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How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The QE

Day 1 of the 2nd Annual Steve Thrall Memorial Battle started with an early arrival at Brian's house to get the other CO2 tank filled. To our surprise we had a special guest waiting for us! Harry had arrived to come out to the battle. After a quick jaunt to Airgas we discovered that they don't open until 0800. Unwilling to endure such a delay we made for the pond. I hit up the 76 station on the way for some snacks and drinks as weather was predicted to be hot, sunny, and breezeless. After arriving at the pond, I began to help set up. Matt and Craig arrived shortly after as did Rick and Ethan. Then the French showed up. Moss and reeds were cleared but the battling area was actually in really good shape. We began testing ships and divided up the teams along the lines of Axis/Allied. Tanner arrived late so he only participated in the second sortie.

Axis

Captain                 Ship                   Units    Speed
=============================================================
Daniel Betts            SMS Tegetthoff           4        28
David Breshears         FNS Montcalm             2.5      22
Craig Matsuura          IJN Kawachi              4        28
Tanner Thrall           SMS Baden                5        28
Ryan Walsh              FNS Foch                 3        23
=============================================================

Allied

Captain                 Ship                   Units   Speed
=============================================================
Ethan Cross             HMS Invincible           4        26
Brian Eliassen          USS Chester              3        23
Brandon Smith           HMS Barham               5.5      26
Matt Wilson             USS Brooklyn             3        23
=============================================================

AM Battle - Sortie 1

The fleets were even on numbers and types of ships, with the Allies enjoying a gun advantage of 1 stern gun. The fleets separated with the Allies on the left and Axis on the right. The American cruisers began to circle out beyond the little 'cove' area as the Foch dove into the fray and attracted the attention of the Barham. A few stern gun shots from the british battlewagon convinced Foch that furballs without sidemounts aren't so much fun. Kawachi came to the rescue of the French cruiser and ended up tangling with both the Invincible and the Barham. This left the Montcalm suspiciously aloof. Further out the Chester began to back down on the Kawachi and was able to unleash effective fire on the Japanese dreadnought, but not before the Montcalm managed to fire off a few salvoes. Brooklyn became hopelessly mossed and spent the remainder of the battle impersonating a duck. Barham drove Tegetthoff nearly ashore but had little ammunition left to do anything than put a handful of holes into the Austrian who had spent much of the sortie sailing from one end of the cove to the other trying to support the Kawachi. Invincible was the last ship with ammo and tried to pin down the Tegetthoff but ran out of time.

AM Battle - Sortie 2

Tanner arrived just as the 1st Sortie was finishing and in the intermission Harry helped him get the Baden running and loaded so he could join the Axis for the second sortie. Now the Axis had one more ship and 3 more cannons than the Allies and seemed eager to make up for the damage taken in the first sortie. Once again the Allies formed up on the left with the Axis on the right. At the start of battle the Brooklyn moved far out and began a long range dual with the Montcalm and was joined by the Chester. The smaller French cruiser seemed to weather this hail of fire pretty well as only 1 hole was recorded for the battle. Barham, now with 3 sidemount ships to choose from, began to corral the Tegetthoff and a quick flurry of haymakers left the Austrian pumping. Baden came to the rescue but most of her guns were not tweaked and Barham spun away without taking too much damage. Around this time Brooklyn again became severely mossed as did Kawachi. Chester, seeing an opportunity to finish off the Japanese dreadnought quickly added some more holes. Matt went into the water to collect his stuck cruiser while Craig began to clear the moss from Kawachi. Craig, not paying attention to his pump, let the Kawachi sink as he cleared the props. We agreed to let him dump the water and rejoin the battle. This delay allowed Baden to make it off of five. Once battle resumed the Foch went dead in the water with a broken drive. The Invincible moved in and sent the big Frenchie to the bottom. Just a moment later the Kawachi, pumping furiously, dipped her bow and went down. Brooklyn and Chester made it off their five with Montcalm not having anything left for the American cruisers. This left Barham and Invincible to try and finish off the Tegetthoff but alas Barham was almost out of ammo and the Invincible couldn't get shots on target before the Axis got off the water. With Axis 3 sinks to no Allied sinks, the results seemed to favor an Allied victory. The arrival of the Baden made the second sortie much closer on damage but the loss of a cruiser and dreadnought (mostly from first sortie damage) meant an Allied victory!

Axis

Captain                 Ship                   A   O   B  Pen   Sink   Total
============================================================================
Daniel Betts            SMS Tegetthoff        59   5   9    0      0    1165
David Breshears         FNS Montcalm           1   0   0    0      0      10
Craig Matsuura          IJN Kawachi           65   4   1    0   1200    2000
Tanner Thrall           SMS Baden              2   0   6    0      0     320
Ryan Walsh              FNS Foch              60   0   2    0   1200    2500
============================================================================
Total                                                                   5995

Allies

Captain                 Ship                   A   O   B  Pen   Sink   Total
============================================================================
Ethan Cross             HMS Invincible        28   0   0    0      0     280
Brian Eliassen          USS Chester            7   0   0    0      0      70
Brandon Smith           HMS Barham            14   4   5    0      0     490
Matt Wilson             USS Brooklyn           0   0   0    0      0       0
============================================================================
Total                                                                    840

For the second battle of the day, Baden's arrival gave the Axis a superior number of ships and guns, but the Allied capital ships still held a speed advantage over all the Axis battleships. The teams were kept Axis/Allied but both sides now felt that the fleets were very evenly matched. Fleets for battle two:

Axis

Captain                 Ship                   Units    Speed
=============================================================
Daniel Betts            SMS Tegetthoff           4        28
David Breshears         FNS Montcalm             2.5      22
Craig Matsuura          IJN Kawachi              4        28
Tanner Thrall           SMS Baden                5        28
Ryan Walsh              FNS Foch                 3        23
=============================================================

Allied

Captain                 Ship                   Units   Speed
=============================================================
Ethan Cross             HMS Invincible           4        26
Brian Eliassen          USS Chester              3        23
Brandon Smith           HMS Barham               5.5      26
Matt Wilson             USS Brooklyn             3        23
=============================================================

PM Battle - Sortie 1

Battle started with the familiar Allies on the left and Axis on the right positions but quickly devolved into a confused mass as the buoyed Axis charged after the Barham with Baden in the lead. The two flagships circled, peppering one another. Invincible got off a few shots against the Foch before Montcalm came in to drive off the battlecruiser. Suddenly there was the din of rapid fire from the right side of the pond. Chester was "Five Out Of Control" after losing forward thrust nearly from the start of the battle and had become entangled in thick moss and reeds. Kawachi and Montcalm were doing their best to make up for the punishment taken in the morning battle and perforated the Chester's bow and midships. The American ship made it off of its five minutes but not before taking more than 50 holes. Meanwhile the Tegetthoff and Baden tried their best to contain the Barham but seemed to be taking more damage than they were giving as Tegetthoff was pumping continuously and Baden intermittently. Foch went dead in the water yet again and attracted the attention of a giggling Matt who emptied the Brooklyn's guns into the Foch. The Foch slid under the waves with a very pretty sink. The sortie wound down with the Barham trying to corner the Tegetthoff for the Invincible but not much damage was done before the Austrian made it off of five.

PM Battle - Sortie 2

Both fleets were reduced in number for the last sortie of the day. Chester's drive was still not functional and had to withdraw. (Later found to be a relay that had stopped working) Foch had burned up another dogbone and no more spares could be located. David had to leave so the Montcalm would be unavailable as well. With the French out (shocker!) and the Chester out, this left the Allies outnumbered still by 1 ship and 2 sidemounts. Brian took video of the Sortie. At the call of battle Invincible charged after Tegethoff and both exchanged sidemounts. Meanwhile Barham and Baden locked together with the Brooklyn providing fire into the unengaged side of the Baden. Kawachi held back waiting for an oppurtinity. Baden and Kawachi backed down on the Brooklyn which let Barham get some stern gun shots into Kawachi. However Brooklyn had lingered too long and was caught by the Kawachi and took a healthy pasting from the Japanese drednought. Just as Barham seemed to free the Brooklyn from a tight spot the Tegetthoff sailed over and put some sidemounts into the cruiser. The call of man in the water to clear moss helped save the Brooklyn from more sidemounting. Barham, Tegetthoff, and Baden circled one another with some sporadic fire but nobody could get a big opening. Barham continued to concentrate on Tegetthoff while Baden backed down on Brooklyn sensing that Matt might be all giggle and no wiggle. Tegetthoff now put some fire into the Invincible which began pumping as Barham and Kawachi exchanged bow sidemounts. Barham gave some stern gun love to Tegetthoff but still nobody seemed to be able to get into position for haymaker shots. Brooklyn, now out of ammo, called five leaving just the sidemount ships. Barham continued to try and maneuver against the Tegetthoff but Baden intervened and put some good stern guns into the British Battlewagon. Barham and Invincible chased Tegetthoff all the way to the far right of the pond and just as Barham began to chew into the Austrian with haymaker fire the call of "FINISH HIM!!!!" came up. Fortunately for the axis Baden arrived on the scene just in time to break up the Barham party. Unfortunately for the Baden this meant that Barham now turned her attention to the German battleship. Of course this gave Ethan a 1v1 with Daniel and sidemounts were exchanged. Tegetthoff called five and Invincible and Barham closed in for what they hoped would be the finishing blow on the pumping Austrian. Barham put several more haymaker shots in but was driven off by the Baden and Kawachi. Invincible got into the moss and slowed noticeably. Barham circled around the Tegetthoff but couldn't find an opening. A smattering of shots from the Kawachi separated the ships just as 'man in the water' was called to clear moss. Brooklyn made it off five. Barham looked for more shots on the Tegetthoff but was out of ammo and called five. Invincible, however, was not out of ammo and popped a few sidemounts into the Austrian. Invincible attacked Baden and popped a few more holes into the German flagship which was now pumping almost constantly. Tegetthoff made it off of five, pumping all the way. Baden made it off of five leaving just the Kawachi against the Grand Fleet. However a shortage of ammo meant that Kawachi circled and dodged without taking hardly any more damage. The afternoon battled seemed much closer and the loss of the Chester balanced out the loss of the Foch so it would come down to damage to determine a victor. Both sides felt they had battled well and done damage. In the end the Allies pulled out a narrow victory thanks to some fine sidemounting from Invincible and Barham. Another Allied Victory!

Axis

Captain                 Ship                   A   O   B  Pen   Sink   Total
============================================================================
Daniel Betts            SMS Tegetthoff        66   5  16    0      0    1585
David Breshears         FNS Montcalm           1   0   0    0      0      10
Craig Matsuura          IJN Kawachi            7   1   0    0      0      95
Tanner Thrall           SMS Baden             14   1  13    0      0     815
Ryan Walsh              FNS Foch              46   0   0    0    900    1360
============================================================================
Total                                                                   3865

Allies

Captain                 Ship                   A   O   B  Pen   Sink   Total
============================================================================
Ethan Cross             HMS Invincible        27   2   2    0      0     420
Brian Eliassen          USS Chester           40   5   6    0    900(W) 1725
Brandon Smith           HMS Barham            15   3   9    0      0     675
Matt Wilson             USS Brooklyn          12   2   1    0      0     220
============================================================================
Total                                                                   3040

(W) Withdraw

Everyone had a great day, even Ryan who burned up 3 dogbones. Replacing direct drive with a gearbox should cure the Foch of all its troubles, but even still a job well done for his first battle! This was a great way to pay tribute to Steve who surely would have enjoyed a sunny day shooting boats. Looking forward to the next event and more good battling with really great people!