* referring to inspired interpretation of "vehicle" to submit giant spiders and camels. I won't mention names (*cough* Loki and DaveD *cough*)
As always this round included some absolutely wonderful work. Head on over to the galleryhttp://analogue-hobbies-theme-rounds.blogspot.ca/2014/01/the-third-fortnight-them-bonus-round.html to take a look and don't forget to vote for your favourites.
Well, that's enough of that blather, here is my entry, the NSL 5th Fleet (elements of).
Subsector 029/16, ESU Core Systems
Command Bridge, Battleship Gagarin (Flag, 3rd Core Defense Fleet, Eurasian Solar Union)
"Admiral, sensors report ships have jumped in-system at 340 fore, 28 declination"
"Admiral, sensors report NSL ships in large numbers"
"How many? What are they doing here?"
"Identified as elements of 5th Battle Fleet. Sensors confirming types and numbers"
"The 5th? Elements? Not the whole fleet?"
"No sir. Initial tactical analysis reports 2 large and 2 small carriers, 4 ships of the line, 4 large cruisers, 6 medium and 6 light cruisers, 10 destroyers, 5 small escorts and large numbers of fighters deployed. Also some fleet auxiliaries."
"How did they get past our border defense fleets?"
"Admiral, detailed analysis incoming. 1 heavy carrier, 1 light carrier, 2 escort carriers, 1 battle dreadnought, 1 heavy battleship, 1 battleship, 1 battle cruiser, 2 heavy cruisers, 2 attack cruisers, 6 escort cruisers - 2 Frankfurt class and 4 Danzig class, 6 light cruisers - 2 Kiel class and 4 Emden class, 2 heavy destroyers, 4 missile destroyers, 4 fast destroyers, 2 frigates, 3 corvettes, 2 fleet tenders, 1 fleet tanker. They have launched 4 full wings of light fighters. Tactics advise that they have at least one more wing available, probably heavy fighters."
"Comrades, we are a little outnumbered but at least it isn't their whole 5th fleet and most of their ships of the line aren't with them. We can stop this incursion. Set course for intercept."
"Admiral, sensors report two more groups of contacts emerging from jump at 190 aft, 45 inclination and 100 starboard, 05 declination. Sir....I think it's the rest of their fleet."
"Holy Mother Russia! Comrades - say your prayers."
The Fleet Arrayed:
The Fighter Swarm:
Small Escort Group
(3 Nibelung class Corvettes in front, 2 Pola class Frigates behind)
Lutzow Class Destroyers:
Sachsen Class Heavy Destroyers:
Rottweil Class Missile Destroyers:
Light Cruiser Squadron:
(2 Kiel class leading 4 Emden class)
Escort Cruiser Squadron:
(2 Frankfurt class leading 4 Danzig class
The Big Cruisers:
(2 Helgoland class Heavy Cruisers, Von Der Tann class Battle Cruiser, 2 Rommel class Attack cruisers)
Ships of the Line:
(Hapsburg class Heavy Battleship, Maria Theresa class Battle Dreadnought, Graf Spee class Battleship)
Fleet Carrier Assets:
(2 Prinzessin Hannah class Escort Carriers, Wien class Light Carrier)
Fleet Logistics Vessels:
Odenwald class Fleet Tender, Odenwald-Q class Q-Ship Fleet Tender, Walchensee class Fleet Tanker)
and last, but most definitely not least....
(Neu Salzburg class Heavy Carrier)
A rather large fleet of spaceship here for you folks - why go for one vehicle when you can have an armada of them? This is my Neu Swabian League fleet from Ground Zero Games. Some of these ships had been languishing in my lead pile for over 2 years, some since Salute 2012 and the rest were acquired just before Christmas. I've had good fun painting these up and look forward to getting them on the table for some games of Full Thrust in the coming year. Not all at once, obviously - each turn would take a couple of hours! Besides, I don't think any of my potential opponents is
I will be adding some more ships to the fleet (in fact, I've ordered them this week, along with some more ships for my NAC and FSE fleets, some civilian ships and a ESU fleet) but they are unlikely to be painted during the Challenge.