10 March 2014

Shipwreck - Making Sushi from Caviar

James and I played a game of Shipwreck Sunday. He put together a scenario involving the Japanese trying to clear the way for an amphibious re-homing of one of the Kuril Islands with the Russians in the way. A toss of the coin meant I would be driving the Japanese force consisting of three destroyers, a sub and an assortment of aircraft. Opposing this were a destroyer, two frigates, two subs and another collection of aircraft.

My victory condition was to make certain that there were no Russian ships or subs within short range (12 inches) of a secretly selected landing beach. I selected this beach:

I selected that beach specifically because I figured there was no way on heaven or earth that James would leave all his toys back at his board edge and make me come to him - ergo, no Ruskies near the beach after 14 turns.

My ships and planes get a move on.

My ships.

During turn 2, our planes on the table involved themselves in quite the duel. My F-2s accounted for three of the MiGs and a Ka-25 off the Russian Udaloy. The MiGs ran off one F-2 and blew up two. One of the pilots was recovered in a later turn. The dadgummed Victor sub got a detection on my Haruna class DD, the one with three helos.

The last MiG and F-2 got into dogfight range and exchanged missiles; my F-2 came out ahead. That's two confirmed kills for Rocky!

Also during turn 4, the Victor squeezed off a torp at the Hiei. The Asagiri sent an ASROC towards the Victor.

During turn 5, the Asagiri sent four Harpoons towards the recently detected Udaloy which in return fired four SSN14s back my direction. One of the SH-60s dropped a torpedo into the sea heading towards the Victor which we'd manage to localize. As it turned out, the missiles were ineffective for both of us, neither side taking any damage. The torps however accounted for the Hiei and the Victor. Good Lord!

Gratuitous burning sub picture.

Turn 6 was sort of a carbon copy of the previous turn, but with more missiles. The Hatakaze lost a Phalanx and the Asagiri lost a Harpoon launcher that thankfully was empty. My Harpoons were all taken care of by the Udaloy's ridiculous defenses. On the bright side, my last F-2 burned up the last Ka-25 with an AAM-3. The plane was then chased off by a near miss from the Udaloy. I did manage to get a detection with the P-3 and sent its four missiles towards the Krivak, one of which found its target and took out the SA-N-4 launcher on that ship.

Our ships were pretty close to each other by turn 7 and both of us had shore-based air support arrive. 4 F-4 Phantoms for the Japanese and 4 MiG-27s for the Russians. My F-4s were carrying both bombs and AIM-7s, so I had them hang back a bit to pop off some shots at the MiGs. Three of the MiGs were destroyed in short order. The Udaloy surprised the Japanese by putting two torpedoes in the water heading south. 

Turn 8 then turned into a gun duel for a few minutes. The Udaloy was sunk by a combination of 76mm gunfire and RIM-7 damage. Before it went under, the Udaloy damaged the flight desk on the Hatakaze with gunfire.  AA fire destroyed the last of the MiGs, while the F-4s dropped guided bombs and cluster bombs on the other two Russian ships causing considerable damage to the Krivak.

The Japanese ships were both fortunate to avoid the inbound torpedoes.

Turns 9-11 saw both my sub and James' Kilo make an appearance. Arashio's torpedoes were pretty well useless, failing to find their targets. My helicopters and P-3 took care of the Kilo, but not before it sunk my sub.

Looking at the situation, we called the game there. There was no way for the Russian ships to contest the beach head by turn 14 (three turns). James then realized he'd written my orders incorrectly, in that I was supposed to have ships at said beach defending it. Hahahaha. Communication! Anyway, I'm counting it as a "W" with a star next to it - but the military result is more of a draw. 

We tested out a handful of rules changes during the game, including different aircraft move rates and weapon ranges in actual inches instead of range bands. Getting used to the changes was a bit tricky but not game-altering. I don't think the changes made a huge difference to the way the game turned out am not certain they were necessary for this scenario. That said, James is working on a 1960's-era scenario with more prop-driven aircraft which should not be able to easily evade jets, so this was a good play-test for those rules. We also had more specific bombs and missiles on the aircraft that I think worked very well. We definitely need to keep those in the mix.

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