Friday, 9 February 2018
Now we have the aircraft sorted I thought a mini campaign involving aircraft, submarines, mines, civilian ships and surface action would ensure that General Quarters is fully established as our naval ruleset. Hopefully we will be able to delve back into them without controversy for pickup games on Thursday nights as well as the potential to use them in a full blown campaign or even an operational game.
Frank lent me a booklet on Operation Harpoon, the desperate attempt to keep Malta supplied during the desperate days of June 1942. It has everything; a mixed force of Royal Navy protecting a vital convoy, Italian and German air attacks, submarines, mines and cruiser engagements. Reading through the booklet, I thought it would be a simple enough process to play each historical engagement as it happened. If the RN achieve the same result then they win.
Sequence of Play
June 13th - P-43 (Unbeatable Class) attacks Italian 7th Cruiser Division
02.00 - Italian submarines Uarsciek and Giado attack the Convoy
10.00 - Convoy attacked by 8x Italian CR42 biplanes
11.30 - Convoy attacked by 10 x Cants (bombers) and 12 x SM79 (torpedo) with 12x fighters.
18.20 - Convoy attacked by 12 x Ju88
20.00 - Convoy attacked by 20 x SM79s, 10 x Ju88, 15 x Ju87
21.00 - Convoy reinforced by 4 x Beaufighters from Malta.
21.15 - Convoy attacked by Italian submarine Alagi.
21.30 - Convoy attacked by 8 x CR42
05.00 - 4 x Beaufighters reappear to support the convoy.
06.20 - Convoy attacked by Italian 7th Cruiser Division
06.30 - The Beaufighters withdraw.
07.00 - Convoy attacked by 8 x Italian Ju87
08.40 - Italian 7th Cruiser Division withdraws.
10.30 - Italian 7th Cruiser Division attacked by 2 x Beauforts and 4 x Albacores from Malta.
10.40 - 4 x Spitfires reinforce the Convoy from Malta
11.20 - Convoy attacked by 6 x Ju87 and 6 x SM79.
11.30 - 4 x Spitfires withdraw.
13.55 - Convoy attacked by Italian 7th Cruiser Division.
14.25 - Italian 7th Cruiser Division withdraws.
15.20 - Italian 7th Cruiser Division attacked by 3 x Albacores.
18.00 - Convoy reinforced by 6 x Beaufighters and 6 x Spitfires
19.10 - Convoy attacked by 12 x Cants.
20.40 - Convoy attacked by 12 x Cants.
All survivors of the convoy are attacked once by uncharted mines before entering Valetta Harbour. Historically, two freighters reached Malta.
Orders of Battle
Force W (covering Force)
Argus CV - 2 x Fulmars, 18 x Swordfish
Eagle CV - 16 x Sea Hurricanes, 4 x Fulmars.
Cruisers; Charybdis (Dido Class), Kenya (Fiji Class), Liverpool (Southampton Class).
Destroyers; Antelope (Acasta Class), Westcott, Wrestler, Vidette (Vivacious Class), Onslow (Onslow Class), Icarus (Gallant Class), Escapade (Echo Class).
Force Z (Close Escort)
Cruiser; Cairo (Ceres Class).
11th Destroyer Division; Bedouin (Tribal), Ithuriel (Gallant), Marne, Matchless (Lively), Partridge (Onslow).
12th Destroyer Division; Badsworth, Blankney, Middleton, Oakley (Hunt).
Freighters; Burden, Chant, Orari, Tanimbar, Troilus.
7th Cruiser Division
Cruisers; Eugenio di Savoia, Raimondo Montecuccoli
Destroyers; Ascari, Gioberti (Avieri), Malocella, Vivaldi, Zeno (Navigatori), Oriani (Oriani), Premuda (Dubrovnik).
I will have a think about how the fleets are deployed on table but otherwise we will play the actions in sequence as above. Please Jon and Phil note the number and type of aircraft required from the sequence above. And as Russ isn't playing this one, Jon and Phil produce the ship stats for the game.
As ever, your comments are always sought!