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"Simple Battle of the Yalu" Topic

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KTravlos25 Jan 2017 6:28 a.m. PST

I need some advice. I am going to run the Battle of the Yalu River from the First Sino-Japanese War for one of my courses as an active learning component.

What would you suggest as a simple system of rules that would still make the students think a bit?

Also any suggestions for paper models would be welcome.

With Respect
Konstantinos Travlos, PhD

Personal logo Virtualscratchbuilder Supporting Member of TMP Fezian25 Jan 2017 6:52 a.m. PST

General Quarters II. Fairly simple and quick.

Pros: simple to learn, quick turns, can handle a Yalu sized battle. Simple paperwork to keep track of ships, easy movement. Scale independent (I do Yalu in 1/600)

Cons: there would not be a whole lot of differentiation on paper between the cruisers. Does not really give the feel of big slow firing Canets vs smaller QFs. Other than the two Vulcan battleships, pretty much anything can harm anything.

I do not know of any paper models of these ships other than perhaps one or two 1/200 scale kits out of Europe. If you want to go with paper, you might:

- find or draw top-down deck plans and mount those on foam ore or balsa

- find or draw elevations and do the same

Who asked this joker25 Jan 2017 7:14 a.m. PST

Try Junior General. Here is a scenario for Tsushima Straights. link I believe you can get some silhouettes there as well. Remember, you must think like you are putting on a convention game. Minimum amount of rules. Something that will move along relatively quickly. Easy enough for first time gamers to play.

KTravlos25 Jan 2017 8:48 a.m. PST

Exactly Who asked his Joker. Thanks for the CQII suggestion, but I fear it might be too much for my students.

Texas Jack25 Jan 2017 10:08 a.m. PST

I would go with Quickfire, easy to learn, has lots of ship stats and they are free.

KTravlos25 Jan 2017 10:11 a.m. PST

Keep up the suggestions. Just keep in mind I will have to teach and play the game the same day.

And actually I should apologise. I did not give full info

Class time is 3 hours tops, and they will need a 10-20 minute break.

Students have zero to little experience with any kind of tabletop wargame. Some of them have played Diplomacy in some of my classes, and some of them have played Napoleon's Triumph, or S&T Balkan Wars. Beyond that not much.

English is not their first language.

attilathepun4725 Jan 2017 10:51 a.m. PST

Whatever rules you use, to have any chance of a realistic outcome, you would need to address the crappy state of the Chinese equipment and ammunition, due to governmental corruption. In particular, the pair of Chinese battleships will dominate the game if allowed full effectiveness. It was found that some of their main battery shells had been filled with concrete instead of explosives! Had that not been the case, it is likely that they would have sunk some of the Japanese ships outright.

Texas Jack25 Jan 2017 11:15 a.m. PST

I am not so sure the stories about concrete filled shells are really true. There was a lot of blame being passed around at that time but there was never (at least that I have seen) any concrete grin proof that it was true. Attila if you can direct me to anything conclusive I would greatly appreciate it.I know I first read about it in Wilson´s great book, and then I think it must have been picked up by other authors over the years, but I would like to see something that is more contemporary to support Wilson´s claim.

I have fought this battle many times, and in my experience if the Chinese player follows the historic doctrine of the time,Line abreast with intention to ram, he will surely lose. However, if the Chinese ships are deployed in line ahead they stand at least half a chance.Yes, you are halving the power of the two battleships, but the formation is less likely to dissolve into chaos.

The main thing about whatever rules are used is they must make allowances for quick firing guns, which in the real battle were the key to Japanese success.

Bill Rosser Supporting Member of TMP25 Jan 2017 12:27 p.m. PST

Each Knot of speed = 1" movement, you can increase speed by 1" per turn, or decrease by 2" per turn.

Each ton of displacement = 0.1 point damage. (9,000tons = 900 hit points). Two type of hits, armored – not armored. If 6" and below hits armor, no damage.

Fire each gun individually. 5" and below each inch = 1pt damage if hit (5"= 5 hit points). No critical hits ever.

Each gun 6" and above causes hits by inch squared. 6" hit equals 36 damage. 12" = 144 damage points, Critical hit rolled for each hit that penetrates armor. No critical hits on unarmored areas.

Big guns sometimes penetrate armor. 50% chance to do so for each hit.

Guns are reduced by % of hits. Small guns fire every turn – big guns every other turn. Very big guns every 3 turns.

You can decide the critical hits, or let the kids pick from a list and roll a die.

Good luck.

DinOfBattle225 Jan 2017 2:23 p.m. PST

I was all excited thinking this was the BATTLE OF YALU RIVER from the RJW, but alas it is not. I've been reading a ton about the RJW and currently reading about this first major land battle of that war.

KTravlos25 Jan 2017 4:09 p.m. PST

There is a Bloody Big Battles Scenario for that one.

KTravlos26 Jan 2017 11:41 a.m. PST

Thanks to all for their suggestions and help.

Texas Jack26 Jan 2017 12:35 p.m. PST

Good luck with it, and let us know how it comes out!

attilathepun4728 Jan 2017 11:38 a.m. PST

@Texas Jack,

Although it does not specifically mention the matter of concrete-filled shells. the following link to an eyewitness account of the Battle of the Yalu should interest you. It does support the idea that Chinese ammunition was of poor quality, and the supply completely inadequate.



Texas Jack28 Jan 2017 11:58 p.m. PST

Thanks attila, it was a very good read and makes me want to get the fleets out again for another go!

panzerjager24 May 2019 4:25 a.m. PST

Does anyone have a link to a set of top downs for the ships in this battle?



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