Monday, 21 March 2016

WoW - Attack on the USS Intrepid

For our second visit to the Pacific Theatre MacSver and I decided to add a few more rules to play.

Since our last game I'd sourced, enhanced and printed out the deck plans of USS Intrepid (historical details at the end of the post) from Boardgamegeek, giving a bombing objective for the Japanese. We decided the the US had been caught napping and the 2 US planes would need to take off from the carrier (at altitude 0). The Carrier is bristling with AA guns which would hopefully help with protection until the defending planes got airborne.

So the new rules used were take-off, bombing, altitude and AA fire. The special damage was to be used as well, but none came up this game. We also were at pains to use the correct method of the planning phase this game, having incorrectly used the planning rules from MacSver's WWI Wings of Glory last time. This all slowed this session down as we got the hang of the new options, so this report seems a lot more brief than it actually was.

 Pre-game there was discussion about cloud ceilings and maximum bombing altitudes. With this agreed upon at altitude 5 (so that the Japanese had to at least come into range of the AA guns) MacSver, controlling the Japanese, completely surprised me by coming out of the setting sun fast and low at altitude 2). 2 Zeros carrying bombs and an escorting Ki-100. The targets were the 2 flight deck lifts.

With the WildCat and Dauntless trying to take off the first AA cover opened up, but caused minimal damage as the gunners had under estimated the speed of approach. The AA gunners need to not only predict where the enemy will be moving next but also what altitude to set their defences. The rounds need to be in a position for the planes to fly into to do any damage.

The  Ki-100 flew over first, ineffectively strafing the guns, but drawing some of the flak. The Zero followed in low behind through the gunfire right over it's bombing target.

The other Zero had headed towards the other lift (whilst also looking to damage the still taking off US planes), but a wall of flak hit it and blew it out of the sky.

The first Zero's aim had been true, though, and it's bombs struck home, disabling the lift. The lead Ki-100 was caught by flak as it made its way past and was downed. The lonely Zero would be left to either return home, or support the second wave...

This was a fun game. Quite whether the amount of flak guns made it an even match up was never really discussed, as this had all the feel of a "proper" scenario. The US planes never had a chance of engaging as take-off takes 3 turns to get off the ground, never mind climbing to a decent altitude. The AA guns take a round to reload, so timing the shots and trying to predict the enemy movement was more just putting up a line of markers. The Japanese tactics of coming in low also took the movement of the dropped bombs out of the equation when making their attack. Maybe the next session will have the second wave coming into complete the job?

The USS Intrepid
(Yes I realise now my planes were taking off in the wrong direction!)


  1. Looks great and sounds exciting!

    1. The flak coverage really added to the tension as the Japanese bore down on the ship.