Now part of this is my understanding of naval combat. Despite first hand accounts hits are rare and while you can have the catastrophic hit, you still wear down the enemy through attrition. So I want the odd critical hit with a massive fire or flooding but I have to account for attritional damage. I also hate hull boxes and the like; minimal bookkeeping!
I had a eureka moment while reading a book about the Italian invasion of Ethiopia. ( Go figure!) I still keep a familiar "to hit" sequence since it is quick but once you hit calculations are non existent. If you don't hit, which happens often, you are done; either way it has been much quicker and has not dragged in my 3 mini playtests. So now here is my report of a full blown game complete with unknown forces for the german player. I didn't add characters because I am still concentrating on mechanics of the rules; mainly the combat routine, as I am happy with everything else.
1944 Off the Coast of Occupied Holland. Visibility 3Kyrds Sea state 2 ( didn't want to confuse things even though I rolled a sea state 3)
British on Interception patrol with 2 MTBs and 1 Elco 77 MTB All Average crews and leaders
German forces are 1 M 40 Minesweeper, 2 Merchants and 1 "B" blind and 4 "C" blinds.
British lose 1 Dogboat with 1 heavily damaged. I Elco damaged
Germans 1 medium Merchant sunk, 1 Small merchant wrecked, 1 R-boat sunk, 1 R-boat wrecked, 1 KFK damaged
More importantly the game played smooth the whole time and didn't bog down. Combat might be a tad deadly but for small boats I think that is okay. Will need some more playtesting and will have to have some Destroyer action to see how it scales up but so far so good.