Topic-iconAAR: Ironbottom Sound

Bezmozgu created the topic: AAR: Ironbottom Sound

4 years 4 weeks ago

A couple of days ago I was able to finally try out the Naval War system for the first time, albeit playing both sides myself. The game was a demo scenario I drafted set in Ironbottom Sound involving six USN ships (2 x CA, 1 x CL, 3 x DD) and five IJN ships (2 x CA, 1 x CL, 2 x DD). Both sides were led by Captain-equivalent leaders. The goal was to focus on learning the rules/system; tactics were of secondary importance.



The US side won initiative for set-up and elected to have the Japanese begin deploying. The first IJN squadron set up in line-ahead formation: CL Yubari (lead/Flag), DD Kagero, and DD Amatsukaze (tail). The first USN squadron set up in line-abreast formation: DD Duncan (port end), DD Aaron Ward (center/Flag), and DD Buchanan (starboard end). The second IJN squadron deployment was CA Aoba (Flag/starboard) and CA Furutaka (portl) in line-abreast formation with Aoba on the port beam of Yubari 2-3 movement distances away. The final deployment was the USN cruiser squadron in line-ahead formation: CL Atlanta (lead), CA Minneapolis (Flag/center), and CA Chicago (rear); Atlanta was off DD Duncan’s port aft quarter.



Turn 1



The Japanese won initiative and made the US take the first activation. The USN DD squadron went to flank speed (Japanese disruption attempt failed) and shifted into line-ahead formation with a slight turn to port.

IJN DD squadron increased speed to flank (no USN disruption attempt) to close the range on the US DD’s and moved into line-ahead formation echeloned trailing to port (remained out of range of US DD’s).

USN CA/CL squadron went to flank (IJN disruption failed) and turned slightly to port maintaining line-ahead formation to stay out of IJN CA range and try to bring the IJN DD squadron into full broadside range (the Japanese squadron ended up just out of range).

IJN CA’s increased to flank speed (USN disruption attempt failed) and turned to port into line-ahead formation with Furutaka leading to present broadsides to US DD’s.



All IJN ships were out of range so USN spent final four disruption counters to unlock the US Radar Assisted Firing Solution capability. If Minneapolis or Chicago (8-inch primary batteries) led the USN cruiser squadron rather than Atlanta (5” primaries) they would have been able to begin ranging in on Yubari.

Furutaka opened fire on Duncan to range in but failed.

Turn 1 ended after the Phase 2 Direct Activations because no Phase 3 Indirect Activations were applicable or necessary.

Turn 2

Initiative: USN won and had IJN start activations.

IJN DDs conducted a standard move and turned slightly to port.

Duncan, the only US DD in range, fired on Yubari with radar assist (Japanese disruption failed) and scored two hits, damaging her forward guns, leaving the forward battery temporarily out of service.



IJN CAs made a standard move forward with a 30-degree turn to port to keep broadsides on both US squadrons.

USN cruisers went to flank speed (disruption failed) and advanced in attempt to bring broadsides to bear on the IJN DD squadron (IJN CAs still out of range).



IJN CAs opened fire: Aoba, spent an order counter to use the IJN “Veteran Ship Crews” advanced activation order ability, succeeded in ranging in on Duncan (US CA’s just out of range); Furutaka failed to range in on Atlanta (only cruiser within range).

USN cruisers fired: Chicago attempted radar assist attack on Yubari but was disrupted by the Japanese; Minneapolis fired on Yubari and succeeded in ranging in; Atlanta’s 5” guns remained out of range.



All activation counters were now used up by both sides: Yubari’s damage control teams succeeded in repairing one of its forward guns during the Indirect Activations phase and the turn ended. USN side spent three unused disruption counters to unlock their Adapted Tactics capability.

Turn 3

Initiative: USN won again and elected to have IJN activate first.

IJN DDs decided to force a close-range engagement and attempt to damage the USN cruisers with torpedoes. Three activation counters were spent to go to flank speed and conduct a ”torpedo run” (two advanced activation orders in addition to the direct movement activation order). The Americans reacted with Adapted Tactics but failed to pass the Japanese disruption attempt. The IJN DD squadron moved 1 distance, turned 45 degrees to starboard, used the rest of their flank speed to move toward the USN cruiser line, turned 45 degrees to port and fired Long Lance torpedoes from one centerline torpedo mount each (Yubari 2 torpedoes, Kagero 4, and Amatsukaze 4) to cross the anticipated movement track of the US cruisers.



USN DDs went to flank speed and moved into close range of Yubari and Kagero placing the squadron between the IJN DD and CA formations.

IJN DDs engaged USN DDs with main battery fire: Yubari missed or failed to cause damage to Duncan (short range); Kagero hit Aaron Ward’s Bridge causing one damage (short range); and Amatsukaze failed to range in on Duncan (which was 2cm beyond the short-range limit).

USN DDs fired torpedoes from one each of their centerline mounts: Duncan at Kagero (5 torpedoes); Aaron Ward at Yubari (5); and Buchanan at Yubari (5).



IJN CAs conducted a standard move with a 25-degree turn to starboard.

USN cruiser squadron continued flank speed and turned 90-degrees to starboard to comb the wakes of the Japanese torpedoes. They had to turn to starboard due to the close proximity of a small island to port and to try to maintain squadron command integrity, but the maneuver also brought the cruisers into range of the IJN CA 8-inch batteries.



IJN CA squadron spent the last Japanese activation counter to try to range in on Minneapolis, closest US cruiser to both Japanese ships. Both succeeded due to the fact they were able to present their full broadsides to the now on-coming US ships (in effect crossing the “T”).



The USN CA squadron (Atlanta was now beyond command range of Minneapolis due to the squadron’s maneuver to comb the Japanese torpedo wakes) used the last US activation counter to try to range in on Furutaka. Only the forward batteries of the USN CAs could bear on the target: Chicago succeeded, Minneapolis failed.

During the Indirect Activations phase Yubari’s damage control parties failed to repair the remaining damaged forward 6-inch gun.

Torpedo resolution during the “End of Turn” Phase:

The USN cruiser squadron’s sharp turn to starboard and flank speed advance succeeded in moving Chicago and Minneapolis out of the Japanese torpedo spreads. Atlanta also cleared the spreads from Yubari and Amatsukaze, and the two eligible torpedoes from Kagero missed!



Unfortunately for Atlanta, she was just within the spreads of the torpedoes fired by Aaron Ward and Buchanan. Three each of Aaron Ward’s and Buchanan’s torpedoes were applied to Yubari (total of 6) and two each to Atlanta (total of 4). All 6 US torpedoes missed Yubari but 1 torpedo (from Aaron Ward) hit Atlanta causing three waterline hull damage points and three flooding. Atlanta managed to pass its command check to remain in the fight, although now requiring activation counters to be spent for any direct action orders. All 3 applicable torpedoes from Duncan missed Kagero.





Turn 4

Initiative: IJN won and decided to activate first.

IJN CA’s fired on Minneapolis: Aoba scored one damage point on Minneapolis’s Engines, reducing her speed to 2. Furutaka missed but spent an additional activation counter to invoke the Japanese “Veteran Ship Crew” advanced activation order that allowed her to re-roll all misses (and cause one point of Japanese fleet Attrition). The second roll secured two damage points on Minneapolis’s AA batteries, disabling them.



USN DDs activated to fire main batteries at Yubari at short range. Duncan and Buchanan missed or failed to overcome Yubari’s armor saves. Aaron Ward scored three damage points on Yubari’s magazine, which disabled her aft 6-inch batteries and started one fire. This left Yubari only three damage points away from sinking, but her tough crew passed their command check.



Regrettably I had to stop at this point because I ran out of the time I had available to play. Things were looking pretty grim for the US at this point with one CL heavily damaged and flooding badly, one CA with moderate damage and a reduced speed of 2, an a DD with light damage. More significantly, despite Yubari’s considerable damage, the IJN CAs were unscathed and had the range of the US CAs, and the IJN DD squadron was now in position to launch a torpedo attack on the US CAs with no chance of the US DD squadron reversing course quickly enough to intervene. I believe the IJN was poised to inflict another devastating defeat on the USN in the waters off Guadalcanal.

This was an extremely fun and exciting game and I’m impressed with how the system works and look forward to playing again soon. I especially like the use of the activation order chits, which forces you to really think about what you want to try to do and the order in which you need to do it. The command stations and the possibility of disrupting your enemy’s advanced activation orders add a lot of flavor, uniqueness, and fun. The system will play much more quickly and smoothly with greater experience. Despite my unfamiliarity with the rules I was able to get set-up and a little over three turns in in 3.5 hours. I spent a lot of time re-checking things in the rules, taking notes, and snapping some photos.

Here are a few more observations and questions:

1. I only scratched the surface of the command stations and advanced activation orders. Players really need to focus on the (once they have mastered the standard mechanics).

2. I’m unsure that I was handling the gunfire and torpedo damage correctly: Whenever a ship takes a hit/damage you need to cross out a hull point for it, correct? Based upon the hit location roll, you also cross off a system/component if so indicated, correct?

3. Per the QRS under the “Fire and Flooding” damage section, you must cross off one hull point per hit as well as an additional hull point for each fire or flooding. When you conduct a successful damage control attempt, do you erase the hull point marking associated with that fire or flooding, but retain the hull point damage marking from the hit?

4. Damage control can only be attempted during the Indirect Activations Phase, correct? USS Atlanta took six hull point markings from the torpedo hit, which were applied during the End Turn Phase. The first chance to attempt to repair Atlanta’s flooding would be the Phase 3 of the next turn, correct?

5. Is there a specific phase in which the US player(s) need to use their disruption markers to unlock their Industrial Powerhouse abilities? During this game I unlocked Radar Assisted Firing Solutions at the end of Phase 2 of the first turn when it looked like the US wouldn’t need to use them to try to thwart Japanese actions.

6. How would you handle the activations in a game in which there are multiple players to a side? I assume one player per side would control the fleet flag ship/squadron with the commanding officer. The other players would control separate squadron(s) – would they also have a command station for reference? I would envision giving activation counters to each player for the squadron flagship(s) and the number of ships in each squadron they control.

Many thanks for making this very fun system available for download as well as continuing to support it with OOBs and new ship card!

The following user(s) said Thank You: Pugliese

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Naval War HQ replied the topic: AAR: Ironbottom Sound

4 years 4 weeks ago

First let me say that I'm very happy that you had a good time playing the game! As I see you had most of the basics handled very well.

Bezmozgu wrote: Unfortunately for Atlanta, she was just within the spreads of the torpedoes fired by Aaron Ward and Buchanan.

That ship is eternally unlucky :)

Bezmozgu wrote: IJN CA’s fired on Minneapolis: Aoba scored one damage point on Minneapolis’s Engines, reducing her speed to 2. Furutaka missed but spent an additional activation counter to invoke the Japanese “Veteran Ship Crew” advanced activation order that allowed her to re-roll all misses (and cause one point of Japanese fleet Attrition). The second roll secured two damage points on Minneapolis’s AA batteries, disabling them.

I'm not sure where you get it that the Veteran Ship Crew causes a point of attrition? The point of attrition is only applied when the order is failed due to disruption.

Bezmozgu wrote: 2. I’m unsure that I was handling the gunfire and torpedo damage correctly: Whenever a ship takes a hit/damage you need to cross out a hull point for it, correct? Based upon the hit location roll, you also cross off a system/component if so indicated, correct?

You first check the hit location, since that might influence the armor roll. After that apply the damage (by crossing of hull points) and the extra effects listed on the table.

Bezmozgu wrote: 3. Per the QRS under the “Fire and Flooding” damage section, you must cross off one hull point per hit as well as an additional hull point for each fire or flooding. When you conduct a successful damage control attempt, do you erase the hull point marking associated with that fire or flooding, but retain the hull point damage marking from the hit?

The damage for fire and flooding is applied in the end phase, before the torpedo resolutions so you’ve had a chance to do damage control before the damage is applied. Any damage caused by flooding or fire from torpedoes can be repaired next turn before they cause damage in the end phase.

Bezmozgu wrote: 4. Damage control can only be attempted during the Indirect Activations Phase, correct? USS Atlanta took six hull point markings from the torpedo hit, which were applied during the End Turn Phase. The first chance to attempt to repair Atlanta’s flooding would be the Phase 3 of the next turn, correct?

Correct, the damage from the torpedo is applied immediately, the damage from any flooding will only be applied in phase 4 of the next turn, so you have a chance to repair in phase 3.

Bezmozgu wrote: 5. Is there a specific phase in which the US player(s) need to use their disruption markers to unlock their Industrial Powerhouse abilities? During this game I unlocked Radar Assisted Firing Solutions at the end of Phase 2 of the first turn when it looked like the US wouldn’t need to use them to try to thwart Japanese actions.

The ability text states that the player can unlock ‘at any time’ during the turn.

Bezmozgu wrote: 6. How would you handle the activations in a game in which there are multiple players to a side? I assume one player per side would control the fleet flag ship/squadron with the commanding officer. The other players would control separate squadron(s) – would they also have a command station for reference? I would envision giving activation counters to each player for the squadron flagship(s) and the number of ships in each squadron they control.

That would be one way to handle it, there isn’t any multiplayer game rules yet. You could just alternate activations, but that might be a bit annoying to have to wait till you can activate if you are the last one to make an activation. Another option would be to make two activations per side, one for each player. These activations can only apply to the ships under a players’ control. If you’re setting up a multiplayer game, let us know so we can all join in with suggestions.


Game designer

"That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been;" -Ecclesiastes-

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Bezmozgu replied the topic: AAR: Ironbottom Sound

4 years 4 weeks ago

Many thanks for the clarifications and corrections! This is a fun system and I hope to get some of the historical game players and maybe even some of the Star Wars Armada players at the local gaming store to play it. I am also thinking about running some multiplayer games at some of the conventions here on the US east coast, hence the multi-player question. I'll try to get this scenario to the table again this week sometime to ensure I take on board your clarifications.

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Naval War HQ replied the topic: AAR: Ironbottom Sound

4 years 4 weeks ago

One last thing I noticed. Do you account for the damage your ranging shots do? I read in your report that ships ranged in (ie. hit) but no damage is recorded, at least not in the report. Ranging shots can cause damage as normal, you just get to fire less because most of the shots will fall long or short.


Game designer

"That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been;" -Ecclesiastes-

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Bezmozgu replied the topic: AAR: Ironbottom Sound

4 years 4 weeks ago

I did not assess damage for ranging-in shots, but wondered about it. I looked through the rules twice the first two times ranging in shots were fired and must have missed it. Thanks for the clarification. Yubari and Minneapolis would both have been much worse off and Duncan would have been hurting!

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Bezmozgu replied the topic: AAR: Ironbottom Sound

4 years 4 weeks ago

Another thing I forgot to mention is I found the rules to work great with my 1/4800 scale ships. I contemplated adjusting ranges and movement before starting but went with them as published.

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Naval War HQ replied the topic: AAR: Ironbottom Sound

4 years 4 weeks ago

That is also great news :)I don't own any 1:4800 myself so I couldn't test the scale.


Game designer

"That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been;" -Ecclesiastes-

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Pugliese replied the topic: AAR: Ironbottom Sound

4 years 4 weeks ago

Thanks for the report! Poor Atlanta just can't catch a break. Good to know there's someone else that is on the East Coast.

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Bezmozgu replied the topic: AAR: Ironbottom Sound

4 years 4 weeks ago

Pugilese,
I'm in northern Virginia and periodically attend Historicon, Fall In, and Cold Wars as well as The Guns of August and Williamsburg Muster. Do you attend any of these?

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Pugliese replied the topic: AAR: Ironbottom Sound

4 years 3 weeks ago

I'm down on the NC/SC border. I dearly wish I could make it up that way, but con-going is a bit beyond my means at the moment. If something changes and I happen to find myself up that way, I'll definitely let you know.

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