Monday, 2 April 2012

North Cape - Fletcher Pratt game report

The 1/1200 toy ships were on the floor again last Wednesday.  A Royal Navy force under Admiral Steve T was tasked with eliminating a German surface raider skulking in a Norwegian fjord.  As well as his flagship HMS Anson (pictured above), Steve had the services of Captains Tony L and Paul B, each with a 'County' class cruiser (PB brought his own) and a pair of destroyers.  The beastly huns were again led by Lloyd P aboard the Gneisenau and Dave R with two destroyers.  The umpire team consisted of Martin R, Jerry E and me.  The 'secret' player was John A at the helm of a U-Boat lurking near the mouth of the fjord.  Only Lloyd was told of the sub's existence.
British air recce had revealed the presence of a battle cruiser and at least two smaller vessels.  Before the weather worsened the Luftwaffe had reported the approach of the RN force.
The RN adopted a highly unusual line abreast formation, with Anson furthest from the camera.
The updated (by Don Featherstone in the 1960s...) WW2 gunnery table credits the German 11in guns with a considerably longer range than the British 14s.  I think this table will be revised again before the next game...   This meant that Anson was hit repeatedly by Gneisenau without being able to reply.  On the other hand, the German shells (fired at extreme range) mostly failed to penetrate and so damage was fairly limited.
Eventually a main turret was out of action, at which point the Admiral decided to head home, leaving the cruisers to shadow the departing (and now homeless) Germans.
The RN approach - from the top - Steve (wearing a rare experimental RN uniform), Tony and Paul.  The U-Boat caused great panic/amusement (depending on one's point of view) when it fired all four forward tubes from the British flank.  This took the stern off a destroyer and removed the other CAs and DDs from the battle for several turns while they manoeuvred frantically.  At no point did I hear any discussion of looking for the U-Boat...
Lloyd (far left) and Dave - apparently locked in some sort of embrace - while Martin and Jerry look on.  There are no photos of John as his U-Boat remained submerged.


Paul said...

A good report. Got o love that uniform. Was it from the Far Eastern Division?

Tim Gow said...

The issue details of the uniform are still classified I'm afraid. But it does look a bit inadequate for the Arctic.

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Nice report

But I am bemused at the gunnery tables, I though new 14" guns were better than new ii" guns

I even though the ballistic of the 14" guns were better than 15" guns but not a match for the US 16" or IJN 18"

Nice kit Tim I always like to see it out on the floor :)

PS uniform must have been from a China Station posting

David Crook said...

Hi Tim,

I am not sure of the specifics but I am almost certain that the German WW2 11" gun did have a prodigious range so that was probably correct.

Do you have the 15" armed version of the Gneisenau at all?

All the best,


Tim Gow said...

It is being looked into - the info I have turned up is that the ranges for 11 and 14 are probably pretty similar.

Tim Gow said...

David Crook
See above. A revised gunnery table will make an appearance in the next game.
I don't have the up-gunned Gneisenau (just six of the originals...) but I do have some as yet unbuilt kits. Just be careful what you wish for!

Martin Rapier said...

"the info I have turned up is that the ranges for 11 and 14 are probably pretty similar."

Yes, it seems they can both shoot a lot further than they can actually see without the aid of a spotter plane. Some of the blurb I dug up indicates that Scharnhorst scored one of the longest range gunnery hits ever recorded, 24,000 yards on HMS Glorious. That is about half the theoretical maximum range of her 11" guns...