Thursday 28 April 2016

Jutland: The Refight

Next month sees the centenery of the Battle of Jutland. As readers of this blog will no doubt recall I have been wrestling with how best to commemorate this epic engagement via the medium of a war game (naturally!). My plans began in a grandiose fashion with a refight using 1/2400th models taking place on board HMS Belfast but practicality and logistical considerations have scaled this down somewhat. I plan to refight the battle using the Avalon Hill 'board' game of the same name and this means counters (scaled at around 1/4800th) rather than models.

I seriously considered using 1/6000th scale models for this but if I am honest the price was way over my budget so a cheaper option was needed.

I have often mentioned my fondness for the old Avalon Hill game of Jutland (designed by James Dunnigan and first released in 1967) so this was going to be the basis of the refight. The tactical rules are not perfect but they should be viewed within the context of what is essentially a strategic game. There are a number of rules additions that appeared in the old Avalon Hill General magazine and I plan to incorporate these.

I have flirted with changing the system and making it more 'naval war gamey' but you know what? I am going to leave it as it is and fight the battle(s) using what is essentially an old school system. Besides, it is now too late to consider anything more complex.

I am really looking forward to this and so next month will be very naval centric in terms of blog posts. At this stage the only decision I need to make is how to break the action up into historical scenarios for which I shall be using my modest library in the subject and also the Avalanche Press Great War at Sea board game that covers the North Sea during the period.

More to follow methinks....


Mad Padre said...

This sounds like a great project. I am a fan of the AH Jutland game as well as of the Avalanche series. I hope you can find a suitably large space to do Jutland justice. Looking forward to more posts on this subject.

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Good project .. Jutland has caught up on me too by complete surprise .. don'y know if I can throw something together with some friends with my 1/3000 kit in the loft ... hmm .. good luck with yours David

David Manley said...

You could always come down to Portsmouth and take part in the refight at the National Museum of the Royal Navy on May 31st :)

David Crook said...

Hi Michael,

I spent many happy hours in my younger days on my hands and knees using the floor for some of the larger Jutland actions - it is a great system and I had some very interesting email exchanges with James Dunnigan over the rules a few years ago. It is a true classic with a map movement system that makes for a challenging strategic level game.

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Geordie,

I am looking forward to it and am only sorry I was not able to undertake it the fashion I originally intended. I have seen some gamers avidly painting GHQ and C in C 1/2400th scale models for the occasion but that would be too rich for my blood methinks!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Dave,

That would be something for sure but sadly work would be in the way - and it is too close to my holiday to take any more time off!

I hope this gets reported though as I would love to read about it - are you taking part and if so do you know what rules are being used?

All the best