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TSC GT3 AAR


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#1 W. Clark

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 07:56 PM

It was getting towards dawn that mid-October day in 1942 and Vice Admiral Clarkski was laying in his state room exhaustedly examining his belly button and comtemplating all things naval. His Task Force had engaged a large IJN force in Iron Bottum Sound about midnight and while some things had gone well, he had lost 2 destroyers sunk in a half hour action. Still, he had perserved his force and sailed away to fight another day. But that is the end and we need to go back to the begining.

It was a dark and stormy night (it really was), the wind was Force 7 from the South with at least half a dozen squalls raining all over the entire show (with more to come). Otherwise visibility was 11,000 yards. No smoke screens tonight, no cover for the fight, yet he sailed on, sailed on to glory.

Clarkski formed his TF into 2 task groups; each group consisted of a destroyer division of 5 destroyers and a 4 ship heavy division, 2 Astoria class CAs and 2 Brooklyn class CLs in the starboard column; the South Dakota and 3 Astoria class CAs in the port column. The columns were spaced 4,000 yards apart with a 1,000 yards between ships. The heavy didivisions followed their respective destroyer divisions at 4,000 yards distance. Rear Admiral Preston commanded the port column and Clarkski commanded the starboard column as he considered it the right thing for him to do.

Clarkski's plan was the same as always; sail straight ahead until radar contact was made, then simultaneously each division would turn 90 degrees in succession, port column divisions to port and starboard to starboard. The idea was to form an L (torpedo) ambush (Clarkski had spent over a decade in the army and found it hard to change his point of reference) with the destroyers screening the heavies from contact until they could join in when it was to their advantage (if ever). The lack of smoke was bad, but there a good many squalls for cover (if not always where they were needed). Clarkski was worried about fraticide and the lead and trailing destroyers of each division blinking out the recognition signal continously to their unengaged side. The heavies were ordered to not fire between the lights.

Radar contact was made at 30,000 yards and TF 2 began its deployment according to plan. Clarkski had hoped to complete his deployment before the IJN spotted his ships but the sea state slowed his destroyers to 25 knots (down from 36 knots) and Japanese optics (they rolled a 1!) allowed the leading IJN ships to acquire Clarkski's DDs well before the now screwed DDs could spot them back.

It was GT 5 when the real show began and Japanese fire put a shell straight through the Blue's engine room totally getting the black gang's attention (it was engineering hit). The Blue would promptly fix the problem (we can roll 1s too) resulting in a new pair of port holes that greatly improved the engine room's ventilation. Those sons of Nippon were firing from beyond our visibility and all we could do was plop a few starshells their way at the end of the turn.

GT 6, Visibility increased to 16,000 yards but the many squalls were interfering with a general engagement ensuing. USN starshells revealed the center 3 columns of the Japanese 5 column formation (from starboard to port) as a CA (with more behind), then 2 DDs and the Mutsu (16" guns, not good). One of Clarkski's DDs got a hit on a IJN DD; other than that it was just a lot of shell splashes. Blue starshelled the IJN far port column while Preston contrinued to starshell the center of the IJN formation.

GT 7, everyone launched torpedoes (the USN at extended range). We estimate that the IJN launched about 30 plus torpedoes but Preston sent 37 fish and Clarkski launched 40 in return. Blue's starshells revealed the far IJN port column to be comprised of 3 DDs lead by a 5,500 tonner CL. Selfridge using rapid fire hit the CL once, but the CL was now illuminated and South Dakota from some 12,000 yards away hit her 8 times badly damaging her. Japanese fire started to tell hitting some of the USN DDs but none of the hits were crippelling.

GT 8, Clarkski ordered Preston to turn away and did the same with his heavy division to avoid torpedoes. Clarkski ordered his destroyer division to turn 180 degrees and attempt to launch their remaining 32 torpedoes at the rapidly approaching Mutsu and Nagato (yep, more 16"). Selfridge was struck by a torpedo and sank. 2 torpedoes struck the Mutsu and wonder of wonders, one of them went off but Mutsu except for a slight lessing of speed seemed unaffected. Mutsu then riddled Blue with 14" & 6" leaving her sinking.

GT 9, Clarkski's remaining 3 DDs were unable to endure the increased Japanese fire and turned away before they could fire torpedoes, praying for a decrease in the wind and smoke. It appears that IJN torpedoes that missed Clarkski's DDs now threaded through the gaps in his heavy division. Preston hit one of the 2 CAs with a torpedo and it went off severly damaging the cruiser. There were other hits but they failed to go off. By this time the far IJN column of 3 DDs were also engaging Preston's DDs as they withdrew. At this point we ran out of gaming time and the 6 of us withdrew to our respective real lives.

From the Allied POV it was a mixed bag for results. We had lost 2 DDs and 5 more had been damaged suffering some 10 hits between them. We had hit a DD, riddled a CL and torpedoed a BB and a CA in return. But, we had not caused the enemy to abort what we belive be a bombarment mission and Henderson Field would probably suffer more insult to go with the injury inflicted by a large air raid from Rabaul earlier in the week. Clarkski's personal morale certainly suffered some what but he took comfort in the fact that his concurrant supply mission seemed to have got through and the Tactical Index stands right around 10. Total Allied ship losses todate are 33.5 points.
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#2 Tu Tran

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:43 PM

Enjoyed reading! Thanks for taking the time to write up the AAR and post. :)

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#3 W. Clark

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 01:37 PM

The fact is that I like to write and I should be thanking you for giving me a forum to write on; in fact I think I just did.

#4 W. Clark

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 01:41 PM

Also, God; you know, that guy who made the wind to blow so hard I could not lay smoke and then gave me numorous squalls as an inadequent replacement; yep, I'm talking about the GM. That guy reviewed the AAR and declared it accurate, so that's something.

#5 mjkerner

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 03:04 PM

Keep them coming, Clarkski, I love reading AAR's especially since I'm essentially a newbie to GQ III, and yours are great!

#6 RazorMind

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:52 PM

Great stuff, keep em coming!
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#7 W. Clark

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 06:49 PM

It turns out that we did abort the bombardment mission because the Mutsu had a hard time putting out a fire and suffered enough hull damage as a result to make her turn back. But none of that matters as after a discussion by all parties involved we have decided to start the camapaign over. This time we will start with Savo Island to balance it a bit more. So it's back to GT1 for the Next TSC AAR.




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