I beefed up both sides, especially the Brits and included the air support - in the Battle of Panteleria there were air attacks simultaneously with the surface action! The rules were General Quarters 3.
Forces are shown below. Curt and Sean took the Italians and Sylvain and Conn the Brits.
- 2 flights of RAF Hurricanes from Malta providing Combat Air Patrols (CAP)
- 3 flights of Blenheim torpedo bombers from Malta
- 3 flights of Swordfish with fighter support of 2 flights of Fulmars from HMS Eagle
- A group of two blights each of JU87 dive bombers, JU88 bombers and MC200 fighters operating from Sicily
- 3 flights of SM79 torpedo bombers also from Sicily
The surface action wasn't my best effort. I had the two sides make contact within gun range and on opposite courses, so it turned into a Space Invaders or Micro Armour type shooting gallery with limited tactical maneuvers. Next time around I'll remember to go with the raiders overhauling the convoy in a stern or quarter chase.
A large part of the exercise was to try the air rules and give me a reason to learn them! Highlights included:
- The Blenheims came on first. The Italian destroyer screen shot down 1 flight and chased another off damaged. However, the third flight torpedoed and sank Bolzano.
- The mixed JU87/JU88/MC200 group came on next, with Sylvain attempting to intercept with the CAP. One flight of Hurricanes took a short cut over the convoy and was shot down by friendly fire from the escorts. Seriously dude, what part of "Anti-Aircraft Cruiser" don't you get?
- The MCs ganged up and shot down the other Hurricane flight.
- Meanwhile the Luftwaffe went in on the Convoy. The escort's AA fire was ineffective and one freight went down from a direct hit from a Stuka. The other Stuka and a JU88 missed a second transport.
At this point we'd hit midnight and I was about to turn into a pumpkin so we called it a night.
Sean took many photos and sent me a link. I'll post the best in a day or do.