I promise we are slowly moving our way towards the end of the game!
Big swings happen in these turns as the Tau receive some welcome reinforcements, the Imperials lose a ship, and the fleets turn to face off.
As a Radiation Burst streaks from the nearby sun (-6 Leadership to every ship on the board), the fortunes of war swing against the Imperials with the arrival of the Tau Custodian battleship and a squadron of Wardens.
As the Custodian advances onto the board, the Wardens swing towards the planet.
Meanwhile on the other side of the board, the Emissary targets the damaged Gothic – managing one hit with its weapons batteries, which is braced, and one hit with its lances, which isn’t. This cripples the Gothic.
The Custodian launches some torpedoes towards my recently arrived Dauntless, while the Protector fires fruitlessly at the Dauntless and launches a lone Manta
On the Imperial side, an Ad-Mech Dictator arrives, while the Dominator squadron and the uncrippled Gothic move closer together
The Dauntless, now facing off against a Custodian and a Protector, goes suicidal against the torpedoes bearing down on it. It shoots down all of the torpedoes, bar one, taking 1 point of damage.
Focusing on the far side of the table, a Dominator opens fire on the Emissary knocking down a shield. The crippled Gothic then fires, failing to score any hits. In desperation, the Ad-Mech Dictator joins in – firing for 1DC of damage and launching a wave of two fighters and two bombers at the stubborn Tau ship.
They do six points of damage, causing a catastrophic plasma overload. This knocks down both shields on the nearby Gothic.
At the start of the next turn, the Custodian unloads at the poor Dauntless, which braces. After saves, only two damage go through, leaving it alive. The battleship also launches torpedoes at the Dauntless.
While the Protector downs a shield on the Dictator, and causes two damage with torpedoes, the Custodian’s torpedoes hit the Dauntless, which fails to brace. This swiftly turns the plucky light cruiser into a blazing hulk!
Reacting to the destruction of the Dauntless, the Imperial fleet reloads ordnance and swings round the smaller moon, presenting a unified front to the approaching Tau.
While the Dictator’s fighters take out the lone bomber from the Protector, the Dominators fire their Nova Cannons at the Custodian. Both ships miss, but the Custodian is forced to brace.
The Gothic launches its torpedoes towards the Protector to finish off the turn