Thursday, 22 May 2014

WW2 Naval Campaign Day 2

WW2 British v Japanese Naval Campaign Day 2

Sadly shift work has scuppered the gaming a bit recently but last weekend we managed to get a few of us in the same room at the same time. We left the game with daylight breaking and the two fleets separating after the night action,  the Japanese shadowing the British from a distance with the British circling the waggons in preparation for air attack.

The British Fleet close up for an air attack
A second Japanese Squadron had arrived on table containing two Battlecruisers Kongo and Hiei, supported by 2 more Heavy Cruisers Takoa and Atago.

Japanese Battlecruisers arrive
The first 10 moves were designed to represent a Japanese land based air attack, each move they rolled 3d6 receiving 12 aircraft per roll of 5 or 6. For each successful roll a d12 was used to determine what arrived, a 1 or 2 brought Zero fighters which could be used as CAP over the table or held back to escort the Dive or Torpedo bombers which were randomly selected on a 3 to 12. The Japanese could hold aircraft off table for a maximum of 4 turns before using or losing them.

The first Japanese airwave arrives
The British had 12 land based fighters which could be called up with a 4 move delay, there  where also the planes of the carrier HMS Indomnitable, there were 18 Sea Hurricanes, 18 Fulmars and 18 Swordfish. The Japanese players managed to be very average and get 12 planes a turn most turns. In total they managed three attacks on the British Fleet.

Indomnitable under air attack
The carrier took the brunt of the attacks and was badly damaged by a couple of torpedo hits, down to 10 knots it was only due to some quality damage control that she survived at all. A third strike against Prince of Wales wasn't as successful a single 500lb bomb striking the deck and causing minimal damage.

The air war rages over the table
The British player wisely decided against launching an air attack in this phase aware of the risks of having armed aircraft on deck whilst under attack. All British Air operations were limited to Intercepting attacking bombers. This part of the game ended with Indomnitable withdrawing, limping off the table covered by the smoke of the destroyers Valentine and Vimeria.

In the second phase of the days gaming the next 10 turns represented a slackening off of the land based air, the Japanese still threw 3d6 per turn but needed a 6 for aircraft. The British still had the 12 land based planes plus those of the withdrawing aircraft carrier. The Japanese fleet were released by their Admiral and moved towards the British Ships.

Bad die rolls meant their 1 air attack failed to do any damage
As expected air power was less of a factor in this phase. The British managed to get one attack wave in but poor dice meant no hits were obtained. The Japanese managed an attack too, this time against Repulse a single torpedo hit caused minimal damage.

Repulse under air attack
The ship to ship combat saw minimal damage to the capital ships, both sides kept switching targets and losing ranging bonuses. HMS Ajax was sunk from the fire of 3 heavy cruisers and the Japanese destroyer Akebono sank after she suffererd a fuel fire on board. Someone then said "You know what we haven't had a Bridge hit today", guess what 3 Bridge hits in 2 turns. HMS Jaguar withdrew as a result of the loss of its Captain whilst the destroyer Akitsuki ended the phases trying to regain control after its Bridge hit.

The day ended there, one more session of the Campaign remains, both sides are due reinforcements and hopefully an exciting conclusion.