21 March 2013

Dreadfleet: Empty Vessels AAR

Empty Vessels is the 7th scenario in the Dreadfleet campaign. Basically three ships from the Grand Alliance find themselves sailing into a haunted area and come under attack from the ghost ship "Shadewraith" and a castle populated by the dead and the damned.

The whole area is covered in a mist from which the Shadewraith is able to emerge and disappear back into making the chase difficult. Every time the Shadewraith disappears the Dreadfleet player roll to see at which terrain feature the Shadewraith appears. The castle itself provides a formidable opponent, able to fire a mighty 5 cannon barrage at anyone coming too close and it ignores "Speed" and "Special" damage cards.  It also has a 4+ save on top of that.

The victory conditions of the scenario are for the Grand Alliance to destroy both the castle and the Shadewraith before turn 6 ends. The Dreadfleet player on the other hand just needs to inflict a total of10 damage cards on the Grand Alliance ships or auxiliaries. If the Grand Alliance end their turn with 10 or more damage cards in play they will lose (thus they need to constantly make repairs to prevent this from happening).

As the battle began the castle immediately began firing upon the Flaming Scimitar inflicting damage, some of which got repaired by sea nymphs swimming beside the ship. Neither Grand Alliance fired at the castle just yet, saving their tightly packed preloaded cannons for a closer and much more likely to hit salvo.

The Shadewraith appeared out of the mist and sailed past the Swordfysh, firing its broadside, inflicting speed damage by hitting the sails. Before the humans got to fire back the ghosts disappeared, cannonballs passing through the mist where the Shadewraith had sailed seconds earlier. The ghost ship reemerged behind the castle which continued its barrage of the Flaming Scimitar which was wiggling around trying to get into the most favorable position but ended up getting fired upon
with even greater effect.

All three Grand Alliance ships were now circling the island, bombarding the castle walls while themselves being fired upon. The castle finally succumbed after two turns of intense bombardment but the human ships had been badly battered and were making field repairs while scouting for the ghost ship.

As the Shadewraith once again reemerged from the mist it was spotted by the Swordfysh which wasted no time, captain Aranessa Saltspite gave the order "full speed ahead" and the giant ram slammed into the side of the Shadewraith locking it in combat. Having the devils luck the Shadewraith didn't take a single ramming hit! And in the following boarding action the battle was even, both ships and captains taking damage and wounds. The Shadewraith tried to escape back into the mist but failed its 2+ roll to do so!

This allowed the Flaming Scimitar to sail by and open fire with its Fire Efreet. The ghost ship was set ablaze but the fire was quickly put out. The combat between the Swordfysh and the Shadewraith continued. The crew of the Swordfysh started to get the upper hand and the undead captain, Vangheist, tried to once again make the ship disappear into the mist - failing a second 2+ roll!

The damned were now doomed, further cannon balls fired from the Flaming Scimitar raked the ship and the close combat between the crews of Swordfysh and the Shadewraith finally came to an end when the last of the wraiths had been eliminated.

The battle amidst the ghastly mist had been won by the Grand Alliance, which sailed on in search for vampire count Nocticulus and his ship the Bloody Reaver.


  1. Nice write up! Sounded like great fun.
    Dreadfleet is still sitting on the shelf, unpainted and unloved. I really need to do something about that.

  2. Nice! This game needs being shown up a little more, it's definitely more fun than what it appears.

  3. Glad you guys enjoy it, one more AAR is in my draft pile on the blog and will be posted in a day or two. I will also show off all the tiny auxiliary ships and vehicles which I finished painting this evening together with a group shot of all ships :-)


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