Operation Morvarid was a little different for me in that the order of battle and mission was set for each side. I usually like to mix things up by having players select their forces and/or missions for a game, but this time I just went with some limitations for each side.
The scenario was that the Iranians had just completed a raid on some Iraqi oil terminals, the Iranians are trying to withdraw from the area while the Iraqis are trying to intercept them. The Iranians started out with the LST, a patrol boat, two Kaman class missile boats, and an AB-212 helicopter. The problem for the Iranians was the missile boats each only had two Harpoon missiles and they were pretty sure there would be more than four Iraqi boats. The Iraqis had four missile boats (two Osa Is and two Osa IIs) and two P-6 torpedo boats. While they had plenty of missiles (16 total), I added a special rule that said because of their poor training, any missile shot outside of visual range would be treated as a snapshot (this incurs a hefty negative modifier for shooting).
The Iranian LST and patrol boat had to start about in the middle of the board, while the missile boats could set up anywhere and all the ships were trying to exit off the south end of the board. The Iraqis entered on the north board edge, but could delay entry and come on the east side (moving one foot south for each turn of delay). Each side also had a fishing trawler that could act as dummies, adding to the ‘Fog of War’. The only terrain on the board was a small rain squall that blocked visual line of sight. The Iranians placed all of their ships near each other in the center of the board and the Iraqis had one pair of missile boats enter on turn one, while the other boats raced down the east side of the board.
As soon as they saw the blips on the north, the Iranians sent their helicopter (armed with a couple rocket pods and a machine gun) to investigate. The helicopter spotted the two Osa I missile boats and fired off a rocket pod at the nearest one damaging it. The Iraqis returned fire with some shoulder launched SAMs. Unfortunately for the Iraqis, both missiles missed.
|SAMs fired at the helicopter.|
|A bad day for this Osa.|
|The near collision between the Iranian patrol boat and LST.|
At this point the game became a real chase with the Iraqi boats trying to chase down the LST and the remaining Iranian missile boat trying to stop them. The Kaman fired off its last missile at an Osa, which returned the favor by firing missiles back. The Harpoon missed its mark, but the Styx didn't, damaging the Kaman. The Osa captain then decided to finish off both damaged Kamans with its remaining missiles. With time running out (the LST was poised to exit the board), the remaining Osa launched all four missiles at the Large Slow Target.
|LST under attack.|
Everybody seemed to have a good time and I distributed prize packs of missile markers from Fight's On to the players (thanks to Rob at Fight's On for sending me the prizes). I really like how the missile markers look with games (as you can see from the photos) and the players were happy to get their own.
Unlike the morning game, the South Pacific scenario had lots of choices for both sides. The Japanese were on a resupply mission that had to exit off the southeast board edge and could choose their forces from a group of large ships or smaller ships and barges. The Japanese selected a destroyer (instead of two sub chasers), a minesweeper loaded with supplies (instead of a group of barges), and a group of four barges with air cover from a Pete floatplane (instead of an LST). The American mission was to pick up a Marine recon team that had been observing the Japanese forces on the island in preparation for an invasion and they could choose from groups of sub chasers (with working radar), PT boats, and LCM gunboats. They chose to go with the PT boats (foregoing the radar-equipped sub chasers) and the LCM gunboats (instead of lightly armed, but fast converted PT boats). Interestingly, the LCM gunboats had the heaviest guns on the American side, each with a 3-inch gun and a pair of 37mm cannon. In addition to the island at terrain, the small rain squall made an appearance in this game too.
The game started with the Americans entering on the east board edge and the Japanese on the west. Like the Operation Morvarid game, I used the blip markers to help hide which ships were going where and included a couple dummy markers for each side.
The Japanese destroyer and minesweeper initially stayed in the middle of the board to help cover the barges and so they didn’t have to worry about running aground. The barges hugged the shoreline, while the Pete scouted ahead. The American PT boats also stuck to the middle of the board, while the LCMs moved close to shore.
The PT boats sighted the destroyer at about the same time that the Pete picked out their wakes. The PT boats made a dash for the rain squall to hide and set up an attack on the destroyer, discovering the minesweeper as they moved into the squall. Searchlights turned on and gunfire erupted as the two sides closed with each other. One PT boat was hit pretty hard as the others lined up for torpedo shots on the Japanese ships. The LCM gunboats spotted the Japanese minesweeper and started attacking with their 3-inch guns, which surprised the Japanese players. The 3-inch guns started a fire on the minesweeper as it was trying to avoid a torpedo spread, but the torpedoes caught the stern of the ship, sending to to the bottom.
|Minesweeper in trouble.|
|Japanese barges burning.|
|LCM gunboats pick up the Marines.|
|Japanese destroyer trying to avoid torpedoes.|
The Japanese lost their minesweeper and all the barges, while the destroyer escaped with heavy damage. The Americans lost two PT boats and had another heavily damaged, but they were able to pick up the Marines and stop the Japanese, so they were awarded the victory.