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Author Topic: Castles in the Sky: Battle Report- Tropic Thunder  (Read 502 times)

Offline Easy E

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Castles in the Sky: Battle Report- Tropic Thunder
« on: January 11, 2021, 03:31:07 PM »


Commodore Leftbridge could not believe what his spotters were calling in.  He had to see it for himself.  When he raised his own binoculars to his eyes, he could not deny it.  Seeing was believing. 

Commodore Leftbridge's small command had been cruising the Caribbean on routine patrol.  The usual stuff of rescuing would-be sailors, customs enforcement, and showing the flag with the local British citizens.  The close proximity to French colonies in the region had never really been much of an issue.   They kept to their sky ways, and the British tended to keep to theirs. 

Now however, the Frenchies looked like they were feeling a bit feisty.  The Foreign Office had cabled Leftbridge in Bermuda and let him know a new French officer was en route to station at Martinique.  The cable claimed he was hot-blooded and eager to prove himself.  They didn't say he was a looking for trouble. 

A French cruiser was now flying provocatively close to the Commodore Leftbridge's flotilla.  The question was, what to do about it.


Today's battle report is V4 Castles in the Sky play test.  I am intentionally using asymmetrical forces to see how they stack up against each other. 

Forces

Royal Navy

Arethusa Class Light Cruiser- Command 2 

Bull Finch Destroyer- Command 4

Shah Class Frigate- Command 4



L'Aire National

Gloire Class Armored Cruiser- Command 1



Mission

This is a Raiders mission with the French as the Attacker.  They are attempting to disable or destroy the Arethusa Light Cruiser.  The British are attempting to drive the French attacker away.  This game will last 6 turns. 

Set-up

We rolled for complications and terrain as normal.  Since this is in the Caribbean, it will mostly take place over ocean.  It is a 48MU x 48MU board.  1 MU = 1 inch.  We rolled up no complications. 

For terrain we rolled up an Alt 3 Mountain, two island (land based terrain with no impact), and a cloud bank at Alt 2.  We followed the terrain placement rules to place the terrain with the mountain and one island on the British side of the board, and an island and the cloud bank on the French side.



The British were in a group to the West with the Shah lagging slightly behind moving up the middle of the board at mid-altitude and speed. The French started on the Northeast side of the board, steaming towards the British at full speed and mid-altitude. 



You can rea the full recap on the Blood and Spectacles blog!  Find it here: 
https://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/2021/01/battle-report-castles-in-sky-tropic.html
Blood and Spectacles Publishing Blog:
https://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/

Free games, reviews, and discussion of Wargame design

Offline robh

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Re: Castles in the Sky: Battle Report- Tropic Thunder
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2021, 11:39:59 AM »
Tough scenario for the French.  Not seen teh rules obviously but the Torpedoes seem to be very (too?) effective. For the period they were a notoriously inaccurate weapon without having to contend with the 3rd dimension.

How do you allocate Command points?

Offline Easy E

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Re: Castles in the Sky: Battle Report- Tropic Thunder
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2021, 04:23:01 PM »
Tough scenario for the French.  Not seen teh rules obviously but the Torpedoes seem to be very (too?) effective. For the period they were a notoriously inaccurate weapon without having to contend with the 3rd dimension.

How do you allocate Command points?

As the guy controlling the French, I totally agree!  I really needed some escorts of my own!

This scenario was a test to see if Escorts were of any value, or it they would just get dominated by Cruisers and larger ships.  I think this proved their value compared to Cruisers.  I was attempting to recreating a bit of the Paper, Rock, Scissors of the WWI Naval warfare similar to this:

Escorts < Cruisers < Battleships < Escorts

You can see how it is a circular approach.  Battleships are the "best" but they can not be immune to Escorts.  It is the age old problem of Naval wargaming.  Why take escorts?  I tried to make a lot of compelling reasons to do so such as maneuver, speed, and a stand-off capability. 

Torpedoes have two major downsides to Cannons.  1. They can be thwarted by Point Defense weapons.  2. They need to re-loaded once fired.  However, they also have some advantages such as a set engagement envelope, can attack multiple targets if they miss the first in line, cause friction, and decent power.  Plus, very few ships have a strong compliment of both cannons and torpedoes.  It is usually one or the other. 

regarding Commands, it is very simple.  When you roll for Initiative you roll your Admiral's Command rating +1 for each escort in the force.  You gain a success on 4+.  The player with the most successes can choose to go first or second in Alternate Activation by phase.  In addition, each success nets the player 1 Command that they can issue at anytime during the phase.  These have benefits and drawbacks.  In addition, when a Command is issued, the Captain of the ship must also make a successful Command check to implement it. 

So, let's say the French score 2 successes.  Later, they decide to Crash Dive to try and drop out of range with their Cruiser.  They use 1 Command and issue the order.  They 1 Command left for later.  Now the Cruiser's Captain must make a successful command check for his ship to receive and implement the Command in a timely manner. 

The Captain's command rating represents his abilities, the crew's training level, the skill of his officer corps, and even communication within the ship.  There were many times in Naval battles where a small thing like not closing the magazine's bulkhead door, how the powder was loaded into a turret, or not being able to fix a critical piece of damage, led to decisive results.  This was to help try and capture that C&C piece.   

I hope my rambling made some sense!

Offline robh

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 2857
  • Spanish offworld colonies
Re: Castles in the Sky: Battle Report- Tropic Thunder
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2021, 10:39:08 PM »
Makes sense indeed, thanks for the outline of the concept, I like the idea you have there.

 

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