Home Forums Air and Sea Naval Pre Dreadnoughts in the Adriatic

This topic contains 42 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by Darkest Star Games Darkest Star Games 6 days, 4 hours ago.

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  • #103610
    MattH
    MattH
    Participant

    A new project I’ve been working on, with the aim of designing an operational mini campaign based on a fictional war between Austria Hungary and Italy about 1905-ish.

    The fleets aren’t finished yet, but I thought I’d share some pics of the ships I’ve painted up so far. All 1/2400 models from Tumbling Dice.

    Austria Hungary:

    Kingdom of Italy:

    #103613
    Jim Jackaman
    Jim Jackaman
    Participant

    That looks outstanding! Impressive line up for both the Austrians and the Italians. Are those bases your own or are they the tumbling dice ones? Any thoughts on rules?

    #103616
    MattH
    MattH
    Participant

    Jim, they’re my own bases. Warbases MDF, textured with Liquitex gel, then undercoated white, washed with Prussian Blue, and drybrushed/stippled with white. I love making sea bases, they’re so satisfying somehow!

    Rules-wise, I’m not totally sure yet. I think I’ll probably end up with Fire When Ready, perhaps with a few tweaks. I’ve tried Naval Thunder Rise of the Battleships, but didn’t get on with them. I’m currently trying out Perfidious Albion – I love the Fred Jane style damage system, but not so keen on the gunnery mechanics, but will reserve judgement till I’ve played them a bit more.

    I’m open to suggestions if anyone has any favourite pre-dread rules?

    #103631

    I used Perfidious Albion, but found it very clunky for use with more than 2-3 ships per side.

    A simple rules set is Russo-Japanese War (DBA style system). Another option is to use the Avalanche Press games (which include operational and tactical game)

    With Respect
    KTravlos

    "Do you not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?"

    Axel Oxenstierna

    #103636
    Jim Jackaman
    Jim Jackaman
    Participant

    Nice work on the bases. I particularly like the bow waves and shading. Very well done.

    How about one of David Manley’s new fast play rules…Broadside and Salvo?

    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/6867/Long-Face-Games?src=browse6867

    It’s what I was planning to use for my ‘what if?’ pre-dreadnought project (whenever that happens??)

    #103637
    cmnash
    cmnash
    Participant

    I was thinking of the Adriatic for WW1 gaming – obviously a bit more active than in reality … – so I shall follow your progress with great interest!

    Your ships look great – very nicely done!

    .

    #103695

    Wonderful looking ships!  1/2400 scale is surprisingly easy to paint.  I have been 3D printing pre-dreadnoughts for the Russo-Japanese war.  Glad to see the pre-dreadnought era getting some love!

    John

    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

    --Abraham Lincoln

    #103723
    Brian Weathersby
    Brian Weathersby
    Participant

    Those are some really nice looking ships.

    I'm lucky to be here
    With someone I like
    Who maketh my spirit to shine
    --Warren Zevon

    #103725
    MattH
    MattH
    Participant

    I used Perfidious Albion, but found it very clunky for use with more than 2-3 ships per side.

    Konstantinos, I’ve been playing a solo learning game of PA the past couple of evenings with 7 vs 7 ships. As long as the sea state is calm and you concentrate fire of each division on to single targets, as the game strongly encourages you to do, it’s pretty quick and straightforward. If you want to split your fire it slows down a bit. But if the weather starts to get bad it becomes a nightmare – suddenly you have to calculate different hit percentages based on how far above the waterline the gun is placed. It quickly becomes a brain ache.

    The problem is that you have to do the calculation for every single calibre firing. In e.g. Fire When Ready there are loads of modifiers on the ‘to hit’ roll, but in practice you have a pretty good idea what kind of roll is required so you just roll the dice and only do the calculation where the outcome isn’t obvious. In PA you have to do the calculation every single time regardless. But I do love the damage model in PA, it’s so much fun rolling the hit location dice!

    I’m wondering if it might be possible to combine FWR’s gunnery system with PA’s damage system.

    A simple rules set is Russo-Japanese War (DBA style system)

    I’m not a fan of these, they’re just a bit too abstract for me and I don’t much like the ‘action point’ system. I may revisit them for the sake of quick play if I end up face to face with an opponent rather than just playing solo. Another system I have yet to try is WTJ’s quickfire rules.

    Another option is to use the Avalanche Press games (which include operational and tactical game)

    Again I suspect the tactical rules would be too simplified for my tastes, but I’ve often considered using their campaign maps and rules to generate tactical battles.

    How about one of David Manley’s new fast play rules…Broadside and Salvo? https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/6867/Long-Face-Games?src=browse6867 It’s what I was planning to use for my ‘what if?’ pre-dreadnought project (whenever that happens??)

    Shortly after the 1870s ironclad project?

    I was thinking of the Adriatic for WW1 gaming – obviously a bit more active than in reality … – so I shall follow your progress with great interest! Your ships look great – very nicely done!

    Yeah the WW1 Adriatic campaign is a big source of inspiration, but this will be much smaller and more self contained I think. No subs or aircraft, and no foreign (French/British) forces to complicate things. Probably more like the 1866 campaign, but with newer tech. The Adriatic is an interesting theatre, sort of like the English Channel only with a land border on one flank!

    Glad to see the pre-dreadnought era getting some love!

    It’s a unique period for naval gaming. You get the tactics of Jutland with ranges not much longer than Trafalgar. It’s perfect for tabletop games.

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by MattH MattH.
    #103749

    Good remarks!

    "Do you not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?"

    Axel Oxenstierna

    #103767
    Jim Jackaman
    Jim Jackaman
    Participant

    ‘Shortly after the 1870s ironclad project?’

    Oh yes…that project. 

    It will be back around Xmas time..if all goes according to plan.

    In the meantime, I’m looking forward to some reports from the Adriatic!

     

    #103771

    Thomaston
    Participant

    Have you seen or tried these rules? They’re by the same guy, not sure if they’re the level of complexity you’re looking for.

    Coal, and the Kaiser

    Togo meant for Russo-Japanese war but you should be able to make your own stats. Gun charts are more difficult, the WWII version Surface Action has scenarios with Italian ships and guns and should help with that.

    Tired is enough.

    #104342
    MattH
    MattH
    Participant

    The naval arms race continues.

    The Austrians have added 3 Habsburg class battleships and the large armoured cruiser Kaiser Karl IV:

    … and 6 destroyers:

    The Italians meanwhile have built the protected cruiser Lombardia and 6 Partenope class torpedo cruisers:

    Here’s the entire Italian fleet so far. 4 battleships front left, 5 armoured cruisers front right, and the light stuff in the background:

    And the Austrian fleet so far. Front – 6 battleships and the 2 modern armoured cruisers. Older cruisers back right. Destroyers far back.

    Only another 6 Italian and 3 Austrian BBs to paint now…

    #104343
    cmnash
    cmnash
    Participant

    They look great Matt – very nice indeed!  What make is your battlemat?

    .

    #104345
    MattH
    MattH
    Participant

    It’s the TinyWargames one here. I just ordered another one with a hex grid while their November sale is on.

    #104346
    cmnash
    cmnash
    Participant

    Thanks Matt. I thought it looked familiar – I’ve got the same one myself

    .

    #104355

    McKinstry
    Participant

    That is just a wonderful look. Those TD ships really paint up attractively and the color of the Tiny Wargames mat seems about perfect as well.

    Never wrestle with a pig. You both get muddy and the pig just likes it.

    #104356

    Thomaston
    Participant

    These look rally good. Not often you see pre dreadnaught stuff and minor navies too.

    Tired is enough.

    #104363
    Jim Jackaman
    Jim Jackaman
    Participant

    Yes indeed they do!

    I have a dark sea cloth version of the Tiny wargames sea cloth, as I bought it for coastal warfare in the North Sea at night. In retrospect I probably should have just got the normal sea one, as it’s far more flexible.

    #104461
    MattH
    MattH
    Participant

    Some action shots. Gonna need a bigger table!

    #104550
    cmnash
    cmnash
    Participant

    They look really good Matt. The splash markers are great & I’m guessing that the small, shipless bases indicate where a turn has been made?

    What rules did you use?

    .

    #104556

    Thomaston
    Participant

    Very nice I notice there’s deck planking as well. Also want to know the rules used.

    Tired is enough.

    #104565
    MattH
    MattH
    Participant

    This was a second try of Perfidious Albion. I’m not sure what to make of them at the moment, I think I may be misunderstanding the damage control rules. I have a few rules queries to put to Andrew at A&A – I know that they’re in the process of revising the rules with a view to a new edition next year.

    I’m going to try a few different rule sets and maybe do a blog post comparing them all. I’m looking WTJ’s free Quickfire rules at the moment, and they look like they might be a good option for large battles.

    I use those wake markers for different things depending on the rules. Here they’re actually marking divisions that have fired. In other games I’ve used them to mark ships that have moved, whether they’ve turned etc. Place them after the ship moves, then remove after the ship fires, that sort of thing.

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 4 weeks ago by MattH MattH.
    #105130
    MattH
    MattH
    Participant

    This is the last of them, other than some merchant ships still to paint. I still have a few mistakes to touch up here and there but these are basically done at last!

    First, the 3 Austrian Monarch class coast defence ships and 3 Zenta class protected cruisers:

    Then 3 Italian Re Umberto class battleships:

    Older Italian turret ships. These came into commission from about 1880-85, so it might be fun to put them up against some of my British & French ships from the Victorian range some time. 3 Ruggiero Di Lauria class in front and the Duilio and Dandolo behind:

    Italia and Lepanto. Apparently these things were capable of carrying an entire infantry division:

    And the final fleet review. All the capital ships and armoured cruisers that were in commision in 1905, plus a small selection of light cuisers and destroyers. The destroyers and torpedo cruisers are temporarily based up for Fire When Ready – 2 boats on a 50mm square representing a flotilla.

    Austria Hungary:

    Italy:

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by MattH MattH.
    #105136

    McKinstry
    Participant

    Simply gorgeous. Great period, great paint jobs and I’m looking forward to the Austrians proving Lissa was no fluke.

    Never wrestle with a pig. You both get muddy and the pig just likes it.

    #105139
    MattH
    MattH
    Participant

    Thank you McKinstry. I think I’m going to be doing essentially a re-run of Lissa 1866 in 1905. Something like: Irredentists sieze power in Italy and demand the navy redeem its honour by launching a surprise attack on Lissa. A little far fetched, but not entirely daft considering Austro-Italian relations in the late 19th C. Given the obvious disparity in hardware between the two fleets, I think I’ll be downgrading the Italian crews and giving them a poor commander, while giving the Austrians better crews and a dashing Tegethoff-like admiral.

    #105716
    cmnash
    cmnash
    Participant

    I’m a bit late on this as gmail decided that the email alert for the thread update was spam for some reason …

    Great work Matt and I’m looking forward to some AARs!

    .

    #110756
    MattH
    MattH
    Participant

    An update on this project.

    Firstly, a few weeks back I couldn’t resist the temptation to get all the ships out and fight a ‘Jutland in the Adriatic’ style battle using the Fire When Ready rules. This meant pushing the furniture back and crawling round on the floor. Not something I’m a fan of to be honest, my back and knees are too old for this sort of thing, and I’m terrified that I’m going to tread on the models! This was about 7’x6′, and I could go to 8’x6′ at a pinch. It was just about adequate, though still required a few scrolls to keep up with the action. I thought the fleets were rather unbalanced in favour of the Italians, so if I remember correctly I gave the Austrians a +2 admiral and +1 crews, whilst the Italians had a -2 admiral and -1 (or possibly -2, I can’t remember) crews. This proved to be too much re-balancing, as the Italians were utterly trounced!

    Here’s the situation early on:

    And here’s a shot of the end, showing the crumpled sea after I’d been trampling all over it for a few hours:

    Secondly, I painted up a selection of merchant ships:

    And lastly, I just finished a smallish night action – an Italian attack on an Austro Hungarian coastal convoy. I’ll be posting an AAR on the blog when I get round to writing it up, but in the meantime here’s a little teaser shot:

    #110757
    cmnash
    cmnash
    Participant

    Thanks for sharing MattH – very inspiring! I like what you’ve done with your merchants – I’ve got some auxiliaries for my Russians, and your colour schemes may well get used on mine.

    The effects on the last pic are really, really good!

    .

    #110758
    MattH
    MattH
    Participant

    Thanks Mr Nash! The merchants were really fun to paint, you have no idea how much time I spent googling 1900s tramp steamers.

    #110759
    cmnash
    cmnash
    Participant

    you have no idea how much time I spent googling 1900s tramp steamers.

    I did try a bit of that, so can – to some extent! – ‘feel your pain’ as it were … I was amazed just how many of them were entirely painted in shades of grey though … although maybe, upon reflection, perhaps they were black and white photos?

    .

    #110760
    MattH
    MattH
    Participant

    I think in WW1, and definitely in WW2 they tended to get painted all over grey, but the standard colour scheme of the late 19th/early 20th century seems to have been the good old black hull, white upperworks thing.

    Oh, I forgot to mention – I’ve started playing around with ideas for the campaign map. Here’s the Adriatic with 10 nautical mile hexes:

    #110775

    McKinstry
    Participant

    As always your games look great. Are those merchants all from Tumbling Dice?

    I’m really looking forward to your campaign.

     

    Never wrestle with a pig. You both get muddy and the pig just likes it.

    #110793
    MattH
    MattH
    Participant

    Yeah, all TD.

    #110851
    MattH
    MattH
    Participant
    #110855
    Darkest Star Games
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Quite the little battle.  I was saddened to see that plucky little yacht put down after her amazing shot.  That really did appear to be shear pandemonium in the dark and fog, I think I like those sorts of fights much better than those on clear and calm days, much more interesting.

    Not knowing the stats, how did the opponents stack up?  Were the Austrians doomed from the start?

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #110865

    McKinstry
    Participant

    Fun write up and I really like the night & fog/mist photographs. How did you do that?

    Never wrestle with a pig. You both get muddy and the pig just likes it.

    #110866

    Etranger
    Participant

    Great stuff!

     

    #110880

    Thomaston
    Participant

    Very nice game. It’s my favorite naval period.

    Tired is enough.

    #110888
    MattH
    MattH
    Participant

    Were the Austrians doomed from the start?

    Yeah, almost certainly I didn’t really put much thought into the scenario to be honest, and I expected the Stefani to be a bit more effective than she was. But hey, balance is overrated, war is hell!

    Fun write up and I really like the night & fog/mist photographs. How did you do that?

    I was inspired by the old Duncan MacFarlane photos (Miniature Wargames? Wargames Illustrated? can’t remember which). He used to get his mate to blow cigarette smoke all over the battlefield. I went with the slightly less unhealthy and obnoxious solution of using a vapouriser, backlit with an angle poise lamp and lit from the front with the camera’s flash. Then lots of drastic messing with the white balance in processing.

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