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.



6 comments:

J Jackaman said...

I have similar plans for a British vs Japanese conflict c1900 and have been skimming through the rules too. I think the campaign system would be ideal for this and the map is perfect.

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Just when I had swapped my Corbet Russo-Jap book for some "modern naval metal" along comes David Manly to entice me back

Actually letting go of the original source books was probably a good idea as I kept the Navwar metal (although Tumbling Dice do it in a lovely 1:2400 now) and the Avalanche Press boardgame

David Crook said...

Hi J Jackaman,

The map is really nifty and has given me lots of ideas for using a similar approach for the Red Sea. The first order of business though is to get the models in fighting trim once they arraive.

Good luck with 1900!

All the best

DC

David Crook said...

Hi Geordie,

Some gaming chums of mine have the 1/2400th Tumbling Dice models and they are very nice indeed. It is a good scale for the period as the models have that little more detail than the 1/3000th kit. I am really keen to get these on the table top so once they arrive the collection is going straight on the paint tray.

I have seen the Avalanche Press game and it looks pretty good.

All the best,

DC

J Jackaman said...

I'm using the TD models too. Very nice indeed, if more expensive than 1/3000th.

David Crook said...

Hi J Jackaman,

They certainly are more expensive but are very nice models and are certainly cheaper than any of those available from people like GHQ etc. To my knowledge only Navwar covers this period in any great detail although the War Times Journal I believe produces models in 1/3000th. Navwar are the cheapest though.

I am looking forward to receiving my order and get he models ready - I can churn out ships pretty easily so can get them on the table in fairly short order.

All the best,

DC