Admiral Saltykov decided that a quick raid by destroyers to bombard the harbour would be sufficient cause for the Fezians to redeploy their naval forces in order to counter the Rusland threat. His cruiser strength was currently down to a single vessel as although the turrets on the Muravev Amurtski had finally been completed, the damage sustained by the Amiral Kornilov and Admiral Nevelskoi was still under repair. Rather than risk an untried ship Saltykov decided that blooding his destroyers would be a less risky option.
Unknown to Saltykov was the fact that Fezia had already taken steps to extend her patrol lines to cover the approaches to Rize. Due to the shortage of gun destroyers (due in part to the torpedo based tactical methods championed by the Teutonian naval mission) Fezia had taken to supporting her torpedo armed types with a light cruiser. At this paticular juncture, the cruiser Midilli, accompanied by two torpedo boats, had been detailed to patrol the approaches to Rize. The four destroyers that made up the Rusland raiding force was not expecting any enemy activity this far out and so the stage was set for an affair of light forces.
Midilli - Light Cruiser, Light Armour, Speed 4, Flotation Points 6 (Critical 2), 6 x Light-1 Gun Dice (4 on a broadside) and two fixed torpedo tubes (one on either beam).
Bodrum and Marmaris - Torpedo Boat, Unarmoured, Speed 4, Flotation Points 4 (Critical 1), 1 x Light-1 Gun Dice and four trainable torpedo tubes (two forward and two along the centreline).
Loknya, Levintsy, Ladushkin and Lyskovo - Torpedo Boat Destroyer, Unarmoured, Speed 4, Flotation Points 4 (Critical 1), 2 x Light-1 Gun Dice and two trainable torpedo tubes along the centreline).
I will be using my usual rule set for this action and guess what? I have already seen a couple of very minor points that will need to be, ahem, adjusted. The main one concerns unarmoured vessels such as destroyers. The Light-1 gun dice discards the -1 when shooting at these vessels so the usual two point heavy hit for a 6 applies as normal. Further along from this, I am considering rules for the use of destroyer divisions of four ships as complete units - this will be really handy when fighting large actions (which will follow in due course).
Somewhere to the north of Rize, in the Eastern Fezian Sea....
When the news of the loss of the Midilli reached the Sultan he was apoplectic with anger. His temper was legendary and his rage was only mollified by the Teutonian naval attache immediately offereing a replacement ship of the same class. His pride appeased the Sultan decreed that a press blackout would be imposed with the loss of the two Rusland destroyers being emphasised and with no mention of the Fezian cruiser. As ever the daily news would appear to the population as being calm, tranquil and with nothing out of the ordinary to report. "The Sultan took tea as usual" would be the official line but the glibness of the comment fooled nobody - possibly not even the Sultan himself.
It was fast, up close and personal. It was also the first time that torpedoes were used in an offensive capacity. The rules for these worked pretty well and to be honest, the Fezian cruiser was quite unlucky to be torpedoed twice at maximum distance - needing a 6 to do so at that range. I used the two Rusland destroyers that operated in the same hex (at least until one of them was sunk) as a single unit for damage meaning that any hits from gunfire must be alternated between the ships. In effect destroyers operating in such a fashion receive fire on an area basis.
So far then, my actions with this latest round of models have been limited to cruisers and destroyers. I am thinking that perhaps it might be an idea to get out the big guns and start wielding some battleships.
This will be the next action then - so I had better get the models painted!