The German Land Armies continue to press our front lines
back and our major Port of Tallin is under siege. We have no other option but
to evacuate the port and move all the ships and personnel East to Leningrad.
Your Naval forces have been organised into 4 Convoys, each
containing a number of Transports and supporting vessels, it is 11am and the 1st
Convoy has just cleared the port entrance and the remaining forces will leave
over the next few hours.
There are also 3 Naval Combat Sqns which are due to leave
the port this afternoon.
Your mission is to get as much tonnage as possible over the
finish line (yellow markers in D2) however due to your recent losses you need
to try and save as many combat ships as you can, Kirov especially, there are
only 4 Destroyers and 2 Battleships not committed to this operation.
You have 2 submarines to deploy in columns B to D, inform
the umpire before the game begins.
Our Intelligence believes there will be extensive mining in
You will receive some air cover and we have airfields still
in our control in D1.
After the first Convoy leaves the Game Clock moves on at 10 minutes a turn, each Soviet Ship Group is given a depart time below, this is the expected departure and is varied as follows,
Beginning 20 minutes before departure time for each group of ships, and every turn after (until released), roll 1d6. Taking Convoy 2 as an example, which is due to depart from Tallin at 13.00. At 12.40 a 6 releases the ships early, at 12.50 a 5 or 6 releases, at 13.00 it's 3,4,5,6, anything but a 1 will see them away at 13.10 and then regardless they leave at 13.20.
On table turn 1 in sq D8 is Convoy 1
Destroyers - Surovy and Svirepy (Class 7U)
Minesweepers - x 3
Transports - x 8 with a total tonnage of 20,000
is scheduled to leave Tallin at 1300 hours
Destroyer - Karl Marx (Novik Class)
Minesweepers - x2
Transports - x 7 with a tonnage of 10,000
, expected departure 14.00,
Destroyers - Lenin and Yakov Sverdlov (Novik Class)
Minesweepers - x 3
Transports - x 9 with a tonnage of 20,000
, expected departure 14.20
Destroyers - Minsk (Destroyer Leader), Skorkyi and Slavny (Project 7U Class)
expected departure 14.50
Heavy Cruiser - Kirov
Destroyers - Ognevoi, Vlasny, Gordyi and Smetivvyi (Project 7 Class)
|Convoys 2 and 3 in motion|
expected departure at 15.20
Destroyers - None
Minesweepers - x3
Transports - x 7 with a tonnage of 12,500
due to depart from Tallin at 15.30
Destroyers - Silny and Serdityi (Project 7U Class), Grozyashchi and Gnevnyi (Project 7 Class)
Plus all surviving Destroyers from games 1 and 2 that have not already been allocated.
If you are playing along remember to remove any losses from the above orbats.
Russian Air Power (all from airfield in Sq D1)
|The rearguard accelerate away from Convoy 4|
2 flights of 6 MiG 1 Fighters
2 flights of 6 I-15 Fighters
2 flights of 6 I-16 Fighters
4 flights of 6 Ar-2 Bombers
2 flights of 6 DB-3B Torpedo Bombers
The Soviet Commander may request any of the flights as support in the air phase of a turn, the umpire will roll a d6 for each flight requested with the planes being released for operations on a 3 to 6. Once airborne the planes take one turn to enter the table, they then operate as normal. Once their mission is complete they will take 1 further turn to land back at base. They will then be unavailable for 6 turns as they refuel etc prior to the planes being added back into the ready pool.
German Briefing 28th August 1941
The advance of the Wehrmacht continues unabated, the front
line has moved forward dramatically over the last few days and the vital Port
of Tallin (D7) is currently under siege. The Soviets have large numbers of
ships and resources in the Port and an evacuation is believed to be planned for
We have limited Naval Forces in the area although lead
elements of the Baltenflotte may arrive this afternoon if you decide to commit
them, most of the work today will need to be done by the Luftwaffe. We have
three operational airfields in A1, A4 and A7.
Row 3 and Row 6 have been extensively mined, if you travel
through these rows you must keep a straight line or be subject to potential
Our Intelligence suggests that we are unlikely to find any
Soviet mines but there are submarines operating in the area.
Although losses have been light so far in the campaign,
light forces are limited. Destroy as many of the transports as you can but avoid ship losses.
On table at the start of the game in square A6 are all the remaining Destroyers and Torpedo Boats from games 1 and 2, so we had
Destroyer - Z-20
Torpedo Boats - T2, T4, T5, T7, T8
If you are playing along remember to remove any losses from the above orbat.
The Germans may request the Scheer Taskforce at any time however it is not available until 14.00, when requested (from 14.00 onwards) roll 2d6 needing a 12 to release the ships, minus 1 from the total required each turn. They arrive in sq A8. The Taskforce consists of,
Heavy Cruiser (Pocket Battleship) - Admiral Scheer
Destroyers - Z24, Z25, Z26, Z27
German Air Power
At an Airfield off table by square A1, 3 Flights of 6 Buffalo Fighters and 1 Flight of 6 Blenheim 1 operated by the Finnish Airforce.
At an Airfield off table by Square A4, 1 Flight of 6 MS406 Fighters and 1 Flight of 6 Fiat G50 Fighters both run by the Finnish Airforce. 6 Flights of 6 JU88-A4 Bombers.
At an Airfield off table by Square A7, 2 Flights of 6 Hawk 75 Fighters (Finnish) and 2 flights of 6 JU88-A4.
The Germans have 2 Flights of 6 Bf109-F2 Fighters and 3 Flights of 6 JU87D-1 in reserve and these can be used on a like for like basis when a flight is lost in combat.
All aircraft requests go through the umpire in the Air Phase of the turn, the umpire will roll a d6 for each flight requested with the planes being released for operations on a 3-6, all Finnish Flights are subject to a minus one on their roll.
Once released, planes arrive on table one turn later, operate as normal, then take one turn after leaving the table to land. They are then unavailable for 6 turns as they are refilled etc.
German Land Forces
The Germans have 2 batteries on the Cape Juminda headland. One has three guns the other 4. It very much depends on how your rules work. We basically treat them as a stationary Destroyer but much harder to hit.
This is all about the transports, once over the safe line (the red line in row 2 of the map) the Russians can add the tonnage of that transport to their saved tonnage total.
Total Convoy Tonnage = 62500
German Decisive Victory = less than 20,000 tonnes make safety
German Tactical Victory = less than 30,000 tonnes make safety
Russian Tactical Victory = more than 35,000 tonnes make safety
Russian Decisive Victory = more than 40,000 tonnes make safety.
How did we get on ?
With ships, lots of aircraft, extensive mine fields, shore batteries and gamers throwing dice there was always going to be something going on, so here is my timeline of the events.
11.00 We are off
11.30 The first air attacks go in, the Germans on the Convoy and the Russians on the land based batteries. Damaged is caused to the transports but they are all going forward, for now.
12.30 The first big event occurs when one of the Land Batteries causes a fire on the Soviet Destroyer Svirepy
which rapidly spreads to the Ammunition causing a large explosion, sinking the Destroyer and also a Convoy ship which was alongside. Convoy 1 enters the first minefield in row 6.
12.40 Transport L5 is the first to find a mine whilst two of the Minesweepers now have fires on board.
12.50 10 minutes early Convoy 2 sets off. The Destroyer Surovy
hits a mine but escapes with minor damage, the 2 Minesweepers sink, unable to control their fires.
13.00 Surovy runs out of luck hitting a second mine in two turns as Convoy ship L11 breathes a sign of relief as it hits a mine but it fails to go off.
13.20 All the escorts for Convoy 1 are now sunk leaving 5 transports vulnerable and exposed.
13.40 The German ships launch a torpedo attack on the front Convoy, it sinks two and damages a third. The Germans put a request in for the Scheer Taskforce.
14.00 The first good news for the Russians as their bombers silence the German Land Batteries.
14.20 Comedy moment when the Finnish MS 406 Fighters attacked the Russian Ar2 bombers and the Fins after some "interesting" dice rolls lost the "dogfight".
14.30 The MS406 Fighters try again against the Ar2s and lose again, it's back to base for the Fins with their tales between their legs. An Air Attack goes in on Convoy 4 sinking a transport, whilst two Merchants hit mines, both of which are duds ! Questions needed to be asked back at the Mine Factory in Germany, I think.
14.50 Convoy 4 is on the table but at the other end the last ship of Convoy 1 is sunk just 50 cms from Freedom.
15.20 A rare Russian Air attack on the German ships fails to hit the target.
15.40 Taskforce Scheer arrives and engages the Kirov.
15.50 Kirov gets the range on Scheer and gets a penetrating deck hit.
|The Russian ships sticking to the swept lanes.|
16.00 A mass German Air attack of 48 Ju88s causes extensive damage to Convoy 3. Leningrad
and 3 other Russian destroyers attempt a high speed run through an unswept area of Mines, the luck holds initially but Leningrad
hits a mine losing 15 kts and sets on fire. Scheer takes a turret out on Kirov but takes hits in return.
16.10 Gradually throughout the game the German destroyers have been taking steady damage which is now taking effect on their operational capabilities and with their torpedoes spent and Scheer taking damage the Germans make smoke and turn for home ending the game, knowing that their ships will be needed again soon in game 4.
The Russians managed to get 33,500 tonnes home safely, after all that, it's a draw.
A really interesting tactical match up, as a Russian player you have to get into the mind set of losing ships (and lots of them). Convoy 1 is in for a real kicking what ever happens but as more and more Soviet ships arrive on table the German ships become more and more vulnerable to a point where at the end the Russians where on the offensive.
So of the three games we have had two draws, will the heavy defeat for the Russians in game 2 cause problems in the final game of our Baltic Campaign ? Tune in soon too find out.