Thursday, April 24, 2014

Rumble in the Arctic

On the second turn, the ships moved into medium range of the big guns of the cruisers, and the hurting started.  The IJN task force broke off from their freighters to intercept the Americans, racing in to a range where their weapons could do more damage.

Destroyers are hard to hit, but all it takes is a single lucky 8" shell to do some serious damage.  The Americans and Japanese each lost two destroyers before the smaller ships could close within torpedo range.  The Abukama, one of the Japanese light cruisers, took two hard hits. As fate would have it, each hit started a fire which ignited ammunition on deck. The Abukama exploded in a spectacular pyrotechnic display with the loss of all hands.

Right now the American cruisers are looking tough, having shrugged off superficial hits from Japanese shells. However, the heavy losses sustained by the American destroyers may make a clear victory unattainable.

The Japanese were taking a beating, but once they moved into torpedo range, the score was evened.  One poor American destroyer took two torpedoes and probably approached near orbit.  The second Japanese light cruiser took a hard salvo from the Salt Lake City and went down. While it's no surprise that destroyers could not last long against shells from capital ships or torpedo hits, I had expected the light cruisers to stock around longer.  Naval Thunder proved to be a much faster system than I had anticipated.

With half of their vessels out of action, the Americans were unable to secure a victory, but they could earn a draw by taking out the cargo ships.  Ifgoring the remaining Japanese vessels for a round, they turned their attention to the supply ships. The lumbering vessels got hit hard and went below the icy waves.  That meant that both sides failed to meet their victory conditions. The only thing left to do was to blast the remaining ships to oblivion, though my students agreed that any sane commander on either side would have withdrawn three turns into the game.

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