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Saturday 14 January 2017

Battle off the Dalmatian coast

Today at the club, we were a bit short of players in our game, just Lawrence and me! Everyone else seemed to be doing Fire and Fury!

We did an alternative Coastal forces skirmish, and, as I could not, for love nor money, find my Grey sea cloth, and we only had a couple of tables left to play on in the church hall we meet at, we did a scenario based on the Royal Navy operating along the Dalmatian coast against an Axis powers convoy.

Lawrence and I split 4 Fairmile 'C' Motor Gun Boats between us, and we had a convoy facing us consisting of an 'R' Boat leading 2 'I' Lighters and 6 'F' Lighters, with a Verpostenboot (VP boat) following

Our boats, split into 2 pairs, started hidden behind a small island.
The Germans sailed by in 2 columns. 
Lawrence started first, our aim was a classic 'Crossing the T' manoeuvre. 
I manoeuvred to the right of the island 
 We were easily spotted by the Germans... 
... who kept their formation.
Lawrence's ranging shot with his 2pdr Pom Poms straddled the Räumboote.
The R-Boat returned fire with its 20mm and 37mm cannon. 
One of Lawrences' boats was straddled in return. 
3" shells from an 'F' lighter also missed. 
 I finally got out from behind the island, but my fire was ineffective.
Lawrence was soon in position to Cross the German 'T'. 
The Germans were able to train their guns still, though and fired back vigorously! 
 The British only took minor damage at this range, despite the heavy fire. 
 The R Boat soon could only bear his forward gun...
...but still managed another straddle! 
BANG! - several Pom-Pom shells smashed the German bridge, starting a fire. 
The boat continued on course, the crew desperately trying to control the damage. 
Lawrence continued firing into the stricken vessel. 
My ships joined in... 
...soon, the R-Boat was a blazing hulk. 
The other German vessels managed to straddle both of Lawrence's boats... 
...and one of mine! 
 I managed to straddle one of the 'I' lighters...
I had the range... 
Lawrence also was firing at it, and it, too, was soon afire. 
One of my boats now straddled an 'F' lighter. 
 The other was left behind, as it was avoiding accurate fire from the two 3" guns on an 'F' lighter, he was straddled and turned away making smoke.
 Lawrence had crossed the German 'T', and now closed on the 2 'I' lighters.
The gun armed 'F' lighter began firing again... 
 ...and again straddled my second boat on his first shot after the smoke had cleared!
Our 3 boats continued to pound the head of the German line, but we were not untouched, I lost my amidships twin Vickers mounts, and one of Lawrence's boats took damage from the Vierling mounts on the lighters further down the convoy.
My second boat now lost his aft Pom-Pom to another Vierling volley. 
 The rear of the German convoy had to manoeuvre to pass the damaged 'F' lighter, which had engine damage.
 Lawrence lost a forward Pom-Pom to the second 'I' lighter.
We concentrated fire on it, but could not silence its brave Vierling crew. 
I finally sank the wreck of the 'R' boat, and Lawrence the first 'I' lighter. 
 We now decided to break off, before the heavily armed vessels at the rear of the convoy could get into accurate range.
 My second boat was still taking fire, but no further damage, so raced for the table edge.
 The second of Lawrence's boats now lost a Pom-Pom - and took engine damage from the 'F' lighters, but he managed to set the last 'I' lighter on fire.
 I was almost safe now, but Lawrence was still closely engaged.
 The vengeful Germans looked as if they would catch and destroy Lawrence's damaged ship?
 My retreating ship fired a last shot from his rear Pom-Pom...
 ...The crippled 'I'Lighter...blew up and sank!
The 'F' lighters raced forward. 
Lawrence's damaged ship was being regularly straddled, would he escape?  
Just in time, he remembered to lay down covering smoke... 
 ...and made his escape home for repairs...
...and perhaps a celebratory Brandy with the mess!?

That was a good game, we were lucky to cause as much damage as we did without losing a ship, but it was close!

Incidentally, my rules can be found at Tyneside Wargames club's site

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