Ranidan Piers, Admiral (Ld10) 3 re-rolls, Crew Skill: Extra re-roll for this ship

-Strike Cruiser Vigilance, Extra Shield, Refit: +1Ld for Reload Ordnance

-Strike Cruiser Duty, Extra Shield, Crew Skill: Pass one Leadership check automatically, Refit: +2 Hull Points, -5cm Speed

-Strike Cruiser Courage, Extra Shield, Crew Skill: Re-roll x2, Refit: +2D6 on All Ahead Full

-Strike Cruiser Sacrifice, Extra Shield, Refit: +1D6 for Critical Repairs

-Strike Cruiser Honor, Extra Shield, Crew Skill: +1Ld for Lock on, Refit: Suffer no movement penalty for Blast Markers

-Minefield (15cm x 15cm)

-Minefield (15cm x 10cm)

-Orbital Mine

-Orbital Defence Platform (batteries)

-Ground Laser Battery x4

-Ground Air Base x2




Turn 1 – Azure Flames

Fleet advances.

Turn 1 – Imperial Navy

Every ship in the fleet except the two Battlecrusiers goes on All Ahead Full.  The Mars uses Come to a New Heading to maneuver to get line of sight for the Nova Cannon and the Overlord fails.  Wild scatter on the Nova Cannon does no damage. Emperor fires 2 Fighters and 6 Bombers, while Mars fires 4 Bombers.

Turn 2 – Azure Flames

Fleet advances.  Bombers launched by the Mars are lost in an asteroid field.

Turn 2 – Imperial Navy

Thor’s Gaze goes on All Ahead Full, but other ships fail.  Cobra squadron fires a Strength 8 torpedo wave.

Turn 3 – Azure Flames

The Courage and Sacrifice fire torpedoes, Thunderhawks, and Bombardment cannons which annihilate the Cobra Squadron.  Bombardment Canons from Honor and Vigilance take out the bomber wave, while their torpedoes and Thunderhawks fly directly into the path of the Retribution Battleship.  Duty’s Thunderhawks move in front of the Emperor Battleship.

Turn 3 – Imperial Navy

The Retribution braces against the Space Marine ordnance.  Poor torpedo roll does no damage, but Thunderhawk Gunships take out the dorsal lances.  The Emperor’s turrets make mincemeat out of the Thunderhawks, but a poor leadership test does 3 damage from asteroids.  Nova Cannon from the Mars glances the Duty, lowering one shield.  5 torpedoes from the Retribution ignore the Duty and move past it.

Turn 4 – Azure Flames

Torpedoes and Thunderhawks cause the Mars to brace, barely saving it from being crippled.  Broadsides pound the Heavy Transport.  His Hammer II boards Thor’s Gaze and does 2 damage, starts 2 fires, and damages the starboard weapons.  Broadside fire kills 2 transports, and torpedoes kill another.  A good brace save protects the last transport and the Overlord Battlecruiser from harm.

Turn 4 – Imperial Navy

Mars moves up and fires the Nova Cannon at the asteroids hoping for a lucky scatter.  Fortune is fickle, and the template scatters onto BOTH His Hammer II AND the Neiman Lion, lowering one shield each.  Thor’s Gaze runs through the asteroids, taking one damage from an unrepaired Fire.  Torpedoes from the Overlord miss His Hammer II.  In a gutsy move, the Nieman Lion boards the Strike Cruiser Duty, and in a double surprise the action is a TIE!

Turn 5 – Azure Flames

Honor and Vigilance board the Mars, crippling it.  Despite brace saves, the Heavy Transport explodes, the last escort class transport is killed, and the Overlord battlecruiser is crippled.  An Orbital Mine from the Minefield hits Thor’s Gaze, causing 3 more Fire effects!  Duty and the Nieman Lion fight another boarding action, and it is another tie!  DOUBLE TIE!

Turn 5 – Imperial Navy

Crippled and on fire, Thor’s Gaze disengages.  The crippled Overlord fails to navigate the asteroids and is destroyed.  The Mars, crippled and braced, lowers a shield on the Duty.  Finally, the boarding fight between the Duty and the Nieman Lion is decisive: 7 damage to the Nieman Lion, crippling it.  Critical damage finishes off the Nieman Lion, leaving it a drifting hulk.

Turn 6 – Azure Flames

All nearby ships Lock On and destroy the Mars.  Turn not pictured.  Game over.


WHAT A SLAUGHTER!  Nathaniel had some bad luck, but mostly he let the Space Marines get close.  He would have done better with Dauntless cruisers with lances and a mix of boats with balanced weapons.  Some more Nova Cannons would not have hurt either.

This concludes the Battlefleet Gothic Campaign for the summer!  Stay tuned for more fluff to wrap up the story, including a surprise guest!

Filed under: Azure Flames, Battlefleet Gothic, Gaming, Storytelling

Gothic Campaign Week 10 – The Cost of Valor

August 17, 2014
17 Aug/14

Ramping up to the second to last week, Nathaniel’s Imperial Navy defended the HO-53 system from my encroaching Space Marines in a Fleet Engagement!


Fleet Engagement 1500pts (Imperial Navy as defenders had 1400 because the system was uninhabited)

Space Marines choose Sphere, Imperial Navy chose Sphere.


Bozeman – Azure Flames Space Marines

-Battle Barge His Hammer II, Fleet Admiral Ranidan Piers 39 Renown, 3 Re-rolls, Honour Guard, Terminator Boarding Parties

-Strike Cruiser Vigilance, Extra Sheild, Refit: +1Ld to Reload Ordnance Checks

-Strike Cruiser Duty, Extra Sheild, Crew Skill: auto pass one leadership test, Refit: +2 Hull points, -5cm speed

-Strike Cruiser Courage, Extra Sheild, Refit: +2D6 on All Ahead Full, Crew Skill: re-roll x2

-Strike Cruiser Sacrifice, Extra Sheild, Refit: +1D6 for critical effect repairs

-Nova Destroyer x6, Flame Squadron


Nathaniel – Imperial Navy

-Retribution Battleship Nieman Lion

-Mars Battlecruiser Saratoga, Admiral 3 Renown, 1 re-roll, Third Turret

-Lunar Cruiser True Heart, Power Ram

-Tyrant Cruiser Belligerent, extra range on batteries

-Dominator Cruiser Kar Duniash

-Dauntless Light Cruiser Kestrel, Lances

-Dauntless Light Cruiser Roanoke, Lances




Imperial Navy – Turn 1

The whole fleet moves up.  The Tyrant flanks the squadron of Dauntless Light Cruisers.  The Retribution and the Dominator move up the center.  The Lunar and Mars go up the right side.  Mars launches 4 fighters, on CAP.  Tyrant fires torpedoes.

Azure Flames – Turn 1

Vigilance takes the extreme left, Courage, Duty, Sacrifice, and Flame Squadron go up the center, His Hammer II is on the right side.  Every ship with bays launches Thunderhawks.  The CAP for the Mars splits in two.

Imperial Navy – Turn 2

Tyrant reloads and fires torpedoes at the Novas, but lucky brace saves prevent any from dying.  Lances from the Dauntlesses whiff.  Retribution takes down a shield on the Sacrifice.  Dominator’s Nova Cannon misses His Hammer II.

Azure Flames – Turn 2

Novas go right past the Tyrant.  The four Strike Cruisers gang up on the right side, unleashing a barrage of torpedoes and Thunderhawks.  The Tyrant’s prow torpedoes are disabled.  His Hammer II reloads, fires Boarding Torpedoes at the Retribution and causes Port and Prow weapons to be disabled.

Imperial Navy – Turn 3

Heavily damaged, the Dauntlesses disengage.  The Tyrant takes down the Vigilance’s shields with starboard guns and the Sacrifice’s with port.  His Hammer II braces for impact as the Dominator’s Nova Cannon causes 6 hits!  Brace fails to protect against one.  Lunar comes to a new heading.  Boarding Torpedoes that missed the Retribution go after the Dominator, which braces.  None of the torpedoes hit anyway.

Azure Flames – Turn 3

His Hammer II moves up, but braced guns are ineffective.  Vigilance moves up to board the Tyrant.  The other Strike Cruisers and Novas blast the Tyrant which refuses to brace.  The Tyrant is crippled. Subsequent boarding action does 4 more damage, turning the Tyrant into a drifting hulk.

Imperial Navy – Turn 4

Mars fires Nova Cannon at the Battle Barge, which takes 2 damage.  A critical effect collapses the Battle Barge’s shields!  Lunar fires torpedoes, but they come up a bit short.

Azure Flames – Turn 4

Battle Barge disengages.  The rest of the fleet moves out towards the Imperial Navy.  Lance fire at the Dominator takes down shields.

Imperial Navy – Turn 5

Fire kills one Nova escort after they brace.  Mars reloads and launches four bombers.

Azure Flames – Turn 5

Mixed results on Reload Ordnance leaves some Strike Cruisers without torpedoes.  The ones that do fire on the Dominator.  One wave gets through to the Lunar which causes a critical Fire!  The Dominator refuses to brace for incoming Bombardment Cannon fire and a critical hit causes a Hull Breach that takes the last point of damage, turning the Dominator into a Blazing Hulk!

Imperial Navy – Turn 6

The Blazing Hulk Dominator moves forward, and explodes!  The Lunar is lucky, only loses one shield, but several Thunderhawk flights are not so lucky.  The Lunar’s guns fire unbelievably well and kill three of the Novas after the Mars’ Nova Cannon takes down their shields. Retribution forces a brace on one of the Strike Cruisers.

Azure Flames – Turn 6

The Novas disengage.  The Courage moves up to board the Lunar.  Boarding action does only one damage.

Imperial Navy – Turn 7

Fire from the Lunar and Retribution cripple the Vigilance.  Mars’ Nova Cannon forces a brace on the Duty.

Azure Flames – Turn 7

Courage moves up to board the Mars.  Fire from the other Strike Cruisers cause a Hull breach which does two extra damage.  Boarding action does 5 damage, hulking the Mars.

Imperial Navy – Turn 8

Lunar disengages.  Retribution fails to disengage, even on leadership 10!

Azure Flames – Turn 8

Reloads and launches all around.

Imperial Navy – Turn 9

Retribution disengages.  Mars is left as a hulk.


This battle looks bad.  It is.  Nathan refused to Brace for Impact in almost every situation.  Bracing in the wrong situation can tie your hands behind your back, but NOT bracing can blow your arms off.

Next week: Last week of the campaign!  I’m so excited!

BONUS: Former Tau player Josh dropped out to start a Warhammer Fantasy campaign!  Here’s their second game (the first was too short for me to document), a blazing two-on-two with Brettonians and Lizardmen vs. Tomb Kings and Warriors of Chaos!

Filed under: Battlefleet Gothic, Gaming

Gothic Campaign Week 9 – Wheat and Chaff

August 9, 2014
09 Aug/14

Major shakeup: our Tau player dropped out, leaving his systems completely undefended!  Our part-time Imperial Navy player, Nathaniel, took advantage of this and launched an attack on the coveted Epps system.  Can the Space Marines prevent the Imperial Navy from expanding their sphere of influence?

Fleet Engagement – 800 pts


Bozeman – Azure Flames

-Battlebarge His Anvil (refit: Left Shift)

-Strike Cruiser Courage (refit: +2D6 on All Ahead Full, Crew Skills: re-roll x2)

-Strike Cruiser Honor (refit: does not suffer speed penalty for blast markers)

Nathaniel – Imperial Navy

-Emperor class Battleship Thor’s Gaze, with Shark Assault Boats

-Sword Frigates x6 Hellfire Squadron

-Cobra Destroyers x4 Deathbringer Squadron

-Cobra Destroyers x4 Exemplar Squadron

(Note: both fleets totaled exactly 800pts)



Turn 1 – Imperial Navy

Escort squadrons move forward to engage, while the Emperor fires 4 fighters and 4 bombers.

Turn 1 – Azure Flames

All ships launch Thunderhawks, which either form CAPs or try to mitigate enemy ordnance.

Turn 2 – Imperial Navy

Torpedoes fired by both Cobra squadrons do no damage.  Remaining attack craft put themselves right in the path of the Battle Barge.

Turn 2 – Azure Flames

His Anvil and Honor Reload Ordnance, but Courage fails to do so.  His Anvil kills two of the four Cobras near it, and combined fire from the Strike Cruisers kill three of the four of the others. All Imperial escort squadrons Brace for Impact.

Turn 3 – Imperial Navy

Braced Firestorms fire on Strike Cruiser Courage, but roll poorly.  Lone Cobra fails to disengage.  Thor’s Gaze moves up through the asteroids to shield it from the Battle Barge, and reloads.  However, it fails to navigate the asteroids and takes two damage!

Turn 3 – Azure Flames

His Anvil fails to navigate the asteroids, leaving it down one damage point, and unable to fire on Thor’s GazeHonor rolls poorly to kill the lone Cobra.  Fire from Courage forces a Brace on the Firestorms, but no casualties.

Turn 4 – Imperial Navy

Thor’s Gaze fires on His Anvil point blank, causing two damage and a Brace.  Cobras disengage.  Firestorms go for Honor, but fail to do damage.

Turn 4 – Azure Flames

His Anvil escapes through the Asteroid field.  Combined fire from the Strike Cruisers kills two Firestorms who decline to brace.

Turn 5 – Imperial Navy

Thor’s Gaze launches 2 fighters and 6 Bombers.  Firestorms cause 2 damage to Honor.

Turn 5 – Azure Flames

Courage and Honor reload, and fire on the Firestorms, reducing them to 1.  Bombers force a Brace on Courage, causing 1 damage.  His Anvil begins the long turnaround.

Turn 6 – Imperial Navy

Lone Firestorm disengages.  Thor’s Gaze reloads, launches again.  Fire brings down Honor’s shields.

Turn 6 – Azure Flames

The Strike Cruisers remove the ordnance with their Bombardment Cannons.  Courage uses Lock On to do so better.

Turn 7 – Imperial Navy

Reload, 2 fighters 6 bombers.

Turn 7 – Azure Flames

Bombardment Cannons blast the ordnance again.

Turn 8 – Imperial Navy

Thor’s Gaze uses Lock On and cripples Honor.

Turn 8 – Azure Flames

Courage disengages as Honor tries to swing around an asteroid field to get behind Thor’s Gaze.  His Anvil finally comes around.

Turn 9 – Imperial Navy

Thor’s Gaze reloads, launches, turns toward asteroids.

Turn 9 – Azure Flames

Honor launches a CAP and fails to shoot down the ordnance.

Turn 10 – Imperial Navy

Thor’s Gaze reloads and the bombers cripple Honor.

Turn 10 – Azure Flames

Honor disengages.  His Anvil fires Boarding Torpedoes at Thor’s Gaze, disabling the port guns and starting a fire.

Turn 11 – Imperial Navy

Thor’s Gaze fails to lock on, does not damage His Anvil, but repairs its critical effects.

Turn 11 – Azure Flames

His Anvil boards Thor’s Gaze, and causes 4 damage, an Engine Room result (one more damage) and another Fire.  Thor’s Gaze is crippled with 4 damage left.

Turn 12 – Imperial Navy

Crippled, Thor’s Gaze locks on and despite a Brace, His Anvil is crippled.  Thor’s Gaze takes one damage from the fire.

Turn 12 – Azure Flames

Shooting is ineffective.

Turn 13 – Imperial Navy

Thor’s Gaze disengages.


Imperial Navy: 200 Victory points

Azure Flames: 200 Victory points

Result: A TIE?????!!!!???!!!


UNBELIEVABLE!  I’ve never seen a tie in Gothic like this!  We both took fleets of EXACTLY 800pts and all of our fleets were crippled, so we both got 25% of each others fleet!  Weird.  Oh well, the campaign continues!  Tune in next week for more Gothic!

Filed under: Battlefleet Gothic, Gaming
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