Random Combat Photo SCRAP Logo Random Combat Photo



The Most Fun...So Far

Mark De Antonio and his USS Brooklyn await the second sortie.

As Crazy Horse said, "it was a great day to die". A perfect day...sunny, cool and clear. A typical Saturday morning in Southern California on a private lake which had been set aside just for bloodshed and carnage. The captains of SCRAP assembled once again to do battle on the calm waters of Irvine Lake. As with most things this day, the temperature was perfect. Building on the tradition, I carpooled to the lake with Brian in his full-size Bronco. As it was just the two of us this time, there was plenty of room. Once we arrived at the lake, it was clear that due to the continuing weakness within the Axis ranks, we would need to mix up the fleets once again. One of these days, we'll get back to the Axis versus Allied format that everyone enjoys so much. The battles were fought with Brian Eliassen's South Dakota (SoDak) and Mark De Antonio's Brooklyn on one team. The other team consisted of my Inflexible, John Riese's Yavuz and David Asman's Z-43. Also in attendance were Joe Dworniczak acting as Site Host as his ship isn't quite complete, his daughter Cari and three visitors who came out to see what SCRAP was all about. Brian was Contest Director for the day.

So the teams looked like the following on paper:

Team America

Name                     Ship               Units     Speed
Brian Eliassen           USS South Dakota     6         26
Mark De Antonio          USS Brooklyn         3         22

Team Europe

Name                     Ship               Units     Speed
John Riese               TCG Yavuz            4         26
Ty Siouxpancic           HMS Invincible       4         26
David Asman              DKM Z-43             1.5       21

This looked pretty even (at least on paper) so we decided to stick with it all day.

The first sortie was delayed as the pump in Mark's Brooklyn seized up and started to smoke. Not a good sign. Fortunately, John had a spare cruiser pump that he let Mark borrow.

Mark De Antonio's USS Brooklyn awaiting the start of battle.

After some quick surgery with a lot of alligator clips and jumper wires, Mark was ready to go.

The first sortie started, as many others, with the SoDak wallowing off by itself as the pesky Z-43 hovered about it looking for an opportunity to splash the water nearby. After quickly doing so and calling 2, it was off the lake and the SoDak had nothing else to fear on the water. That is, of course, usually the case but the SoDak nonetheless took some serious damage as a result of the combined efforts of the opposition in the first battle. An opposition team that changed with the withdrawal of the Yavuz after the first sortie due to a glitching radio. It was decided to move Mark's Brooklyn over to Team Europe. Therefore, the second sortie found the SoDak alone facing a fearsome force comprised of the Brooklyn, the Inflexible and the Z-43. Although there were no sinks during the first battle, the SoDak was pumping like a mighty-mother...pumper with a constant 3' stream. Needless to say, she was victorious suffering only 1120 damage points as opposed to the 2665 suffered by the majority of the club! It's frustrating when he does that.

Here are the totals for Battle #1:

Team America

Captain              Ship                A   O   B  Pen   Sink   Total
Brian Eliassen       South Dakota       54   7   8    0      0    1115
Mark De Antonio      Brooklyn            1   0   0    0      0      10*
Total                                                             1120

Team Europe

Captain              Ship                A   O   B  Pen   Sink   Total
Ty Siouxpancic       Inflexible         65   5   8    0      0    1175
John Riese           Yavuz              31   3   2    0      0     385#
David Asman          Z-43                0   0   0    0      0       0
Total                                                             2665

* Mark switched teams between sorties as John couldn't battle.
  His damage was divided.
# It was decided not to charge John with a withdrawal.
  He fought in only one sortie.
David Asman carries his DKM Z-43 to the shore.

Ah, but revenge is sweet (though not tasted) and in the second battle of the day, things got dicey for several captains. Once again it was the mighty SoDak and speedy Brooklyn against the listing Inflexible, beaching Yavuz and ahem, flitting Z-43. Wind conditions had picked up a bit for the first sortie affecting the aim of the taller ships which many maintain was the sole reason that the SoDak, once again, failed to sink. Come on, I didn't ruin the ending, you never thought it was going to sink anyway. It never does. But read on, the first sortie wasn't too exciting. The most excitement was David's attempt to get the Z-43 on target against the SoDak. He fired his third salvo at the giant but alas, no damage again. Getting the aiming down on that spurt cannon is a difficult task. Towards the end of the first sortie, being that I was on five and running for my life (as usual) while being hotly pursued by the SoDak (as usual), I started heading towards the opposite shore. Brian, always trying to be helpful, said, "You know Ty, you probably don't want to get too far out there especially after you were getting glitched earlier." I responded with, "But the radio's been rock-solid the entire sortie." at which point, I promptly lost control of the Inflexible. Uggh, I really hate it when that happens. There went my ship, heading towards the opposite shore in the deepest part of the lake, being pursued by the SoDak.

Brian Eliassen's South Dakota and Ty's Inflexible mix
it up. Note the water splash near the Inflexible's bow.

I didn't know it at the time but Brian was attempting to catch it to redirect it towards the nearer shore but as the ships were virtually the same speed, there was little chance that he was going to catch it. So, I started running. It was a long way to the opposite side of that lake. But when I arrived, my ship had evidently stopped itself near shore and then slowly backed into the mud. And wouldn't you know it...sitting right there and not glitching at all was the SoDak with Brian more than 100 yards away standing on the hillside on the opposite shore. At least he wasn't firing on me.

The second sortie was one of the most action packed in the SCRAP annuls. My radio appeared to be working properly again so I launched the ship for another adventure on the waves. The Z-43, after attempting to deliver it's entire magazine of BBs into the SoDak, again with no luck, fell under the guns of the mighty SoDak and suffered more damage in a single sortie than in it's entire history. The SoDak turned quickly and found the Z-43 behind his sterns. Of course, you take the shot even though it's probably going to miss that small and quick of a target. David was maneuvering the Z-43 at the time to get clear of those triple sterns and if you've seen his little ship turn you'll know that it really leans into those turns. Evidently, the single triple stern gun salvo that the SoDak was able to fire before the Z-boat maneuvered away had hit the Z-43 with all of them below the waterline in the bow. Ouch! They hit at such an oblique angle that they didn't actually penetrate through the hull. Instead, each of them gouged a 3/8" hole in the ship before deflecting away.

David Asman's DKM Z-43 before the carnage.

Nasty! This damage was enough that the Z-43 took on enough water that the next time he turned, the ship had a severe 30 degree list to starboard. The good news was that one of the three belows on the port side was out of the water but the other two were still below. Brian, seeing an opportunity that is rarely presented pursued the little destroyer. With the severe list, the little ship just couldn't out-run the hulking battleship. The SoDak quickly closed with the Z-43 and pulled up along the over-exposed port side when he started to unload side-mounts into the stricken ship. Within seconds, David turned the Z-43 away from the SoDak and headed towards shore where the stern of the Z-43 dipped below the waves as David reached down and grabbed his stricken ship. The damage was later totalled as 0 above, 1 on and 8 belows! Yes, that's right...0-1-8 plus the sink. It was a beautiful sight to any Allied captain which has to deal with the little Axis pests but the incident provoked the biggest controversy of the day since the barrage continued even as the Z-boat slipped beneath the mossy brine.

John Riese's TCG Yavuz before the beaching.

When is a ship declared sunk? When it's decks are awash and the captain declares it or when the opposition runs out of ammo? These questions and more will one day be addressed... should SCRAP ever conduct an official meeting with a presiding President. If that wasn't enough, the Yavuz ran aground due to radio problems shortly after the Z-43 sank. The SoDak was already underway towards the helpless victim. Under the guns of the SoDak, which thankfully ran out of BB's early, the Yavuz took a brutal beating which included 38 above, 10 on and 12 below! While this was going on, the Brooklyn sailed into the area and promptly sank near shore. It seems that the pump that John lent to Mark used the oldest Axis trick on the book...only let the Allies borrow pumps that have no pump screen. Even with four aboves, it was enough, with a plugged outlet for the Brooklyn, to sink with all livestock on deck towards the end of the sortie. The end result? Team America suffered 970 damage points and team Europe suffered 2955 damage points. The most lopsided SCRAP results since the 12040 to 750 pasting that occurred in January 2001.

Here is the breakdown for Battle #2:

Team America

Captain              Ship                A   O   B  Pen   Sink   Total
Brian Eliassen       South Dakota       18   0   1    0      0     230
Mark De Antonio      Brooklyn            4   0   0    0    700     740
Total                                                              970

Team Europe

Captain              Ship                A   O   B  Pen   Sink   Total
Ty Siouxpancic       Inflexible         70   6   1    0      0     900
John Riese           Yavuz              38  10  12    0      0    1230
David Asman          Z-43                0   1   8    0    400     825
Total                                                             2955
Joe Dworniczak lamenting the Axis plight after the
SoDak just sank the Z-boat.

A long 5 1/2 hour day at the lake, made all the longer by extensive ship repairs between sorties, massive patching and a bellicose narrative which should serve only to make this captain a favorite target in future battles.

Here are some quotes heard around the lake on the day of the battle:

"Brian really killed Ty." - Cari Dworniczak (Joe's daughter)
"I've been meaning to tell you that I love you Ty." - Brian after explaining to Cari that he only shoots at people he loves.
"I'm going to declare it." - David Asman followed immediately by...
"I think it was already sunk." - David and Brian simultaneously.
"OH NO!" - John realizing he was beached and seeing the SoDak closing in.
"This was one of the best SCRAP battles yet." - Just about everyone.
"Yep...the most fun locally for me. People were actually shooting back! Oh the humanity!" - Brian

Ty Siouxpancic and Brian Eliassen putting BB's in their ships magazines on the "fill table" at lakeside.
This was NOT the pit area. The photo was taken from the pit area.