Tuesday AM fleet battle.


It was another beautiful day Tuesday morning, sunny with just a few fluffy clouds and temps in the 70s. Most captains were up early grabbing breakfast in the hotel. I had the great pleasure of hauling all 6 of my ships down to the car from the 2nd floor. At 7:30 there were not many people at the pond yet so I got unloaded and parked my car next to the tent instead of down the road like I did on Monday. This turned out to be a bad idea when I found a little chip in my windshield on the way home. As everyone started to arrive I heard a few comments about possible having a longer campaign since we only had one fleet. Most (Me included) thought this was going to be a good idea. But first we had a fleet battle to get through. Just before battle as I was walking to fill my bottle Finster asked me if I was having fun. I had to admit that I was not having as much fun as last year. “That’s because your admiral” I was told. The fleet battle started without Don Cole (Electrical), Andy Ray (New ship blues) and Graham Kozak (Just arrived) sitting out for the Allies The Axis were only missing Andy Bruce (Also with new ship blues) and they got back Dirty who missed Monday with several ship issues. Numbers were on the Axis side for this battle but several Axis captains did not think it would matter. I was still a little nervous, “That’s because your admiral”. First sortie started like all the others during the week. The Allies put in on the left and Axis on the right. I’m not sure why we always did this as a small area by a downed tree caused a lot of glitches; Doug Hunt had it the worst. Since my wingman (Don) was out I tried to stay with Dave Au who also lost his wingman (Andy). Of course I lost him for long parts of the battle and found myself with Doug after Tim Krakowski went down. The Allies tried to keep a line across the pond with the 26 sec ships and the Axis spent a lot of time playing with the few 24 sec ships that we had. The slow Allies did have Leif and Steve Reichenbach crash through our lines and take a lot of damage for it. Just like both battles Monday I found myself with most of my bbs left as the sortie wound down. Also just like Monday I managed to find a hurt Axis on 5 to give them to. The Gneisenau of Steve Reichenbach was hurt and being chased by NCs of Chris P & Chris G. I was more than happy to put the rest of my sidemounts into Steve. If only he had another minuet left, but he just made it off his 5. The only ship lost in the first sortie was Tim K’s South Carolina; he had a pump issue that did him in. Since Tim K sunk in the first sortie he took my camera and filmed the 2nd sortie. The sortie started out with Doug Hunt, Pat Clarke, Dave Au and an NC going after Steve R to try and put him down. Tim B came in to try and defend Steve but Steve chose to run and sank about four minuets into the battle. The battle then centers on me and Doug Hunt, who had lost a prop. There are many Axis ships after us and I am only saved by a damaging ram from Leif. Doug sinks just as I pull out my ship to patch. By the time I go back in the water has cleared. As Leif went back in he backed right into Dave Au and gave him several stern gun shots. Moment s latter Leif pays for it as he gets tripled by an NC. Dirty then utters the famous last words all captain dread. “Oh no my pump stopped”. He sank with only four aboves and one big unseen ram hole. Then Brian Lamb became the main Allied target but was saved by Dirty’s man in the water. Gerald then started a fray by the shore as he was listing to port. Kevin Bray, the two Bruders and Steve R. all trying to finish him off but he stays afloat half tipped over four several minuets. Finally he goes down next to shore. In the mean time the NCs and Chris Au’s Jap battle cruiser are taking after Mike T’s Sharny. Way out by the rope line Mike is finally put under by the prop wash of two NCs. Many captains then call five before Steve R goes to get Mikes ship. Josh Bruder and Tim B traded a few sidemounts at the end of the battle. Brain Lamb was chased around by Matt Clarke, the NCs and Chris Au. He is saved by a shortage of bbs and Tim B’s Bismarck.



Tuesday Campaign.

My favorite part of NATS is campaign. Can’t you tell with the 6 ships I bring along? I did find out why I do this, it’s called Grossaint Disease. The NEED to bring more than four ships to a battle, not many people have it but it is contagious. I had spent a lot of time thinking about how to run NATS with one fleet. Who would be doing what task for how long, when to launch convoys, that sort of stuff. The first blow to my plan came when we voted to add 20 minuets to campaign. Then campaign was going starting before I had my ships ready. There was a long line at the CO2 bottles and I started to get a little frazzled. Our CD Brian Lamb was nice enough to push the start of battle back a little and everything turned out ok. I had built two CVLs this winter with one of them was set up with pumps as a warship. I also bought another one from Steve Reichenbach at the Fray. Our plan was to put all three of them on the water to start campaign and let the Axis blast the “Q” carrier. Tim K, Steve Reynolds and I took them out and were escorted by Andy, Don, Josh and Pat. Kevin Bray also took his LST out with us. All of the ships made the forward and return run. Tim K did a great job of running through the Axis ships and eating bbs. He even did a circle like he lost his rudder. We patched the CVLs (very light damage) and Kevin replaced Steve as his LST sank while we were patching. Again we made the forward run with light damage and started our return. This is when I noticed Tim K’s CVL had sunk. After the battle I counted her and found 88 holes plus another 30 bbs in the superstructure. If you use a 30% hit rate and count the misses that’s about 300 Axis bbs she took off the water. Both CVLs made it back and Kevin started to patch the pretty one. I took out the Mpls looking to shoot down targets and shoot up convoy ships. About this time I notice Doug Hunt taking his We Vee out of the water. She had lost a prop again and fallen to the Axis hoards. We also lost Graham Kosik’s Brooklyn early in the campaign. She was down for almost an hour by the time he was able to get her out. There is no worse feeling than leaving your ship in the water during campaign. Thankfully there was just a small amount of water in the radio box and everything still worked. After I had spent my bbs I was waiting out my 5 trying to get Kas on the radio and find out how many convoy runs we had made. But Kas had put the radio down to help his son with the Brooklyn. Tim K and I tried to put it together from memory. While I was talking Finster lined up on the Mpls and gave her a few good sidemounts and called out “Better watch your ship Admiral, that’s my only warning.” I thanked him and moved closer to port. Just as I was about to come in John Bruder was escaping Tim Beckett and Jeff Lide. John barley made it off the water. Kevin Bray was now putting in his Big Mammie, the CVL he ran was iffy for a return run and was left at the forward base. His plan was to run convoys until the Europa hit the water and then sink her. He had ranged his sidemounts out just for this task. I thought this would be a great time to use our last 16 points with a Titanic and a freighter. Pat Clarke ran the big monster and I escorted her with one other battleship. Most of the action was on the Europa and we made it forward with no holes at all. Tim K came in a couple a minuets latter with the freighter. The Europa was listing heavily and just made it into port. I found out latter that Kevin had run down the whole length of the pond, fought off an Axis escort and lined up his sterns; only to hear a puff of air. See you need to load you guns in order for them to make holes. Halfway back I left the Titanic and went to shoot down targets with my Warspite. There was quite a bit of action around the Axis base as we tried to sink Steve’s Gneisenau. I sent most of my bbs his way and only when I was out did I notice no one was guarding the last Axis target. I missed my big chance to get it. Right at the end of campaign I heard that Dallas has lost the Karlsruhe pretty far from shore. After the battle Fluegel the elder was listening in the water for its pump and found it. He walked back to shore covered in weeds and posed for a “Creature” photo. I found out latter that the Axis had run the small convoys early in the battle (Steve’s sub and Jeff’s patrol boat). Steve sank on the way back and Jeff made both runs. Kevin told me after the battle he watched Jeff dig a trench in the shore for his little ship and filled it in. Jeff came back and dug it out again so Kevin kicked some more dirt back in it. Steve’s sub latter had a fire in his room; I think the batteries had got wet in the sink. Chris G & Chris P both made LST runs. Chris P sank coming back on his 2nd trip. Tim K brought a freighter forward but could not bring it back. Mark Roe’s “Rainbow Fleet” made four forward runs, one returned with two sinking coming back. Rick King’s Altmark made a full run and made it forward a second time. Since we really had no score keepers with one fleet we all sat down and had a debriefing to see what happened. When Tim K was doing scores we found that we had made too many points worth of convoy runs. So we deleted the last convoy run Tim K did with a freighter. Good thing he went out after the Titanic.


Thursday AM fleet battle

This morning I felt much more relaxed as I finally felt the NATS had been won. Chris Au put his Allied Jap battle cruiser on the shelf because it had started to warp. Today he brought his French battle cruiser to play with. He was thinking about going Axis this morning but Tim B told him to stay Allied. I wondered why Tim did that but soon found out. Since they felt NATS was lost they put together a list of targets and Chris was at the top. Josh Bruder was next in line, then Chris Grossaint. They were going to sink the captains on the list at all cost. Both sides were without one ship as Andy Ray and John Roberts were still having new ship blues. The first sortie of the morning battle started with the Axis chasing Chris around the pond out by the rope line. Chris would run his ship through the slow Allied ships and the Axis would willingly follow him absorbing bbs for their trouble. Mike T had a pump problem halfway into the sortie and sank with light damage. Steve R’s Gneisenau concentrated too much on Chris and left himself open for a ton of damage and a sink. Late in the sortie I found myself next to Finster’s haymaker and felt very lucky he was out and did not shoot me. Turns out he had bbs left but I was not on the list. Early in the sortie I got my haymaker into the side of Randy’s VDT. In between sorties he told me to come over and look at all the damage I caused. I told him I was sure I didn’t shoot at him at all and it must have been another QE. He said “If it wasn’t you then it was some other ship with a psycho bear on its top”. He had about 20 hole on and below in a little 2 inch area. This started off my day quite well. By the second sortie we knew that Chris was the main target. We wanted the Axis to pay for the sink if they were going to try and get it. The Bismarcks took off after Chris Au right way. They were chasing him before battle even started. Again Chris did a loop around the pond running through the Allied slow ships. This let Kevin Bray block Finster’s Nagato and triple it. All 40+ ship were playing follow the leader with Chris. Finally the Axis blocked him and made him back up. This caused a big fur ball right in front of center most campaign port. John Bruder got several good haymakers into Dirty. Kevin, Josh and Steve also blasted him. Dirty had lost his drive and declared just as this got brutal. Meanwhile, Chris his still running the loop. He was pumping really hard but does not stop. The Axis keep after him and keep taking damage. Leif calls five and Dirty calls man in the water to get his still floating ship, Leif does not make it off five and sinks next to shore. The Axis still have not given up the Chris chase. While making another pass John Bruder and I take team stern guns into Brian Lamb. At long last the Axis get Chris to slow down, but a Nagato rams him. It takes a while for Chris to bring it in and check it as he was out by the rope line. He tips his ship around to check for damage and puts it back in the water. As he backs away the mighty battle cruiser finally goes under. After Chris sank the Axis started looking for the next victim. Finster and Lide chased after Kas’ Brooklyn and then went after Chris G’s NC. The Allies found Brian lamb to be hurt. Chris P and I side mounted Brian then John Buder took the haymaker to him. Then I got a haymaker on him to and Lamb was sunk. Finster, Lide and Flugel still had enough bbs left to almost put John Bruder under. As John was trying to get his ship his radio was put into reverse and the ship started to back away from him. John had to go up to his shorts to catch his ship but did not sink.


Thursday Campaign.

I love campaign and this was my best battle ever. The captains again held a vote to see if we would have an hour or longer battle. Most people were tired enough that the one hour campaign won this time. I was very surprised that no one knew about my “Q” carrier trick on Tuesday. So we were going to do the same thing again today. Josh Bruder wanted to stay off the water at the start of campaign because he knew he was on “The List”. Fifteen minuets before battle Tim B came over and said “I need to ask you some personal questions about your carriers.” He said he had heard that one of them was a warship and wanted to know which one it was. I told him that it was the one with the blue top (They all had blue tops). After a few laughs from the people standing around (Tim B, Tim K, Steve Renyolds and Kevin Bray) I took the top off of the “Q” carrier. Tim looked it over for any differences he could find between it and its convoy cousin. There weren’t any you could see from more than a few feet. I asked Tim how the he found out and was told an interesting story of two room mates. The Axis one was bragging how he shot up a poor CVL Tuesday. So the Allied one told him that he wasted his bbs shooting at a warship; just as he said it he knew he had let the cat out of the bag. Wednesday I had changed my channel in the Mpls to 76 (No one was on it) so I could use her while someone else had the CVL. Bruce Bloom and Steve Reynolds took out the CVLs and Tim K again took out the “Q” carrier. Rick King was the only Axis down there to try and stop us. He asked and we showed him which one the “Q” carrier was (The one with the blue top). As they were getting close to the end of the 30 second sea room time Tim K lined up the “Q” carrier right behind Rick and Steve called off 30 seconds. Rick lit up the pour carrier like a Christmas tree. We all laughed a little as Rick pulled away and I told him he had wasted his bbs on a warship. Rick did not care “I can hardly see that far out, I’ll be lucky if I hit him at all.” I left the CVLs on there run and went to shoot targets with Matt Clarke, Chris P. and Kevin Hovis. Leif was there blocking targets but could not stop all of us. We knock down about half of them and then got Leif out in the open. Kevin and I were on one side and Chris P and Matt were on the other. Leif just sat there and we finished off our bbs and all went on five. Leif latter sank (I was told he forgot to turn on his pump) guarding the targets. Matt, Kevin and I all went to the forward base to come off five and reload. On my way over there I saw Steve’s little sub. A couple of Allied ships were trying to shoot it. I drove by it twice letting bounce in my wake and it sank. Just as I was getting bbs loaded I saw a Mark Roe convoy heading out. Kevin Hovis had dropped his St Louis and put a big hole in her side so he was getting the Big Mo ready. Matt was still getting bbs loaded so I went out alone. I backed up to almost to rope line and right next to the convoy ship. Unguarded she was an easy target and I shot about half of my bbs at her (She sank). Then I saw a black freighter and could not remember if it was ours or not. Someone told me it was Axis so I shot the rest of my bbs at her (She sank coming back). I called five and went to reload again. As this was going on both of our CVLs had completed a run and started another (One made it both times, the other was left at the forward base the 2nd time). The “Q” carrier sank early in the first run. It did not have a lot of damage and Tim K said the pumps did not turn on (The trim tab had been bumped). Chris G had his LST running around like mad (He made 4 complete runs). Finster had the Tokyo Express out for a complete run. Now about halfway into campaign Josh Bruder came out and was pounced on. He said he gave as much as he had but was out numbered and sank. Graham’s Brooklyn and Finster’s Sakawa (Run by Jeff) also sank. Since I had taken the Mpls out and got off the water so fast I left the same battery in. This was not smart; I have lots of them and should have changed it. I came out to find the giant Europa making a run. I got a few long range shots at her then got too close and was hit with a push call (She made it forward but was left there). Then I ran down to the targets, shot down one and shot at the Axis guarding them. I called five and was waiting it out, taking on the radio again, when I heard some bad things. That would be Finster double sidemounts. He had hurt me when I was not looking (He warned me Tuesday) and I could not get away. The battery was dieing and I sank with less than a minuet left.  I grabbed the Warspite and was headed back out. I found John Roberts listing Lutzow and put a few sterns and some prop wash into him. He had a lot of time left on his five and didn’t look good so I left (He sank) to chase a convoy. Right by the port Doug Hunt and I both came clear and blasted it with sterns. He made it into port but had to stay there. I went back to the targets and found five still standing. Dirty, Flugel and Luis were guarding them with Finster coming in once and a while. All of us kept getting stuck in the weeds and had several moss checks. I kept telling Dirty that he should move so I could get that target. But he was on a mission and wouldn’t move. I came in with sidemounts, trying not to take his or any of the others. The turning point was when Chris P brought his NC over and tossed a few sterns at him. Then he started with the prop washing. Dirty finally moved, he got about 10’ and sank. I had one chance to the targets but was out of sterns. Meanwhile Kevin Bray made a complete run with and LST that had no drive. Pat Clarke tug boated him there and back. Tim K made a complete freighter run for the Allies. Steve R made a run with Altmark. Jeff and Finster shared a complete run with the Tokyo Express. Mark Roe made a forward with one of the Rainbow Fleet. That was campaign, my best battle ever