Monday, 27 June 2016

Ebay Swag

My 1/600 ACW collection has enjoyed a boost with the arrival of a collection of ships via Ebay. A nice selection of rather well made models from Thoroughbred and Bay Area Yards, with one Italian "mystery ship" which looks like its based on the Duilio

Kearsarge and Alabama

Two unknowns from  BAY - any suggestions>

HMS Royal Sovereign (this one is a monster) and CSS Stonewall

And this rather unusual Italian turret battleship, which looks like the Duilio. Any clues as to the manufacturer?

Some of these are duplicates for models I already have, so the Kearsarge will become another of the Mohican class sloops, whilst the Stonewall will become the uncompleted CSS Cheops. Alabama will no doubt find herself in service as another Confederate raider, or maybe rerolled as a British cruiser if I can find something suitably similar.

Not bad for less than a fiver each :)

Monday, 20 June 2016

Confederate River Defence Fleet

Keen naval gamers will recall that Phil Ireson (Wargamer6 on TMP) produced a lovely set of ships in 1/1200 covering the fleets that fought at the battle of Riachuelo. Well he has turned his attention to the American Civil War and come up with a set of eight models also in 1/1200 covering the Confederate River Defence Fleet at the battles of Plum Point and Memphis.

The complete set

Phil has sent me photos of this new selection of models and in the next few weeks I'm hoping to get a set. As with his earlier models they look rather lovely, nicely detailed and full of character. I shall report more fully when they arrive, but for now here are the pictures that Phil sent.

General  Sterling Price 

General Bragg

The models are cast in resin with white metal fittings. The complete set will be available for £36 plus £2 &P in the UK (I don't know about postage overseas)

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Poseidon's Warriors

Poseidon’s Warriors is the latest release from Osprey Wargames and, as far as I am aware, only their second on a fully naval theme. PW is a set of fast playing rules covering the classical naval era from 480BC (Salamis) to 31BC (Actium). 

The core rules are short and sweet – 9 pages of the 64 pages of the book, and even then those nine pages are profusely illustrated, covering the main mechanics of manoeuvre, ramming, boarding and morale. They are extremely bloody; in a game featuring Quadremes or smaller ships (which make up the bulk of many navies) a single attack is virtually guaranteed to cripple and sink an enemy ship, and even larger ships succumb to successful attacks with relative ease. So it is that manoeuvre and knowing when and how to strike, as well as accepting the risk of losses in the approach. Ships are divided into squadrons of 5 ships (or single large ships) and players alternate activating squadrons, completing all movement, ramming, firing and boarding for a squadron before passing to the other player to do the same.

Additional sections add crew quality command and control, leaders and personalities, special weapons and the effects of terrain in the form of land, shoals and shallows, followed by a number of generic scenarios and a campaign system. Fleet lists from the Greek and Persian wars through to the Roman civil wars completes the package.

As with all the osprey Wargames series the book is nicely laid out and profusely illustrated with paintings from previous Osprey books and also with photos from Rod Langton’s excellent 1/300 and 1/1200 ranges.

This is a great package of rules and supporting material that makes for a quick and exciting standalone game, or a club campaign over a few evenings or weeks. Recommended.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Odds and Sods

Modelling wise the last couple of weeks has been rather sparse, and then only finishing off various odds and sods. The main completions were a couple of 1/600 ACW models from Toby Barrett's Thoroughbred Models and the ships for my 1/600 River Plate game at the Naval Wargames Weekend (now only a couple of weeks away!)

CSS Alabama

 CSS Atlanta

 As usual I'm highly impressed with the detail and ease of construction of Toby's fine models. I think they came out OK.

The 1/600 River Plate models are just about done. I've attached some ensigns to the British ships. The German ensigns I printed have gone walkies so I need to redo those and add them later this week. I may stick some more on the RN ships having seen "Battle of the River Plate" again last night and been reminded of Exeter "dressing ship" :)

Monday, 13 June 2016

Broadside and Ram

My latest publication is now available from Wargame Vault. "Broadside and Ram" is a set of fast play naval rules and a campaign system covering the Lissa campaign of 1866, which cerebrates its 150th anniversary next month.  It is based on my earlier "Ironclads in Action" supplement for "Iron and Fire" which was originally published by A&AGE but which has been out of print for many years. The tactical "DBA-esque" rules are based on the principles used in my "Lord of the Sea" rules updated for the more modern era, and the campaign system updated to reflect the use of the tactical rules. That said the campaign system should be adaptable to any set of ironclad rules.

The rules are available from the following link:

Friday, 3 June 2016

Jutland 100 - Portsmouth

It was an early start for Laura and I on Tuesday May 31st as we headed to Portsmouth for the NWS centenary refight of Jutland. This is just a short report with a few pics since Stuart Machin, the game organiser, is working on a full AAR.

We arrived about 0830, spent 20 minutes getting into the dockyard and then took a short tour of the base so that Laura could see some of the various warships that were in. Then across to the "Action Stations" hall where the game was running.

The game was run using 1/3000 models and General Quarters 2 rules, with most of the active players and umpiring team (of which I was one) being very familiar with those rules. The positions of the ships were those at 1530 on the day of the battle, with play proceeding from that point. Players were encouraged to broadly follow the lines of the battle at the behest of the museum. That said, light forces were used aggressively in the early part of the game with destroyer flotillas hunting out the enemy's battlecruisers and each other, and scoring some early hits, and 5BS made a dramatic entrance decisively spanking the rear of the German battleline

As is the way of things we only really managed to recreate the "Run to the South",  and as the time allotted to the game drew to a close the leading elements of the High Seas Fleet and the Grand Fleet were just entering the play area. 

We had a steady trickle of members of the public popping in to see what was going on, as well as some familiar wargaming faces, so there were plenty of opportunities to chat and discuss both the battle and wargaming in general,

Some added colour was brought courtesy of the Sea Cadets, with a number of youngsters from Newham (Cornwell VC) Sea Cadets joining in as ship movers, die rollers and aides to the players. They certainly seemed to have a good time, and were especially pleased when HMS Chester entered the battlefield.

In the quiet moments Laura and I visited the new Jutland exhibition in the museum. A very well put together exhibition with a good combination of artefacts, models and audio visual displays. The piece de resistance was the bell from HMS Hood, beautifully displayed at the end of the exhibition.

So, only a portion of the battle recreated, and alas Stuart's command and control rules were hardly used given the nature of the game. However, the interest sparked in the game amongst the players on the day and others means it is likely that a weekend game with long playing time on both days is hopefully going to take place later in the year. Watch this space!