I have not played War at Sea in a few months, so tonight my youngest son agreed to take me on. I had already selected an American and German fleet to test out for an upcoming event.
We rolled the die to decide who would play what and my son ended up with the USN and I took on the role of Kriegsmarine.
|USN Fleet 3 BBs with Air support|
|KM with Subs and Land Based Air|
|Deployment and opening moves|
The USN quickly recovered making the speed rolls and soon were threatening the objectives. USS Texas with USS Lexington and Houston were poised to move on the right side objective and USS Arizona and Nevada the center objective.
|USN closes in to jump on the first objectives.|
The KM had a trick up their sleeve though. Just as the USN thought there was no surface gunnery Gneisenau fired a opening salvo with her guns at range six scoring a blow on USS Nevada.
|Gneisenau fires the opening shots|
Before the start of turn three Bismark and Lutzow break out of a fog bank and suddenly appear on the flank.
|Bismark appears using secret breakout|
The USN is undaunted though and USS Texas with the DD escort moves to the right objective while USS Nevada advances on the center. USS Arizona does not have the speed to join Nevada and remains in support while USS Lexington along with the flagship USS Houston find cover behind a nearby island group.
|Battle for the objectives commences|
The plan was solid , but the execution was poor. Despite the early gunnery successes the Germans are unable to score the hits they need. USS Nevada drew blood on Bismark, but is able to lay smoke with her escort before the Germans can reply. Despite being fired on by the big guns of four capital ships USS Nevada avoids the death blow and remains barely afloat as she and her escort are both crippled.
|U Boat fires a salvo at USS Texas|
|USS Texas slips below the waves|
|Nevada comes through with a hit on Bismark|
Air soon became a factor as the German fighters went after lone USN DDs and the Americans sought to damage the pocket Battleships. While the Germans were successful inflicting damage, the USN claimed the real prize sinking the crippled Lutzow.
|Lutzow succumbs to strafing attacks|
The next turn the German heavies were able to consolidate for an all out assault on the remaining USN BBs as the Bismark and undamaged Gneisenau moved together and Admiral Scheer came up to support.
|USN fighter strafe and crippled Admiral Scheer|
It was now a duel of the BBs and this time German fire power would prove more than crippled USS Nevada damage control parties could keep up with. One USS Nevada sailor was heard to exclaim, : you need buckets to catch all the lead!" Finally USS Nevada succumbed to the German fire and slipped beneath the waves leaving the undamaged USS Arizona and USS Houston to deal with the pride of the German fleet.
Then with a thunderous roar Bismark let loose with her 15" guns at point blank range on USS Arizona. The tremendous balst was more than the old WWI bulwark could withstand and her back broke under the weight as the German shells came crashing in. USS Edsall and USS Houston both took hits from secondary and tertiary guns
|Bismark scores a vital on USS Arizona|
|USS Lexington now stands alone|
Bismark and Gneisenau quickly closed the distance toward USS Lexington. The USN realizes their chance for victory against the Germans has slipped beneath the waves with USS Arizona. The Germans do not even make it interesting as the Bismark quickly provides the vital blow on the first salvo.
|USS Lexington has not chance to survive the combined German firepower|
While I like the idea of playing the old USN Battle Wagons I think the Kriegsmarine's speed and built in finesse with SAs like "Secret Breakout" and "Long Shot 6" are hard to overcome. Having four ships with battleship dice at range four vs the USN having only two extended range four was a decisive edge as well.