Thursday, 23 August 2012
Old Friends, New Rules....
HMS Rodney in 1942 - note the rather natty looking camouflage scheme; a challenge in 1/4800th methinks!
With thoughts currently circling the prospect of WW2 naval games using 1/4800th scale models on my new and expanded Hexon terrain I spent some time today (not much it must be said in the light of more important matters!) pondering which rules to use. Initially my thoughts were leaning towards General Quarters, or rather a hex based version thereof, but I think in the short term I shall instead look to use a version of Axis and Allies: War at Sea. In truth this was an easy decision to make as the rules are easy to use, fast to play and have that all important 'feel' - once you can get your head around the rationale of some of the mechanics. The fact that the rules are designed to be used on an offset square grid is also a big advantage as tweaking this into hexes is very simple. The one area I was going to struggle with though was the ship cards as I no longer have any of them since I disposed of the models a year or so ago. The Axis and Allies forum came to the rescue though with a number of posts detailing all the stats used for the ships. Whilst it does not show how the numbers are calculated exactly it does provide examples of the weapons fit for a particular dice value or the armour thickness used for an armour value. This should give me a sufficiently wide 'databank' to be able to scope the ships I shall be using. All I now need to do is to table the ship details in a master spreadsheet and then produce my own version of the ship cards. The same also applies for the aircraft that feature in the game.
One thing that did strike me with data supplied though is that the ranges and move distances are quite low as the game is scaled at 1 square being equal to 5,000 yards. Large calibre main guns typically have a range of 3 or 4 squares and movement is up to a maximum of 3 squares with most types featuring at a speed of 2. With the models I shall be using and the area I shall be fighting over my plan then is to double all weapon ranges and move distances or alternatively apply greater granularity to ship speeds. Perhaps allowing a move of one square (or hex as it now will be) per 10 to 12 knots would be an idea as this will serve to better reflect the differential between classes.
The final part of my 1/4800th scale order arrived this morning, consisting of the Italians, the remaining RN types I wanted (including the absent HMS Hood) and enough merchantmen for a convoy. Amongst the other tasks I have for the weekend I shall also be prepping some bases and the models prior to painting. Ranging further ahead (as I invariably do) I plan to run a couple of mini campaigns using this set up featuring the North Atlantic, the Arctic and of course the Med. This is not as fantastic as it sounds simply because I have the bare bones of the first two of these virtually ready to use straight off the bat. For completeness I should also consider the French navy as well but that will be for another day methinks.
Will I tackle the Pacific? I have no immediate plans to do so but I will never say never. If I did it may possibly be from the RN perspective - perhaps the Indian Ocean raid or the back end of the war. I can't help thinking that should I consider the USN versus the Japanese I may need a larger man cave to accommodate it all!