War @ Sea: 200pt Vichy French, German, & Italian Fleet

I thought up this fleet earlier today. Not entirely sure how well it’ll play out but am eager for input. At the least I think it’d be fun for a 200pt fleet.

Bismarck 53pts
Richelieu 54pts
Vittorio Veneto 49pts
3x Luca Tarigo (8pts ea)
2x Le Terrible (9pts ea)

I know that technically these ships didn’t all physically serve together in the same location. In fact, the Le Terrible fought against the Germans and underwent a refit in Boston as part of the Free French where it served for the invasion of Italy. The rules, however, say that for historical limitations we can use French ships in the Axis due to Vichy France (thank Marshall Petain).

I want to try out some of the lesser used nations, Australia and France for examples, and the historical rule plus the awesomeness of the Richelieu are my inspiration.

My plan is this. Space the battleships out so 1 is far left, 1 is far right, and 1 is in middle. Keep them 4-5 spaces away from whatever they want to shoot (Richelieu is range 5). Put 1 Luca Tarigo destroyer in same space as each bb. This provides me with extra anti-air weaponry (each BB has 7+ and the Tarigo class has 4). The Tarigo gives the extra bonus of Smoke Screen. I’ve learned from the HMS Javelin that this is key. The Tarigo is also a great Sub Hunter that can help defending the BBs (plus their Torpedo Defense 1).

The 2 Le Terrible will venture out and claim objectives or enemy subs. Each has a value of 4 for ASW. If they work together I roll 8 dice to kill a sub. They also have High-Speed Run allowing me +1 movement for 1 turn.

The Richelieu grants me one other great bonus. I shoot at a surface vessel with another ship and the Richelieu gets +1 die for gunnery attacks against that ship. In theory I can roll 36-46 (for all BBs) dice against a target. The secondary, and tertiary guns where they exist, guns provided added firepower. At range 3 I can put an extra 15 dice attack. Range 2 I get another 8 dice from tertiary guns. At range 0 the 3 BBs can roll 77 dice. I know that isn’t possible, can only have 2 ships per player in a zone, but that’s still impressive.

Use the long range firepower of the battleships to shoot enemy ships when they try to take objectives. The Destroyers provide Anti-air support, the BBs have a minimum of 7 ea for that too. The Destroyers also will take out enemy subs. 2 DDs will try to take objectives and the other 3 provide defense. All destroyers have defensive torpedoes (max of range 2).

The fleet is completely vulnerable to air attack. The average of 7 dice per battleship or 4 per destroyer won’t be enough to stop an onslaught of planes.

Also, the fleet is vulnerable to subs. The destroyers average 3 ASW dice Wolfpack fleets or Long-Lances. The HMS Truculent and USS Barb are simply not as powerful as their Axis counterparts. Perhaps it is better to say that the fleet is very open to torpedo attacks…if enemy ships can get close enough to release a salvo.

What do you think about the fleet? I know it may be viewed as cheesy/power gaming with 3 battleships. I tossed the Bismarck in to take up more points and it is the easy way to add more firepower to the fleet. Not sure how I feel about the potential for powergaming.