Sunday, 3 December 2017
Jutland Part 8: The Curate’s Egg
Right then. I ran the play test and it went pretty much as I expected. I apologise in advance for the fact that there is no detailed after action report but there was a couple of reasons for this. To begin with the pictures I took of the action did not come at all well - so much so that it was nigh on impossible to tell which side was which. Also, the action came to logical end fairly promptly - which was expected - which made for a game that may have been technically interesting as a test bed but far less so as an act of naval drama!
The rules worked well enough and although simple to use they did come across as quite clumsy. I am thinking of scaling back a few parts of the gunnery/damage mechanism to streamline the process a little. I have a feeling I may have over-egged the pudding in some respects. Movement was OK although again, some clarification is needed. I also think that I need to revisit the protection/flotation process as armoured cruisers seem a little too durable.
It was good to get a game in though, even though it appears to have been a little bit of an anticlimax.
For the record the basis assumption was that Troubridge decided to engage the Germans with the view to slowing them down if possible so that the British battlecruisers could finish off the Goeben. Upon sighting the German ships heading South at a range of around 23,000 yards Troubridge ordered his four cruisers to split into two formations. The idea was to engage the Goeben from either beam and to hopefully cause the German ship to have to split its fire, thereby reducing its potential effect. The Germans meanwhile decided to get in a short and sharp attack on one of the British ships so as to deter the others from closing and therefore allowing them to continue their escape.
The Germans were able to engage the leading British cruiser - The Duke of Edinburgh - at around 9,000 yards and inflicted some telling damage. Not to be outdone the Duke fought back hard giving slightly better than she received. At this point the German commander ordered the Breslau to escape whilst the Goeben reversed her course - a move which totally confused the British - and engaged the Black Prince. Although the range was now down to some 5,000 yards the effect was minimal - presumably all the frantic high speed manoeuvring had thrown off the ranging. That was pretty much the last throw of the dice as the British were facing the wrong direction to chase and with one of their number hard hit. The Goeben disappeared over the horizon nursing her wounds and looking to rejoin her companion.
I am not going to say that it is a case of going back to the drawing board but I will need to think about a few things.