Mike Hoyt

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17 December 1941

This is my first attempt at the Second World War at Sea series and I figured I’d start small with the first battle scenario. Battle scenarios are played only on the tactical map and, I suspect, exist mostly to help people learn the combat system. Certainly this particular scenario could not hold my interest for repeated playings. I don’t think this is particularly reflective of the Operational Scenarios, which I believe are the real meat of this game series. Get to one of them next, but in the meantime…

Situation
It is night time and a heavy snow is falling in the Barents Sea. Four destroyers of the German 8th Destroyer Flotilla are making a sweep off the Kola coast when they come upon two British Mine Sweepers. Just out of sight to the southeast however are the British Cruiser Kent and two Soviet destroyers.

Action
The Germans spot the British Mine Sweepers and open up with their guns, sinking one of the Mine Sweepers. His companion bravely launches her torpedoes, but misses. The Germans hold to course 090 to close, when suddenly a British Cruiser and two Soviet Destroyers are spotted off the starboard bow. Both sides exchange gunfire. German Destroyers Z27 and Z28 score hits on CA Kent, knocking out one of her secondary mounts and her only tertiary gun. The other Germans miss the rapidly turning Soviet destroyers. The Allied return fire knocks out the gun mounts on Z24 and Z28.

Having closed to two hex range because of the limited visibility of fighting at night in a snowstorm, both sides launch torpedoes. The Allied torpedoes miss, as do most of the Germans, but Z27 scores a significant hit when her torpedoes slam into the Soviet DD Sokrushitelnyl rupturing her hull in at least two places. She sinks quickly.

With half their guns out of commission and no more torpedoes, the German destroyers scatter NW, W and SW. Kent and DD Groznyl pursue, while the surviving Minesweeper retreats to the SE. The pursuing Allied ships continue to trade gunfire with the retreating Germans, eventually knocking out the guns on the other two destroyers and scoring a couple of hull hits, but not enough to slow them down. The fight ends with the damaged German Destroyers slipping off into the snowy night.

Aftermath
The Germans score 9 victory points (2 for the MS, 7 for the DD) against 0 for the Allies for a clear victory.

According to the historical notes that come with scenario the Germans in real life sank one of the minesweepers and ran off when the spotted the bigger ships. So the Germans in this game also bettered their historical performance by following the scenario book advice and pressing on in for a torpedo attack. It is perhaps noteworthy that had the torpedo that sank Sokrushitelnyl hit Kent with the same effect it would have left the cruiser in danger of foundering (5 of 6 hull boxes destroyed) and a long, slow way from a friendly port.

Thoughts
Took longer to write this up than it did to learn the rules and play the scenario. Definitely whetted my appetite for more!
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Xander Fulton
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Astoria
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blockhead wrote:
17 December 1941

This is my first attempt at the Second World War at Sea series and I figured I’d start small with the first battle scenario. Battle scenarios are played only on the tactical map and, I suspect, exist mostly to help people learn the combat system. Certainly this particular scenario could not hold my interest for repeated playings. I don’t think this is particularly reflective of the Operational Scenarios, which I believe are the real meat of this game series.


You have it, exactly.

The 'tactical battle' system in the GWaS/SWWaS games is not the core of the game. Indeed, when you play the operational game, you'll see that they are really not a LOT more than a more satisfying way of resolving fleet battles (rather than the angle most strategic games take of totaling up factors and rolling on a CRT to resolve the whole battle).
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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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New Orleans
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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I enjoyed the report. My interest in this game is growing.
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Paul Franklin
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I did the same scenario and had an opposite result. The Germans were soundly defeated, but it was still quite fun. Even though this isn't the core of the game, it's a good way to get started on the system. The rulebook seems daunting at first, but you quickly find out that the rules are simple.
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