A few weeks ago I ran a WW2 Naval Game at Curt's house for our local group. It had been nearly 3 years since I did a naval game and 3 1/2 since my last WW2 Naval, so it was good to get the ships out. It was a night encounter off the coast of Libya with 4 players and no-one knowing who the other parties were.
The Italians had a convoy with a close escort of 3 destroyers who entered at the northwest corner (between A and B) and had to exit via the southeast corner (between H and G). They were slow and zig-zagging so took a long time to get anywhere. There was also a long range escort of 3 cruisers plus 3 more destroyers who would enter later on the western board edge and who had lost touch with the convoy, but had the mission to provide escort. There was also Fort Corleone near point A with shore batteries (battery Sonny and battery Fredo).
Stacy had HMS Manxman, a fast minelayer plus an escort of 2 destroyers would enter from the North East (H:I) with a mission to lay mines between B and D. They also had a covering force of 2 cruisers and 2 destroyers. The cover had not contacted the Manxman as yet but would enter between H and I and bombard the shore between E and F to provide a distraction.
Each side pre-plotted their moves in advance and sat in another room while I maneuvered the ships and provided sighting and/or radar info as needed. It all worked well with the Minelaying force getting a radar fix on the convoy but ignoring it to get onto their own business. The two british groups also correctly identified themselves early on. The Italians also correctly ID'd themselves but it took longer.
|Early on in the action, minelayer plus escort close in plus Curt's cover steaming for the snack bowl|
As is common with night games things got hot and confusing once firing started. Curt's british cover group opened up on the shore and took return fire from the shore batteries. Sylvain's Italian escort met the British minelaying group, but shooting honours were even and Manxman laid a lot of eggs. Once the firing got going, Curt ran west and opened up on Sylvain sinking two cruisers while taking damage on his flagship. Meanwhile Jeremy's convoy tried to avoid the whole mess and was on the whole successful at this.
|Same time, from the other end of the board. The Italian convoy inches across table while Sylvain's cover enters.|
|Manxman plus escort meet Sylvain's cruisers.|
|Curt steams west to help Stacy out|
|Sylvain's lead ship and Jeremy's convoy with escorts steaming to provide cover|
|The Italians had more and bigger guns but the Brits had better shooting and radar - an Italian cruiser blows up.|