It was an early start for Laura and I on Tuesday May 31st as we headed to Portsmouth for the NWS centenary refight of Jutland. This is just a short report with a few pics since Stuart Machin, the game organiser, is working on a full AAR.
We arrived about 0830, spent 20 minutes getting into the dockyard and then took a short tour of the base so that Laura could see some of the various warships that were in. Then across to the "Action Stations" hall where the game was running.
The game was run using 1/3000 models and General Quarters 2 rules, with most of the active players and umpiring team (of which I was one) being very familiar with those rules. The positions of the ships were those at 1530 on the day of the battle, with play proceeding from that point. Players were encouraged to broadly follow the lines of the battle at the behest of the museum. That said, light forces were used aggressively in the early part of the game with destroyer flotillas hunting out the enemy's battlecruisers and each other, and scoring some early hits, and 5BS made a dramatic entrance decisively spanking the rear of the German battleline
As is the way of things we only really managed to recreate the "Run to the South", and as the time allotted to the game drew to a close the leading elements of the High Seas Fleet and the Grand Fleet were just entering the play area.
We had a steady trickle of members of the public popping in to see what was going on, as well as some familiar wargaming faces, so there were plenty of opportunities to chat and discuss both the battle and wargaming in general,
Some added colour was brought courtesy of the Sea Cadets, with a number of youngsters from Newham (Cornwell VC) Sea Cadets joining in as ship movers, die rollers and aides to the players. They certainly seemed to have a good time, and were especially pleased when HMS Chester entered the battlefield.
In the quiet moments Laura and I visited the new Jutland exhibition in the museum. A very well put together exhibition with a good combination of artefacts, models and audio visual displays. The piece de resistance was the bell from HMS Hood, beautifully displayed at the end of the exhibition.
So, only a portion of the battle recreated, and alas Stuart's command and control rules were hardly used given the nature of the game. However, the interest sparked in the game amongst the players on the day and others means it is likely that a weekend game with long playing time on both days is hopefully going to take place later in the year. Watch this space!