With the weather finally turning better and with various COVID restrictions, I decided to plan for an outdoor game. I ordered a pop-up shelter and found a good spot on the front lawn to set it up. I put out the invite to a small group for July 4th. Several people already had plans (not surprising), but I had three takers for the game.
|pop-up shelter and gaming tables ready to go|
Since I was hosting, I wanted to get my recently acquired French 1/1250 ships into some action. After going over ship lists from the participants, I came up with a scenario. Basically, the American's are enforcing the Monroe Doctrine, while Europeans (in this situation, France and Germany) are looking out for their own interests in the Caribbean. This battle had scouting forces from a combined Franco-German squadron meeting up with the Americans off Haiti. We were using the Fire When Ready rules, with a couple modifications to the damage values to beef up the cruisers staying-power. With masks on and maintaining distance as best as possible, we were ready for some gaming.
|French cruisers preparing for action|
The French part of combined squadron was made up of the cruisers Dupuy de Lome and Amiral Charner. The Germans contributed the cruisers Kaiserine Augusta and Arcona.
|German cruisers Kaiserine Augusta (right) and Arcona (left)|
The American force consisted of the cruisers New York, Olympia, Detroit, and Tacoma.
|American cruisers heading into action|
The game started with both sides closing in. The French got in the first hits on the lead American cruisers. Then Franco-German force then split up to go around the island in the center of the board.
|Germans split off to get into the action|
The Americans concentrated fire on the French, doing some heavy damage to both cruisers and knocking out the helmsman on the Amiral Charner (the second cruiser in line). The French returned the favor, doing heavy damage to both New York and Olympia.
As the Germans cleared the island, they concentrated their fire on New York, while the French fired at Olympia and the trailing cruiser Tacoma.
|Americans caught in the cross-fire|
The Germans fire wrecked New York, causing the American to have to dodge the sinking ship.
|New York wrecked and sinking as the Americans move around it|
The French fire then wrecked Tacoma and jammed the rudder on Olympia. Olympia was able to clear the jam later, just before running into the land in the upper left of the image below.
American return fire wrecked Arcona. But with heavy damage and out-numbered 3-2, the Americans decided to break off the action.
|Arcona (lower center) also sinking|
With the battle done, we did a little show & tell and talked over various rules and other things. We even raised a properly socially-distanced pint to our friends in the UK to celebrate the re-opening of pubs there (okay, not really, but we did enjoy some beer because naval wargaming is thirsty work).
|As it says on the can "We like beer" |
Overall the outdoor gaming worked fine. There wasn't much wind and the pop-up shelter kept us out of the sun. With the current restrictions on stores and large gatherings, I expect to plan a few more lawn games over the rest of the summer (weather permitting).