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NIGHT TACTICAL QUESTION


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#1 W. Clark

W. Clark

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Posted 22 September 2021 - 08:13 PM

Here is the situation:

 

Both the British and the Japanese rolled poorly (Brit 11 & Japanese 12) for night acquisition. But, the Brit rolled a 1 for his -SW radar so he detects contacts minus any other problems out to 30,000 yards.

 

This a British sweep versus a Japanese convoy. The convoy is at anchor, 2,000 yards from shore in 2 lines of 6 APs facing east into the wind. The close escort of 1 CL and 8 DDs is 6,000 yards from shore in a column patrolling in a race track pattern (shades of Savo). The outer escort of the Fuso class BBs, 3 CAs and 8 DDs is 10,000 yards from shore in a column patrolling in race track pattern.

 

The British sweep is in a column, BB, BC, CA, 3 CLs and 9 DDs on a heading of 315 degrees. The shore line here just south of the point Kota Bharu is located on has a north-south orientation. So no land shadow behind the convoy and its escorts. There are no squalls or sea haze and visibility under an overcast sky with a new moon is 20,000 yards (except for the night blind look outs of both sides who see 2,000 yards). 

 

The Brit's radar picks the Japanese from the start of the set up because a roll of 1 allows it to see 30,000 yards. The Brits speed up and change course to come within 10,000 yards of the outer escort. The division of 5 Smoke Pots (My name for these WWI relics) fire star shell (which works!) and illuminate the outer escort. The Japanese who should now see the Brits because of a 2 left column shift find that only gets them to 4,000 yards which is twice the distance they see.

 

Of course the Brits (even though they too are night blind) can now see the Japanese. What can the Japanese do besides just die. I believe they should be able in the bright light of the illumination to change speed and course. But to where? They have no idea where the illumination is coming from. Remember, they are off a hostile shore and the illumination could be coming from the land for all they know.

 

Do they head out to sea and abandon the troop convoy. Do they close on the convoy and possibly lead the unseen enemy to it? Now the Japanese player knows dam well that the illumination is coming from warships, because its a naval game brought on by his attempt to take Singapore. And why else would we be there? But that knowledge does not come from the table. 

 

​So, what do I as ref allow him to do? I'm in a quandary and any idea is presently welcomed.

 

My first thought based on my experience of conflict was to speed up and go into multiple columns (two or three) which each column making smoke to cover me from the gunfire I'm sure is to follow. Then I thought whoops, I just doubled or trebled the ships in each arc of a torpedo spread, possibly. But, I figured I was trying to get something between me and what was targeting me.



#2 Phil Callcott

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Posted 29 September 2021 - 06:18 PM

The accepted British practice with starshell was to fire long, thus silhouetting the target as a dark shape against a bright background.

 

Maybe allow the target an intuition die roll to know this, and therefore turn towards the illumination at max revs in order to lengthen the range?

 

Or as with Valiant at Cape Matapan, the target just gets caught with their pants down and gets a good spanking?

 

Regards, Phil






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