Covenant of Antarctica Flyers – A Review

A few weeks back I wrote an article about my fully painted 5th fleet for the Covenant of Antarctica. In it I made a note about the request made by the fleet’s Commodore for a Daedalus Class large flyer. Well it looks like the Admiralty was feeling generous as they not only assigned the Daedalus, but an Epicurus class sky fortress too.

So let’s kick off with the Daedalus Class.

I looked at the Daedalus when it first came out back in October 2011 and it was this model that convinced me to collect the Covenant in the first place. It’s little wonder, then, that I love this model. I love its elegant galleon-like design and how it clashes with its obviously scientific and industrial construction.

It’s vaguely reminiscent of a paddle steamer with its large, wheel-like, positional thrusters on the sides of what is, ostensibly, a ships hull.

As usual, it’s got lots of lovely detailing, although mine was slightly miss cast so home of the detail around the base of the smoke stack housing is a little vague but once it’s painted black it won’t really matter.

In game terms she’s a bit of a beast. As hard to damage rating as a battleship and a critical rating of an armoured cruiser, she’s a toughie to be sure. Combined with an extra point of speed and the Daedalus is formidable and just fast enough to be a pain in the arse. Armament wise it’s really only at its best once it’s in the thick of the fighting having just forward and aft turrets and broadsides. However 3 shots at range band 4 does mean it can start sniping at smaller vessels right from the word go.

Once it closes to range and gets abeam of something then pain will ensue. At range band 2 it’ll be lobbing 10 dice from the turrets and 6 from the broadsides at you. And then dropping mines on your head. Although I kind of feel this design was intentional by the chaps at Spartan. In my mind’s eye the Daedalus would cut an elegant but threatening shape through the sky, weapons batteries loosing as all around it the sky is filled with flak and exploding shells all the while seafaring vessels below slug it out. Which is all very cool.

In reality you wouldn’t want it to be on its own for long because it would get torn to bits but, hell, it’s certainly make for a dramatic game, the elegant curving hull swooping into view amongst a hail of enemy cannon fire before laying waste to all brave enough to steer too close…

That’s when the Epicurus Class Sky Fortress would rock up and things would get really unpleasant. The Epicurus Class Sky Fortress is an absolute monster of a model. Really huge.

In many ways to relates back to my original review of the Covenant starter fleet when I made the comparison between the energy turrets and the Death Star in Star Wars. Well the Epicurus is the Death Star. It’s big, it’s round, and it has a massive gun bolted to it. Although in the Epicurus’ case it isn’t a planet destroying laser but a launch turret that, if you wonder too close will fire 9 drones at you. Which is just fantastic. It also reminds me of the ‘tripods’ from the 1953 film adaptation of The War of the Worlds. So like other elements of the fleet it’s an homage to science fiction of all stripes.

In the game it is an homage to pain. As tough as a battleship and nearly as well armed, it’s quite the adversary. As with the Daedalus, it’s going to be most effective in a broadside actions but it’s Launch Turret means that if anything strays too close it’s going to get taught a harsh and short lesson. Left to drift alone on in a game I’m sure it’ll make good account of itself but put it at the heart of a flying formation and it all gets a bit unpleasant as it also has 6 tiny flyers too. Throw in your 10 freebies and the fact the drones never run out of fuel and actually you’ve got a pretty horrible formation that has range, lots of guns and enough tiny flyers not keep an exclusion zone around your big stuff. To coin a phrase; I love it when a plan comes together.

Once I’ve got these two monsters painted I shall write an additional fluff post to go with the 5th Fleet explaining their background and how they became attached to the Night Watch.

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