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.
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 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.
Not as bad as it looks – honest.
The Legionario fires off a quartet of torpedoes and on of the Tribal class Destroyers.
They streak toward their target and two hit….
…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.
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.