Archive for the ‘WWI’ Category

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.

1/6000 Naval – Never Built Ships

January 4, 2019

These are various ship designs from WW1 or shortly thereafter, modeled in 1/6000 scale. Many had little or no chance of being built.

La Motte-Picquet class French cruiser.

1917 Russian design for a Black Sea Battleship. The link has several 16-inch gun designs. Version 2 of the four variations by V.P. Kostenko (at the bottom of the page) was modeled since it was among the later designs (1917) and matches the drawings provided.

Austro-Hungarian Project V Battleship. Austro-Hungarian Project VI Battlecruiser. The last Austro-Hungarian battleship and battlecruiser designs were modeled.

German Post-Jutland Battleship Design Studies. Battleship study L20eɑ was modeled since it was selected on 11 September 1918 as the basis for the next German battleship (Dodson, “The Kaiser’s Battlefleet” page 126). Battlecruiser study GK4541 was modeled since it was among the last designs considered (Dodson, “The Kaiser’s Battlefleet” page 127) and since it was included in the Avalanche Press game “Jutland 1919“.

Tillman Battleships. Design IV-2 was modeled since it was the one presented to Congress early in 1917.

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.

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.

Canadian Autocar Armored Car in 1/144 Scale

April 16, 2018

Shapeways Canadian Autocar armored cars in 1/144 scale. These required very little cleanup. The only oddity is that two of the four have the steering wheels on the right and two have them on the left. I can’t tell from the photos of the real vehicles which is correct.

Blue Max AAR

April 14, 2018

This weekend the local HMGS-South group played a game of GDW’s Blue Max (first edition 1983) using 1/144 scale planes from the Wings of War series. The scenario was an Allied advance in the spring of 1918. A few rules were added to cover attacks on ground units and anti-aircraft fire. Five players (two German, three Allied) each flew one plane, and got a replacement if they were downed or left the table.

Both German and one Allied plane left the table damaged and low on fuel and were replaced. One S.E.5a exploded. We played 28 turns in about 3.25 hours.


1/6000 Naval – Armored and Protected Cruisers

March 6, 2018

Some earlier British, French and German armored and protected cruisers completed between 1892 and 1905, using Figurehead 1/6000 scale models.

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.


Course Calculation for Constant Range – 1913

December 22, 2017

In October 1913, Chatfield (Beatty’s flag captain) wrote a memorandum entitled “Fast Division Work from a Gunnery Standpoint” (The Beatty Papers Vol I, Item 49, page 90). This memorandum included the following statements about changes in gunnery range:

“… the attempt to obtain a tactical, or rather a gunnery advantage, usually results in a high and frequently changing rate due to constant change of course. This must affect the gun fire, possibly … to such an extent as to entirely neutralize the value of the position gained.”

“… it is quite easy, with superior speed, to calculate suitable courses which will keep the range constant and the rate nil …”

“The T must never be crossed at too broad an angle as this is unnecessary and causes a big and difficult rate.”

Two examples are given in the memorandum for a fast division speed 5 knots greater than the enemy. Both are apparently wrong and were corrected in notes added by Beatty. Also, specifying only the difference in speed is insufficient. The solution for 10 knots and 15 knots (for example) would be significantly different from the solution for 20 knots and 25 knots.

The following diagram shows the problem in a general form, where:

Ao Angle before the beam of the enemy
De Distance traveled by the enemy unit over the time interval
Df  Distance traveled by your unit over the time interval
R   Range to the enemy unit
A   Angle to steer toward enemy

Although Chatfield says he can calculate ‘perfect gunnery courses’, the range is not precisely constant over the time interval. It is only the same at the start and end points. Line Df would need to be a curve (implying a continuous change of course) to keep the range constant at all times.

A general solution to the problem can be developed by using the Law of Cosines. The area swept by the fire range is divided into two triangles:

To keep the formulas to a manageable size, intermediate terms are calculated:

Tables for various combinations of speeds, ranges and angles can be created: