Category Archives: Naval

German E-Boat S 204 surrenders at Felixstowe on 13 May 1945

Das Mittelmeer

Mediterranean scenarios for Cruel Seas. Download: ship model requirements (PDF).

Designer Notes

I envisage these scenarios on a six foot by four playing area but scenarios with destroyers and larger ships probably need a six by eight playing area. Except when the ships start at close quarters, always try to start a scenario with markers, using the same number of dummies as real ships. If torpedo boats go against big ships, strictly enforce visibility rules. Don’t allow players to see the force list or specifications of their opponents. The emphasis here is on matching the historical events, moreso than strict play balance. The scenarios may be balanced by changing crew quality or having the weaker force inflict damage and then be permitted to retire. Most of the information for these scenarios come from these books:

Flag 4 by Dudley Pope

Motor Torpedoboat 658 by L. C. Reynolds

Schnellboote by Lawrence Paterson

The War of the Gunboats by Bryan Cooper

General

  • Unless indicated, there is no turn limit to any scenario. You decide when it is over.
  • For victory points, use the points lost from each ship, divided by ten and rounded down. This makes damage to enemy boats, rather than simply their total loss, worthwhile. The side with the most points wins. Boats can leave the table to keep the enemy from earning more points.
  • All E-boats are S-38b (armoured wheelhouse), all MTBs (except MTB 6xx) are Vosper Type I (mid) and all MTB 6xx are Fairmile Ds with torpedo tubes. MGBs are Fairmile Ds with guns only. On all Fairmiles the forward gun is 40mm AA (the six pounders were not installed until the last few months of the war).
  • All crews are Regular.
  • All vessels start at Combat speed
  • All scenarios are set at night and with average seas, unless otherwise indicated.
  • When a scenario uses a ship that is not in the rulebook, check the appendix for ship specs and special rules.
  • MFP = Marinefährprahm (German Mottozatera)

There was very little combat between small craft in the Mediterranean for the first three years of the war. The reason for this was the great disparity of numbers. At the start of the war the Italians had 48 new MAS boats as well as many other torpedo vessels. The British had ren old MTBs, five of which had to be sent back to Britain. Most of the remaining five were lost during the evacuation of Crete. New Vospers and Fairmiles started to arrive in 1942.

1. Benghazi to Derna 19 April 1942

Forces

British: Surfaced submarine, HMS Thrasher (20mm AA, 75mm deck gun)

Axis: MFPs F154 and F156

Set-Up: Daytime. Head-on.

Historical Result: The submarine left.

2. Off Bomba 26/27 May 1942

British torpedo boats patrol the coast of North Africa to disrupt Axis supplies.

Forces

British: MTBs 309 (Jermain) and 312 (Quarrie)

Axis: MFP F149

Set-up: South edge is land. MFP enters on western edge, MTBs opposite

Historical Result: Uncertain – the MFP may have been sunk

3. Bring Home the Groceries 16/17 Feb 1943

British command reports an enemy convoy going from Palermo to Bizerta.

Forces

British: MTBs 61 (Bligh), 77 (Sturgeon) and 82 (Taylor) [Henessey]

Axis: Three E-boats, corvette Antiope and four merchantmen (Prosinone, Alcamo, Chieti, Labor) in convoy

Set-up: Place Axis in convoy with the merchants formed two by two within 40cms of the eastern edge heading west. British enter on western edge. Use Gabbiano for corvette.

Historical Result: Nothing.

4. Plane Island 22/23 March 1943

Forces

British: MTBs 265 (Oxley) and 311 (Lancaster)

Axis: Four Siebel ferries (lightly armed version – see Appendix)

Set-up: Ferries start within 40 cms of eastern edge, MTBs within 40cms of western edge

Historical Result: One ferry believed sunk.

5. Cape Zebib 31March/1April 1943

Forces

British: MTBs 266 (Smith) and 315 (Newell)

Axis: Three E-boats, two destroyers and two merchantmen in convoy

Set-up: A point of land sticks out into the NW portion of the map. A collection of rocks (Cani Rocks) fills the NE corner. The Axis enter from the northern edge in convoy. British enter second on southern edge.

Conditions: Night. Choppy seas

Historical Result: A depth charge attack was made. Two merchantmen sunk.

6. Bizerta 14/15April 1943

Forces

British: MTBs 634 (Eason) 638 (Rose) and MGB 643 (Hobday)

Axis: Two U-boats, surfaced.

Set-up: Place subs in the centre, facing east. British enter on weatern edge

Special Rules: MTB 634 had used up its torpedoes earlier that night.

Historical Result: The U-boats dived and escaped.

7. Zembra 16/17 April 1943

Forces

British: MTBs 634 (Eason) and 665 (Tate)

Axis: Four destroyers and two merchantmen, in convoy

Set-up: Place Axis within 40cm of eastern edge facing west. British enter on western edge.

Historical Result: Nothing.

8. Cape Guardia 18/19 April 1943

Forces

British: MTB 640 and MGB 644

Axis: Three E-boats

Set-up: A head-to-head shootout.

9. Bizerta Bay 25/26April 1943

Forces

British: MTBs 635 (Parks) and 639 (Russell) [Gould]

Axis: Two Motozattera

Set-up: Head-on.

Conditions: Poor visibility due to a mist.

Historical Result: Both MZ on fire.

10. The Dogs’ Day Out 26 April 1943

A two-part scenario. Carry over MTB damage and torpedo supply.

Part A. Ras-el-Amar

Forces

British: MTBs 633 (Russell), 637 (Butler) and 639 (Smyth)

Axis: Two Italian motor minesweepers (MMS) and one 1 R-boat

Set-up: Western edge is land. British enter from southern edge. Minesweepers enter from northern edge.

Conditions: Daytime. Average seas.

Special Rules: Starting at the beginning of turn two, roll 1D6. If the turn number is equal to or less than the die result, an R-boat enters from the northern edge that turn. See Appendix for MMS specs.

Historical Result: Both minesweepers sunk.

Part B. Ras Idda

Forces

British: As Part A

Axis: Destroyer Sagittario, merchantman Teramo, up to 30 fighter aircraft overhead and two shore batteries

Set-up: Western edge is land. British enter from southern edge. Axis vessels enter from northern edge in convoy.

Conditions: Daytime. Average seas.

Special Rules: A flight of three Axis fighter aircraft starts above the merchantman. After they strafe a British vessel, they are removed and a new flight starts over the merchantman. The Axis player may do this ten times or until the British leave the map. Starting on turn five, two Axis shore batteries on the western edge open up.

Historical Result: MTB 639 sunk.

11. On the Way 3/4 May 1943

16 Fairmile Ds and MLs (motor launches) led by a trawler had to cross the Bay of Biscay to reach Gibraltar and enter the Mediterranean. They were in four columns – four MGBs on the left, eight MLs in two columns in the middle and four Fairmile MTBs on the right.

Forces

British: MTBs 657 (torpedoes) and 658 (guns)

German: U-439 (von Tippelskirch) and U-659 (Stock)

Set-Up: The MTBs set up 50 cms apart, heading south. Place U-439 50 cms ahead of MTB 657 and heading north. Use the visibility rules (Appendix). Every vessel is a marker and needs to be spotted. U-439 should be 50 cms from the southern edge. On the first turn after there is any shooting or star shells, U-659 enters from the southern edge. See Appendix rules for subs.

Conditions: Poor visibility.

Historical Result: After exchanging a few shots with MTB 657 one U-boat crashed into the other and they both sank.

Variation: Four or five U-boats out of a pack of nine were supposed to attack the light boat convoy. You can feed two more U-boats and two more MTBs (663 (t) and 648 (g)) into the battle if you have the models – perhaps on alternating turns, from opposite edges, unspotted. The crews could be rated Inexperienced.

12. Dire Straits (of Messina) 14/15 July 1943

A three-part scenario. Carry forward MTB damage and torpedo supply.

Part A. Double Surprise

Forces

British: MTBs 633 (Fuller), 655 (Tate) and 656 (Joy)

Axis: U-boats 375 (Konenkamp) and 561 (Henning)

Set-up: Place the MTBs in a line abreast, 10cms apart, engines off, in the centre. Then place U 561 within 10cms of the British line, with U 375 behind it. On the first turn, all three MTBs move first. Surface submarine rules in the Appendix.

Historical Result: One U-boat sunk, one MIA.

Part B. Three Dog Night

Forces

British: As Part A

Axis: two E-boats and two shore batteries with searchlights

Set-up: The western edge is land (Sicily). Germans enter SE corner. British enter centre of northern edge.The shore batteries become active on the turn after an E-Boat moves within 40cms of land.

Historical Result: Both E-Boats driven ashore, one burning.

Part C. Cape Alessio (The Seven Dwarfs)

Forces

British: As Part A

Axis: Seven MAS boats

Set-up: British enter northern edge in any formation. MAS boats in column, heading NW, with last vessel at the center of the southern edge. Each side needs to reach the opposite edge.

Historical Result: The worn-out Brits thought the MAS boats were E-boats and left them alone.

13. Messina 14/15July 1943

Forces

British: MTB 640 and MGBs 641 and 643

Axis: U-boat, surfaced and three shore batteries on land

Set-up: Northern edge is land. U-boat in centre, facing east. British enter at centre of eastern edge. The turn after a vessel shoots, the shore batteries open up.

Historical Result: The British boats took a pasting but were able to leave under their own power.

14. Don’t Mess with Messina 15/16 July 1943

Forces

British: MTBs 57*, 62, 77 and 82* (Vospers) – all veteran

Axis: Six E-boats and two shore batteries

Set-Up: Eastern edge is land (Italy). British in centre, in line abreast with engines off, facing south. Germans enter southern edge within 40cms of eastern edge.

Special Rules: Somehow the British were able to hit an E-boat with a torpedo. To reflect this, allow a torpedo hit on a natural 1 or 2. MTBs 57 and 82 are ‘gun boats’. Their torpedo tubes have been replaced by two 20mm guns. Two more shore batteries open up on turn five, and a further two on turn eight.

Historical Result: E-boats: one blown up, one stopped and one burning. British damaged by the shelling.

15. Who Let the Dogs Out? 15/16 July 1943

Forces

British: MTBs 57*, 62, 77, 82* (Vospers) – all veteran – survivors of Scenario 12

British: MTBs 634, 640, 651, 670 (all with torpedoes – ‘Dog Boats’)

Axis: Five E-boats

Set-Up: E-boats in any formation within 50cms of the southern edge, heading north. The Dog boats enter the southern edge. The Vospers enter the northern edge and need to exit the southern edge.

Results: All the Vospers were damaged. At least one E-boat damaged.

16. SURPRISE! (Pezzo Point) 16/17 July 1943

Forces

British: MTBs 260, 313, 315, 316 (new Vospers)

Axis: Italian Light Cruiser Scipio Africano

Set-Up: Land (Pezzo Point) sticks out across the western third of the north edge. The MTBs are in the centre of the map, line abreast, with their engines off. The CL enters from the centre of the northern edge.

Special: CL armament – eight 5.3 inch guns, five 40mm and eight 20mm. Speed – 14/28/42 knots. Use a DD model.

Results: One MTB sunk. The British fought until they ran out of torpedoes.

17. An Angel’s Journey 9 September 1943

A British submarine intercepts Axis vessels leaving Corsica.

Forces

British: surface submarine HMS Seraph

Axis (1): One R-boat towing another. One flight of three Stukas arrive on map edge when 1D6 roll is less than the turn number.

Result: The submarine had to dive.

Axis (2): One vehicle I-lighter (Eva) towing another (Margot)

Result: Both barges were left burning. See Appendix for I-lighter specifications.

Axis (3): Two MFPs

Result: Both barges were blown up.

18. Let’s Sink This Freighter 11/12 October 1943

Forces

British: Two Vospers

Axis: One trawler (until it opens fire, then it’s a Vorpostenboot!)

This will not be the first time that the British crews do not realize how heavily armed this “cargo ship” is.

19. Piombo Channel 14/15 October 1943

Forces

British: MTBs 636 (torpedoes), 658 (guns)

German: Two flak ships* and Two shore batteries with an immortal searchlight (actually *Vorpostenboot)

Set-Up: The British set up in the centre facing east. The western edge is land (Italy). Place one flak ship in the NE corner, facing SW; one in the SE corner, facing NW. Must use Visibility spotting rules. The searchlight and shore batteries go into action in the turn after a ship catches fire or sinks.

Result: Both flak ships were set on fire, so was the MTB…by the MGB!

20. Zara (The Adriatic) 1 November 1944

Two German corvettes leaving Zara Harbor south of the island of Lussino are attacked by British destroyers. A German torpedo boat comes to help.

Forces

British: Two Destroyers – HMSs Avon Vale and Wheatland (Hunt class)

Axis: UJ202 (Trautwein), UJ208 (Wenke) and TA20 (Guhrke)

Set-Up: Corvettes enter from eastern edge, heading west. TA20 comes to help on turn three from eastern edge. Large island in northern part of map. British enter on southern edge.

Result: All three German ships sunk.

21. South of Giglio Island 20/21January 1944

Forces

British: MGBs 657, 658, 663, 659 and MTB 655

German: Two E-boats and one MFP

Set-Up: Head on. British in column. MFP flanked by E-boats. Treat British as if they have radar thanks to help from nearby PT Boats. Try replacing MFP with the six gun flak lighter. You could also reduce number of Dog Boats.

Historical Result: MFP and 1 E-boat sunk.

22. South of Capraia Island 21/22 January 1944

Forces

Allies: MTBs 655 (torpedoes), 658 (guns) and PT 217 (Doyle, radar) – all veteran

German: Four MFP, two flak lighters, one E-boat, in convoy

Set-Up: Axis in convoy – two columns of one F-lighter and two MZs with the E-boat to the rear. Allies come in perpendicular to Axis line thanks to US radar.

Historical Result: One lighter and the E-boat sunk.

23. San Stefano Early February 1944

Forces

British: MTBs 657 (torpedoes) and 658 (guns) – both veteran

German: Four MFP, two F-lighters, two flak ships, in convoy

Set-Up: Axis in convoy – two columns of one F-lighter and two MFPs, one flak ship at front, one at back. Allies come in perpendicular to Axis line. Bright moonlight.

Historical Result: The two flak lighters swung out to screen the convoy. After receiving 88mm fire to which they were unable to effectively reply, the British withdrew.

24. Vada Rocks mid February 1944

Forces

Allies: MTBs 640 (torpedoes) and 658 (guns) – both veteran. Two PT boats (radar)

German: One trawler*, one E-boat and two shore batteries (*in reality a a Vorpostenboot)

Set-Up: Axis in convoy, in centre, heading south. Eastern edge is land. Allies enter on the western edge. Use unarmed model or marker for trawler. Do not tell the Allies that the trawler is armed until it starts shooting. At the beginning of turn four tell the Allies that a second Axis convoy is entering from the north. At the beginning of turn six, two Axis shore batteries become active. If the Allies have not left the map by turn nine, bring at least three German ships (anything) on at the northern edge. Bright moonlight.

Result: The PTs fired torpedoes early and left. Both the British and the E-boat were heavily damaged.

25. Elba Surprise 16/17 June 1944

Forces

Allies: MTBs 655, 633 (torpedoes) and 663, 658 (guns) – all veteran

German: One MFP and one destroyer

Set-Up: Fill the NW third of the map with land (Elba). British move east in column along the southern side of the land. Germans come down the eastern side of the land, moving south. Elba blocks line of sight.

Result: Two British boats were damaged and the MFP sunk.

26. Miraglia, Adriatic April 1945

Forces

Allies: Three Vospers (radar, special torpedoes*)

German: Two MFP and three F-lighters in convoy

Set-Up: Convoy in centre. Vospers choose entry point.

*The new torpedoes have proximity fuses. Use medium size and crew quality when rolling Torpedo To Hit for the lighters.

Result: All five lighters were hit by torpedoes, supposedly.

27. Planinski Channel, Adriatic 12/13April 1945

Forces

Allies: MGB 658 (Reynolds – veteran), 670 (Hewitt), 697 (Booth) – all guns armed

Germans: two Torpedo Boats TA40 (Spica class) and TA45 (Ariete Class)

Set-Up: Land should crowd in from the western and eastern sides, leaving only a narrow channel about 80cms wide. British deploy in the centre, line abreast, engines off. Germans enter from northern edge.

Appendix

Necessary Rules

  • If a vessel runs over a torpedo, roll for a hit
  • If a vessel sinks before it moves in a turn, move its torpedoes when its die/chit is pulled
  • In a minefield, roll once for every 10cms moved. Place a 1D10 next to each vessel to track any ‘leftover’ distance to be added next turn
  • Turning when stopped – Large and Huge vessels can make only one turn
  • Critical Damage Table – Ignore critical hits 1, 3, 4, 6 and 8 on Large and Huge steel warships unless caused by 3 inch guns or larger.
  • Visibility Rules [rulebook Scenario 6, page 42] – ‘In a standard night scenario, you may not engage the enemy until they reveal themselves by moving above Slow speed, opening fire or are spotted. To spot, pass a Skill Test when you are within 80cms of the enemy.’
  • Use a marker if a vessel is out of sight. Use models when the vessels move into visibility range. Illuminated craft (lit by searchlights, fire, star shells, shooting) can be seen and engaged at any range. With good visibility (full moon) or daytime, everything on the map is visible. With poor or obscured visibility, reduce spotting distance to 40cms
  • Radar can identify the general location, size, and speed of enemy ships but you may not shoot at them using just radar. Remove dummy markers and consider using three sizes of markers
  • Air attacks – Aircraft can strafe one vessel that they pass over during movement instead of a bomb or torpedo attack. Treat as normal machine gun or cannon attacks. Ignore the -2 modifier for speed of shooter and the +2 for point blank range. Apply the damage bonus for the number of guns firing up to a maximum of +3D6.
  • Torpedo reloads. One torpedo can be reloaded at the end of a turn if
  • the vessel is at Slow speed
  • does not make any turns
  • does not fire any weapons
  • is not itself under fire and
  • the crew makes a successful skill test with a +1 modifier.

This rule is mainly for E-boats.

  • All lighters have very shallow drafts, so torpedoes hit only on a natural (unmodified) 1 or 2
  • Surfaced submarines – see page 58 of rulebook. Additionally when a submarine is declared to be diving, remove it from the game. Treat submarines as Medium targets for torpedoes
  • When a scenario includes a convoy, use the Convoy Dice System – rulebook Scenario 5, page 41.

Ship Types not in the Rules

Lightly-armed Siebel ferry 85 points

Size: Large 40 hull points speed: 5/10/15 red turn

With just a few light guns, most of the deck was still free to hold cargo. The specifications in the rulebook are for a ‘heavily-armed’ ferry. Armament – one 37mm AA gun (top of bridge) and two twin 20mm AA guns (each side of the bridge)

Italian CA Scipione Africano 1100 points

Size: Huge 360 hull points speed: 13/26/39 yellow turn

Armament – eight 5.3 inch QF guns; eight 37mm AA guns; eight 20mm AA guns; eight torpedo tubes and radar, mines, gun director

Vosper I ‘gun boat’

Size: Small 40 hull points 85 points speed and turn the same

Armament – three 20mm AA guns and two MGs. No torpedo tubes

I-lighter vehicle

A smaller lighter designed to transport vehicles. German: Marine Nachschub Leichter (MNL)

Size: Medium 80 hull points speed 3/6/8 yellow turn

Armament – one 57mm and one quad 20mm

TA20

WWI Italian destroyer

Size: Large 100 hull points speed 10/20/30 yellow turn

Armament – seven 4 inch guns, two twin 40mm and two torpedo tubes

UJ202

French torpedo boat

Size: Large 60 hull points speed 11/22/33 yellow turn

Armament – two 4 inch guns, two 37mm, two HMG and three torpedo tubes

UJ208

Italian sub chaser

Size: Large 60 hull points speed 6/12/18 yellow turn

Armament – one 4 inch gun, two 37mm, ten 20mm AA and depth charges

Article by Christopher Salander.

USS PT-105 running at high speed

PT Boats in the Med – a selection of 1943 scenarios for Cruel Seas

Introduction

I have produced a few scenarios involving PT boats for the rules ‘Cruel Seas’ which I present here for your enjoyment. There is a certain commonality to all the scenarios which I will outline first followed by the specific conditions for each one. Almost all of the information in these scenarios comes from the book At Close Quarters – PT Boats in the United States Navy by Captain Robert J. Bulkley, Jr. USNR (Retired).

A supporting PDF can be downloaded here: PTs in the Med Ships.pdf

Context

After landing in North Africa in 1943, American forces brought in almost every type of land, sea and air unit. That included two squadrons of PT boats, which set up in Bône, Tunisia. From there they struck east to protect the northern sea flank of the Allied advance.

General

Unless indicated, it is night time with average seas, all crews are Regular and all vessels start at Combat speed. All of the PT boats are Higgins class and have radar. All E-boats are S-38b (armoured wheelhouse) and the forward gun on all Fairmile Ds is 40mm AA (the 6 pdr was installed very, very late in the war). Some scenarios use ships not mentioned in the main rules. Such ships are detailed in the Appendix at the end of this article.

I envisage these scenarios on a six feet by four feet playing area. Scenarios with destroyers and larger ships probably need a six by eight area. Except when the ships start at close quarters, always try to start a scenario with markers, using the same number of dummies as real ships. If torpedo boats go against big ships, strictly enforce visibility rules. Don’t allow players to see the force list or specifications of their opponents. The emphasis is on recreating the historical events rather than creating an artificial balance. For such balance purposes tweak crew quality, weapon set and vessel count. Or the weaker force could inflict some damage for points and then run away!

There is no turn limit to any scenario. You decide when it is over. For victory points, use the points lost from each ship, divided by ten and rounded down. This gives value to damaging enemy boats in addition to sinking them. The side with the most points wins. Boats can leave the table to keep the enemy from earning more points.

Necessary Rules

1. If a vessel runs over a torpedo, roll for a hit.

2. If a vessel sinks before it moves in a turn, move its torpedoes when its die/chit is pulled.

3. In a minefield, roll once for every 10cms moved. Place 1D10 next to each vessel to track any leftover movement.

4. Turning when stopped – Large and Huge vessels can make only one turn.

5. Critical Damage Table – Ignore critical hits 1, 3, 4, 6, and 8 on Large and Huge steel vessels unless caused by three inch guns or larger.

6. “In a standard night scenario, you may not engage the enemy until they reveal themselves by moving above Slow speed, open fire, or are spotted. To spot, pass a Skill Test when you are within 80cms of the enemy.” (rulebook Scenario 6, page 42)

Use a marker if a vessel is out of sight. Use models when the vessels move into visibility range. Illuminated craft (lit by searchlights, fire, star shells, shooting) can be seen and engaged at any range. With good visibility (full moon) or in daytime, everything on the map is visible. With poor or obscured visibility, reduce spotting distance to 40cms. Radar can identify the general location, size and speed of enemy ships, but you can’t shoot at them using just radar. Remove dummy markers and consider using three sizes of markers.

7. Aircraft can strafe one vessel that they pass over during movement instead of conducting a bomb or torpedo attack. Treat as normal machine gun or cannon attacks. Ignore the -2 modifier for speed of shooter and the +2 for point blank range. Apply the damage bonus for the number of guns firing up to a maximum of +3D6.

8. One torpedo can be reloaded at the end of a turn if the vessel…

– is at Slow speed

– does not make any turns

– does not fire any weapons

– is not itself under fire and

– the crew makes a successful skill test (with a +1 modifier).

This rule is mainly for E-boats.
9. All lighters have very shallow drafts, so torpedoes hit only on a natural (unmodified) 1 or 2.

10. For surfaced submarines see page 58 of rulebook plus the following addition; when a submarine is declared to be diving, remove it from the game. Treat subs as Medium targets for torpedoes.

11. When a scenario includes a convoy, use Convoy Dice System (rulebook scenario 5, page 41).

29 April 1943 – Cape Bon (or not so Bon)

This is an incredible but true special, three-player scenario. Each player is trying to earn the most points by damaging and destroying the other player’s boats, regardless of nationality. The American PTs are heading home after completing a night patrol. They run into two British destroyers which are responding to a radio intercept of three E-boats attacking.

Conditions

No radar for anyone.

Forces

British

HMS Laforey (L class destroyer) and HMS Harwich (Hunt class destroyer and Veteran)

American

PT 202 (DuBose), PT 204L (Clifford) and PT 205 (O’Brien)

MTB Squadron 15, Cmdr. Barnes (not veterans yet)

German

Three E-boats –the 3rd Schnellboot-flotille, KKpt. Kemnade (Veteran)

Set-up

Place the PT boats in the centre of the playing area, in any formation, facing west. Place the destroyers in any formation 35cms to the north of the PT boats, facing east. Place the E-boats in a line abreast due east of the PT boats, facing west, within 45cms.

Exiting the board

Americans – western edge only. Germans – eastern edge only. British – any but the southern edge. The southern edge of the play area is land and impassable. If using a rectangular table make the east/west axis the longer one.

Historical Result

The PT boats turned and fired on the E-boats, damaging one. They then turned and fled west, chased by the destroyers, which fired with all weapons on the strange craft.

9 July 1943 – Operation Husky

The westernmost screen of the Allied landing in Sicily consisted of the destroyer USS Ordronaux and 17 PT boats. They were expecting attacks from E-boats based at Porto Empedocle in Sicily. They did not just wait out at sea, but attacked the town. Historically the nine remaining E-boats of 3rd Flotilla pulled out and left the area (mining the entrance to the harbor) so this is a ‘What If…’ scenario.

Conditions

Day time.Choppy seas. American PT boats have radar (in all scenarios from now).

Forces

American

USS Ordronaux(Benson class desdtroyer) and nine PT boats

Axis

Four E-boats (Veteran), contact mines. May exit western edge.

Set-Up

The Americans enter from the eastern edge, in line abreast, with the destroyer to the rear. The Germans enter from the centre of the northern edge in any formation. Consider the northern edge land and impassable for the rest of the scenario. The German player places two small, light minefields at least 45 cm from the American entry edge.

27/28 July 1943 – Stromboli Island

The Americans run into F-lighters for the first time. Axis ships should remain as unidentified markers until they start to shoot. Do not tell the US players about Rule #9 above until after they roll for a torpedo hit.

Forces

American

PTs 202 (McLeod), 210 (Davis) and 214 (Olson)

Axis

Seven Motozattera (MZ) in convoy

The scenario can be scaled by removing two lighters for each PT boat removed. For balance, double the number of PT boats. With more PTs you can also use a mixture of ‘flak lighters’ and MZ.

Set-up

The PT boats set up in the SW section of the map, in any formation, facing east. The Axis set up in the SE corner, in a line, heading north. Place a large round island between the Americans and the SW corner of the map. The map should be long north to south.

Historical Result

The PT boats closed to 300 yards, fired their torpedoes and left. The torpedoes passed under the lighters without impact. One PT boat was damaged.

28/29 and 29/30July 1943 – Mare Nostrum?

Forces

American

PTs 203 (Reade), 214 (Olson) and 218 (Henry)

Axis

Four MAS boats and two Motozaterra (convoy die)

Again, this can be scaled by removing 1 PT Boat and 2 MAS boats.

Set-up

The convoy is attempting to cross the map, in any formation. The PT Boats come in 90 degrees to the convoy’s line of travel. Rule #9 still kept from US players until they roll.

Historical Result

1 MZ and 1 MAS boat sunk.

15/16 August 1943 – Patton’s Left Hook at Spadafora

General Patton sped up his advance along the northern coast of Sicily by launching amphibious attacks on Axis positions using Task Force 88. German schnellboote attempted to penetrate the screen of PT boats protecting one of these landings.

Forces

American

PTs 205 (Boebel), 215 (Steele) and 216 (Sanders)

Axis

Two E-boats (Veteran)

Set-up

Germans start in the north, heading south. Americans start in the south, heading east. Germans receive the hull value divided by 20, in points, of each E-boat that exits the southern edge.

Historical Result

Damage to both sides, no sinkings. The Germans had to turn back.

19/20 October 1943 – Damn the Torpedoes!

Forces

American

PTs 208, 211 and 217 (O’Brien) (Veteran)

Axis

Two E-boats (Veteran), one R-boat, one flak lighter and the cargo ship Giorgio*, in convoy

*use ‘Merchantman’ specifications

Set-up

Germans start in the centre, heading north, any formation. Americans approach from the south, heading north. The east side of the map is land. Map should be long north to south.

Historical Result

The PT crews adjusted their torpedoes to run shallow in an effort to hit the flak lighter. Most of the American torpedoes malfunctioned. No result.

2/3 November 1943 – South of Giglio Island

Forces

American

PTs 206 (Oswald), 212 (Sinclair) and 216 (Sanders) (Veteran)

Axis

Two E-boats (Veteran), Two R-boats, one corvette carrying cargo(use Gabbiano class, but with no weapons – 110 points) in convoy

Set-up

Germans start in the centre, heading north. Americans approach from the south, heading north in line ahead. One modest oval island (long north-south) in the northwest, one large circular island in the northeast. The east side of the map is land and north-south is the long side.

Historical Result

The corvette was sunk with torpedoes.

22/23 November 1943 – North of Giglio Island

Forces

American

PTs 207 (Rosen) and 211 (Tulloch) (Veteran)

Axis

Two E-boats, one R-boat, one sub chaser UJ-2206(a converted French trawler – use trawler points and any model of the right size – speed: 4/8/12, 1 x three inch deck gun, three HMGs)

Special Use marker or a tanker model to conceal the chaser until it opens fire. Don’t tell the American players its specifications (they thought it was a tanker).

Set-up

Germans start in the centre, heading north. Americans approach from the south, heading north in line ahead. One modest oval island (long north-south) in the southwest, one large circular island in the southeast. The east side of the map is land and north-south is long.

Historical Result

The sub chaser was sunk.

29 November 1943 – Heading Home, South of Genoa

Conditions

Rough seas. Obscured visibility. Radar not working.

Forces

American

PTs 204 (Clifford) and 211 (Tulloch) (Veteran)

Axis

Three Minesweepers (there were also two late arriving E-boats, if you want to add them).

Set-up

Americans are in line ahead in the north, heading south, PT 211 in the lead, out of sight of PT 204. The Germans are placed second, in the south, within 25cms of PT 211, heading north, two to the left of PT 211, one to the right. To balance the game, or if using the E-boats, addvistory points for the Americans exiting to the south – hull points divided by 40 for each ship exited.

Historical Result

PT 211 was badly damaged by a collision with one of the minesweepers.

Interlude

In November 1943 Lt. Cmdr. Barnes, commander of the American PT boats, realised that British MTBs had better torpedoes and firepower than the PTs but also that the PTs had radar and the British didn’t. If all three types of boats were combined into a single force, you would get a more effective force. Future actions used such combinations. Also, by now, the Italians had surrendered, so all of the opponents from this point onwards are German.

Finally, the Allies started to fight the newly formed German 10th Flotilla, which used Italian torpedo boats that were built like destroyers. Spica, Ariete and Orsa/Ciclone class ships, usually referred to as destroyer escorts, were called Torpedoboot Ausland (TA) by the Germans. Choose the class of the TAs randomly if not given. Use whatever ship models you have of the right size.

18/19 December 1943 – ‘Able Was I Ere I Saw Elba’

The American ships were based at Bastia, Corsica. One night two German destroyers visited and bombarded the town. Two nights later the Americans and British set a trap for them if they returned. The island is the north end of Elba. The sea conditions are choppy in this scenario.

Forces

Allied

Force A – PTs206 (Oswald), 208 (Torrance), 210 (Davis) and 214 (Olson)(Veteran)

Force B – PT 209 (Eldredge), MGBs 659 and 663 and MTB 655M (Fairmile D) (Veteran)

An immortal Allied-controlled searchlight on the northern end of the island.

German

Two destroyers (type B)

Set-up

Place a very large island (but less than 40cms long) pushing onto the eastern third of the south edge of the map. Spread out Allied Force A evenly between the island and the western edge, within 40 cm of the south edge. Place the two destroyers side by side, in the centre, 40cms from the north edge. Allied Force B enters in line abreast on the east edge on a turn of the Allies’ choosing, but no sooner than turn four.

Historical Result

Lots of shooting!

18/19 February 1944 – The Rockets’ Red Glare

Forces

American

PTs 202 (McLeod), 203 (Reade) and 211 (Tulloch) (Veteran)

The PT boats have rockets. They have a maximum range of 60cms.

German

Eight E-boats (Veteran), one flak lighter, two MZ in convoy and two shore batteries that fire star shells which will illuminate the whole area, starting no sooner than turn five.

Set-up

The sea conditions are choppy in this scenario. Place the Americans exactly halfway between the east and west edges, 40cms in from the north edge of the map, heading south, in line ahead. Two sets of markers indicating four E-boats each in line ahead enter the south edge, heading north, one line 40cms to the left of the PT boats the other in line 40cms to the right. At the beginning of turn four the lighters enter at the centre of the south edge.

Historical Result

Apparently one E-boat was hit and sunk by friendly fire. One PT boat broke down and sat quietly to not be noticed until everyone left.

27 March 1944 – Operation Gun

To counter the Axis flak lighter, the British took three LCGs (landing craft gun), and put two 4.7 inch guns and two 40mm guns on each one. Then they made these ‘specials’ part of a trap.

Forces

Allied

Force A – PTs 212 and 214 (Veteran)

Force B: MTBs 634 and 659 and MGBs 660 and 662 (all Fairmile Ds), three special LCGs (14,19 and 20. Veteran)

Optional – add PTs 208 and 218behind Force B

Special Rulesthe LCGs have star shells

Germans

Two destroyers (type A) (Veteran), two flak lighters and four MZ in convoy

Set-up

The map should be long north-south. Place the Germans in the centre, in two lines ahead, destroyers to the west, lighters to the east, heading south. The east edge is land. Force A enters on the west edge on turn one. Force B enters on the south edge on turn two. Force B is under orders not to fire until both of the boats in Force A have fired their torpedoes.

Historical Result

One destroyer was badly damaged and all six lighters were sunk.

24/25 April 1944 – Shopping for Destroyers

Forces

Americans

PTs 202, 212 and 213 (Veteran)

Germans

Two destroyers (type A) and one 1 E-boat (Veteran)

Set-up

The Germans are placed in the centre in a line ahead, crossing the short length of the map. The PT boats enter on their left, down the long side. The DDs have radar and star shells.

Historical Result

One destroyer suspected sunk.

23/24 May 1944 – Wait Your Turn

Forces

Americans

1) PTs 202, 212 and 213 (Veteran) (DuBose)

2) PTs 302, 303 and 304 (Dressling)

3) PTs 201 and 216(Oswald)

Germans

Two Gabbiano class corvettes – UJ-2222 and UJ-2223

Set-up

The Germans are placed in the centre in line ahead, crossing the short length of the map. Force 1 enters on their left, down the long side. The corvettes do not have radar. After Force 1 finishes and leaves the table, Force 2 may enter from the same edge. After Force 2 leaves the table, Force 3 may enter from the same edge. Most of the American crews are new.

Historical Result

One corvette sunk and one badly damaged. For balance use Force 1 or 2 only.

A similar battle occurred on 14/15 June near La Spezia between PTs 552, 558, 559(Elco class) and TA-26(Cicloneclass)andTA-30 (Ariete class).

31 May/1June 1944 – Does Size Matter?

Forces

Americans

PTs 304, 306 and 307 (Snodgrass)

Germans

One destroyer (Type A) and one corvette (Gabbiano class)

Set-up

High visibility due to bright moonlight. The Germans are placed in the centre in line ahead, crossing the short length of the map. The PT boats enter on their left, down the long side.

Historical Result

The destroyer was damaged. Many casualties among the PT crews.

16/17 June 1944 – Landing Commandos on Elba

While covering a landing, the PT boats were approached by larger ships which they assumed were from the landing operation, since they gave the correct recognition light signal. The Germans opened fire at 400 yards. A two part scenario on a four feet square map..

Forces

Americans

PTs 209, 210 and 211 (Veteran) (Nugent)

Germans

One E-boat (Veteran) and two German flak lighters

Part A Set-up

Place PTs 209 and 210 in the centre, heading south. Place three German markers to their south in line abreast, at a distance of the German player’s choosing.

Special -The Germans choose when to reveal themselves and start shooting. The Americans cannot shoot or change speed until shot at.

Historical Result

Damage to everyone.

Part B Set-up

Clear the map.PT 211 enters the west map edge in the centre. Choose one of the F-lighters from Part A randomly (keep the damage from Part A). It enters the north map edge, within 40cms of the east edge, which is land. The landing force is off map to the south. If the lighter exits the south edge with any working weapon bigger than an HMG, the Germans win.

16/17 June 1944 – The Chase Scene

Two Italian boats are discovered trying to get back to a harbor on the north side of Elba.

Forces

Americans

PTs 308 and 309 (Newell)

Fascist (Repubblica Sociale Italiana) Italians

Two MAS boats

Set-up

On a square map the Italians enter centre of north edge. The, Americans enter second in the centre of the south edge. Place a large island on the south edge, next to the west edge. The Italians receive one VP for each 20 hull points of their boats which exit the map within 15cms northwest of the island. Yes, the Americans start closer to that point.

Historical Result

One MAS sunk and one fled.

14 August 1944 – Faking It in Ciotat Bay, France

The Allies staged a fake landing at the Bay of Ciotat on the French coast to confuse the Germans regarding the Operation Dragoon landings. Special boats created for the operation are leaving the area when radar indicates two large ships to the east. The British assume the ships are friendly escorts. Their supporting US destroyer was some distance away, where it had overheated most of its guns trying to sound like many ships.

Forces

Allies

Ten British ASRC*, USS Endicott (DD) (Bulkley) and two British gunboats

*Air-Sea Search and Rescue boats. Use markers to represent these boats. They are unarmed and carrying equipment to make a lot of noise and light. 10/20/30 knots, 20 hull points each.

Only one of the Endicott’s five inch guns is working. Its smaller caliber guns are working normally. Use specifications for USS Benson.

German

Two corvettes (a converted yacht and a Gabbiano class)

Set-Up

The ASRC enter from the north map edge, heading south. The two corvettes enter from the east edge as markers. The British cannot fire or go above combat speed until fired upon. The two gunboats enter from the west 1D3 turns after the Germans open fire. The Endicottenters on the south edge 3+3D3 turns (i.e. between six and twelve turns) after the Germans open fire. The north edge is land.

August 1944 – Explosive Boats

The Germans attempt to interfere with the Operation Dragoon landings in southern France through the use of explosive boats. Every vessel must be spotted to be shot at.

Forces

American

Two PT Boats (215 and 216 or 206 and 214, Veteran)

German

Six Linse – five explosive and one control

Set-up

The north edge of the map is land. The American boats start 15cms in from the south edge, in the centre, line abreast, heading north. The explosive German boats start 15cms in from the land, in the centre, line abreast, heading west. The controller is behind them.

Variation

In another encounter, there was a smoke screen. Place a smoke screen west to east down the centre of the map. It will dissipate gradually. Split it up into four 30cms sections. At the end of the first turn, roll 1D6 for the first section. On 1-3 it is removed at the beginning of the next turn, on 4-6 at the beginning of the turn after that. Repeat this process for section two on turn two, section three on turn three and section four on turn four. The last possible smoke would be section four disappearing at the start of turn six.

13/14 September 1944 – To The Rescue?

Forces

Allies

MTBs422 and 376 (Vosper I and Veteran) and PT 559 (Elco class)

Germans

Two MZ, one F-lighter, one corvette, UJ-2216(a converted yacht – use Gabbiano class)

Set-up

The lighters are placed in the north/south centre in a line ahead, within 30cms of the east map edge. The Allies enter from the west edge in any formation. On the first turn after a lighter is sunk, immobilised or has all of its guns knocked out, the corvette appears on the south edge of the map.

Historical Result

The corvette and at least one lighter were sunk.

16/17 December 1944 – Trawling for Trouble

Forces

Allies

Five specially armed trawlers

Replace the 3 pounders on the standard armed trawler model with 4 inch guns on three ships and 3 inch guns on two ships.

Germans

One R-boat, one merchantman, four flak lighters (all flak, no MZ) in convoy

Set-up

The German convoy is placed in the centre in line ahead, within 30cms of the east map edge. The Allies enter from the west edge in any formation.

Historical Result

Much mayhem. Losses uncertain.

15/16 December 1944 – Point Monteglia

The Germans established heavy caliber shore batteries to support their convoys.

Forces

Allied

PT 310 (Wallace) and MTB 422 (Ilett) (Vosper I) (both Veteran)

German

Four MZ and three shore batteries

Set-up

Lighters running in a column along a map edge coast. Allies enter at a right angle in any formation. Before the game starts, the German player marks three points on the coastal map edge as the starting points for shooting by the shore batteries.

Historical Result

Nothing definite.

Ship Types not in the Rules

HMS Laforey destroyer – 190 hull points. Speed: 12/24/36. Yellow turn

  • Three pairs auto 4.7 inch guns
  • One 4 inch AA gun
  • One quad auto 6 pounder AA guns
  • Two quad AA HMGs
  • Two quad torpedo tubs
  • 42 depth charges – two rails and two throwers

USS Benson class destroyer – 160 hull points. Speed: 12/24/36. Yellow turn

  • Four 5 inch guns,
  • Two dual 40mm guns
  • Seven 20mm guns
  • Five 21 inch torpedo tubes
  • Four depth charge throwers and two tracks

Spica class Italian destroyer escort – 80 hull points. Speed: 11/22/33. Yellow turn

  • Three 4 inch guns
  • Ten 20mm AA guns
  • Two AA HMGs
  • Four 18 inch torpedo tubes

Ciclone and Orsa class Italian DE – 160 hull points. Speed: 9/18/27. Yellow turn

  • Two 4 inch guns
  • Eight 20mm AA guns
  • Eight AA HMGs
  • Four 18 inch torpedo tubes

Ariete class Italian destroyer escort – 110 hull points. Speed: 10/20/30. Yellow turn

  • Two 4 inch guns
  • Four 37mm AA guns
  • Eleven 20mm AA guns
  • Six 18 inch torpedo tubes

British gunboat – 60 hull points. Speed: 5/10/14. Yellow turn

  • Two 6 inch guns
  • Two 3 inch guns
  • Six MGs