More Fletcher Pratt Naval gaming.

Last Sunday Evan kindly invited me over to his for another go at the Fletcher Pratt naval game, given how much I liked the last run through of it I jumped at the chance for another game of this old school classic.

The scenario was simply each of us had a Cruiser and a pair of escorting Destroyers; I took on the role of the Italians with the Raimondo Montecuccol and the Carabineri and Legionario Destroyers. Evan had the Sirius AA Cruiser and the Ashanti and Somali Tribal class destroyers.

The main purpose of the game was to try out the torpedo rules, something we omitted from our earlier River Plate game, so we both picked opposite corners to start in and steam towards each other at top speed.

IMG_5154

The Brits adopt a similar start to the game.

The Brits adopt a similar start to the game.

The two small fleets get into range (just), we used the small ranges from the Featherstone section of the rule book.

The two small fleets get into range (just), we used the small ranges from the Featherstone section of the rule book.

The opening shots are fired and hit home. Given that we were using 1/300 scale ship Evan has decided that any round that touches is a hit but then the actual location damaged is diced for.

The opening shots are fired and hit home. Given that we were using 1/300 scale ship Evan has decided that any round that touches is a hit but then the actual location damaged is diced for.

Things get messy as we close in, and I've launched the first salvo of torpedoes.

Things get messy as we close in, and I’ve launched the first salvo of torpedoes.

Not as bad as it looks - honest.

Not as bad as it looks – honest.

The Legionario fires off a quartet of torpedoes and on of the Tribal class Destroyers.

The Legionario fires off a quartet of torpedoes and on of the Tribal class Destroyers.

They streak toward their target and two hit....

They streak toward their target and two hit….

...and promptly sink their her.

…and promptly sink their her.

By this point in the game a few good hits from the Italian Cruiser Sirius had stripped all the guns of the other British destroyer so it fled off the table.

If you've got time careful maneuvering can avoid the bothersome things.

If you’ve got time careful maneuvering can avoid the bothersome things.

With one of my destroyers damaged but still in the fight on fell to a torpedo fired at very close range which it couldn't avoid. However the Sirius has suffered slightly and with it's two escorts gone it had to turn away from the battle to avoid the rest of those torpedoes still running.

With one of my destroyers damaged but still in the fight on fell to a torpedo fired at very close range which it couldn’t avoid. However the Sirius has suffered slightly and with it’s two escorts gone it had to turn away from the battle to avoid the rest of those torpedoes still running.

At this point we called the game as a victory to the Italians, and something of a black day for the Royal Navy. The clash would have evolved into a stern chase with the slightly faster Italian cruiser closing on its British counterpart.

We both found that torpedoes are very nasty weapons especially against the smaller ships. However to be sure of a hit you have to get almost suicidally close to your quarry… risking your own destruction in the process. Something that is anecdotally referred to in the History of Wargaming rule book. All in all a great game and quite a quick one too. Hopefully we’ll be returning to the med soon.

Cheers,

Pete.

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13 comments on “More Fletcher Pratt Naval gaming.

  1. Dan Rygasewicz says:

    I have a game that is similar, but the formulas are already made up. Clear fr Action is the name of the game. This game was made in the late 70s and I have never seen it again. I have scanned ebay many times and no one has ever posted the game.

    What I like about Clear for Action is this. If you are lousy at range estimation you play late US and British. With radar you get a correction to your estimate. The game does not have all the WW 2 vessels. If you ever find it get it.

    • Pete S/ SP says:

      Interesting stuff. I’ll look out for a copy of that. Seems to be based on a similar idea. We play with a house rule that if you still have your director functioning you can ‘walk’ the hits up or down by one place. I do like the guessing the ranges aspect of the game.

      Cheers,

      Pete.

  2. wargamingresources says:

    Hi Pete, great report! I like the way you represent the torpedoes – gives a good representation.

    In the past when I’ve played with a group of 6 players, the players would turn away so the referee would track the torpedoes, and players would make a spotting roll – or not 😉

    Cheers, Iain

    • Dan Rygasewicz says:

      Were the torpedo tracks made out of pipe cleaners? What were your shell splashes made out of?

      I wish I could play something like this again. No one to my knowledge plays this in Northern California.

      • Pete S/ SP says:

        Hello Dan, The tracks are just white pencil crayon on blue paper, the shell splashes are cut down golf teas with grit stuck on them painted white. Both are the work of my friend Evan, he has been pretty productive recently getting the naval side of our gaming going.

        It’s a shame that you can’t find any games in your area… it is a bit of a forgotten gem if you ask me.

        Cheers,

        Pete

      • Dan Rygasewicz says:

        It is not quite dead. On March 22nd there will be a naval game put on by a group based in Southern California. This game will be on board the USS Iowa in Los Angeles Harbor. Actually San Pedro. The game rules that will be in use will be General Quarters 3. Fact is Lonnie Gill the author might be coming if he is feeling well. The game will be on the aft deck of the Iowa where the plane catapults use to be.

        What I am getting at is to maybe run the Clear for Action rules next time. this is the first time doing this. There will be other tes in the future.

        Stay tuned

      • Pete S/ SP says:

        Sounds like it will be a great day’s gaming. Can’t ask for a better setting really. any chance of pics of the event?

        Cheers,

        Pete.

      • Dan Rygasewicz says:

        I will try.

    • Pete S/ SP says:

      Thanks Iain. Like the idea of the torpedoes having to be spotted. I’ll bring that up for the next game.

      Cheers,

      Pete.

  3. Sean says:

    Looks like fun. I really like the splash/ explosion markers. I take it the push pinned things are movement plots?

    • Pete S/ SP says:

      Hi Sean. The pinned things are angle indicators for any guns firing. Point it in the direction you want, write down your guess for the range and declare which guns are firing and thats all there is to combat.

      Cheers,

      Pete.

  4. Dan Rygasewicz says:

    I got into a big arguement a few months ago on the Seekrig 5 yahoo site about range estimation. One guy there was adamant about range estimation. No one plays it any more. I will not throw this on their site to prve them wrong.

    Carry on

    • Pete S/ SP says:

      People can be a bit too set in their ways. Not just me who games it though; check out the ‘Megablitz and More blog’ as well as ‘Wargames Miscellany’ it was from their sites that we got into it.

      Cheers,

      Pete.

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