History is Fun

Friday, October 7, 2016

Aircraft and aircraft carrier rules in Naval Thunder Battleship Row.

Hi all,

Today I took some time to play thought the aircraft and aircraft carrier section of Naval Thunder Battleship Row rules.  I have been wanting to do this on the gaming table and I had some time to see how they work out.  As the rules are written Aircraft Carriers and Aircraft are a pre-battle step with one possible sortie during the actual surface combat game. So if you want you do not have to have Aircraft Carrier Models and or aircraft miniatures, but what is the fun in that? 

The German Targets

HMS Illustrious with her 3 Torpedo bomber factors. Each factor equals 4 aircraft. so each miniature equals 4 aircraft for a total of 12 TB's.

The target's with the ship forms.

Targets below!
So the standard ship forms have all the data that is needed about each ship. On the ship forms that are Aircraft Carriers there is data about what types of aircraft attack factors are on board the ship. For today's example I used HMS Illustrious. Se has 5 Fighter factors and 3 TB's factors. So I have only painted up the TB's and they are pictures above. 

In the rules there are three sorties that can be launched, two are done the day before the surface battle and one can take place during the actual surface battle. I will run through all 3 sorties here with no surface battle. this is what I would have happen during a campaign once an aircraft carrier launched an attack on the surface fleet that has been spotted but no surface battle will take place.

Sortie number 1:
Swordfish's coming in for the 1st attack run.

Flack coming up!

First set of dice... no 10's yet...

Next set of attack dice... all 3 aircraft make it past the AAA
Above are the pictures from part of the 1st sortie. The first step is to see how many attack factors you have both Fighters and bombers. For this scenario there were no fighter escort and no enemy CAP.  I had 3 TB's. Next is getting through the flak. You total up the total flack factors that each ship had from the ship forms. The total was 19 AA attack dice that the Germans could use to try to shoot down the incoming aircraft, you have to score a 10 on a 10 sided dice to score a hit on the incoming aircraft. On this first sortie all three TB's made it through the AAA.

Torpedoes away!

The dice are cast!!!


Passed the save roll! good solid hit!!!

The next phase of the first sortie is to determinate if the attack scores a hit. So I set up the aircraft near the ship and used my torpedo markers to indicate the attack is on going. then you have to roll 1 higher than the ships to hit number. Which for the Bismarck is seven so I had to roll eight's to hit. Well out of the three attacks one made it on a roll of nine, next you have to roll to see if the torpedo penetrates the hull which is called the SAV rating for the ship. and for the Bismarck it is six. I rolled a 10 so it definitely hit. The hit caused 18 points of hull damage to the Bismarck.

The hit causes flooding.

The damage control teams are effective and stop the flooding.

The charts.
So after you see if there is a hit you get to see what type of damage you cause. so I rolled a 12 on the Torpedo Critical Table so it caused flooding. and you have to conduct the damage control check immediately and luckily for the Germans the roll was a two so the flooding was stopped. One additional point of damage was added to the 18 points scored by the initial hit. So far the Bismark as taken 19 points of damage.

Sortie 2

Another try to Sink the Bismarck

The flack comes up again

No issues with the first set of dice.

Once aircraft is hit by AAA. The British lose 4 aircraft.

Only two planes left.
The second and third are conducted in the same order and manor as the first. This time the German AAA scored a hit on the incoming British TB's.

No time to rescue the downed crews.

Torpedoes in the water!

The dice are not kind this time.

The TB's head home to get more fish for the next attack.

The attack is conducted with the remaining two TB's and unfortunately for the |British the attacks fail and the torpedoes miss there target.

The Third and final sortie

Two TB's are inbound

First group of flak misses the British TB's

Another hit on the British TB's now there is only one that can attack.

I conducted the third and finally sortie the same as the other two. If you have a surface battle the third sortie would happen randomly during the game.  You roll a dice to see on which turn the attack aircraft show up. On this attack the Germans are able to shoot down another TB so only one is left to press the attack and it does not score a hit.

the sortie sheet for the British

The data cards for the ships after the attack.

So that is how it works.
I can see how this can play into a surface battle since the Bismarck has taken damage berfore it is intercepted by other surface vessels.

Have a good weekend.


  1. Looks good and in line with the fun and relatively fast playing rules of normal NT.
    I can see loads of potential for this when its time to face the Kaga with the Big E too...

    1. I agree it works well to get the air attacks done early in the battle before the big ships go at it. I look forward to getting a game of WWII naval game going soon. Take care!