Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Sinking Tribute to PT 109 and JFK

Some would say we're getting a little old for crawling around on the floor doing WW II Naval miniatures! Here Mike S closes with the Japanese flotillas, while Allen, Joel, Keith and Steve look on.
 So, Allen had been wanting to run a World War II General Quarters game with American PT boats against Japanese destroyers. Mike S, Joel, and I were all volunteered to follow in John F. Kennedy's shoes and face down a night convoy of Japanese destroyers and barges. Each of us was given a force of 4 PT boats and we waited in the dark waters for the Japanese fleet to sail by us, when we would attack.

We'd never played theses rules for such a small action, though. General Quarters is more designed for fleet actions with the bigger ships. How would it work for such small scale engagements? Well, according to us would-be JFKs, not very well! The rules' move/countermove system allowed the Japanese destroyers to ram us easily and at will, slicing through 1-2 boats every turn we were close enough. Our torpedoes had a range of only 12" and they had a movement of 13", which meant they could virtually outrun our torpedoes. Never mind the fact that I have always stunk at this aspect of the rules. With GQ, you guess whether your torpedo target will maintain course, go to port, starboard, or reverse course. To get within range of them to launch torpedoes, we had to weather the storm of their gunnery (and more dangerous) their ramming.

Our target: A Japanese supply convoy headed towards Guadalcanal (1/2400 scale miniatures)
 The game ended with all three American flotillas destroyed or fleeing off table, and not causing a single point of damage to the Japanese or their barges. Needless to say, we need a little re-working on this scenario before it is tried again! I pointed out the worst part is the PT boats are sitting ducks under the move/countermove system. Either the turn they close with the destroyers or the turn following, they will move first. That means the Japanese can slice them in two fairly easily.

Tsuro: The Game of the Path is a quick, fun 15-minute board game
 Since the game ended so quickly, we broke out the boardgame Tsuro. This tile-laying path game is always a fun, quick play. Keith and Steve V (who had played the Japanese in the naval miniatures game), ruled at this game as well. It was a night to be Asian, we decided! Steve won the first game and then he and Keith tied in the second game.

Next week, we will do the second scenario of my Pulp skirmish games. I'm busy finishing up the terrain for this game, as you can see on my post about my Jungle Hut.

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