Can you tell what it is yet? There are two models to be built from the selection of bits and pieces you see above - both for the Union.
As a result of an email exchange with Bob Cordery and a blog comment from Archduke Piccolo my thought process has been set happily back on track in respect of the rule tweaks I have been experimenting with.
In the first instance Bob drew my attention to the ship section in his recent book The Portable Colonial Wargame - a title I had completely overlooked! In this Bob outlined the formula he used for calculating ship flotation values which takes into consideration length, breadth, construction material and level of protection. This is really helpful although I have sneaked in a further construction method. Bob used a factor of 0.25 for wooden ships and 0.50 for Iron/Steel ships. I added in 0.375 for those vessels that used wood and metal for construction. Using two of my models as guinea pigs I was able to come up with the following hit points.
10cm long by 2.5cm wide - 10 x 2.5 = 25
Iron Construction - 25 x 0.5 = 12.5
Heavy Armour - 12.5 x 2.0 = 25 Flotation Points
Confederate Casemate Ironclad
10cm long by 2.5cm wide - 10 x 2.5 = 25
Wood/Iron Construction - 25 x 0.375 = 9.375
Heavy Armour - 9.375 x 2.0 = 18.75 (19) Flotation Points
I think that is a fair representation between the two types so this would ordinarily be the standard I would use for calculating Flotation Points except for one crucial area. If I opted to use this as well as allowing for the effects of gun weight versus armour type I believe that I would in effect be counting the defensive capability twice.
What I wanted was a system whereby the armour value had to be overcome in order to score damage rather than incorporating the defensive capability of the ship into its flotation points. In many ways you could call this the ‘Star Trek’ approach - defensive shields have to be overcome in order to effect damage.
With this mind I have dropped the armour modifier to Bob’s formula. This has the effect of bringing the flotation point totals in the above examples to 12.5 or 12 for the monitor and 9.375 or 9 for the casemate ironclad. To allow for the protection value of the armour a damage roll is made following a successful hit.
Archduke Piccolo with his comment nudged me a little further along a direction I had been seriously considering but had not explored fully. I am going to use a very simple firing method in that each gun rolls a single d6 to hit the target and having done so the target ship rolls for the effect of the said hit. There are three range brackets - short, medium and long with the scores required to hit the target being 4, 5 or at short range, 5 or 6 at medium and a 6 at long range. There will be situational modifiers as well as an allowance for using rifled weapons. Once a hit or hits have been scored then the effect rolls are made. The damage table is very simple in that 1 through 3 are misses, 4 and 5 are a single damage point and a 6 or more is two damage points. This is the standard damage template that Bob used in Gridded Naval Wargames.
To represent the effect of armour the following modifiers are applied to the damage effect rolls.
A heavy gun rolls as per the standard table when engaging heavy armour but gains a plus 1 to the damage roll when engaging a medium target and plus 2 when engaging a light target.
A medium gun rolls as per the standard table when engaging a medium armour but gains a minus 1 when firing at heavy armour and gains a plus 1 when firing at light armour.
A light gun rolls as per the standard table when engaging light armour but gains a minus 1 when firing at medium armour and minus 2 when firing at heavy armour.
All guns firing at an unarmoured target will score as follows: 2 through 5 equals one point of damage and 6 equals 2 points.
In all damage rolls a natural 1 is always no effect and a natural 6 is always the usual 2 damage points unless there is an applicable negative modifier in which case it drops to a single damage point.
The above system is something I have used before with a set of Pre dreadnought rules so I know it works satisfactorily.
I will need to test this further and so will organise a further action for later in the week. In the meantime though, I have the small matter of getting a couple of new ships built.