Thursday 6 August 2020

INWarD 2020 - Fire on the Lake

Today is the International Naval Wargames Day for 2020, and the subject of my game is a battle between German and Allied steamers on Lake Tanganyika  sometime in 1915. To the North the Belgian steamer Alexandre Delcommune, Commandant Goor in command, is escorting two civilian steamers loaded with supplies for the allied base at Lukuga. Accompanying the Delommune is the Belgian patrol boat Netta.

Smoke is spotted to the South and within minutes the German steamer Graf von Gotzen and her consort, the Kingani, hove into view, under the command of Gustav Zimmer Their mission, to stop the supplies from getting though.
For the first few turns both sides close the range, the Netta heading to the West to try and draw off the Kingani, which is initially successful. But soon, the Gotzen draws into range of the Commune and she opens fire. The German opening fire is surprisingly good, and a heavy shell slams into the Belgian (loses 1 hull point). Belgian fire in return falls short.

The range closes, and Gotzen's next broadside scores two good hits. Delommune loses her heavy gun, more hull damage, and a hit to the boiler room which halves her speed. But from the Wast is heard the sound of petrol engines, as two British motor boats, Mimi and Toutou, speed in to draw the German fire.

For the next few minutes everyone's gunnery goes to pot as no hits are scored. But that lull is broken as Delcommune suffers two more hits from Gotzen. Her engine room is hit and Commune drifts to a stop, whilst hits low in the hull cause more flooding (by now she has lost 75% of her hull points). Mimi and Toutou have the range and a light shell hits Gotzen's 105mm gun, disabling it.

The British boats can only fire forwards so they speed past the German raider, their machine guns blazing but no damage caused. Both boats turn tightly and form up on her stern. Gotzen administers the coup de grasse on poor Delcommune, as her last hull points are shot away and the Belgian is in a sinking condition. The civilians on the steamers expect the worst, but fire from the British boats disables Gotzen's 88mm gun. Meanwhile Kingani and Netta trade shots, causing minor damage.
Gotzen switches targets to the annoying British motor boats, but they are small targets head on and very difficult to hit. Gotzen is not, and the British score more hits, causing a minor flood but more importantly disabling Gotzen's 37mm guns (she can still use rifles and machine guns).

Zimmer realises that intercepting  this cargo requires too high a price. With all his main guns disabled or with their crews wounded and out of action, and with the British boats seemingly able to lob 3pdr  Hotchkiss shells into him with near impunity he decides of break off the action. As Gotzen raises steam to disengage a Short seaplane makes its appearance and executes an almost perfect bomb run - but its bombs land either side of Gotzen which is doused in spray but otherwise unaffected.
As the Gotzen and Kingani leave the field the civilian steamers pick up the survivors from the Delcommune, whilst the British muse on the fact that they disabled Gotzen's last operational gun with their final round of ammunition.......


  1. Great AAR. I've always had an interest in WW1 Africa. I may have to look more closely at a3D printer after this.

  2. A nice INWarD game. I like the look of the Steamer Wars stuff.

  3. Looks great - who made the models?


  4. Looks great, nice looking ships!