Thursday, 4 April 2013

Ulsan again!

Having last night tested a new set of simple, quick play rules with the Russo-Japanese War scenario, Battle off Ulsan, I felt inspired to give another ruleset a go tonight. This time I used Rob Heath's Coaling Stations  – rules for pre-dreadnougt naval wargaming.

I'll skip the preamble as that's covered in my previous post, the order of battle is as follows:


Vladivostok cruiser force
Rear Admiral Karl Iessen

Armoured cruisers:
Rossia (flag)


2nd Squadron
Vice Admiral Hikonojo Kamimura

2nd Unit: armoured cruisers:
Izumo (flag)

4th Unit: protected cruisers:

The action opened at 06:00 with the Admiral Iessen's squadron on a north-west heading in the Sea of Japan, off Ulsan, spotting four Japanese armoured cruisers around 2 nautical miles to the east. It was a clear morning with good visibility and light seas.

Iessen and Kamimura both ordered their squadrons to open fire with the Iwate scoring a single hit on the Rossia although no significant damage was caused. Kamimura ordered his cruisers to 'make smoke' as the lines of cruisers continued to close on one another.
The Rossia is hit but makes its 'armour save' so records no damage
Kamimura's cruisers 'make smoke' providing a +1 to to hit rolls in the next round
 Admiral Iessen takes the initiative and orders his squadron to 'flank speed' (the fastest speed of which a warship is capable) while a second salvo form the Russian guns sees the Rossia score a hit (but no damage) on the Izumo and the Gromoboi hits and scores a point of damage on the Azuma. Iessen orders his squadron to make smoke in preparation for the next Japanese salvo.

As Kamimura's 2nd unit attempts to catch up and close on the Russians, a quick change in weather sees a light mist form in the sea of Japan reducing visibility down to 1 nautical mile. Iessen sees an opportunity to break contact from his foe and make for Vladivostok.
Hoping to disable his opponents flagship before making for port, Iessen seeks to cross the T and disable the Izumo with a broadside, but the visibility is too poor for gunnery at that range. 

Crossing the T
Kamimura's evasive manoeuvres in the mist pay off as he avoids the deadly trap being set by the Russians.

Iessen orders his squadron onto a north-westerly heading while just managing to stay our of range in the early morning mist. Despite a close encounter in the final turn, the Russians succeed in exiting all three cruisers from the board un-damaged. Kamimura's 2nd Unit only managed two salvos before the mist settled in and the protected cruisers of his 4th Unit never managed to engage the enemy at all. 

The Vladivostok cruisers live to fight another day!
Coaling Stations performed really well in this scenario (my second use of these rules). Playing solo, the uncertainty built in by the command rules made for an interesting action. More comments about the game mechanics will follow.


  1. Thanks for the great batrep. I had not considered how the command rules would work during solo play. Cool.

  2. Cheers Dave, yes it does give a degree of uncertainty in solo play that makes for a more interesting game. I was thinking it would be interesting to have a wildcard effect that I could include to add to the fog of war! Do you do it for both players? Of just the non-player force (as it where)? No answers yet but will think further on it. Thanks for your feedback - glad you liked the batrep.