Sunday, August 30, 2020

Battle of the Yalu River

Over the past couple months we've been discussing games to play while the weather is still good. John and David both have some of the old 1/1000 scale Houston's Ships for the Battle of the Yalu River (1894) and with the 126th anniversary of the battle only a couple weeks away, it seemed like a good time to pull them out. So this week's outdoor gaming event was the Battle of the Yalu River 1894 using the Fire When Ready rules

Chinese battleships and cruiser prepare for action

We did a little show and tell before the start of the game and then got things going. The Chinese had 14 ships, including two battleships, but all the ships were older did not have very good guns. We split the Chinese into 4 groups and they entered the map from one edge in line-abreast formation.

Chinese entering the table

The Japanese fleet of 12 ships was more modern (except for a few older ships), but mostly smaller guns. They entered in a line-ahead formation led by the four cruisers of the flying squadron.

Japanese moving in
The shooting started with the Chinese making lots of water splashes, but doing little damage.

The Japanese flying squadron gets doused
Initially the Japanese return fire concentrated on the older cruisers and gunboats, wrecking that side of the Chinese fleet.
Japanese gunfire wrecks an old cruiser
As the ranges closed the Chinese gunfire and damage improved, but so did the Japanese attacks.
Japanese cruiser Takachiho catches fire
Another Chinese cruiser is wrecked

Damage was accumulating on both sides. Damage was slowing the Chinese battleships, but it was looking like the Chinese cruisers would be able to make it off the board edge. Then the first Chinese battleship took enough damage to become wrecked.

Chinese battleship wrecked
Chinese cruisers headed for the board edge

The Japanese flying squadron also took a beating with all the ships becoming wrecked over the next two turns. But they did wreck the other Chinese battleship.

Two cruiser wrecked the third limps by, but is wrecked on this turn
The last flying squadron cruiser is wrecked

The second Chinese battleship succumbs to damage
Even with the loss of the flying squadron, the Japanese main fleet had enough ships to finish off the remaining Chinese cruisers before they could escape.
The Japanese main fleet finishes off the Chinese

With the last of the Chinese ships wrecked, we called it a game. A decisive Japanese victory. While the Chinese lost all their ships, they did manage to put the Japanese flying squadron out of action, so they did better than their historical counterparts. Overall it was another fun game of Fire When Ready. 


I'm hoping to finish out the summer with a few more games. The weather for the area normally stays good through the end of September. So that gives us around four more weeks of outdoor gaming opportunities.


  1. The rules were easy to learn and fun to play. Best of all, the company was awesome. Thanks for hosting Dave!

  2. Very impressive gaming with beautiful ships, Dave. I do like the era - in fact, my maternal grandfather grew up in this period - before escaping to Hawaii at the turn of the last century.

    1. The ships are really nice. John and David did a good job with them. We'll have to figure out a way to get you involved the next time we game with the Japanese.