SAS officially got it's battle season started this month with the "February Fracas Build & Battle" held in Statesboro Saturday Feb 10th. The morning started off with veteran Pete Demetri and new captain Bill Bibeault arriving at Brian Koehler's shipyard (house) to look at the ship Bill is refurbishing and answer questions about the cannons and other systems (lots of photos were taken for Bill to take back and compare notes as he works on the ship. Wes Hawkins arrived next, who brought a number of new receivers and R/C cards from Battlers Connection which were sealed in epoxy so they would have time to cure. Once veteran Stefan Minton arrived, the group decided a quick dash to Subway for lunch was necessary, before heading over to the pond for battle.
Once at the pond, Wes Hawkins brought out his recently finished DKM Prinz Eugen
and Stefan Minton began loading his HMS Invincible
. They would face off against BrianK in his old SMS Baden
. Wes gave his cruiser some test runs on the pond, and then Invincible
were launched and battle began. All ships performed very well, but in a particularly unlucky (for Invincible
) moment Baden
to tilt sideways and in a burst of sidemount blew a nickle-sized hole in Invincible
that lowered below the water as Baden
backed off and Invincible
pump failed to hold a steady output and Invincible
sank at the end of the sortie (note: repeated testing after the sortie finally located the issue behind Invincible's
recurring pump problem, and a replacement R/C pump switch has since been ordered - a reason why even small battles are great for working and improving ships!).
Second sortie saw Prinz Eugen
continue their fight. The battle was more for fun and the two ships even traded some practice rounds on each other. Quite a number of distinctive paired holes were observed on Baden
twin sterns, and Baden scored a fair number of hits on the faster Prinz Eugen
took without sinking: fairly impressive for a cruiser on its maiden voyage).
Going into the third sortie Wes decided to bring out his USS DeHaven
destroyer so it would have some testing as well. A few shots were traded, but before anything substantial could be done SMS Baden
sank near shore (even though the pump had window screen folded up around it completely, without a rigid frame window screen wrapped like this will still pull upward from the force of the pump over the small inlet hole on the bottom, making it no better than taping a scrap over the pump inlet - a small mass of balsa chunks were found sucked up against the screen and blocking the inlet. So be sure to pay attention to Kessler's article above!
). As balsa chunks are still the result of battle damage, Baden
was declared fairly sunk and USS DeHaven
left claiming it single-handedly sunk a dreadnought - Prinz Eugen might claim it had a hand in it, but I will let Wes argue with himself over that one, lol)
We then packed up the ships and headed back to the shipyard for some additional shipwork before calling it a day. It was a lot of fun and a great way to give these ships a shakedown before the larger battles start up in the coming months.