Not sure if this is the right forum -- crunchy stuff about Avalanche Press SWWAS

I haven't subscribed yet (shame) but had something worth sharing and I can't wait!

A month back on Consimworld's Avalanche Press Second World War at Sea someone asked what the odds
were of the Bismark (10-4-3 gunnery) sinking the Hood (10-0-2-3, 18 hull boxes) in a single salvo.

I just finished enumerating the probabilities and I think it shows a hole in the system. Allowing for spillover damage and also allowing for plunging fire, I get the following net chances for the event to happen.

If you need a "6" to hit: 1 in 1.5 billion
With a +1 bonus to hit: 1 in 83 million

Now I know it's a "1 in a million shot" but I think statistically that's an underestimate of the true probability as well
based on two "gut-checks".

Check 1: Assume a 1 square foot area of the Hood's deck has a flaw that if it will ignite the magazine.
Given the length of 860 feet and the beam of 106 feet, it's like a 1 in 46000 chance that a single hit would
destroy the ship, more than 100 times more likely than the best chance in the system.

Check 2: Consider the approximately 80 battleships among the major powers in WW II. Assume each takes
about 20 bomb/shell hits over it's career (ignoring torpedoes which are deadly in the game). 20 bomb/shell
hits was chosen since 17 bombs and 19 torpedoes went into sinking Musashi. This would give an approximate
number of 1600 bomb/shell hits on battleships in WW II. Of course, TWO off the top of my head (Hood and Arizona) essentially sank from single hits, so an estimate of the odds of a fatal hit using this method would be
1 in 800.

This led me to:

Proposed House Rule 1: Re-adding the GWAS explode to a critical hit result of "2". This automatically
destroys the target 1 in 1536 hits.

But reading "Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors" again made me realize I really get bugged about how
easily battleships and cruisers make destroyers vaporize. This one is completely untested but I think it
kind of fits in.

Proposed House Rule 2: I think a primary or secondary hit should only affect a destroyer or small counter about 33% of the time (The "Hey, they're making swiss cheese!" rule). Most of the armor piercing hits from Japanese heavies didn't detonate! It took contact with a primary structural beam or heavy engineering equipment. This explained the comparatively long life for several of the destroyers involved in the action.

So what do you think?

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Comment by Russel on August 8, 2009 at 10:27am
I'd like to comment on House Rule #2:
This idea makes some sense. However, it might make flotilla craft too resilient. I too find the way flotilla craft die like flies in GWAS/SWWAS to be more than irksome. I've been working on my own solution over the past several months. It's difficult to find the right balance between vulnerabililty and resiliency. It's also difficult to balance the dire threat torpedo attacks represented in the minds of flag officers with the rather limited results that took place historically.

One aspect of the equation that GWAS/SWWAS has never attempted to take into account is that of the human factor. Men in unarmored ships faced by hot enemy fire will often veer from a direct attack rather than be annihilated. I'm working on a torpedo attack routine that includes this human factor. The routine would also limit the exposure of flotillas to enemy fire during a general action and include range attenuation.
Comment by Jim Werbaneth on April 30, 2009 at 9:10am
I recommend that Pearl Harbor documentary as well. It's excellent as a commemoration, but what really distinguishes it is its disciplined approach to the the engineering of what happened when the bomb hit the deck.

As for the Bismarck, I remember reading a long time ago, I wish I could remember the source, a theory that the Hood was actually sunk by the Prinz Eugen, whose shells set a fire, which in turn spread to the magazines.
Comment by Jeff Larsen on April 29, 2009 at 6:51am
I don't know though. A magazine is a very dangerous place which has to be exposed in a battle to
function. My main argument is that historically I think magazine explosions happen in about 1 in 1000
hits on a ship and as such, the SWWAS damage tables underestimate the chance of a one hit kill.
On the other hand, it overestimates the chance of killing a smaller ship. Over on the SWWAS group I see a set of alternate rules for this from a year ago. I'd love to see them at this point!
Comment by Hawkeye on April 29, 2009 at 1:17am
I saw a documentary called "Pearl Harbor: The Death of the U.S.S. Arizona" that went into a thorough examination of how the USS Arizona suffered it's catastrophic explosion and all of the chain of events that they think led to it. Highly recommended.
Comment by Jeff Larsen on April 28, 2009 at 11:22pm
I'd think that's why the critical hit table should have a "boom" result...

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