Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Action Stations!!

This week saw a rescheduled game down at the club following yet another family emergency (this year seems to have been full of them and this one was particularly crap).

I'd arranged a game with Andrew using the Coastal Forces collection I'd bought at SELWG in October and dug out my copy of David Manley's excellent Action Stations rules.  These are a favourite ruleset which given their relative thin-ness are full of great ideas and rules for scenarios ranging from Convoy escorting to submarine actions, rescuing downed pilots, Q-Ships etc...even including ideas for a  St Nazaire type attack.  They are relatively simple and provide a great game with small petrol and ammo-laden boats zipping around at 30 knots in the dark, dodging flares and (hopefully) avoiding collisions.  It reminds me a lot of a naval version of X-Wing!

Image result for action stations rules

I'd put together a convoy escort scenario set somewhere in the Med with a German freighter being escorted by a couple of S Boats, an R Boat and a Vorposternboot (armed trawler)...I always find balancing these kind of games tricky and so added a Siebel Ferry for the Germans at the last minute.  The British had 4 Fairmiles, 2 MTBs and 2 MGBs with the objective of sinking the freighter and getting away intact. 

The RN cunningly split their attack, circling round an island and coming at the Freighter from 2 directions.  The S Boats engaged one pair and following a few rounds of largely ineffective fire we both managed to shoot up each others engines, leaving the normally speedy attack boats limping around and trying to repair the engines.  An MGB and a S boat ended up drifting alongside each other both on fire and full of holes while the other MTB managed to get into an attack position on the freighter despite being under heavy fire.

The other pair of RN boats had managed to zip past the VP Boat without taking much damage and were also in a position to launch torpedoes although in this case from the rear.  Andrew's splitting of the attacks meant whichever way I turned I would face some hit side on and the freighter went down in a flurry of torpedo hits.  By the end of the game the RN had lost 2 boats out of 4 and the Kriegsmarine had also lost 2 small boats but also crucially the freighter giving the Brits the win.

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