Home Forums Air and Sea Naval Guadalcanal naval campaign 1942 project

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  • #157017
    AdmiralHawke
    Participant

    I’ve decided to embark on a new naval wargaming project.

    Years ago, I bought a small collection of 1/3000 Davco models of Second World War British, German and Italian warships, which I still have, but at the time I didn’t find a satisfactory set of rules and they have sat neglected in a box for years.

    I’ve decided that the night battles off Guadalcanal in the Pacific offer close-range naval warfare that might just about fit onto a normal-sized table and have the potential for a campaign of linked battles.

    I have been re-reading James Hornbacher’s Neptune’s Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal, a superb account of the brutal naval battles around the Solomon Islands in the second half of 1942 which I first read when it was published eight or nine years ago. It’s harrowing reading in places about the extraordinary ordeal the men involved went through.

    So what miniatures and what rules?

    Miniatures
    I like 1/3000 for naval warfare in the age of steam because it offers a reasonable compromise between model quality and table scale (1/3000 models are also a little cheaper than 1/2400 = more ships for the same money). For a long time the only real choice in 1/3000 naval miniatures was between Skytrex/Davco and Navwar, though the excellent GHQ models are available in 1/2400. However, there are now some interesting alternatives for 1/3000 ships:
    Fujimi’s Gunkan Series offers numerous sets of 1/3000 injection-moulded plastic warships, many of them containing the right order of battle for specific battles in the Pacific. Unfortunately the models are almost all of Japanese ships and many of the sets contain some of the same ships so it’s hard to avoid duplicates. The ships’ masts, which are probably impossible to model to scale in plastic, look a little ugly too.
    The War Times Journal online store (http://www.wtj.com/store/) produces outstanding 3D-printed miniatures for the Spanish-American War, the Russo-Japanese War and the First World War in a variety of scales. Last year, War Times Journal brought out a few Second World War miniatures. Sadly the range is still tiny, comprising only the Japanese Tama-class cruisers and the US Omaha-class cruisers and Fletcher-class destroyers. Of those, only the destroyers Fletcher and O’Bannon fought in the battles off Guadalcanal.
    Tiny Thingamajigs on Shapeways (https://www.shapeways.com/designer/matt_atknsn) offers a wide range of 3D-printed Second World War naval miniatures in a variety of scales, including all the major American and Japanese ship classes. Unlike the models from War Times Journal, you can’t buy the ships in the smaller scales individually on Shapeways, only in bundles of four or more ships, often sister ships of the same class. That makes it a little harder, i.e. more expensive, to put together exact orders of battle but few of the bundles overlap. Based on photographs I’ve seen, I think the quality should be far better than the old metal miniatures.

    I ordered some US and Japanese cruisers and destroyers from Tiny Thingamajigs on Shapeways to see what the quality is like. I have not bought from Shapeways before. I may order a few Fletcher-class destroyers from WTJ for comparison. I’ll try to post some pictures here.

    Rules
    My next decision is what rules to use. I’ve been testing naval rules with the Great War ships I have from WTJ. I haven’t yet landed on a set that I really love — thus my post on this forum last week. Among my options:
    General Quarters 1 & 2. I tried these but didn’t really get on with them. A lot of maths, measuring exact ranges and looking up ranges in awkwardly laid out tables. Wasn’t fun, and the outcomes didn’t seem historic either.
    General Quarters 3. These earn strong reviews from other gamers. Honestly, I’m put off by the combination of my experience with the older GQ2 and the US$39.95 price tag. Probably a mistake on my part.
    Si Vis Pacem and Find, Fix & Strike (https://www.wargamevault.com/product/263954/Find-Fix-and-Strike). I like these similar rules as they are clearly written and contain some nice mechanics. However, they are intended for larger fleet actions such as staging the Battle of Jutland in a day, so the ships are (deliberately) a little generic and the rules are a little more abstract than what I’m looking for.
    – Grand Fleets (http://www.mj12games.com/grandfleets/). I think this set may have just the balance of detail that I’m looking for. It’s just a pity that the basic game doesn’t include all the ship cards for the Guadalcanal battles.
    Naval Thunder (https://www.wargamevault.com/product/63928/Naval-Thunder-Battleship-Row?). Another option I have yet to try.
    Victory at Sea. Leaving aside the scale mismatch between these rules and Warlord Games’s 1/1800 models, I’d be interested in trying the underlying rules if I find a way to get hold of the rules and data cards without having to buy the models from Warlord.

    That prompted my previous post about which Second World War surface-action rules you like, and why (https://www.thewargameswebsite.com/forums/topic/which-second-world-war-naval-rules-do-you-like-most-and-why/).

    I’ll post more here as I progress if others are interested. (Apologies to any of you who had already seen this post on another forum).

    #157025
    Jim Jackaman
    Participant
    #157029
    Tony S
    Participant

    You can buy the Victory at Sea rules separately from Warlord, although even for Warlord the price made me wince.

    The previous edition, as is the WW1 set and both expansions,  are available still on Wargame Vault and are much more reasonably priced.  I am not quite sure what the differences between the Warlord and the earlier Wargames Vault editions are.  I’m also not sure whether the numerous typos were fixed up in the PDFs.  I have the books, and the lack of proofreading is appalling.  Phrases like “refer to page XX” (that’s verbatim; XX is the actual page reference printed in the book) are constantly repeated throughout one of the expansions.

    Might be worth trying.  We’re not really into naval games, but have enjoyed a number of hypothetical WW2 French/Italian clashes in the Med using the Mongoose rules.  Very simple, which works for us.   Lots of fun.

    I wish David Manley had been allowed to switch to a D10 instead of the D6 for combat, as I understand he rather wanted that when he wrote the WW1 version?  Would have allowed a lot of subtlety in the ships and combat for absolutely no addition in complexity.

    #157030
    hammurabi70
    Participant

    I will follow this with great interest.  A topic I have a long-term project on; my solution being IRON BOTTOM SOUND, LONG LANCE and HENDERSON FIELD board games but to be expanded on with miniatures.

    6mm Group Forum: https://groups.io/g/6mm
    2mm Group Forum: https://groups.io/g/2mm

    #157032
    Thomaston
    Participant

    Also very interested in how this campaign plays.

     

    You might try contacting TTMJ to see if he can put together a special set of ships you want. It might benefit him as well to sell battle specific sets.

    Tired is enough.
    I like tiny miniatures

    #157037
    AdmiralHawke
    Participant

    So my order from Shapeways arrived, in a remarkably large box given the tiny size of the miniatures. While pricing, tax and postage costs on Shapeways were a bit baffling, I was impressed by the speed of manufacture and then delivery to the UK from the Netherlands (beating the promised delivery date by about a week).

    Shapeways 1/3000 ships
    A lot of packaging, but I can’t complain that the miniatures weren’t well protected.

    Tiny Thingamajigs 1/3000 Ships
    I ordered five groups of 1/3000 ships from Tiny Thingamajigs to see what the quality is like.

    These miniatures are not cheap, so I was very pleased to see that the quality is excellent, and seemingly on a par with the superb War Times Journal miniatures. Indeed, the Tiny Thingamajigs miniatures from Shapeways look very similar to the War Times Journal miniatures, coming in much the same type of transparent plastic.

    So what did I order?

    Tiny Thingamajigs 1/3000 US Heavy Cruisers
    First up is a bundle of six US heavy cruisers (https://www.shapeways.com/product/8X8WE53AC/1-3000-usn-ww2-heavy-cruisers-set?). The heavy cruisers bore the brunt of the fighting off Guadalcanal. This bundle contains:
    – One Pensacola class. Salt Lake City was at Cape Esperance and her sister Pensacola at Tassafaronga.
    – Two Northampton class. Chicago was at Savo Island, while Northampton was at Tassafaronga.
    – One Portland class. Portland was at 1st Guadalcanal.
    – Two New Orleans class. Astoria, Quincy and Vincennes were at Savo Island, San Francisco was at both Cape Esperance and 1st Guadalcanal, while Minneapolis and New Orleans fought at Tassafaronga. Ideally, I’d have bought three or four of this class but few 1/3000 ships are sold individually on Shapeways.
    Several of these models helpfully have their hull number on the bottom.

    Tiny Thingamajigs 1/3000 Brooklyn-class Cruisers
    Then I bought a bundle of four US light cruisers (https://www.shapeways.com/product/64QLCUP6N/1-3000-us-cl-brooklyn-x3-helena-x1?).
    – Three Brooklyn class. The Boise fought at Cape Esperance, while Honolulu was at Tassafaronga.
    – One St. Louis class. The Helena fought at both Cape Esperance and 1st Guadalcanal, managing to survive both battles with minimal damage.
    This bundle comes with eight ridiculously tiny aircraft. As you can see, they are about two milimetres across. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with them.

    Tiny Thingamajigs 1/3000 US Destroyers
    Next is a bundle of eight US destroyers, from two different classes (https://www.shapeways.com/product/HESTVSADF/1-3000-us-dd-benson-gleaves-mahan?). Honestly, it’s hard to tell different US destroyer classes apart in 1/3000 scale.
    – Four Benson/Gleaves/Livermore class. In 1942, these were the largest and most modern destroyers in the fleet until the Fletcher-class ships came into service. Buchanan, Duncan, Farenholt, Laffey and McCalla were all at Cape Esperance, Aaron Ward, Barton, Laffey (again) and Monssen fought at 1st Guadalcanal, Gwin was at 2nd Guadalcanal, while Lardner was at Tassafaronga.
    – Four Mahan class. Cushing was at 1st Guadalcanal, Preston at 2nd Guadalcanal and Drayton, Perkins and Lamson at Tassafaronga.

    Tiny Thingamajigs 1/3000 Japanese Heavy Cruisers
    The bundles on offer from Tiny Thingamajigs on Shapeways are a little haphazard. There doesn’t seem to be a way to buy the Aoba– and Mogami-class cruisers in 1/3000 without getting the Atago class twice, and the Myoko class don’t seem to be available from Tiny Thingamajigs in 1/3000 at all. So this Japanese heavy cruiser bundle (https://www.shapeways.com/product/78ESNLYYF/1-3000-ijn-heavy-cruiser-ca-pack-7-ships?) isn’t ideal for the battles off Guadalcanal as it doesn’t contain the Aoba or Furutaka-class cruisers. However, it’s the bundle that includes Mogami-class cruisers, which I also wanted. It contains:
    – Three Atago class (upside down in the picture). Chokai was the flagship at Savo Island, while Atago and Takao were at 2nd Guadalcanal. Chokai and Maya both bombarded Henderson Field on Guadalcanal.
    – Two Mogami class. Although Suzuya bombarded Henderson Field, she didn’t take part in any of the night actions and nor did her sisters.
    – One 1943 Mogami. This represents the ship after her conversion into an aircraft-carrying cruiser, following her damage off Midway. No use for Guadalcanal night actions.
    – One Ibuki class. This ship, a repeat Mogami, was never finished so it’s no use for historical battles. Fortunately it looks a lot like a Mogami class (the main difference is that the mainmast is further back).
    Some of these ships have their names on the bottom, which is helpful.

    Tiny Thingamajigs 1/3000 Fubuki-class destroyers
    My final bundle is a group of seven Fubuki-class destroyers (https://www.shapeways.com/product/5TK2L4LKC/1-3000-ijn-dd-fubuki-3-3-1?). It contains:
    – Three Special Type I destroyers. Fubuki and Hatsuyuki fought at Cape Esperance, while Murakumo and Shirayuki transported troops. Hatsuyuki and Shirayuki were also in the Japanese fleet at 2nd Guadalcanal, along with Uranami.
    – Three Special Type II destoyers. Ayanami and Shikinami were at 2nd Guadalcanal.
    – One Special Type III destroyer. Akatsuki, Ikazuchi and Inazuma were all at 1st Guadalcanal, with Inazuma returning two nights later for 2nd Guadalcanal.

    My next steps are:
    – To research USN camouflage and find the right colours to paint the models with;
    – To work out the ship data cards for these ships for Grand Fleets 3; and then
    – To embark on the daunting task of painting these tiny things.

    #157261
    AdmiralHawke
    Participant

    Thank you for all the encouragement and feedback gentlemen (I presume!). 🙂

    You can buy the Victory at Sea rules separately from Warlord, although even for Warlord the price made me wince. The previous edition, as is the WW1 set and both expansions, are available still on Wargame Vault and are much more reasonably priced.

    Good idea. I had not thought to buy the older version from Wargame Vault. Thank you. 🙂

    I will follow this with great interest. A topic I have a long-term project on; my solution being IRON BOTTOM SOUND, LONG LANCE and HENDERSON FIELD board games but to be expanded on with miniatures.

    Yes. Using board games as inspiration or even set up for a tabletop campaign is a great idea. I will look up those games. Thank you. 🙂

    You might try contacting TTMJ to see if he can put together a special set of ships you want. It might benefit him as well to sell battle specific sets.

    Yes. I have done that to see whether I can get hold of a few ships I want without doubling up. I discovered that his blog (http://roetengco.blogspot.com/) hasn’t been active for eight-and-a-half years, so his life may have moved on to other things. I’ll see. Fingers crossed.

    I agree that offering a few introductory battle bundles, like the River Plate or the Denmark Straits, would provide an easy way for customers to test a few of the miniatures before buying in bulk. 🙂

    #157276
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Following!!!!

    #157795
    AdmiralHawke
    Participant

    I have made some slow progress in painting my 1/3000 squadrons.

    Imperial Japanese Navy
    The Japanese ships are somewhat simpler to paint than the American ships. The Imperial Japanese Navy did not use camouflage extensively during the Pacific War, other than on some of the ships serving in Aleutian waters and on its carriers late in the war. So most of the ships that fought off Guadalcanal were painted in an overall grey. There were slight differences between ships because slightly different shades of grey were used by the four main Japanese dockyards at Kure, Sasebo, Yokosuka and Maizuru.

    I have gone with an overall dark grey, with brown for the linoleum decks of the cruisers and destroyers.

    The Japanese 4th Cruiser Squadron in 1/3000
    Sentai 4: the 4th Cruiser Squadron. Left to right: Maya, Chokai and Takao.

    The Japanese 7th Cruiser Squadron in 1/3000
    Sentai 7: the 7th Cruiser Squadron. Left to right: Suzuya and Kumano. I’m fairly sure from photographs that the Japanese dropped the white funnel bands once war began, but they are useful for distinguishing between sister ships.

    I’m not quite sure that my painting will stand up to the scrutiny of close ups, but here we go.

    Japanese cruiser Chokai in 1/3000

    Japanese cruiser Takao in 1/3000

    Japanese cruiser Kumano in 1/3000

    Japanese cruiser Suzuya in 1/3000

    United States Navy
    The appearance of US warships in 1942 was more complicated than that of the Japanese navy. The US Navy used a variety of formal camouflage Measures, all of which used different shades of blue-grey paint.
    To simplify, the appearance of any individual ship during the Guadalcanal campaign primarily depended on whether it had been in the Pacific Fleet or the Atlantic Fleet earlier in the year.
    The Pacific Fleet ships were camouflaged against aircraft, with most ships wearing either Measure 11 or its replacement Measure 21 which was authorized in June 1942. Both had a dark blue grey on all vertical surfaces: Sea Blue (5-S) in Measure 11 and Navy Blue (5-N) in Measure 21. The schemes are indistinguishable in black-and-white photographs.
    The Atlantic Fleet ships, by contrast, were camouflaged against submarines with most ships wearing either Measure 12 or Measure 12 mod. Measure 12, worn by the carrier Yorktown, had Sea Blue (5-S) up to the level of the main deck, Ocean Gray (5-O) up to the level of the top of the superstructure and Haze Gray (5-H) above. Measure 12 mod used the same colours but with wavy or sawtooth edges between them to create disruptive camouflage, as worn by ships including the carriers Hornet and Wasp, battleship North Carolina, cruisers Quincy, Vincennes, Atlanta and Juneau and large numbers of destroyers. Measure 12 was replaced by the similar Measure 22, worn by the battleship Washington.
    All ships had Deck Blue (20-B) on all horizontal surfaces.

    So far I have only painted some of the Pacific Fleet ships. I am not confident that I have the colours entirely right. I am so used to seeing the Pacific War in black and white that I keep thinking the ships are too blue and I’m not sure the blue on the hull sides is dark enough. Here are some of them: Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Boise, Northampton and the destroyers Cushing and Perkins.

    US cruiser Salt Lake City in 1/3000
    The cruiser Salt Lake City was one of the oldest heavy cruisers in the US Navy. She fought at Cape Esperance.

    US cruiser San Francisco in 1/3000
    The San Francisco was flagship of the US force at both Cape Esperance and the 1st Battle of Guadalcanal.
    Her sister ships Astoria, Minneapolis and New Orleans wore the same Measure 11 camouflage.
    US cruiser Boise in 1/3000
    The Brooklyn-class cruisers were built in response to the Japanese Mogami class, and formidably armed with 15 6-inch guns.
    The Boise fought at Cape Esperance, where she was heavily damaged.

    US cruiser Northampton in 1/3000
    The cruiser Northampton was the name ship of her class of heavy cruisers. She was torpedoed and sunk at the Battle of Tassafaronga.
    US Mahan-class destroyers in 1/3000
    The Mahan-class destroyers were among the older destroyers of the Pacific Fleet.
    Cushing was sunk at 1st Guadalcanal, while Perkins fought at Tassafaronga.

    The ships are 1/3000 from Tiny Thingamajigs on Shapeways (https://www.shapeways.com/shops/tinythingamajigs?s=0) and the mat is a Dark Sea mat from Tiny Wargames (https://www.tinywargames.co.uk/sea).

    That’s all for now. 🙂

    #157797
    McKinstry
    Participant

    Nicely done. I get most of my 1/4800 ships from Tiny Thingamajigs as his stuff is pretty much the best on Shapeways.

    The tree of Life is self pruning.

    #157816
    Thomaston
    Participant

    Looking good.

    TTMJ’s stuff is pretty much the best out there.

    Mahan class are my favorite WWII destroyers.

    Tired is enough.
    I like tiny miniatures

    #157824
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Great looking models !!!!

    #157833
    AdmiralHawke
    Participant

    Nicely done. I get most of my 1/4800 ships from Tiny Thingamajigs as his stuff is pretty much the best on Shapeways.

    Thank you. Yes, the models are remarkably good. It’s hard to believe the level of detail considering their size.

    Looking good. TTMJ’s stuff is pretty much the best out there. Mahan class are my favorite WWII destroyers.

    Thank you. I’m glad I took the plunge. I followed up on your suggestion to contact TTMJ and he answered almost immediately. So I have a few more cruisers on the way.

    Why do you particularly like the Mahan class?

    Great looking models !!!!

    They really are. They are a pleasure to paint, if a bit daunting as my painting is not half as good as the models. Still, that’s better than the reverse (when the models are worse than my painting! ).

    #157918
    Thomaston
    Participant

    Mahan class had nice round stacks, unlike the Faraguts. The stacks also have different height that looks pleasing to me unlike later double stack destroyers that have their smoke stacks at pretty much the same height. The only thing I didn’t like much about the class is the open rear 5″ guns. Sims class is a close second for me for similar reasons.

    Tired is enough.
    I like tiny miniatures

    #157931
    Just Jack
    Participant

    This is super cool, looking forward to the campaign, I’m trying to do something similar, but I’m cheating by using Axis and Allies 1/1850 prepainted miniatures.

    And “Neptune’s Inferno” is one of my favorite books!

    V/R,

    Jack

    #163384
    AdmiralHawke
    Participant

    I’ve made a bit more progress with my 1/3000 fleets for this campaign.

    Firstly, a few more cruisers and destroyers for the Japanese fleet.

    Sentai 5
    Sentai 5: the 5th Cruiser Squadron. Left to right: the heavy cruisers Haguro and Myoko.

    Sentai 6
    Sentai 6: the 6th Cruiser Squadron. Left to right:the heavy cruisers Kako, Furutaka, Kinugasa and Aoba. These ships formed the backbone of Vice-Admiral Mikawa’s Eighth Fleet at the Battle of Savo Island in August 1942.


    The heavy cruiser Furutaka was sunk at the Battle of Cape Esperance.


    The heavy cruiser Aoba was the flagship of Rear-Admiral Goto. She was heavily damaged at the Battle of Cape Esperance, but would be the only ship of Sentai 6 to survive the Solomons campaign.


    The light cruiser Yubari was another of the Eighth Fleet cruisers that fought in the Battle of Savo Island in August 1942.


    The light cruiser Nagara was at both the 1st and 2nd Battles of Guadalcanal in November 1942.


    The modern Kagero-class destroyers took part in the frequent transport runs to Guadalcanal, nicknamed the ‘Tokyo Express’ by the Americans.

    I’ve also made a little more progress on my 1/3000 US Pacific Fleet.


    The battleship South Dakota surprised the Japanese fleet in the Second Battle of Guadalcanal. She suffered a crucial electrical failure that temporarily knocked out her main armament and took numerous hits from the Japanese cruisers.


    The heavy cruiser Chicago was one of the Allied cruisers patrolling off Savo Island when the Japanese attacked in the early hours of 9th August 1942. She was torpedoed, but survived the battle. Her dark blue camouflage was copied by the Australian Navy and known as ‘Chicago Blue’.


    The heavy cruiser Portland spent most of 1942 as an escort to the US carriers. She was hit by a Japanese torpedo at the 1st Battle of Guadalcanal, which jammed her steering, but managed to hit the Japanese battleship Hiei repeatedly nonetheless.


    The Brooklyn-class cruisers were built in response to the Japanese Mogami class, and formidably armed with 15 6-inch guns. The Helena inflicted heavy punishment on the Japanese squadrons at both Cape Esperance in October 1942 and the 1st Battle of Guadalcanal in November.


    The light cruiser Nashville was in the Atlantic at the outbreak of war, but returned to the Pacific as one of the escorts for the carrier Hornet in April 1942. She remained in the distinctive Measure 12 mod camouflage that she had worn in the Atlantic. She was one of the few modern cruisers in the Pacific Fleet not to be involved in the Solomons campaign (but I had a spare Brooklyn-class model in the pack of four from Tiny Thingamajigs).


    Four Mahan-class destroyers.

    That’s all for now. The models are all from Tiny Thingamajigs in 1/3000; the mat is from Tiny Wargames.

    #163388
    Thomaston
    Participant

    Measure 12 and similar are my favorite for WWII ships. You’ve got some of my favorite ships there, Mahan, and now South Dakota, Nashville and Furutaka.

    Tired is enough.
    I like tiny miniatures

    #163404
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Love the ships !!!!

    #164122
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Ya, know I should buy these ship models and do this campaign myself…Quick someone stop me !!!!!!

    #164188
    Thomaston
    Participant

    @Kyoteblue
    Not gonna stop you, I wanna see ships.

    Tired is enough.
    I like tiny miniatures

    #166596
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    I am in the planning stages to buy all the GHQ 1/400 ships for the first battle of Savo Island.

    #166604
    Thomaston
    Participant

    1/400, after the initial shock I realized you meant 1/2400.

    Tired is enough.
    I like tiny miniatures

    #166606
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Oops yes, I do mean 1/2400.

    #166663
    19Echoes
    Participant

    Nice set up!

    #167478
    AdmiralHawke
    Participant

    Apologies for my lack of updates about my progress with this project.

    I conducted a small game to test the rules (posted here: https://www.thewargameswebsite.com/forums/topic/kawakaze-versus-blue-22nd-august-1942/). That revealed three flaws in using my chosen Grand Fleets rules (http://www.mj12games.com/grandfleets/) for the night fighting off Guadalcanal in 1942. I don’t generally tinker with rules, but three things bothered me, particularly when combined.

    Sighting
    The visibility rules in Grand Fleets are well developed. The range at which ships can be sighted depends on:

    1. light conditions (whether it’s day or night and the state of the moon);
    2. weather conditions (such as fog, rain and snow);
    3. the size of the target (smaller ships are harder to see); and
    4. the size of the spotting ship (lookouts are higher up in bigger ships).

    However, the visibility distance is fixed by those parameters, so there is no element of chance and no reflection of the skill of a trained and alert lookout compared with an untrained, exhausted one. As written, Japanese and American ships of the same size spot each other at the same moment, which doesn’t reflect history.

    Radar
    In Grand Fleets radar plays a role in gunnery, but not in sighting enemy ships. The visibility rules take no account of whether a ship was fitted with radar or not. Yet SG radar, in particular, gave the American ships fitted with it, such as the cruiser Helena, the ability to spot approaching Japanese ships long before they were visible with binoculars. In practice, the American commanders often failed to profit from that ability. But radar ought to play a role in who spots who first.

    Initiative
    The initiative plays a crucial role in Grand Fleets. The side or squadron with the initiative moves last and fires first, giving a substantial tactical advantage. As written, the initiative is determined primarily by a roll of the dice, though more able commanders have an advantage (see page 8 in the demo game rules here: http://www.mj12games.com/grandfleets/gf3demo.pdf). I think the side that spots the enemy first should usually have the initiative in that first turn.

    The problem that stems from these three is that, given the close ranges and high speeds of night actions, ships need to react to spotting the enemy as the range closes during their movement, rather than simply continuing on their previous course.

    Overall, the rules are just fine for gaming an engagement between two fleets on a clear sunny day when both sides can see the other coming. The combination is not so effective for the night actions in the Solomons in 1942 (or daylight actions in the misty North Sea in 1914) when ships that spotted their opponents first were at a substantial tactical advantage.

    So I spent some time thinking about how to tweak the rules to reflect the advantage that comes from spotting the enemy first.

    #167494
    hammurabi70
    Participant

    Apologies for my lack of updates about my progress with this project.

    Not required, go at your own pace; I do.

    https://captainnemogamingworldwartwo.blogspot.com

    Always interested in the posts when they arise.

    So I spent some time thinking about how to tweak the rules to reflect the advantage that comes from spotting the enemy first.

    And your conclusion was?  Move first and fire first?

    6mm Group Forum: https://groups.io/g/6mm
    2mm Group Forum: https://groups.io/g/2mm

    #167562
    AdmiralHawke
    Participant

    And your conclusion was? Move first and fire first?

    Ah, yes. I should have said. My conclusion was three-fold:
    – Firstly, to introduce a sighting table that introduces an element of chance and takes into account training and radar, in addition to light conditions;
    – Secondly, to let ships alter course from the point at which they sight the enemy; and
    – Thirdly, to give the initiative to the side that sights first.

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