Friday, September 8, 2017

Oshkosh Game Day

Just for our group, the Fox Valley Wargamers.  We had different gaming interests last Sunday so we went to our favorite shop, Adventure Games in Oshkosh, WI and used two of their tables.  One for a Russo-Japanese War game and another a mid-war Flames of War North Africa game.

The RJW game was the historic action at Port Arthur immediately following the Japanese "sneak attack."  Rules were Naval Thunder: Rise of the Battleship.  The Flames of War had slightly less than 100 points of Germans and British squaring off.

An "annihilation" battle, much of what you see wasn't on table yet.

Battleships leading, cruisers following.  Russians at zero movement.
The action was the Japanese attack on Port Arthur the morning of their destroyer attack on the anchored Russian fleet.  While the Japanese did not immediately know, two of the battleships and one armored cruiser were "hors de combat" and could not fight.  The others had steam up and could begin moving on turn 1.  Historically Togo formed two columns of major ships and ran in close before the Russians could make much speed, daring the shore batteries (marked on the table with thumbtacks).

Russians slowly getting underway.  Advantage lost.
We quickly found that outside of 20" it wasn't practical to shoot.  So the long range plan of Togo would be for naught.  It also negated the Japanese range advantage with main guns.

Battle is joined.  Game mat is gorgeous.
Both sides had recon to do an initial move forward, but soon came under heavy fire from large numbers of tanks on both sides, particularly the British as their tanks are much cheaper than German.

Wasting no time starting fires.
The British pushed on their left and tried to hold in the center.  The Germans had no trouble hitting the British armor, but had a lot of trouble blowing them up (fire-power test).

Closing the range, Japanese AC prepare to attack.
My command was the three Japanese armored cruisers.  Six Japanese battleships squared off against five functional Russian, three armored cruisers and the shore batteries.  I left off a Japanese cruiser division for play balance.  I thought the shore batteries would have a significant effect, but I was wrong.  Historically Togo was very concerned about them.

Germans can't buy a firepower test.  Lots of hits, little destruction.
The Germans began to be whittled down as the British made critical dice throws when they really needed them.

Taking evasive action while trying to close to torpedo range.
I had considered giving the Russians a -1 to hit due to their historic abysmal record, but nothing was needed today as the Russian dice were colder than a glacier.  Only the Japanese damage control rolls were keeping them in the game.

An engine room hit forced one AC to fall back, but the Russians
are all tangled up and masking each other.

And then they were over.  The Petropavlosk got a second severe list result and rolled over and sank.  The rest of the fleet began to run for the inner harbor.  On the other hand, as we rolled out the damage results even though the game is over, both the Mikasa and Fuji succumbed to flooding results.  This information would not be known to the Russians immediately though, so they would likely stay in port.

The Germans were cleaned off the table in the other game.  I didn't witness the end but one turn they were fighting and the next they were picking up.  Both players seemed satisfied however.

Seven players gathered to roll dice and Adventure Games were fine hosts as always, providing the tables.  Till next time!


  1. FYI: The Russians weren't "tangled up". :) That's how long it took us to complete a fleet turn moving at 2-4" per turn and starting in two columns. By the time we were out of out pre game formation the game was over. At the point of the "tangled" picture I deliberately kept the CAs behind the BBs because while you were at short or medium range I would have been at long. I was waiting until you got closer (only to find the 6" shells would bounce off your armor if they hit at all). --Dan

    1. The Russians were deployed as they were historically. The Japanese we allowed the option of making a mistake. And in the end the "score" was 2:1 in the Russian's favor.

  2. Gosh that 2D terrain cloth(?) is superior-looking!
    Is the mesa 3D? If so colors are coordinated with the mat very well.
    The poor Russkis.
    Thank you Michael,
    Bill P.

    1. The base is a vinyl mat, the hills are 3D. They have the mats for sale at the shop, but I regret I don't know the brand.

  3. Gorgeous all around. Sounds like both games would have been a blast! (Pun intended...) Cheers!