I bought a copy of Dan Verssen's card driven game "Modern Naval Battles" (http://www.dvg.com/). After one game I felt I had found the modern naval game I had been looking for since the 1980's.
A frenzy of buying, gluing and painting gave me a 1:700 scale fleet. We have made a few additions to the rules to make airsrikes less abstract and adding CWIS and surveillance aircraft, but otherwise we play the game out of the box. We also designed our own ships and we feel we now know a little of the pain of naval procurement.
Our games take place between two "imagi-nations". My fleet, led by Commander Yap, belongs to Singabore, a wealthy island republic whose inhabitants are obsessed with shopping. My opponent is the wily and despotic President Macintosh of the rogue-state Samudra.
Our first skirmish was fought between Samudran submarines and a Singaborian ASW force. After the inevitable Singaborean victory, both nations conducted emergency armament programs and returned to the fray.
This is the after-action report of the Samudran victory. This is a Modern Naval Battles game fought with a few extra house rules, and miniatures instead of cards. The game is a 16 point game.
Below is the scene of the action. The game is played with each side positioned in one of three zones:
- The first is the visual horizon,
- the second is the radar horizon,
- the last is the rest of the ocean.
Firstly some Singaborean ships. Here is the patrol craft RSS Sea Tiger
RSS Vengeance is an ASW frigate armed with a light gun, surface-to-surface missiles, ASW missiles and a close in weapons system (CWIS)
RSS Protector is ths flagship of the Singaborean Navy. It is armed with a medium gun, cruise missiles, and AEGIS anti-air missile system, 2 CWIS cannons, an advanced command control centre and with advanced targeting (another addition we made to the rules).
Let the battle begin.
On entering contested waters, the Samudran fleet is strategy absent, no radar contact, no sonar, just a single speedboat. It looks as though the perfidious Samudrans have take a speed boat and bought 17 action cards. Well it doesn't say you can't do that in the rules... this is why the World needs the United Nations though.
Since the Samudrans have the first move, they trade in two cards and buy an AWACS plane for two points (this is another of our house rules).
In my turn I trade in eight points of cards and bring in a submarine, the RSS Swordsman.
Now its my turn to attack, and the Samudrans are about to learn a lesson; protect your surveillance aircraft. The RSS Protector fires two long range SAMs at the Samuran aircraft and they are followed up by a Singaborean fighter for good measure. With nothing to defend it, down goes the hapless plane.
The Samudran's turn, and they trade in all their cards and buy a ship and a HUGE blip appears on the Singaborean's radar. "Crikey!" mutters Commander Yap in his CIC. The Samudrans have bought a Slava class cruiser from Russia (no we know where the aid budget went).
Nothing deterred the Enemy flagship is greeted with some missiles. A cruise missile from the Singaboean flagship and a surface skimming missile from the RSS Vengeance which has just come on.
The black dice are the size of the warhead, the white dice on the cruise missile to the left is its ECM factor. Unfortunately, the Samudrans have bought a lot of "near miss" cards and manage to dodge both missiles.
The Samudrans trade in all their cards again and suddenly a swarm of torpedo-armed fast attack craft (FAC) appears. The Singaboreans whistle up three of their own patrol craft to protect the flagship. Below the RSS Sea Dragon faces off the FACs.
The view from the Singaborean flagship RSS Protector
The Samdrans seem to have bought EVERY torpedo card in the deck, and a swarm of torpedoes leap from their their FACs. With no planned defences the RSS Vengeance and two patrol boats explode.
The Singaboreans call up another patrol craft, the RSS Unity, and a surveillance plane (not shown here) to keep the FACs at arms length.
Back to the Singaboreans turn, and they lob another two surface-to-surface missiles guided over the horizon by the surveillance plane, but once again the enemy cruiser dodges them.
Again the Samudran FACs charge forward with reckless abandon launching their sole remaining torpedo (which misses).
The Singaboreans keep up the pressure with two surface-to-surface missiles and a cruise missile aimed at the Samudran cruiser. The Samudrans have bough another surveillance aircraft (which allow then play the "Intel card". This, and the huge supply of near misses still held by the Samudrans save their flagship again.
Meanwhile the Singaborean airforce surveys the wreckage of their fleet. All that damage by tuppenny FACs!
The Samudrans use more cards to reinforce with a submarine, which comes up from the sea bottom pinging like crazy. A well placed torpedo cracks the RSS Swordsman's hull, and boat goes to the bottom. This latest reverse is too much for the Singaboreans (16 points in fact), and Commander Yap steers the RSS Protector and its remaining escorts home.
Here the scene as viewed from the south west as the battle ends.
This war is not over and Task force Yap will be back!