Saturday, May 23, 2020

Prelude to Jutland

Last week I tried to improved the playability of my Dreadnought rules by using a computer for record keeping & doing the sums.  I didn't really like the result, so I looked at improving the manual system instead.  But the exercise of trying to use the computer wasn't a waste of time, it helped me find  better solution to the issues I was not happy with.

This afternoon Chris commanded the Germans, & I the British, as we fought a scenario based the prelude to Jutland.
The 5 German battlecruisers are on the right, the 6 British in the foreground, on converging courses.
The DDs & CL's stay discretely out of the way as the big boys trade salvos with both lead ships suffering some big hits.  
The Seidlitz copped a rudder hit & ploughed on too close the British line & even she couldn't take the resultant pounding.  But while the Brits were concentrating on sinking the Seidlitz, the Germans were inflicting significant damage on all the British ships. 
At this stage the British Queen Elizabeth squadron came onto the table as did the lead squadron of the High Seas Fleet.
Despite the arrival of the Super-dreadnoughts the British battlecruisers were clearly in trouble & turned away laying smoke.  But the Lion, like the Seidlitz, had rudder trouble & ploughed on into the valley of death. 
The British DDs lay smoke to help the BC's escape.
 So far only the lead battleships have found the range, but the range is closing fast.
The British battleships had bigger guns (15" to 12", but the Germans had more guns, better armour & were better shots.  As the German battlecruisers turned back from finishing off the Lion, the QE's turned away.
The British DD's rushed forward laying smoke & firing torpedoes as the British ships made their getaway.   The Germans evaded the torpedoes, but they did their job of slowing the pursuit.

The end result was just one ship sunk on each side, but even so it was a clear German victory. 

This time my improvements to the rules did work - the game was significantly easier to play.  The main things done were:
- A better OOB chart (prepared on a spreadsheet) which lists the data for each ship present & includes a space to record proposed moves & targets each turn & to record details of special damage. 
- The use of coloured counters & mini-dice on the ship bases to record hits & damage (the counters don't record all the details of special damage (like which turret is hit) but they remind us on the table it's there & the details of the special damage written on the ship's log only need to be referred to if needed.
- Some tweaks to the firing system to significantly simplify the system.

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