Game 1: Dawn attack
Japanese small craft, with air support, launch a surprise attack on a British naval base.
The unsuspecting British base at dawn, 4 Fairmiles and a support ship are moored up, whilst a little Harbour Defence Motor Launch patrols up and down. The gunners of the two shore batteries are dozing by their guns, looking forward to their relief.
The view from the Japanese scout aircraft.
The sneaky Japanese boats approach the target undetected (despite appearances, it's actually 3 MTBs and two gunboats with 57mm guns). But where's the air support, there isn't a plane in the sky, apart from the scouting aircraft? Colin had rolled for when his 3 dive bombers would turn up, turns 5, 5 and 6!
AS the British sound the alarm the first MTB launches it'e torpedoes.
Just in time, as the first shot from one of the shore batteries hit's home. When a 3" shell hits one of these little boats there isn't much left by way of wreckage even!
The inexperienced shore battery crews were outstanding in this game (I mean I kept rolling 1's for their shooting!).
Some British vessels get underway, others are still waiting for their crews to show up.
Two more MTBs launch torps, to catch the British in a crossfire.
Meantime the Fairmile crews try desperately to get out of the way of the incoming steel fish.
The second shore battery fires it's first shot, who would have believed it!
And the first spread of torpedoes pass harmlessly between the Fairmiles. Relatively harmlessly, they are probably going to make a mess of the dock in a few moments!
Now things are looking dodgy for the British, in trying to get out of the path of the torpedoes the HDML is on the verge of colliding with the leading Fairmile.
..............one misses, passing under the hull of the target, but the other hits. Boom, scratch one Fairmile!
Now the Japanese gunnery is improving and a second hit from a 57mm gun sinks the little HDML.
One bomb is a near miss, but the second hits!
A critical hit takes the rudder out, so it's just as well no-one has any torpedoes left.
As the last MTB heads for home, one of the covering gunboats takes a hit from a 3" gun and heads for the bottom.
The final blow, the last dive bomber hits the stricken support ship, but the damage isn't enough to sink it.
End result, not a shining success for the Japanese. They lost 3 boats and the British lost 2, but the support ship is still in play and that will help the British in the third scenario.
Game 2: Invasion.
A minesweeper, MTB and a gunboat are escorting two troopships and a tanker to the invasion beaches, when a cobbled together British task force (a Flower class corvette and 3 Vospers) try to intercept them. The Japanese objective is to get the troopships and tanker across the table.
As the British are sighted, the convoy scatters and the minesweeper moves forward to engage the enemy.
The last time I encountered Colin's minesweeper I lost three Vospers in two turns, so two of the MTBs launch torpedoes as soon as they can.
The first salvo from the minesweeper knocks out the runner on the corvette, then to add insult to injury a dive bomber turns up and scores a direct hit! The corvette is still in the game, but not looking healthy.
The first wave or torpedoes close in on the minesweeper. Can the Japanese ship outrun the fish?
The Japanese MTB has a worrying encounter with another torpedo, but it passes harmlessly underneath it's hull.
By increasing speed the minesweeper not only outruns the torpedoes, but pits itself in a position where the Vosper cannot avoid a collision.
The Vosper takes a dive, barely scratching the minesweeper's paintwork.
A torpedo lines up on the tanker........
................Boom! It's a hit. The tanker is still afloat, but it's taking on water and it catches on fire!
The Japanese MTB launches it's torpedoes at the corvette, which was stationary, fixing it's rudder. Fortunately I got to activate first in the next turn and somehow maneuvered between the two torpedoes (I really don't know how). We had to resort to the laser pointers for this one, but they both missed me.
Can't say the same for one of the troopships, but the torpedo missed!
But the second torpedo did hit the other troopship. It took heavy damage and also started to take on water.
At this point the minesweeper took a lucky hit from the corvette (I rolled high dice!).....
....and with accumulated damage started to sink.
The tanker crew failed to put the fire out and it too started to disappear beneath the waves.
A second dive bomber hits the corvette, but it's still afloat!
Interestingly it would have sunk if I hadn't taken the time to make repairs. We don't normally take the time to repair damage in our games. I only did it this game because it's rudder was gone, but perhaps I'll have to think about repairs in future.
As the last Vosper tries to make it's escape the damaged troopship sinks. But a blast from the Japanese MTB, just out of shot, finishes the already damaged Vosper off before it can get away.
Game end. The corvette and two of the Vospers have escaped. The Japanese have lost the minesweeper, tanker and one of the troopships.
I think that was an outstanding win for the British.
We ran out of time at this point, so our third game will have to wait for a while.
The next scenario will be Japanese gunboats trying to protect barges moving supplies alone the coast to the invasion beaches, whilst a force of Vospers and Fairmiles are hunting them down in and out of islets and sandbanks (with a risk of the larger boats running aground!).
Any losses from the previous games will be replaced, but with inexperienced crews.
Because the British support ship survived, the Vospers will have been able to replace their torpedoes, but the lose of the tanker means that the Japanese will not have air support in the last game.
I'm looking forward to it!