Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Victory at Sea French vs Japanese Scenario

I have a game of Victory at Sea at the club next week, pitching my French fleet against Andy's Japanese in a 1940 'What If?' scenario. The premise is that the Vichy French authorities in September 1940, under the leadership of Admiral Decoux, had at their disposal a powerful squadron of cruisers and destroyers at Haiphong to defend French Indochina rather than capitulating to the Japanese. As Admiral Decoux was resistant to Japanese demands and the Vichy forces actually fought against the Japanese invasion on land, this would seem to be a feasible semi-historical scenario.

Anyway, the scenario we've chosen is a 'skirmish' level clash of the two opposing cruiser and destroyer patrols somewhere in the Gulf of Tonkin. The scenario is the Victory at Sea meeting engagement from the rulebook, which allows a Fleet Allocation of five points to spend, although we've decided not to use any aircraft carriers or aircraft. I have built what I think is a pretty powerful force of heavy cruisers and destroyers, making the most of the choices available in the French Fleet Lists and designed to counter a potential Japanese superiority in gunnery and torpedo firepower.

The squadron flagship is the heavy cruiser Algerie, which is the most powerful cruiser in the fleet lists, supported by two slightly less modern but otherwise quite similar heavy cruisers, the Suffren and the Dupleix. These all have eight 8'' guns in four turrets, together with port and starboard torpedo tubes, so a decent armament all round. They are also relatively fast and well armoured. The third ship is slightly faster, similarly armed but less well armoured heavy cruiser Duquesne. To fill up my final points I have two modern, fast and powerful destroyers, the Mogador and Volta, which should be a good match for their Japanese equivalents (I hope?)

A full after action report will no doubt follow!


  1. Looks like it should give a good game. As I recall Japan, France, and Italy all went in for heavy destroyers, so they should match up.

    It is a shame that VaS is out of print, and worse that copies of it are currently going for $400+.

  2. I'm hoping the heavy destroyers will be able to take on the Japanese ones on roughly an even keel??

    You can get a download of VaS via Wargame Vault?

    1. Oh, so it is! I had not even looked there, since I prefer dead tree books, but I may need to get this.