Monday, February 13, 2012
More on Naval Warfare in Jono's World...
Prospects seem fairly bright that Jono will be starting a blog of his own about his world - or in fact, several worlds - that have sprung from his fertile imagination.
For the time being, though, I'll be continuing the occasional posting as preparations for wars in the setting of Sideon IV continue to take shape.
For this posting: more work on navies. Readers will have seen elements of the Raesharn and Kiivar navies in past postings. The latter is merely a rump, much of it lost in heavy air attacks and interceptions on the high seas shortly after the declaration of war.
Here we see elements of the Sarbian Navy, a squadron comprising cruiser, aircraft carrier and battleship, under Raesharn air attack. The Raesharn attack comprises several stands of single-engined carrier-based aircraft, but a stand of land-based twin-engined bombers has joined the fight. Two stands of fighters from the Sarbian carrier attempt to fight off the attackers.
I've been calling a stand of aircraft a 'flight' and probably will continue to do so, but it is more cognate to a squadron of, say, 12 to 15 aircraft. In these navies, carriers, with a single exception, operate 4 'flights' (say 48-60 aeroplanes), that can be used as fighters, bombers or torpedo bombers as the player directs. The single exception is the Kiivar Carrier KNS Condor, a rather larger vessel than usual (I had an appropriate piece of wood I used as the flight deck that turned out to give a significantly larger vessel than the Raesharn had). The Condor - sole surviving carrier in Kiivar's possession - can operate 5'flights'.
It seems likely that I will be contructing stands of single aurcraft as 'scouts' or reconnaissance patrols.
Although I have limited the navies to the following vessels: Carriers, Battleships, (Heavy) Cruisers, Destroyers, Submarines, Landing Craft and Merchant Vessels (MVs), I find it already tempting to add 'in-between' types: battle cruisers, armoured cruiser/pocket battleships, light cruisers, and escort carriers. This leaves out smaller craft like mine layers and sweepers, flak ships, armed trawlers and Motor Torpedo Boats. But that is I think to over complicate something I would much prefer to keep simple.
Readers might ask why I have gone the 'cartooned balsa' route, rather than, say, obtaining 1:4800 or maybe 1:2400 scale models. One is expense, but the main one is that I have never found the tiny models particularly engaging. The balsa vessels have each a character of its own, which, by engaging their commanders' synpathies, I hope will have interesting effects on naval strategy.
Once I have organised a really simple naval wargame playable on a fairly small surface, then some back history (i.e. destruction of most of Kiivar's blue water navy) will be enacted by way of a play test. I have a couple of scenarios in mind already:
1. Battle of the River Bowl. A pair of Kiivar cruisers returning home from a pre-war diplomatic mission is to be intercepted by a Raesharn task force comprising several destroyers and cruisers supporting a single battleship. This task force has been split up into a number of groups patrolling athwart the Kiivars' likely course.
When one of the groups encounters the Kiivar ships, they call for aid from their friends, but have to engage the enemy to prevent their escape...
2. Amethyst Harbour/Pitchanto. A powerful air attack by carrier-borne aircraft attack a significant portion of the Kiivar fleet whilst they are still in port.
Some ideas to chew on for the next few weeks. The next posting is a generating circumstance of a Raesharn land offensive to capture a major Kiivar city. The Raesharn armour breaks through, but does that mean the battle is won?