|A nice photo of a Harpoon missile launch to get everyone in the missile mood|
Everyone began arriving at my place around 9:00 AM and we spent the next hour catching up on things, talking about the projects we are all working on and planning, and munching on some breakfast snacks.
After a short review of all the rules (probably too short), the teams moved to their own areas to talk over how they would allocate their discretionary spending money to upgrade their fleets. The upgrades list included modifications for their ships, special armaments, and even spying on the enemy. Both sides picked some obvious upgrades, such as buying some air-launched surface to surface missiles for their strike planes, to some less obvious ones like improving the silencing on some submarines to make them harder to detect.
With the pre-game spending done, each side created task groups with ships and assigned them to the scenario and reserve areas. This is where the players did something that I didn’t really expect. During the setup, they asked if they needed to allocate a task group to each scenario area, I said no (I should have said yes). So, instead of planning to fight three battles, each side allocated a token force to their home scenario area and piled all their other ships into Avalon Strait. This meant that the Battle of Avalon Strait would decide the whole campaign. For the Battle of Avalon Strait, Big Blue brought their cruiser and all their frigates to the battle, splitting the ships into two task groups. Great Red brought their modern frigates and missile boats, split into two task groups, and their two extra quiet submarines. Both sides also put up four planes on Combat Air Patrol (CAP) over the strait. The surface task groups started on the edges of the strait, while the submarines set up in the middle of the board.
|Blue frigate task group|
|Blue cruiser task group|
|One of the Red mixed frigate-missile boat groups|
|Red players moving their ships|
|Blue groups done moving|
|Blue airstrikes not hitting much|
|Red helicopters lead the formation|
|Blue helicopters start their sub hunt|
|Opposing forces continue to close (sorry for the fuzzy photo)|
|Blue's cruiser sinking after torpedo hits|
|The other Red sub sinks a frigate|
|One more Blue frigate takes torpedo hits (with the failed morale die in the background)|
|The Commander of the Blue frigate group orders "All ahead, flank speed."|
|A Red missile boat goes down (the first ship loss for Red)|
|A Red frigate take missile hits|
|Return fire sinks two Blue frigates|
|Both sides move into pistol range|
|More Red ships close for attack|
|More Blue ships take hits, while more Red missile boats move in from the right|
Both sides agreed that there were things they would have done differently if they had known more about how the game would play out, so maybe there will be some interest in using the Seastrike system again for a rematch. The system is pretty easy to understand and provides clear results.
|The 2017 DANG crew|