Skip to main content

Metal Ships!

My friend Pete convinced me to buy some 1:1200 scale metal ships for fleet battle games. He picked up some Russo Japanese War Battleships and frigates and I being the most dapper of war gaming hipsters acquired some 30 ships from the well known Sino-Japanese War. I spent today gluing my fingers together and basing the ships.


Yesterday we played a short skirmish with the Russo Jap ships using a simplish rule set.

It is grey at sea

The game is pretty simple, ships are split in to squadrons, plays roll for initiative then take it in turns to move each squadron and fire with each squadron and there's a phase for damage control and spotting (no ships start on the table instead you move dummy paper counters around until you are spotted). Combat is bucket o dice with a mixture of better dice and modifiers for the bigger guns. It makes sense, does a reasonable job of simulation and plays quick. The game adds colour with some interesting critical hit tables and a wide range of weaponry. The odds are fairly long (roll a d10 hit on an 8+) giving the game quite a realistic feel.


Pete is a much better naval commander than me, he picked a better approach angle and managed to maximize his firing arcs on my ships, as such he scored a lot more hits and seriously crippled both of my battleships. In response I swung into the middle of his line rather suicidally, lucked out and managed to critical one of his ships with a ram and another with a torpedo strike. It ended with both fleets limping off in a draw.

As someone who has zero desire to own a large box full of toy soldiers or learn lots of rules this is a pretty good way into minis gaming. It is comparable to boardgame alternatives, such as Star Wars Armada or the rather silly Dreadfleet by GW but its a bit lighter on arbitrary nonsense and doubles down on the manouvre warfare.

I've started to put together a campaign map / simple system for our future Sino Japanese war game.


Comments

  1. You are too kind. I did have the slight edge over you in terms of the quality of my cruisers.

    Looking forward to the Sino- Japanese campaign. I'll knock up some counters for the three sides we have together to use as markers too.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Quick Looks: Won by the Sword

Won by the Sword went down like Fat Man over Nagasaki on most wargame forums when released by GMT back in 2014. Lots of misprints on the components and errors in the rules gave it a bad rep to such an extent that GMT decided to bail it out with a patch. James and I have played a couple of games reworked version, it still rides like a bike with two missing gears but its probably the most innovative and insightful design to hit the scene in the past 10 years.


The rules; they work fine for the most part, James is clearer on the gaps than me, he reads them, I'm the opponent. What I will say is that they work if you can put the daddy pants on and make common sense decisions to fill any minor gaps.



Forage; Some games are about movement, some about concentration of fire, some moral, others unit composition, some bluff or even supply routes. Won by the Sword is about burning peoples villages and taking all their food, mostly just to stop your opponent doing it. This is the 30 years war, a…

Wilderness War is probably the best CDG (review)

One attribute of a good war game is that it opens up rather than narrows down the more you play it. Each time you play you see there is more strategic depth than you thought there was. When I first started playing Wilderness War, a card driven wargame design (CDG) on the French Indian War by Volko Runke, I thought it was simply a case of the British building a large kill stack and marching it up the Hudson and the French trying to get enough victory points (vps) from raiding to win before the inevitable. The outcome would likely be decided by card play and who got the reinforcement cards when they needed them.



Four games later I have realised that this is not the case. Yes the British will sometimes win by marching a big army up the Hudson and sieging out Montreal, but a lot of the time things will play out quite differently. Maybe the French strike first, perhaps the British realise that going up the Hudson is going to be a slog try another route. Either way the players of both sides…

Quick Looks: Next War Taiwan

If there is a series for hex and counter hipsters at the moment it is Next War games by Mitch Land and Gene Billingsley. Kev Sharp's been blogging it 1, 3MA have been talking about it 2, these drunken reprobates have been playing it 3, two of my friends have picked up Next War India Pakistan 4, one of whom as his first hex and counter game. When I first saw the GMT Next War series with Next War Korea a few years back, I passed on it because it was pricey and I thought future wars were boring. I thought these things because I was a fool. I'm not entirely sure why the series has become popular, as speculative future wars seems like a hard sell but the continued releases (now three soon four) and the quality of the product seem to have carried it into the wargamer consciousness if not the popular.


Next War Taiwan depicts an invasion of Taiwan by mainland China sometime in the near future. I say sometime because the game has no fluff text paragraphs, opting instead to insert a few…