I'm finally getting a chance to write about the NHMGS Enfilade convention that was held over the weekend and, as usual, it was a good time. It was nice to see a lot of the people that I only see once a year and see what they have been up to.
The two Thunderboats games Kevin and I ran went off without any major issues. The Friday night Enfilade Cup race saw some amazing die rolling by David Sullivan to pull out the win. Sunday's historical 1965 Gold Cup race was a lot of fun (although I'll admit that I was fading a bit by the time it finished). I think (hope) Kevin got some good pictures of the races and you should be able to see those at his blog soon.
My North Korea vs. South Korea naval game was played out on Saturday afternoon. Before the game, I picked up some Fights On missile markers for the game. I had a full slate of six players for the game, none of whom has ever played the Bulldogs Away! rules. So my first challenge was to explain the rules and concepts to everyone and then to divide them up into North and South and let them look at their missions.
The North Korean players had the chance to select their mission for the game. The choices for the mission were: 1) to help a small spy ship get out of South Korean waters and off the north end of the map, OR 2) to destroy all the South Korean ships on the map.
Being wargamers at a convention, they went with option 2, which gave them two Sinpo (P-6) torpedoes boats, two Chong Jin gunboats, two Cha Ho rocket gunboats, two Sohung (Chinese Komar) missile boats, and a hidden small submarine (the players didn't get to move the sub, but told me where they wanted it).
The South Korean had their four Chamsuri gunboats and two Pae Ku missile boats. They were also told that there may be submarines operating in the area and, since their ships didn't carry any anti-submarine weapons, that there was a SH-70 helicopter available to go after any subs they spotted. In addition to their normal patrol orders, the South Koreans also had the option of going on a special 'revenge mission' where they were given permission to attack without warning to destroy all the North Korean ships in the area. However, they were told that if any North Koreans escaped the map to report what had happened that government would deny that the orders to attack had been given and the captains would likely be prosecuted. The South Koreans chose to stick with a standard patrol.
Both sides set up near the sea border and were in radar contact at the start of the game. After the first move, the two Sinpo torpedo boats were in normal visibility range of a pair of Chamsuri gunboats. Even though he hadn't crossed the border yet, the North Korean player decided to fire torpedoes at the gunboats. So, battle was joined right away as the South Koreans returned fire and set one of the torpedo boats on fire (I expected the North Koreans would try to get closer before attacking, but I guess they wanted to get into action right away).
On the other edge of the map, the two Chong Jin gunboats started shooting at the other pair of Chamsuri gunboats. Each side wrecked one of the opposite side's boats.
The North Koreans sent the Cha Ho rocket gunboats to support the Chong Jin gunboats. One of the Cha Ho boats fired its Salvo Rocket Launcher (SRL) at the wrecked Chamsuri, sinking the damaged boat (this was the first casualty of the game).
Meanwhile, the Pae Ku missile boats were trying to track down a couple of fishing boats. The North Koreans got to move the fishing boats (although they were limited in the actions they could take) and the South Koreans were concerned that they may be armed or be some part of the North Korean mission. The lookouts on Pae Ku boats also reported seeing periscopes near the fishing boats (these were actually false sightings, but the submarine was waiting for the Pae Ku boats to get closer). The South Koreans called for their helicopter support, but sent it to the wrong area.
The Sinpo torpedo boat that was on fire was finally able to put out the fire, but not before his partner was torn apart by 40mm and Sea Vulcans on the South Korean boats. The remaining torpedo boat headed for the center of the map to join up with the other North Koreans.
The two Sohung missile boats moved into the area and decided to try and target the Pae Ku missile boats. Once the Styx missiles were in the air, the South Koreans decided it was time to retaliate with their own Harpoon missiles.
The North Korean missiles missed through a combination of poor maintenance (there was a special roll to see if the missiles would actually work), decoys, and bad luck. Unfortunately for the Sohung boats, the Harpoons didn't share the same bad luck.
The North Korean ships were able to damage two more Chamsuri gunboats and one of the Pae Ku boats, but all the North Korean ships had taken damage and things were turning against them. Just as the South Koreans were closing in for the kill, the North Korean sub popped up its periscope and launched a couple guided torpedoes. One torpedo missed (the North Koreans had some bad luck) while the other hit a Chamsuri, but only ended up wrecking the boat.
The North Koreans were pretty much out options at this point, since the main guns on all their remaining ships were knocked out. One boat decided to try to escape, while two others decided they would try to ram the damaged South Korean boats. But they found that it was hard to ram when the other guys were still maneuvering.
In the end the North Koreans lost seven of their eight boats, while the South Korean lost one, but two others were in bad shape and another had heavy damage.
All of the players said they enjoyed the game and asked where I got the ships and rules (I'm hoping they will buy some ships to encourage Dave G. at PT Dockyard to work on some more modern boats). Overall it was a fun game to put on.