I believe that I have now gone about as far as I can go with the ACW naval rules and so I am typing up the draft for play testing purposes using live players as opposed to just little old me!
If I have learned anything over the past two years of this project it is being convinced that the core system will work for other periods with some specific tweaks. This was a real eye opener for me and it has really opened a Pandora’s Box of potential goodies. I reckon that the age of sail - in this case I am looking back to the 16th century as well as the more usual Napoleonic period - would work but obviously provision would be needed for sails as the motive power (and oars as required). This will require some work, not to mention the small matter of adding sails to the models! Potentially this could take a while to organise and the models will need careful planning. I am still keen to maintain the momentum though and so have settled on what will be the next phase of this ongoing project
I am of course thinking about the period 1885 to 1905 - the pre-dreadnought era.
I reckon that it should be easy enough to reset the gun and armour types (you would need to see the rules to appreciate what I am talking about or alternatively if you take a look at David Manley’s excellent Dahlgren and Colombiad rules you will see what I mean) to reflect the later period and things like ship speeds etc will largely take care of themselves. Even ‘proper’ torpedoes would not be too much of a challenge to incorporate. I fully intend the rules to be usable for ‘normal’ games as well as the 3 x 3 format. The ‘currently being typed’ ironclad rules are becoming more and more the same set as the differences between the two have largely been eliminated - in effect they will be a simple larger set or a more complex 3 x 3 set! Either way they are a lot of fun.
Unsurprisingly there is an ulterior motive to all this. Years ago I raised a substantial French fleet for the period using 1:3000th Navwar models using a set of rules called The Devil at the Helm. I remember having some epic games using these rules although they did become quite clunky as the number of guns carried by ships went up.
I am not looking at gaming fleet sized actions and indeed the scale I am looking at is not that far removed from what I am currently gaming for the ACW. I am thinking more of Colonial style naval operations - repurposed ironclads being used as flagships on foreign stations supported by more ‘modern’ cruiser types with gunboats aplenty and requisitioned civilian vessels armed with whatever happened to be available at the time. Very much second string stuff but glorious all the same! I will be building the models and as yet I have no specific nationality in mind. I rather like the idea that Bob Cordery has been writing about with his ‘Belle Epoque’ forces. Failing that the old standby of the world of 1891 or even, dare I say it, Madasahatta.
The ship models will be built using my MDF laminate technique with the sizes once again being similar to the ACW types so the largest models will be around 6” long. Having learned from building the ACW models I will need to give some careful consideration to the various bits and pieces I will need from Warbases. Some more modern looking turrets will be needed as well as shielded deck guns - primarily singles - and certain pieces of superstructure, bridge ‘wings’ etc. As ever the models will not be scale specific and will be purely representational looking in terms of detail.
First of all though, there still remains completion of the ACW project - ships, rules and a new board as well as for the Russo Turkish War so there is plenty to be going on with, probably sufficient for the rest of the year!
Meanwhile though, back to the ACW - must stay focused!