Thursday, January 17, 2013

Convoy 1941 - Reboot the Mission

After a week's delay it looks like we're good to go with the WW2 naval game this week at Curt's , domestic gods and goddesses allowing. 

I was going to try and find an exact time to suit the forces at hand and had some fun researching the Kriegsmarine and Royal Navy histories using online sources.  However, in the end I gave it up as a bad job and decided that the ships on hand might not have all been in the right spot and any one given time, but that they or their sister ships could have been.  Close enough for Government Work in my eyes.  

One thing that I hadn't realized is how small the windows of opportunity for the Germans.  It seems that no sooner had they repaired a ship, then it got banged up and needed to go back in the shop again.  The Brits kept up the pressure with bombers, mines and submarines.  The Jerries did them selves in by running into each other, or running aground.  And then to cap it off, several ships got damaged in storms.  I guess there's something to be said for building ships for ocean work and keeping the crews up to snuff to handle basic navigation tasks.

To recap, here's the situation.
  • It's the dark days of early 1941 when plucky Britain is fighting the Hun on its own.  Churchill sends a bunch of much needed kit (Matildas, Spitfires, troops etc) in a convoy bound for the Med.
  • German forces based in Brest will try and intercept if off of Spain.  Forces can include the Scharnhorst, Hipper and Deutschland classes (except for ships already sunk).  Sorry Sylvain, no Bismarck (either working up, sinking the Hood or sunk), Tirpitz (still being completed) or Graf Zeppelin (in its permanent state of needing another 18 months to be completed).  Their Light Cruisers and destroyers are too light for long range ocean work.
  • The RN has a close escort group of DDs and other escorts which are great against U Boats and planes, but lousy vs. heavy ships.
  • The RN also has units of the Med (and or Home) fleets in the area.
  • No U-boats are available to avoid the danger of friendly fire.  
  • Land based are is unlikely but possible (long range) for both sides.  Carrier based air may be available.
  • Seriously disabled ships will likely be sunk by U-boats (if RN) or air and surface forces (if KM).

Kreigsmarine Victory Condition Priorities
  1. Avoid damage to the heavy ships (CAs and above).
  2. Stop the convoy from getting through.
  3. Sink enough RN ships to give it a bloody nose and gain bragging rights.

Royal Navy Victory Condition Priorities
  1. Get the convoy through (mostly) intact.
  2. Sink the KM heavy ships.
  3. Avoid losses to RN ships.

To encourage aggression, if both sides achieve their #1 priority (i.e. the KM runs away) the RN wins a major victory.  Naval Armageddon leading to no ships afloat on either side leads to a draw - the Germans win short term by preventing the convoy from getting through but the Brits win long term as they can have less German surface units to worry about and can reallocate forces.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Peter,

    Narrow windows of opportunity and shooting themselves in the foot is a pretty fair assessment of the KM! This is looking very interesting and I am impressed with the Km victory conditions. Having a cautious and outnumbered KM makes for a challenging campaign in my opinion and I am really looking forward to seeing how this develops. What tactical rules are you using? GQ 3?

    All the best,