Ok guys, last post of the game now.
As another radiation burst scrambles communications across the fleets (-2 Leadership), the Protector just manages to Come to New Heading to avoid the torpedoes from the Gothic.
Having successfully maneuvered out of the way, the Protector fires futilely at the Ad-Mech Dictator
Meanwhile the Wardens, having slid past the planet and its asteroid belt, now knock down both shields on the nearest Gothic.
Gliding gently forward in formation, the Imperial fleet finds itself able to open up with both sides. The Dominators smash the bridge of the Protector, before it is destroyed by lance fire from the Gothics, while on the other side the Wardens lose one.
The Wardens then fire on the Gothic again, causing 1 point of damage and causing a fire, which in the end phase, causes another point of damage.
Then the Custodian opens up on the closest Dominator doing three damage, while the torpedoes the Tau launch cripple the Gothic and cause the Dominators to brace.
Over to the Imperial turn, when the Dominators managed to knock down all three shields on the Custodian before causing a point of damage. this is matched by damage caused by the nearby Gothic. Meanwhile the other Gothic takes another point of damage from the fire.
As the fleets glide past each other, the Tau Wardens finally manage to destroy the limping Gothic, while the Custodian cripples one of the Dominator squadron.
At this point we has to call the game due to time, but on adding up victory points, the Imperial Navy came out just ahead. Both fleets were thoroughly mauled though, with the Imperials being in a precarious situation – mostly relying on crippled ships versus an almost unscathed Tau battleship.
I hope people enjoyed the battle report series – even though it dragged on a little!