Battle Scenario 5: Spilling of Ink Fall 1914
This is a hypothetical scenario pitting Battleships (BBs and Bs) from the Austria-Hungarian navy against the BBs of the Italian navy. Heavy guns and heavy armor abound, so this is sure to be a slugfest.
The dice rolls are so numerous that I’ve summarized the turns below rather than provide a lot of hit detail.
Turn 1: 24 hits on the Central Powers vs. 9 on the Italians. The CP suffered from some poor rolling as they tried to close the distance and take advantage of their starting initiative. Viribus Unitus lost a speed factor and Tegetthoff took two critical hits in a row. The CP took a heavy blow this turn especially considering their aging Bs were nowhere near in range.
Turn 2: 17 hits on the Central Powers this turn vs. 16 on the Italians. The Allies won the initiative which seemed to spell trouble for the Austrians. However, they got off easy all things considered. Initially it looked bad for them as Radetzky, one of the Bs, took a couple of hits including plunging fire and was sunk. However, the Italian Dante Aligheri was stopped dead in the water midway through the sequence and failed its repair roll. Similarly, the Viribus Unitus was knocked dead in the water but did make its repair roll (upon further review, these repair rolls should have come at the end of the sequence). Several ships lost speed factors and the groups begin to split up (7.35 Crippled Ships).
The Italians had a distinct edge at this point and the CP were getting desperate.
Turn 3: 38 hits on the Central Powers vs. 14 on the Italians. It really falls apart for the CP here. With the CP bloodied, the Italians decide to stay and defend the crippled Dante Aligheri. The CP smell an opportunity and close first with it healthiest BBs Tegetthoff and Sezent Istvan. Even at close range and they can’t knock out the Aligheri. However, both are severely damaged upon the Italian return fire. Tegetthoff is even rendered weaponless after a critical hit from an Allied torpedo. Both BBs use remaining movement in the turn to retreat.
While the Italians hold ground, the CP’s obsolete Bs move into single hex range in a move of desperation. They have the slimmest chance to knock out two Allied capital ships with the other CP ships. It was a long shot, but the only shot they really had. They were able to sink the Aligheri but not the previously damaged Guilio Cesare. Return fire from the Italians was devastating sinking Franz Ferdinand, and the retreating Tegethoff and Szent Istvan.
At this point, I called the match with the Allies winning 205 victory points to 64 for the CP. The CP were so badly damaged at this point it would only get worse if it were to go to the next round.
Closing: I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started this one. I was glad events allowed some of the weaker ships to close range and get in on the action. Also, the well distributed damage meant a lot of ships lost speed factors and a majority of primary guns which brought 7.35 into play which was good to learn. However, on the other hand it was just a lot of dice rolling and not a whole lot of strategy. That may be different if i wasn’t playing solo though.