Monday 29 February 2016

A Naval Counter Attack

I took delivery last week of several sets of counters for use with the old Avalon Hill board game Jutland. These counters are privately produced enhanced reproductions of those from the original game but with a number of added extras. To begin with the counters now have 'waves and wakes' as well as the national ensign of the ship's origin. In addition to the counters of the basic game there are also a number of sets of additional ship counters being those that featured as add one in various editions of the old AH General and Boardgamer magazine. The four additional sets comprise the following counters:

North Sea Expansion - this includes the remaining dreadnoughts of both the RN and the High Seas Fleet that served in the North Sea as well as the Harwich force and the original 6th battle squadron of pre dreadnought battleships. Also included is the later US 6th battle squadron. The Germans gain some additional cruisers including Blucher and the two ships of the Scharnhorst class as well as some other older battleships.

The rest of the rest - the North Sea completed for the entire Great War - and there are also some hypothetical vessels for both sides.

The Russian Expansion - this includes the major units of both the Baltic and the Black Sea Fleets which is very useful in conjunction with the next expansion (and includes the Ottoman Turks).

The Russian Baltic and Black Sea fleets - with the Turks for the latter

The Mediterranean Expansion - this includes the major units of the Austrian, French, Italian, Turkish and  the in theatre ships from the RN and the German navies. There are also a selection of transport/merchant counters which are useful for convoy or raiding actions i.e. Targets!

The Mediterranean. Austrians, Italians, French, Turkish and units of the RN combine to make this a personal favourite

Light Ships Expansion - this covers the original game and features counters for the light ships drawn to scale. This counters in the original game are very stylised black blobs and with the additional problem of having a single counter representing an entire flotilla of vessels. With these counters a flotilla could be represented by up to four or five counters which makes it more tactically useful (and more representative) although at the expense of some changes to the rules. Also in this picture are the original ships from Jutland for the actual battle

The reworked original counters and the far more useful scaled light ship counters. No more single counter 16 ship destroyer flotillas!

Aside from the counters there a whole host of additional scenarios - complete with the appropriate ship damage record sheets and expanded and optional rules. All in all this is a great way to fight naval battles set in the Great War without using models. The counters are very attractive but could readily be swapped for models - I am thinking 1/6000th here - if required.

Needless to say I now have the materials needed for something Jutland based for the centenary in May - all I need to do is to tailor certain aspects of the rules.

For the record I am not foregoing the use of models - I will merely be using them for lower level actions.

More to ponder methinks....


Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

I see a cunning plan forming

I an still sticking to my old 1/3000 Navwar sets
I feel as I may have to make an emergency purchase to fill out my fleets as they have been going so long the guy will eventually stop and there is no guarantee anyone will pick it up

David Crook said...

Hi Geordie,

There are several cunning plans afoot - as I am sure you can imagine!

I shall still be using models although they will be more at the lower end of the spectrum. The main focus on this will be for a specific idea I am rolling around - namely WW1 cruiser warfare. This will involve cruisers (obviously!) with the odd capital ship thrown in for good measure - not the wall to wall dreadnoughts one usually sees a la Jutland.

I would use 1/2400th for choice with this - probably Panzerschiffe - although also they have some age related challenges to deal with at present.

All the best,