11 May 2021

Casting Off: The Ark Royal

Hi all it's Neil here with a new Casting off post for Victory at Sea.  I recently got some reinforcements for my Royal Navy fleet in the form of Ark Royal escorted by a trio of Tribal class destroyers to give them a proper fleet carrier.

Ark Royal was built in the interwar period following the Washington and London Naval treaties and was designed to be compliant with all of the restrictions in place by these treaties.  She commissioned in 1938 as the first purpose built fleet carrier for the Royal Navy.  During WW2 she was very active taking part in the hunts for Graf Spee and Bismark, the Norwegian and Mediterranean campaigns with her aircraft.  Her air wing scored the first British aerial kill of WW2, first U-boat kill of the war and damaged Bismark's rudder allowing it to be caught. She was eventually sunk while being towed after being struck by a torpedo launched by a German U-boat in 1941.

For painting the Ark Royal I used my standard scheme as detailed in my Warspite post but for the flight deck I did a heavier drybrush of the Dawnstone to get a flatter colour on that part then highlighted it with a drybrush of Administratum Grey and a light one of Grey Seer to give the effect I saw on pictures of her on the internet and the model's box.

The Tribal class destroyers were done the same as in their post and the idea of adding 3 more was to give me a bit more for the screening ships for the capital vessels in my fleet.  In game the Tribals would be used for scouting potentially but when on the table their role is to gun down enemy destroyers then to use their small torpedo armament to attack enemy cruisers and battleships to support the battleship fire.

Ark Royal in game is a decent carrier with 15 flights for 250 points (in the Warlord system).  Her hull does have cruiser level armour and a torpedo belt but lacks the armoured deck of other British carriers (excluded in real life to fit the treaty restrictions) so like all carriers does want to hang back but she does have a good amount of AA with her dual purpose light guns so if on the table could be used in a pinch for air defense.  In game I would probably look to either get her in deep deployment to keep her safer or towards the back of the map out of enemy range.  For her air group, a split of 5 fighters and 10 strike aircraft would be my aim with exact type determined by any year restriction.

I now have all released ships again for the Royal Navy but I might look to expand my selection of aircraft in the future with the aircraft box with sea hurricanes and fulmars ready for gaming which is approaching as a possibility again.  If you want to check out more of my posts for Casting Off I have others about my painted ships as well as looks at the rules and thoughts towards a matched play style for the game.  If you wanted to see what my current painting project is check out my Instagram where I post WIP and finished state pictures of whats on my painting table.  See you again soon for some more naval action in the next Casting Off post.

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