Sunday, September 6, 2009

Flank Speed session report

I prepared a small 100-point game for use at The Citadel today in case I could persuade anyone to play. The one other gamer who showed up was game, so we played a match.

The idea was to keep it simple, so I cast it as a War Plan Orange fight with no subs or planes. The US force was made up of two Arizona-class Battleships, one Richmond-class light cruiser and, in order to fill out the 100 points, a Liberty ship. The Liberty ship played no role in the fighting, to no one's surprise. The Japanese force was the battleship Yamashiro, the battlecruiser Haruna and the light cruiser Jinstu. It was a 100-point standard scenario using the straits map.

I drew the US first. The Richmond headed for the northernmost objective, as did the Jintsu. Meanwhile all four battleships converged on the area between the central and southern objectives. The Richmond won its duel with the Jintsu, largely because of a lucky torpedo hit, which resulted in Richmond claiming that objective and sinking the Japanese CL, although the American ship was crippled.

The battleship duel also went the US way. The Haruna was overwhelmed and blew up, as battlecruisers often do, and the Yamashiro has little chance under the combined fire of the two Arizonas.

The final score was US 200 to Japan 0. (The US score was 100 points for ships, 50 points for one objective and 50 points for having the last surviving ships.)

We switched sides and this was a much closer fight. The US once again sent the Richmond north, but then backed off as bit as the combined Japanese force charged up the middle to meet the US battleships. Both cruisers ended up going down in a hail of secondary and tertiary battery fire from the battleships. Torpedoes were launched but none struck home. Once again the Haruna was quickly downed by battleship fire, but some failed speed rolls meant the US battleships couldn't prevent the Japanese from claiming the central objective. The Yamashiro then turned away and made a dash for the southern objective, with the slower US battleships following. The Yamashiro claimed that objective as well, and then in its dying breath was able to sink one of the Arizonas as she went down herself. Final score Japan 153 to US 150. (Japan got 100 points for objectives and 53 for sunk ships -- a BB and a CL; US got 100 points for sunk ships and 50 points for having the last surviving ships).

Overall the Arizona seems to be a cost-effective ship and I'd be tempted to pick it again. The Yamashiro is comparable, but I don't think the Haruna is worth its points. The Jintsu also seems pricey, but it's Long Lance torpedoes could have been game-changers if they hit.

Overall it was an entertaining match and it went quickly, with both battles being concluded in a little over an hour.

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