Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Dreadnoughts - the battle cruisers before Jutland

Jim: Lion. Princess Royal, Tiger & new Zealand.
Mike: Princess Mary, Inflexible, Invincible, Indominable.

Mark: Defflinger, Lutzow, Seydlitz.
Steve: Moltke, von der Tann

Both fleets came on the table in two columns but immediately manoeuvred to form single columns on not quite converging courses.  The Lion at the head of the British line took fire from all the german ships, but at extreme range and wasn't hit.  The British squadron spread their fire out engaging every German ship as they came into range.  The Lion was the only ship to get on target getting in some heavy blows on von der Tann.
The fleets circled around each other, the Brits spreading their fire, the Germans concentrating on Mike's weaker British squadron.  The Derfflinger & von der Tann took hits as did Invincible & Indominable.
The Germans are now in the foreground.  Mike's squadron is in some disarray as he breaks off with his weaker ships keeping only Queen Mary in the line.  The Germans try in vain to finish off the older British ships while the Lion continues to hit the von der Tann.
In the right foreground, the von der Tann is on the verge of going down.  Slowed to 1 hex movement she lays smoke.  In the centre the Sydlitz has become isolated in her duel with Princess Mary.  In the rear, Mike's weaker ships are sneaking away while getting the odd kick into the Derflinger.
The Seydlitz hurt the Princess Mary, but with the entire British fleet firing back at her the Seydlitz went down first.  The 1st British squadron haven't suffered any damage at all.  The 2nd squadron is hurt, but still afloat.  The Germans have lost the Sydlitz, the von der Tann is a wreck that cannot outrun the pursuers & the Derflinger is very badly damaged.  The Germans break off and run for home with the 3 ships that can.

The Germans seemed to think they were terribly unlucky with their firing.  Admiral Gandy on the other hand though his tactics of letting his comrade's squadron take all the fire while he pounded the weakest enemy ships very well done - straight out of the Harry Flashman tactical manual. 

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