04 January 2009

Drumbeat 2009

Yesterday, I played in my first game of General Quarters 3 at Drumbeat, a nice but small historical-only gaming event in Seattle. Mark Serafin braved adversities to show up and run this event.

The scenario was a training scenario, just to get people up on the rules. There were six players - 2 Japanese and 1 German vs. 1 US, 1 British, and 1 Dutch (me!). Each player had three ships: 1 light cruiser or large destroyer and 2 smaller destroyers. The Dutch force consisted of: Java, Kortenaer, and Witte de Withe.

Here are my three ships, GHQ Models I believe and expertly painted by David Sullivan.

The game starts - Java leads the way. HMS Penelope is close astern as we pass close to an island.

German destroyers off the port bow! We started the game at a really close range, and in the name of simplicity the visibility rules were not used. The action got hot immediately - the Germans received fire from my division and the Brits. The US destroyers were waaaaaaaay behind us, and the Japanese forces were not this close! Java was able to damage the lead German DD, and she had some luck in the return fire - Java was hit twice, but each hit was against a non-existent system (TT launcher in this instance), in effect no damage was done. Kortenaer (second in the Dutch line) was not so lucky - she suffered an Engineering hit, reducing her max speed and lost one of her two TT launchers.

The Royal Navy division - Penelope leads 2 H-class (?) DD. Minis by GHQ and well-painted by Mark Serafin.

A little later in the game - Java (and Kortenaer) in the bottom right corner, the two remaining Germans heading away, two Japanese groups (in the top center), and the Brits. The US force is somewhere off-pic to the left (!). Witte de Withe has sunk earlier, previously undamaged, by a German torp. The lead German DD was sunk by concentrated Dutch and Brit gunfire and a Brit torp. The British force is taking massive damage from very close range fire by the two Japanese flotillas. In the pic you see blue poker chips; Mark uses these to cover the torpedo launches.

A Japanese flotilla closing in on Java. The torpedo launch chips astern the Japanese have sunk Kortenaer and things look grim for the Dutch. I'm not going down without a fight though! Java has a lot of guns, and can dish out a lot of damage at close range. The Japanese CL gets peppered by a broadside, and is severely damaged. In the exchange, Java gets scraped paint and splinters (more hits on non-existent systems).

Java turns to starboard to keep the maximum amount of weapons on target. Off the pic, off Java's bow is the late-arriving US division. I decide to turn in and follow the US ships, although I should just open the range.

Here is what I get for following the US destroyers - a spread of 3 US torps heading directly towards me! The torps were intended for the Japanese flotilla, but I plotted my move just perfectly to intercede. Fortunately the torps missed; gave me quite a scare though!

Soon after this, we had to pick up the game. I had a blast! I really like the way that General Quarters has been improved in its third edition - I ordered a copy of the WW1 version later that night.

Many thanks to Mark Serafin, for coming to Drumbeat despite his troubles; and thanks to the other players - Chuck (Japanese), Jeroen (Japanese), Dantae (German, and perhaps 12 years old), Dale (US), and the Brit player whose name I did not note.


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