Thursday, 31 December 2009

Sheffield Wargames Day 30th December 2009 - Part 2

Our second game was a Modern Naval game using rules I found on the internet years ago. The protagonists were two of the three fictional South American banana republics I invented some years ago. These three countries were invented for a plenary game at COW in the late 1990s. The game took as it's subject a naval arms race in the 1930s and the countries were resurrected for further service as a scenario generator for my Iron Ships and Wooden Heads game published in Wargames Illustrated in 2001. This was a DBA based game which I'll dig out and post if there's any demand.

Anyway, back to South America. Still smarting from a recent reverse over the hotly disputed Islas Peurilas (at the hands of the Castillian Fleet), the Basque Peoples Maritime Defence Force obtained new equipment from their Russian sponsors. This new kit included a Moskva class helicopter carrier and two Kynda class cruisers, together with a squadron of Backfire bombers. The Basques had been hard at work extending the runway on the small island of Isla St.Clair. On account of the quota-based command economy the new runway was actually slightly longer then the island - so much so that the end was submerged at high tide! At the time of the game the development of the island had only proceeded as far as the installation of AA gun batteries and the runway was not yet ready for fast jets. A Basque task force comprising the three new ships (Bolero, Bedknobs, Broomsticks) and three destroyers (Bing, Bong, Bang) was about to set sail for home escorting two landing ships (25 De Mayo, 26 De Mayo) full of marines.

It ws beleived that the Alicante Navy was completing the sea trials of their newly acquired carrier (the Audiquattro, formerly HMS Victorious) escorted by two destroyers (Asta and Aste - US Coontz class). The Audiquattro had in fact finished trials two weeks previously (although like a number of ships in this action it smelled of fresh varnish...) and was cleared for action. The Alicanteans had ordered their task force to intercept the Basque force and had no fewer than 4 submarines in support. These latter had been placed secretly near the islands.

The Basques split their force and while Bolero and Bedknobs escorted the landing ships, the destroyers led by Broomsticks set out to form a screen against any appearance by the Alicantean Navy.

Bolero leads the way with one of her helicopter flights scouting for subs. The flight on deck has another two turns before it will be ready to launch again.

A surprise appearance by a pair of subs did little to delay the Basques' progress and the Kamonov 'Hormone' helis proved their worth by driving off one and sinking the other. Bedknobs suffered a quickly repaired torpedo hit. After the other Basque force was sighted by the Audiquattro's Gannets a Buccaneer strike was swiftly launched. This survived the local AA fire but inflicted only light damage on Broomsticks. As can be seen from the photos, the Alicanteans had not had time to paint over the Fleet Air Arm Roundels on the Audiquattro's air wing... A missile exchange between the Broomsticks' division and the Alicantean destroyers resulted in the loss of a destroyer each and the temporary crippling of Broomsticks.
The Basques then managed to call in Backfire strikes on the carrier, finally hitting it with a full squadron while it's deck was crammed with refuelling Sea Vixens and Buccaneers (again the small dice on the aircraft bases indicate the number of turns until another mission may be ordered). This crippled the carrier and brought a halt to air operations for long enough for the main Basque fleet to make good it's escape.


Wg Cdr Luddite said...

Yes, another glorious victory for the proletariat of the Basque Republic!
We await the Alicante repairs to the Audiquatro so we can sink her fully next time.

Admiral Don Valley

Tim Gow said...

I gather that the shipyards of Alicante (and undiscloded other countries) are busy with repairs and new orders. A recent re-run of an old episode of the Navy Lark on BBC Radio 7 yielded another island group to fight over - the Digital Isles (Finger Island, Toe Island etc). Perhaps the might of the dreaded Forbodian Navy will intervene...