In our Pigboats game Monday night, the Pike was cruising on the surface off of the port of Surigao in the northern peninsula on the island of Mindanao. It was midnight, and a steady, soaking rain was pouring from low, sodden clouds. Previously the skipper had charted the passage through the minefield of a small coaster. In the Skipper's cabin, an argument was raging. It was about stealing a patrol boat from the Japanese.
It wasn't about whether this was a sane, responsible thing to do. No, it was an argument over how to do it.
The XO, who would be doing the stealing, wanted to go into the port, kill the sentry, and slip onto the boat, hiding in the bowels of the ship until sundown, whereupon they would rise up and take the boat from within. he was worried about planes finding and sinking the boat out at sea, and felt this would give them the best possible chance of survival.
The Skipper, who would be cheering from the sidelines, felt the best thing would be to take the boat and race right out to sea. Planes would eb slow to respond at this time of night. Besides, it was night! And raining! They would never see the boat in the vastness of the Pacific!
No one discussed the practicality of actually capturing the Japanese boat. That was a given.
The argument was won, as is typically the case, by the one with the authority of the US Navy on his side, the Skipper. With that, the skipper called for volunteers. He rolled a leadership check, and got 6 of 6 successes. Everyone volunteered! It was going to be one of those ridiculous roll days! The XO selected seven hands, one of the rescued pilots - the pride of Texas and super swimmer, Lieutenant jg Bolivar Coyote Teahen. We rolled to see what the sailors and Coyote would have for Sneak and Blade. The sailors got a +1 for Blade and +3 for Sneak. Coyote rolled the max for both, +4. Rounding out the party were Lt. Carnegie, the Weapons Officer, and Lt Vaugirard, the XO
They paddled the rubber raft in over the harbor's minefield, going along the shoreline to avoid the armed trawler patrolling outside the mines. They then paddled north to the military pier, where to boats were tied up - a corvette and a frigate. There was a sentry walking the pier, smoking a cigarette, but Coyote made short work of him. The rest of the men then climbed up onto the pier, and directed by the XO, swarmed onto the Frigate.
After a bit, Coyote reported ten formerly napping Japanese crew were now ex-IJN. The engineering crewman went below to start the engines, while the men singled up the lines. When the engines started, the XO ordered the last line taken in and the frigate shot away from the pier. As they shot away, they saw crew on the corvette beginning to man the ship and she pulled away to follow.
By this time, the frigate was halfway though the double dogleg clear path through the minefield. Mr. Carnegie manned the rear 120mm gun, and Coyote volunteered to operate the forward 120mm. What is his Gunnery skill? Let's roll! Jeebus! He has a mastery! Gunnery+5! Same as Mr. Carnegie! Lord! Like I said, one of *those* nights!
They both fired simultaneously at the corvette, Both were beautiful shots! Boom! The Corvette went down like a collander in a swimming pool. Whooping a rebel yell, Coyote turned his gun on the trawler outside. Boom! A Lucky Shot - the roll had two exact matched for the TN! the shell hit the depth charges in the back and the trawler went up like a lit cigarette in a fireworks factory.
"What should we name her?" asked the XO as the frigate accelerated to 30 knots and headed for the assigned rendezvous. "What about that WREN you like back in Fremantle?" answered Carnegie "Oh! Gal! Yes, as of now, she's the Galatea!"