I'm going to run a Malay Barrier PBEM campaign for our gaming group, but am thinking of modifying the OBs slightly. The Dutch pre-dreadnought Soerabaya (formerly Zeven Provincien) was actually in-harbor at Surabaya, but was considered obsolete and never fought. Does anyone know of any ship sheets from perhaps the WW1 GQ3 edition that could be proxied or modified for this ship?
Zeven Provincien/SoerabayaMalay barrier
Posted 14 August 2020 - 08:45 AM
I am the author of Defending the Malay Barrier. Full disclosure is that I don't play WWI and don't have FAI, so I can't answer if it has any data on the ship/guns.
Personally, I don't think that adding HrMs Soerabaja will significantly effect the campaign - in other words first I'm not sure it would be worth it, but if done, second I would not modify the IJN OB like is done for the other "what ifs" involving adding BCs to the Dutch OB. Doing a ship log for HrMs Soerabaja shouldn't be too much trouble, the major question in my mind being if she had director fire control. Without any definitive info, I suppose I'd give her one (as opposed to none or two).
The bigger issue to me would be what chart to use for her 11" guns, assuming you have to use GQ3.3 without any FAI input. The 11" column on the Netherlands Gunfire CRT is for the Project 1047 “Gneisenau-type” BCs from the Netherlands Navy supplement. I suppose you could use that column, limiting the range to 18,000yds. Navweaps lists the max range of the 28.3 cm/42.5 gun at 17,600 yds at the max 15 deg elevation. However, I think I might be inclined to use the 12" column from the Spanish Armada Espanola Gunfire CRT. Navweaps doesn't give any penetration data for the 28.3 cm/42.5 gun, but there is a little data on netherlandsnavy.nl.
The other ship-specific rules I might add are some limitations/ramifications due to her slow speed. Perhaps limit ABDA Sweep missions that include her to those close to her base (e.g. if based at Surabaya, only those objectives bordering the Java Sea), and perhaps apply a -1 modifier to the Patrol vs Sweep roll and +1 modifier to the Sweep vs Convoy roll on the Contact table.
Anyway, if you're really determined to add HrMs Soerabaja to the Dutch OB, and there is no data from FAI that anyone can provide, I can look at doing up a ship log for her.
Posted 14 August 2020 - 03:40 PM
Update: I found a file called "Coast Defense Ship Cards - R1.pdf" on my hard drive that has a ship log for HrMs Soerabaja on page 4. I would assume I got it off the ODGW GQ3 downloads section, so look in there.
One thing I don't understand is how she's given 5 hull boxes. The GQIII Hull Box design files indicate that for a pre-dreadnought (B*) to have 5 hull boxes, it would have to have a standard displacement of 11-13,000 tons, and the maximum displacement figure I saw for HrMs Soerabaja is 6,530 tons.
- caligrad likes this
Posted 16 August 2020 - 04:09 PM
Dave: thank you for all the info! I had planned to use WW1 11'' gunnery tables for the ship, and a very limited range, as well as limited ammunition. The other mod to standard OBs I offered to Allied players in the Solomons campaign was the addition of MTBs to the USN OB late in the campaign. I know the Dutch had MTB units in the area, but their use historically seems very uncoordinated and haphazard.
Posted 17 August 2020 - 01:48 PM
Did some checking on the Soerabaya. By 1941 she had lost all but 2 75mm guns and the 2 11.1" main battery guns and had 5 or her eight boilers removed. There is also some indication that her remaining battery was inoperative by WWII (her only active battery being a handful of 40mm Bofors and AAMGs for AA purposes). Not sure what use she would be in a game other than as a floating AA battery.
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