Thursday, 14 February 2013

Steamer Wars (1)

As is pretty normal for a wargamer, my attention has been drawn by an old project and a long-lost book in the book case. In this case the book is "The Phantom Flotilla" by Peter Shankland, and the project is the set of Lake Tanganyika steamers and gunboats available via Shapeways from North Head Miniatures. Over the last few weeks I've painted up the models and scratch built a few extra craft, including the Belgian gun barge "Dix Tonne", the Belgian motor gunboat "Netta" and a variety of small craft.




 Over the last few days I've been sketching out a set of fast play rules, the aim being to be able to run a small one day campaign for 2-3 players. Today I gave the rules their first outing. The scenario was based on the encounter between the German gunboat Hedwig von Wissman and the British motor boats Mimi and Toutou. I played this as a surprise encounter, and things went pretty much according to reality. In my refight the Wissman decided to open her arcs so as to bring her bow guns into play as well as a machine gun. range advantage meant she opened fore well before the British boats were able to respond, but the small size of the targets meant she was unable to secure any hits in the opening phase of the action. As the range closed both sides scored hits and near misses. Toutou suffered minor hull damage from a near miss, and both boats were showered with splinters on several occasions. But a shell from Mimi hit the German's engine room and slowed her considerably. Toutou scored a lucky machine gun hit on the hapless German's engine which left her dead in the water and at this point the nimble British gunboats got in behind the German's stern. The German engineer was not giving up the ship though, and managed to restart the engines, although only making a paltry 2 knots. The game was up shortly thereafter though as a shell from Toutou knocked out the Wissman's machine gun, whilst  a burst of MG fire from Mimi cut down the crew of the port bow gun. With the ship slowed, damaged and unable to keep the British boats away from her vulnerable stern the captain of the Wissman decided that discretion was the better part of valour and struck his colours (morale test failed).




The rules seemed to work well, with a few minor amendments made as I went along. Next plan - to knock up some of the larger Belgian vessels that were on the lake in 1914 and try out some "big ship" actions and actions against shore batteries!


10 comments:

  1. David

    Lovely looking models!

    Cheers
    PD

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  2. David,
    I write up for BattleFleet with pictures would be nice! This scenario has a lot of potential and sounds like it would be a great read ... thoughts?
    Jeff

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  3. Probably coming to a Battlefleet in the next 6-12 months or so.....

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    1. Excellent!!! good to hear David ...Jeff

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  4. David

    What rules did you use? I am assuming one of your sets...

    Cheers
    PD

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  5. Yes, its a set I'm developing at the moment

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  6. That is absolutely right up my street.

    Splendid stuff!

    :O)

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  7. Looks great! I've always fancied doing this setting and hadn't come across the Shapeways models so I'm now very tempted.

    Which ships did you use from their range?

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  8. Do a search for NorthHeadMiniatures on Shapeways and you'll find their complete range. I used all the 1/600 models

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  9. David. I've just finished putting together everything for a good campaign on lake tanganyka when I came across your post. I has been looking to use action stations but your rules sounded more fun. Are they available anywhere ?

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