Home Forums Air and Sea Naval What Got You Started in Naval?

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    Avatar photoDM

    As the title says, what got you started in naval wargaming? Its a pretty niche subject after all 🙂

    For my part it was a combination of Dad’s stories from his time in the Royal Navy out in the Far East in WW2, coupled with my brother building up a small but nice collection of 1/1200 ships from Airfix and Almark – which I “inherited” from him and expanded greatly (aided by Esci taking over the Almark range and then our local toy shop selling off Esci carriers and battleships for 35p each whilst the local model shop was similarly selling Airfix 1/1200 for half price). We used to play some enormous 1/1200 games on the lounge floor (plus some pretty big campaigns on home made maps of hypothetical maritime nations) before I got into WW2 and then WW1 actions using 1/3000 models. And from there into just about any scale and period you can think of 🙂

    Avatar photogrizzlymc

    1. Building an Airfix 1/600 scale HMS Hotspur at age 10
    2. I am of British background and therefore it is in my nature to go down to the sea in ships
    3. Reading Don Featherstone’s Naval Wargames

    Avatar photokyoteblue

    I know one of the authors of Cordite and Steel, and played those rules in 1/2400 back in the late 70’s , Oh and my Dad was in the US Navy in WW2.

    Avatar photoRod Robertson


    Building and painting Heller model ships and the Tamiya Vosper Patrol Boat and talking with my uncle who was a boat pilot in the USA. Also when I was seven or eight my father bought me a beautify book with drawings of ships from the 1860’s to the 1960’s and I was fascinated with the beautiful illustrations in the book. Though not a sailor, I love the sea and I have always been obsessed with marine life, maritime history and ships and boats of all ages. I dearly want to get into ancient naval miniatures but there is no one in my gaming circle who is remotely interested.

    Cheers and good gaming.

    Rod Robertson.

    Avatar photowillz

    Joining the Royal Navy, and finding some excellent naval board games, “wood ships and iron men” to name the best.

    Avatar photoRules Junkie Jim

    One thing lead to another.

    Building 1/600th Airfix kits and reading the spiels about the ships with the instructions started me renting library books about WW2 naval actions, and whilst in the library I noticed Donald Featherstone’s Naval War Games. The book gave suggestions for naval miniatures, and as I’d really fallen for ironclads, I (or my mum on my behalf IIRC) ordered a few 1/1200th ACW ships from Skytrex, and I played my first game on my bedroom floor using “The Devil at the Helm” rules. I also made a few ships out of balsa that I based on pics of an Ironclad game in Naval War Games. Being a young weirdo, it was several years before I got into land-based wargames, but naval gaming is still “home”.

    Avatar photoKen


    Never had much interest in Naval games in my early wargames years it was mostly Napoleonics and what was then (1985) Moderns. When I came to University in Leeds I joined the local club, a lad called Richard Jones was running some WW1 Naval games with a set of rules he had just written,  everyone was having a go and helping with playtesting etc. It became the staple club competition for a number of year. From there I developed my own WW2 rules and then started do Nap Naval as well.

    I cant say it’s my main period / type of gaming but I always come back to it. I have just started a WW1 collection in 1/2400 and have put a separate post on the Naval thread about that.

    Regards, Ken



    Avatar photoJohn D Salt

    1. Building an Airfix 1/600 scale HMS Hotspur at age 10 2. I am of British background and therefore it is in my nature to go down to the sea in ships 3. Reading Don Featherstone’s Naval Wargames

    Pretty much the same for me, and (like Time) add borrowing Dunn’s “Sea Battle Games” from the library.

    I was one of a business partnership called “Falcon Game Design”, whose one and only product was a set of naval wargames rules called “Surface Action” covering surface combat between major units, 1906 to 1945. The first edition of 100, produced in 1978 using the facilities of our school’s print unit, ran to 100 copies. We moved a lot of them at a wargames show (Salute? Colours? Not sure), and a few yaers later produced a second edition (this time using the Exeter University Guild of Students print unit — “cut and paste” in those days meant real scissors and glue).

    As I am still i touch with the other folks who produced the rules, I am hoping that one day the designer will find time to finish off the third edition.

    All the best,


    Avatar photoDM

    I just happened to come across my second edition copy of Surface Action last night. We played them quite a bit at the Southampton club back in the mid 80s

    Avatar photoPiyan Glupak

    I liked the Warrior Miniatures 1/650 ancient galleys set.  Have to admit that I couldn’t get to grips with rules that they supplied with them at the time, so I had a go at writing my own.

    Avatar photoRogerBW

    The Hunt for Red October and particularly Red Storm Rising. So I got into Harpoon a bit too young, bounced, and now rather enjoy it.

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