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Sunday, 5 July 2015

The Wolves at the door

Yesterday, we were down to Lawrence and myself, as the rest of the gang were doing Pike and Shotte!

As an experiment, we did a destroyer action against my Coastal Forces Rules solo system. The rules are really optimised for MTBs and similar, so it was interesting to see how they would work for bigger ships!

Our scenario involves 3 German destroyers running down the channel being intercepted by 2 Royal navy destroyers... 

Our opponent, 3 Wolf/Mowe class Torpedo boats.
Our force, 2 Hunt class 2 escort destroyers. 
 Our ships were in line ahead... 
 ...and were paralleled by the Germans.
 The Germans acted first, turning to close the distance.
 Our ships began a turn too, hoping to cross the stern of the Germans.
We opened fire at extreme range. 
 Unfortunately, our shots fell short.
The Germans continued their turn, firing. 
A lucky hit demolished my searchlight mount. 
 The German ships now got into position to launch torpedoes.
 Our ships had turned obliquely on to the Germans, making a small target. We fired as the Germans came into arc.
Falke was straddled and hit, losing X turret. 
 My HMS Farndale lost its 20mm flak mount in return.
 A salvo from Kondor missed however.
 Undeterred, both RN ships stayed on course, returning fire.
Kondor lost an aft turret. 
Damage notwithstanding, the Germans continued closing.
Despite their fire being made less accurate as they turned, the Germans now turned to parallel our course.
I was content to maintain our current heading for now though,
Our fire was causing more damage than the enemy's.
...but now the German maneuvering seemed to be throwing our aim off!
Fortunately, it affected theirs too!
As we closed, it became obvious a torpedo attack was imminent.
Our fire now destroyed the Vierling mount on Kondor.
The Germans only managed to straddle Middleton in return.
Oh, what to do, what to do!
As we passed, both sides kept firing, but no more hits were scored.
Kondor, not surprisingly, shot a full load of torpedoes...
...which Farndale just avoided!
Poor Middleton looked doomed, however.
Despite desperate evasive actions, one torpedo exploded, fortunately in the ship's wake, causing a minor leak and a jammed forward turret.
The other torpedoes skimmed her bow and ran on.
My HMS Farndale fired as I turned port, the damaged HMS Middleton was too far away, and lacking enough guns to help effectively.
The other German boats were moving to shoot more torpedoes, so I was forced to turn hard to port...
...and move to disengage.
HMS Middleton turned to follow me back to Blighty.
The Germans, with 2 damaged boats, were happy to let us go, and with dawn (and the R.A.F.) approaching, headed back to France.
So ended the game, rather indecisively!

We thought, in hindsight, that, rather as expected, the solo rules are better with small boats!
The complexities of destroyer actions really demands a human guide to work well, so next time we will do an opposed game!

It was ok today though, its nice to run little boats around now and again!

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Taking to the air again

Today, we dug around and found our WW1 Wings of Glory aircraft...Still good despite half of them still saying Wings of War on their boxes!

It's been a while since we did this, and it's long overdue...

I used Goering's Fokker DVII, the Albatrosses were run by my solo system.
Having only one type of plane being run solo meant only one chart! 
 Rod, sporting one of those cheap sets of glasses you get in supermarkets in front of his normal ones...instant magnification! - very clever!
 Rod used a SPAD XIII...
...as did Phil. 
Lawrence used a Sopwith Snipe, and was flanked by Ian's SE5a. 
 My Germans all went straight forward at the start of the game.
 Ian and Lawrence moved in from the flank to support the SPADs 
 Rod's SPAD looked like it was going to face a massed attack from the Germans.
 I flew my Fokker round the back of my formation to join in the attack on Rod.
 (The situation at this point)
 Rod, realising he was outnumbered, turned to join the other Allied planes.
Poor Rod got shot up by an Albatross! 
 All the planes on table soon joined in, My Fokker missed, but the Snipe hit one of my Albatrosses!
One move on, The damaged Albatross sent Phil's SPAD down in flames, the pilot dead at the stick. 
Ian's SE got a great hit on the 'green' Albatross. 
 The Germans were trying to shoot at the elusive Allies..
 ..but the Snipe got another good hit on the 'red' Albatross.
The last remaining SPAD got a small hit on the Blue wing Albatross. 
The SE did an Immelmann turn and came nose on to a pursuing Albatross! 
(The situation at this point) 
 All the planes now turned and several got shots away. 
 The mass of planes parted, just as quickly, next move!
 As Lawrence's Sopwith broke away, it was pursued by the 'Blue' Albatross.
 ..everyone else was left jockeying for position.
 Another Albatross got on the Snipe's tail.
My white Fokker tried to engage the SE5a... 
...but came off worse in the ensuing fire exchange. 
 The poor Snipe was set afire, unable to escape the 2 Albatrosses. 
Only the intervention by Rod's SPAD allowed the Snipe to get away. 
 The Allied planes were all pretty shot up now...
But Rod managed to hit the most damaged Albatross, sending it down in flames. 
 With all the Germans massing behind them, the remaining Allied planes flew off table! 
 Rod had done very well for a first game, and escaped alive with a victory to his name!

It was a good game, and everyone seemed to enjoy it. We did another game after this, which ended in an even more decisive win for the Germans. 
I flew a Siemens-Schuckert in this game, which, I decided is no way as good as a Fokker DVII!!!