Thursday NATS 2007

 

The first three fleet battles of NATS had focused on a battle by the bridge. The Allies came up with a plan to try and break up the Axis Bridge Troll Fleet on Thursday morning. Most of the slow ships and a few fast ships would go into the small pond and the while the rest of the fast ships, Bobís Warspite, Kevinís Mass, Steveís I-Boat & Johnís Barham would go in the big pond. The slow ships would line up on the bowís of the Axis Trolls and break up their fleet. The Allies also went into the sortie with a seven ship (23-16) and 27.5 unit (109-81.5) advantage on the Axis Fleet. Things started out well in the first sortie for the Allies. They had the Axis fleet in a sandwitch. Splitting the fleet up seams to have surprised the Axis. Tim brought his Bismarck into the battle to try and break things up and took load of sidemounts from the Warspite. The Scharnhorsts of Peter and Todd were trapped by the Allies and quickly sunk. Brandon also lost the Fuso early in the first sortie. Jeffís Fuso was pretty shot up under the bridge. Dirtyís Mutsu was also chased down and sunk as the sortie wore on. Back in the pits the Allies were sure they had locked up NATS with an overwhelming victory. Plans were being made as to what Axis ship they would sink in the 2nd sortie. Meanwhile the Axis started working on the hit list. First on the list would be Bob and the Warspite. The Axis had lost four ships, a quarter of their fleet, in the first sortie. The Allies had lost none. The Axis would now be down 12-23 ships and 60-109 units. There were also no heavily damaged Allied ships while the Axis had two of their best battlers (Tim & Jeff) nursing ships that had taken a lot of damage. On paper this could be nothing but an Allied blow out. BUT, as they say thatís why we play the game. Even before battle started the Axis ships were chasing the Warspite. Flugelís Baden was trying to line up shots as the CD counted down time to battle. As battle was called the entire fleet surrounded the Warspite. Her fleet mates found other places to be. It was not a long fight. Only a ram by Brianís Nagato slowed the feeding frenzy. There was no damage from the ram and Bob brought the Warspite out to finish the fight. At times firing every gun on the ship at the same time. The Warspite slipped beneath the waves, giving a parting shot to the Baden with the haymaker as Flugel drove by. As Bob went into the water to retrive his ship Flugel commented. ďWow, that was fast, I didnít think weíd sink you that soon.Ē I think it was a complement. Kevin found himself the next ship in line and sunk near the Warspite. Dougís West Virginia also was lost. Now the Axis split and the fast ships started after the Melton brothersí NCs. Mike was sunk and Tom was heavily damaged. The slow ships formed up with Jeff as he limped down the shoreline near the far pavilion. Jeff was trying to make it off of his five and was being prop washed by several Allied ships. It looked like Jeff was going to sink when he was ramed and pushed under. The Allies were not the only ships sinking. The Axis lost Ryanís VDT, Geraldís Haruna and Wadeís Bismarck. The Allies were not done either. Chrisí Washington lost battery power and sank. Peteís KGV had a pump hose come lose and sank. It was a miraculous come back by the Axis. They started the 2nd sortie down almost two ships to one. They showed excellent team work that brought them from a blow out to an Allied 3,425 point victory.

 

 

Thursday Campain

 

With the Axis come back in the morning battle the point gap was about 8,000 points. This Campain Battle became the battle the Allies hoped would put them over the top. The Axis had more operational convoy ships then the Allies but the Allies had more cruisers to kill those convoys. As campaign was called the Allies launched two CVLs and three LSTs. The Axis held off launching any convoys until a few min. had passed in campaign. The Allies had Kevinís Des Moines and Bobís Minneapolis (The Bike) attacking the targets. The VDTs and Rheinland guarding the targets left a big gap and The Bike was able to get in a pass and knock down all but one target on the right side. The Des Moines also found an opening and hit some of the left side targets. The CVLs and LSTs were completing their forward run when the Axis launched a convoy ship. They took the ship along the far shore towards the paddle boats and around the entire far side of the pond. This was the same route almost all their convoys took. The Bike and the Chris Gís Frog both attacked this convoy. Tim B. was doing a very good job escorting the ship by keeping his Bismarck on one side and the shore on the other side. Any attacker either took Timís sidemounts or had to risk a push call trying to sneak in on the shore side. A few holes were scored but not enough to sink this convoy as it made a forward run. Steve Rís Freighter was not looking as good as it came under the bridge. The Bike put a few more holes in it and watched it sink near the shore in the small pond. The CVLs and two LST were making a return run and the Axis had another convoy ship taking the shoreline trip. The LST Lars was running was having control problems and had to stay at the forward base. Todd Olsen had lost control of his Scharny and was stuck up against the shore near the far pavilion. The Bike and Brayís Des Moines put a few holes in the Scharny and a convoy ship that was making a run towards the bridge. Again the escort was keeping the convoy near the shore and his ship pond side. This worked well until they came near the bridge. They did not know Mike Meltonís NC was laying under the bridge waiting for them. The cruisers kept the escort busy on the pond side and the NC soon was ripping holes in the side on the convoy ship. The Allied CVLs had complete their return run, patched holes and put out for a 2nd forward run. Maggie and Rick Whitsell also took their LSTs out for another run. Campain was half over, Bob and Chris G both brought their cruisers in for a reload and were surprised to see all of the Allied targets still standing. Bob had to ask Chris if these were really the Axis targets and he had been shooting the wrong targets at the beginning of the battle. Chris had asked the CD the same thing seconds before Bob came in. Both cruisers took off for another convoy hunting sortie. They soon found another Axis convoy making the run towards the bridge. By working as a team they were able to make the escort ship move letting one ship get shots in. Kevin Bray had brought the Des Moines in and was getting the Mass ready for a sortie. Steve Reynolds had completed another return trip with his CVL and got the I-boat ready to go. As Kevin put the Mass in the water it lost control and started to circle. Leif brought his VDT in to shoot up the cripple. The circling Mass soon had Leif pinned against the side of the Allied home port. The Mass sank inside of the port and Leif was able to get his ship back into the pond. Meanwhile Ty had launched his CVL for the final Allied convoy forward and return runs. The Warspite soon joined the I-boat looking for an Axis warship to sink. They found Chris Kís VDT dead in the water near the bridge. They put a few sidemounts into it prop washed it and left it to sink as it drifted into the small pond. The search for another warship was put on hold to chase down Peterís red freighter. There was not much time left in campaign so Peter was taking a direct route to the forward base. Peter made it to the forward base and got in the middle of a multiple ship pushing match. He made it into the Axis port with time still left on his run and had to go out and come back in. His path was blocked by both Axis and Allied ships. The Warspite tried to push a VDT into the red freighter and keep it out of port. But the push only helped Peter complete his run. The Axis had found the Allied targets and shot them all down. The Allies also hit all the of Axis targets. Campain was over with a 10,000+ point Allied victory.