Mittwoch, 18. November 2015

Yellow Sea Encounter - Task Force After Action Report No. 02

The battle continues!

Having repelled the Japanese reconnaissance mission, the Chinese launched their own offensive operation, assembling an assault group to sever Japanese shipping lanes and board merchant vessels.

After having been informed about this by naval intelligence, JMSDF headquarters decides to put a group of destroyers to sea to engage the Chinese raiders and repel or sink them.

The Chinese assault group consists of 1 Luyang III destroyer, the Chinese answer to the American and Japanese AEGIS destroyers, 2 improved Sovremenny class destroyers and two Jiangkai II frigates.

The Japanese force consists of 1 Kongo class, 1 Asagiri class, 1 Murasame class and 1 Hatsuyuki class.

Then we have got the civil merchant vessels. The navy term for civil merchants is white shipping, which is why we left them partially unpainted. Our house rules regarding them were simple and confusing at the same time: All civil vessels counted as LOS breakers as well as rough terrain. Every turn their course was to be randomly generated and their speed was at around 10 cm each turn. That led to some very funny situations and movements. Next time, we‘ll do it different. :-P

Turn 1:

Both strike groups are outside their respective range, which makes it easy to dismiss all firing steps and immediately go to the next turn.

Turn 2:

Due to their long-range missiles the Japanese are already in firing range. My friend and I had developed a house rule for coordination of missile strikes, as we two thought that this specific tactical aspect had too less weight in the game. In reality this kind of missile attack is called “oversaturation” and is commonly used to outnumber the fire control channels for missile defense and electronic counter measures of a warship.

Especially in long-range assaults this attack proved to be quite helpful. But that doesn’t mean it’s a guarantee for a successful hit.

Both battle groups launch their missiles. The Japanese score a hit on one of the frigates, but miss to damage the Luyang III destroyer, which represents the most threatening vessel of the Chinese force. A Chinese counter attack misses its targets as well.

Turn 3:

Engagement in progress! While fishermen and merchant vessels are moving around like panicking chicken, trying to avoid direct contact with either the Tiger or the Dragon, both battle groups take widespread formations and attack each other directly.

Missiles away!

Asagiri is hit! Somehow she seems to be a real magnet for missiles.

Turn 4:

While more than a dozen SSM are launched towards the enemy, the operators on board of all ships are sweating to report incoming missiles. Counter measures are taken. Surface-Air-Missiles are thrown into the air, engaging all incoming SSM. Automatic defense systems are acquiring their targets, while electronic counter measures are trying to confuse the targeting systems of the enemy.

Still a couple of missiles reach their targets. The second Chinese frigate is hit. The Luyang III class destroyer receives a critical punch and sinks shortly afterwards. But at the same time, the Japanese loose the Asagiri.

And then the Hatsuyuki is critically hit, too!

Turn 5:

Now the Chinese have got an overweight in number of ships and missiles. The Japanese group commander decides to disengage and retreat.

Murasame is able to score a second hit on one of the Chinese frigates. As the warship is already hit, this punch ends its participation in this battle. Meanwhile Kongo manages to get behind a group of merchants and therefore is now in "cover".

That leaves the Murasame to be the top priority target of the Chinese. But their operators are so confused because of the heavy engagement prior to this high speed chase, that all fired missiles are destroyed or miss the Japanese warship.

Turn 6:

The Kongo leaves the cover of the merchant vessel and returns to battle.

While the Chinese once again direct their fire onto the Murasame and score a hit, the Japanese divide their fire, damage one Chinese warship and sink one of the Sovremennys.

Turn 7:

It’s a draw! But only for a short time. A coordinated missile attack sinks the Murasame, while the Japanese are unable to score a hit.

Turn 8:

A fisherman blocks the LOS of the second Sovremenny, which prevents her from taking part in the upcoming engagement. Kongo and the frigate are opening fire on each other. While the Japanese are able to intercept all enemy missiles, the Chinese receive a direct hit. Their vessel sinks.

Turn 9:

Last turn: Sovremenny and Kongo in a direct engagement. While Kongo once again manges to intercept all enemy missiles, the Sovremenny receives a direct hit and goes straight to the bottom of the sea.

That makes the Japanese the winners of this battle. It was a close fight until the end.

Good game!

Freitag, 13. November 2015

Yellow Sea Encounter - Task Force After Action Report No. 01

Hello everyone!

As I promised, I prepared an AAR on my friends and my game using the Task Force Ultra-modern Naval Warfare rules. The battle itself was divided in several steps which took place on three different days, so this is just one of the reports. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy the report as well as the pictures.

Our game started using one vessel of either nation (Japanese and Chinese) to get used to the basic movement and firing rules of the game. It is a pretty simple set of rules that covers all strategical and tactical elements of modern naval warfare with a few dices and some unit cards. Its emphasis therefore does not lie on simulated sea battles using several airborne and shipborne assets to aquire an unknown target, classify and identify it and then calculate the missile salvo size needed to destroy this target.
This set of rules is far more of an arcade style of games, easy to learn and to play. But still we had a lot of fun and spent a lot of time figuring out different tactics and strategic advances.

Our first "real" game was a simple direct encounter, in which we were accompanied by my friends wife and a friend of them. They watched us playing our game and at least the wife of my friend took sides pretty fast. Their friend was quite interested in the game and asked a lot of question, but she didn't take my side, either. How sad. Commanding a big destroyer holding a pretty lady in my arms ... I would've felt like Captain Kirk. But that way, I just felt like an outlaw. Noone's on my side. How dare they? Is it because I am German? Or because I am playing the Japanese side? Or maybe because I ain't black? *Sniff* Anyway! The forces during the initial stages of the battle were 1x Asagiri class and 2x Hatakaze class on my side, while my friend was fielding 1x Luhu class and 2x Sovremenny class.

The battle started. Both Task Groups stayed in formation while closing in on the enemy.

As the Japanese weren't part of the original forces present in the rules I had to create their vessel stats myself, which I did using an unit creator delivered with the rule book. Originally the units stats are intended to be printed on cards like in a board game. I did it differently using my Imperial Guard book from an older WH40K edition as inspiriation and then creating an overview for all Japanese and Chinese units. And those summaries were soon to be used. The Luhu opened fire on my destroyers, and a missile hit the Asagiri.

Hit! Hit! Damage report!

While the crew of the stricken ship is fighting the fire that is raging through its interiors, the Japanese forces are preparing a counter-attack. Every vessels engages an enemy ship, and due to a massive amount of fire power, all enemy ships are damaged thereafter.

Round two: A gun attack directed at the Hatakazes misses its target though the enemy is trying hard.

Still, a coordinated missile attack sinks the Asagiri. Well, didn't have luck on that one.

Here you can see the hand of fate re-positioning the enemy Task Group.

And the answer is already on its way: before she sank, JDS Asagiri was able to launch a last missile strike onto the chinese Luhu class. She scores a direct hit and sinks the enemy vessel.

Round three: Now there are two damaged Sovremennys fighting two still undamaged Hatakaze-class destroyers.

Both chinese warships turn around staying outside of my medium engagement zone. My gun fire and a missile attack are both missing their targets.

And then my friend manages to score a critical hit on one of the Hatakaze destroyers. Obviously the missile defense was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of incoming missiles. An explosion shakes the vessel, followed by immense flooding. The crew has to abandon the ship.

The second Hatakaze is hit as well and tries to turn around in order to flee.

Round four.

As last missile strikes hits the remaining Hatakaze and sinks her, while her own missiles miss their targets. 

My friend already loves the game and his wife is cheering his victory. Their friend is throwing a pitifull gaze in my direction and I have to commit Seppuku. Yes, that's how a wonderful evening should end. But that won't be the last to be seen of my forces! I will be back! And I won't brake for Chinese destroyers the next time!

See you on the next time!

So long!

Freitag, 6. November 2015

Qin Army Update - The last three crossbow men!

Hello everyone!

Here comes another update! It's nothing big, but still worth mentioning.

The last three crossbow men are finished! Yes! Now I only have got 5 bowmen left, before the "plastic" part of my army can be considered done and only a few metal miniatures remain to be painted and then my army is ready to be put to battle!

I also had an idea to modify my forces. As the Qin were carring some heavy shields, which are quite different from the shields of the Han I have got, I have been thinking of changing the shields of the metal miniatures. I already asked my friend and fellow blogger Black Guardian to assist in creating a master sculpt. So,when we two are able to meet again, there will be some work to do. But that lies in the future. First of all my plan is get those plastic miniatures finished.

Anyway - here are some pictures of the crossbow men:

I am so happy I finally got close to finishing this project. I really will be happy when I can cast my brush aside and raise my arms cheering: "Got it!" I don't think that will happen pretty soon, but I am already looking forward to it. Ha ha!

The next update will be about my travel to Poland. So see you then.

So long!