Monday, August 13, 2007

War @ Sea: Costal Convoy Scenario

In the Med it was often the case that Axis forces would convoy military equipment down the coast of Italy and the Balkans to avoid the limited surface routes.

In principle it was direct and fast, but of course it could be opposed by Allied naval forces, especially as motor torpedo boats became readily available. In response the Germans in their turn would employ the F-Lighter, or Flak lighter armed landing barges to get critical materiel to the front. They were respected enemies amongst PT boats, as they packed a considerable punch. Even more so if supported by the AFP gunboats.

This scenario represents a typical convoy attempting the trip down the coast. One player, normally the Axis player will be acting as a convoy escort; the other player will attempt to intercept it. Although the scenario is written principally from the standpoint of the Mediterranean similar actions were frequently carried out in the pacific.

Fleet Selection

Each player may pick a fleet of upto 50 points only. No vessel that costs more than 10 points may be selected*.

Carriers may be included, so long as the separate cost of each component (carrier, aircraft) is 10 points or less.

Additionally the convoy commander (nominally the axis player) has a transport fleet of 5 vessels to escort. These are either standard merchant vessels using the stats provided in the normal convoy scenario, or F-Lighters as detailed below in an earlier post. The advantage of F-lighters is they can hug the coast for much of the game, safe from most enemy fire. Merchant vessels however have more durability.

Axis players may wish to include AFP's as part of their 50 point naval force as well.

*At present some of the fleet options are limited with such low point limits, especially the Japanese. I would offer an optional rule of permitting any cost of surface vessel so long as it is either noted as a Destroyer, Submarine or Auxiliary; or costs 10 points or less. This would give the Japanese the ability to use their destroyers. And allow all forces to use their submarines.


The map above shows the initial dispositions available to forces. Axis vessels may queue off the table to come on in subsequent turns; if so they must be placed behind the sector they will initially enter at deployment, and cannot shuffle around until they have moved onto the table.

Sectors marked L can only be entered by vessels with the Shallow Draft SA.

The Allied player MUST split his forces between the two deployment areas, with at least one third of his surface force in each area.

Mission Objectives and Winning

The Axis/Convoy controlling player wins if Three of his transports make it to Axis Objective. The Allied Player wins if all the transports are sunk. Any other result is considered a draw; in which case total up the value of the (non transport) vessels (surface and air) destroyed - the player who has destroyed the most can claim a Phyrric victory.

The game lasts a maximum of 18 turns.

Special Rules

Coastal Waters

Vessels in a sector marked L cannot be attacked by, or attack any vessel, including aircraft. However, this does not apply if both attacker and defender are in the same sector and both have the Shallow Draft SA. This reflects the ability of shallow water vessels to hunt one another down where deep water vessels dare not go. Note that as per the rule clarifications, torpedoes cannot target Shallow Draft vessels.

Night attack

Friend and foe are limited in visibility by the cover of darkness that was favoured for these operations. This effects play in two ways:

Aircraft may fail to locate any declared target in a turn. Once all aircraft targets are declared, roll a D6 for each aircraft, on a 4+ the plane finds it's target and may begin an attack. If it fails its turn ends, though similarly its target will get no chance to fire on it; however, if an interceptor was trained on the attacker and still rolls a 4+ it will find and engage its target, which may defend itself if able.

Surface ranges are limited to 2 sectors due to the poor visibility.

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