One of my earlier square based actions - the C.S.S. Manassas escorted by the C.S.S. Little Rebel taking on a pair of Union rams
A whole lot of the early testing of what eventually morphed into the hex based Portable Ironclads Wargame was done on a square grid. Moving over to hexes was a relatively late decision, in part due to numerous design difficulties I had trying to get squares to work as I wanted. In retrospect I think it was a combination of trying to fit a square peg into a hexagonal hole as well as getting other elements of the rules bedded down. At the time moving to hexes made a lot of practical sense and I do not for one moment regret making the decision.
Now that I have the book out in the real world in many ways it has taken a lot of the developmental pressure off and so I am better able to look at what will be additional content - optional rules and things that were left out originally. In true Portable Wargame style these are very much suggestions and so players can use the existing rules as they stand and cherry pick whatever else takes their fancy. Or not, as the case may be. The point is that players can use the rules however they see fit - if something does not sit well then by all means change it for something that will! The Portable Ironclads Wargame was always intended to be the starting point for a naval wargames journey that would finish with the Great War
One of the largest sections in the forthcoming book will be using squares as an alternative to hexes. This will mean a new set of firing arcs and updating the text of the rules where necessary to reflect squares as well as hexes. I am still thinking about this and to be honest am leaning more towards having the use of squares as a self contained add on to the main rules but we will see - I need to get them finalised first of all!
I am quite excited about this particular variant and if I am honest I seem to have made a lot more progress getting it to work this time around than previously. Having eight directions for movement rather than six is a significant improvement in my opinion and I know from past experience playing the late Craig Taylor’s Ship ‘O The Line rules for the age of sail that manoeuvring using squares is straightforward enough in practise.
The two ships of the Feth-i-Bulend class as built. Why oh why I put the funnels that far forwards I have no idea - I am sure I did it for a good reason but for the life of me I cannot recall what that reason was! Anyways, they are in the process of being, ahem, corrected….
And the proof!
In other news I have taken two of my Turkish ironclads in hand for some minor refurbishment. Nothing major, just moving the funnels as they were too far forward and some further research has shown me the error of my ways. The change makes perfectly logical sense but I am still at a loss to know why I put them as far forwards as I did in the first place!
We live and learn eh?