Monday, 2 January 2012

Fletcher Pratt Naval Wargame - part 3

Z31 jinking furiously to avoid British shells.  The firing arrow in the centre marks one of Z31's torpedoes.
The Germans emerged from the mouth of the fjord with Z31 making smoke.  The superior range of the Scharnhorst's 11 inch main battery was soon finding targets among the RN force while British salvos were heading the other way.
RN DDs were also laying smoke - but some of those German shells have found the range.
One of the RN DDs expires in a fiery blast!
British DDs launch torpedoes while Z31, still making smoke takes hits.  Lots of them.
By now, Scharnhorst was well within range of RN shellfire.
An overview of the action.  Scharnhorst has slowed down as the RN force draws nearer.
Another overview photo.
Meanwhile, Gneisenau and Z32 had been heading north.  The preoccupied Royal navy players didn't notice them until Gneisenau opened fire!
Kev Tingle, the commander of Z31 places his final firing arrow before taking to the boats
Endgame.  Scharnhorst pictured just before she sank gracefully beneath the waves.
After about two and a half hours the game drew to a close at the point where Scharnhorst sank.  In conclusion, while the initial German force had been sunk, the RN force was very battered and in no position to limit the freedom of action of the Gneisenau.  A tactical draw then, but a strategic victory for the Brits who can better afford to make good their losses. 
According to the ship cards I retrieved (all but one of the British DDs), the final score was as follows:
Scharnhorst - sunk
Z31 - sunk
Gneisenau - untouched
Z32 - untouched
Glory-less - sinking
Suffolk - minor damage (c20%)
Kent - untouched
Leander - sunk
Ajax - sunk
Afridi - one third damage
Cossack - two thirds damage
Bedouin - sunk
Ashanti - minor damage (c15%)

A bloody business all in all, but player enthusiasm remained high and many asked me to run further such games.  I plan to get in another F-P game during January.


Stephen Thomas said...

It could have been GLORIOUS !!!

David Crook said...

Hi Tim,

Great pictures and it looked like a whole lot of fun. I will certainly look forward to some more later on!

All the best,


Paul said...

A good result, balanced on a knife edge stuff.

The smoke looked quite effective as well.

Mosstrooper said...

Naval wargaming as it should be ! love the idea of using the floor as a gaming surface.

Tim Gow said...

Stephen Thomas
As one of the few to keep your job after the game, you've no grounds for complaint!

Tim Gow said...

David Crook
It was great fun, albeit quite hard work as an umpire. We'll definitely be doing more such games.

Tim Gow said...

The trouble with this range estimation lark is that as soon as you get it right both you and the target move. Very tricky. The smoke was provided by Martin who never seems to travel without a big bag of it.

Tim Gow said...

I like to think it was a reasonable homage to F-P himself.

Anonymous said...

Looks like it was a great game- though not one to try at home. Playing on the floor takes me back to being 12 again....



Tim Gow said...

I seem to recall laying around on the floor - and specifically getting up and down - being a deal easier when I was 12!

Peter Douglas said...


Great stuff!


Tim Gow said...

Peter Douglas
Thanks - it certainly provided some laughs.

John Curry Editor History of Wargaming Project said...

Looked a great game. The Pratt rules are the finest for modelling a fleet level game. Confusion, tension and the feeling of being very frightened while commanding a destroyer.

Tim Gow said...

John Curry
Confusion? Tension? Fear? Yes to all three - and that goes for the umpire team as well!

Wg Cdr Luddite said...

Kapitan Leutnant von Tingle had no fear, calmy putting four torpedoes into HMS Bedouin before he went down.

Tim Gow said...

Wg Cdr Luddite
Indeed. The boy done good.

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Fantastic game Tim

I hope there is a repeat

Tim Gow said...

A further F-P game is planned for Jan 25.