Cold Fusion 3.5.2005

After Action Report

Cold Fusion is the miniatures game day put on by Nuke-Con here in Omaha. Nuke-Con is the major multi genre conventoin put on every October. I played two games and GM'd a third and had a good time in all the events.

First game I played was Hube's Pocket a WWII East Front using Blitzkrieg Commander Rules. It was run by Dean from DesMoines. Bill, Steve and I were Germans attempting to provide cover for a convoy of trucks. Objective was to move 10 tracks off the north edge of the table. Bill had 5 PzIV tanks and a company of Panzer grenadiers. I had a company of Panzergrenadiers and four PzV Panthers. The Russians played by Damien and Miranda had the usual hordes of Russian infantry and a dozen tanks, 6 T34-85 and 6 T34's.

To start I got my infantry moving up the road right away but my die rolls were horrible for my command roll of the Panthers. They sat for four turns in a row, all I needed was 8 or less on 2d6. Bill had the same dice problems but they included his infantry. Then the Convoy came on and they stalled. Meanwhile the Russian got the die rolls together and moved their tanks to the south edge of the table to intercept the trucks. Can you say massacre if the T34's got in among the trucks. About this time my die rolls improved. I got my tanks down to the south edge of the table and got ready to hit the Russki's when I failed my command roll again. There I sat with four tanks hanging around under the guns of six T34-85's. Damien rolled what seemed like 30 dice but got only 3 hits and I saved two of those. But the tank was pinned. Luck was with me and the Russian failed his next command roll. The next turn I shot at two tanks and brewed up one and pinned the other, then failed my command roll again. The Russian moved up the remaining six T34's and took a shot at my Panthers again and missed them all, then he failed his command roll. Now it was my turn, earlier in the game my dice rolls had been terrible, but now my luck changed. I made my command rolls four times in a row and got snake eyes in one of them for an extra move. At the end of the turn there were 5 smoking T34-85's. Bill's luck changed too and he set up a line to prevent the Russian from crossing a creek.

Instead the Russian tried an end run while the rest of the convoy came on the table. It was a target rich environment for the Russian T34's. We lost one truck and Bill lost a PZIV when he turned to hit the Russian. Then the Russian missed his command roll at the critical point of the battle. Bill, Steve and I all made our command rolls and it was the end for the Russians. Steve got 6 trucks past the Russian and the rest would've made the crossing without interference. The Russian player seeing his dilema conceded the game.

The second game I played was GM'd by Bill Johnson. It was a game of Silent Death. I flew two Vipers. I had a veteran pilot and a rookie as his wingman. The veteran pilot got in a few hits but eventually trying to get a kill cost me the Viper. The ship got knocked out of space when the Nipponese' reinforcements came in. Billy from DesMoines took the most kills knocking down three ships in the early going. The game moved along as everyone got used to the rules and movement. The combat was fast and furious. In the beginning everyone was spread out taking long range shots, but at one point late in the game most of the ships were all within a 8 or 9 hex area. It was a great game especially for all the novices who all got kills.

I GM'd a naval scenario of the Cape Esperance battle. It is a cruiser action pitting a Japanese cruiser task force against an American task force cruisers. The American out numbered the Japanese in cruisers 4 to 3 and destroyers 5 to 2. The equalizer was the action occurred at night. I used new siting rule and illumination rules to supplement the computer based combat resolution. The players Bill Brush and Mac as American and Damien as the Japanese player commented favorably on the siting rules.

The Japanese got the drop on the US Navy with the first sighting and shot off star shells to illuminate the task force. With that the players began to plan their movement in reaction to the enemy. The American's got the first blow in on the IJN flag ship. On the next turn the IJN cruiser Aoba launched two torpedoe spreads. It then got pummeled again by the US cruisers. The next turn all the remaining Japanese ship launched torpedoes at the American battle line. These would have a telling effect later on the American ships. Both side traded blows with the Japanese coming up on the short end of the exchange. They just couldn't get enough guns trained on any of the American ships. The next turn the Japanese turned all his ships so they could bring to bear all of the cruiser's primary guns. This did have an effect on the Americans which lost a DD right away. But the Americans began to zero in on the Japanese cruisers and sank the Aoba on the 5th turn and damaged the Kinugasa and Furtaka. The Aoba did get to launch a final spread of torps. The rest of the task force launched their remaining torpedoes the next turn.

On the 6th turn the Japanese lost another cruiser, with the third turning away with 60% damage. The American, cheered by the apparent victory, were brought back to reality on the 7th turn when the Japanese torpedoes hit. The Helena blew up when it's magazine exploded, the Boise sank when hit by two torpedoes and two destroyers were sunk when they too were hit by torpedoes. The Americans were left with two cruisers and three DD's left. The Japanese limped away with a damaged cruiser and two destroyers. It was a tactical Japanese victory but a phyrric victory for the Japanese navy.

The combat all took place at ranges between 3000 and 5000 yards and was fast and furious. Though the game only lasted ten turns everyone seemed pleased with the game and said the sighting rules were very easy to understand and did not detract from the play. I saw a couple things that I needed to tweak with the instructions and illumination rules. This opens up all the naval actions that took place at Guadalcanal to play.