It's 2220 on 19 February 1942, and all hands are at their battle stations, ready for surface contact. On 18 February 1942, the Japanese landed a battalion of infantry on the island of Bali, and immediately set to preparing an airfield for their air forces. An airfield on Bali would threaten the American-British-Dutch-Australian (ABDA) naval base at Surabaya, and so naval surface forces were marshalled and sent to intercept the Japanese fleet. First up, two ABDA submarines attacked the Japanese, but were easily driven off without causing any damage to the enemy. Then US bombers attacked, moderately damaging a Japanese troopship.
Following the air attack, the bulk of the Japanese combat ships (a cruiser and three destroyers) departed the area; the two troop transports were still conducting ship to shore operations, but finished up and got underway during the evening of 19 February 1942. As they began moving out to sea, ABDA surface ships arrived in the area. The problem was that ABDA command suffered from language barriers, diffused command, interservice- and international rivalry, and being caught off balance, so the ABDA ships dispatched to intercept the Japanese troopships was not only too late to affect the invasion, they were actually split into two separate forces which arrived in the battle area at two separate times.
So the Battle of Badung Strait was fought in two phases, one for each of the arriving groups of ABDA ships, and somehow my little wargames actually followed this pattern, though for a little bit different reasons.
It is time to fight!!!
*I screwed up; in real life, Java and De Ruyter did not have torpedo tubes...
*So, the fight has barely started and two Japanese destroyers and one ABDA cruiser and three destroyers have already cut loose with their torpedoes, the Japanese targeting the ABDA cruisers and the ABDA ships targeting the Japanese troopships. Whaddaya think? Is that goofy, or what you would expect? To me it seems like what you would expect, just a little early, but these fights have been kinda fast and furious.
With the De Ruyter stopped quite abruptly, the Michishio's torpedoes, coming from the east, sail harmlessly by.
Wow, only one hit on each of the Dutch cruisers, but then I rolled a six followed by another six (on a D6, in each case) to kill the two cruisers. So ABDA has accomplished its mission of destroying the Japanese troopships (even though they'd already deposited their soldiers on Bali), but at the terrible cost of losing both their cruisers. And the fight's not even over yet...
*The Pope failed its rally and is out of the fight, looking for the exits.
*The two near misses put two more shock on the US destroyer, pushing her to three, at which point the unit must withdraw from the fight.
But more ABDA forces are enroute as we speak, their mission: to rescue their comrades from the sunken Dutch cruisers. Which is the next fight, and coming right up!
The rules are working like a champ, but I do want to slow things down just a tad. I'm only playing on a 3' x 3' table (my 8' x 6' table is covered with other stuff right now), and the current move rates are a bit too ambitious, so I'm going to halve them for the next fight and see how that goes.