USS Richmond

Unit Card:


Set - Rarity - Number

Flank Speed - Uncommon - 18/40


USS Richmond (CL 9) was an Omaha class light cruiser commissioned on July 2, 1923. The Omaha's were the first cruisers designed by the USN since 1905 and originally intended as scouts. These cruisers were a transitional design between the old four-stack and casemate mounted guns of WWI and the twin centerline turrets and high speed that was soon standard for WWII era cruisers. The class was largely a dissappointment with flimsy hulls that leaked, and water easily shipping over the decks leaving the casemated guns useless in even moderate seas. The USS Richmond went dead in the water on one occassion because her fuel lines were contaminated with brine from the incessant wetness. Crews disliked these ships as they were cramped, always wet, too hot in the tropics, and too cold on northern patrols. However, the Omaha class did establish the use of machinery dispersal which was used in many ship designs thereafter.

USS Richmond conducted coastal defense patrols along the west coast of the Americas until the end of 1942. After an overhaul in early 1943 she went to the Aleutians as flagship of cruiser-destroyer Task Group TG 16.6. This task group conducted shore bombardment operations and then blockaded Attu and Kiska from Japanese reinforcement convoys. The Japanese decided to run the blockade and this action led to the Battle of the Kormandorski Islands. USS Omaha's TG 16.6 consisting of Omaha, the heavy cruiser Salt Lake City, and four destroyers intercepted and engaged an Imperial Japanese Navy force of two heavy cruisers, two light cruisers, four destroyers, and four transports on the morning of March 27th, 1943. An almost four-hour long running surface battle ensued. The Japanese initially fired on the Richmond but did not hit the ship. The Richmond hit the Nachi several times before they were out of range. The IJN heavy cruisers then concentrated fire on the USS Salt Lake City because it was the only ship with enough range to hit them as they retired. The Japanese finally retired from the area not realizing how badly they had damaged the Salt Lake City. The Japanese Navy was only able to resupply their garrisons in the Aleutians with submarines after this battle. The USS Richmond continued to conduct patrols and shore bombardments until the Aleutians were re-taken by US forces. She then conducted anti-shipping patrols and shore bombardments off the Kurile Islands until the war ended. USS Richmond was decommissioned on December 21, 1945. She earned two battle stars during the war.


The USS Richmond is really a 'period piece' most useful for early war scenarios or for re-enacting the Battle of the Komandorski Islands. At 9 points it is a good value for what you get including Flag 1, but it is a weak offensive unit for a light cruiser. Bad Weather Fighter is a useful defense if you pair it up with a destroyer that can create a Smokescreen, or play a game with a lot of squalls on the map. It's AA value of 6 and one torpedo is mediocre for a CL, but not bad if you consider it a 'big destroyer.' Flagship is useful for helping you win initiative so your mains have at least a fair chance of hitting a destroyer or light cruiser. Overall, if you can think of it as a 'strong destroyer' it is not a bad value at 9 points.

Plastic Figure Notes:

The WWI-era US ships are difficult to sculpt with their crow's nest masts, casemate gun mounts, and crowded decks. USS Richmond is a better-than-average miniature with a significant amount of detail although those details are somewhat 'soft.' The tripod foremast with crow's nest and the two floatplanes are impressive as are the four stacks. The casemated secondaries are reasonably destinct as well. The main turrets are a little soft, but that seems to be typical of uncommons. However, the small twin turrets on the Saratoga prove WotC can do better with small turrets if they have a mind to. The camouflage scheme on the hull and stacks is a reasonable likeness of the actual Ms 32 camouflage scheme, but it is puzzling why the decks were not painted deck blue like most of the US miniatures in the game, and like all USN ships were painted in WWII. Overall, the sculpt is a good representation of the ship, has a good amount of detail for its size, and looks very good on the table.

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