The new cloth with a very familiar looking and somewhat theatrically staged scenario - familiar in that it is the set up of the game before last that I have yet to fight….
The arrival of my new blue hexed Hotz Mat has given me much to think about. It is going to be hugely useful for a variety of naval and aerial ideas and of course, given that the hexes are 4” across the flat sides it means that I can readily tap into the range of terrain pieces available from Kallistra in their Hexon range.
So where does this leave the square based ACW rules?
I had always planned for the rules to be usable on both a square or a hexed playing surface with the former being my preferred choice - for two reasons really, the use of eight directions for movement etc and for the pure nostalgic value occasioned by the use of the old age of sail rules Ship ‘O the Line.
A close up for no other reason other than because I can….
Try as I might I have really struggled to get squares to work for the rules as written with the biggest issue being the use of diagonals. With the increase in complexity of weapons available and where they were fitted on a given ship I was having major issues trying to get firing arcs properly configured - an issue I never really solved satisfactorily. I am confident that the rules are pretty much a done deal systems wise but I am thinking that reverting to hexes will make life a whole lot easier and in many ways more relatable to their Gridded Naval Wargames forebears. To begin with firing arcs will be a whole lot easier to factor in. Reverting to hexes may seem like a seismic shift but in reality it would be very easy to execute and more importantly it would mean that I can get the rules finished far more easily!
It would be easy to say that perhaps I should have gone with hexes in the first place and saved myself a whole heap of effort but hindsight is a wonderful thing and besides, one should fully explore an option before discarding it.
In many ways this decision augurs well for future naval projects especially for the age of sail when I get to it. For rules for this period I could simply use those from Wooden Ships and Iron Men which were after all derived from the square based Ship ‘O The Line miniatures set.
For now though, I need to adjust the rules slightly and also look to get the remaining models built. For the latter what should be my final ACW model component order from Warbases has been duly submitted so work will resume in earnest once the bits and pieces have arrived.