Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Pacific 1943 - A Quick Banzai

 It's morning and visibility is restricted by early mist. A squadron of four destroyers of the IJN patrol the New Georgia Sound off the south coast of Santa Isabel in the Solomon Islands....deck hockey is in progress.

They cruise along at 18 knots in no wind. Two 5 inch destroyers lead 'Asagiri' and 'Sagiri' followed by two six inch destroyers 'Minegumo' and 'Kasumi'.
 The formation is in staggered file. The captains team lose the inter-squadron deck hockey championship and the entertainments officer is ritually beheaded by the purser...all good clean fun.
 While the party atmosphere continues the asdic and AA over watch keep their eyes peeled for trouble. A couple of months ago the Japanese fell back from Guadalcanal and the USN is very active in this area.

 This day the IJN is tasked with patrolling to the eastern end of Santa Isabela followed by a sweep out to sea on their way back.

 They are just passing the 'half-way-down-the-island' mark when they spot a small tsunami coming out of the mist....(I must get that fixed)
 ...nothing these ships can't handle...
 Suddenly they are cleared for action as a squadron of three flights of B25's swoop down for a bomb run (leading look out ritually beheaded).
 Supported by a Grumman Hellcat flight...someone has seen the Japs approaching...
 The B52's drop a large wooden block which misses the squadron completely...

 Lead bomb aimer get a size 10 boot up his backside...and a stoppage of his gum ration.
 Jap AA opens up and is rapid and accurate...
 The bombers start to take heavy casualties...
 ...and are driven off eastwards back to their base.
 Near miss, but no damage, but this is not the bombers but a US Fletcher class destroyer appearing, as if by magic, out of the mist ahead.
 Asagiri replies but it's a miss.
 The top cover appears...and so does the rest of the US flotilla.
 Four Fletcher class destroyers and a cruiser appear and start swapping shells. 'Asagiri' is hit and is dead in the water. Damage control parties fight to save the ship. 'Sagiri' swings past the stricken vessel and tries to cover her presenting a broad side to the enemy.
 Zigzagging, the point US vessel swings away from nearly grounding...
 The rest of the squadron come up in support.
 The IJN squadron goes to full speed ahead for a nautical banzai charge...
 The cruiser hangs back leaving the action to the destroyer screen...
 ...while she looks after the transports landing a Regimental Combat Team (Infantry Brigade) onshore.
 The damage control parties aboard the 'Asagiri' do sterling work and make two knots (in reverse) making smoke...(chief engineer ritually beheaded...for reversing)
 US cruiser makes speed to assist...
 At this point in the game everyone went nuts and all decided to fire torpedoes.
'It's you.'
 In the middle of the action a 3rd rate deck hand won the lottery and punched the XO for joy.
 Everybody was kungfoo fighting...
 The IJN had the skill (according to me and Ross san) or luck (according to hop-a-long Colin and Buffalo Billy) in launching accurate torpedo fire this day.
 Three US destroyers were sunk and one damaged for one IJN destroyer sunk and one damaged...
 The cruiser peeled off... the transports had done the job landing the troops. The IJN couldn't follow up their local victory so the commander committed Hara-kiri in celebration.

Stewart's fast play Naval rules gave a good feel to this game and we're all looking forward to a rematch...maybe Narvik 1940.


  1. Looks like a great set up and a fun game too! Are these Axis & Allies war at sea ships with 1/144th scale airplanes?


  2. Sorry, I've no idea. I think the aircraft are 1/300th scale but I don't know about the boats. Glad you liked it.

  3. Excellent write-up. I should be ritually beheaded for laughing so hard.

    How do you get the "water" to look like that? I use a blue textured tablecloth for my naval games...

    Looking forward to Narvik.



  4. The water was a unintended, but really fortuitous, piece of luck. I wanted to be able to dig anywhere on the sand table and get to water so, we painted the base of it with blue exterior gloss paint (Dulux, I'm pretty sure)and chucked in the sand, when it was dry of course. Saves making rivers and coast line for the most part. The mottled sea effect is because the base of the table is 8x2 chip board and however many coats you apply the texture show through.

  5. Thanks, that was a very entertaining AAR.