Monday, January 31, 2022

Fast Convoy ~ The Game

January 1st 1942. 

Fast convoy of 44 vessels using the Central Channel from Halifax NS to Liverpool.

HMS VERBENA is among the escorts, Commander David Chandler RNR, CO.

All crew rated as Skill 1.

1st Day: Depart Halifax in a violent Northeaster. Galley fires out. Convoy speed reduced due to weather. Verbena proves to be of sound construction. No mechanical issues reported, although like all of her class she'll 'roll on wet grass.'

First sector empty. 

2nd—6th Days: Violent storm continues. Conditions aboard increasingly miserable.

Second sector empty: 

Third sector, U-boat present but unable to attack due to weather conditions. 

4th—5th—6th Days weather continues to be foul. No encounters. Entering air gap.

7th Day: Weather improves to Snow. To boost morale after such a prolonged and miserable blow the Captain orders ‘Splice the Mainbrace.’ Crew mood lifted.

8th Day: Weather continues to improve, visibility poor.

9th Day: Foggy conditions. Night, with a waning half-moon. 

U-boat encountered on the surface at Long range. Corvette fails to detect it. 

U-boat attacks and sinks 8,000 ton MV Empire Horizon. U-boat sighted through drifting snow at medium range.

Verbena engages with 4” gun. On the second round being fired a bright yellow flash penetrates the drifting snow and an explosion is heard.

A temporary break in the snow enables lookouts to see U-boat crash diving. ASDIC contact made at close range.

Verbena drops depth charges. Oil observed on surface. Second attack made. U-boat forced to the surface, crew abandon ship. Submarine fatally damaged, sinks before an attempt to gather intelligence can be made. Prisoners taken, divided among other escorts.

10th Day: Weather worsens to violent storm, U-boat present but unable to attack due to conditions.

11th Day: Weather improves to heavy swell and slowly drifting fog.

12th Day: Weather improves but visibility still poor.

13th Day: Weather improves to good. Visibility excellent, sea-state calmer. Lookouts ordered to extra vigilance.

14th Day: Weather still good.

15th Day: Oil slick sighted. Verbena dispatched to investigate. Straggler 6,000 ton tanker MV Bainbridge sighted. A torpedo hit registered only a partial explosion, breaching compartment but failing to ignite fuel. Bainbridge placed under escort.

16th Day: Enter Liverpool roads. Prisoners sent ashore.

Commander Chandler awarded Distinguished Service Cross for sinking of U-boat. Preparations made for next convoy.

* * * *

So went my first game of Corvette Command. I enjoyed it, especially the feeling of tension I got when it came time to turn over the next sector of the route to see what awaited my sturdy ship. Verbena proved exceptionally lucky this first time out. Not only did she and her charges avoid two lurking U-boats due to the foul weather, the one enemy submarine that succeeded in making an attack was hunted down and confirmed destroyed. Not only that, the Random Event roll turned up a straggling ship from a previous convoy which a die roll confirmed to be a vital tanker thought sunk. 

This game looks set to be a keeper. I'm looking forward to seeing how Commander Chandler and company fare as the war progresses.

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Corvette Command

A snowy weekend, I'm between other jobs, we're awaiting arrival of a new kitten to our family... Time to check out the Corvette Command rules.

The North Atlantic awaits...

This'll be my first game, so it's going to be a learning curve. We'll see how they play.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Still around...

...just not doing much gaming or model making right now. A combination of personal stuff, post-holiday blues and a busy spell of writing has left me with little time and less inclination for hobby stuff. I do have an idea for a Lion Rampant game involving the terrain of the recent Dux Brit. game. The free Corvette Captain rules on Jim Jackaman's Tea and a Wad blog also tempted me, so I downloaded the set to try out one of these days.


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