Friday, 9 November 2012

Jutland Sea Battles in Miniature

It suddenly occurred to me, whilst grappling with yet another idea for WW1 era naval rules, that I have not really thought the whole thing through sufficiently. This is not unusual for me as my tendency to go off 'half-cocked' with a minimal amount of provocation/inspiration is legendary! I decided that I needed to be a little more systematic in deciding what I needed rather than relying solely on inspiration or the age-old 'it seemed like a good idea at the time' approach that I usually adopt. The first step then is to decide exactly what it is I am trying to achieve - and thinking along these lines made me realise that I had allowed myself to become a little confused.

James Dunnigan's first game for Avalon Hill

Taking Avalon Hill's Jutland as a starting point I considered the good and the bad from the game and what i could take from it. The map movement system is superb and so that will stay in its entirety; modified solely to acknowledge the needs of the tactical system employed in conjunction. The game's tactical system is based on sound foundations in respect of damage etc but appears to have been designed with he use of the campaign system being the main focus. I have no problem with this but for the fact that I do not want to fight endless map campaigns - much as I usually prefer to do so. From a practical perspective I may sometimes want to set up and play a straightforward tactical battle, for example at the club, for which the Jutland rules are a little too slick and fast play. As I say, they work really well in the context of the campaign game but are a little 'light' for one off use.

Paul Hague's masterpiece

Sea Battles in Miniature, Paul Hague's outstanding book on naval wargames is almost diametrically opposite Jutland in terms of focus. His book is geared towards the tabletop battle and the rules he has devised are very much more tactically facing and in touch with the rivet counting school of naval wargames - of which I am happily a member up to a point!

It probably does not take a stroke of genius to work out where this post is going and once again, to be honest, I don't know why this hadn't occurred to me sooner.

What I want is a set of rules that will be satisfy the following:

  • Capture the flavour of a tactical game within the context of a campaign
  • Be fast playing - two hours being the benchmark 
  • Be able to handle fleets or a dozen or so models a side easily within the context of either of the above!
My thought process has led me to the conclusion that a set of rules that captures the best elements of both sets will be the one that ticks the most boxes for my requirements. In a nutshell, I need a set of tactical rules that are more involved that those from Jutland but less time intensive than the Paul Hague set.

I reckon that a cross fertilisation between the two sets is perfectly achievable and I have already given some thought as to how this can be tackled.

This will not be difficult - more like exercise....;-)


Anonymous said...

Our club in Jackson MS has done a number of battles using 1:6000 miniature ships, and the Jutland game rules. One of our battles from 2006 is shown here:

Jay Stribling - Jackson MS - USA

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Have you bought the Jutland Pack from Navwar yet?

Or is that a Xmas present?

David Crook said...

Hi Geordie,

I have this under very serious consideration but for the fact I am currently unemployed! I am also not sure I have anything that I would sell to raise the funds either!

We shall see - but the only problem would be the extra 'kit' I would like to acquire at the same time!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Jay,

That looked like a fun game to be sure and the models looked pretty effective. Neat idea using the counters as bases.

Regal Miniatures? I have not heard of them so will take a look for them.

All the best,