Wednesday, 11 October 2017
White Bear Red Sun by David Manley
The front cover
The indefatigable David Manley has done it again. This time he has turned his attention to the Russo-Japanese naval war of 1904 to 1905. The rules are available as a download from the Wargames Vault and they are certainly worth the money!
Aside from a potted history of the naval war the book contains a fast play DBA inspired set of rules and a complete campaign system including maps and counters. the rules are very slick and represent the culmination of some 20 years of research and testing so you can be sure they work!
I have a passing interest in the war (I have a couple of titles in my library) although I cannot see myself raising the fleets for this BUT the rules are eminently suitable for the 'pre-dreadnought' era in general. Looking long and hard at the 1/2400th scale range produced by Tumbling Dice (which include Chinese, Spanish, American, Russian, Japanese, British and recently the Germans) one can see where my thoughts may be headed. Austrians, Italians and the French are due over the next six months or so so the range will be very impressive. The models are very nice indeed.
My plan (and indeed, the models are on order) is to raise a British and German fleet based on the China Station and Red Sea/Indian Ocean squadrons for the Royal Navy and the East Asia squadron for the Germans. Conveniently Tumbling Dice produce discounted fleet packs for the China station and east Asia squadron so it was merely a matter of fleshing these out. I was delighted to see that the Germans made a considerable naval effort for the Boxer Rebellion and sent all four of the Brandenburg class battleships and assorted cruisers etc. In the background as I envisage it these will be present and then reinforced by Graf Spee's command.
The Royal Navy will gain some bits and pieces but for the most part will be at a slight disadvantage although they will have numbers.
I should also mention that they will get Swiftsure and Triumph to negate the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau.
The great thing about naval games is of course the fact that not only do you not need much material for a good game but also the forces are quick and easy to get ready. It will give me something to paint whilst the 54mms are being organised in any event.