|The Imperial Japanese Navy close in on the Vladivostok Cruiser Squadron on my newly made |
naval gaming mat.
Now, to get yourself in the pre-dred mindset I can always recommend watching the clip from Turning Point (that you all know so well, I'm sure) if you can put up wth the soundtrack:
Not being a devotee of the rivet-counting end of naval wargaming rules, my go-to rules for a fun game (especially when playing solo) are Coaling Stations by Twylight Games. What I like most is the card-based order mechanism where each squadron allocated a series of individual orders (move, turn, fire, make smoke, evade etc) by placing the cards in the order you wish to enact them, and then the player rolls against their allocated command rating (7 inferior commander, 8 average commander, 9 superior commander) using 2d6 and if the roll is equal to or less than the command rating, that number of orders are put in place.
It's an interesting and easy to use mechanism. I place my cards for each squadron face down in order (top to bottom) before rolling against the commend. Sometimes I accidentally mix up the order which I put down to fog of war style mistakes by the crew. As you will see below, sometimes this has devastating consequences.
So, here's a photo-story of how the game played out.
|The fleets sight each other|
|First IJN salvo mostly straddles the Russian cruisers, but one shot finds its mark.|
|Naniwa and Takachih swing to port to close on the Russians.|
|The second IJN salvo bites hard at the Russian cruisers|
|Vice Admiral Jessen steers to port to try and distance himself from Admiral Kamimura's heavy guns.|
|Another IJN salvo starts to slow the Russian cruisers. Naniwa and Takachih close on the rear of the Russian line of battle in the hope of coming within torpedo range.|
|Naniwa and Takachih pull within range of their primary guns and start to hammer the |
tail end of the Russian line.
|The effect of the furious salvos from the IJN must have interrupted communications - no Russian orders are passed on this turn.|
|Jessen's gunnery officers finally receive the command to open fire as the stokers shovel coal for all they are worth. The Russian armored cruisers swing back parallel tot he IJN and open fire. Alas, to little effect.|
|Another salvo from the Japanese takes out a forward turret on the Gromoboi.|
|Rurik receives more hot stuff from the protected cruisers. The Russian fleet is badly damaged and |
only limping along.
|Lines of command in Admiral Kamimura's division are winning the day for the IJN, four orders are executed in one turn!|
|Jessen orders a punishing salvo - with several shots penetrating the Japanese armour. |
But, it is too little, too late?
|Fore form the main and secondary guns of the IJN protected cruisers hits home with devastating |
effect on the Rurik.
|Five hits and the Rurik is slowly sinking from the damage.|
|Steaming past the Russian line, the Takachih bring her starboard side torpedo tubes into action.|
|Jessen orders his crippled ships to make smoke in a last ditch attempt to avoid destruction.|
|Admiral Kamimura reels with the shame of ramming his own ship as the IJN prepares to |
annihilate the Russians.
|Takachih avenges the loss of her sister ship by dealing a fatal blow to the Rossia.|