Along with the Force on Force game, we also played two games of A&A war at sea. Pat introduced me to this very fun and relatively simple game, and I greatly enjoyed it. We initially played a small game with only a few ships, and I was so intrigued by the rules that I encouraged Pat to drag out bigger fleets. The result was a Pacific Theatre action between Japanese and American Battle groups.
Both groups deployed relatively concentrated, the Japanese (under Pat) were slightly more dispersed than my Americans. The first turn both sides moved towards each other, and then unleashed swarms of aircraft at each other. Pat dedicated almost all of his against my carrier and it’s escort throughout the game, whereas I chose to attack the small cruisers he had let stray from the main group. I figured that I’d concentrate my airpower in places where he had limited anti-air capabilities, whittle down as much as I could, and then bring all my ships to bear on a weakened Japanese force at one time.
Initially a fairly successful plan, I’d sank three Japanese ships through airpower before the main guns were even in range. One of my destroyers was badly crippled from Japanese air attacks, but I hadn’t lost a single ship yet so I was feeling pretty good. As Pat’s battleships drew closer however, I realized everything was about to be decided in a rapid flurry of volleys from the big ships. The final action took place in two areas, on my left the big ships engaged, while on my right Pat’s smaller ships attempted to strike at my cruisers.
On my right, my plan worked swimmingly. Pat’s smaller ships were outnumbered and outgunned. I’d gained air superiority as squadrons of Pat’s aircraft were wiped out by the AA capabilities of my carrier and her escort. The result was that I was allowed to unleash my fighters and bombers without a need to hold back defensive capabilities. Pat’s last two cruisers and his sub were all sunk in a turn, but the big battle remained to my left with the battleships. It was here my luck ended, as Pat rolled an insane set of dice (see the picture) which completely annihilated my Battleship. I came close to sinking his, but I wasn’t quite there. My destroyer also took damage and was crippled, but barely clung to life.
At that point we agreed both groups would probably have withdrawn to lick their wounds. I had speed and air superiority on my side which would have allowed me to get away, but he had the big guns so I couldn’t really stay and fight. Overall a draw, though the Japanese definitely lost more ships, I lost my battleship. Remarkably both carriers remained undamaged. An excellent game, I will certainly be looking into collecting a fleet or two for it!