It was a cold, slightly foggy day in the Ice Islands. The air was pregnant with a sense of foreboding. Death was in the air. Our force was ready for a fight, not passive at all. As the enemy team closed the range, we moved forward. There was a lot of sniping from the edges as the two forces closed together. My Des Moines and the local destroyer rushed into the nearest cap to take it. It was contested. The enemy destroyer on our flank had the same idea. We cuddled behind an island, occasionally trading shots with a Moskva that was circling around. The Moskva moved off and we decided now was our chance. The destroyer and I, supported by a battleship behind us, charged out from behind the island. I hit my radar, illuminated the intruding destroyer and sunk it. The cap was taken, the Moskva was running away, the flank was secure. We turned our attention to the centre of the map.
By this time, the enemy team had lost four ships, without a single loss on our side. The match was going swimmingly. Trading long-range shots with the retreating Moskva, I, along with the rest of the ships on the west flank were speeding toward the B cap, where a major brawl had just begun. The team on the east flank were not doing well. They lost two ships, but a plucky Richelieu and Jean Bart were holding things down over there, preventing the enemy from scooting in and capturing the cap. I caught sight of another enemy destroyer and started sniping at it, landing the occasional hit. The destroyer smoked up, breaking the Moskva's line of sight to me, and I turned into the cap and charged, closing the range to detect the enemy destroyer.
The battle for the central cap was quick. The enemy destroyer went down, though not without a fight. Losses started to mount on both sides. Two, then three, then four ships destroyed on both sides. By the time we had captured the central area, the French battleships on the eastern flank had succumbed to concentrated enemy fire. The enemy was going to take that area. We had five ships left. The enemy, four, including the Moskva that was still flirting with the extreme edge of my detection range.
I traded shots with a Worchester, and managed to score grievous damage on her, before I spotted a crippled Großer Kurfürst on the eastern flank, heading our way, but still outside of my attack range. It was time to close in for the kill.
I steamed toward the German battleship, waiting for it to appear from cover when I heard a strange noise. Over my ship's intercom came the disembodied voice informing me that I was now our last hope.
In the 15 seconds it had taken me to swivel my guns around to face the new adversary, all of our remaining forces had been sunk. I was all that was left.
I extracted my Ouija board from my storage locker and consulted the ghosts of my fallen comrades. "WTF?" I asked. The reply was clear: "We uh… messed up."
I signalled my agreement with this assessment and turned my ship to attempt to kite away from one of the approaching battleships, hoping score at least some damage before my ship, too, was sent to the bottom of the ocean. But it was no use. With four enemy ships concentrating their fire on mine, the Des Moines was doomed.
Reviewing the results of the battle, I noted that I had taken second place in our fleet, second only to the Jean Bart which, together with the Richelieu, had held off an entire enemy flank to give us the precious time we needed to win the battle. Returning to port, I was greeted with the news that we had lost. But something else was delivered moments later by a second messenger.
I had been reported. Twice.
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© Post "A Battle Recap, in three acts" for game World of Warships.
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