Wednesday, October 9, 2019

New Toys

The two 5-vehicle military truck sets from China.
 These interesting items arrived from China onto my doorstep yesterday. I had seen them on an Army Men group on facebook, noticed the Katyusha, and thought to myself of the Katyushaless state of my own Red Army.  The thing comes as part of a set of 5 trucks, the others of which I thought might also be of interest.  As the price seemed not too exhorbitant, I ordered two sets. The Company indicated the package should arrive about 10 October; I received them a day early.
Katyusha mounts.  Not quite right, but near enough for mine.

Let us then examine the loot. Well... It turns out the Katyushas weren't ...quite ... the thing: seven rockets placed between the rails instead of on them, and none underneath (16 rockets in all).  Looking up their mounts, I find that apparently the Katyusha frames could be mounted on any platform, pretty much. Most of the examples seemed to have been on 6x6 or 6x4 drive trucks. I found but one image of a 4-wheeled portee: 
That will do! For the rest, if it looks like what it's meant to be, then that is what it is: BM13 Katyusha rocket platforms.


The two flat bed trucks were welcome logistics or transport vehicles - no comment needed there. By the way, though, these are quite frankly toys, not models. They are made with a kind of friction motor. Draw the vehicle backwards along a flat surface, floor recommended, let them go, and watch them whizz across it. 
AA vehicles in the set.  Technicals in the service of
Tchagai perhaps?

The other three comprise a Quad AA mount, a large gun mount and a large (SAM?) rocket mount.  What to do with these? The only Quad AA mount for the Red Army I could find was the quad Maksim arrangement, arranged in a single row. Apart from the bracing struts, this looked more like the German Quad 20mm AA piece. Did the Soviets ever stick any captured examples on the back of trucks? The thing seems plausible enough, but what evidence is there that they did any such thing?

The big gun does look like a heavy-ish AA on a portee mount, and as I have seen such images, e.g. 
we might, just barely, accept these into our Soviet inventory. This and the other two, I rather suspect, will fetch up in the inventory of the Army of Tchagai as technicals of one sort or the other. Unfortunately, the big gun is fixed in 'carriage' mode, though it can swivel, and can't be elevated to look as though it's ready to shoot anything out of the sky.

Heavy stuff!  SAMs?  The nabob of Tchagai might well
be happy to add these to his arsenal.
This big rocket mount looks so cool, but I can find no images on the internet cognate to such an arrangement - certainly not for World War Two!   
A battery of ... erm ... 'mortars'...
Finally a couple more pics of the four vehicles likely to see a deal of action as time goes on. I simply haven't been able to find 1/76:1/72 scale Katyusha kits anywhere else, and it seemed to me that they were just the thing to equip my Guards Mortar units. Not precisely 'models', they offer the impression of Katyusha launchers. That'll do me.
You can't have too many trucks...

Long Live the Revolution: The opening battle.

In the following narrative, I used Bob Cordery's Developing the Portable Wargame WW2 rule set. The only difference was my own 'dice method' of determining initiative and unit activation. However, as a result of this action, I think I'll be looking a little more closely at the 'pin' option, with a view possibly of moderating some of its more punitive aspects, or possibly of dropping it altogether.  Otherwise, this will not be a long narrative.

The rebel Bulichistan Armed Revolutionary Front (BARF) - for composition, see previous blog post - opened the ball with a battalion sized attack upon the high ground NE of Madasaiwannabi town, defended by 'C' Company, Imperial 22nd Punjanjoodi Battalion. Against possible retaliation from the town, the rebel machine gun and infantry gun detachments advanced to bring fire to bear on the place, and the mortars emplaced upon the northern outskirts of the town.
Although the early attacks on the ridge were handily repulsed - 1st and 2nd Coys, Ist Battalion took damaging hits, as did the defenders - because the attackers had had to fall back, they soon recovered their enthusiasm for the fight (the red 'pin' markers all came off). In the face of three times their strength, 'C' Company were fairly soon driven right off the feature, to the roadway. Whilst the mortar company, themselves under fire, held off the enemy 3rd Company, 'C' Company fell back behind them to the edge of the town.

Meanwhile, the fire supports against the town were producing a slow, yet steady trickle of casualties among the Imperial troops garrisoning the place. The MG platoon abandoned the NE quarter - and several smashed up MMGs establish a new line beside the southern highway exit from the town. By this time, the late-starting attack by the rebel left was getting fairly under way. Sixth Company had managed, with minimal loss, to get themselves athwart the right flank of 'A' Company, which experienced some difficulty maintaining themselves.  Soon, 5 and 4 Companies, also came within rifle range, whilst Colonel Peenut Buttahjars himself directed the supporting fire of the MMG detachment. The armoured cars of  'C' Squadron, Muddi River Horse, drove back the Light MkVI tanks that represented at the time the Rebel's sole armoured inventory, but with no loss to either side.

An aside, here, to foreshadow a comment at the end of this piece about AFVs and ARVs that carry machine guns. 


As the struggle south of Madasaiwannabi developed, at the other side of town, the Rebels overran the mortar battery, and drove 'C' Company quite within the precincts.  'B' Company's position suddenly became so exposed that for a short while were pinned down by fire coming in from front and flank.
The position of 'A' Compnay was also becoming difficult. Driven back to the western end of the ridge, where they became pinned down, they found themselves assailed front and flank by two enemy rifle companies. The armoured cars did their best, wiping out the Rebel MG company, and damaging their 4th Company as well.  



However, once pinned, and under close assault, unpinning became problematic, and 'A' Company's losses began to mount alarmingly. The relatively fresh 5th Company brought the Imperialists under close assault. Already repulsed at least once, 6th Company soon recovered themselves enough to join in the attack.  


Under increasing pressure from I Battalion and support troops, the town's garrison, too, began to melt away.   
Finally, the Rebel 3rd Company broke into the northwest quarter of the town. Having already abandoned the rest of the north side, what was left of 22nd Punjandjoodi Battalion was left clinging to the southside. 'A' Company was never to join them. Apart from scattered, disorganised survivors, 'A' Company died defending the last few rocks on the western end of its ridge.
By now, Lt-Cool Mugglethwaite realised that what was left of his command could never hold the town. Giving orders for the evacuation of the place, he drew his headquarters several hundred yards down road west. There he awaited the arrival of the MG and armour car units, and whoever else managed to extricate themselves from the stricken town.

The Revolution was off to a fine beginning. For a long time the issue had seemed to be in doubt. At one point, the SP losses read 6 for the Government, 9 for the Rebels. But once the action became general and the former troops became pinned down whilst under close assault, the situation reversed rapidly. The Government losses exceeded their exhaustion point (9SP) much sooner than did the Revolutionaries did.  At the action's end the latter were glad to see what was left of the Punjanjoodi Battalion disappearing in a cloud of dust beneath the setting sun. It was time to set about reorganising the town.

The Revolutionary forces had just reached their exhaustion point (13SP), by which time, the Government's had got to 15SP lost - all 3 rifle companies having lost all their SPs. There was no disguising the victory for the Revolutionaries in their first major action.

From this action a couple of points emerged that might affect the handling of future actions.

1.  Pinning (in this game, pinned units were marked by a red counter).  
Under the present system, when a unit takes a damaging hit, it becomes pinned. If it is in contact with an enemy it can fight, but otherwise not move or initiate a close combat. It can 'unpin' if not in contact with enemy, but neither move nor fire.  If the enemy remains in close combat - which becomes permanent if the enemy also becomes pinned - there is no way to 'unpin', and all hits become SP losses. That is how 'A' Company disappeared so quickly at the end of the action.

I am very tempted to drop the 'pin' feature altogether. This can permit the development of running fights or offensive drives. The pin feature also tends to discourage accepting SP losses in lieu of retreats in order to sustain an attack.  

An alternative might be to change at least one of the rules concerning pinning. 
- A pinned unit may fire or fight a close combat at reduced effect, but may not initiate a close combat.
- A unit that loses a SP and becomes pinned may in the same turn retreat one square provided that retreat takes it out of contact of any enemy.

2.  Machine-gun armed vehicles.
The Revolutionaries in this action had from somewhere acquired a Light Mark VI tank, light armour armed with machine guns only.  I used it as in effect a fast moving mobile machine gun.

Now, I hadn't really thought about it before, but other AFVs usually (though not invariably) also carry machine guns. Although the Daimler armoured car did engage it light tank with its 2pr AT gun, it did no more than scratch the armour. After that, I decided to use the car also as an MG platform in an effort to hold back the Rebel attacks on the right flank.

I have decided that in future all MG-carrying AFVs can act as MG carriers, but, in any given game turn, can fire its main gun OR its MGs, and not both. 

To be continued:  The battle for the Provincial Capital.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Long Live the Revolution: The War Against the Raj ...


Midmorning, opening action of the
Revolutionary campaign: 6 June 1945.
The War against Imperial Nippon had still to run its course as, from mild murmurings, the unrest in the Ruberian Empire of Rajistan grew in volume, violence and virulence.  In the western corner of Tchagai, the unrest grew into insurrection, insurrection into insurgency, insurgency into outright revolt.  Under the leadership of one Peenut Buttahjars, a former rissaldar in the Army of Rajistan, there developed a popular movement styling itself the Baluchistan Armed Revolutionary Front (BARF), notorious for acts of sabotage, theft and assassination.


Having rather similar notions of breaking away from the Empire, the regional magnate, the Nabob Maibiwih Khan, was inclined to be sympathetic to towards the BARF movement, but imagined himself to be its inspiration and head.  This upstart, Buttahjars - Colonel, forsooth! - was not one with whom the Nabob wished to be associated, for a good many political reasons.  Not least of which, he had remained Nabob on Ruberian sufferance, and was not desirous of compromising his position whilst there remained any prospect of the Imperium successfully crushing the revolt.

Aircraft view of the field looking towards the northwest
from behind Revolutionary lines.
On balance, the Nabob deemed it meet that he sat on his thumbs for the time being, quietly gathering his own strength, and let the Imperium deal with the immediate problem.

Matters grew to a head in the western region of Madasaiwannabi with the small town given over to riot that was not abated by the imposition of a curfew.  The local Imperial commander, Lieut-Colonel Ebeneser Mugglethwaite, decided to intervene in person.  Gathering together the 22nd Punjanjoodi Infantry Battalion and a squadron of armoured cars from 1st Muddi River Horse, the good Colonel set forth from the provincial capital.

Town Garrison: B Company with MMG platoon,
and the Lieutenant-Colonel's HQ.
Rumour of the Imperialist approach led Colonel Peenut Buttahjars at once to hasten the recruitment and training of his exiguous army, and set out from the northern hills into the Maimajikwand Valley, thence to march up to Madasaiwannabi town.   The Imperialists beat them to it.  Marching into the place, they quickly restored order with a series of shootings and arrests, and ordered, on pain of being shot on sight, the populace to remain indoors until further notice.  The markets and shops were closed, town administration suspended, and and inert silence descended over the place.

From a small tract of rising ground Colonel Buttahjars surveyed through a purloined pair of binoculars the town and the flanking hills, shimmering in the late morning sun.  His plan he quickly formed: to take the hills flanking the town, then a general assault upon the place from three sides.

The forces involved in the coming action were determined as follows:
Government: 18 + 3D6 SPs
Revolutionaries: 18 + 6D6 SPs
As it happened, both rolled low, leaving the Revolutionaries with a mere 37SPs, and the Government with an even more disappointing 25SPs only.  It seems that the former's recruitment and training had been proceeding more slowly than hoped, and that the urgency of the crisis had induced Mugglethwaite not to wait further for reinforcements of problematic provenance.
Opening moves.  The Revolutionary plan takes shape.

Rajistan Government:

C.O. Lt-Col E. Mugglethwaite
HQ: Carrier and small escort.  6SP
22nd Punjanjoodi Battalion
     -  3 Rifle Companies @ 4SP
     -  1 MMG (Vickers) Platoon @ 2SP
     -  1 Mortar Platoon (3-inch mortars) @ 2SP
C/1st Muddi River Horse
     -  1 Daimler MkII Armoured Car, light armour, light AT and co-ax MG.

Totals: 7 units, 25 SPs
Median activation: 4 units.
Exhaustion point: loss of 9SPs

Baluchistan (Brotherhood) Armed Revolutionary Front:

Commander, Colonel Peenut Buttahjars + escorts: 6SP
1st BARF Brigade:
     - 1st Rifle Battalion:
          - 3 Rifle Companies @ 4SP
     - 2nd Rifle Battalion:
          - 3 Rifle Companies @ 4SP
     - 1st MMG Company @ 2SP
     - 1st Infantry Gun Company @ 2SP
     - Attached Light Tank Company:
          - Light MkVI - light armour, MG only @ 3SP

Totals: 10 units, 37SPs
Median activation: 5 units.
Exhaustion point: loss of 13SPs.

All troops were classed as average.  I did toy with making the revolutionaries mainly 'poor', but decided that as the 22nd Battalion, though regular, was pretty much a second line unit, of possibly dubious loyalty anyhow, they weren't likely to be much better, come the crunch.


1st BARF Battalion's concentric attack upon C Company's
Ridge.  Already both sides have taken damage...

To be continued...





Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Wars of Independence.

One of my favourite 'go-to' blog spot writers is planning a 'three-game' (mini)-campaign by way of celebrating over 1 million 'hits'. The choice of campaign period is given over to readers. If you are not already acquainted with it, check out 'Battle Game of the Month'. 

It was casting my vote for something post 1940 that I bethought myself to a small project I have had in mind for quite a long time, but haven't got round to it. I have been meaning for quite a while to 'do' one of Bob Cordery's Developing the Portable Wargame campaigns, to wit: 'Long Live the Revolution', set probably in the late 1940s or early 1950s.

Harad Empire of  c.1980, with the Tchagai on its southeastern
frontier, ruled by the Nabob, Yeswih Khan.  The 'Revolution' discussed here is set
some 40 years earlier, in the young days of his forebear,
Maibiwih Khan.


The narrative begins with the dissolution of the 'Jewel in the Crown' of Ruberia, the Empire of Rajistan. Rajistan seeks independence from Ruberia; Karachistan seeks independence from Rajistan; Tchagai seeks independence from Karachistan, and there are some independently minded hill tribes in the northern mountains of Tchagai. Somehow, all 'sides' have acquired some of the equipment captured or stolen from, or abandoned by, the departing Ruberians.


Work in Progress: Tchagai infantry battalion of 4 companies.


This is a kind of 'programmed' campaign with the following plot:
  1. The Regional Capital.  To begin the campaign, the rebels must capture one.  To end the campaign the Government troops must recapture it.
  2. The Provincial Capital.  Building the power base.
  3. The Railway Station.  A vital transport and logistical nexus.
  4. The Sea Port.  Not part of Bob Cordery's programme, but it seemed to me access to foreign imports of supplies and equipment would be very welcome! (I am mindful of the importance of Port Harcourt to the Biafran rebels during the Nigerian Civil War).
  5. The Capital City.  The ultimate goal of the Revolution.  Capturing or seizing the vital instruments of government - will induce the capitulation of the incumbent government (ruler).
The 5 steps form a 'track' upon which ebb and flow the fortunes of the Loyalist resistance to Rebellion. 


Work in Progress: Tchagai reconnaissance company and
ARV troop.

Now, the forces involved are randomised in size, and not large. I am assuming they are designed for a table of 64 (square) or 72 (hexagonal) grid areas. As my hex-table table is two and a half to three times the grid areas, it seems to me fitting that the forces ought to be at least twice the Strength Points as originally envisaged. Unless - thinking out loud, here - I use one of my square-grid surfaces - the 10x10 green one, or my buff blanket give me more room.  

Decisions, decisions.

I think I'll compromise on bumping the SPs by 50% only.

                       Image result for Developing Portable wargame - Regional capital
Mini-Campaign Scenario Map: The Regional Capital
Taken from Developing The Portable Wargame.
  • Revolutionaries, Attacking, SP = 18 + 6D6 (Average = 39SP), enter from right side of the map 
  • Government, Defending, SP= 18 + 3D6 (Average = 28.5SP), positioned anywhere in left-hand half of the map.
As the map is pretty spare as it stands, roads and perhaps some assorted additional minor features will be dotted about the countryside.

This posting was still 'in draught' pending some pictures to give it a bit of colour, when what should turn up on my doorstep but this...
A very welcome addition to my ever-expanding
War Games library.

Really made my day; I'd almost forgotten I had ordered it!  Great little number: full of ideas for organising my own 'moderns', built as part of the Harad project of 'Evil Uncle Brian' (He of 'A Fist Full of Plastic' see Map earlier in this posting). Brian had donated, gifted, unloaded upon me several items of kit - quite a lot, actually - but I've never quite worked out how to organise it all into something that makes sense. Tim Gow's handling of the transport side of things (one vehicle per company rather than one per platoon that Command Decision uses) turns out to suit my inventory very well!

So far, the Army of Tchagai looks to comprise some 8 infantry battalions, from the 6th Special National Operations (Mechanised) Battalion (SNOB), a recon infantry and three or four motor rifle battalions, and several PBI foot-sloggers.  

To be continued... 



Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Naval afterthoughts... Post Battle.



The Navies of Jono's World - including merchant marine,
landing craft and a few aircraft.
Well, that last action went pretty much as I suspected ahead of time it would. The three monster Raesharn ships, all modelled upon the Japanese Yamato class, were more than a match for the four Bismarck class types opposing them. Here are the 'stats':

Yamato:
Weight: 65,000 tons; Protection: 65,000/4000 = 16 Protection Points (PP)
Guns: 9x18.1-inch; Strike: 9 + 30% of 9 = 12 Strike Points (SP)

Bismarck:
Weight: 42,000 tons; Protection: 42,000/4000 = 11 PP
Guns: 8 x 15-inch; Strike = 8 SP

Multiply the three Yamato types by three: 48PP and 36SP.
Multiply the four Bismarck types by four: 44PP and 32SP.

So the odds lay with Ra'esharn.
Major units of the Imperial Ra'esharn Navy: battleships and carriers.

The action went bally quickly - I doubt I spent half an hour on a game that lasted but 8 turns. It seemed to me that maybe a few more features might be added to make the action last a little longer and add a little interest, but without going into too much detail. I have to bear in mind, I might want to use or adapt these rules for fleet action.

Another view, with better lighting.

1.  Bob Cordery's 'critical point' feature.

Having taken damage affecting Flotation (PPs in my system), once the PPs reach a quarter (rounded) of a vessel's original, it must attempt to break off the action. It may still fire, but can not initiate an aggressive action. 

I admit that this might be tricky to carry out convincingly, but I do like the idea. Such a system, might have led to the survival of the Raesharn ship that was lost, and maybe one or two of the Kiivar vessels as well. Mind you, look what happened to Admiral Graf Spee's squadron off the Falkland Islands in 1914.


Ra'esharn's fleet of cruisers.

2.  Loss of firepower.

The damage most likely to affect a battleship's firepower is, of course, damage to guns, turrets and/or magazines. Probably the damage might accumulate turret by turret ending with, just before the vessel becomes a raft, just one gun in action.
Sequence: 
1st turret lost - dice for which
2nd turret lost - dice for which
3rd turret lost - dice for which, if not last turret
4th turret lost.
Ra'esharn's destroyer fleet
The simplest approach might be to associate loss of turrets with lost of protection. As each quarter (not rounded) of the original PP is lost, the vessel loses a turret, with all its guns. A tentative sequence:

Yamato:
16-13PP - all turrets in action
12-9PP - two turrets in action
8-5PP - one turret in action
4-1PP - guns silenced.

Bismarck:
11-9PP - all turrets in action
8-5PP - three turrets in action
5-3PP - two turrets in action
1-2PP - one turret in action

Instead of this prescriptive method, as each quarter of the original flotation (PP) is lost, there is a 50-50 chance a turret goes with it.

To this has the Kiivar Navy been reduced, after early war
disasters (such as the Battle of Omez Strait)...

3.Loss of speed.

As damage accumulates, and vessels take in water whilst fires break out affecting motive power and damage control, one can easily imagine a vessel's ability to move would gradually diminish. On the other hand, no doubt the ship designers will have built in added protection for those vital functions. I suggest that speed doesn't start to fall off until at least half the vessel's PPs have been stricken off. 

Under my hex system, there are but three possible speeds: full (2 hexes), half (1 hex), zero. Not a swag of wriggle-room there. Probably ought to add one, but then the limited size of my table becomes problematic. I suggest that once the damage has reached 'critical point' the vessel has a chance of losing speed. Roll 1d6:
6 = Vessel slows to a stop (if moving, will slow to 1 hex next turn and dead stop a move later).
5 = Vessel slows to one hex
1-4 = No effect. 

... however, the Kiivar carrier is a big one, with 25% more
aircraft than any other carrier .


All these will require keeping a log of speed, firepower and flotation. But as hits have to be logged anyhow, that seems easily enough accommodated.
The Navy of the Saabian Archipelago. I believe a destroyer has
gone missing: I was sure there were ten...
The canny, gimlet-eyed reader might have observed that the pictures in this posting have little to do with the subject matter of the text - or at least only a tangential one. These are vessels I made up for Jono's World, the world of Ra'esharn and Kiivar, and Kiivar's ally, Saabia.

It was whilst thinking about this article that I bethought myself to these navies, and how a rule set might be developed for them.
There was supposed to be 6 Saabian Battleships, but I made only 4.
They may get a couple of battlecruisers instead.

I think I'll go back to KEV's original system, but expanded to accommodate other types of vessel. In this version of 'Jono's World' all vessels of a particular type have the same characteristics:
  • Battleships (BB): 9 guns in 3 turrets
  • Cruisers (CA/CL): 6 guns in 3 turrets - no differentiation between light and heavy cruisers.
  • Destroyers (DD): 2 guns in 2 turrets (Ra'esharn has the odd two-gun 'A' turreted vessel); armed with torpedoes (3-4 'patterns', yet to be decided)
  • Aircraft carriers (CV): no anti-ship guns(?) - they are not there to fight ships directly.
  • (Possible inclusion) Battle Cruisers (CC): 9 guns in 3 turrets as in BB, but smaller calibres in smaller vessels - Saabia only.
Of course, each, including the carriers, will have AA capability.


Saabian major units, on exercises in the Great Southern Ocean. 









Monday, September 16, 2019

Fleet Action: Battle of Omez Strait (2)

Facing due north. Respective squadrons on converging courses,
Kiivar sailing due south, the Ra'esharn, sou'sou'east.
I may have something to say in a future article about how the Kiivar
line  has been placed.
The following action was fought using Kev Robertson's very simple rule set, slightly amended to 'fit' my gridded table.  In effect, 2 grid areas on my table represented 1 foot (30cm) in Kev's system.  I think I would prefer 3 hex grids (which would have the virtue of equality!) but it is not a huge table! There is one other amendment I made. Rather than 'all battleships are equal', I gave each vessel a strike value of 1 point per gun, modified by plus or minus 10% per inch greater or less than 15-inch. Vessels' protection or endurance (the latter word, having just occurred to me, might be the better choice), a value equal to the weight of the vessel as a multiple of 4000 tons, rounded.
IRS Akem Manah in the forground; the Kiivar squadron
on the horizon.
The action opens at 11:00 hours, with the respective squadrons upon converging courses. In the following, I rather arbitrarily determined that each turn represented 10 minutes. Another point I should make right now, is that even with a maximum speed of 2 hexes the turn, one could very quickly run out of table. The beauty of the grid system, is that one may 'scroll' the table in any direction as ships approach the edges. I had to do this a couple of times in the course of the action, but it takes a minute or so, tops, so not so very inconvenient.
Admiral Wu Bai's flagship's first salvo.  The other ships
didn't yet have the range.
As the courses converged, the Kiivar flagshop, Argus Panoples exchanged salvos with the leading Ra'easharn vessel, the Kiivar flagship Akem Manah. The Ra'easharn vessel found the range the more quickly, registering at long range three hits to the Kiivar's one. This was far from a good augury for the action as a whole, and henceforth the impression remained that Ra'esharn gunnery perhaps had an edge on their opponents.  
Akem Manah's response: 3 hits - very good shooting at long range!
At this point Admiral Mojo made a radical tactical decision, ordering a turn to port onto a 90 degree bearing (i.e. due east), all ships turning independently to form a line abeam.  His justification was that he wanted quickly to shorten the range, and figured upon his forward batteries alone (six  18-inch guns) would be a match for the enemy's full 8 15-inch gun broadside (6 + 30% = 6 + 1.8 = 8 rounded - equal to the enemy). Unfortunately the execution of the manoeuvre left something to be desired, as the line was echelonned back to larboard in such a way that at the next exchange of salvos, IRS Agra Mainya was still out of range.  
Admiral Mojo's unorthodox tactics - and feeble shooting by
Kiivar.  But that was to change!

In response, Admiral ordered a 30-degree course change to starboard. In effect the Kiivar found themselves 'crossing the T', all four ships bringing their full broadsides to bear against the forward batteries of only two of the Ra'esharn ships.   

The Kiivar quite failed to make the most of their opportunity (ain't that always the way?!). Concentrating their broadsides against Akem ManahPolyphemus and Argus Panoples registered just four hits between them.  Akem Manah was able to put three more into Argus Panoples, already taking in water and hurting badly.  The gunnery of the Hyperion and Tethys was even more woeful, the former failing to register a single hit (long range, looking for 6s with 8 dice), and the latter one only. At long range, Aeshma was able to give as good as received, as Hyperion took a hit.  (As an aside, with 16 guns firing at medium range and another 16 at long, I might have expected 8 hits, rather than the mere 5 actually registered.  Having said that, the 4 hits by the Ra'esharn ships was about what one might have expected.  So we were looking at woeful Kiivar gunnery here, not outstanding Ra'esharn.  But wait...!)

The next few pictures simply show how the dice rolls get transformed into shell splashed and explosions for a more picturesque image.



Seeing the unsatisfactory results of his manoeuvre, Admiral Mojo ordered a 60-degree turn to starboard, to bring his ships once more in line astern. This brought the head his line rather astern of the Kiivar, such that Polyphemus could bring only its stern battery to bear.  On the other hand, his squadron was definitely 'crossing the T' now, and took this time rather better advantage of it. Excellent shooting from Polyphemus, Argus Panoples and Hyperion put ten shells aboard Akem Manah, reduced now to a point not far from sinking.
  

Further course changes; Ra'esharn back to line astern;
Kiivar 30-degree turn to starboard.
For its part, Akem Manah had to split its fire between Argus Panoples and Hyperion (As the ship could not bring its full broadside to bear upon Argus Panoples, I might have concentrated its fire upon Hyperion, but the decision to split the two seemed reasonable.) Both Kiivar ships took further damage.  By now, Admiral Wu Bai's flagship was in no better shape than the lead Ra'esharn vessel. At the rear of the Kiivar line, the hitherto untouched Tethys came in for a battering, taking five hits in less than ten minutes.
'Crossing the T'.  Akem Manah comes in for a battering
but stays afloat.

Tethys receives the undivided attention of Aeshma and
Agra Mainya.
To bring the forward battery of Polyphemus into action, Admiral Wu Bai signalled a further starboard course change, still in line astern. Once again Akem Manah had to split its fire,  but its gunnery was equal to the challenge as the range shortened still further. Taking nine hits, Akem Manah registered eight of its own, six aboard Polyphemus, and two more upon Argus Panoples. It was all too much for the Ra'esharn vessel, however.  Twenty four hits were far more than the ship could endure. Capsizing and turning turtle she disappeared beneath the waves.
Superb gunnery by both sides!  Akem Manah does not survive it...
This success flattered to deceive.  True, the Ra'esharn ship was the first to succumb, but the fact was that all Kiivar ships had taken fearful damage, and were themselves not far from sinking.  
Though giving out terrible punishment itself,
Akem Manah succumbs to a welter of
incoming 15-inch projectiles...
Sure enough, as the Ra'esharn line drew into a course parallel with the Kiivar, the range extended slightly.  Both sides' gunnery was proving lethally accurate.  Whilst still engaged in their successive turn to westward, Argus Panoples and Tethys were sunk in quick succession.  
The battle rages on, but the writing is on the wall for the
Kiivar ships.  The damage has been too great. Argus Panoples and Tethys
go down just after this pic was taken...
Polyphemus and Hyperion didn't last much longer. Though badly battered itself, Aeshma brought the range down and slammed in 9 hits upon Polyphemus. The lead  Kiivar ship blew up and sank at once.  Hyperion lasted no longer, overcome in an unequal gunnery duel with Agra Mainya.  

The end of Polyphemus and Hyperion.  

There ended the action, with the total destruction of the Kiivar battle squadron, for the loss of one Ra'esharn capital ship.  This was a devastating loss to the Republican Kiivar Navy - four of eight capital ships gone in a trice.  For all that the Ra'esharn propaganda machine crowed over the victory, the price had been a high one: the loss of one of its own monster ships, and the two others would require months - over a year for one of them - in the repair docks.


The above is the log of hits received by all vessels.  Both Akem Manah and Polyphemus took 8 more hits than would be required to sink them, but that is the nature of the salvo system.  Actually, at the end of the action, I did consider before she sank of splitting the fire of Argus Panoples, as it was clear that the forward battery fire should probably be enough to sink the lead Ra'esharn ship.  That might have made a difference, too.  But at the time it seemed to me a bit cheesy to do that.  Something to think about.
A sketch map made after the battle by the First Executive
Officer aboard Aeshma, and entered into the ship's log.