Well, have to say I wasn't that impressed with the St. Malo. Just didn't do anything, though didn't manage to finish the game so maybe late game at close range it would've shown it's true colours. The free subs are not bad at taking out small vessels or already weakened mediums though. Surprisingly good.
I also tested out the Cherbourg and a squad of x3 Toulons. Different story with these! The Toulons are eye-wateringly good for 2 main reasons: They can link their heat lancettes for absolutely devastating attacks at range band 3 and below. Secondly, even if you lose one of them you still have two very destructive linked heat lancettes to play with. This makes them more durable than the Cherbourg, but of course this comes with an appropriate price tag: 255pts for the squadron of x3. Still worth it though, in my eyes. They will be an auto-include from now on.
Cherbourg: x3 Heat Lances. For 110pts. Enough said. Only downside is that it could be considered a bit of a glass cannon, but it's not that weak in all honesty. I think you have to use it correctly: I was told to use it creep down a flank, perhaps supported by some aircraft or some small vessels. I did this and it survived the game whilst wiping out a small squadron and putting a load of damage on a medium vessel, making it's points back and then some. For me, it's another auto-include from now on. The price tag is very cheap for the amount of pain it can dish out, and it's going to be another "must-deal-with" unit for your opponent once he realises the pain it can dish out.
I am beginning to feel our best naval units are the mediums. I think i'd roll with x2 Cherbourghs and a squad of x3 Toulons and then a Couronne as the massive capital, just because I find it cheap for what it can give to an army (more SAS and a heavy heat lance to sit back and deal damage from afar) and that gives us more points to spend on the Medium heavy hitters.
I think this core needs some backing up though, because just spamming heat lances creates an unbalanced force (this aint 40K: balanced is much more rewarded) despite the fact that they are indeed rather flexible. If your opponent takes a lot of small or tiny units you wont be able to target them with these medium/large heat lance bearing vessels. This will create major problems. So I think I will back up with a sprinkling of Frelons and Voltaires or possibly Requins and Lyons.
The other weakness is that heat lancettes are rather short ranged: So I think some units with rocket battery weapons would be a good idea, to create that extra balance and long-range threat.
Anyone else played anymore games recently?