I really ought to be getting on with the First Blacklands War narrative, and indeed the moves for the Third Week have been determined, and I'll write them up soon. Promise. I just have to transcribe a battlefield (possibly two) into machine-readable format, and update the War Theatre Map.
|TNS Mesudiye at sea.|
In the meantime, a certain coastal defence battleship, TNS Mesudiye (Mesudieh), on a flag waving mission in the Adriatic Sea, happened to put into port at Kerkyra (Corfu) the day before war broke out, and the Army of the Black Mountains invaded the Turcowaz province of Kosovo. Before departing Epirus, the Commander of Fourth Turcowaz Army, Halepli Zeki Pasha, got word to Captain Burak Ubama, the courier being carried by malodorous fishing trawler from an obscure village on the mainland, across to the island anchorage. Hastily raising steam, Mesudiye slipped anchor shortly after dark of a dismal and drizzly October night. This was to be the beginning of a fortnight's journey by this Turcowaz warship to reach the Dardanelles Strait and safety. But there was to be an encounter with a Hellenic warship on the way...
|HNS Hydra on patrol somewhere off the Dardanelles.|
This was, of course, to be the first encounter using my newly built navies, and a battle between such disparate vessels of the same class - coastal, or ironclad, battleship - promised to be interesting. Now, the Gridded Naval Wargame (Bob Cordery) treats the warships' gunnery and protection with a pretty broad brush - very desirable in a wargames fleet action. But it was whilst building the ships I noticed certain variations from the 'norm', which might be interesting to take into account in a single ship action. So I drew up a table for each vessel in my navies.
Now, the Turcowaz (Turkish) pre-Dreadnought battleships could bring six 11-inch guns to bear in broadside. Hence the big numbers, especially at short range. They were all the standard dice rolls multiplied by 6/4 = 1.5. The puny 4.1-inch secondary armament is reflected in the stats for those same battleships. I have included an alternate scheme that ignores the 4.1-inch, and treats the central turret as secondary armament. It carried 11-inch guns, but, being accommodated in the space between superstructures, the guns were of lesser calibre-length L28 against L40). Otherwise I have treated them as the same as the other 11-inch guns. Personally, I'd stay with the 4.1-inch, as defences against destroyers and torpedo boats.
I am very tempted to suggest a rule amendment that prohibits - or at least discourages - the use of a vessel's main armament of greater than 6-inch calibre against small craft (destroyers and smaller). Possibly that is unreasonable, and maybe unnecessary in a general action. Any thoughts on this?
In Lemnos and Georgios Averof, the secondary armament comprises 4 guns capable of firing forward or aft. However, as none of the turrets could possible traverse across a direct fore-and-aft line, I figured that only one or other twin turret could engage a target ahead or astern, not both, even if the target was dead ahead or dead astern.
On the other hand, I have left the destroyers' armaments untouched, as being puny enough as they stand. The well-informed reader might observe that I have left off the torpedo stats from all but the destroyer/ torpedo boats. This is deliberate: I plan to ignore torpedoes from all but the specialist small craft, having an idea that, possibly apart from accidents, no torpedo ever launched from a capital ship or cruiser ever reached or harmed its target. I could be wrong, but such occasions must have been almost vanishingly rare.
Next time: The Third Week...