Hi Craig, I’ve been a coastal forces wargamer for about 30 years. I wargame in 1/600, 1/700 and 1/1200. The choice between the three (or rather two as you can lump 1/700 – which I use for Pacific games – and 1/600 – which I use for Channel, Baltic, Med and Black Sea games – together). 1/600 is great for small t medium sized actions. I wrote “Action Stations” for 1/600 games on a 6×4 or 8×6 table with small convoys and a division or two of boats on each side. Another big plus is you can go to town on the models and really have fun personalising them, adding extra detail etc. If you are starting out I’d have that as my first choice.
1/1200 works better for larger actions – bigger convoys essentially. The MM models are gorgeous but of course that much smaller so you won’t really notice the detail once they are on table. But they are gorgeous 🙂 For this kind of action you need a rather more streamlined set of rules than AS! I came up with a fast play set aimed at larger 1/1200 games. They are currently available free if you drop me a line 🙂
There are other 1/600 models available. PT Dockyard in the US make some lovely models in resin, and quite a few types that Skytrex / H&R haven’t f=got around to yet so well worth checking out. Stronghold in Scotland bought out the old SDD coastal range which again has all sorts of unusual types to compliment the Skytex/H&R range, Alas I’m not sure if they are available at the moment. I have a soft spot for these as I made quite a few of the masters for them.