Monday, November 14, 2016

Tsushima Part 2: Execution

Weaponry is as good a place to start as any, so lets begin with guns.  I decided to go with four types of conventional ballistics:

Obviously green guns are pre-dreadnought exclusive.  Purple represent the primary armament for cruisers.  Yellow is a tertiary, while red acts as a secondary armament on certain vessels.  Unfortunately, the number of guns can't be directly carried over from real-world designs.  In particular, pre-dreadnoughts tended to have four primary guns, but the firing arcs paired in fore and aft turret configurations ensured that the ship always presented at least half of its main battery to the enemy.  The best we can do to replicate this in Children of a Dead Earth though is to have a pair of guns in each quadrant of a Cartesian plane.  There are still blind spots along the z-axis, but it's an unavoidable consequence of applying a two-dimensional concept to a three-dimensional space.

For torpedoes I opted to go with a custom 1.61Mt boosted fusion warhead backed by a combustion rocket motor and enough fuel for about 306kps of DV.  It has "short legs," but that's exactly what I wanted.  The launcher is exasperated from the ammo supply and has a very low rate of deployment.  Again, this is an intentional attempt to replicate the actual sea-going warships that took part in the Battle of Tsushima.  Typically, torpedo boats from that era carried three of these self-propelled explosives so the storage container for the launcher has been set to match appropriately.

As for actual ships, I came up with four basic designs:

Since the battle was fought near a small island (between Japan and Korea) next to a much larger one (Honshu), I decided to set Sylvia as the location for the fleet action.  Most historians agree that the battle was divided into three phases.  Initially there was the crossing of the "T" by Admiral Togo, which then lead to an long range artillery duel between four Japanese pre-dreadnoughts (Mikasa, Shikishima, Fuji, and Asahi) plus two armored cruisers (Kasuga and Nisshin) versus five Russian pre-dreadnoughts (Suvorov, Alexander III, Borodino, Orel and Oslyalya).

After this first clash, secondary columns of ships on both sides met; six Japanese armored cruisers (Izumo, Azuma, Tokiwa, Yagumo, Iwate and Asama) against three older Russian pre-dreadnoughts (Oslyabya, Sissoi-Veliky and Navarin) in addition to one armored cruiser (the Admiral Nakhimov).

Lastly came a night action in which individual Russian ships fleeing to Port Vladivostok fell victim to hunting packs of lighter Japanese warships.  This final part of the battle is a bit harder to represent, but I was thinking about doing something along the lines of a few engagements involving isolated Russian pre-dreadnoughts and armored cruisers fighting off attacks by small numbers of Japanese torpedo boats and protected cruisers.

Next blog post I'll run the simulations and report the results.    

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