Giovanni Delle Bande Nere

Unit Card:


Set - Rarity - Number

Surface Action-


From RB's Opening Salvo
Laid down in 1928, Banda Nere belonged to the di Giussano-class of light cruisers. This was the first group of the Condottiere-class cruisers, which eventually numbered twelve ships in five distinct groups. Italy’s naval architects at the time were obsessed with maximizing the speed of their cruiser designs in order to match (or beat) similar designs under construction in France, Italy’s principal naval rival. Banda Nere and her sisters were indeed very fast, approaching 37 knots, but they sacrificed sturdiness and all but the most minimal armor protection for their excellent turn of speed.

Banda Nere was involved in the Mediterranean war from its very beginning, participating in the convoy action that led to the Battle of Calabria (9 July 1940). Ten days later, her light armor very nearly proved her undoing at the Battle of Cape Spada (19 July 1940), where she barely escaped HMAS Sydney and five British destroyers. In March 1942, Banda Nere fought in the Second Battle of Sirte, where she landed a serious blow on the new British cruiser HMS Cleopatra, knocking out her radar and after turrets. However, on the day following the battle, heavy seas damaged the Banda Nere. She was sent to La Spezia for repairs on 1 April 1942, but a few miles off the volcanic island of Stromboli Banda Nere was torpedoed and sunk by the submarine HMS Urge.


From RB's Opening Salvo
Banda Nere is an inexpensive light cruiser that can certainly handle enemy destroyers, but the most interesting elements of her design are the two new special abilities she brings to the table. The Fast ability gives you a chance to run down (or run away from) virtually any other ship in the game. Unlike many other movement-increasing specials, Fast does not have any limitations about claiming objectives… because it’s unreliable enough that you just can’t count on getting that third sector of movement exactly when you want it. The Straddle ability provides Banda Nere with a consolation prize for missing on your opening salvo. You’ll never work up to punching holes in Iowa with Straddle, but it does provide a handy bonus for dueling other medium-armored ships. Try using Straddle with a long-range opening shot just to establish the pattern, then close in on the following turn and add the bonus die to a close-range attack against the target you’re engaging.

Vergilius Powergaming Evaluation:
A cheap excellent destroyer-killing cruiser for the Italians. Fast 5 is interesting while straddle will be useful some of the time. Powergaming Grade: A

Nine points for a unit that will be cheaper than many destroyers and that can devastate any destroyer in the Allies armory. Excellent unit.

Plastic Figure Notes:

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