23 June 2013

Gone in 60 Seconds or The Battle of the River Plate

James and Ziggy came by Saturday and joined Junior and me for a game of Victory at Sea. Aside from James, none of us had any experience with WW2 naval games. The scenario was the Battle of the River Plate. James decided he would just referee so the rest of us did a random draw for ships. Junior and I got the Brits and Z got the Graf Spee. Junior Captained the heavy cruiser Exeter whilst I managed the two light cruisers Ajax and Achilles. Interesting note - this may be the first time ever, in any game, I have played using the British.

The Brits deployed in sort of a "cut 'em off at the pass" pattern, as the German was simply trying to run the blockade.

The light cruisers

HMS Exeter

Turn 1

Both sides moved towards eachother. The Graf Spee, having a serious range advantage on the Brits, took some pot-shots but failed to hit anything but water. My lead vessel, the Ajax also fired but the shots fell short.

Turn 2

The sides continued to close.

The Ajax was very close to the Nazi Pocket Battleship now. Planes had been launched on the previous turn. The planes are very slow and move after ships which is why they look so out-of-position.

The Achilles starts some evasive maneuvers, the Ajax wasn't so evasive.

We continued on to the firing phase. My lead ship, the Ajax was rocked by turret and secondary fire from the German but held up. My return fire was ineffective. Then the Exeter loosed a barrage from her fore turrets. They were expertly aimed and crashed down through the deck into the engine room, immobilizing the mighty Graf Spee!

The view from the light cruisers

And the view from the Exeter

The German crew was unable to repair the damage, so the Graf Spee was dead in the water for a turn.

Turn 3

The Ajax got very close in order to loose a torpedo attack. I was also in range of the German's torpedoes, but I had more ships and these torps only get one shot so even if I had to sacrifice the lead ship, the Achilles would get to repeat the attack the following turn without having to brave a second wall o' torps. The Exeter also closed range.

The ships raked eachother with gunfire and launched torpedoes.

But the British captain was up to the task and evaded all but one of the torpedoes and although heavily damaged, the Ajax was still in OK shape. The Graf Spee on the other hand was hit by four torpedoes and cracked in half, going straight to the sea floor. It was a major, major, MAJOR British victory!

So what happened? One very lucky dice streak by my son crippled the Graf Spee early into the game and I was in just the right position to capitalize on it. Ziggy's guns were much better than ours and if he could have taken better advantage of that he'd have stood more of a chance, but that wasn't to be the case. Either way, the game was fun and I want to play more. James doesn't have many WW2 ships - I suggested we simply proxy the heck out of things using Axis and Allies components. We'll see...

Since that game was ridiculously quick we played a couple games of Munchkin and a round of Zombies!!! to fill out the evening.

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