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#11158 General Quarters 3.3 AAR September 2013

Posted by Adam H. Jones III on 05 November 2013 - 03:07 PM

This is an after action report of a General Quarters 3.3 game played at Recruits convention 2013 in Lee’s Summit, MO on September 14, 2013. The scenario was generated by using the scenario generation system included in the GQ 3.3 rules. The scenario involves a Japanese destroyer transport task force of four converted WW I destroyer transports( PB 2, PB 31, PB 35, PB 36) carrying supplies to a base located in the Solomon Island chain in late August of 1943. Leading the destroyer transports is the light cruiser IJN Abukuma. Escorting the destroyer transports is the heavy cruiser IJN Myoko and a division of four Kagero class destroyers ( IJN Hatsukaze, IJN Yukikaze, IJN Shiranui, IJN Urakaze)with the light cruiser IJN Nagara leading the destroyer division. The night seas are calm with no clouds and a full moon. As the Japanese move through the channels of the Solomon’s toward their objective, they stumble across a US cruiser task force of two heavy cruisers(USS New Orleans, USS Chester), one light cruiser(USS San Diego) and four Sims class destroyers(USS Russell, USS Morris, USS Anderson, USS Hughes). The US task force is sailing to perform a bombardment mission on an island scheduled to be invaded next month. Both forces are surprised to see an enemy task force interfering with their missions:

The US cruiser task force, having organized in line ahead formation, was cruising at twenty one knots; weaving through the island studded channel toward their objective a few hours away. Tasked to arrive in the early morning, the cruisers were scheduled to bombard a Japanese held island to inflict maximum damage on the garrison as preparation for an invasion next month continued. The destroyers USS Russell and Morris led the column followed by USS New Orleans and Chester and USS San Diego. US destroyers USS Anderson and USS Hughes brought up the rear of the column. The admiral of this force was stationed on USS New Orleans. He patiently sat in the command chair on the bridge as the ships quietly glided through the unusually calm waters and clear night sky. The silence of the bridge is broken as the TBS (Talk between Ships) radio crackled to life. An ensign wrote quickly as the TBS spilled forth its report, unintelligible gibberish to the admiral located away from the radio room. The ensign approached the admiral, paper in hand, and reported to the admiral that the lead destroyer, USS Russell, had a radar contact bearing 300 degrees, range 20,000 yards. The contact appeared to be three distinct groups of ships. The admiral nodded as he listened to the report and replied to the ensign to tell USS Russell to continue to track the contact and send updates every five minutes. The admiral turns to the captain of USS New Orleans. He tells the captain to send to all ships….increase to max speed and send the task force to General Quarters!!!
About the time that General Quarters was sounded throughout the US task force, the Japanese admiral on board the heavy cruiser IJN Myoko was still oblivious that a US task force was nearby. The resupply force commanded by the Japanese admiral consisted of two distinct divisions: one was the destroyer transport division of four converted WWII destroyers that had guns and boilers removed to make room for a cargo hold and a landing barge to unload and load supplies to garrisons without harbor facilities. The once speedy destroyers are now slow, eighteen knot cargo vessels that are well suited for work within the confined waters of the Solomon Islands. The destroyer transports had the light cruiser IJN Abukuma escorting them to their scheduled location. The IJN Myoko was not alone. Myoko had a division of four destroyers led by the light cruiser Nagara. The IJN Myoko and the attendant destroyer division were tasked to protect the destroyer transports so they could deliver their precious cargo to the island garrison.
So far, the mission had gone without any interference by the enemy. The Japanese admiral was confident that his experienced sailors would spot trouble in plenty of time. The Japanese heavy cruiser was sailing toward a tight channel between two small unnamed islands to provide a screen as the destroyer transport division transited the gap between the islands. IJN Myoko was intending to hug the shore of one of the islands and swing around the island and hide in the shadow of the island to degrade the ever improving radar on the US vessels. The IJN Nagara and her destroyers were following IJN Myoko to assist in the screening. Just as IJN Myoko approached close to the island to begin her close swing around, lookouts shouted that unidentified ships have been spotted some 20,000 yards off of the starboard bow of the cruiser. At the same time, bright gun flashes broke the darkness from in front of the Japanese heavy cruiser and huge splashes appeared around IJN Myoko. The combination of the gun flashes and lookouts confirmed to the Japanese admiral that a US force was in front of him and had gotten in the first blow.
The US admiral had a clear picture of what he was facing thanks to the magic of radar. A large vessel led a column of ships that approached the channel. If ignored, the enemy column would push in front of his task force. The large vessel was followed by another large vessel and at least four smaller vessels. This was most likely two cruisers leading four destroyers. There was another group of ships with one cruiser target leading four slow moving smaller targets. This force was moving behind the small island. The US task force readied their guns and waited for the fire control director to let them know that they have a visual on the large cruiser target approaching them. The two rear destroyers sped up to maximum speed, swung out from behind USS San Diego and were pushing forward toward the expected battle. Just as the admiral had sorted out all of the data in his head, he heard the fire control director bark that a Japanese cruiser was spotted leading a column of ships visually some 20,000 yards away and requested to open fire…the admiral’s positive response was immediately lost with the boom of the eight inch cruiser guns.
The Japanese admiral did not hesitate due to the intense fire coming from the US cruisers. Calmly, he ordered the cruiser to return fire. IJN Myoko fired back with her forward turrets at her shooters with unknown effect. The US fire as well was not hitting anything. The Japanese admiral knew that the string of good luck would not last. The Japanese admiral’s concentration was interrupted by a report that the light cruiser following him had swung out of the line and taking the four destroyers with him. It appeared that the cruiser captain was attempting to close to torpedo range with his charges. The Japanese admiral watched as the column soon faded into the dark heading toward the rear of the US cruiser force. The USS New Orleans and USS Chester ignored the new move and continued to concentrate on the heavy cruiser. The Japanese admiral’s prediction of their luck came true as the US cruisers began to find their target. IJN Myoko took two eight inch hits that smashed into the hull but doing no significant damage. IJN Myoko’s guns were hitting the area around the US cruisers as well but nothing visual was telling the admiral how effective his return fire was. Both sides traded shots that did not seem to do any more significant damage. The US destroyers USS Russell and USS Morris began to fire at the cruiser as well. The US destroyer’s rapid firing 5’ guns peppered the IJN Myoko with multiple hits and did take out two of the IJN Myoko’s secondary five inch AA guns, but most of the hits were ineffective as they could not penetrate the thick cruiser armor.
There is a decisive moment in the flow of a battle that moves the direction toward victory to one side or another. This battle between the Japanese and the US was no different. Here is the tactical situation at the decisive moment for this battle. The heavy cruiser IJN Myoko is steaming at close to top speed toward a small island with the intention of hugging the shore of the island and swing around to use the island’s shadow to decrease US radar effectiveness. IJN Myoko’s move was detected by the US cruiser task force and now the Japanese heavy cruiser is the sole target of every US ship that is firing. The light cruiser IJN Nagara and the destroyer force that was following IJN Myoko has broken away from the heavy cruiser and is streaking toward the rear of the US cruiser line with the intention of launching their deadly cargo of “Long Lance” torpedoes. The USS San Diego and two destroyers located at the rear of the US line have just spotted the Japanese destroyer line and have begun to engage them. USS New Orleans and USS Chester are continuing to fire at the IJN Myoko as the Japanese cruiser steers toward the small island. US destroyers USS Russell and Morris have added their rapid firing five inch guns to the broadsides by the two US cruisers. The Japanese destroyer transports led by the light cruiser IJN Abukuma have been effectively screened by the Japanese warships and have slipped behind the same small island that IJN Myoko is steering toward. So far the destroyer transports have avoided being engaged. Both sides have avoided major damage from each other gunfire although IJN Myoko has taken two eight inch shell hits into her hull and non-penetrating five inch hits have destroyed two of IJN Myoko’s five inch secondary batteries. IJN Myoko continues to fire her forward eight inch turrets at the US cruisers with no telling hits observed. The US cruisers USS New Orleans and USS Chester along with the destroyers USS Russell and USS Morris return fire.
All of the US ships open fire simultaneously sending a blizzard of eight inch and five inch shells streaking toward the IJN Myoko. The eight inch salvos straddle IJN Myoko with two shells striking her. One twenty four inch torpedo mount disintegrates and bursts into flames. The other shell penetrates into IJN Myoko’s hull and adds to the damage already inflicted by previous hits. The swarm of five inch shells adds their effects to the eight inch shell hits. Four of the swarm hit the thickly armored sections of the ship, adding their explosive effects to the sight of the IJN Myoko being swamped by gunfire but doing no damage. The fifth five inch shell, for reason only known to scientist and God, took a slightly higher trajectory toward the Japanese heavy cruiser. While the other shells hit low on the ship, this shell bore in and struck the unarmored bridge of IJN Myoko.
The Japanese admiral was just beginning to send the order to slightly change course to avoid the island when the US five inch shell slammed into the bridge and exploded. The admiral never got to finish the order as the explosion killed all on the bridge instantly. The IJN Myoko continued on her present course and speed…which meant that six minutes later, IJN Myoko slammed aground on the small island.
The US cruisers did not show IJN Myoko any sympathy for her plight as USS New Orleans and USS Chester continued to shoot at the now grounded Japanese heavy cruiser. The US destroyers decided that maybe this is a good time to launch torpedoes at the hapless IJN Myoko. Torpedoes shot out from USS Russell and USS Morris and they appeared to run hot, straight, and normal. The angle of attack however had the torpedoes transit over the shallow reef before hitting the now grounded Japanese heavy cruiser. The torpedoes slammed into the reef and exploded harmlessly.
The balance of the Japanese force watched in horror as IJN Myoko slammed into the island. The will to fight drained from the two division commanders and all decided that this supply run needed to be aborted. The destroyer transport division used the small island as an effective screen and swung to return to their starting point. The IJN Nagara and her charges had just set up to launch torpedoes when the IJN Myoko grounded. The IJN Nagara’s captain aborted the launch and ordered a general retreat.
The US admiral was elated when he saw the result of their last broadsides. Staring at the burning Japanese heavy cruiser cocked at angle as it lay stranded on the reef sent a wave of satisfaction through him. The US admiral did not savor his victory too long as he still had a job to do. The US admiral sent an order for all ships to cease fire and to reform the battle line. The admiral also sent a message back to naval headquarters notifying them of the battle and sent a position report of a Japanese heavy cruiser grounded. The US admiral knew that in the morning, the planes from Henderson field would seek out the cripple and destroy her. The US admiral sat back into his chair and resumed his mission to sail to the island that he was scheduled to bombard in the morning.
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#9320 Playing TSC: Detailed Savo Island Batrep first...

Posted by Aman on 02 December 2011 - 09:23 PM

This is my batrep from our Savo Island fight. Changes I would make to the scenario: no possible carrier strike by Wasp, TBS between USN ships at <20K yards (25% chance of success), free organization and deployment for Allies equalled by free choice of any of three attack vectors, and definite use of the optional IJN submarine attacks. I would also add in the DDs on submarine patrol at the anchorages.

Savo Island Refight and campaign kick-off Batrep

As part of the ODG "The Solomon's Campaign", we fought the battle of Savo Island once, decided that our grip on the rules was poor, and finally refought the entire battle to count for our campaign. For those who are unfamiliar with the original battle and the "battlesea", refer to this:

For this refight, since it was impossible to surprise the USN player (after all, we were gathered at the IJN house to play the battle out...) we decided on some flexibility in the "official" scenario. The USN player was permitted to organize his force however he chose, while the IJN player was permitted to attack along any of the three possible approach vectors (Northeast around Savo, Southeast around Savo, or East) to attack either of the two USN supply ship anchorages, the North one in Tulagi Harbor on Florida Island, or the South one at Lunga Pt. on Guadalcanal proper. Either is a good target with 7 or 15 supply ships respectively, as EACH sunk ship results in an advantage for the Japanese to try and win control of Henderson Airfield. The IJN was also given two submarine attacks that could approach on the same three vectors (a historical possibility that didn't happen, but could have).

As the USN player, Her Majesty's Australian Adm. Alexander "Rumrunner" Moore, I carefully considered the options, but it seemed a clear choice to have a strong screening force within Ironbottom Sound (East of Savo) of 6 DD and 2 CL, all six CA patrolling the center line between the two anchorages, and a small 2 DD screen on the East. The East approach is less likely since it would take precious night hours for the IJN to circle Florida Island for that attack. No matter which approach was used, I hoped that my powerful, concentrated force of CA would be able to make an impact on the IJN, even if they arrived late to the action and could only chase the IJN raiders at high speed and damage a couple. Of course my hope was that they would be fully engaged but not surprised, which would make this second Pearl Harbor Sneak Attack less likely to escape unblooded.

The IJN player, Adm. Kenaka Portnersan chose the historical approach. The screening force of USS San Juan* + 3 Bagley DDs, and HMAS Hobart + 3 Bagley DDs in two Divisions (all game terms are capitalized) in a continuous line formation rolled randomly for their placement on their patrol route (a d12 with each number corresponding to the clock) when the IJN came close enough to be Detected on rader. Interestingly, the result put them heading South not far from the passage, but with the Island squarely between them and the IJN! Therefore, the excellent radar on the San Juan was of no use until the IJN rounded the island. At this point the IJN were Detected on radar, and the USN squadron allowed to depart their patrol route to close the distance to the head of the Detected ships. The USN Cruiser force was 50,000y away, so there was no possibility of using TBS (Talk Between Ships) or radar Detection successfully. The IJN were still not Acquired targets, so they just appeared as "Blips" to the Allied ships.

The USN increased speed as well, so soon they closed and managed to Acquire one then a second of the three IJN Divisions. Admiral Portnersaki had three powerful CA in the first, two in the second, and the 2 CL + 1DD in the third. Realizing the powerful ships of the first Acquired Division were CA, the Allied force veered off and began to parallel the IJN from about 5000 to 6000y.

Much gunnery and some torpedoes were exchanged and the Allies took the worst of it with their lighter ships, but none were sunk. The San Juan was turned into a slow-moving battered hulk, forced to veer out of formation towards the IJN. As the Division Commander switched command to the DD USS Bagley, confusion during maneuvers resulted in the DD USS Patterson colliding with the San Juan, causing serious damage to both ships! The Hobart was significantly damaged by IJN gunfire also. The IJN held back on their torpedoes hoping to use them against any USN cruisers that might appear.

The IJN took very little damage overall but some lucky hits from the San Juan resulted in heavy damage to the Engineering section of the Furutaka and she stopped dead in the water, causing some evasive action by the following ships as they continued to speed along the Guadalcanal coastline at 30kn, passing Tassafaronga before veering North a bit and following the coastline.

At this point, the Allied squadron attempted to remain in the action as the IJN ducked into a convenient rain squall, causing them to lose contact. When they finally re-acquired the lead IJN Divisions, they were threatening the Lunga Point Anchorage! However, the narrowing of the maneuver space made the IJN movements easier to predict. A first torpedo attack by the battered and determined screening force fired 32 torpedoes at a medium range. Unfortunately, the USN spread was ineffective due to defective firing mechanisms and poor aim.

At this point the Allied CA force received contact messages from the screening force via TBS. Their random placement on their patrol route wasn't too far away, fortunately, and they increased speed and turned towards the Lunga Pt. anchorage.

Knowing that help was on the way, the Allied screening force turned hard to starboard to the opposite course of the IJN squadron. The lead Division of three remaining US DDs (their leader, the San Juan, was miles behind struggling to keep moving at 5kn) led by the doughty Bagley fired their remaining torpedoes. This time, they managed to aim true and also get the glancing blow needed to set off the faulty magneto firing mechanisms. Two hit the CL Yubari causing her to founder.

Unfortunately, the Kaigun were also masters of night torpedo work. A limited torpedo salvo caught and sank the USS Bagley and three struck the HMAS Hobart, which promptly broke apart and sank (taking ten hull hits with only four remaining can do that to you…). The five remaining US DDs vowed revenge and in the gunnery phase got it! They inflicted significant damage to the CA Kinugasa which lost speed and main gun turrets.

As the IJN closed and began processing firing solutions for the ships at anchor, precise gunnery from the Chokai cleared the nightwatch from the bridge, crushed a bulkhead and started a fires in the closest supply vessel. General Quarters sounded throughout the anchorage as stunned merchant marine and USN sailors rolled out of their bunks to take stations while the SeeBees frantically ceased their night unloading and attempted to secure their cargo.

Luck was still with the Nipponese as the HMAS Australia, anchored near the supply vessels, went to general quarters but the bleary bridge crew were unable to Acquire any IJN vessels (and remained unable...and at anchor...for the battle). The IJN closed with the supply vessels but felt obliged to split fire between the vulnerable supply ships and harassing screening force. While gunnery didn't achieve much at this point, the IJN suffered disastrous collisions in the third Division as the CL Tenryu and DD Yunagi struck the sinking shattered wreck of their leader, the CL Yubari. The USN wasn't without similar mishap as the DD Patterson collided with the shattered Bagley, taking serious damage to the hull.

At this point, the Allied Cruisers entered the battle. Desperate attempts to sort out the scene failed, and the five Cruisers lead by the USS Vincennes fired upon the nearby HMAS Australia when an IJN flare lit her up. Fortunately for Allied relations, the startled gunners fired ineffectively at the suddenly illuminated target. Soon, they realized their error as the Australia illuminated her signals and they settled down a bit to Acquire the lead IJN Squadron, now with two CA, the Chokai and the Kako.

At this point, the IJN fired their deadly torpedoes into the anchorage. The motionless ships were sitting ducks and two were struck and began to founder with flaming decks and shattered bulkheads – the war was over for the gallant pair. The IJN then turned hard to starboard to parallel the course of the fast-moving Allied CA squadron.

At this point we began to make some obvious calculations on the most likely end. While we could’ve played it out to the bitter finale, the separation of the Divisions, the limitations of the TBS and the failing of morale checks were putting some ships on the run. A lack of hull boxes and main guns was a problem for others…

It was clear that the lead IJN Division would lose it's two remaining ships while the third escaped (having repaired its engines after several turns dead in the water, and being left far behind near Tassafaronga). The second Division of two CA had one that was nearly sunk while the other was in good shape and unDetected / unAcquired by any USN Division. We decided that she'd quietly sneak away.

I insisted that the IJN resolve their final potential shooting and an overly conscientious Portnersan had to be coaxed into it. The Chokai in its last moments destroyed the turrets on the Vincennes and began two fires that they just couldn't put out - clearly they set off the aviation fuel for the seaplanes! After several turns of failed damage control (only needed <6 on d12! to put out each fire) the Vincennes was abandoned and sank.

Final tally Allies: the Allies lost CA Vincennes (5), CL Hobart (4), DDs Bagley and Ralph Talbot (4 total) sunk, and three supply ships sunk (no points), with the San Juan (4x.5=2) crippled and sent back to the States for repairs, a total of 15 VPs for the IJN. Three more USN DDs were Disabled, the Patterson, Jarvis and Helm, (no points). Admiral Moore regretted his generosity in allowing final shots from the doomed IJN CAs, but he’s British-trained and, “There _must_ be standard of conduct for naval warfare lest barbarity rule the seas!”

Final tally IJN: The IJN lost three CA (Chokai (7), Kako (5), and Kinugasa (5)), two CL (Tenryu and Yubari (6 total)) and one DD (Yunagi (1.5)), with the two remaining CA Disabled or Crippled. Total of at least 24.5 for the Allies

Final Victory Calculation: IJN = 15 + three transports sunk. Allies = 24.5 (?). Points result is “Allied Tactical Victory”, but the IJN sank <5 Allied transports so the book calls it an “Allied Major Victory”! It didn’t feel that way, but there it is. I guess it all depends on who writes the scenario.

Historically everything changed! The USN took less combat damage but lost precious supply vessels, while the IJN historically took no damage but abandoned the attempt at the anchorage. Clearly Adm. Kenaka Portnersan is a greater avatar of the samurai spirit than his historical counterparts!

Adm. Rumrunner Moore faired better with his fleet than his historical counterpart, but the embarrassing loss of three supply ships sunk and the Vincennes to a crippled IJN cruiser still gave him some tough explaining before ComSoPac! On the other hand, he survived and was not relieved of command as so many of the other USN officers were, so he had a quiet toast to Poseidon in his cabin that evening…

Hindsight is 20-20
Adm. Moore's self-eval. The USN had a good setup that I wouldn't change much, if at all. My ships did reasonably well to Detect IJN ships on radar, but they struggled to Acquire them as targets on several occasions and had one Fratricide event on the HMAS Australia, fortunately rolling "misses" on several dice. The substantial penalty of rolling 2xd12 and adding them, PLUS an auto-fail at 12+ total (so even a normally automatic Acquisition would be a miss 50% of the time) made their gunnery less than optimal and made torpedoes very difficult to fire until they FINALLY acquired the IJN after about 8 turns (ugh!).

Given this, the Allies did pretty well under the circumstances. However, there were two occasions of poor maneuvering that had my own ships screening friendly fire, and one where I rolled a torpedo under the USS Bagley (which was presently sinking from IJN Torpedoes, but still…). Also, the screening force might have used a different approach vector to hit the tail of the IJN formation and harass them from the rear with their deadly CL (the San Juan with 16 light 5" guns and the Hobart with 8 heavier 6" guns). Instead, they hit the head of the column and the two CL were trashed and are out of the campaign without inflicting significant damage in exchange.

And IJN critique. It seems to me that the IJN picked the most difficult approach given my setup. The Southeast passage around Savo is longer, and my forces had the same chances to engage there as a Northeast approach. Personally, I would've picked the East or Northeast Savo passage (the first hoping for surprise and the second as the shorter of the two obvious choices). The IJN chose not to close and engage the screening force which helped them to get to the anchorage and sink three supply ships, earning them some hard-won credit on the scale of control for Henderson Airfield. Still, a direct shot from Savo Island to the Lunga Point anchorage was a bit shorter, and would've brought them closer to the USN screening force which would undoubtedly have resulted in some serious losses there from the effective IJN gunnery. Also, I would've dumped some torpedoes into the two CL of the screening force. They can take a ship from 0-to-sunk in 1-2 hits, which seems worth it.

Overall, a lot of work to figure out a new set of rules in no less than two complete 21-ship refights. However, I think we know the rules now and I've made some cheat sheets for the common events that cross-reference a variety of useful details. We're excited to see how this different result will shape the campaign for Guadalcanal - will it change history? Or will the IJN suffer the long slow death by strangulation from the airpower at Henderson Field!?
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#11800 The Horror at Wolfenberg Historicon 2015

Posted by Guy on 20 July 2015 - 08:49 PM

Our Scenario for the Wolfenberg Game:


The Horror at Wolfenberg  Scale: 15mm; Rules: ODGW Mein Zombie;  No. of Players: 9. Germany, March 1945. The horror is spreading East and West and has brought the war to a virtual halt.  Agent Blaskowitz reports that “it” is spreading from the German Paranormal Div. facility at Wolfenberg & the trapped scientists hold the key to stopping it.  The race is on .  Take command of Panzer Grenadiers or British Air landing troops, & join us for the debut of the Mein Zombie Squad Rules.


LG ran this three times during the Con with Mike Moran and I assisting.  The first time we played, the players were experienced Mein Zombie or other Zombie game players.  They were a little scared about the amount of noise the Military weapons made.  We also started them too far away from the objectives.  After shooting a lot on game turn one, both sides went silent after that.  They moved slow and got bogged down with heaps of zombies, neither side got close to the objective, but killed lots of zombies.  I don’t believe there was any human/ human combat.

On the 2nd run, we adjusted some things and started both sides closer to the camp.  Human on human combat started immediately.  This group also realized that they had so much firepower, the noise was irrelevant.  They were killing zombies and each other with glee.  The British Air Landing platoon breeched the wire and started clearing buildings.  The Germans made their way to the front gate in force, eventually parking their halftrack in front of the camp “Cooler” where the scientists were.  A good shot from a KOSB PIAT destroyed the Halftrack and the Infantry squad riding in it.  There was hard fighting with the living and undead until the game ended, but the scientists were not released.


For the 3rd run, we started even closer.  We had a good crew of experienced players.  Both sides were using their weapons to good advantage on the “Walkers” and the enemy.  The British mortar landed their first shot in an abandoned German Halftrack that was the German resupply point, and it went up with a 20 Noise counter bang.  The British attempted to flank the Germans with their Recce jeeps.  The Hun tried to counter with a half track, only to have their MG-42 Jam on their first shot.  The British jeep returned fire, causing damage.  The next card pulled was the German squad with the one German Panzerfaust.  They scored a direct hit and killed the jeep and crew.

The lead German squad breached the front gate, but took heavy British fire from the snipers in the Guard tower and were also mobbed by Zombies.  They eventually lost 4 of their 6 troopers.  The British were steadily clearing buildings and found the 3 scientists and their 3 guards.  As they tried to exfil with them, the Germans raced their halftrack right up to them.  The scientists tried to scramble into the track, which caused a firefight that cost half the scientists and guards.  The Germans were able to get the rest out of the camp before the British could bring up a PIAT and stop them.  German Victory.

WE learned a lot about how to adjust the rules and the scenario to make things play faster and easier.  Everyone who played all 3 games told us how much they liked the scenario and that with a few tweaks it would be even more fun.  The 3rd run was probably close to perfect.  We look forward to doing this again!!  Thanks to ODGW, Mike Moran and Kenny Noe for all the help and encouragement!!!!

Attached Thumbnails

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#11222 Stats for other weapons

Posted by William Cira on 23 December 2013 - 01:03 PM

I think it would be interesting to develop stats for some additional weapons such as the katana, the chainsaw, and the RPG launcher. 


The katana has a very high coolness factor due to the Walking Dead series and the new set of female survivors from Wargames Factory has a hilarious woman with an RPG launcher.  That one would of course be very noisy. 


I don't think the chainsaw would be an ideal weapon to use becuase of the noise, but it seems like every survivor set has them. 


Just a thought.  No big deal. 



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#13363 New to AoS gaming - Need help on rules

Posted by Brian Weathersby on 03 January 2018 - 09:51 PM

I will try and answer your questions, but please keep in mind I'm nothing more than a satisfied customer.  I'm sure one of the ODGW staff will be by later in the New Year to give you some better answers than I can.


1)  First of all, the War Artisan ships are really beautiful, so good for you!  If I were just starting out I would probably go with those instead of metal ones.  As for gauges and whatnot, the ones included with the rules are 1/1200 and 1/2400.  However, in the download sections there are gauges for 1/3000, 1/2000 and 1/1000 scale.  I would probably just use the 1/1000 ones without any changes to learn the system.  If you want to be a purist though, you could just print out the 1/1000 gauges at 111% and have everything in your scale.


2)  There's not an easy answer to this, because the rules are broken down into different sections and then there are the charts and ship sheets.  The rules are about 90 pages, not counting charts and ship sheets.  The rules themselves can be printed in black and white and, in my opinion, you don't lose anything.  For games though, the charts and ship sheets are best in color.  Personally, I ordered the PDF and not the hard copy because I couldn't wait to get my hot little hands on it when they came out.  Having access to a printer that I can run copies on for free definitely helped me make that decision.  As I bought the download, I don't know how ODGW handles buying the hard copy.  Sorry, but I can't help you there.


3)  The rules are broken down into sections, as I mentioned above.  The "Basic Rules" section (that's what it's titled) will get you to gaming.  Within that section, it's broken down even further into subsections like Movement, Sailing, Gunnery and the like.  The rules assume that you have no sailing experience at all, and pretty much take you by the hand.  Also, the sailing model in this game is specifically designed to make learning it as easy as possible.  As with any rules, some sections could have been written a bit more clearly, but you can always get an answer here on the forum.  It's easy to dip your toe in a little at a time until suddenly, you feel like a ship's captain.  When I have run the game at conventions, players pick up the basics within a turn or so.


The nice thing about AOS gaming is that you can get started with just two ships.  Be forewarned though; you're liable to find yourself wanting more and more ships until one day, you want to do something crazy like refight the battle of Trafalgar.  You will need a different set of rules to run a large battle like that.  Welcome aboard!

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#13351 FAI redux

Posted by healey36 on 23 December 2017 - 07:59 PM

Royal Navy Christmas, 1915:




Hope everyone here at the ODGW forum has a good one.





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#13314 Firing While Tacking

Posted by Phil Callcott on 01 December 2017 - 05:57 PM

Hi Brian,


Wow, that is some serious research.


You have shown that a 74 was much, much more stable under sail than I would have thought possible and therefore my contention that a 74 ran some risk of shipping water through open gun-ports while tacking is just wrong.


The use of a "train tackle" to prevent guns from running themselves out when the ship was heeling indicates that there was a need to secure guns during a tack and by inference there would need to be gun crew present to both secure guns prior to a tack and release them again when the ship was steady again on its new course.


We've agreed that tacking called for "all hands on deck" and that guns could not be reloaded during a tack because of the lack of available manpower.


You have also shown that aiming a loaded gun was the work of several men and that "train tackle" needed to be used during a tack.


I think that you may well have demonstrated that the rules' assertion on  page 1-11 that "only one tar is needed to fire a gun" is untrue.


With all this in mind I would consider it imprudent to fire an unadjusted broadside from a tacking ship at a target that was moving in both the vertical plane, due to the changing heel of the firer, and the horizontal plane, due to the change in direction as the firer swung through the tack.

Ineffective may be too generous a description.


This last conclusion of mine may be a moot point that you disagree with and as you say we may never be able to prove it one way or another.


We may just have to agree to disagree.


Thank you for all the time and effort that you have put into this, I'm now a little bit older, and much better informed.


Regards, Phil

  • Brian Weathersby likes this

#13306 FAI redux

Posted by healey36 on 28 November 2017 - 06:53 PM

Planning a replay of Cruiser Action 1914 over the holidays...HMS Aboukir is itching for a refight:


Also working on a Med scenario featuring a pair of Danton-class BB's together with a few Kléber-class cruisers:
French BBs
Got to find something plausible and get the French into action. An attempted breakout by the ever-cautious Austro-Hungarians seems a possibility. I've been perusing the Figurehead list to see what's available...looks like just about everything. Maybe they can be baited by a fat convoy heading for the eastern end of the Med. 


  • Tu Tran likes this

#13289 On the workbench

Posted by healey36 on 20 November 2017 - 03:45 PM

An F-Toy IJN A6M5 Type 52, 1/144th scale. All pre-painted, assembly and application of version-specific decals required.







Nice little model of the late-war land-based Navy fighter.



  • Tu Tran likes this

#13225 The Battle of the Bashi Channel 1947

Posted by healey36 on 23 October 2017 - 06:53 PM

First thing I needed to do was figure out where the Bashi Channel is. It sounded familiar and now I realize why...this is one of the areas China is pressing for territorial rights (top end of the Luzon Strait). The Battle of Bashi Channel 2022 sounds like an equally possible scenario.


Bashi Channel

Looking forward to the 1947 AAR.


  • simanton likes this

#13187 The Brwal at Balikpapan

Posted by W. Clark on 10 September 2017 - 04:46 PM

The Brawl at Balikpapan

Rear Admiral Glassford led a combined USN and RN force towards Balikpapan with a high heart after his success at Dili. The wind was Force 2 (4 knots) from the NE. There were no squalls or sea haze. Visibility was 29,000 yards, but as the sun set visibility was reduced to 26,000 yards.


The ABDA Force was in line astern with USS Houston (Glassford’s flag) leading Phoenix. The US cruisers were followed by HMS Exeter (Rear Admiral Palliser’s flag), Mauritius, Dragon and Danae. The came three divisions of destroyers; HMS Jupiter, Electra, Encounter and Express; then HMS Scout, Stronghold, Tenedos and Thanet. Finally, DesDiv 59 USS John D. Edwards,

Alden, Edsall and Pope completed the column. The column was steaming at 25 knots on a heading of 315 degrees.


The masthead sighted the enemy dead ahead at 24,000 yards. Houston and Kumano opened on one another with their fore turrets and missed. Glassford ordered a two point turn to starboard to open his broadsides and increased speed to 30 knots. Palliser followed and increased his squadron’s speed to 29 knots. By this point the Allies had identified the four cruisers they could see as all being Mogami class heavy cruisers. Intel disclosed that they were probably up against Cruiser Squadron 7 under Rear Admiral Kurita.


Houston hit Suzuya at 21,000 yards while Kumano and Phoenix missed one another. The next six minutes as the range closed saw Mauritius take three hits which knocked out a turret and caused a fire. Exeter took two hits while Kumano and Suzuya took one and two hits respectively. Suzuya lost a turret.


The RN cruisers Mauritus, Dragon and Danae concentrated their fire on Kumano hitting her once and knocking out a turret. Exeter hit Suzuya twice and Suzuya blew up. Houston, Phoenix, Mogami and Mikuma managed to splash water on their targets without actually hitting them. Mauritius put her fire out.


Houston now lost both her fore turrets to Mikuma while two 6” hits bounced off Japanese belt armor. Electra took an engineering hit that slowed her to 26 knots.


Electra’s black gang failed to fix her engine hit and managed to break it permanently instead. Kurita had also ordered his trailing destroyer division to head the ABDA column and Glassford responded by reversing course with the US cruisers turning in succession and the Brits turning away together. Exeter lost a fore turret and had her rudder jammed amidships. Luckily, Exeter was on a course for Surabaya when her rudder jammed.


Glassford had ordered the old Brit destroyers and DesDiv 59 to turn to port and head the Japanese column. Scout took two hits as the cost of leading the maneuver. Inazuma lost all her armament but made morale. Kumano lost another turret to the Brit light cruisers.


Kurita also reversed course with his cruisers. Exeter’s jammed rudder was impossible to fix. Jupiter now took ten hits knocking out her armament and leaving her DIW. Express also took a hit. Jupiter failed morale, then her division failed morale and finally RAdm Palliser failed morale and the Brits withdrew under smoke leaving the Americans to carry on.


Jupiter’s first attempt to fix one of her two engine hits resulted in a permanent break. Jupiter’s second attempt fixed her remaining engine and she got back under way. Jupiter then took two more hits from Mogami.


By this point night had fallen and everyone had lost sight of one another except for poor old Jupiter which continued to be fired on by every Japanese ship that could see her. Some eighteen minutes would go by with a lot of shooting for no hits. The US cruisers finally got themselves sorted and responding to Jupiter’s cry for aid spotted Arashi at 16,000 yards. Phoenix missed, but Houston hit her twice.


Jupiter now took two more hits that knocked her DIW again and then six more hits that sank her. Glassford realized that the jig was up and withdrew. Glassford would report that he had been up against four Kagero class destroyers, four Asashio class destroyers and two Akatsuki destroyers. The ABDA withdrawal allowed the Japanese landings at Balikpapan to succeed.

  • Dan Sova likes this

#13138 ODGW Prize Support for Conventions?

Posted by Brian Weathersby on 02 August 2017 - 01:05 AM

I'm running a scenario using Post Captain for the Texas Broadside! convention in October of this year.  Does ODGW offer anything in the way of prize support for conventions?  I would like to provide the top player something like a gift certificate, or even a copy of the rules.  I've done this with other companies when using their rules, but have never thought to ask y'all about it.  If not, I understand, but I figure it never hurts to ask.



  • RazorMind likes this

#12991 On the workbench

Posted by healey36 on 17 April 2017 - 10:45 AM

Somehow I've managed to accumulate a decent-sized stack of 1/600 Old Glory Shipyard kits...I recall buying various examples at Historicon at the Old Glory booth but I didn't realize how many. Don't know if anyone here has ever built one...I certainly haven't. While rummaging around looking for some Microscale 1/285 decal sets I found this one in a pile of other stuff.


This kit is IC-118, USS Texas (Rev-1). I've seen her variously classified as a BB and as an AC. Stem-to-stern she measures roughly 6-1/2 inches. Regardless, it's one of the smaller kits Old Glory offers and has some interesting characteristics:


USS Texas c


In a moment of near-total insanity I sprung for a 1/600 deck-railing PE set.


The resin casting for the hull is sharp. Deck planking, while terrifically out of scale, is apparent, as are other details. The cast parts are rather rough, and you have to inventory everything...sometimes there are bits missing. Some of the kits appear to have masts provided, some you apparently have to make for yourself.  Also, no instructions are included so you need to find some decent references to help sort out the assembly.


I've seen a few photo's of folks gaming with these but I have no intention to ever attempt it. While in college we played a few games with 1/700-scale WWII models and that required a gymnasium. It was fun but required massive real estate.


Here's a couple pics of Texas for reference:


USS Texas b


USS Texas


These will be handy when trying to figure out where the davits/boats go, among other things (note the deck railing).


This is pretty far down the project pile, but presuming I eventually get around to attempting to build one of these this will be the one.



  • Kenny Noe likes this

#12937 Specialised ammunition

Posted by Bob Benge on 25 March 2017 - 07:26 PM

In game that I run I have tried a couple of different ideas.The easiest for me was to have a certain number rolled on the to-hit indicate that the tank was out of special ammo. I would then use a small chit or a colored puff ball placed next to the tank to indicate it was out of special ammo. I also require calling out of firing of special ammo prior to rolling.


Example: Prior to game I indicate to the US player that a to-hit roll of 15 or greater will result in their APCR ammo being expended.


Honestly it is hard to get an accurate accounting for any nation on what the load outs were as the standard went out the window in the supply depots. Use your best judgement in your game and don't let the rounds really dictate your game to much.


Hope this helps! :)

  • Peter M. Skaar likes this

#12645 Cargo boxes for merchantmen

Posted by Brian Weathersby on 09 August 2016 - 03:31 PM

Mr. Gill,

First, thank you for responding to my post.  I really didn't expect to get the designer himself commenting.


After looking around though, I'm pretty well convinced that there is no "standard answer" to this.  Given the lack of standardization at the time, I suspect that we will never be able to do an Age of Sail scenario the way we would a WWII one; i.e., just put down 20 merchant ships,all of the Liberty type. My theory is that a useful way to proceed might be to divide merchant ships by tonnage range, lines (fine vs. full, for instance) and then carrying capacity percentage.  To use my example from the earlier post, a 100 ton schooner with fine lines would carry 30% of its tonnage as cargo, so 30 tons or 3 boxes.  A 200 ton brig with fuller lines could carry 45%, or 90 tons/9 boxes.

  • HalC likes this

#12591 What 1/6000 German ship packss do I need for The Run to the South at Jutland?

Posted by Cpt M on 21 June 2016 - 12:11 AM

1G31   Seydlitz, Moltke, Von der Tann (pack includes Seydlitz, Moltke, Von der Tann, Goeben, Blucher)

1G32   Derfflinger, Lutzow (pack includes Derfflinger, Lutzow, Hindenburg)


1G67   Elbing, Pillau (pack includes Elbing, Pillau, Bremese, Brummer)
1G66   Frankfurt, Wiesbaden, Regensburg (pack includes Frankfurt, Wiesbaden, Regensburg, Graudenz) 
2x 1G74   G101, G102, G103, G104, B97, B98, B109, B110, B111, B112 (each pack includes 2x G101-G104, 4x  B97-B112)
3x 1G73   remaining 20  DDs (each pack includes 8x V25-G96)

  • Edward McEneely likes this

#12507 On the workbench

Posted by healey36 on 19 May 2016 - 08:16 AM

I decided to take another stab at basing a 1/6000 Figurehead destroyer on a base uniform with my others. Basically the same result as the first attempt...just too fiddly to make a job of it.


Here's a couple of 1/6000 River-class destroyers as cast by Figurehead:




Considering the size they are a decent representation.


Using a pair of nail-clippers I cut a destroyer off the base. I did a poor job of this and nicked the casting on one side leaving a sizable indentation in the hull:




Next is the fiddly bit. I used an Xacto to trim the remaining casting from the hull-sides, bow and stern. I used a smaller knife to try to straighten up the funnels, then, using a mini-file, I start filing down the remaining base on the underside of the hull. The problem is there's just not enough to hold onto and get good contact with the file. I probably removed half of the cast base, but didn't get anywhere near an appropriate waterline.




I wish Figurehead would cast the destroyers/torpedo-boats with separate bases similar to the larger ships, or maybe on sprues. Maybe I'll try a different method cutting down the base as delivered and somehow mounting it flush with these bases I use.


Or maybe just use printed counters and say the heck with it...







  • Edward McEneely likes this

#12503 Running a game in June

Posted by Brian Weathersby on 15 May 2016 - 11:37 PM

I will be running a Post Captain game at Texicon in June.  We will be re-fighting the Battle of Santo Domingo in 1806.  I will try to remember and take some pictures this time.  Also, is there anywhere here that I could post the scenario information?  Even though I'm just adapting the scenario that was in the Close Action scenario book from Clash of Arms games, someone might be interested in the information.



  • CinC likes this

#12502 How do I download a purchase?

Posted by Tu Tran on 15 May 2016 - 10:24 PM

Good day,


There are a couple way you can access the download URL.  


1 -  The URL is available via the Client Area.  Click your purchase.  A download URL should be available.  


2 - Directly access the Private Download Library. The products to which you have access will be listed.


Please let us know if there are additional questions.

  • cheirisophus likes this

#12489 On the workbench

Posted by healey36 on 12 May 2016 - 07:54 AM

Thanks Cpt M...


Digging through the lead-pile, there's a lot of stuff in here I'd forgotten about. Here's an Old Glory/Command Decision Cruiser MkIVA, the up-armored version of the MkIV (A13). The biggest difference visually between the versions was the addition of sloped-armor triangular boxes to the turret sides. A few of these made it over to France and later North Africa. This one is from Squadron B, 3rd Royal Tank Regiment, 1st Armoured Division:


Cruiser Mk IVA A13 b


Cruiser Mk IVA A13 a


There should be a yellow bridge disc painted on the front as well but I neglected to include it. These kits are all-metal castings and sometimes they look proportionally inaccurate, at least to me. The turret here appears somewhat flattened...it should stand a bit taller IMHO.


The A13 proved to be a fairly durable tank for the British for the first year of the war, despite the lighter armor of the cruisers as compared to the infantry tanks (Matilda I/II). Armed with the standard two-pounder gun, a weapon that proved capable against most of the German tanks for the first year or so. After 1940/1941, despite it's high muzzle-velocity, it gradually lost its knockout capability against newer, more heavily armored enemy tanks and began to be replaced by the six-pounder. Another disadvantage of the two-pounder was that it had no HE capability.


The 3rd RTR was wiped out at Calais in the closing days of the BEF in France. After the near-disaster at Boulogne Churchill refused the request for evacuation at Calais. The Brits (and French), encircled and pinned to the coast, fought it out to the last man. Some histories opine that the order to stand fast at Calais allowed more time for the retreat to and evacs from Dunkirk. Jon Cooksey's book A Fight to the Finish of the Battlground Europe series gives an excellent accounting of the desperate battle at Calais.


This A13 desperately needs an aerial/pennant.



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