HMS Fencer

Unit Card:


Set - Rarity - Number

Task Force - Uncommon - 11/60


HMS Fencer began her life as USS Croatan, a Bogue class escort carrier. Known as the Attacker class in British service, Fencer transferred almost immediately upon completion to the Royal Navy, as did most of her sisters. The Bogue/Attacker class ships were based on a merchant ship hull design (the standard C3 freighter), and as such lacked the speed and armor common to larger purpose-built carriers. Their low speed, however, made them ideal convoy escorts, and it was in this duty that Fencer came to excel. Her airwing consisted originally of nine Swordfish torpedo bombers for ASW and six Seafire fighters. Eventually the Seafires were augmented, and then replaced, by Martlet fighters, copies of the American Wildcat. One of these Martlets shot down a German patrol aircraft shadowing Fencer's convoy in Dec. 1943. 1944 was Fencer's busiest year. Escorting an Atlantic convoy early that year, one of Fencer's Swordfish sank U-666. In May, Fencer's aircraft turned the tables on a German wolfpack, her aircraft sinking three U-Boats in only two days while escorting a convoy through the Arctic from Russia to Scotland. Between convoys, Fencer provided aircover and ASW for Operation Tungsten, a carrier strike against the German battleship Tirpitz. Fencer was in the process of transferring to the Far East when the war ended. Returned the US, Fencer was purchased and equipped by a civilian firm as a cruise-liner, and operated as such under various flags and guises until her scrapping in 1975.


Fencer, like Illustrious is a carrier with a small basing capacity (1 in this case), but great SA's. Fencer's strengths are in defending other units against air attack (with Fighter Cover) or submarines (with Expert ASW), and these make her ideal for keeping more important units healthy. On the negative side, with a speed of 1, Fencer can't keep up with your fleet forever (unless you're escorting a convoy), and she's awfully expensive for having only one basing slot and such low armor and vital armor values. Because of this, Fencer herself could probably use an escort: a second Fencer being perhaps the ideal option. If you don't have the points to spend on two, consider lower cost substitutes like land based Sea Hurricanes or Halifaxes to pick up the anti-air and anti-sub slack.

This unit is made completely obsolete by HMS Glorious, which is just 1 point more and superior in every other way…

Plastic Figure Notes:

Note that HMS Fencer, a Bogue class ship, is represented by a repaint of USS St Lo of the Casablanca class. Though the ships conform pretty well in general size and appearance the decision to use a repaint was based more on financial considerations than anything else.
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