May 15 1916, 07:30 Western Gulf of Finland
The Russians launch a heavy raid against the German patrols/ blockade of St Petersburg. The Russians sail from St Petersburg just before dusk on the 14th. At dawn both sides are sighted. Clear good weather. Visability starts ar 18,000 yards, increases to 24,000 yards by turn 5 as the morning haze lifts.
CA Bayan (II)
Speed 14 knots. Course 270.
Speed 8 knots. Course 090. Initial direction to the Russians determined randomly.
Victory is based mostly on damage inflected. The Russians need to avoid a lot of damage. They cannot replace their ships, and badly damaged ships will find no safe harbor for repair. The Russians would like to “run” the Blockade to get into the German merchant shipping, but have to be only lightly damaged for that.
Mines: The Gulf of Finland has been mined by the Russians, but the Germans have prevented the Russians from maintaining the minefields. Some mines have broken loose and wandered. The mines have a low chance of contact (<5% / column of ships / turn). Slower ships can better avoid them. Only the lead ship of a column is at risk. The Russians have out of date maps, giving them some knowledge of where the mines are. Mines should influence tactics but not dominate the game. If ships stay in column there is about a 48% chance of one mine explosion in an 8 turn game.
Both sides led with light cruiser to take any mine hits. None occurred. Both sides turned to the north to bring their batteries to bear. With the rear ships out of range, the early turns pitted the two Russian dreadnoughts against the dreadnought Helgoland, while the armored cruiser Roon targeted the light cruiser Jemtchug. After 8 turns the Helgoland was a wreck (8 tiers of damage, two fires and only one remaining damage control team). No other ships had been significantly damaged. We called the game as a Russian victory.