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War at Sea First Game


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GallopingJack Checks Out The Terrain Mat

Mal Wright Fezian goes to sea with the Terrain Mat.

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31 July 2008page first published

3,669 hits since 31 Jul 2008
©1994-2023 Bill Armintrout
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Although this box calls itself a Two Player Starter Set, it only contains 9 random pre-painted miniatures - which makes it unlikely that you'll be able to come up with two 100-point fleets as called for in the Standard Scenario. You're not even guaranteed to have balanced forces.

We decided to go for the Standard Scenario anyway - and as luck had it, our fleets were balanced:

Allied fleet

My opponent chose to command the Allied fleet, which consisted of four units:

HMS Ark Royal
British aircraft carrier - 22 points - rare. Can turn one friendly fighter per turn into an Expert Dogfighter.
F4F Wildcat
Allied fighter - 7 points - common. Can make a special Combat Air Patrol move when with the carrier; receives a Defend the Flattop bonus when protecting the carrier from incoming aircraft.
USS Fletcher
US destroyer - 7 points - common.
PT Boat
US torpedo boats - 6 points - common. Shallow Draft allows it to enter island spaces; can avoid damage by High Speed Evasion; cannot take Objectives.

(As you can see in the picture, the Fletcher had a bit of a hull curl going, and the Ark Royal had a curving mast - some time with a hair dryer might fix that, I hear...) The Ark Royal is also too large to fit within a single map space.

Axis fleet

I had the Axis fleet, consisting of:

Japanese cruiser - 19 points - uncommon. Its Night Fighter ability lets it re-roll one gunnery attack late in the game; its Long Lance Torpedoes do extra damage.
Z20 Karl Galster
German destroyer - 8 points - common. As a Close Escort, it can fit into a space that is already full of friendly ships.
Motor Torpedo Boat
Italian torpedo boats - 7 points - common. Shallow Draft allows it to enter island spaces; can avoid damage by High Speed Evasion; cannot take Objectives.
Ju87B Stuka
German dive bombers - 7 points - common. Must be land based.
Kinai Maru
Japanese auxiliary - 4 points - uncommon. Worth 8 points if you can move this adjacent to an enemy island. Cannot seize Objectives.

My strategy was simple - split my forces to cover (or at least deny to the enemy) all three Objectives, while trying to sneak the freighter towards the enemy's distant island.