Dreadnought may be made even more realistic by slightly amending certain ship values and game procedures, at no expense in playability. [See MOVES 23, pg. 17 – Ed.]
The game allows the U.S. battleships armed with 14” rifles to fire from ranges these weapons were unable to attain until angles of elevation were raised, generally from 15˚ to 30˚. These modifications were part of the extensive reconstructions conducted in the late 1920s through late 1930s. The only exceptions were the 410-420 Tennessee Class BBs, the last of the 14” U.S. BBs, which were built with 30˚ elevation for the main battery.
The 340 Texas, 350 Oklahoma and 370 Pennsylvania, all armed with the 1911 Mark II 14”/45, should have a range of approximately ten hexes, instead of the 17-hex Range Allowance on the counters. The 360 Oklahoma and 380 Pennsylvania Classes, after their respective 1927-28 and 1929-31 rebuilds, have the printed range. Since there is no “refit” Texas counter, the 341 New York and 342 Texas should have a ten-hex range until after their 1940-41 modifications, when the printed range is valid.
The 390 New Mexico Class, armed with the longer 1915 Mark IV 14”/50, should have a range of approximately eleven hexes. After their modifications in the early 1930s, the printed 18-hex allowance is valid.
The C60 and C70 screen units should be allowed to use torpedo attacks when used as Japanese CAs, as this was a vital aspect of Japanese naval doctrine (remember Savo Island?). The C60s, as they approximate the Furutaka/Aoba Classes, and the C70s, which represent the Myoko/Takao/Mogami types, should be given a 1:1T capability.
Further, all DD types which did not carry reloads (generally, all non-Japanese ships) should be limited to only one torpedo attack per scenario, not two per scenario, as in Case 8.22.
The rules allow a BB to blast away at a wrecked screen unit all day, and not sink it unless first rolling an “E” result on the CRT and then rolling a 7 or 11. This rule is very valid for damage on capital ships, as the resilience of the capital ship was amply documented in the S&T “Dreadnought” article. But lightly- or non-armored screen units are a different story. To allow for more sinkings, and a more realistic touch, amend Case 5.42, as follows:
[5.42] Screen units are sunk whenever damage exceeds the 2G2S condition as follows: when the attacker is a capital ship, an additional “G” or “S” hit sinks the unit. If the attacker is a screen unit, only an additional “S” will sink the unit. And, regardless of the nature of the attacker, an “E” hit assessed against a wrecked screen unit will sink the unit.
Also, the rules allow for screens armed with 8”, 6”, 5” and smaller weapons to inflict damage on heavily-protected capital ships from the extreme limits of a screen’s range. Certainly, at ranges of 5-10 miles (5 to 10 hexes), light artillery like 5” or 8” will not penetrate a BB’s vitals, protected by 12”-16” of armor. But light weapons (and, after all, a 250-lb. 8” AP is a feather compared to a 2000-lb. 15” AP shell) can damage a capital ship’s bridge, fire-control positions (exposed radars, RFs, etc.), light weapons and so forth. At First Guadalcanal on 13 November 1942, BC Hiei’s bridge was peppered and set ablaze by 5”, 40mm and 20mm fired at point-blank range. This hail of fire which smothered Hiei had a definite effect on morale and clear tactical thought by Admiral Abe. To simulate this, amend Case 5.23 as follows:
[5.23] Screen units (CAs, CLs and DDs) may not engage capital ships unless the range is 1-3 hexes. Further, a maximum of “GS” damage may be accumulated by one target in one Game Turn. The Range Effects Table (5.51) does not apply.
The only exception to this suggestion are the 260 Courageous and 720 Lützow classes, with their cruiser-type armor. Screens may engage these units as they would other screens, at all possible ranges.
Information cited is from Breyer’s Battleships and Battle Cruisers, 1905-1970 and from Watts and Gordon’s The Imperial Japanese Navy.
Transcribed by Mark Kindrachuk