Warlord Games only just announced their new naval battles game, Cruel Seas last week. They're now taking pre-orders for this new game over on their website, including various fleets so you can get started right away. Unlike other naval games that are fights between huge battleships and aircraft carriers, Cruel Seas focuses on the myrriad smaller craft that are also involved in warfare on the high seas.
In Cruel Seas, you take on the role of a naval crew manning their fragile coastal craft as they head out day and night to take on both the sea and the enemy.
Command your flotilla of small ships as they head out to attack a convoy, drop off Commandoes for a behind-the-lines mission or task them with one of the other myriads of missions this small and versatile craft would perform.
Be it the Coastal waters of England or across the Channel to France, on to the Mediterranean waters or on further to the vast Island chains of the Pacific, Cruel seas will ensure your small ships see plenty of adrenaline-fuelled action!
Despite the Royal Navy’s successful use of light coastal forces in the Great War, the RN found itself almost completely bereft of coastal forces in September 1939 when war again broke out.
The Royal Navy in 1939 was a tremendously powerful force. The Big Ships, Battleships, Cruisers and Carriers were seen as war winners and certainly vessels that projected symbols of power.
Early in the war, however, the Admiralty grew more concerned about the German actions in the Channel and the North Sea. Small pinprick attacks grew to savage attacks on the British coastal convoys and those, supported by aggressive Luftwaffe and U-boat attacks, forced the Admiralty to re-examine its attitude to light forces. The ’E’ or enemy boat threat had become real and it stimulated some frantic development in private shipyards.
On December 7th, 1941, the US Navy could only boast 3 squadrons of motor torpedo boats, or PT boats (patrol torpedo) as they were named. PT squadron 1 was based on Pearl Harbor and the 12 boats opened fire on the incoming Japanese bombers, claiming 2 planes downed for sure and others damaged. Squadron 2 was based in Manila Bay of the Philippines and had a similar introduction to their war, shooting down a few attackers and learning that fast boats were a tricky target for bombers. Squadron 3 was in New York working up and would later see great service in Guadalcanal.
The Schnellboat or ‘E Boat’ as the British Admiralty called them, E for enemy, was a truly formidable beast, in many ways incomparable in detail to the other nation’s boats.
In sheer size alone, the E boat was much, much bigger. Allied boats tended to be 70-80 feet in length, the E boat 115 feet long, and the laws of physics, though complex, favour a larger hull for speed over a shorter one.
Between the wars, Japan reassessed its position with its navy, building the world’s first purpose-built aircraft carrier, the Hosho in 1921 and inventing its deadly fast and powerful type 93 24’’ oxygen fuelled torpedoes. They also decided that as their industrial might could not match that of the west, then they would have to have sharp, training tactics and a crew of superior quality to their foe, and for a while, achieved just this.
Their battleships and cruisers were of excellent quality and their growing fleet or aircraft carriers would, after Pearl Harbor, give them the edge in the opening phase of the Pacific War. Excellent training, use of the Long Lance torpedoes and aggressive use of nighttime fast attacks with their destroyers also gave the allies a bloody nose before they learned to counter these attacks.