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#21 healey36

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 07:01 AM

Doug - Thanks so much for that...very helpful. After reviewing the British capitals listed, a bit of further research shows that Indomitable was laid up for refit in August 1916, receiving a strengthening of her turret armor. The AP order-of-battle provides a still-damaged Tiger (Q-turret) putting to sea as part of BCS 1...interesting. I would agree that a possible encounter between the British BC's and the bombardment group offers the most interest.

 

I'll have to go through the CL list and confirm what's in the box. I'm guessing we're missing quite a few. Good project for the next few weeks to bring the fleets up to strength. If the stars line up maybe we can actually give this a run-through in August, 100 years after-the-fact.

 

I have a number of AP's supplement books around here...I had forgotten them as a possible source. When trying to sort through historical moments/possibilities on the table I find an accurate OB is preferable over manufactured play-balance any day of the week.

 

Thanks again for the help!



#22 healey36

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 08:06 PM

Received my order for the missing capitals a few days ago, so we'll need to start working on those. I ran through the CL list and as I feared I'm missing many. I'll need to kick out another order for four classes of Brit CL's and two classes of German...that's some serious coin. For now I'm ignoring the DD's.

 

An August run-through is looking doubtful at this point. A week Upstate, a few business meetings, together with Historicon and IPMS Nationals looks to drain away most of my immediate free time. Admiral Scheer is complaining similarly. A Fall engagement looks more likely...

 

Healey

 

 

 

 



#23 healey36

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 09:34 PM

Spent Saturday wandering around Historicon in Fredericksburg, Va.  I can't say that I'm thrilled with the venue, and by the looks/sounds of it others seemed equally unimpressed. It looked to me like attendance was down, and a number of notable vendors were absent (Osprey, ATO, Viking Forge, and a few others). Spent some time watching a double-blind game of Philippine Sea using the Terrible Resolve ruleset...that was pretty well done.  We went looking for ODGW to see what they might be up to, but their area was empty with the exception of a few unrelated tables pounding away at Battletech. Sorry we missed them. Still, managed to come home with a few armloads of stuff, including a mint copy of the first production run of Avalon Hill's France '40 game from the flea market area...boy, that brings back a lot of memories.

 

The next couple of weeks are rather jammed up, including a trip to the beach at the end of the month. In the meantime we'll try to get the ships painted/based. We managed to get Baden and Bayern sorted last week and added to the inventory:

 

HSF fast BB's

 

Changed up the hull color again, this time going with Howard Hues Battleship Grey (1716). I use Tamiya Deck Tan (XF-55) for the High Seas Fleet, then a wash of Vallejo Smokey Ink (72068) well-diluted and an overspray of clear matte. 

 

I had to get a new printer, the old Epson giving up the ghost. The base labels are starting to look a bit tired to me...maybe time for a bit of rework.

 

Still hoping to get things back on the table in August in some form. 



#24 healey36

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 08:18 AM

Sunderland capitals are inventoried and ready to go:

 

Sunderland caps

 

Light-cruiser solution next. Recompiling the divisional assignments from the list Avalanche provided in their OB and searching the inventory. Sending off an order which should help fill in a few of the gaps (but not all).

 

In the meantime saw this...nicely done:

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=59BeWSmPkCk



#25 healey36

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 10:34 AM

While attempting to fill the gaps in the CL inventory, ran into some conflicting data. Figurehead provides five light cruisers in pack 1G63, noted as Stettin-class (x3) and Dresden-class (x2). They advise that the Dresden-class was comprised of SMS Dresden and SMS Emden, while the Stettin-class was comprised of SMS Stettin, Stuttgart and Nurnberg (per their note they left out Konigsberg because the funnel config was slightly different, huh?).

 

My 1919 copy of Jane's indicates the Stettin-class was comprised of Stettin and Stuttgart. An Emden-class had Emden, Nurnberg and Konigsberg. I could not find Dresden listed...anywhere...

 

Wikipedia entries generally correspond with the Figurehead listing, with the exception that Konigsberg heads the Konigsberg-class along with Stettin, Stuttgart and Nurnberg.

 

Pressing on, went with the following:

 

HSF light cruisers

 

Again, the photo reveals issues unseen by the naked eye (at least my naked eye)...Stettin's third funnel looks to be bent at an angle and there's a bit of flash on Emden's funnels. The funnel spacing on the Stettin-class appears to be accurate.

 

 

From Jane's 1914 edition:

 

Stettin class

 

 

Apparently Nurnberg changed classes between 1914 and 1919. To some extent I suspect the 1919 edition has been poorly edited for losses during the war.

 

Healey



#26 Cpt M

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Posted 05 August 2016 - 03:35 PM

Figurehead has it right.  Konigsberg was the lead ship of her class of 4 ships and completed with 3 equally spaced funnels.  The remaining ships Stettin, Nurnberg and Stuttgart were completed with 3 unequally spaced funnels.  The Dresden and Emden were the follow on class.  (per Groner's German Warships 1815-1945: Vol 1 Major Surface Vessels)



#27 Lonnie Gill

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 03:25 PM

G' Day Healey36,

 

Looking forward to the next action.  Don't forget the Fleet Action alternatives of sticking DDs on blue painter's tape in column so you can move a division (HSF ½ Flotilla) as a unit and making gunnery attacks by DD div (HSF ½ Flotilla) .  That enables you to add a reasonable number of DDs to a scenario without unnecessarily bogging everything down.  We've had pretty good success with these techniques.

 

Also, consider having Beatty insist the BCF completes some much needed gunnery training before the action.  That will enable them to shift from the dreaded D20s to the normal D12s, giving them a better chance against the more heavily armored HSF contingent.   

 

Should be an interesting action!

 

LONNIE



#28 healey36

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 05:06 PM

"Also, consider having Beatty insist the BCF completes some much needed gunnery training before the action.  That will enable them to shift from the dreaded D20s to the normal D12s, giving them a better chance against the more heavily armored HSF contingent."

 

Hey, what? Wait a minute...is that in the rules somewhere, lol? In the course of painting CL's for this next run-through I lent out my printed copy of FAI to one of my flotilla commanders...will need to retrieve that to check. Thanks for the heads-up re:DD's...I'm looking for an abstract way to handle them without actually producing oodles of 1/6000 models.

 

With regard to CL's we are definitely going with a cut down contingent for the first run-through of Sunderland. Otherwise it will be Christmas before we get back on the table.

 

Dug out my copy of Taylor's German Warships of World War I from 1970 - he's got Stettin/Nurnberg/Stuttgart as Stettin-class, with Konigsberg as a one-off. He lists Konigsberg as 150 tons lighter and seven feet shorter than the Stettin. Armament exactly the same. 

 

SMS Frankfurt has been out on torpedo drills for the past month:

 

SMS Frankfurt

 

She's hoping to improve on prior performance for Second Scouting Group and Konteradmiral Boedicker this time through...

 

Healey



#29 healey36

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Posted 16 August 2016 - 07:01 AM

The draft OB for the Sunderland scenario is coming together as the following:

 

Battlecruiser Squadron (Sir David Beatty)

 

1st Battlecruiser Squadron (Osmond Brock)

 

HMS Princess Royal

HMS Tiger

HMS Lion

 

2nd Battlecruiser Squadron (William Pakenham)

 

HMS New Zealand

HMS Australia

HMS Inflexible

 

1st Light Cruiser Squadron (Edwin Alexander-Sinclair)

 

HMS Galatea

HMS Phaeton

HMS Inconstant

HMS Cordelia

 

2nd Light Cruiser Squadron (William Edmund Goodenough)

 

HMS Southampton

HMS Dublin

HMS Birmingham

HMS Birkenhead

HMS Chester

 

 

Scouting Force (Franz Hipper)

 

1st Scouting Group (Franz Hipper)

 

SMS Von Der Tann

SMS Moltke

SMS Grosser Kurfürst

SMS Markgraf

SMS Bayern

 

2nd Scouting Group (Friedrich Boedicker)

 

SMS Pillau

SMS Stettin

SMS Stuttgart

SMS Frankfurt

 

We're arbitrarily dropping two CL's from each (Gloucester and FalmouthMünchen and Hamburg) for OB expediency. No decision yet on how we will handle the destroyer flotillas (we may ignore them on the first run-through).

 

We're likely to miss the 100-year anniversary on August 19th due to scheduling, but hope to have it on the table shortly.

 

Healey

 

Edit :: One of the ships omitted is HMS Falmouth, of the 'Mouth' sub-class of Towne-class light cruisers (Weymouth, Yarmouth, Falmouth, Dartmouth). A lovely ship:

 

HMS Falmouth

 

During the Sunderland episode she was torpedoed twice by a German submarine, taken under tow and torpedoed twice more by a second submarine which did her in. It is my understanding that she is a divable wreck off Yorkshire as not a man was lost in her sinking. Consequently she is not designated a war grave. Like many of the great ships she was built in Glasgow on the Clyde.

 

Similar to the preceding Southampton sub-class, she packed twelve boilers...two fireboxes on funnels one and four, and four each on funnels two and three. She was crewed by 394 officers and men, of which 177 worked the engine rooms.

 

Here looking wicked in her early-war paint-scheme. Color-schemes for the Royal Navy gradually lightened over the course of the war as marine paint pigment content purportedly declined due to supply issues. Funnel-striping carried over initially, but for how long I don't know.



#30 simanton

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Posted 25 August 2016 - 08:27 PM

1919 Jane's is reporting wartime-built German light cruisers which recycled names of cruisers lost early in the war. Original Dresden was sister of original Emden though with turbine engines instead of reciprocating. Both lost 1914. I believe the second Dresden had already been scuttled at Scapa. The 1919 edition was published at a time of considerable uncertainty and confusion on the status of a number of navies.

#31 healey36

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Posted 27 August 2016 - 01:43 PM

I would agree with you...Jane's staff made numerous omissions and incorrect classifications in the 1919 edition. Perhaps they were missing Fred's editorial oversight.

 

For the High Seas Fleet I'm dropping back to my copy of John Taylor's German Warships of World War I (1970). That seems to be reasonably reliable. 



#32 healey36

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 10:38 AM

Arethusa-class light cruiser HMS Phaeton:

 

HMS Phaeton

 

HMS Phaeton b

 

Commanded by John Ewen Cameron from commissioning, saw service in the Med before returning to the Home Fleet. Participated in a number of further actions with 1st Light Cruiser Squadron including Jutland.

 

Painted/based the last of the cruisers for Sunderland. First run-through scheduled for mid-September.

 

Healey

 

Edit :: I look at that pic and I hear Phaeton crying out for a mast but the camera deceives...it's easy to overlook how small these things are:

 

HMS Phaeton a


#33 healey36

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 06:54 PM

I didn't realize the wreck of HMS Warrior had never been found:

 

http://www.scientifi...nd-near-norway/

 

By the sound of it she'll be pillaged shortly.

 

Schedules have finally come together and the Sunderland run-through should go off in the next two weeks. Hipper and the boys are ready to go:

 

Sunderland SMS

 

Healey



#34 healey36

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Posted 30 October 2016 - 02:24 PM

At last...sorry for the long delay:

 

Scenario - Sunderland, August 1916

 

HSF sets sail at 2100 on August 18. Scheer’s departure is observed and relayed to the Grand Fleet by British Intelligence. Jellicoe orders Beatty’s battlecruiser force to intercept with the main-body following in support.

 

Hipper’s force is to deliver a bombardment of Sunderland with Scheer’s main-body following closely behind, hoping to come to grips with an intercepting British force.

 

At 0600 HMS Nottingham of Goodenough’s 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron is torpedoed by U-52. In the confusion it is initially reported she struck a mine, causing Jellicoe, thirty miles behind, to temporarily turn his main-body and the 5th Battle Squadron back to the north for fear of steaming into an uncharted minefield. Beatty, believing any minefield is to his immediate east or northeast, disregards the presumed danger and continues with the battlecruisers on his southeasterly course. At 0900 Goodenough reports that Nottingham was in fact lost to a submarine attack, but by now the battlecruiser force is separated from Jellicoe’s main-body by nearly 100 miles.

 

At 1215 Scheer, based on faulty reports by Zeppelin L-13, turns his main-body southeast toward an enemy force (Harwich) he believes to be the British main-body. Hipper briefly continues on his northwesterly course to close on the English coast.  

 

At 1250, with his position just 45 miles due east of Scarborough, Hipper receives a report from Moltke of smoke on the horizon off the starboard bow. Captain Zenker receives confirmation of same from his lookouts on Von der Tann, whereby Hipper orders a sharp change of course to the east-northeast and an increase in speed to 20 knots.

 

Weather is clear with a slight wind.

 

 

Order of Battle

 

Battlecruiser Squadron (Sir David Beatty)

 

1st Battlecruiser Squadron (Osmond Brock)

 

HMS Princess Royal

HMS Tiger

HMS Lion

 

2nd Battlecruiser Squadron (William Pakenham)

 

HMS New Zealand

HMS Australia

HMS Inflexible

 

1st Light Cruiser Squadron (Edwin Alexander-Sinclair)

 

HMS Galatea

HMS Phaeton

HMS Inconstant

HMS Cordelia

 

2nd Light Cruiser Squadron (William Edmund Goodenough)

 

HMS Southampton

HMS Dublin

HMS Birmingham

HMS Birkenhead

HMS Chester

 

 

Scouting Force (Franz Hipper)

 

1st Scouting Group (Franz Hipper)

 

SMS Von Der Tann

SMS Moltke

SMS Grosser Kurfürst

SMS Markgraf

SMS Bayern

 

2nd Scouting Group (Friedrich Boedicker)

 

SMS Pillau

SMS Stettin

SMS Stuttgart

SMS Frankfurt

 

 

Opening Moves

 

Spotters soon report the ships are five British four-funneled light cruisers of the Town-class, proceeding at 22 knots on a southeastward heading. Hipper orders speed be reduced to 17 knots with a slight turn to the north-northeast. At 1314 Von der Tann opens on Southampton at 18,400 yards and Moltke fires on Dublin. For the next twelve minutes the Germans fire continuously at the light cruiser force. No hits are observed. Hipper orders Boedicker and Scouting Group II to close up behind his line.

 

Sunderland 2

German battle-line at 1320 on a northeast heading.

 

At 1326 six British battlecruisers come into view on a southeastward heading steaming at 21 knots. The light cruisers have now turned due east. At 1332 Hipper turns his fire on the battlecruisers. Twelve minutes later Von der Tann scores a hit on Australia’s secondary. At 1350 at a range of 18,000 yards Moltke hits New Zealand (secondary) and Von der Tann puts a round onto Inflexible (hull). Tiger manages a 13.5” hit on Markgraf at 16,800 yards but it fails to penetrate.

 

Hipper orders a turn north and reduces speed to 14 knots. At 1402 Bayern sends a 15” round into Princess Royal, striking her at the waterline causing minor flooding (hull-box). Ten minutes later Moltke hits Australia twice from a range of 14,800 yards, disabling ‘A’ turret and scoring a hull-box. Grosser Kurfurst knocks down Lion’s mainmast and disables her starboard torpedo-tubes.

 

Sunderland 4

The German capitals suffer ineffective fire by Beatty's battlecruisers.

 

Goodenough’s LCS II now obliquely crosses Hipper’s bow and begins to once again take fire from the German capitals. Southampton is struck twice by Von der Tann, the first 11" round resulting in a starboard gun-mount wrecked. A second penetrates the hull but fails to explode, passing through a storage locker, the engine deck and one of her fuel bunkers before exiting the opposite side of the hull (hull-box). Dublin and Birkenhead come under fire but escape with near-misses. At 1424 Hipper orders an 18-degree turn to the northwest and increases speed to 19 knots.

 

Sunderland 6

HMS Southampton and Light Cruiser Squadron II under fire.

 

At 1430 Tiger suffers a near-catastrophic hit forward on turret A, penetrating deep into the ship while showering the bridge with splinters. Captain Henry Pelly immediately orders the forward magazines flooded, but both Turrets A and B are disabled. With Turret Q out of action from the start, Tiger has only her aft turret and most of her secondary operable.

 

Beatty feels Princess Royal’s deck shudder beneath his feet as two rounds from Von der Tann slam into her. The first takes out a starboard 6” gun-mount beneath the bridge, the second holes her at the waterline below Turret A (hull-box). New Zealand, fourth in line, is struck on the forecastle by Grosser Kurfurst but the shell fails to penetrate.

 

Sunderland 5

Relative positions at 1418.

 

At this point Beatty is nearly apoplectic. Over the last thirty-four minutes his BC’s have fired fifteen salvoes with just a single hit resulting in minor damage to Von der Tann. He orders a 36-degree turn to the southeast replicating Hipper’s turn to the northwest, and demands that Goodenough and Alexander-Sinclair stop fiddling about and make a run at the enemy. The two lines will pass at an approximate range of 11,000 yards and a combined speed of 40 knots.

 

 

Deeply Disturbing…They’ve Got To Do Better

 

As the range closes gunnery turns deadly. At 12,000 yards Lion puts a 13.5” onto Markgraf’s aft turret, disabling it. New Zealand finds Von der Tann taking out her turrets A and D.

 

For their part the Germans begin laying the wood to the British BC’s. Moltke drives an 11” into Tiger’s last remaining operable turret, leaving Capt. Pelly to contemplate his ship’s future. Grosser Kurfurst holes Princess Royal again, her speed dropping to 12 knots, down by the bow with serious flooding. Markgraf destroys New Zealand’s turret D and jams her rudder hard-to-port (quickly repaired during the next damage-control phase), while Bayern manages a hit on Australia, taking out a second 4” on her starboard side adjacent to her forward funnel.

 

Beatty’s BCS force is suffering. Princess Royal has four hull-boxes destroyed and Tiger has lost all of her main armament and flooded her forward magazines. Lion is relatively unscathed with just her mainmast destroyed and her starboard torpedoes disabled.

 

BCS-2 is a bit better off. New Zealand has lost turret D and a single 4” mount. Australia has lost turret A, both of her forward starboard 4” mounts and one hull box. Inflexible has one hull hit.

 

Hipper has issues as well. Von der Tann, his flag, has turrets A and D disabled, torpedo tubes damaged and is down 1.5 hull-boxes. Moltke has lost her starboard torpedo tubes, her searchlight mount and 0.5 hull-boxes. Markgraf has lost one of her two aft turrets. Kurfurst and Bayern are undamaged.

 

The British commander decides he will complete the pass and see what happens. Meanwhile he orders his light-cruisers to flank-speed to apply pressure to the German capitals. Fortunately German fire turns ineffective and the BC’s suffer minimal further damage.

 

The capitals now turn their attention to the onrushing light-cruisers. Goodenough closes to extremely close range (less than 3,000 yards at one point) attempting to launch a coordinated torpedo attack, but his crews have difficulty developing firing solutions when constantly having to turn inside the German line. Individual ships sporadically fire torpedoes without effect. For his trouble Birkenhead is shot to pieces and sunk, while Chester suffers a hit to her forward magazine, blowing up spectacularly. Southampton, via a series of turns abreast temporarily moves to the rear of the line of CL’s, probably saving her. Dublin and Birmingham come through with only minor damage.

 

Sunderland 7

HMS Chester suffers a magazine explosion and is vaporized.

 

Alexander-Sinclair’s actions are inconsequential. After nearly crossing-the-tee LCS-1 veers off to the northwest and takes a beating enroute. Inconstant is hit seven times, ending her day with half the ship awash and destroyers preparing to come alongside. Cordelia has her two main guns knocked out with most of her aft wrecked.

 

Boedicker does no better. Every ship in Scouting Group II fires torpedoes at the British BC’s at close-range to no effect. Frankfurt, having drilled incessantly on torpedo tactics closes to less than 2,800 yards before firing her two torpedo-mount broadside…nothing. She suffers a hit to her bulkhead #3 by Lion, flooding half the ship before the crew manages to staunch the inrush of water to limp off.

 

Beatty turns away at 1518 to regroup. He has four BC's in servicable shape. Princess Royal is struggling with heavy flooding and Tiger is a wreck topside. Hipper contemplates giving chase but is recalled by Scheer. Captain Zenker orders Von der Tann to begin burying her dead.

 

 

Observations

 

These games always seem to start with an almost unbearable amount of cautionery maneuvering...no one wants to commit too soon or from a poor position, taking a pasting in the process. While this is somewhat historically accurate, it often feels contrived, a product of the conceptual limitations of the table-top. For play purposes a running engagement always seems to work better than the head-on clash of a meeting engagement where the two sides approach from opposite directions.

 

I tried to build the scenario within the confines of actual events, constructing something that wouldn't be too implausible. Scheer allowing Hipper to continue on after he turned south toward a suspected Grand Fleet might be a stretch, but Hipper was known to take liberties with his superior. The raids executed by the HSF early in the war were timed to reach their target typically at or shortly before dawn. It seems peculiar that Hipper was still so far from Sunderland at mid-day, when a calculation of a reasonable speed from the 2100 departure time the evening before could have put him off the target by 0700. Had Hipper completed his bombardment of Sunderland and turned away earlier in the day it is certain that Beatty would have been trying to run Hipper down from behind. 

 

The scenario played out about as expected. Beatty’s battlecruisers were largely ineffective throughout. Princess Royal's gun-layers should be shot, having fired nine salvoes over nearly an hour-and-a-half before registering a hit, fifteen in total scoring only three times before encountering the German light-cruisers at short range. Many hits by the 12” BC’s were ineffective due to poor-penetration factors at long-range. Bayern was repeatedly hit by Australia and Inflexible to no effect. Abysmal die-rolling is only part of the story…it’s tough to be the British player.

 

For the Germans with their heavier armor it would seem appropriate to close the range as quickly as possible and skip all of the posturing. Presuming Hipper can achieve a reasonable firing line he should be able to make hash of Beatty's BC's at medium range. Beatty's lighter armor and poor shooting (those D20's make it painful to watch) are a major disadvantage, not to be overcome by superior speed. While Bayern shot poorly on this day, she more than any other heavily tips the scale in Hipper's favor. 

 

Sunderland 9

HMS Birkenhead shortly before she's dispatched by Grosser Kurfurst and Moltke.

 

The interplay of the armor/penetration factors and the equivalent damage multipliers gets a bit confusing. The flow of the game broke down a number of times due to confusion here. Incorrect application of the multipliers added greatly to the life of the British CL’s…once corrected folks started getting extinguished rather rapidly.

 

Torpedo attacks are just brutally frustrating, appropriately based on historical fact. Of six attacks launched no hits were scored. A reread of those rules would seem to be in order. In a game played with ODGW staff at Historicon a number of years ago it seemed that torpedoes stayed in play for a number of turns…if so, we’re definitely not playing them properly. (Edit::We subsequently realized what we were balling up on the torpedo table and how fish remain in play for up to three or four turns.)

 

Sunderland 8

Frankfurt launches her torpedoes.

 

That said, it was great fun. There’s enough here to entertain four Brit players and two Germans (throw in all of the destroyers and you could add another two or three players). Played 154 scale minutes in roughly six hours. Secondary and tertiary gunfire was minimal, which helped keep the gunnery rounds moving. We had limited space so we couldn’t deploy the floating-table technique…used a single table and a 50% scale reduction for gunnery (i.e. ten centimeters equaled 2,000 yards). Gave the same result but looked silly at times.

 

Definitely a replay tee’d up for Christmas break, this time with the four additional light-cruisers and maybe, just maybe, all those freakin’ destroyers.

 

Maybe.

 

Healey



#35 healey36

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 04:44 PM

HMS Birmingham in1/6000, Type 42 destroyer (1973) on the left, Town-class light cruiser (1913) on the right:
 

HMS Birmingham


Two Sea Dart SAM's and a single 4.5-inch Mk. 8 gun versus nine 6-inch Mk. 12's, a single 3-inch AA gun, four 3-pounders, and two 21-inch torpedo tubes.

A replay of Sunderland 1916 is scheduled for the week of December 19. Plans underway to add DD's, at least a few of them, to this run-through. With the upcoming holidays there's no time for acquiring/painting/basing miniatures, so we'll probably just make a few counters.

New torpedo tactics this time...

Healey



#36 healey36

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 10:26 AM

Sunderland 1916 (Rev-2)

 

As the year winds down we thought we'd give Sunderland a second play-through on its centenary, this time with a slightly expanded OB (includes three flotilla of TB/DD's each). As before action commences at 1250 with clear weather and negligible wind.

 

The scenario is built around the planned and executed action of August 1916 where Scheer once again attempted to bait elements of the Grand Fleet into a major engagement with a lead-in bombardment of Sunderland by Hipper's recompiled Scouting Force. Things soon went awry with faulty intelligence provided to Scheer by Zeppelin L-13 and an overly cautious Jellicoe turning back from a suspected uncharted minefield. The presumption here is that Hipper and Beatty continued onward to clash, unsupported by either main-body, less than one hundred miles southeast of Sunderland near mid-day, 19 August 1916.

 

Order of Battle

 

Battlecruiser Squadron (Sir David Beatty)

 

1st Battlecruiser Squadron (Osmond Brock)

 

HMS Princess Royal

HMS Tiger

HMS Lion

 

2nd Battlecruiser Squadron (William Pakenham)

 

HMS New Zealand

HMS Australia

HMS Inflexible

 

1st Light Cruiser Squadron (Edwin Alexander-Sinclair)

 

HMS Galatea

HMS Phaeton

HMS Inconstant

HMS Cordelia

 

2nd Light Cruiser Squadron (William Edmund Goodenough)

 

HMS Southampton

HMS Dublin

HMS Birmingham

HMS Birkenhead

HMS Chester

 

1st Division 13th DD Flotilla

 

HMS Nepean

HMS Nestor

HMS Nerissa

HMS Obdurate

 

2nd Division 13th DD Flotilla

 

HMS Moresby

HMS Narborough

HMS Nicator

HMS Onslow

 

3rd Division 13th DD Flotilla

 

HMS Nereus

HMS Nomad

HMS Paladin

HMS Pelican

 

 

Scouting Force (Franz Hipper)

 

1st Scouting Group (Franz Hipper)

 

SMS Von Der Tann

SMS Moltke

SMS Grosser Kurfürst

SMS Markgraf

SMS Bayern

 

2nd Scouting Group (Friedrich Boedicker)

 

SMS Pillau

SMS Stettin

SMS Stuttgart

SMS Frankfurt

 

7th Torpedoboote Flotilla

 

SMS S-57

SMS S-58

SMS S-65

SMS S-66

SMS S-67

SMS S-68

 

8th Torpedoboote Flotilla

 

SMS V-75

SMS V-76

SMS V-77

SMS V-78

SMS V-79

 

13th Torpedoboote Flotilla

 

SMS S-24

SMS S-15

SMS S-16

SMS S-17

SMS S-18

SMS S-20

 

 

Opening Moves

 

The descriptions here will be somewhat brief for expediency purposes (and the brevity of the note-taking during the game).

 

The two fleets collided at 1250 roughly eighty miles southeast of Sunderland with Hipper, having spotted the enemy to his north, turning onto an E-NE heading at 20 knots. Beatty charged due south led by his light cruisers and the 1st Division of the 13th Destroyer Flotilla.

 

In the first hour Hipper maintained his E-NE course and the German heavies began a steady pounding of Beatty's CL/DD screen. Torpedoboote Flotilla VII moved out with the intention of delivering a torpedo attack on the British light cruisers and began sustaining numerous hits, primarily to its lead TB's (S-57, S-65 and S-66, with S-65 taking a bulkhead hit leading to severe flooding). No damage was sustained by Hipper's heavy units or Scouting Group 2.

 

Beatty's force fanned out as it pushed on toward the German battle-line. The battlecruisers of BCS 1 and 2 remained behind the screen and sent minimal fire in the direction of Hipper's force (it should be noted that HMS Princess Royal, Beatty's flagship and the BC with the worst gunnery stats in this player's experience, fired five.long-range salvos without scoring a hit during the first hour...misery).

 

Sund II 1356

Fleet positions at 1356. Note HMS Galatea at the head of LCS 1 turning out of the line with her rudder jammed hard to starboard after suffering six consecutive hits by Moltke, Grosser Kurfurst and Von Der Tann.

 

Hipper maintained his top-of-the-tee position while waiting for Beatty to show his hand. The answer came soon enough as DD 13/2 and 13/3 began closing on the German line with the BC's standing off at long-range.

 

Hour 2 saw the development of a massive battle amongst the light units between the main battle-lines. As the British DD's and CL's broke through and closed, the German heavies redirected their fire onto the approaching light ships with devastating effect. Simultaneously TB VII closed on LCS 2 and launched torpedoes. At 1414 HMS Southampton was struck by torpedoes fired by S-68 and quickly sank. Twelve minutes later SMS Stettin, unable to evade torpedoes launched by HMS Moresby, is hit in her forward engine room and goes dead in the water to sink twenty-four minutes later.

 

Sund II Early

German TB's and British CL's and DD's mix it up between the maneuvering main battle-lines.

 

At 1432 Beatty's battle-cruisers score long-range hits on Von Der Tann and Moltke. Von Der Tann has her fire-control disabled which curtails her effectiveness at long-range. The Germans, however, continue reducing the British CL's with accurate mid-range fire as the British DD's close. Moments later Von Der Tann is nailed by torpedoes fired by HMS Narborough, taking down three hull-boxes and reducing her speed to 12 knots, and Moltke is struck by a second salvo of torpedoes fired by HMS Moresby which cuts her top speed to 20 knots.

 

Sund II Torpedo Melee

Hipper orders a desperate line-abreast turn east attempting to avoid the remaining oncoming British DD's.

 

Sund II VDT

Von Der Tann is bracketed by long-range fire from Beatty's battle-cruisers.

 

Twelve minutes later, with the torpedo threat temporarily ended, Hipper orders his main fire back onto the British battle-line. Soon thereafter Markgraf delivers a twelve inch round onto the previously undamaged HMS Tiger at 13,800 yards, penetrating to her forward magazine where she is destroyed in a massive explosion. Beatty orders Lion and BCS 2 to close the gap while the British DD's reform to begin a second attack on the German line.

 

Sund II Tiger

HMS Tiger is lost at 1444.

 

The German capitals manage to evade the renewed torpedo attacks, destroying many of the closing British DD's enroute, while the British BC's continue firing at the German line. Moltke is hit twice at long-range by HMS Lion, reducing her speed to just eight knots. Grosser Kurfurst returns fire and manages a long-range hit on Inflexible at 17,200 yards resulting in the second catastrophic loss this day of a British battle-cruiser. At 1502 HMS Australia scores a further hit on Moltke at 14,000 yards slowing her with an additional half-hull box. Hipper orders a general withdrawal.

 

As the Germans turn for home Moltke, her speed down to just eight knots, obliterates an approaching HMS Pelican with her final broadside. At 1514 Princess Royal (yes, that Princess Royal) lands a 13.5-inch onto Moltke dropping her speed to four knots. In the west HMS Dublin and HMS Chester mop up TB VIII which is attempting a run at Beatty's BC's. At 1526 Lion scores a hit on Moltke's 'D' turret disabling it, and at 1544 Australia delivers her second hit on the German battle-cruiser flooding her last half-hull-box. At 1550, precisely three hours after the initial contact, Captain Von Karpf orders his crew off the stricken Moltke.

 

Sund II Moltke

Under heavy fire, a nearly stopped Moltke moments before she is sunk by HMS Austrailia.

 

With the destruction of Moltke Beatty orders an end to the pursuit of the hastily withdrawing Germans and begins picking up survivors.

 

Tally

 

In terms of points the Germans have scored a minor victory, 44.75 points to 35.00 points. Beatty has lost two battle-cruisers (Inflexible and Tiger), five light-cruisers (Birkenhead, Southampton, Cordelia, Phaeton and Birmingham) and seven destroyers. Hipper lost battle-cruiser Moltke, light-cruisers Frankfurt and Stettin, and eight destroyers. Von Der Tann is badly damaged and will be out of action for months. Both fleets suffer numerous ships damaged.

 

The German player (me) felt fortunate that circumstances had not been far worse. Extraordinarily good shooting by the German heavies at critical moments and some early confusion on the first torpedo run by the British DD's blunted what could have been a far more devastating attack. That and the two British battle-cruisers, both dispatched by a single hit on each, left one feeling that the Germanic gods were smiling down this day.

 

Final Observation

 

There were just two of us playing...it took us nearly fourteen hours to get through slightly less than three scale hours. Our play of the DD's slowed things quite a bit as we elected to move them individually like all other ships (rather than by division as an alternative). Managing the DD's, defending CL's and the capitals is quite a task. The clash of the DD's and CL's left the center of the table looking a bit like the Sargasso, littered with the flotsam of large numbers of sunken ships. The possibility of collision was a constant threat that occurred just once with any measurable effect.

 

Despite a careful re-rereading of the torpedo combat rules, we still managed to ball up the first British torpedo runs by setting the plots at the end of the movement phase rather than during the pre-movement plotting phase. We have carefully amended our turn-phase chart to highlight this critical distinction. 

 

This scenario remains an interesting puzzle. For a relatively small action it provides a lot of variability. With the vulnerabilities of the British BC's the initial weight falls on the screening lighter units. Adding another division of DD's for the British might tip the balance significantly in their direction.  

 

But I think we're off British battle-cruisers for a bit...the D20's take a toll on you. When tangling with the Kaiser's BB's and more heavily armored BC's, the lighter armor and armament of Fisher's BC's is scarcely offset by their greater speed (not to mention occasional freakish die-rolling).

 

So now I've been reading a bit, and the Med and Baltic suddenly sound intriguing...where were the French?

 

Healey



#37 healey36

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 08:29 AM

Thumbing through a few old books, one being on the city of Baltimore's harbor, thought this was interesting:

 

USS New Hampshire

 

Published in 1916, this photo of pre-dreadnought New Hampshire looks sharp. Last of the Connecticut-class, she sported four 12-inch in twin turrets, eight 8-inch in four turrets amidships, and twelve 7-inch in casemates. Classified by the USN as an old-battleship, she saw limited action. 

 

Love the cage masts.

 

Healey



#38 Doug Barker

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 05:16 PM

Mediterranean theatre for FAI is something I've thought about for a good long while.The Austro-Hungarian and Italian fleets are small enough that you could have a good what-if fleet engagement in the Adriatic without thinning your wallet out too much. And the Austrian dreadnoughts have a high look-cool-factor in my opinion. 



#39 Cpt M

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 08:47 PM

In the FAI Supplement, there is a scenario that uses the US predreadnoughts in a raid on the Austrians.  The raid was actually considered but never carried out.  Makes for an interesting little game.



#40 simanton

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 11:45 PM

The Adriatic in WWI has such great potential for wargaming and is so neglected!







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