Archive for the ‘1/6000 Battles’ Category

1924 Franco-Italian Naval Battle

June 23, 2020

A group in British Columbia recently ran an interesting naval game using the Steel Fleets rules (facebook link). Although it was a few years beyond what my code is designed for, most of the ships involved were from WW1. I have attempted to recreate the game’s initial conditions and early movements. Since the French had some ex-German ships and the Italians had some ex-Austro-Hungarian ships, the nationalities for those ships were overridden so that French or Italian shells and propellants were used.

Winds East at 10 knots. Sea state 2. Visibility increasing from 16,400 to 20,800 yards over the first 10 minutes.

Initial positions

French data

Italian data


Player reports


End game status

Gunnery Logs

Computer code (described here)


WW1 Naval – Jutland, the Run to the South

April 6, 2020

Having recently made significant modifications to the game code, I used the ‘Run to the South’ phase of Jutland as a test case. Course changes, speeds and formations were followed as closely as practical, given that inputs are only changed every five minutes. The primary source was the signals information in Brooks, although plots from Marder, Campbell, Tarrant and the Naval Staff Appreciation were also used. See the list of references below.

In some cases the game code was unable to reproduce formation changes as they seem to have occurred historically. Two examples follow.

Example 1:

When the IAG (First Scouting Group) turned from their initial northwesterly course at 2:27pm GMT, Brooks Table 5.4 gives these signals:
2.27 Turn together to port to WSW
2.30 Follow in wake of SO’s ship
2.43 Turn together to starboard to WSW
and states in the text that after 2.27 Hipper “seems to have headed SW for a time in line ahead.” This is consistent with Map 2 of the Harper Report and with Figure 11 in Tarrant.

Excerpt from Harper Map 2 (times shown are Central European Time):

It is not clear to me how the steaming order of the unit was maintained through the approximately 200 degree turn. Perhaps the trailing ships slowed, with the last ship slowing the most. The game code made a complete hash of the maneuver, but since the IAG was not in combat the disorder did not matter.

Excerpt from game plot for IAG

I find it interesting that Marder (map 4) and Campbell (Chart 1) have a different plot for the IAG in this period, with no movement in the southwesterly direction at all.

Excerpt from Marder Vol III Map 4 (times shown are Central European Time):

Example 2:

When the 1BCS and 2BCS (battle cruiser squadrons) turn east in response to the sighting of the IAG, the 2BCS is stationed 3 miles ENE of the 1BCS. Brooks Table 5.9 gives these signals:
3.30 Alter course leading ships together the rest in succession to E, 25 knots
3.34 (to 2BCS) Prolong the line by taking station astern
Brooks criticizes Beattly since “… the two weakly armoured battlecruisers were thrust forward three miles closer to the enemy and with no prospect of getting into line with Lion and the 1BCS without some violent maneuvering.” The game code had no serious problem putting the 2BCS in line behind the 1BCS, although with the increase in ordered speed to 25 knots, the 26 knot Indefatigable class ships lagged a few hundred yards behind after their speed loss in the turns. The game code reduces acceleration significantly as a ship nears its maximum speed.

Excerpt from game plot for BCS:

The rest of the exercise played out as expected, up to the point where the High Seas Fleet would have been sighted. The Lion lost a gun, the Derfflinger lost a turret, the Tiger blew up, the 5BS started engaging the IAG and the IAG avoided a torpedo attack.

Brooks, John, “The Battle of Jutland,” 2016.
Campbell, John, “Jutland An Analysis of the Fighting,” 1986.
Marder, Arthur J., “From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow,” 1978.
Schleihauf, William, “Jutland The Naval Staff Appreciation,” 2016.
Tarrant, V. E., “Jutland The German Perspective,” 1995.

Winds WSW at 12 knots. Sea state 3. Visibility 23,000 yards.


Player reports
Battlecruiser Force
Aufklarung Gruppe

80-145 minutes (without light cruiser plots)

End game status

Computer code (described here)


WW1 Naval – Never Were Ships Britain-France vs Austria-Hungary

February 6, 2020

This scenario was designed to examine the tactical employment of several planned battleship and battle cruiser designs. See this post for the designs of the Austro-Hungarian Porject V and VI classes.

Winds WSW at 5 knots. Sea state 3. Visibility 12 NM.


Player reports

0-25 minutes
25-45 minutes

End game status

Computer code (described here)

With the A-H battle cruisers wrecked and the best A-H battleships damaged and in disarray, we called the game. The scenario was unbalanced, due in part to the powerful G3 and N3 classes and the weak (four gun) primary armament of the A-H battle cruiser class. We have yet to come to any conclusions about how to effectively employ divisions with differing speeds.

WW1 Naval – Baltic Convoy 1916

April 7, 2019

This scenario was inspired by the Russian attack on a convoy of iron ore sailing from Sweden to Germany described in “After Jutland“, Chapter 6, pages 90-91. The Russian attack group of destroyers has a close cover force of cruisers and a distant cover force of dreadnoughts. The Germans expect the operation and counter with their own cruiser and dreadnought supporting forces.

Winds WSW at 5 knots. Sea state 2. Visibility 6 NM.


Player reports

0-25 minutes
25-50 minutes
50-75 minutes

End game status

Computer code (described here)

With only two Russian dreadnoughts left to face six relatively intact German dreadnoughts, we called the game. The convoy and most of the German cruisers had been destroyed, but the loss of the Russians dreadnoughts was a high price to pay for meeting the mission objective.

WW1 Naval – Oran 1914

December 2, 2018

This alternate history scenario was a confrontation between British and French ships in November 1914. The British were tasked with preventing the return of the French fleet from Oran to Toulon. The French were to get underway from the anchorage at Oran and get past the British.

Player briefings

Status at the end of the game


Player reports:

Plots of ship movements:
0-30 minutes
30-45 minutes
40-60 minutes

Computer code (described here)

We stopped play after 12 turns (60 minutes of game time) and about 4 hours of real time.

Heligoland Bight – 1916

November 2, 2018

This Friday we played a fictitious naval battle set in the North Sea in 1916. The British attempt to sweep the Heligoland Bight to eliminate German patrols. The Germans are supporting their light forces with heavy ships. The scenario includes ships not actually available in the North Sea at the time.

Player briefings

Winds WSW at 3 knots. Sea state 2. Visibility 5 NM toward the SW, 6 NM toward the NE.

Status at the end of the game


Player reports:

Plots of ship movements:
0-30 minutes
30-50 minutes

Computer code (described here)

We played for about 4 hours without a decisive result. The British had suffered somewhat more damage. In spite of a lot of torpedo fire from the light cruisers and destroyers, the only two torpedo hits were achieved by the Von der Tann and the Blucher.

Seekrieg 5 – Tsushima

May 26, 2018

This weekend the local HMGS-South group played a Russo-Japanese War naval game using the Seekrieg 5 rules. The scenario included battleships from the Battle of Tsushima.

The battle was fought in calm seas and hazy weather, visibility 12,000 yards. The lead ships started about 12,000 yards apart.

Japanese ships in a single line ahead:
Mikasa, Asahi, Fuji, Shikishima, Chin Yen

Russian ships in two divisions, each in line ahead:
Kniaz Suvarov, Imperator Alexander III, Borodino, Orel
Oslyabya, Sissoi Veliki, Navarin, Imperator Nicolai I

Crew quality was randomized, with the Japanese having a probable advantage:

1-20%       +1
21-80%    +2
81-100%  +3

1-30%        -1
31-90%       0
91-100%   +1

The battle opened with the Borodino class ships firing at the four new Japanese battleships, the Oslyabya firing at the Chin Yen and the four Japanese battleships firing on the lead pair of each Russian division. The guns of the remaining ships would be out of range for several turns. The Japanese soon switched to firing their primary guns on the four Borodino class and their secondary guns on the older Russian ships. The Imperator Alexander III lost an engine room on the first turn, forcing her to leave the formation. That was the story for the rest of the battle, with the Russian first division taking most of the damage.

After 14 turns and more than four hours of real time, the damage was:

Kniaz Suvarov                      3 tiers, speed reduced to 7 knots
Imperator Alexander III    1 tier, speed reduced to 9 knots
Borodino                               light damage
Orel                                        8 tiers, speed reduced to 11 knots,
–                                               no main battery, sinking
Oslyabya                               light damage
Sissoi Veliki                          light damage
Navarin                                  light damage
Imperator Nicolai I             light damage

Mikasa                                    light damage
Asahi                                       light damage
Fuji                                           light damage
Shikishima                             1 tier, speed reduced to 8 knots
Chin Yen                                 1 tier



Risikoflotte Risked – 1914 Naval AAR

May 5, 2018

This weekend the local HMGS-South group played a fictitious naval battle set in the North Sea in May 1914. The British attempt to destroy the German fleet in the North Sea bases. The German fleet sails to fight in the Heligoland Bight. The scenario is based on the British strategy of destroying fleets which may become a threat (Copenhagen) (also), and the German concept of the Risikoflotte (risk fleet).

Player briefings: Copenhagen 1914

Visibility 14,000 yards, improving gradually. Wind westerly at 8 knots. Sea state 3.

Status at the end of the game: Cope IO

Damage output file: Cope Short output

Player reports:
Cope British
Cope German

Plots of ship movements:
0-30 minutes Cope plot 0-30
30-50 minutes Cope plot 30-50
50-60 minutes Cope plot 50-60
All Cope plot all

Computer code (described here)

After more than four hours of play and 60 minutes of game time we called it a day. 5 British dreadnoughts were sunk and 2 were in a sinking condition. 2 German dreadnoughts were sunk and 1 was heavily damaged. The Germans could claim a tactical victory at this point but not a strategic victory.

This battle was played some years ago with an earlier version of the code.

RJW Naval – Skagerrak 1905

March 24, 2018

This weekend the local HMGS-South group played a fictitious naval battle set in the North Sea during the Russo-Japanese War.

The Russo-Japanese War has been in progress since 1904. Historically, the Franco-Russian Alliance of 1894 did not require France to support Russia since no Triple Alliance member state was involved. The Anglo-Japanese Alliance of 1902 did not require Britain to support Japan since Japan was not at war with more than one state.

In this somewhat altered history, Germany has decided to spend money on the army and not build a large fleet. Anglo-German relations are good. France finds it necessary to support Russia due to the military balance in Europe. Japan, assuming that this is the case, attacks French assets in Asia. Thus France and Russia are at war with Japan and the Anglo-Japanese Alliance (Article 3) is invoked.

Player briefings: Skagerrak 1905 Briefing

Visibility 18,000 yards. Wind westerly at 14 knots. Sea state 3.

Status at the end of the game: sk1905 IO

Damage output file: sk1905 output

Player reports:
sk1905 side 1
sk1905 side 2

Plots of ship movements:
0-40 minutes sk-plot-0-40
40-70 minutes sk-plot-40-70
All sk-plot-all

Computer code (described here)

The British concentrated their fire on the Russian ships and damaged all four of the Borodino class (the most valuable Russian ships). The French placed themselves between the British and the Russians. The Russians fought on, declining to leave the French to fight alone against a much larger British force. After about 3.5 hours of play and 70 minutes of game time, many of the heavy ships were low on ammunition. A minor British win perhaps, but all sides acquitted themselves well.

WW1 Naval – Brindisi 1915

February 10, 2018

This weekend the local HMGS-South group played a fictitious naval battle set in the Adriatic in WW1. On June 15, 1915, a few weeks after the Italian declaration of war on Austria-Hungary, the Austro-Hungarian fleet sails to attack Brindisi and to lure out the Italian fleet. The Italians are alerted and hope to avenge Lissa.

Visibility 14,000 yards. Wind WSW at 10 knots. Seastate 2.

Status at the end of the game: Brin IO

Damage output file: Brin output report

Player reports:
Brin Italian reports
Brin A-H reports

Plots of ship movements:
0-20 minutes brin-plot 0-20
20-45 minutes brin-plot 20-45
All brin-plot

Computer code (described here)

After four hours of play we ended the game with the Austro-Hungarians having lost 2 battleships and all their destroyers and the Italians having lost most of their destroyers. Several cruisers on both sides were badly shot up.