Thumb up
1 Posts

General Quarters (Third Edition)» Forums » Sessions

Subject: IJN vs USN- Battle of the Komandorski Islands rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Red Dragon
United States
flag msg tools
Re-fought the Open Ocean battle off the Aleutians, March 26 1943 Battle of the Komandorski Islands

I used 1/2400 ships but compressed ground scale to that for 1/6000 (100yds per .5cm or 200yds per 1cm). It was much harder to estimate targets and check range zones and arcs, particularly with torpedoes. The best aid I have seen for this is a laser pen that makes a perpendicular line like this:

I discovered that I really need to find more Ship Data Sheets (SDS). Since the SDS that come with the rules are not laid out by class, but rather by individual ships, it sometimes takes a lot of work to find the right ship. In the case of this battle, USS Richmond (Omaha class) was so old that we had to make up our own SDS for it!


If you are not familiar (as I wasn't) the IJN had a more modern and larger cruiser/destroyer force distantly screening a convoy while an obsolete & smaller USN Cruiser/Destroyer force gave chase/tried to get between the screen & the convoy.

Things started out badly for the IJN since being tail-chased they had minimal guns that could bear. Only the US 8" cruiser picked on another CA, landing 1 hit for a immediate engineering hit limiting to half speed.

USN massed all other fire on rear IJN destroyer, only landing two hits. Relieved I roll for damage and of course sustained a critical/amminition/fail to flood/instant kill! Couldn't roll a 1-9 on a D-12 even to save 200 some-odd lives!!! Should have laid smoke to cover my tail.

Subsequently the USN beat up on the Nagara-class CL/DL for a while doing some decent damage but nothing too bad. The second repair attempt on the IJN CA engineering hit was successful.

IJN shooting was so-so & did some damage here & there but was notable for doggedly converting every hanging 1/2 hit into a full hit. The fact that the earlier USN 8" cruisers were only armored to CL standard meant the IJN CAs could penetrate both cruisers armor every turn.

On turn 5 I hemmed&hawed over whether to launch torpedoes yet since I was not in ideal position for targeting the USN cruisers, but the clock ordered me to launch with every ship or not at all. 41 torpedoes in all and would have been 50 if rear destroyer had been alive with all TT mounts. The cruisers could not fire their Port side Torpedoes of course so they technically still had 22 Torps.

5th turn IJN CA gunnery crippled and breached tow main bulkheads on the CL Richmond (ancient Omaha class). Richmonds Damage control party managed to patch 1 bulkhead so I was doing well and was charitable and said for now there can only be 1 bulkhead condition. She was creeping along under 5kts anyway. Had to end up cobbling together a ship diagram for this old-timer on the spot but she was basically imminently sinking or in dire need of a smoke-screened limping away.

The other IJN CA also hurt & bulkheaded the CA(ish) Salt Lake City so that when her bulkhead couldn't be patched she was down to about half speed.

Devastating turn for USN. The grim upshot for the USN was that the damage slowed the cruisers enough to save them from the 41 inbound IJN Torpedoes though.

At this point we had to wrap up so then advanced everything to check IJN torpedo fire. In true Tin-Can Navy style all 4 USN DDs bravely (or ignorantly) raced ahead into the path of the onrushing 41 Torpedo salvo. All were in arc of pretty much every torpedo. They evaded masterfully but with so many fish swarming in abeam one DD took two torpedoes early on and disappeared immediately while the rest jinked furiously and almost lived until another DD took a Torp from the very last salvo and followed her consort to the bottom. 3 hits for 41 torpedoes at over 10,000 yards wasn't terrible but would have had a better hit ratio had the USN Cruisers been able to maintain speed.

The surviving DDs would have probably been shredded by surface gunfire and the battered USN Cruisers would have needed divine intervention to survive another few turns. Stern chasing a stronger & torpedo-bristling IJN force was proven to be a very bad idea (not that either party had any doubts about that). To have a chance to win this scenario it seems the USN would pretty much have needed to outmaneuver & out-gun the IJN to get into striking distance of the off-board convoy. That's a very tall order & I would probably add another couple destroyers and possibly another cruiser to the USN side to give it more balance. That and/or start the USN in a better maneuvering position.

This scenario leads me to agree that the IJN commander was overcautious and may have deserved the court-martial & forced retirement he earned here.
 Thumb up
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.