Yesterday evening saw the inaugural game of MoBaS 1890 to 1905 in the public domain - at my war games club; SEEMS (South East Essex Military Society). I was very fortunate to be able to enlist the help of Messrs. Fox and Fosker whom accepted the roles of the commanders of the Turkish and Greek navies respectively. The action was fought with the unpainted Minifigs ships (shock, horror!) on my Hexon tiles. The forces were identical in composition and consisted of a cruiser, three battleships and four destroyers a side. Sadly I forgot to take a camera so there are no pictures but I am planning to run the action again as a solo game over the weekend with the usual after action report so they will feature then.
Very briefly the action developed with a furious destroyer melee between the fleets during which the under-gunned Greek destroyers certainly gave better than they received - there were certainly some extremes of dice rolled by either side! The Turks were able to get their supporting battle line to close up on the destroyer melee and in doing so managed to inflict some severe punishment on the Greeks with salvos of light and quick-firing guns and this redressed the balance somewhat. The Greek cruiser Georgios Averoff received some heavy shell hits and stopped a torpedo and so whilst heavily damaged was able to disengage at the end of the action as the Greek fleet was deemed to have 'lost on points'. The Turkish cruiser, the Hamidiye was riven with shot and torpedoed but was still afloat, albeit only just when the fighting stopped. Incredibly, despite many hits being scored by both sides only a single ship was actually sunk during the game - one of the Greek destroyers that found itself parked more or less in front of best part of the Turkish battle line.
I apologise the 'highlights' nature of this post; the main point is mainly to record a few observations with the rules which came out of the test and so a detailed after action report will follow after my planned re-fight.
Movement and combat worked very nicely although I will need to clarify the rules for stacking a little more - especially for combinations of ship types or even sides occupying the same hex. Line of sight needs some attention and Mr Fox came up with the suggestion of reducing gunfire by a gun letter per ship in an intervening hex which makes a lot of sense and I may well introduce this - also for torpedo attacks.
I also want to simplify the actual hit numbers involved for gunfire as at present it is a little clunky and I am thinking that having qualifying hits, whilst making for, in my opinion, a more historically accurate depiction of gunfire effect over a period of time it does make for a less decisive outcome. The action felt right in respect of the damage from gunfire but it was a long process and my fear is that for a larger action it would lead to indecisive results. I need to give this thought but certainly the system for gunnery works a treat so that will stay as it is. Torpedo attacks felt right although I am thinking that they do not do enough damage at present and so may well revise this.
I suppose to sum this post up the rules can best be described as a 'work in progress' although I am extremely pleased with the results thus far. The concept has been proven and so it will only remain for me to take the final steps mentioned above and then 'job done'.
My grateful thanks to both Mr Fox and Mr Fosker for a very enjoyable and thought provoking evening and I promise faithfully that the next time we use the rules Mr Fox can use his own dice....(he didn't like mine very much!).