Lion's lair: The Malta Convoy Battles, 1941-42 Rules



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LION'S LAIR: The Malta Convoy Battles, 1941-42 - Rules
7Mar16 - A4 Landscape Configuration 6,6,10,6mm margins Copyright © 2015 Louis R. Coatney

Duration of the Game: The game may be started in Summer 1940 or in Spring 1941 (when Rommel and the Germans arrived in North Africa and the threat to Allied control of the Mideast suddenly got serious). Only one (representative) convoy may be started/run per Allied (Gibraltar and Alexandria) base per season. If convoys are to be run from both G and A, they must start within the same 24 hrs.

Victory Determination: If Afrika Korps pushes east past Alamein, the Axis Player wins. If Afrika Korps is pushed west from Tripoli, the Allied Player wins. If Malta falls to Axis invasion or starves to surrender, the Axis Player wins. If none of these conditions are met, whoever has the most Strategic Points gets a marginal/historical victory - 1 strategic point for each point Afrika Korps is east/west of Tobruk and for each battleship, battle cruiser, and (not Argus) carrier sunk.

Starting Axis Forces:
Summer 1940: Cavour/Cesare and all cruiser units, 1 SM79 and 4 Cant Z1007 air units. Afrika Korps on Tobruk (with no British fortification). Alamein has its fortification. Malta at +1 status. Crete is Allied and has 1 Swordfish.
Spring 1941: Vittorio Veneto, Doria/Duilio, and all cruiser units, 3 StuG Stukas, 4 SM79, 2 Italian Ju87, and 3 CantZ1007 air units. Afrika Korps on El Agheila - Tobruk and Alamein fortified. Malta at +3 status. Crete is now Axis. Littorio due back from repair in Summer 1941 and Cesare/Cavour in Winter 1941.

Starting Allied Forces and for each subsequent season - 11 freighters including Breconshire max.:
Malta's.
Status is: Starving! Surviving +1 +2 +3 +4

Gib Alex* Gib Alex* Gib Alex* Gib Alex* Gib Alex* Gib Alex*
3CVs 2CVs 2CVs 1CV 1CV 1CV 1CV 1CV 1CV 1CV 1CV 1CV
1 BC 3Bs 1 BC 3Bs 1 BC 3Bs 1 BC 3Bs 1 BC 3Bs 1 BC 2Bs
3BB/Bs MCrsrs 2BB/Bs MCrsrs 2Bs MCrsrs 2Bs MCrsrs 1B MCrsrs 1B MCrsrs
FH Crsrs FH Crsrs FH Crsrs FH Crsrs Didos? Didos?
Didos? Didos? Didos? Didos?
All freighters 11 freighters 10 freighters 9 freighters 8 freighters 7 freighters
*If it is Spring or Summer 1942, there is one less CV (in either Gib or Alex) and Mediterranean Fleet has one less B, because of the Japanese Indian Ocean threat.
Freighters may start at Gibraltar or Alexandria.


Replacements, Reinforcements, and Withdrawals:.
Allied Reinforcements: The Didos/"Cruiser Force" Fall 1940, Victorious Winter 1940, Formidable and Queen Elizabeth Spring 1941, and Prince of Wales Summer 1941. 1 Swordfish Winter 1940. One Battle Cruiser is withdrawn in Spring 1941
Axis Reinforcements: If the game starts Summer 1940, Vittorio Veneto enters the game in Fall 1940 and Andrea Doria/Caio Duilio and Littorio enter the game in Winter 1940. Of the Italian SM79 air units not yet in the game, starting in the 2nd turn 1 is added per turn, and starting Spring 1941 1 Italian Ju87 air unit is added per turn. If the game is started in Spring 1941, 3 StuG Stukas appear, and the previous reinforcements have already been received, although Littorio doesn't rejoin the game until Summer 1941 and Giulio Cesare/Conte di Cavour doesn't rejoin it until Winter 1941.

Allied Replacements: Allied cruisers (but not Didos), freighters (but not Breconshire) - and Swordfish may be replaced in the next season - Force K, 2 seasons later.
Axis Replacements: 1 lost Italian light cruiser unit may be brought back into the game in Spring 1942. 1 Cant Z1007, 2 SM79s, and 1 Italian Ju87 may be returned to the game per turn. In Spring 1942, 2 StuG Stukas.

Malta Supply Consumption, Starvation, and Surrender: Malta's (supply) Status drops 1 level per turn (just for survival), plus 1 more level if any Swordfish are to be based on it, plus 1 more level if Force K/Malta Striking Forces is to be based on it. If Malta was left starving the previous season and the starvation cannot be lifted by at least 1 freighter this turn, Malta surrenders, the Axis have won, and the game is over.

Invasion of Malta: If Malta is weak enough - +2 or below - the Axis may attempt an airborne invasion at any time ... but only once in the entire game. The odds of success are 67% if Malta's Status is starving, 50% if it is Surviving, 33% at +1, and 16% at +2. The Axis player must retreat Afrika Korps, though, in an Invasion of Malta season.

Afrika Korps Advances/Withdrawals: If Malta has both at least 1 Swordfish squadron as well as Force K based on it, the 8th Army pushes Afrika Korps back one position westward in North Afrika. If Malta has only Swordfish squadrons or only Force K, Afrika Korps doesn't move. And if Malta has no Swordfish or Force K, Afrika Korps can destroy a fortification or (if there is no fortification to be destroyed) advance one position eastward. If Malta's Swordfish attack the Italian fleet and both get shot down and/or if Force K is destroyed in battle that turn, Afrika Korps does get the benefit that turn. The Allies can freely (re-)build the Tobruk and Alamein fortifications any time Afrika Korps is not on or controlling those positions.

Axis Fuel Shortage: Add a die roll number to the F number in each season box, to see the maximum number of Italian naval units able to sail during that season - at the moment they sail.

Royal Navy Map Movement: Allies decide times of day to leave ports. Freighters, Argus, Ramilles, and Hit ships have a Slow speed of 1 position/circle per (12-hour) turn. All others have a speed of 2. If a convoy or group of ships loses 2 or more ships in a single turn on any position, its ships may not move/advance next turn. Carrier Ark Royal is always based in Gibraltar. Allied ships may not move into an (Italian Fleet) At Sea area.

Recon: To find out what Allied ships are in a position, at least 1 Axis air unit must make an airstrike on it. If the ship unit proves to be a dummy, it is removed from the game for the rest of the season, but the air unit has used up its mission for that turn. A successfully reconned/exposed British naval group remains exposed for the rest of the day, but is re-inverted/-concealed when night comes.

Air Strikes:
Axis/Land-based Airsrikes: An Axis air unit may strike a (group of) ship(s) in a sea position it is connected to by a dashed black line. Read the bombing/anti-aircraft result under the aircraft type's column, decide if increased risk is wished, and attack. When bombing ships harbored in Malta, high altitude Cant Z1007s and SM79s can Hit on just one 16% die roll, and their attacks/losses can be intensified to a 33% Hit chance. Ju 87 divebombers hit with their normal probabilities.
(Daylight) Carrier Airstrikes: Ark Royal may launch 2 airstrikes at a time, while Eagle, Illustrious, and Victorious may launch 1 each. A carrier which launches all its air strikes loses its antiaircraft factor, and Argus may not air strike at all, although it still contributes to antiaircraft.
Night Carrier Raid on Taranto: One time only, British carriers in an E-no. position with access to At Sea Eastern Med. may launch carrier raids on Taranto, and their Hits (if any) are doubled. The Allied player may choose the target ships. Otherwise, there are no airstrikes at Night.

Italian Frogmen: After all British ships have been deployed to their starting positions, in any one season - in Winter 1941 or thereafter - Italian frogmen may attack any 3 different ships the Axis player chooses, in either Gibraltar or Alexandria. Each of the 3 attacks has a 50% chance of a Hit (but not sinking).


Naval Combat - British freighters may be withdrawn (to an earlier position) only after at least 2 battle rounds:
Daylight Naval Combat: Once surface units attack a given position, the ship units are moved to the Battle Board. Freighters, carriers, and already Hit ships may be deployed to the rear/Screened area. Hit ships may be deployed there at the end of a battle round. Ship units alternate attacking, with - thanks to superior British gunnery and a higher grade of gunpowder - the first unit firing being British (then an Italian unit, then British and so on) until all ship units have fired. Combat effects are immediate, so a ship unit which has not yet fired and is Hit, may not fire at all. In day battles, cruiser units may not fire on enemy battleship units, unless there are no screening enemy cruiser units or those have all been withdrawn or sunk. Battleships may fire on enemy Screening Ships or the enemy Battleline, but they cannot fire on the Screened Ships unless all intervening enemy ships have been eliminated. Carriers in an adjacent position may launch one airstrike before the naval battle - 2 from Ark Royal. If carriers are in the same position, they airstrike before the battle starts and airstrike every 2 naval battle rounds thereafter.
After at least one battle round is finished, a player may
withdraw his ships - the Axis Player decides first. There is a 33% chance Hit ships of the player withdrawing will be lost.
After withdrawing from battle, Italian ships are (permanently) returned to port, while withdrawing Allied ships are (permanently) returned to port or moved one position back.
Night-time Naval Combat: (Thanks to radar) all British warships fire first and have the option to immediately withdraw before any retaliatory Italian fire. If they don't withdraw, then all un-Hit Italian ships may shoot back.
.
"Point of No Return": Any Allied warship units from Gibraltar which pass this line must go on to Malta ... and possibly be bombed (and sunk) in its harbor. If this includes Ark Royal, it may exit Malta to go to Gibraltar or Alexandria.
ATTACK RESULTS TABLES - for air attacks, attacker and defender/antiaircraft make separate die rolls

Die Roll U-boats Anti- Brit Malta/ Surface Naval

A B StukaB SM79 Z1007B ItStkaB MAS & Subs Aircraft CV Air Hit Result
7 0 Hit* Hit* Hit33 Hit* <== Intensified Air Attack ==> X Hit*

6 1 Hit* Hit Hit16 Hit 1Hit* Hit* X Hit Hit*

5 2 Hit - Hit50 0Hit* - 2X - Hit*

4 3 - - - 0Hit* - 3X - -
3 4 - - - - - - - - -

2 5 - - - - - - - - -

1 6 - - - - - - - - -

Attack Results - each Undamaged naval unit in a surface battle automatically makes a hit, and the effects are immediate:.
Hit: 1 Hit on any freighter or Argus sinks it. A second Hit sinks any ship piece, except a second bombing (B) Hit cannot sink carriers Illustrious and Victorious or British battleships. Hit ships lose surface gunfire and if carriers may not operate aircraft for attack or for antiaircraft. At the end of a (12-hour) turn, a surviving Hit ship unit is sent home and out of the game for 1 die roll number of seasons. Hit* = For firing single battleships, torpedo hits any single ship, and bomb hits on Ark Royal or Eagle, the unit is sunk by the Hit, if a further 33% die roll for it is successful. For the old Italian battleships (AD/CD and GC/CdC) this is only true against battle cruisers Hood and Renown. Hit16,33,50 = Hit, if another 16%, etc. die roll is successful. These odds are doubled against Slow ships.

Intensified Air Attack: If the air-attacking player declares this before rolling the die, both attack hit and anti-aircraft results are worsened by 1 on the die..
Sunk: Sunk battleships, battle cruisers, carriers, Breconshire, and any Italian ships (with the exception of 1 light cruiser unit) are permanently out of the game. Sunk Force K (Malta Striking Forces) may return to the game 2 seasons later. Sunk Allied cruiser units return to the game in the immediately following season. Force K may only be based on Malta.


For MAS boats, +1 Hit, if it isNight. (MAS boats may make an attack only once per turn on each position near Pantelleria.)
U-boat/Sub Attacks: There is one U-boat or sub attack each turn against ships in or moving through each position so marked on the map. Furthermore, German U-boats and British subs get one attack against each group of warships returning together to port and against each Hit ship returning individually. (Green) Italian subs may only sink freighters.

Antiaircraft Strength Calculation and Results:
X = the aircraft is shot down. X2 = the aircraft is shot down if there are 1 or 2 antiaircraft factors. And so forth.
Any group of ships on a position has a maximum of 1 antiaircraft X. All carriers including Argus add 1 X to any ship or group's antiaircraft factor. A carrier which launches all its air strikes loses its antiaircraft factor. An X3 task force can add 1 X to other ships one position away as well. Malta can also do so, if its antiaircraft (fighter) strength is up to X3. Freighters alone on a position have no antiaircraft capability, unless in their convoy. Against high-altitude bombers the die roll is shifted 1 against antiaircraft.
.
Season Sequence

Malta Supply Consumption and Possible Movement of 10th Army/Afrika Korps, Placement of Allied Forces on Allied Bases

Placement of Axis Naval and Air Forces in Axis Bases and Naval Fuel Limit Determination

Each Gameturn's Sequence

Movement of Allied Naval Forces and Axis submarine and MAS motor torpedo boat attacks

Movement of Italian Naval Forces and British submarine attacks

Land-based Aerial Recon and then Air Strikes - not at night

Carrier-based Air Strikes - not at night

Surface Naval Combat

Go back to next Gameturn, unless all the season's possible actions have been resolved.

Axis Air Strikes from Sicily on freighters and other ships in Malta - 2 rounds.

Unloading of Freighters in Malta.

Invade Malta?

End of Season with unlimited air attacks on any ships in Malta. (Those may withdraw, if they survive a round of air attacks in harbor, and if they consume a supply level.)


For the following game-turn log, format should be portrait. (I couldn't upload an .rtf so small, so I'm adding it here.)


Lion's Lair: Malta Convoy Battles 1940-42 Season Game-Turn Log Year/Season _______________
Turn No. Day/Time Events



1 __

2

3

4

5

6


7


8


9


10


11


12


13


14


15


16

17


18


19


20


End of Season _______________ Unit Statuses (to continue campaign game ... in another lunch hour)

Axis Ship Roster - Record position and (repair season?)
Vittorio Veneto __________, Littorio __________, Giulio Cesare/Conte di Cavour __________,
Andrea Doria/Caio Duilio __________, 1. Cruiser Div. __________, 3. Cruiser Div. __________, 7. Cruiser Div. __________
8. Cruiser Div. __________, 10. Cruiser Div. __________
Axis Aircraft Roster - Dead or Alive (x)
StuG 1 ___, StuG 2 ___, StuG 3 ___, SM79 89 Gr ___, 104 Gr ___, 105 Gr ___, 130 Gr ___, 131 Gr ___, 132 Gr ___,
Cant Z1007 29 Gr ___, 41 Gr ___, 50 Gr ___, 51 Gr ___

Allied Ship Roster - Record position and (repair season?)
Argus __________, Ark Royal __________, Eagle __________, Illustrious __________, Victorious __________
Force H __________, Warspite __________, Barham __________, Malaya __________, Queen Elizabeth __________,
Valiant __________, Ramilles __________, Nelson __________, Rodney __________, Prince of Wales __________
Force K/Malta Striking Forces __________, Cruiser Force/Didos __________, Mediterranean Fleet Cruisers __________,
Force H Cruisers __________
Swordfish squadrons in Malta? 815 Sqdn ___, 830 Sqdn ___


End of Season _______________ Unit Statuses (to continue campaign game ... in another lunch hour)

Axis Ship Roster - Record position and (repair season?)
Vittorio Veneto __________, Littorio __________, Giulio Cesare/Conte di Cavour __________,
Andrea Doria/Caio Duilio __________, 1. Cruiser Div. __________, 3. Cruiser Div. __________, 7. Cruiser Div. __________
8. Cruiser Div. __________, 10. Cruiser Div. __________
Axis Aircraft Roster - Dead or Alive (x)
StuG 1 ___, StuG 2 ___, StuG 3 ___, SM79 89 Gr ___, 104 Gr ___, 105 Gr ___, 130 Gr ___, 131 Gr ___, 132 Gr ___,
Cant Z1007 29 Gr ___, 41 Gr ___, 50 Gr ___, 51 Gr ___

Allied Ship Roster - Record position and (repair season?)
Argus __________, Ark Royal __________, Eagle __________, Illustrious __________, Victorious __________
Force H __________, Warspite __________, Barham __________, Malaya __________, Queen Elizabeth __________,
Valiant __________, Ramilles __________, Nelson __________, Rodney __________, Prince of Wales __________
Force K/Malta Striking Forces __________, Cruiser Force/Didos __________, Mediterranean Fleet Cruisers __________,
Force H Cruisers __________
Swordfish squadrons in Malta? 815 Sqdn ___, 830 Sqdn ___

Pedestal Scenario, Summer 1942
Malta Status: Starving!
British units in Gibraltar: Illustrious, Victorious, Eagle, Nelson, Rodney, Cruiser Force/Didos, Force H Cruisers, Convoy of 9 freighters
Italian naval units in Napoli - Fuel modifier is 0: Vittorio Veneto, Littorio, Andrea Doria/Caio Duilio, 3., 7., 8., and 10. Cruiser Divisions. Air units on Sardinia, one Cant Z1007 group, two SM79 groups, one Italian Ju87 (Stuka) group. Air units on Sicily, one Cant Z1007 group, 2 SM79 groups, and StuG 3 (Stukas).
Summer 1940 Scenario
Malta Status +1. Opening deployments - maximum of 9 freighters (including Breconshire):
Gibraltar: Ark Royal, Force H (Renown/Sheffield), Valiant, Warspite, Force H Cruisers, and ? freighters
Alexandria: Illustrious, Barham, Malaya, Ramilles, Mediterranean Fleet Cruisers, and ? freighters
Crete: 815 (British Swordfish torpedo plane) Squadron
Sardinia: One Cant Z1007
Napoli: 1. Cruiser Division
Taranto: Giulio Cesare/Conte di Cavour, 3. CrDiv, 7. CrDiv, 8. CrDiv, 10. CrDiv
Gazala: One SM79 and three Z1007s (These could have been on Tobruk, but Gazala/Cyrenaica better threatens the convoys.)


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