I love this particular period and in my opinion it is where Naval Thunder really excels as a rule set. It is simple and fast moving and allows for larger scenarios which is great for a convention setting. I decided on the Battle of Tsushima 1905 as I have the complete OoB for the Russo-Japanese war and I had not run this particular battle in many years.
|Japanese fleet sails into action|
|Russian Main Battle line|
|Russian 2nd Pacific Fleet|
|Full Japanese Fleet steams to intercept|
|Admiral Togo aboard Mikasa|
Admiral Togo commanding the Japanese fleet aboard the Mikasa sighted the Russians on the evening of May 26th and the Battle of Tsushima commenced the following day.
Historically the battle was another devastating loss for the Russians. They lost all their battleships and most of the cruisers to battle of being scuttled by the crew. Three Cruisers escaped to Manila to be interred by the United States and only one cruiser and two destroyers made it to Vladivosok. 4,380 men died and another 5.917 were captured while 1862 were interned.
In comparison, the Japanese only lost 3 torpedo boats with 117 men killed and another 500 wounded.
Tsushima proved to be a route and a glorious victory for Togo and the Japanese which essentially ended the war with the peace being settled finally in September of 1905.
The Players were challenged with changing history, which essentially happened in both scenarios we played over the weekend. I am not going to provide a complete battle report for both games, but will give a summary along with the photos for each.
Friday's Battle:The first session started at 1 PM on Friday and was sold out. One player was a no show, so Mike took command of one of the Japanese cruiser divisions.
In the battle Friday the Russians took an early lead delivering some hard blows to the Japanese early one of which even resulted in a magazine explosion.
|Cruiser fight develops|
|Cruisers exchange Torps|
|Casualties start to mount|
|Russian Battle line moves to engage|
|Remnants of fallen ships|
|Russian destroyer closing in on giant prey|
|Russian line looks to slip past the Japanese fleet|
|Japanese fleet still intact, but severely bloodied|
In the end, when time expired they Russians had sustained heavy damage, but none of the two main battle line were damaged while the Japanese had sustained almost as many casualties and two of the four battleships were damaged with ongoing issues.
As a result all agreed this day would go to the Russians and it was unlikely the Japanese would be able to stop many of the Russian capital ships from limping to Vladivostok.
While the flotilla did seem a bit over powered sue to the rule modification we did not feel it effected the final outcome as the Japanese did not focus fire on them until it was to late and they would have still been able to attack. Either way the Japanese fleet was out of position.
Sundays Battle:Sunday's game started at 9 AM. Again we had a full table of ten players and this time Mike did not play, he just helped judge. The only change we made to the scenario was using the torpedo rule as written where each class of ship launches in their respective fire phase.
|Some skillful sailing in line abreast|
|Svyetlana and Destroyers find themselves in the middle of the Japanese line|
|Russian battle line moving into range|
|Cruisers in line abreast|
|Russian destroyers wreak havoc|
|Battle lines exchange fire|
|Casualties begin to mount|
|Fires erupt in the chaos of battle|
|Coastal Battleship represent well|
|Japanese battleships in line abreast|
|Japanese destroyers close in|
|Russian Flagship gets punished|
|As the Knyaz Survorov slips beneath the waves the Oslyabya battles fires and floods|
|Russians end in a general state of disarray|
This concludes the trilogy for my Russo-Japanese War reports. Although separated by many years you can go back and look at my previous reports for Battle of Yellow Sea and Ulsan. The only other major action would be the attack on Port Arthur and I am not sure how I would game that.
Battle of the Yellow Sea:
Battle of Ulsan:
I really enjoyed getting the fleets out again. In case you are wondering the majority of the models are from Panzerschiffe (see favorite vendors), mounted on 3' x 1" metal bases. I then added the masts to all the ships using piano wire. This is a very affordable option to get into the hobby as the most expensive ship is only $4.00. Adding the masts was a long and painstaking task, but really makes the models pop.
|Russian Battleship Oslyabya|
I like the metal bases dues to the fact that I use magnetic storage boxes and my preference if for the ships to sit flat on the table. This does require very delicate handling tough. If I continue to bring these fleets to conventions though I many fashion some thicker acrylic bases that can be magnetically attached to the existing base bottom so they can be more easily grasped which is the cause of the issue. A raised base will be more practical for these events and likely result in fewer damaged ships.
I am definitely looking forward to getting these fleets along with my other pre-dreadnaughts out again sooner rather than later. I really enjoy this period of naval history and the Naval Thunder rules really shine for any engagements up through WWII which are gun fights.
Hopefully you will see more naval posts in the near future.