Admiral Horthy reports sightings of a large Japanese fleet, and has ordered us to make all speed to join up with the rest of the fleet. There will not even be time for us to repaint the ship - Mjolnir (and our destroyer escorts) will have to go into battle still in Prussian colours. I have ordered the gun crews to prepare the new incendiary rounds for use.
Made contact with SMS Szent Istvan and reported to the Admiral. He has confirmed the Japanese fleet has moved out to the South China Sea. Their destination is unknown, but he intends to move to engage them. All departments heads confirm Mjolnir is combat ready. Unfortunately the gun chiefs have reported the fusing of the incendiary rounds is incorrect (will need to be corrected in port), but they have sufficient stocks of standard APEX rounds.
We are steaming in close formation to starboard of SMS Szent Istvan. Our destroyers have been deployed along a two kilometer line to our starboard. The Admiral has a very low opinion of cruisers, and has deployed them in a "rearguard" role moving abeam to the fleet. In truth I think he simply doesn't want them to obstruct our lines of fire.
Dec 29, 1420 hours
Contact with the Japanese fleet! Their fleet includes; a dreadnought, two of their átkozott mechanical squids, a squadron of 4 cruisers, a squadron of 3 rotorcraft, and two squadrons of frigates. The majority of the Japanese fleet approached us from behind a group of small islands, with their squids and rotors on our port quarter.
Admiral Horthy orders destroyer squadron 3 to move towards the islands and occupy the Japanese fleet, while Szent Istvan and Mjolnir deal with these robotic beasts. I must confess some trepidation - this is an opponent beyond the realm of my experience. But I know my crew will serve with bravery and honour. Huzzar!
Dec 29. 1500 hours
Destroyer squadron 3 reports an enemy frigate destroyed and they are continuing to engage. My prayers are for those men, they do not know both a second frigate squadron and a cruiser squadron are moving towards them. The Admiral's plan is both cunning and ruthless. That one destroyer squadron is occuping half the Japanese fleet. It will cost those men their lives, but their sacrifice will not be in vain.
All batteries have opened fire on the squids. With only a vague wake to target the gun crews are having tremendous difficulty. Between our batteries, the Szent Istvan, and destroyer units 1,2, and 4, we have scattered half the ocean! Japanese rotorcraft continue to harass the destroyers, but so far to little effect.
Dec 29, 1510 hours
Hit! Spotted the clear blue flare of a breached sturginium reactor and sighted wreckage on the surface. One of the squids has been dealt with, and I will swear we must have damaged the other. However rockets from the rotorcraft have taken out one of our destroyers.
Dec 29, 1550 hours
Under attack by a giant mechanical squid!
Dec 29, 1630 hours
Marines from destroyer squadron 2 have finished off the squid. Destroyer squadron 3 is now completely destroyed, the enemy's cruisers and frigate are turning through the islands to engage us. Their dreadnought has move out from behind the island, but it is fighting two against one. I know that between us Mjolnir and Istvan can defeat it. However loses to our destroyer units have been very high - only 1 and 2 squadrons remain, and both have taken loses.
Dec 29, 1700 hours
The Japanese fleet breaks off. While I am eager to pursue, Admiral Horthy feels it would be unwise to do so without destroyer escort, so we likewise head for port.
This was the first game in a campaign. Jason's field orders were to kill my mediums (hence why my cruisers sat in the corner all game), mine was to kill his massive/large ships. Neither of us achieved these goals, so we went to VPs - I killed two Ika, 4 frigates and damaged an Inari, while Jason killed 9 destroyers. Less than 50 VPs difference, a draw.
A draw means no territories change hands. But even so I'm fairly happy with the result because I killed those two Ika. Under the campaign rules we have a total fleet (starting at 1500 points) which we draw our game fleets from. Jason no longer has those Ika in his total fleet, and will have to spend Requsition Points (RP) to replace them. He also needs to spend RP to replace his frigates, and repair damage to his Inari and Dreadnought. I was quite lucky there was no damage to either dreadnought, so I only have to replace my destroyers.
Will post in more detail about the campaign rules next blog.