Aug 16, 2015

Ships and a submarine

We've launched a mini-campaign for a submarine game. The Jackewlinese Navy's primitive submarine JRS Temmit hunts for Veudeni convoys trying to reach their overseas interests. For this purpose more targets were needed, and of course the JRS Temmit itself.

The four merchantmen come in two sizes. All of them are smaller than the previous ones I've built. They have a balsa core, paper sides and various pieces for structures on their decks.
The destroyer is also made of balsa. While the previous Veudeni cruisers were built with a plasticard bit used as the raised foredeck, on this one I've cut the lower rear areas from the 8mm piece of wood. It's a fine ship but the glossy white paint used on it sticks, it will require a layer of varnish.
The Temmit holds five torpedoes for one rear and two front tubes. The charges end up not exploding a lot of times (when they do it's a blast though, but not for the merchant crews). When submerged on the tabletop, we use the periscope to mark its current location. It has no sonar, so there is always the risk of the periscope being seen.

For the campaign, we're using a double-sided cardboard piece marked in 8x8 grids, one for the Temmit's commander and one to track convoys. The Temmit is mostly blind, only knowing the routes and the occasional snippet of intel Home Base throws at it. The number of ships in a convoy is determined by a die roll, and so is the number of escorts. During her last mission, the Temmit happened upon a six-ship convoy with two cruisers and a destroyer, but despite the odds, a small ship was sunk and another heavily damaged. I've also implemented a 'crew stress' mechanism, which requires occasional returns to Home Base despite having enough fuel to cross the board twice. 
For combat simulation, we're using the 'Mesr Wars' house rules, written for large scale naval combat, with reduced ranges for weapons as our table is too small and the floor is occupied by a way too curious dog. I will upload both the campaign rules and Mesr Wars after a complete review to be available at the 'Rules' page here.
I've run a solo game to test the mechanics: after sinking three merchantmen and damaging another beyond repair, the Temmit's sister ship was tasked with infiltrating a Veudeni naval base: she blasted away at an anchored cruiser, hitting it multiple times, but when the alarm was sounded, an old battleship and another cruiser sailed out, forcing it to a narrow channel, where the battleship's crew spotted it, and the heavy guns just finished loading, two shells from the main turret sunk the poor submarine.