Monday 6 March 2023

A Life (Back) on the Ocean Wave….

S.M.S. Scharnhorst in her colonial colour scheme

It was always my intention to take the systems used in Portable Ironclads Wargame and extend the coverage up to and including the Great War. It was also my intention to build the requisite models that I wanted to use in this undertaking in the style of my ACW collection - complete with lashings of MDF and bamboo barbecue skewers! Whilst the first sentence definitely holds true the second has now been reluctantly discarded. I will not be building models for the later period - mainly because they would require rather more designing than those of the earlier period and, to be honest, they would be rather too large for what I have in mind. 

I shall be using 1:2400th scale models for the project I have in mind and these will be largely from the Tumbling Dice ‘Age of Battleships’ range. Of necessity this will also mean a change of scale in terms of using hexes in that models will occupy a single hex rather than two hexes. This would serve to make ranged combat look more, well, ranged. I am confident that the Ironclads engine would work well enough for the later period although more efficient and numerous artillery may stretch the elastic band rather further than is prudent! We shall see and needless to say a few ideas are ‘bubbling under’.

So what am I doing then? Well, in a nutshell I am revisiting an old idea centred on an expanded Madasahatta style set up. There are a number of assumptions I shall be basing my idea upon.

1. The German East Asia Squadron (Scharnhorst, Gneisenau etc) heads west rather than east and heads for the German part of the island.

2. Goeben and Breslau, along with a couple of Turkish predreadnoughts manage to dash down the Suez Canal and head for Dar Es Salaam before war is declared.

3. The Royal Navy send a brace of battlecruisers, along with Triumph and Swiftsure into the area to keep the Germans and Turks honest.

Aside from the newer units most of what will be used - especially for the Royal Navy - will be a motley selection of armoured and protected cruisers in various stages of decrepitude with some old battleships in use as guard ships or for bombardments. 

Madasahatta suddenly becomes a major threat against traffic from India but the Royal Navy have to make do with what they have. Numbers are on their side though. 

The beauty of this set up is that it does not require an awful lot of kit - no Jutland sized fleet actions here for sure - and should be relatively painless to organise. The challenge will be getting a suitable map designed and of course the all important tabletop rules.

I have to say that this idea has given me a real rush of enthusiasm for a variety of reasons - the main one being because any excuse to get something, anything, Madasahatta related on the table!


Donnie McGibbon said...

I like the sound of your plan, should be very interesting, I must admit to a hankering for doing naval wargaming and will follow your progress on this with great interest.

David Crook said...

Hi Donnie,

It is a plan that has been kicking around for a while in form or another and naturally, Madasahatta has a special place in my wargaming journey. I am currently looking at 1:2400th - the models are lovely - but may even consider 1:3000th as an option. The important thing though, is to get it done.

I need to get a decent map configured first of all though as this will be key to the undertaking.

All the best,


Simon said...

The Tumbling Dice ships are superb.

David Crook said...

Hi Simon,

They certainly are! I have a quick and easy painting technique that works well for ships in this scale so once I have them - and have organised the bases - they should not take too long to get into action.

All the best,


Archduke Piccolo said...

Funny you should be looking into this scheme, David. I've been drawing sketch plans for my Ruberian Navy (RN) using the pre-dreadnoughts Jacky Fisher so despised. I've drawn up plan and elevation sketches - and I mean sketches - for five classes of battleship, but I thought I would add just one vessel - the MRNS Dreadnaught itself. I thought of doing 2 of each of the pre-dreadnoughts.

This will make a very powerful navy in my Chromatic world - far more powerful than the Turcowaz and Hellenic navies at any rate. And then... I'll have to come up with an opfor.

I've also been drawing up sketch plans for destroyers for my 'Mighty Armadas'/ Jono's World navies. I have 4 Narvik Class destroyers for the Kiivar Navy (Bismarck types), and will do 4 Fubuki class for the Ra'esharn, and two HMS Glowworm types for the Saabia Archipelago.

I've just sent you what ought to be a posting on my blog, haven't I...?

David Crook said...

Hello there Ion,

You certainly have! It doesn’t matter though as you are making progress either way!

My first order of business though, will be to sort a map out and for this I have a rather specific requirement….

All the best,


Aly Morrison said...

That certainly sound like a good idea to me David…
I was actually looking at the Tumbling Dice ships at the weekend.

All the best. Aly

David Crook said...

Hi Aly,

The set up is quite modest and would be easy enough to get to the table and the TD models are lovely looking! I have some ideas around rules but the big thing for me will be organising the map. Once that is done the games will have a context.

It certainly sounds like a good idea to me as well!

All the best,