WW1 Naval – North Sea Operaton 1917

This non-historic encounter occurred in the open waters of the North Sea, and was run as a test of algorithms making decisions in place of human players. In order to not have an advantage, the code only gives orders at the end of each 5 minute turn, and only using information which would be available to a human player.

The sea conditions and orders of battle are listed on Page 1 of the Narrative file:


Player reports (not needed since there were no players):


Plot from 11:15 to 12:35

The single lines from the right (British) and left (German) sides show the movement of the two forces prior to enemy contact. To speed the code, only the force flagship is actually moved. Based on the force size, screening elements and visibility, at some point in this movement the individual ships of the two sides are set out into their cruising formations. In this case the British battleship divisions were in line ahead disposed abreast, with the battle cruiser squadrons ahead and a line abreast screen of one light cruiser squadron. The German battleship divisions were in a single line ahead, with the battle cruiser squadrons ahead and a circular cruiser screen for both the battle cruisers and the battleships.

Depending on the contact bearings, the formations may make course adjustments. In this case, both forces altered course, and the cruiser screens can be seen shifting positions to regain their stations.


Plot from 11:15 to 13:00

Sighting reports of British battle cruisers at 12:44 prompted the deployment at 12:45 of I Aufklarunggruppe (I.A.G.). I.A.G. turned to starboard in line ahead in order to bring after turrets to bear and to allow the wind to carry smoke away from the direction of the enemy.
Sighting reports of German battle cruisers at 12:52 prompted the deployment at 12:55 of 1st Battle Cruiser Squadron (BCS) and 2nd BCS. They turned to port for similar reasons. The sighting report was from Lion since the cruiser screen was not far enough ahead to give any earlier warning.

Plot from 13:00 to 14:00

(simplified plot)

Since the full plot may be difficult to read, the simplified plot showing only the lead ships of the battleship and battle cruiser units will be discussed. At 13:00 the I.A.G. reversed course to take station ahead of the German battleships due to being under fire of more than their number of capital ships. The leading battleships of each side were sighted by opposing light cruisers at 13:04 and 13:05. At 13:05 the 1st and 2nd BCS took station ahead of the British battleships due to being under fire of the leading German battleships. At 13:15 both side’s battleships deployed. The British formed a single line to port with the port wing (3rd Division) leading. The Germans, already in single line, turned to starboard. While moving to their stations ahead of the lead battleships, both side’s battle cruisers interfered with the fire of the battlelines.

Plot from 14:00 to 14:50

(simplified plot)

As the battlelines gradually closed the range, the destruction was heavy on the battle cruisers and leading battleship divisions. Torpedoes were launched from the underwater tubes from both sides, and several British ships were hit. When the game was (arbitrarily) ended, many of the surviving ships were low on ammunition.

Plot from 14:00 to 14:50 showing flotillas

Although many torpedoes were launched by cruisers and capital ships, none were launched by the destroyer or torpedo boat flotillas. This plot shows the tracks of the flotillas in relation to the lead ships of battleship divisions. The ordered torpedo attacks generally failed because the flotillas could not reach a launch position clear of friendly ships without being driven off by the fire or proximity of enemy ships. The current algorithm for stationing flotillas relative to the battlelines may need to be revised to address this problem.

End of game status:

Capital ship gunnery logs organized by unit:

Austro-Hungarian Armored Train

3D printed Austro-Hungarian armored train Type B PZ (see Paul Malmassari, “Armoured Trains, An Illustrated Encyclopedia 1825-2016”, ISBN 978-1-59114-607-0, page 37). The full train initially consisted of two artillery cars, two locomotives and one infantry car, ordered Art-Loco-Inf-Loco-Art. Cars of this type were subsequently part of the Polish armored train “Smialy” (see Janusz Magnuski, “Pociag Pancerny ‘SMIALY’, ISBN 83-85314-10-5)

The models are from Shapeways:
https://www.shapeways.com/product/R3FUEC3X3/1-160th-n-scale-armoured-steam-locomotive?optionId=113129095&li=ostatus

https://www.shapeways.com/product/HK9TNLWA8/1-160th-n-scale-armoured-traincar-casemate?optionId=112948278&li=shops

https://www.shapeways.com/product/D9NEZ4LSY/1-160th-n-scale-scale-armoured-traincar-gun-car?optionId=113128464&li=shops

Printed in 1/160 scale with fixed wheels, the flanges are too fine to sit reliably on N-gauge track. I added small bits of styrene inside the wheels to create larger flanges. There is not space under the cars for any N-gauge wheel/axles I have.

US Pacific Fleet Battleships 1941

Battleship Divisions One, Two and Four (less Colorado) of the Pacific Fleet in 1941.

These are repaints of the models from the ‘Tribute to Valor Pearl Harbor Series’ Battleship Row set. They are approximately 1/2650 scale and say ‘Legacy of Valor’ on the bottom.

The turret colors are based on this reference. The actual hull colors are subject to some controversy, e.g.:
http://archives.starbulletin.com/2006/12/07/news/story04.html
http://www.mikeashey.com/SHIP%20PROJECT%20PDFS/ARTICLE-BATTLESHIP-COLORS-AT-PEARL-HARBOR.pdf

The colors used here are just my personal preference.

Der Tag, 1916 Game Report

“Der Tag, 1916” by Minden Games is a solitaire WW1 strategy game depicting the naval conflict in the North Sea between British and German fleets.

Game 1. No optional rules were used. 1:6000 scale ship models and a 2010 North Sea map were used instead of the game components.

Turn 1

The initial British base assignments were fixed since first turn reassignments is an optional rule.

Scapa Flow: 9 second generation dreadnoughts, 9 dreadnoughts, 3 battlecruisers, 5 armoured cruisers.
Cromarty: 8 second generation dreadnoughts, 4 armoured cruisers.
Rosyth: 5 second generation dreadnoughts, 6 battlecruisers.
Dover: 1 dreadnought, 7 pre-dreadnoughts and 3 armoured cruisers.

The Action Card “RAID” was drawn. North Sea weather was average in the north, poor in the center and south. German ships available were 3 battlecruisers, 1 second generation dreadnought and 5 dreadnoughts. The action location was Dover (in the south, thus poor weather). British forces intercepted from Dover. No British ships were unavailable due to repair. The Dover force arrived at the battle location on battle round 2, so the combat phase started with that round.

Battle round 2: The British achieved 3 hits and 2 saves. The Germans achieved 1 vulnerability hit and 5 saves. This gave 1 damaged British pre-dreadnought which sank.

Battle continuation failed so there was no battle round 3.

The Germans received 2 victory points for the raid and 2 for sinking a pre-dreadnought.

Turn 2

The British base assignments were modified as follows:
Scapa Flow: 6 pre-dreadnoughts and 4 armoured cruisers.
Cromarty: 2 second generation dreadnoughts, 10 dreadnoughts, 9 battlecruisers.
Rosyth: 20 second generation dreadnoughts.
Dover: 8 armoured cruisers.

The Action Card “TIP & RUN” was drawn. North Sea weather was excellent in the north and center and poor in the south. German ships available were 5 battlecruisers, 3 second generation dreadnoughts and 2 dreadnoughts. The action location was Hull (in the center, thus excellent weather). British forces intercepted from Rosyth and Dover. 2 second generation dreadnoughts from Rosyth and 2 armoured cruisers from Dover were unavailable due to repair. The Rosyth force arrived at the battle location on battle round 2, so the combat phase started with that round. The Dover force would arrive at the battle location on battle round 3.

Battle round 2: The British achieved 6 hits, 1 vulnerability hit and 2 saves. The Germans achieved 1 hit, 1 vulnerability hit and 2 saves. The British had 1 second generation dreadnought damaged. The Germans had 2 second generation dreadnoughts damaged, 1 second generation dreadnought sunk, 1 dreadnought damaged and 1 battlecruiser sunk.

Battle round 3: The British achieved 8 hits, 2 vulnerability hits and 2 saves. The Germans achieved 2 vulnerability hits and 1 save. The British had 1 second generation dreadnought damaged and 1 armoured cruiser damaged. The Germans had all remaining ships damaged and 1 battlecruiser sunk. The rules do not state how to apply 9 damage results to a force of 5 ships so the extra results were ignored.

The Germans received 1 victory point for the tip & run. The British received 13 victory points for sinking 1 second generation dreadnought and 2 battlecruisers.

Turn 3

The British base assignments were not modified. The Action Card “NO ACTION” was drawn. The British received 3 victory points.

Turn 4

The British base assignments were not modified. The Action Card “BOMBARD” was drawn. North Sea weather was average in the north, poor in the center and average in the south. German ships available were 1 battlecruiser, 1 second generation dreadnought and 1 dreadnought. The action location was Scarborough (in the center, thus poor weather). No British forces intercepted. The Germans received 5 victory points for the bombardment.

Total victory points were British 13, German 10, a British victory.

The player made one decision in the game which had any effect on play, the assignment of ships to bases for turn 2. The assignment decisions for turns 3 and 4 were immaterial since there were no combats. Everything else that occurred was the result of random die rolls. Use of some of the optional rules would potentially give the player more decisions.

Game 2. Optional rules used: Play as the German side, Withdrawal.

Turn 1

The Action Cards “RAID” and “DER TAG” were drawn. “DER TAG” was selected.

North Sea weather was average in the north, poor in the center and south. All German ships were available: 5 battlecruisers, 9 second generation dreadnoughts and 8 dreadnoughts. The pre-dreadnoughts and armoured cruisers were inadvertently left out. The action location was Center (poor weather). British forces intercepted from Scapa, Cromarty and Rosyth. 3 British ships from Rosyth were unavailable due to repair, 1 battlecruiser and 2 second generation dreadnoughts. The Rosyth force arrived at the battle location on battle round 2, so the combat phase started with that round.

Battle round 2: The British achieved 3 hits and 2 saves. The Germans achieved 7 hits and 7 saves. This damaged 3 British second generation dreadnoughts and 2 British battlecruisers. 1 British second generation dreadnought and 1 British battecruiser sank.

Since the Scapa and Cromarty forces would arrive for combat round 3, the German force withdrew (using the optional rule).

The Germans received 9 victory points for sinking ships.

Turn 2

The Action Card “NO ACTION” was drawn. The British received 3 victory points.

Turn 3

The Action Cards “TIP & RUN” and “BOMBARD” were drawn. “BOMBARD” was selected.

North Sea weather was average in the north, poor in the center and average in the south. All German battlecruisers were available: 5 battlecruisers. The action location was Scarborough (poor weather). British forces intercepted from Cromarty. 2 British ships were unavailable due to repair, 1 armoured cruiser and 1 second generation dreadnought. The Cromarty force arrived at the battle location on battle round 3, so the combat phase started with that round.

Battle round 3: The British achieved 2 hits and 2 saves. The Germans achieved 2 vulnerability hits and 3 saves. This damaged 2 British armoured cruisers. 1 British armoured cruiser sank.

The Germans received 5 victory points for the bombardment and 1 for sinking an armoured cruiser.

Turn 4

The Action Cards “AMBUSH” and “RAID” were drawn. “AMBUSH” was selected.

North Sea weather was average in the north, poor in the center and average in the south. All German battlecruisers, second generation dreadnoughts and dreadnoughts were available: 5 battlecruisers, 9 second generation dreadnoughts and 8 dreadnoughts. The action location was Rosyth (poor weather). British forces intercepted from Scapa and Rosyth. 2 British ships from Scapa and 1 from Rosyth were unavailable due to repair, 2 second generation dreadnoughts and 1 dreadnought. The Rosyth force arrived at the battle location on battle round 2, so the combat phase started with that round. The Scapa force would arrive on battle round 3.

Battle round 2: The British achieved 4 hits and 1 save. The Germans achieved 5 vulnerability hits, 8 hits and 5 saves. This damaged 5 British second generation dreadnoughts and 7 British battlecruisers. Unlike the first game, damage in excess of the number of ships was allocated as equally as possible, thus several ships made 2 rolls on the damage table. 2 British second generation dreadnoughts and 5 British battlecruisers. sank.

Battle round 3: The British achieved 1 vulnerability hit, 6 hits and 7 saves. The Germans achieved 5 vulnerability hits, 2 hits and 5 saves. This damaged 1 British second generation dreadnought , 3 British dreadnoughts, 1 British battlecruiser, 1 German second generation dreadnought and 1 German dreadnought. 1 British dreadnought, 1 British battlecruiser and 1 German dreadnought sank.

The British received 5 victory points for sinking a dreadnought. The Germans received 39 victory points sinking 2 second generation dreadnoughts, 1 dreadnought and 6 battlecruisers.

Total victory points were British 8, German 55, a German victory.

1/6000 Naval – Austro-Hungarian Turmschiffe Kronprinz Erzherzog Rudolf

S.M.S. Kronprinz Erzherzog Rudolf was a ‘turreted ironclad’ (Turmschiffe) commissioned in 1889, and in Austro-Hungarian service on and off until around February 1918. The main armament was three 305 mm guns mounted individually in barbettes.

This drawing is from “Austro-Hungarian Battleships in World War One,” by Zvonimir Freivogel: