Monday, May 31, 2010

Naval Action in the Slot

On Memorial Day, Travis came over from Vicksburg and introduced a few of us to his new WW2 naval rules, Seas of Steel.  We pitted a Japanese force of four battleships (including the Yamato), one light cruiser, and two destroyers against an American force of three battleships and five destroyers.  The Japanese mission was to scatter the US ships and bombard Henderson Field on Guadalcanal, rendering it unusable to American aircraft.  The Americans were out to stop the Japanese and sink as many of their ships as possible.  We used Travis' 1:2400 scale warships that he painted a good while ago.

Travis' rules are simple but give an excellent rendition of WW2 naval action.  Even our own expert, Jay, gave them 2 thumbs up!

Here are the pictures I took with brief captions.  As usual, please click on the pictures for a larger image.

The Japanese battleship Fuso glides through the deep waters of Iron Bottom Sound on its way past Savo Island and a rendezvous with destiny.

The American left division, the battleships Washington and North Carolina, supported by two destroyers.

The Japanese Fuso battleship ablaze from a lucky American hit.  Fortunately the well-trained damage control on the Fuso extinguished the fire immediately.  In Travis' rules, fires continue to burn until brought under control, inflicting a 1/2 hull box damage per turn.  On a smaller ship, that can be fatal.

The right hand American column of the battleship South Dakota and three destroyers (one is trailing the battleship) target the lead Japanese ship, the cruiser Nagara, of the Japanese left hand column.  She has also been set ablaze but her damage control parties could never bring the fire under control.

Another fire is started on the Japanese battleship Nagato which took several turns to extinguish.

After firing its torpedoes at the Washington (and missing), the Japanese destroyer supporting the right hand division is finally sunk along the shore of Guadalcanal.  A few of the ship's company got to shore and joined their comrades in the Imperial Army to continue the fight.  Banzai!!

Almost immediately thereafter, the Fuso blasts an American destroyer to bits, fortunately before she could fire torpedoes.

But horror of horrors!  The Yamato's big guns plus three Long Lance torpedoes put the South Dakota down.  Here it explodes as it goes to join the wrecks littering the bottom of Iron Bottom Sound.  The ship behind her is the Japanese destroyer who fired the torpedoes.  She is continuing towards Henderson Field.

The Japanese right column battleships, Fuso (lead) and Nagato, continue to engage the Washington and North Carolina (background) while a surviving American destroyer makes a frantic torpedo attack.  Luckily for the Fuso, the American torpedoes functioned as they normally did and no hits were made.

But as soon as the Fuso cleared Savo Island, the North Carolina gave her the coup de grace as she explodes and sinks.  That's one American and one Japanese battleship sunk, so far.

And then the Yamato brings her heavy guns to bear on the North Carolina.  Oops, not surviving anymore as she joins her sister on the bottom of Iron Bottom Sound.  The Washington is in the background.

And the Yamato serenely continues on her way towards Henderson Field.

The outcome of this encounter was that the Japanese succeeded in bombarding Henderson Field, but with just the Yamato still in fighting shape (the Kirishima and Nagato were badly damaged) and only one destroyer left, they couldn't hang around.  The Americans only had one battleship still afloat and she was damaged.  They lost two battleships and all five of their destroyers.  The Japanese lost a battleship, a light cruiser, and one destroyer; the Yamato was hardly scratched, but their other two battleships were heavily damaged.

We all liked Travis' rules and look forward to playing them again.

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