|Seven German cruisers search for their opponents|
I painted up a bunch of 1/4800 WWI era armoured cruisers to play a few games at home. This scenario is on a 4 x 2' table. The rules are Majestic 12's Grand Fleet. I have been familiarizing myself with these for a couple of weeks.
The Germans thus far have not done so well. I constructed two equal points orbats which pitted a British armoured cruiser squadron against two German cruiser squadrons. I made all of the German ships Veteran and the British were Trained with the crew of Black Prince as Raw. The Germans had seven ships and the British four. This brought the points in at 156 and 157 respectively.
The objective was to cause the other side to withdraw. The British squadron commander was randomly rated as a total numpty and both German commanders rated good. The British ships are generally more durable and have bigger guns and better armour. The older German cruisers were weak and moved at the same speed at the British. The newer, faster German cruisers were lightly armoured and more brittle, but packed a reasonable punch.
British Squadron: HMS Shannon (Flagship), HMS Argyll, HMS Black Prince, HMS Bristol.
German Squadron: SMS Dresden (Flagship), SMS Danzig, SMS Augsburg
German Fast Squadron: SMS Graudenz (Flagship), SMS Pillau, SMS Koenigsberg, SMS Bremse.
Three of the cruiser names having more than a passing nod to my interest in 17h century history.
Each game turn represents six minutes of real time. I took nine game turns or almost one real time hour, to get a result.
Movement can be up to 12 inches (6,000 yards) per move. The sea conditions can speed up or slow down certain ships. Here is what happened, it was a lot of fun.
|Opening salvo - The British shoot at 12,000 yards|
0620 The British, in line astern open fire at 12,000 yards beyond the range of the enemy. Shannon and Black Prince score early hits on Graudenz which is leading the fast squadron.
|Graudenz comes under early and sustained fire|
0626 Graudenz takes further hits and begins to slow down. She and Augsburg find the range of Shannon and land three hits on her.
|Shattered by gunfire Graudenz if finished by a torpedo (can you see the traces?)|
0632 The gunnery exchange continues with Koenigsberg joining the bombardment of Shannon. She loses a 7.5inch gun to a direct hit. Graudenz continues to be the focus of British fire and takes further serious damage. Both sides launch torpedoes. Three German ships targeting Shannon, all miss. Three British ships target Graudenz, Shannon and Argyll shoot wide but Black Prince score a hit which causes Graudenz to explode and sink! The inexperienced crew of Black Prince show how it should be done!
|Looking east from behind the British line. Bristol is already detached.|
0638 Pillau ranges in on Argyll, the second weakest of the British ships. Argyll returns fire but the German ship is far more accurate scoring four hits to two. She loses a 6 inch turret to this barrage. Pillau also fires her port torpedo but it misses. Despite her green credentials, Black Prince scores hits on Koenigsberg and Shannon thumps Bremse in an uneven exchange which sees German torpedoes go wide and the light cruiser take significant damage.
0644 The old Danzig fires guns and torpedoes at Argyll. Her gunnery is accurate, knocking out a 7.5 inch gun but the torpedo runs wide. The British attempt to maintain distance and use superior firepower whilst the Germans run close to fire torpedoes and use their shorter range guns. Black Prince once more shows her crew are quick learners by landing four hits on Dresden.
|Fire on Bristol! The Germans give her everything they have! (torpedo tracks going wide)|
0650 Bristol, the weakest British ship has become detached from the squadron and find herself exposed about 2,000 yards to leeward of the line. All incoming fire is directed to her and she takes six hits losing a turret and suffering engine damage. This slows her to a crawl in the killing zone. Return British fire almost but not quite, sinks Augsburg which remains afloat, just
0656 Pillau has come about and uses her starboard tube to try and finish Bristol with gunnery and torpedoes. All ordnance shoots wide and in exposing herself in this attack she attracts incoming fire from the British line which almost puts her under.
|Bristol at the eye of the storm|
0702 The Germans turn north to extricate the badly damage Koenigsberg, Augsburg and Pillau. Pillau's valedictory salvo knocks out another turret on Argyll but the return fire from Shannon sinks her.
0708 The battle-scarred Bristol limps out of gunnery range and is saved as the Germans disappear northward.
|The dramatic end of Graudenz|
The British lost no ships, but Bristol was barely afloat at the close, Shannon and Argyll had taken severe damage and Black Prince was also damaged.
The Germans lost Graudenz to gunfire and a torpedo. Pillau was lost to gunfire, Only Bremse, Danzig and Dresden escaped with minor or no damage.
Rules take a little while to bed in but some of the stuff I didn't like so much in the first couple of run throughs I have come to like quite a lot!