Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Pearl Harbor Counter Strike-Dec 8th 1941 an alternate history

I am getting ready to attend NAVCON 2013 this weekend.  It has been two years since I attended due to the timing of my most recent deployment.  As a result I am very much looking forward to this one.  I am helping a friend run a Naval Thunder scenario for Java Sea.  In addition I put together this alternate history scenario which I have been wanting to do for some time.


Just like history the Japanese have successfully attacked Pearl Harbor and inflicted significant damage on the US Pacific Fleet and facilities at Pearl Harbor. Unlike the actual history in addition to the missing carriers on the morning of December 7th 1941 three USN Battleships and their escorts were not at Pearl Harbor. In this alternate history Admiral Kimmel chose to continue to rotate the battle wagons on exercises to include the weekends and Battleship Division One which was on maneuvers at the time of the attack is now on patrol hunting for the enemy.
Immediately following news of the attack Admiral Halsey in command of the USS Enterprise carrier group sought out the IJN strike force, but this time he found them and in a daring twilight strike Scouting 6 managed to score hits on a IJN flat top causing significant damage and leaving it ablaze. Night has fallen and in the early morning hours of December 8th Battleship Division One makes contact with the wounded carrier and her escorts limping along under the cover of dark.
Now you can play the role of Admiral Kidd aboard the USS Arizona and hope to deal a critical blow to your newly declared enemy or Admiral Nagumo and attempt to safely withdraw and escort your wounded carrier through the night until your planes can again rule the skies when daylight breaks.

IJN Force:
CV Hiryu: CMD 8, Hull 40, Speed 3, Fire burning
BB Hiei: CMD 8
BB Kirishima: CMD8
CA: Tone: CMD 8
CA Chikuma CMD 8
DD Tanikaze CMD 8
DD Urakaze: CMD 8
DD Isokaze: CMD 8
DD Hamakaze: CMD 8
DD Ushio: CMD 8

USS Nevada
USN Force:
BB USS Arizona: CMD 8
BB USS Nevada: CMD 7
BB USS Oklahoma: CMD 7
CA USS SanFransico: CMD 7
CL Raliegh: CMD 7
DD Cummings: CMD 7
DD Selfridge: CMD 7
DD Phelps: CMD 7
DD Tucker: CMD 7

Set Up:
IJN: Hiryu is placed in the center of the battle area and 60” from the USN deployment edge with two DD within 2” The remainder of the IJN fleet is deployed within 12” of Hiryu.
USN: Deploys all ships in a box 24” wide and 24” from the edge centered on the short side of the battle surface.
Scenario Special Rules:
As Hiryu is on fire she is immediately spotted by the USN ships.  Any IJN ships directly between Hiryu and a USN ship are also spotted as they are silhouetted. Otherwise, IJN ships are not spotted until they fire or a USN ship is within 48” and successfully targets them with Radar.  Hiryu cannot be engaged if there is another IJN ship at shorter range that has fired.
USN Objective is to sink Hiryu
IJN Objective is to successfully retreat Hiryu from the opposite edge of the battle area.
USN must break contact and retreat after 12 turns due to impending

Optional Rules in affect:
The basic rules allow ships to stop and start at will. In reality, it took some time to make changes in speed. Under this rule, ships may only change their speed a limited amount depending on which move step they are assigned to.

Move Step
Max Speed Change/Turn

For example, a cruiser that used 5 movement points last turn may move between 3 and 7 movement points this turn (assuming it has enough movement points).  Ships that are currently moving faster than their maximum speed due to battle damage sustained automatically lose 1 point of speed each turn until they are within their maximum.  As long as the ship has any movement points remaining, movement orders may be given to the damaged ship to slow its movement more quickly, if desired.
Crossing the 'T'
Warship armor belts and torpedo defenses are less effective against shells and torpedoes striking from the front or rear of the ship. Whenever the firing ship is in the forward or aft arc of the target ship, the firing ship gains +1 to penetration rolls on successful shell and torpedo hits. However, the narrower aspect of the ship and greater rate of closure (or departure) the target is a more difficult target to hit.

All shooting (gunfire or torpedo) takes a +1 penalty to the target number when attacking from the forward or aft arc of the target ship.

Laying Smoke
Destroyers and light cruisers have the option of laying smoke during their move.  In order to lay smoke, write SM in front of the ships movement orders for the turn.  Indicate smoke

has been laid by placing smoke markers behind the ship as it moves.  You will need two different colors of smoke markers.  Place one marker of each color at the stern of the ship before it starts its move, then place one marker of each color at the stern of the ship after its move is completed.  Fill in the gap between the two markers following the ship's line of movement with several markers of each color. The markers dont have to be edge to edge, but the line of the smoke trail must be clearly discernible in both colors of smoke marker.
During the pick up smoke markers step of the end phase, pick up all smoke markers of one color. Alternate the color that is picked up each turn.  In this way, each turn you will pick up half the smoke markers of the current turn, plus the remaining smoke markers that were not picked up the prior turn.
Line of sight cannot be drawn through ay line of smoke markers.  Gunfire and torpedo attacks are not possible through smoke.

Nationality Bonuses:

Magnetic Exploders During the early war period (1939 1942), when rolling to hit with torpedoes from any source (ship, sub, aircraft), all odd to hit rolls on the dice are treated as misses.  Thus, against a target number of 7, a die roll of 9 still counts as a miss.

If the roll would normally provide a chance for a follow-up attack (see Torpedo Resolution in Chapter 3 Shooting), the player is still entitled to make the follow-up attack.

Advanced Radar U.S. radar was sufficiently advanced to allow for completely blind fire. U.S. ships with fire control type RDR are able to make gunfire attacks through smoke and have a 40” target limit (instead of 20”) during night battles.


Night Fighting Skills – Ships with fire control type JPN receive a – 1 bonus to the target number needed to hit during night battles. This applies to both gunfire and torpedo attacks.

Powerful Torpedoes – Japanese 24” torpedoes receive a +1 bonus to torpedo penetration rolls.

Night Battles

When the engagement occurs at night, the following restrictions are in place:

Visibility is limited to 20”.  Without a special nationality bonus rule that grants an exception, no ship may be targeted outside this range.

Range modifiers for all attacks are doubled. Attacks at short range receive a +1


Ships on fire may be targeted normally and shooting at them is treated in all respects

as if the night battles rules were not in effect

Unreliable Radar

Radar technology during World War 2 was primitive in design and frequently operated by inexperienced users.  When using this rule, proceed through the shooting steps as normal. However, before any ship equipped with fire control type RDR shoots its main battery, make a command check for that ship modified by its crew rating. If the command check is failed, the ship is treated as though it had fire control type STD for that turn.

When radar is being used to blind fire during night battles or through lines of smoke, a failed command check means that the declared targets are no longer valid. Any fire declared against targets that are no longer valid is forfeited.  The attacker has lost track of the enemy on his radar plot, and checks his fire until he can verify the target.

 I am not yet sure how balanced the scenario will play out.  Based on points it is even without Nagato, but you really cannot count Hiryu as she is more of an objective and cannot launch air strikes.  I added Nagato which balances out the points, but I think she might be held in reserve and released if the IJN is doing very poorly as she was not really part of the Pearl Harbor Stike force.

I guess time will tell and I will be sure to post a AAR after the event.

The optional rules included in the above sceanrio are right out of the NAval Thunder rules.  If you are not familiar with Naval Thunder you can check it out here:

They have some great deals on bundle packs right now if you are like me and want it all.  They are currently my go to rules for Naval Warfare of all periods Pre-dreads through WWII.


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