Sunday, March 22, 2015

Perfidious Albion Game and short reviewI

Me and Doruk, another of the historical players in the club, played a game of Perfidious Albion. We based our forces on the capital ships in the Battle of the Yellow Sea, 1904 during the Russo-Japanese War. I commanded the Russians and Doruk the Japanese.

The forces were as follows (production company next to it)

1 Tsesarevich Battleship (Flag-ship)-GHQ

2 Peresvet Class Battleships (Peresvet and Pbeda)-War Times Journal

2 Petropavlosk Class Battleships (Poltava and Sebastopol)-War Times Journal

1 Retvizan Battle Ship-War Times Journal

The Japanese had

1 Mikasa Battle Ship-War Times Journal

1 Asahi Battle Ship-War Times Journal

1 Fuji Battle Ship-Panzershiffe

1 Shikshima Battle Ship-Panzerschiffe

1 Armored Cruiser Nishin-Panzerschiffe

1 Armored Cruiser Kasuga-Panzerschiffe

The two fleets are very balanced as the Peresvet Battleships lacked serious main guns.

The two sides started in two converging lines of battles. The Russians are closer to the lens.

View from the Tsesarevich

The two lines begin converging. The Russians focused their fire on the AC Nishin in the hopes of sinking or crippling it enough that the Japanese line would break. The Japanese focused their fire on the Tsesarevits. 

Vie from the Sebastopol.

Towards the end. The Russian T is about to be crossed. The Tsesarevits, heavily pounded and both magazines flooded is breaking off from the battle. The Russian admiral has moved to the Persevert, which receives a pounding at close range. The Russians turn abrest with the goal of cutting the Japanese line in half. Minutes after this picture the Persevert sunk after repeated heavy caliber fire. The Nishin received a pounding but survived.  

The end result. A victory for Japan. 1 Russian Battleship badly crippled, 1 Russian battleship sunk, for one Armored Cruiser Heavily damaged.
My mistakes: This was the second Perfidious Albion game we played, and I am still getting the hang of the rules. I believe that I paid the price for not being aggressive enough. I severely underestimated the ability of ACs to take a pounding in extreme range. I also overestimated the ability of C Class guns *the main guns of the Presevert Class). I should had closed the range faster. The Japanese player did it for me, and brought overwhelming firepower on my two head battleships.

If I play this scenario again, I will probably run the two Presevert in an independent squadron and send them against the Japanese ACs, while the four other Russian BBs that have A calss guns will engage the Japanese battlewagons.

My thoughts on the rules:

On the one hand PA gives a lot of detail that is needed for a good PD game. Gun arcs, and different types of guns are included in this game, and you will need to consider how the different guns on a ship can be used. The Damage system is pretty fun and the use of the grided profiles of ships a great idea. Firing works as is : you decide what target each gun will hi-> pool smilar type guns togther-> cross reference gun type-range-armor penetration to get a percentage to straddle-> you add the percentages of all gun firing on the same target and hitting the same penetration-> for every full 100% you have an automatic straddle-> smaller numbers are rolled for. For each straddle you roll and D10 and D6 and corss reference with the grided profile of the ship in order to see what is hit.  Thus a simple procedure.

The problem is that this become tedious when you are dealing with fleets of more than 3 ships which have mutliple guns. Especially E and D guns which a single ship may have anything from 4-10, and a fleet from 15-30 can be very very tedious to calculate. I had to stop the game for 1 minute while calculating straddles at 3-4 levels of penetration. This was an issue, and in the end me and Doruk were both brain dead. I do not know if I am doing something wrong, or simply the rules are not good with large fleets (I would not date try Tsushima), but it became a bit tedious after a point.

That said the granularity of the rules does make them the best fast-paced rules for Pre-Dreadnoughts I have found.

Thus, I would recommend them, but for smalel actions (Lemnos, Elli, Yellow Sea, Yalu) rather than big ones (Lissa, Tsushima).


Bluebear Jeff said...

I fought the Yellow Sea engagement a few years back using the "Naval Thunder: Rise of the Battleship" rules which played quite well:

You might want to take a look at those rules. I also have Perfidious Albion but decided to go with the Naval Thunder rules in preference.

They are an expansion on the "Naval Thunder: Clash of Dreadnoughs" (WWI) rules and are available from Wargames Vault:

-- Jeff

Konstantinos Travlos said...

Thank you Jeff. I looked at these rules but was driven away by the need for two books. That said I may give them a look. Once you have the miniatures exploring rules can be a satisfying part of the hobby.