Note, you can see more pictures from the other events at this blog post.
This game was a later WWII coastal forces action. The Germans had a pair of S-boats that were returning from a convoy attack and a pair of M40 minesweepers that were on a mine-laying mission. The British had a group of stragglers (a merchant, tug, and HDML) from the convoy that had passed through the area and two groups of Motor Gun Boats - two Fairmile Ds (no torpedoes) and two BPB MGBs. This was my first time using the Action Stations 4.0 rules (I've been using Action Stations for coastal actions since version 1) and I wanted to use the hidden movement and spotting rules as much as possible for this game.
All the ships started out hidden and even the players on the same side weren't sure which markers were friend and which were foe.
|Contact markers with a couple rain squalls|
|The Fairmile D MGBs reveal themselves to spot the nearby markers|
|Illuminated 'Dog' Boats and Minesweepers blasting away|
|The MGBs attack the S-boats while the convoy stragglers try to get away|
|A 'Dog' boat becomes a ram boat and then a sinking boat|
|Fire bad for 'Dog' boats|
|MGB and S-boat dueling|
The Raid on St. Nazaire
This was the game that Kevin and I have been working on for some time. We had the idea to do it years ago, and considering the convention theme of "Raids," it seemed like the right time to do it. If you were following my blog, you saw photos of the work in progress and playtest to get the game to this point. Now it was show time.
In our game, the players were all part of the British forces and the game system ran the Germans. A lot of the game system rules were borrowed from the old Avalon Hill Raid on St Nazaire game, so if you've played that some things will seem familiar. I also used Action Stations 4.0 for the ship movement and most of the gunfire.
Once the terrain was set up, we briefed the players on their boats and targets, along with how to land troops and set demolition charges. With the briefing done, we let the players assign ships, confer on the plan, and make any changes as needed.
|A view of the Normandie dry dock and the rest of St Nazaire|
|A different angle on the set up|
|The British Commando force with some MGBs and HMS Campbeltown leading the way|
|Ml 160 falls out of line, on fire and sinking|
|Campbeltown and MGB 314 pass the Old Mole and head for the dry dock|
|MLs head for the landing zone near the Old Entrance while others line up near the Old Mole|
Meanwhile, Campbeltown successfully rammed the south caisson. The troops on board started the delayed action fuses that would blow up the ship, then jumped off and headed for the land targets. Since Campbeltown had made it to the caisson, MTB 74 decided to fire its delayed action fused torpedoes at the Old Entrance locks (you can see the torpedoes running in the photo below).
|Campbeltown rams the caisson|
|Demo and Assault Teams from Campbeltown head for other targets.|
|Battle at the Old Mole|
|Heavy fighting at the Old Mole|
Over the the Old Port Entrance, the teams were just starting to land. As they hit the shore they took heavy casualties from the gun emplacements on the tops of the pumphouse.
|Commandos landing at the Old Port Entrance|
Over at the Old Mole, the Commandos were able to advance into the Old Town and make their way to the Power Station to rig it for demolition. As more and more German infantry appeared, it was becoming clear that going any further would be difficult at best.
Time for the game period was running short, so we checked with the British players to see if they were ready to call it a game. We counted up the damage they had done, estimated what more damage they would do and how many troops they could possibly get out. The amount of damage done was pretty historical. However, the British lost a bunch of ships and Commandos and after adding up the victory points, we rated this as an overall loss, which was essentially the historical results.
The players all seemed to enjoy themselves (even ad they were getting shot up) and they had lots of suggestions for making the game easier for the Commandos. I did take notes on several of the suggestions and will probably add them in as options when we pull the game out again.
The convention game judges also seemed to like the game and awarded us with the Best of Period award for Sunday morning and the overall best theme game for the convention.
|Best Theme Game Award for the Raid on St. Nazaire|