A blog about miniatures, wargaming, and the people driven to ruin by them....

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Shipwreck! Submarine Action


We recently had a chance to try out the sub rules.... overall this proved to be easy, but at the same time, a few issues came up that we questioned.  For the first encounter, I fielded a Han SSN, my USN opponent fielded an OH Perry (which was nice of him, he certainly had some better options).

Here is our hated capitalist running dog enemy...  OH Perry deploying Seahawks.

And our righteous defender of our glorious revolution... Han SSN skulking 'n stalking.
I started my Han at VLong range, and slowly worked my way closer to my target, mostly staying under the thermocline (this hurt my detection attempts, but, since I was mostly out of range, I was more concerned about not being detected!).  Finally, after about 7-8 turns, I closed to within Short range, detected the OH Perry... and fired a torpedo (following my card, it appeared I could only fire 1 torpedo at a time) which would not arrive on target until the next turn.

Surprise, surprise, surprise!

We maneuvered, with the OH Perry attempting to localize.  I fired another torpedo as the first one arrived, and hit...
Dead in the water, and unable to fight, the second torpedo slammed into the OH Perry and finished it off...
Score one victory for the PLAN!

OK, on this, we used the attack score of the torpedo as listed on the individual card (in the case of my Han SSN, this was a 6) instead of the "9" listed on the rules chart.  We did not apply the guided / unguided / wire-guided modifiers as we decided this would (should) have already been calculated in.

At about this time it occurred to us that there does not seem to be any modifier for the subs own ability to detect enemy surface vessels... all subs seem to be treated the same in this regard.  We may be overlooking a rule, but if not, this seems strange.

OK, since the first battle was so short, we set up round two, pitting my Luhu DDG vs a USN Improved Los Angeles (I think the model pictured is a Virginia, but we didn't have a card for it).

Sailing to glory.... or death.... we will find out shortly...
(unfortunately some of the following pictures are blurry for some reason)

We went through a few turns, as the Los Angeles closed a wee bit on my Luhu, before stopping above the thermocline.  I wonder what he has in mind?
Oh, once he has a detection (actually, impressive at that range... being stationary and above the thermocline seems to help), he appears to be launching something... a brace of Harpoons methinks...
As unlikely as it seems, my chaff was able to distract one, and the second missed, leaving my Luhu shaken but not stirred (yet).  I got lucky on this one, as my AAM were out of arc except for the ineffectual guns.
We live!

Now that the Los Angeles was detected, we worked for a localization, and tried VERY hard to close on the enemy sub.  The USN failed to keep a detection, allowing me to close, slightly.
Man, what a nice place to have had helos with ASW options.... I think in the future, we will use the alternate player rules that allow the helos to make attacks.

Inevitably, the Los Angeles regained contact, with predictable results... a flight of 4 Harpoons (he realized large volleys are the way to go)...

OK, so nothing to shoot them down with, chaff does nothing, what could go wrong?????
One Harpoon missed, and, believe it or not, with a 10 rolled, one harpoon did no damage... but the other two hits resulted in a Light and a Heavy...
On the following turn, I passed my repair roll, and got back under way,... at 1/4 speed.  But my primary ASW system had been destroyed, leaving me with only a particularly ineffective ASW option.  There seemed no point in going on, I was at the mercy of my USN opponent, who would have sunk me the next turn that he could claim a detection.

In all, it did go well... but there seem to be some things not quite right.  I think we may decide on plotting "vectors" or "zones" for the sub approach.  I had a real hard time swallowing how hard it would be for a surface ship to close on a missile equipped sub... then realized, that was perfectly realistic.  Stand off attacks would be hard to deal with.  Also, with multiple assets, spread in a defensive pattern, it would be much harder for a sub to find a "safe" position to attack from (unless of course the sub decided that attacking an outlying escort would be a more survivable option).

Actually, the thing I was really happy about was my Han sinking the Perry!  The Perry had some bad detection rolls, my Han did pretty well with closing and detection... and once that first torpedo hit, it was pretty much all over.  Don't worry, I will take that victory, thank you very much.

We shall sail again!


  1. Thanks for the write ups, I'm keen to try shipwreck out myself.

    1. Thanks. We like the game.... just sorting out some of the sub stuff.

  2. Good deal. Yeah, I find the submarine rules a bit, umm, weird. It seems your camera has the same aversion to big blue backgrounds that mine has. I simply cannot take in-focus pictures of naval games with my phone's camera!

    1. Thanks. The sub rules seem to come up with comments (just see the comments here).... not that I am totally against them, some of it makes sense, and it is EASY to play out.

  3. I also found the. Submarine rules weird. I cannot believe the Han did so well. Way to go.

    1. Thanks. My opponent went with one of his weaker ASW platforms, so that helped... then he failed miserably on a number of detection rolls, where as I did pretty well on the closing rolls, and got the detections when I needed them. Whatever, I'll take it!

  4. Good write up. Your ASW helicopters should have been able to attack the L.A. I've had to tinker with the rules myself (adding sonobouys rules, giving modifiers to advance rolls for certain approuch vectors, etc.) to get them to work properly. I also agree that surface ship detection is a bit off and doesn't account for different subs capibalties. I also find it clumsy to have two diffent systems to detect surface and sub contacts. (I've been thinking of using the sub vs. sub rules for surface ship detection, execpt that attack sub rolls advoidance dices to see how close to the target it starts at.

    1. Yes, I think we will have to come up with some of our own rules for some of this too.... but we'll see how it plays out.