Friday 19 April 2013

Ancient Naval Warfare Rules

A Zvezda Greek Trireme - in action the main sail would have been left on the beach and the smaller boat sail deployed as and when needed.

Now that I have the ancient naval bit between my teeth I should give some consideration to the thorny question of rules. I am rather fortunate in this respect in that I have a number of sets readily to hand and have no intention (nor inclination) of writing my own set! There is also a choice of hexed or free table rules in the mix as well and indeed, some of them have originated from the most unlikely of sources.

The sets I am exploring for my own use are as follows:

  • De Bellis Navalibus - a DBA inspired set by Daniele Varelli
  • Ram and Oar - Fleet Action in the Ancient World - a set based on Volley and Bayonet by Jesse A. Scarborough
  • Greek Fire and Roman Fury - a Fire and Fury inspired set devised by Dave Manley
  • Naval Wargames Rules Fleet Action - by Richard Nelson - this is the WRG set that also appears in a cut down version in his book: Salamis.
Each of these sets are attractive in different ways - I should also include the rules from the old Avalon Hill board game Trireme by Ed Smith - and so I will have some fun messing about with them.

The first thing though, is to get some painted.

I am reasonably happy about this in terms of colour schemes etc, but the big problem I am having concerns the models themselves. The Navwar range is pleasant enough but the ships come with a mainsail. This is no bad thing but for the fact there is a great big hole in the deck to fix the mast into. As a general rule the mainmast was usually left on shore when action was imminent but if I did that I would a series of nice looking models with holes in the deck. I could fill them but this would be tedious so all of my models will be unhistorical looking as they will have the mast and sail in place regardless! This will be quite handy because I plan to add symbols to the sails for identification purposes - I will probably use some 15mm scale shield transfers intended for Hoplites. 

I have more than sufficient models to cobble together three DBN sized forces - possibly even four - so that will probably be my first port of call for the rules I will mess about with.


Sean said...

I'll be following this as I have been known to dabble in naval rules collection as well.

David Crook said...

Hi sean,

I will be happy to report on anything else that turns up.

Meanwhile though, I need to get the models done.

All the best,


Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Ill be interested in the results of this experimentation :)

David Crook said...

Hi Geordie,

I will report in due course but I need to get some models ready first!

All the best,