AAR: Sea Battle of Cape Boltero

Today we decided to present you a battle report from the game Gods of War: Togo. As we wrote in our post about the plans for 2021 and the 2020 summary, the Covid-19 pandemic has stopped the game testing for many months, which is needed to build balance in the game and test some detailed solutions. Luckily, at the end of the year, thanks to the use of on-line techniques, we were able to solve this and went back to testing. We also went back to playing “live” last week. We would like to present you today the result of one of such games.

Let’s present a few basics. Gods of War: Togo (the patron of the game is the Japanese admiral Heihachirō Tōgō, winner of the battles in the Yellow Sea and Tsushima) is a game about naval battles, the mechanics of which are so universal that it can cover many epochs of wars on the seas. Initially, there will be ships from two eras: ironclads (mainly the 1860s) and predrednoughts (from the end of the 1880s to 1905). Therefore, fans of Virginia and Monitor, as well as Mikasa and Borodino will find their favorite ships here.

Togo is a modular game and will consist of several elements that you can use freely in the game (or not). The first is the “Captain of the Ship”, the main game manual containing the basic rules. It allows you to fight up to 5 – 7 ships per side. A larger number is possible, but the game will be slow. The “Fleet Admiral” module will be dedicated to larger battles, which will be released along with other modules at a later date. These subsequent additions will include advanced rules, such as sailing in formation, commanding entire squadrons and flotillas, as well as combining sea and land combat (mainly for ironclads).

We wanted to use nice, large models for the game, which will also be very pleasant to paint. Some of them can already be seen on our website. They are created thanks to the 3D printing technique and are made in 1:1200 scale. The largest battleships are over 10cm long!
Here you can read how to prepare them for painting: LINK.

Togo is a game “for beer and pretzels”, or rather “for rum and shanties” 😉 Its rules are simple, intuitive and very easy to learn. However, instead of writing another thousand words of theory about what the game looks like, we invite you to read the battle report below.

In this hypothetical clash, two squadrons met: the Japanese, led by the armored cruiser Nisshin, supported by the destroyer (torpedo boat destroyer) Harusame, and the American, the backbone of which was the armored cruiser Brooklyn, with the torpedo boat Ericsson. The photo shows the Nisshin, an amored cruiser of the Garibaldi type, a very successful line of Italian cruisers. Two ships of this type were sold to Japan and one to Spain (Cristobal Colon).
Harusame. Destroyers of this type took part in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905.
USS Brooklyn. This cruiser distinguished herself during the Battle of Santiago in 1898. Interestingly, Nisshin – the main enemy in this battle, was the sister ship of the cruiser Cristobal Colon, which was sunk during the Battle of Santiago.
The tiny USS Ericsson torpedo boat also took part in the American-Spanish War in 1898. He had to count on luck in this battle, especially when firing torpedoes. Sailing close to a cruiser to perform a torpedo attack also means getting into the firing range of its light artillery, which is deadly for such a small ship.
Each ship in the game is given two orders in advance for this and the next turn. This system means that we have to plan each move in advance, because what we intend to do will be implemented 2 rounds later. The ships move thanks to the rulers attached to them – the turn (shown in the photo) and the movement (in the background, top left).
Admiral Maciej San ordered Harusame to sail at full speed of 28 knots towards the American cruiser. The main purpose of the destroyer was to torpedo a large enemy ship. The Japanese admiral hoped that his cruiser light artillery would deal with the threat from the American torpedo boat on its own.
Meanwhile, Nisshin also moved all the way forward to get closer to the American squadron quickly.
General view of the battlefield. Americans on the left, Japanese on the right. Games of this size can be easily played on a 4’x4′ table, but if someone likes more room for maneuvering, it is worth using a 6’x4′ table. The heaviest cannons have a firing range of up to 40 inches.
American Admiral John Torgill Jr., seeing Nisshin sailing on a converging course, decided to immediately turn right. This maneuver took a long time as the cruiser did not respond as quickly to the helm as small ships, but ultimately resulted in Brooklyn sailing perpendicular to the Japanese squadron, able to fire it’s full broadside. It’s a dream situation in a naval battle. At the same time, Ericsson was sent to the right to stay away from Harusame and try to torpedo the Japanese cruiser.
Successful volleys of Brooklyn’s 8″ guns dealt the first damage to Nisshin and caused severe fires. Nisshin responded with fire from his bow cannons, but to no avail.
The Japanese admiral started a risky maneuver, during which the left-turning Harusame sailed right in front of the Nisshin’s bow, which was turning to the right, to be able to use it’s broadside against the Brooklyn.
The risky maneuvers ended happily. Harusame, past the cruiser and advanced at full speed.
Taking advantage of the fact that the destroyer had moved away from Nisshin, the American torpedo boat developed full speed and set off on an incredibly risky torpedo mission.
Meanwhile, the two cruisers were engaged in a sharp exchange of fire with Brooklyn in litthe advantage.
Commander of Harusame also wanted to put his destroyer in a position that would allow an attack on Brooklyn.
Meanwhile, more salvos from Brooklyn hit Nisshin and spread more fires. USS Ericsson approached the Japanese cruiser and launched the torpedo. The steel cigar rushed to meet the hull of the Japanese cruiser, but failed to hit. At the same time, the fire of his Ericsson light cannons only magnified the fires on the Japanese ship. The torpedo boat positioned aft of the cruiser was safe from fire as its main and medium artillery focused on firing at Brooklyn.
Meanwhile, Harusame performed with a great success. His brave captain fired both torpedoes at the American ship and both hit! Brooklyn was hit hard, his maneuverability and speed were reduced. Fortunately, the crew managed to stop the flow of water (lucky roll!). Up to this time the Brooklyn was only lightly damaged.
Brooklyn and Harusame.
The American cruiser responded with violent fire from its stern and broadside guns (zone measurement showed that Harusame could also be fired by cannons firing only into the side zone). Accurate fire of medium and light artillery at close range led to the sinking of the brave destroyer.
At the same time, the fiercely maneuvering Ericsson fell under the furious fire of Nisshin and its captain decided to surrender his small ship. Only two shipsremained on the battlefield: the Nisshin, whose crew managed to contain the fires (quite extensive damage remained, fire from Brooklyn pierced the armor several times), and Brooklyn, which in turn was heavily damaged, slowed down and limited in maneuvers by being hit with two torpedoes.
Both cruisers exchanged heavy volleys.
Nisshin has sustained more damage so far, but had the advantage of maneuvering over Brooklyn, which, due to a torpedo hit, had limited maneuverability.
Nisshin vs Brooklyn.
Taking advantage of better maneuverability, the Japanese admiral achieved an ideal position – crossed a T, or rather below the T, because he positioned himself behind the Brooklyn’s stern. It turned out, however, that the Japanese artillerymen did not match the admiral’s talent. Nisshin’s gun fire was very inaccurate and did little damage to Brooklyn.
The American cruiser, on the other hand, responded with an accurate fire, which not only caused more damage, but also caused more fires.
Fighting between armored cruisers.
Adm. Torgill won the initiative and continued his maneuvers Both cruisers exchanged fire again.
Finally, in the final turn, Nisshin dealt more damage to Brooklyn, but the American cruiser also responded with accurate salvos. The fires on the Japanese cruiser widened so much, and the damage from American shells was so extensive that the heroic ship finally sank. The battle ended with a slight victory for the Americans. I must admit that they were very lucky when it comes to throwing dice, because Japanese shells, even if they hit, had a lot of unlucky throws for armor penetration (a penetration of 3+ and four throws result in three twos …).

We hope this description will bring you closer to the mechanics of Gods of War: Togo. We encourage you to ask questions on our FB group: LINK.