Posted 26 November 2006 - 04:29 PM
I'm not sure that I have enough color or story to attract anyone not predisposed to play a naval game. Also, we're still learning all the rules and so have had some issues and mistakes with the game play. That said, here are quick summaries of our two games to date.First battle was a British vs. Italian Med battle. 5 players: 2 Italian, 3 British, each person had a "squadron", although these were not trying to be historically correct. On the British side, the squadrons were the Rodney; Warspite and Queen Elizabeth; Kent, Southampton, and Liverpool. On the Italian side the squadrons were Littorio and Caio Duillio (plus a cruiser); Conti De Cavour, Zara, and Garibaldi.Initially, both sides split going left & right. Rodney and one of the QE's took on the Italian BB squadron, while the remaining QE and the cruisers took on the mixed Italian battleship/cruiser squadron. As the battle developed, the British forces then largely all turned towards the mixed Italian squadron; this squadron, under heavy fire, then attempted to break off. Early on in the battle, the British players had trouble distinguishing the Cavour from the Italian cruisers; consequently the Zara took several 15" hits and then was victimized by the British cruisers. The Cavour was no match for a Queen Elizabeth--the equivalent hit modification bumped up the British 15" fire by 50% while halving the Italian 12.6" fire--and soon was a wreck. In the main battleship action, the Rodney lost a main turret, 3 hull boxes, and several secondary and tertiary batteries; the Warspite lost a turret; the Littorio lost her entire main battery with a couple other minor hits; the Duilio lost half her main battery, a hull box, and a couple other hits.The end result was a decisive British victory, as the Italians lost two ships to no losses on the British side; further, the surviving Italian heavy units had both sustained heavy damage and only Rodney had been seriously hurt. The forces were selected without regard to the point values and the British had roughly a 10% point advantage. This seemed to show in the results.Our second learning scenario used the 1942 Pacific forces. For this battle we attempted to balance the PVs. The Japanese forces were a battleship squadron of the Nagato and Mutsu and a cruiser squadron of Haguro and Takao. The American forces were a battleship squadron of the North Carolina and Washington and a cruiser squadron of the Astoria, New Orleans, and the Portland. There were two players on the American side and one on the Japanese side.The Japanese forces operated in one line-ahead formation until the end of the battle. They and the US BB squadron took up largely parallel courses on opposite headings. The US cruisers turned onto a heading converging with the Japanese line. The battleship lines got no closer than the 18,000 yd range. Both sides took significant damage. Nagato took a DCT hit fairly early, which impeded her fire thereafter. Mutsu lost a main gun turret. Both Japanese BBs took siginficant hull damage, but did not fail any morale tests. The North Carolina took half hull damage and failed the resulting morale test and attempted to withdraw while battling a fire. Ultimately she had lost a main turret and had only two hull boxes remaining. Washington was in the best shape of the battleships with only a hull hit and a main gun turret out.The US cruisers approached within the 12,000 yd range of the Japanese line before reversing course towards the battleship squadron. Portland was hit hard early on, but the Haguro lost all her facing torpedo mounts. Both Portland and New Orleans were sunk during the withdrawal (Portland succumbing to two engineering and two bulkhead hits), but Astoria was unscathed. Both Japanese cruisers hit heavy hull damage; fires and bulkhead hits contributed greatly to this damage.All four Japanese ships had taken heavy hull damage, the varying speeds disrupting their squadron integrity. On the US side, two cruisers were lost and a BB heavily hurt and withdrawing, but the remaining cruiser and battleship were in good shape to continue the fight. The Japanese forces never launched torpedoes but these were a constant concern for the Americans, forcing the unfortunate turnaway of the cruiser squadron and dictating that the battleships kept their range. When the game was ended it was agreed that the fight was much more even than the Med battle.After two games, the new edition is holding up my initial favorable impression. Play has been quick without sacrificing the feel of historical accuracy. We're still making small errors on the rules (ex: hits on the Long Lance torpedo mounts causing fires), but I think we're quickly getting through those issues.