Topic-iconExercise "Cochon Bleu II'

Oldenbua created the topic: Exercise "Cochon Bleu II'

4 years 3 months ago

So, yesterday I played a small solo game to see how the rules play. Since I only have the French at the moment, the setting was two French destroyer groups going on exercise, code name 'Cochon Bleu II'.

On the one hand (the Mediterraneans (M)) we have two L'Adroit class destroyers (La Palme and Le Mars), and two Bourrasque class destroyers (Cyclone and Typhon). The others side (the Atlantics (A)) is more varied: Leopard, a Chacal class destroyer leader, L'Adroit (of that class), Mistral (another Bourrasque) and finally Bouclier, a La Melpomene class torpedo boat. Both sides had a Capitaine de Vaisseau officer and thus are 59 points.

To keep things simple I chose the Encounter Battle scenario during the daytime with fair weather and no terrain. Both sides deploy in a single file. The M's lead with La Palme and Le Mars, followed by Cyclone and Typhon. For the A's, the lead ship is Bouclier, followed by Leopard, then L'Adroit and finally Mistral. I opted to put all ships in a single squadron on both sides (Is this allowed, when the ships come from different divisions in the OOB?) This gives both sides four orders. For the A's Leopard is the Flagship and Fleet flagship. For the M's, La Palme is the Flagship, but Le Mars is the Fleet Flagship (the idea being not to put all eggs in the same basket), but is this allowed? Must the Fleet Flagship allways be a Flagship as well?

Even though I played on a smallish board (100x120cm), both groups are too far apart at the beginning, since their guns have a maximum 45cm range. The A's win initiative and opt for Flank Speed, in which they succeed. Bouclier and Leopard have a max speed of four, and with flank speed can move 30cm. But they move a bit less, to keep in formation with the slower ships behind. The M's try to do the same, but this action fails, and Cyclone suffers engine damage. All M ships begin with a max speed of three, but again, to keep formation with Cyclone, move a bit less. Both sides have opted to turn in order to close the range as fast as possible. The range is still too great, so nothing else happens this turn. At this point it would have been possible to try and repair the engine damage, I suppose, but I forgot about that.

Second turn, and again the A's win initiative, and again opt for flank speed. This time luck is not on their side, it fails and L'Adroit suffers damage. The whole formation is slowed as a result, since Bouclier and Leopard cannot utilise their higher speed. The M's also move, but without flank speed this time. This puts the lead ships in both formations in range. As their next action, the A's open fire. Bouclier, the lead ship has only 25cm range, so can't engage yet. Leopard can only fire (ranging shots) with the bow guns, and scores no hits. In return, the M's also open fire, but the lead ship La Plame tries the Crippling shot tactic. The tactic succeeds but all shots miss as well, and the same happens to the other shots from the following ships. By the way, it says to halve all RoF when firing ranging shots, but are these rounded up or down? Again, repair rolls would have been possible, but this didn't happen.

In the third turn things start to heat up. The A's have initiative, and maneuver again to put all their ships in a good firing position. The M's do the same, the end result being that the lead ships are now at close range (within 20cm). For their next order, the A's try the Torpedo specialist to fire a spread from Bouclier (and Leopard, who is also in range). Since they chose the Torpedoes specialism, only one Disruption can be used, so it will only fail on a roll of one. Ofcourse they roll a one, and the result is that Bouclier's torpedo mount is jammed! I was not sure what would happen to the other torpedo attack (from Leopard) at this point. Is the order (and the negative effect) applied to a single torpedo attack, or to all torpedo attacks made in that activation? On their next order the M's (who have chosen the gunnery specialism) try the Crippling shot again. It can also only fail on a one, and you guessed it, this order also fails, with the result being that the stern guns on La Palme suffer damage! In this case it doesn't say that the order fails, so I continued with firing the shots (with the new RoF), but they all miss. On reading the rules again, I guess the order should have been cancelled? The next order for the A's finally sees some good dice rolling, they make a gunnery attack and score some hits on La Palme and Le Mars, knocking out the stern guns on La Palme, and scoring engine damage on Le Mars. The M's respond with launching torpedoes from both lead ships, putting four RoF 3 templates in place. Again no repair rolls are made. The torpedo attacks are then resolved. Those from Leopard all miss. The other ones score a hit on Bouclier doing three damage (leaving her with a single hull point, but not crippled) and knocking out the AA (that could have been worse!) Bouclier also gets a flooding, and must make a command check (or rather two at the same time). The first roll is a failure so Bouclier must break off. The other torpedoes all miss. This does raise a question about command checks though. It says when you fail a command check, the ship must make a free maneuver away from the action. When does this happen? Right away, or after all attacks have been resolved? The last option seems the most logical?

In the fourth turn the A's have chosen Communications and succeed with the 'Battle signals tactic'. This means all ships in range can fire full RoF on La Palme (and the other ships). All remaining three ships score hits, but La Palme makes several armour saves, limiting the damage done. But it does mean that all ships are now ranged in. The M's opt to maneuver first to put the ships in a better firing position. On their next order, the A's launch a spread of four Rof 3 torpedoes. The M's respond with a gunnery attack and score a single hit on Leopard. At this point I was in doubt if I should make a maneuver for the A's or not, but decided not to. So they save some orders for the next phase. The M's then also launch a final spread of four Rof 3 torpedoes. In the indirect action the A's try 'All hands on deck' but this fails. But they manage to stop the flooding on Boucier anyway, so she doesn't sink. They then try a rally (and fail) and a re-roll (with Elan) and also fail. It then finally dawns on me that you can always try and do some repairs in this phase, do after some dice rolling some (engine) damage is repaired on some ships. Finally the torpedo attacks are resolved, but all miss, except one hit on Leopard, damaging her guns and causing flooding, but not enough for a command check. Question: what happens if a ship is under both sides of the template, can dice from both sides be allocated to it or not?

The fifth turn starts with the A's firing another round of gunfire on La Palme causing enough damage to cripple her and cause her to break off. Since La Palme was the Flagship, I decided that Le mars would take over. Leopard opts to fire on Le Mars instead, but scores no hits. The M's fire back, and score some hits in return, with L'Adroit getting hit and suffering more engine damage. Almost all torpedoes have already been fired, so no action there. Both sides opt to maneuver, rather than wait for compulsary movement. Since some ships have damaged engines, making the compulsary move would mean that they would be out of formation. In the next phase, the flooding is stopped (again), and some other damage is repaired. On the crippled La Palme, I tried to repair the Engineering first (and succeeded, needing a 5+). Can you repair damage on a crippled ship?

At this point it was running late, and I had other appointments, so I called it a day. All in all an interesting game. I'm not sure I did everything like it should be done, and I'm sure I made some mistakes. Also, playing solo takes away a great deal of the interaction with orders and disruption, which look like a big part of the game. And I did find it hard to decide what to do when in some cases.

Unfortunately no pictures (but I need to get a proper seascape board anyway), but hopefully an enjoyable report.

Cheers,

Alex

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Naval War HQ replied the topic: Exercise "Cochon Bleu II'

4 years 3 months ago

Thanks for posting a battle report! I've looked into the questions that popped up, thank you for writing these down since it will help to iron out the glitches.

Oldenbua wrote: but is this allowed? Must the Fleet Flagship always be a Flagship as well?


This is allowed

Oldenbua wrote: By the way, it says to halve all RoF when firing ranging shots, but are these rounded up or down?


The shots are rounded up, this is on the QRS but I see that it is not mentioned in the main rules. I’ll fix that.

Oldenbua wrote: I was not sure what would happen to the other torpedo attack (from Leopard) at this point. Is the order (and the negative effect) applied to a single torpedo attack, or to all torpedo attacks made in that activation?


Good catch, the Command station is not clear on this. Having a complete squadron adding 1 torpedo each makes it a pretty overpowered ability, especially when the French Fleet special rule only allows disruption on a 1 if you play it right. The ability should be for a single ship. I’ll change the wording to reflect that.

Oldenbua wrote: On their next order the M's (who have chosen the gunnery specialism) try the Crippling shot again. It can also only fail on a one, and you guessed it, this order also fails, with the result being that the stern guns on La Palme suffer damage! In this case it doesn't say that the order fails, so I continued with firing the shots (with the new RoF), but they all miss. On reading the rules again, I guess the order should have been cancelled?


You played it right. The order does not fail, otherwise it would have said so specifically on the Command Station. You were also correct to shoot with the modified RoF.

Oldenbua wrote: This does raise a question about command checks though. It says when you fail a command check, the ship must make a free maneuver away from the action. When does this happen? Right away, or after all attacks have been resolved? The last option seems the most logical?


It happens right away. It is indeed possible to break off before the activation is over. For example, after the first ship in the squadron shot and the opponent breaks off, it is possible that the second ship has to pick another target since the ship that has broken off is now out of reach/LoS/etc.

This may seem a bit odd at first, but if you study the battlereports you will notice that a lot of ships that received a load of damage and broke off the action usually managed to escape the battle. This is due to a fleeing ship presenting less of a threat than ships still shooting at you and also general fog of war and battlefield friction. In naval games a lot of these factors do not exist because of the gods-eye view, resulting in players usually focusing ships down until sunk. This rule counters that tendency and we found that this is quite successful in doing that.

Oldenbua wrote: Question: what happens if a ship is under both sides of the template, can dice from both sides be allocated to it or not?


Yes, if both sides of the template cover a ship dice from both sides can be allocated to it. I may need to reword this a bit to make it clear in the rules.

Oldenbua wrote: Can you repair damage on a crippled ship?

Yes, but you will find it pretty hard to repair a lot since you can only repair one system per turn. The crippled status is new to 1.3 so we may decide to change this if more playtests come available or when it produces silly results.

Oldenbua wrote: At this point it was running late, and I had other appointments, so I called it a day. All in all an interesting game. I'm not sure I did everything like it should be done, and I'm sure I made some mistakes. Also, playing solo takes away a great deal of the interaction with orders and disruption, which look like a big part of the game. And I did find it hard to decide what to do when in some cases.

Unfortunately no pictures (but I need to get a proper seascape board anyway), but hopefully an enjoyable report.


Great report and I certainly enjoyed reading it but I think the most important question is if you had an enjoyable game? :D


Game designer

"That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been;" -Ecclesiastes-
Last edit: 4 years 3 months ago by Naval War HQ.

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Oldenbua replied the topic: Exercise "Cochon Bleu II'

4 years 3 months ago

Thanks for the clarifications! Yes, it was an enjoyable game, but constantly trying to outsmart yourself is a bit tiring.

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