Wednesday, 8 January 2020
Action on the 'Great Father of the Waters'
A furious action using my original scratch builds and Hexon terrain - hard to believe this was nearly 8 years ago! For a fuller report read the following: Raiders of the Lost Ark(ansas)
Part of my ACW project is of course the naval side. I had some rather grandiose plans about scratch building a range of ships to a larger footprint than my original versions from yesteryear but time, that most valuable of commodities, is in short supply for such an undertaking. With this in mind I have opted for a much easier solution and one that is currently well on the way to completion. There is around 30 odd ships and a good variety of types courtesy of the Tumbling Dice 1:2400th scale Victorian range. The collection is primarily river based and aside from ships includes some floating batteries and a couple of forts. If the current progress is anything to go by the collection should be making its appearance well before Easter.
I want to get a printed gaming mat but initially will make use of my Heroscape tiles as I have rather a substantial collection of these including around 150 blue water pieces. As most of the fighting this collection will be seeing will be either on a river or in delta terrain is something I will need to think about. I have a couple of ideas for this but it is worth mentioning that my plan will be to confine the action to a playing area of around 4ft by 3ft. Heroscape tiles are around 1 ¾” across the flat sides which is a little smaller than I would prefer as when I get a printed mat I will be opting for 2” hexes. Based on my table space this will give me a playing area of 26 x 18 hexes which for the type of naval actions I will be fighting is more than enough.
The rules aspect is a further consideration and one that I am looking forward to addressing. In keeping with the overall level of complexity demonstrated by the land rules I am using (something by Bob Cordery from the Portable Wargame stable) those for the naval side will equally as simple in execution. At the time of writing I am looking at a fusion of the appropriate set from Bob Cordery’s Gridded Naval Wargames (as tweaked by the redoubtable Mr Fox) and those produced by Andy Callan years ago in one of the wargames magazines. My reasoning is simple. Bob’s rules are designed to be used on a grid which is my preferred gaming surface. Andy has a gunnery combat system that is more detailed and incorporates critical hits. I intend using Bob’s movement rules and combat system but will incorporate elements of the gunnery system from Mr Callan’s rules – particularly the size and lethality of the assorted weaponry in use. This will enable me to better model the number of gunnery dice rolled per ship (given the great variety of weapons used by either side this is essential) and will add a layer of personalisation to the proceedings. Call me old fashioned but describing a ship as having ‘sustained boiler damage meaning the speed is halved’ sounds rather better than having taken ‘x points of damage!’ It is an idea I am playing around with in any event and, needless to say, I will be writing about progress on the blog.