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 – Admiralty Floating Dock

Admiralty Floating Docks AFD4 and AFD5 were completed in 1912 to handle ships of up to 32,000 tons. AFD4 was at Sheerness in 1912 and Jarrow in 1915. AFD5 was at Invergordon from 1914 through 1919.

AFD4

AFD5

Floating dock list

AFD4-5 Onshape Drawing

 

WW1 Naval – Jutland, the Run to the South

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.

References:
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.

Narrative

Player reports
Battlecruiser Force
Aufklarung Gruppe

Plots
80-145 minutes (without light cruiser plots)
All

End game status

Computer code (described here)

 

1/6000 Naval – French 1911 Seaplane Carrier Foudre

The Foudre was a French seaplane carrier, converted from an 1896 torpedo boat tender in 1911. This 1/6000 scale model is an approximation based on photos. Also shown is a German Navy dirigible and a generic game marker for a deployed seaplane (or other scouting aircraft). The seaplane is oversize for 1/6000, but is as small as I was able to carve.

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

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.

Narrative

Player reports
British-French
Austro-Hungarian

Plots
0-25 minutes
25-45 minutes
All

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.