Friday 31 May 2019

Hunt the Rochambeau! Game Report


I solo played my Hunt the Rochambeau! Broadside and Ram scenario this afternoon and here's a brief after action report of the game, in which the mighty French ironclad ram ended up at the bottom of the Atlantic after being pounded into scrap by the Royal Navy.

Turn One

In turn one, both sides advanced toward the centre of the table at maximum speed, with the French taking the lead, inflicting damage on HMS Captain but having the Rochambeau silenced by the fire of HMS Minotaur in return. 

Turn Two

The French commodore (+0 AP rating) rolled low and so decided not to do any repairs and instead made a dash to escape the rapidly closing Royal Navy ironclads. The Royal Navy were having none of this and HMS Minotaur fired on Couronne, resulting in her guns being silenced. Couronne fired back (firing is simultaneous) but to no effect.

In the second half of turn two, the Royal Navy attempted to block the Rochambeau by moving forward 5'' into her path. In the gunnery phase the French were unable to fire, so the Royal Navy took the opportunity to blast the Rochambeau at close range, with HMS Captain inflicting crippling damage.

Turn Three

In Turn Three the French repaired Rochambeau from crippled to silenced then used the remaining AP to move forward only 5'', which was not enough to get them out of range of the Royal Navy. However, HMS Minotaur only managed to inflict a damaged result on Couronne, which had no effect as she was already Silenced.

In the second phase of Turn Three, the Royal Navy turned and cut off the escape route for the Rochambeau. The two British ironclads then opened fire at close range, resulting in a Critical Hit which luckily for the French caused no further damage, although the Rochambeau was crippled again.

Turn Four

The situation was now desperate for the Rochambeau with no hope of escape, so the Courrone was given the order to break formation and try to get away on her own. The Couronne used both AP points to repair from silenced to damaged then turned to starboard and moved as fast she could toward the edge of the table.

The Royal Navy ironclads now moved to cross the T of the Rochambeau and, at point blank range, blasted her to pieces. HMS Captain inflicted a crushing bombardment from her two 12'' turrets shattering the Rochambeau and leaving her sinking. HMS Minotaur failed to damage the Couronne, however, which steamed to safety.

At the end of the game, the Rochambeau was shattered and sinking, the Couronne and HMS Captain were damaged, while HMS Minotaur got off without a scratch!

Victory to the Royal Navy!

God Save the Queen.

French Light Cruisers Re-Based (Again!)

I've now re-based the light cruisers and the four submarines that I decided to get sorted at the same time. I'm much happier with the end result than the first time round, so all I now have to do is add the magnetic tape under the bases and they're ready for action. I just have six heavy cruisers to do and the re-basing project is complete. Bof!

Cruiser Re-Basing Re-Basing

For various reasons I didn't have time for a naval game yesterday but I did make some further progress with the WW2 1/3000th scale re-basing project, having mucked up the light cruisers earlier in the week. I've now produced new bases for the light cruisers which are currently being painted and should be finished by the end of the day, alongside four submarines that I thought I might as well get sorted. 

In other news, my laser cut 80mm x 20mm bases turned up in the post, so I can now start re-basing the six heavy cruisers to complete the half term project. Although I have a few more unpainted models for the French including the Dunkerque and another destroyer flotilla, the aim will now be to paint either a British, Italian or Japanese fleet as opposition, just not quite yet as I have other things on the go.

Thursday 30 May 2019

Helion Publishing: The 100 Hour War

This book is now available as a digital download for E-readers like the Kindle for the exorbitant price of £4.75, along with many other titles by Helion Publishing. It's an excellent book and was very useful when I was writing my version of the Football War for the Wings at War system, which is probably going to be published as an 'official' set of rules at some point. Last thing I heard was that Paul from Tumbling Dice is still really interested, so who knows?

In the end, I didn't finish the 1/600th scale aircraft for the project, however, so really should get back to them too. I've also found an excellent painting and insignia guide online, which will be useful when I do finally get them beyond the basic stages. Although it's a bit of a side line, the range of aircraft used by both sides and the eclectic mix of camouflage and markings make it a really unusual subject for wargaming, so I'm keen to get something on the table sooner rather than later.

Wednesday 29 May 2019

French Destroyers Re-Based


I completed the re-basing of the 1/3000th scale French destroyers today and I'm much happier with the end result compared to the light cruisers. So much so in fact, that I've de-based the aforementioned re-based cruisers and will now re-re-base them until they are up to scratch. I will have to use slightly shorter laser cut mdf bases, as that's all I have left, but I don't think it will make a big difference. 

Hunt the Rochambeau!

May 1870.*

The French casemate ironclad ram, Rochambeau, has slipped through the naval blockade of Brest by the Royal Navy using a heavy fog to conceal her escape. With the broadside ironclad Couronne as escort, the Rochambeau has been intercepting and sinking British merchant shipping, spreading terror and destruction far and wide across the North Atlantic. In response, the Royal Navy has mobilised it's fastest and most powerful ironclads of the Black Battlefleet, to hunt down and sink the dastardly commerce raider.

This is a 'What if?' scenario for Broadside and Ram, with the French objective being to escape the clutches of the Royal Navy squadron sent to intercept it, somewhere in the North West Atlantic. The French start in the right hand corner of the 4' x 4' table and must exit via the 6' square box in the bottom left hand corner. The Royal Navy deploy in the bottom right hand corner and must prevent the French from escaping, preferably by sinking the Rochambeau. The French deploy and move first.

The French have a weaker squadron and less well armoured ships than the British, with a total of 24 to 29 points, but the Royal Navy does have one key weakness. The turrets of HMS Captain are prone to jamming, as she was undergoing sea trials at the time and had yet to fully run in her design, so on a firing roll of 1, a turret will be jammed and inoperable. This will give a -2 modifier to firing but may be repaired by expending 2AP in the Repair Phase. The Rochambeau also has a slightly uprated AF, due to being re-fitted with an additional pivot mounted 9.4'' bow chaser in 1869 and a 2D6 rating for ram attacks, as a purpose built ram equipped ironclad.

At the start of the game, both sides should roll a D6 to determine the AP dice modifier for their respective squadron commanders (1 = -1 / 2-3 = 0 / 4-5 = +1 / 6 = +2). The British flagship is HMS Minotaur and the French flagship is Rochambeau. To win the game, the French must get the Rochambeau off the table via the exit box either unharmed, damaged or silenced. If the Rochambeau is crippled and unable to effect repairs or is shattered, the Royal Navy will win. 

In the unlikely event that either side loses both of its ironclads shattered and sunk, the opposition will win a famous victory and may open a nice bottle of champagne / port for a celebratory snifter.

*Any resemblance to a certain naval engagement in May 1941 is entirely co-incidental, of course.

Tuesday 28 May 2019

One of those days...

It all went a bit off piste today, as my plan to run a solo game of Broadside and Ram failed to materialise and I ended up doing other things, some of which I had no idea about when I got up this morning. The dining room table was hi-jacked today for other 'non-essential' purposes, so the naval game had to be scrubbed early on, although I have firmed up some of my scenario ideas in the this space for the first instalment of 'Sink the Rochambeau!'

To make the most of the day, in between an unexpected breakfast in town, mowing the lawn, going to the tip and cooking a curry, I decided to sort the bases for the 1/3000th scale French destroyers, taking care not to muck up the texturing this time round. These are now undercoated and ready for painting. I also decided on a whim to re-varnish the sea bases on the 1/2400th scale French ironclad fleet, as I'm sure I must have used matt varnish by mistake the first time round. 

They now look nice and shiny, thanks to a coat of artist's acrylic gloss varnish, so a much better match for the Royal Navy bases. Hopefully, things tomorrow will be less screwed up, although you never know? I'm hoping to get the destroyer bases painted but will then have to slide the re-basing project to one side while I wait for some more laser cut bases to arrive in the post. In the meantime, I'll be painting the Royal Navy turret ships, rams and ironclads...if it goes according to the plan?


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