Thursday, June 2, 2011

Enfilade Recap Part 2: My Games

For Enfilade 2011, I ran my games on Saturday morning and afternoon. The morning game was Operation Morvarid, covering a missile boat action during the Iran – Iraq War, and the afternoon game was South Pacific Nights, covering a hypothetical World War II engagement between American and Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands.

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.
The helicopter fired off its other rocket pod, sinking the damaged Osa and headed off to investigate some other radar blips. The Iranian missile boats turned north to engage the remaining Osa, each firing a Harpoon missile. The Osa captain saw the incoming missiles and decided it would be better to fire blind than to (probably) sink with missiles still onboard and launched his missiles at different targets. Two went toward the Iranian Kamans (whcih had revealed themselves) and the other two went at the blips he thought were most likely the LST and patrol boat.
A bad day for this Osa.
The Osa captain guessed correctly and his boat was plastered by the Harpoons, but he had hope to do some damage to the enemy. Two of his rolls were misses, but then his dice got hot and he hit one of the Kaman missile boats causing heavy damage and caused light damage to the patrol boat. The patrol boat also suffered a "confusion at the helm" critical hit, forcing it to make a starboard turn and almost collide with the LST.
The near collision between the Iranian patrol boat and LST.
Meanwhile, on the eastern board edge, the torpedo boats and remaining Osas were entering. The helicopter spotted the two P-6 torpedo boats and decided to strafe them. His shot did light damage to one torpedo boat, but the 23mm guns on the boats took out the helicopters engine, sending it into the drink.

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.
Unfortunately for the Iraqi player, all his missiles missed. The torpedo boat commander also attacked, but couldn't get any torpedo hits either. In the end, the Iranians escaped with their LST intact and a damaged patrol boat, giving them a minor victory.

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.
As the LCM gunboats continued on their mission to get the Marines, they spotted the Japanese barges. The gunboats, which had originally been heavily-armed to combat Japanese barges, opened fire on the Japanese. They showed how effective the up-gunning was by quickly sinking one barge and setting two more on fire. Eventually they would sink all the barges.
Japanese barges burning.
The LCM gunboats then turned to their primary mission, driving up to the shore and picking up the Marines.
LCM gunboats pick up the Marines.
Meanwhile the Japanese destroyer was blasting away at the PT boats. It even took a couple (ineffective) shots at the LCM gunboats, but it took a couple hits from the PT boats and gunboats that started fires on the destroyer. Unfortunately for the destroyer, it couldn’t quite turn fast enough to avoid checking for grounding and it found itself going from full speed to all stop as it hit a sand bar near the island. The destroyer captain was able to get the ship off the bar on the next turn, but this allowed the only PT boat with torpedoes remaining to line up and launch a torpedo spread.
Japanese destroyer trying to avoid torpedoes.
The destroyer was able to turn into the spread and the American player rolled poorly as the torpedoes sped by the destroyer. At this point we decided to call the game, but continued to roll to see what would happen to the fires on the destroyer. The fires were eventually extinguished, but between them and the grounding, the destroyer had lost half its hull points.

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.


  1. Dave

    Looks like a couple of great games that you put on. NIce looking boats,terrain and markers.


  2. Great stuff, Dave. Love those rocket trails! Regards, Dean