Last night at Curt's I GMed a General Quarters 3 (GQIII) game based on the night action of Sfax (or the Battle of the Tarigo Convoy. Curt was an GQ old hand, but the other two players (Stacy and Chad) were not and Chad was pure press gang sweepings (having never played a naval game before). GQ suggests having the inexperienced players take the Italian side (for historical reasons) but Curt volunteered in their place. After all he could hardly do worse than the historical outcome with the Italians losing all 5 freighters and their escort of 3 destroyers while sinking the tribal HMS Mohawk.
My last post gave the situation with the Axis sending a convoy to Tunisia carrying troops for Rommel and the British sending out 4 destroyers to intercept. Historically, the Brits found the convoy by radar and came up on them unseen from astern on a moonless night. It was a quick, bloody and confused action.
In game terms it was my first table top game with GQIII and it gave us a chance to use most of the surface action rules including radar and visual detection, movement, gunfire, torpedoes and collision avoidance! Also since we started before either side had detected the other, the first couple of turns gave the landsmen a chance to get used to game mechanisms and movement. Prior to detection each side had movement pre-plotted - 8 knts ahead for the convoy and escort, a 20 knt zig-zag for the Brits.
Once the Brits picked up the convoy on the radar, they were able speed up and change from their pre-scenario movement plot and close on the convoy. They chose to close directly from astern, where as hindsight might suggest an arced course to approach from abeam and allow for full broadsides. In addition, despite the radar reading it was the Italian look outs who got spied the enemy first.
|The British (on the right) close on the convoy from astern.|
|The destroyer Saetta gets the first shot off and hits HMS Jervis (Curt had all the nifty markers).|