It's 0245 on 20 February 1942, and several hours ago American-British-Dutch-Australian (ABDA) surface forces were severely beaten after being dispatched to see off a Japanese convoy landing troops on the island of Bali. While the ABDA force was able to destroy the two Japanese troopships (and they'd already landed their infantry), two Dutch light cruisers were sunk, and the three accompanying destroyers were damaged heavily enough that they were forced to leave the area without picking up the survivors from the HNLMS Java and HNLMS De Ruyter. The Japanese had four destroyers escorting the two sunken troopships, two of which were heavily damaged, so the Japanese retired towards Bali, into Benoa Bay, in order to conduct repair of their damaged ships before getting back under way and escaping to the open ocean, ideally before sunrise brought more ABDA bombers.
What the Japanese didn't know was that another surface force had been dispatched by ABDA command, and they were nearing the east coast of Bali. Their initial mission had been to intercept and destroy the Japanese invasion force of Bali, but the first ABDA surface group informed them the enemy troopships had been taken. Now the ABDA force entered the battle area with one mission: recover the survivors from the sunken Dutch cruisers Java and De Ruyter.
Let's get it on!
*Quick rules note: mostly ships get two actions per turn, but if you draw a face card they get three. I just drew a face card for the ABDA ships, and I'd love to give it to the Tromp, have her swing to port and duck behind the islands at top center/right in order to dodge the incoming torpedoes, but there's not room, the turning radius is too wide...
*It's funny, in the last fight it was the Japanese that couldn't miss and the ABDA forces that couldn't hit anything (except for using torpedoes).
Wow, that went much better than I expected, and I was really quite concerned that I was about to lose three light cruisers in two fights, against nothing but Japanese destroyers. I swear I don't have anything against the Dutch! ;)
The fights were a lot of fun, and I think I like it a bit more now that I cut down the movement ranges. Other than that, the rules are working like a champ, giving a fast and furious game that I hope at least somewhat looks and sounds like a WWII naval surface action.
I'm not sure what's up next, I've so many projects in mind, but I promise I'll be gaming this coming weekend, and you'll like it! ;)