Tuesday, 23 November 2010

The Battle of the Java Sea: The Scenario

The ABDA Fleet has been concentrated to counter the threat of a Japanese amphibious invasion. Returning from a fruitless patrol a reconnaissance plane reports sighting the IJN fleet, ironically exactly where the ABDA fleet has just come from. A case of looking in the right place but at the wrong time.

The ABDA fleet does an about turn in sight of their own harbour and heads straight for the vulnerable Japanese invasion force spread out in an unseemly, non-military gaggle for some twenty miles. The head of the convoy points directly at Java.

The Japanese escorting force has been caught napping as the IJN did not expect a concentration of Allied assets so rushes all of its available forces to defend the convoy crammed full of troops.

Because of the multi-national nature of his fleet, the Dutch Rear Admiral Doorman has but one tactical command in his itinerary, literally "Follow Me".

The ABDA Fleet heads out with a fan of the five RN and Dutch modern destroyers screening a cruiser line of battle:
  • Dutch De Ruyter (Flag Doorman)
  • HMS Exeter
  • HMS Perth
  • USN Houston
  • Dutch Java
The American WWI destroyers are kept to the rear as a reserve force and try desperately to keep up with the more modern elements of the ABDA task force. .

Tabletop game:

To try and introduce an element of the "fog-of-war" a set of counters represented the sides formations until direct visual contact was made. The ABDA player could see three IJN counters, one of which was assumed to be the convoy, the others probably escorts. The ABDA commander was given two real and one dummy counters to represent his forces. The dummy would disappear if sighted by an enemy ship.

An immediate annoyance for the ABDA commander was the sight of Japanese (float) planes on the horizon, an asset he was without.

Next: What lurks beneath the IJN counters?


Tim Gow said...

Eagerly awaiting the next instalment!

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...


I am finding it a welcome bit of escapism from the current economic news

David Crook said...

Hi Geordie,

Looking great thus far - it is nice to see this action being tackled and I really like your 'aerial' pictures. Are you using GQ for the rules, if so, version 2 or 3?

All the best,


Paul said...

Good brief, next post please!

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Cheers David,

Hello David,

Thanks, we (still) use GQII
I've had a look at GQIII but they were a step in the wrong direction for me or rather my tastes

From map to tabletop seems quite straightforward in GQII and I like its abstract qualities rather than turret counting.