Saturday, 11 June 2016

30th August - Torpedo Attack on Port Arthur

Hi everyone, and welcome to the first of two Battle Reports, from what has been an extremely busy week in the campaign.  First, Admiral Togo elected to launch a destroyer attack on the Russian ships in Port Arthur, followed a few days later by the detonation of a mine under the Chu-Kuan fort and a full frontal assault!

The Japanese were trying to sneak into the harbour at night and sink some more Russian capital ships.  Most importantly, I have my game mats now, so no more games on bath towels.

At the beginning of the game, the Japanese went full line astern and charged straight for the gap.

As they approach, the guard boat tries to escape but is silenced by a volley of light gunfire from the destroyers!  Here the shore batteries were almost useless against the small targets in the pitch black of the night, allowing the destroyers to get close.

The second destroyer in the line scores a critical hit, and the little guard boat slips under the waves in two turns.

Banzai!  The first destroyer launches several torpedoes, all of which are stopped by the cunningly placed nets.  It receives a broadside from the Tsesarevich which sets off a torpedo and blows off the bows, sinking it instantly.

The second has more success, steering round and hitting the Pallada amidships, but it recieves some heavy damage in return, again from the Tsesarevich's 6" guns.

And turning to try and get away, it's successively hit by more and more shots, slowing it until it's dead in the water.  The searchlights are trained on it now, and despite the best efforts of some boats crews to board her, it slips under and sinks.

In a curious twist of fate, it sinks in the narrowest part of the harbour entrance - exactly what the blockships tried to do a week or so earlier!  The destroyer is only small, but until the wreckage can be cleared, battleships crossing the entrance incur a risk of hull damage.

A quite quick action, unusual for Battlefleet games.  The Russians didn't roll any 'ready' ships successfully, so they were totally stationary, but the ranges involved meant that their gunfire was always going to be devastating.  A key moment for the Japanese was the destroyer making the attack on the Pallada - it was originally going for the Tsesarevich, but veered away with rudder damage and tried to make the best of a bad job.  What would have happened if it had got a torpedo off at the Tsesarevich?  Another Surrender Dice for the Russians perhaps?

We can only speculate ... update for the land battle should follow shortly.

1 comment:

  1. Wireless signal from Flagship Fuji to all fleet ships: "Last night's heroic attack on the enemy in Port Arthur demonstrated that they are never safe, can never let their guard down. Let the valiant sacrifices by the Destroyer flotilla be an inspiration to all. Togo"