Monday, 21 June 2010

Father's Day, War at Sea and Barbary Corsairs

It has been a weekend of domesticity and the celebration of father’s day – both for my son and I and so Sunday was spent with his family at our place for dinner. A very nice Indian takeaway and a couple of unexpected presents later I introduced my grandson to my new man cave and he was very impressed with the Axis and Allies: War at Sea models – especially the R class battleship I have. He is obviously destined for a wargaming career and I am looking forward to our tussles over the table top. Of course, given that he is not yet 3 months old I may have to wait awhile!

On the subject of matters Axis and Allies: War at Sea related, I did spend a little time over the weekend considering the projected tweak to the rules and how best to tackle this. I mentioned in my previous post about expanding the damage rules to incorporate the US Navy D1 to D4 system – incidentally this system is used in the rules Battle Stations! Battle Stations! produced by Decision Games. In terms of record keeping I intend to uses black and white markers or shell splashes to indicate damage. The white shell splashes will indicate ordinary hits and the black will be used to record the ‘D’ level threshold.

This will mean that a heavily engaged ship will potentially be surrounded by a forest of black and white markers. Obviously when the white hits equal the number of hull points then these are removed and a black marker is substituted. As each black threshold marker is reached then the ship will have its capabilities reduced further. I am considering ordering some shell splash markers from LITKO in the USA: – they have a really good selection of plastic markers for a whole host of board games and rule sets.

Readers of this blog will no doubt have noticed my fondness for matters Ottoman, Islamic and Barbary related. There are a number of very good titles around covering the exploits (if that is the right word – depredations may be more accurate!!) of the Barbary Corsairs and I am currently reading ‘Barbary Pirate’ by Greg Bak which is the story of an Englishman, John Ward: a veteran of the war against Spain (ended by James 1st) who became an Ottoman subject – even embracing Islam – in order to continue his ‘privateering’ activities. As the war with Spain had ended many of the privateering licenses were duly revoked and so those men that had made a living indulging in the same (purely for profit) were suddenly cut off from their main (often only) source of income. John Ward was pragmatic, to say the least, and so when chance or design led him to North Africa he was able to ‘sign on’ with the local potentate thereby giving him the status of privateer rather than pirate.

I have yet to finish the book but it is a cracking read and I note that there is another title covering the 17th century Barbary Corsairs that is most certainly on my ‘to get’ list.

Another project? Maybe, but not any time soon methinks!


Paul O'G said...

Nothing like an inspiring read to totally distract one from the wargaming theme at hand!

David Crook said...

Hi Tas,

Ain't that the truth!

All the best,