Saturday, and a quiet interlude between Easter weekend family duties and responsibilities saw this war-gamer disappear from the hustle and bustle of daily life to the sanctuary of his war games den (sounds posh, but it just means a table in my garage - although I can lock myself in if I wish, and ignore the world by playing loud martial type music).
I am a naval war-gamer! - there, I have said it, I feel better that it is now out in the open, a niche interest in a niche hobby?
Luckily, I have some wargaming friends close by, and I can always con them into a game or two.
I use Battleships Zenith for World War 2 - click here for further info
This allows a very quick, but very accurate simulation of naval battle. The players get on with the world of being an Admiral, the computer does the glamorous number crunching bit, but everything else is the same from measuring your move, to plotting the gunnery distance between the ships - all the computer does is calculate the number of hits, the armour penetration and angle of shell hit, and the damage.
I intend to hoodwink some of my secret wargaming friends into a game, I may even try and drag the French commander from my AWI campaign in (if you are reading this Rochambeau?). So I needed to familiarise myself with the system again. This is what I did yesterday in my oasis of wargaming bliss.
So with time against me, before my absence was noticed by my ever observant wife, I dusted off an old, but interesting scenario - the naval war-gamers favourite - The battle of the Denmark Straight. The mighty Hood v Bismarck.
This may seem a forgone conclusion, as history tells us, but I think it is a very engaging tactical battle, that with a bit of luck, could have been a different story.
The mighty Hood
I started the battle with the ships about 20 miles away from each other, on a clear day, but with moderate seas. The rules set also deals with spotting, and it was not until the ships closed with each other did they spot and identify the opposing force.
The brand spanking new HMS Prince of Wales - some may say an unlucky ship.....
I use 1:3000th scale ships, a mixture of Skytrex and Navwar models. The ships closed and Bismarck opened fire first, immediately hitting the Hood and knocking out some of her AA and tertiary guns. Mmmm, will this go the way of history?
Prinz Eugen - consort to the fearsome Bismarck
The Mighty Bismarck
The Hood found herself taking some hits which would have caused me some concern in a game. The Bismarck was also hit a couple of times.
Shells land around the pride of the Kreigsmarine.
Two hits on the Hood, a further hit from the Bismarck resulted in a forward turret being knocked out.
The games was getting interesting, but then suddenly BANG BANG BANG on the garage door " secret war-gamer what are you doing?"
Been rumbled by the wife
" couldn't find the washing up liquid darling" and I returned from my bliss to the busy family world