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"Cavalry artillery" Topic

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637 hits since 10 Aug 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Wolfhag10 Aug 2017 10:10 a.m. PST


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-Canadian-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.


Overview, north is up. At left (top left, off camera to left, the two abutments at top center, and bottom left) is the island of Bali, with the point at left center being Cape Tafel and the little island just above it being Serangan. The big island at far right is Besar (which apparently is now called Penida?), the smaller island to its left is Ceningan, and the mid-size island just above it Lembongan. The Japanese are in two groups, at top left and top center, heading northeast (top right) to open ocean. The ABDA force is at bottom left, heading north on a bearing of 040.


The Japanese (bottom left) get the drop on the Allies, with the Asashio and Oshio swinging to starboard and launching torpedoes at the Dutch cruisers (top center). To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:

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.

dragon610 Aug 2017 11:44 a.m. PST

Very nice. I do think white thread, or yarn, would make for better wakes.

Mark 111 Aug 2017 1:24 p.m. PST

I quite enjoyed the AAR. Fast and furious is what I would expect for night engagements among the islands of the SWPA.

Still, reading the AAR does drive a couple questions to mind.

1 ) The engagement started at after 2200 hours. But there is no mention of visibility issues, searchlights or star shells. Are these part of the rules and were they part of the action?

2 ) It appears from the AAR pics as if the DDs or CLs are launching their torpedos dead ahead. All of the Japanese DDs were of the Asahio class, and none of those boats (nor any Japanese WW2 DD that I know of) could fire a torp across a frontal arch of 60 degrees or more. Certainly the US DDs (both Clemson class) had no forward-firing torpedo tubes. Can't claim to know much about Hein. I think there may still have been a few older European DDs (or more correctly TBs) about that had forward-firing tubes, but I think I'm on pretty solid ground if I assume that any DD built after about 1920 (as Hein was) would not have had forward-firing torpedos. We get a very explicit view of one of the Dutch CLs turning to bring broadside guns to bear. I'm pretty sure all of the ships involved would have had to do the same to launch any torps at all. I don't think, from what the pics show, that a single torp launch in the game could actually have taken place as shown.

3 ) As enjoyable and interesting as the AAR was, I wonder why I find this under a thread titled "Cavalry Artillery".


TMP sure can be a funny place sometimes…

(aka: Mk 1)

dragon611 Aug 2017 6:28 p.m. PST

Piet Hein is an Admiralen-class destroyer, basically a slightly changed British Ambuscade

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