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!