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

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Shipwreck! Campaign Concludes...

... with a BANG!

Or, a very bad day to be in the North Atlantic.

Since I posted the beginning of the campaign here we played once before the conclusion.  During that second gaming day, we completed all further days of the campaign.  I was able to escort a Soviet amphibious group (Ivan Rogov, 2x Alligator LST) off map, and, as  I found out, my USN opponent was able to conduct aggressive patrolling of enemy (Soviet) sea lanes.

ON the final day of the campaign, I plotted my two surface groups - the ASubW group and the ASurfW group - to consolidate in the same grid location.  I had only separated these because my second mission was "sub hunt."  In the event, I was unable to sink a single Soviet sub.  Not wanting either group to be attacked separately, I figured they would be safer in one group.

The final (I mean, final) movement of the campaign was... the USN surface group moving into the SAME grid as both of my surface groups!  Both of us knew we had scored points for completing missions.... I thought the USN probably had an edge on me, for sinking my subs. 

We were unable to game out the apocalyptic battle that night, so had to wait until last night to finally get together.  First, we decided to tally up the points.... 12 points for the USN for the patrolling, and for the subs they sank.... 10 points for the Soviets for the escorting of the amphib group off table.  I went into the battle thinking this was my chance to possibly edge out the USN... my USN opponent went into battle worried he would lose his cheaply bought victory (he had only sustained a damaged Los Angeles so far, so felt good in the knowledge that he had taken no losses).

That was about to change.

Because all three groups were entering from different directions, the assembly at the start of the game looked like this....

My ASubW group is in the upper left, a Sovremennyy, a Udaloy, and a Krivak II.  My ASurf group is in the lower foreground, a Slava, a Udaloy, and a Krivak II.  The USN is in the upper right, a Belknap, 2x Spruance, and 2x Knox.

We were gaming 1 cm = 1 nm, to create more space on the table.  Another view , from the Soviet ASubW group...

We decided to game this as an accidental contact.... for whatever reason, the three groups converged without planning, resulting in a surprise showdown.  This situation was certain to result in massive carnage.

We immediately detected each other, from various points, and finding ourselves in range for certain weapons, began firing massive volleys of SSMs at each other.  I had a AA weapon system in range of the USN helos flying, so I fired at them as well.  The USN let loose with Harpoons and Tomahawks, the Soviets let loose with SS-N-12s and SS_N-22s.  I fired SA-N-6s and the two in range SA-60 helos.
Here are the USN launches.

Here, missiles begin to close in.  Suffice to say, that a plethora of defenisve weapon systems were employed, from all kinds of AA missiles, to gun mounts, to point defense units, to Soviet officers firing Makarovs from the bow.  Many missiles were downed, many were not. 

The USN received massive damage.  Two helos were knocked out the sky.  One Knox took a hit (SS-N-22), and was damaged but not sunk.  One Spruance took 3 total hits from SS-N-22s and promptly broke up.  The other Spruance took a single SS-N-12 hit and was sunk.  The Belknap, unfortunate for her, took a total of 4 SS-N-12 hits and was vaporized.  Only a single Knox was undamaged.

But this was not without cost.  The Soviet ASubW group was severely damaged, as the Krivak II took a brace of Harpoons and was sunk, and the Sovremenneyy took a single Harpoon for Heavy damage.  Though not sunk she was not going anywhere quickly.

The Soviet ASurfW group fared a little better... more or less...  the Slava had been an important asset in my forces, but she was hit with 2 Tomahawks, and quickly sank.
 Ouch.  The losses were simply appalling.  Out of 11 surface vessels, 5 were sunk and 2 damaged.  No vessel remained with weapons currently in range, so all parties issued orders to withdraw at best speed, ending hostilities. 

We re-tallied the scores... from a 12 to 10 USN "clean" victory, the USN moved to a 24 to 21 "bloody" victory.  No doubt that the USN had won the campaign, but both fleet commanders agreed, no one had any cause for celebration as both of our naval forces were effectively crippled for the remainder of the war.

While not a result you would want as a real sailor, as a gamer, I have to admit, it was a great way to end the campaign.  On a personal note, the Soviets are far more enjoyable to run than my PLAN, as they have some degree of parity with their opponents.

I don't know what the next naval battle will be, but I will let you know when it happens.  Thanks, and keep a sharp look out!



  1. Great report, and very timely - am hoping to squeeze a first test game in on Monday.


    1. Thanks, good luck with your game. Who are you running?

  2. Really enjoyed your report. Thanks!