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I was thinking about how to keep track of this and decided to use two typs of shell splash markers, one with a single splash, one with two splashes so they are visually distinct.
The method I’ve been using is this:
Suppression incurred in the gunnery phase is denoted by placing a splash marker near the bow of the target vessel. (Heavy suppression = 2 splashes). At the end of the gunnery phase all splashes at the stern of vessels are removed.
In the movement phase, after each vessel moves, any splashes that were at the bow are placed near the stern.
I picked it up as the East African campaign always held some fascination (must have been too many viewings of the African Queen as a kid). I found a video on Utube about the “duel” between the gun boats dragged overland and the German ships on Lake Tanganyika.
There’s also a very good documentary on Prime Video called ‘The Real African Queen’. Well worth a watch.
I set up a game of this yesterday with Mimi, Toutou, Fifi and Netta against the Goetzen. The result was: Fifi sunk, but the other Allied ships unscathed. Goetzen disarmed, disabled and then sunk – largely by MG fire! Some thoughts/suggestions based on this:
- MGs seem overpowered, especially against Class 1 (and perhaps 2) targets. I’ve house-ruled it for now like this: ignore all damage effects for MGs/rifles against Class 1 & 2 targets which are not: heavy suppression, crew hit, non-critical engine damage, fire, bridge hit. I’ve put an asterisk next to all other entries on the damage table as a reminder.
- Guns seem to get knocked out a bit too frequently. Perhaps adjust the damage table so that Gun Hit is on a 4, and Hull damage on 5-7? Also, when randomly determining which gun is hit, always include all the original gun positions, and if you hit one that’s already out it’s no effect.
- Gun crew hits on Class 1 vessels – these ships have plenty of crew, so perhaps the gun crew can be rolled for to be replaced in the repair phase?
- Suggest moving Fire and Flood effects, and the rules pertaining to them, to the Repair Phase, and making it clear that flooding is ongoing till contained (presuming that’s correct).
- Gunfire alternates between players; initiative winner chooses a ship and fires, then their opponent and alternate thereafter. Damage is resolved immediately.
I actually tried this exact method. Normally I’m a fan of sequential gunnery but I found it to be a little confusing as regards suppression effects, since suppression affects gunnery on the next turn, so I went back to simultaneous. Under your new rule would suppression affect gunnery on this turn and the next, or just next turn?
By the way, thanks for revisiting these rules David, I appreciate you’re a busy chap and you’re probably not getting filthy rich on the proceeds from what is a very niche subject!
No worries David, stuff tends to drop off the front page here pretty quickly, it’s easy to miss a topic. Thanks for the reply and thanks to Mike for the nudge.
The reason I ask about the rifles is that according to Peter Shankland’s book the Kingani “shifted her fire to Toutou and engaged Mimi with rifles”. It probably had no effect, but it might make a pursuing boat less keen to close to point blank range.
Bumping this post in the hope that David might see it and respond.
I agree it’s baffling why some manufacturers don’t bother to post pictures of their stuff. No need for fancy photographic gear and lightboxes etc. The miniatures don’t even need to be painted or even assembled – just take a basic pic on a phone in reasonably decent lighting (either outdoors in daylight or with a couple of desk lamps). It doesn’t stop me from ordering, but it is off putting.
Well it gave me a +1 morale bonus to think someone might mistake them for Langtons! I was very much going for a zoomed out mass effect look rather than trying to make each one look amazing through a close-up lens.
The Langton models are beautiful but those fleets in 1/1200 would take up about 8′ of space deployed in line, and would cost somewhere north of £400. The TD ones came in just under £100 and take half the space, so they fit comfortably on a 6’x4′ table. Plus I don’t have to rig them – I hate rigging!
Thanks guys, sorry for the late reply. The models are all 1/2400 Tumbling Dice.
I think they look great and the jibs seem fine to me.
Ha! You’re absolutely right. For some reason I’ve always remembered that scene with Cleese saying “The roman, they go, the house”. I stand corrected and suitably chastised.
Romanus eunt domus. Now write it out a hundred times.
I’ll just stick this here rather than starting a new thread. I finished the Dutch rated ships and started messing around with rules: https://shellsplash.blogspot.com/2020/03/anglo-dutch-wars-dutch-fleet.html
Very cool. I love the flight stands – so much better than using dice to represent altitude. Also, I think your upside down sea cloth makes a pretty decent cloudscape.
Beautiful. I’m tempted by these 1/700 ships, but I hate doing rigging! I think I might one day get into doing the 1812 Great Lakes battles in 1/700.
They’ve turned the Excel centre into a hospital. I can’t work out whether I find that news comforting or terrifying.
This is great Thaddeus, thanks for taking the time to post it. I’ve been trying to decide what scale to do Chile vs Peru 1879 – 10mm, 6mm or 3mm – and you’ve convinced me that 3mm is the way to go.
No credit due to me, but thanks anyway! It is an amazing collection, I’m scared to go there lest I lose several hours of my life down the rabbit hole. 🙂04/02/2020 at 13:30 in reply to: Interwar Pacific Fleet Action using Find, Fix & Strike #130977
I don’t really know to be honest. I had it set up for nearly a week, but I was only playing an hour or so at a time. My guesstimate is it would take 2 players who had the rules down about 6 hours allowing for breaks. So a full day or a couple of evenings. I did simplify the movement initiative system a bit – so each side moved all their ships, then the other, rather than alternating ships/divisions. I didn’t keep track of turns, but I reckon it was about 20-30 turns.
Put it this way – I don’t think you’ll find any rules that are faster/easier to play which still feel realistic.17/01/2020 at 16:25 in reply to: Interwar Pacific Fleet Action using Find, Fix & Strike #129702
Hard to say exactly. When I called the game it was 1 BB each, but about 4 more US BBs were crippled behind the smokescreen, and it’s hard to see how they would have escaped. Crushing defeat for the USN, but I think the ship stats need a bit of rebalancing – the US battleships need their stats improving a little, and the Japanese might need a bit of a nerf. 🙂
I can’t decide if I should get the RJW book as well. I could see tweaking WWII ships to get pre-dreadnaught ships but my curiosity is bugging me.
If you’re interested in gaming the RJW you should definitely get White Bear Red Sun. The rules are similar in essence, but simpler and more abstract. You might find they’re perfect, but even if you don’t, the campaign rules and data will be worth having anyway.
Good job Jim, nice punchy contrasting colours.
For some reason I’ve never managed to find much enthusiasm for ACW naval, but I must admit I’ve been tempted to try the Mississippi River campaign for Dahlgren and Columbiad.
Thanks guys. The flak markers were a bit of an experiment, I just dunked bits of clump foliage in black primer and then drybrushed them. I only made 6, so I’ll be needing a load more. I was only making them for visual effect, but actually I think they’ll be useful as markers for when aircraft are distracted or driven off by AA fire. I’m thinking I can do some at different heights to indicate different statuses.
I think you will find there is already a RJW version: White Bear Red Sun.. https://WWW.WARGAMEVAULT.COM/PRODUCT/223354/WHITE-BEAR-RED-SUN
Yes, I have the Spanish American War campaign which uses the same tactical rules (Broadside & Salvo). They’re a bit more generic in terms of ship stats, and a bit more abstract generally. FF&S are more detailed without being massively more complicated, a bit like DM’s ironclad rules Dahlgren & Columbiad.
I like the sound of the how the damage levels work, I’m not a fan of ticking boxes, especially when you have a lot of ships involved.
Yeah, I’m kind of ok with box-ticking as long as the ship rosters are well designed and you can fit everything you need onto a single sheet of paper. It gets annoying when you have to rifle through loads of pages. It’s a real bugbear of mine when you see naval games at shows and whatnot, and every spare inch of ocean is covered with bits of paper.
But it’s definitely very liberating to have almost no record keeping. The only bits of paper you need are the quick play sheet and maybe half a sheet with your ship stats on for reference.
We had that interesting discussion on this theme back here(at TWW) about Gaslands (easy-peasy style) and then someone brought he missed the complexity of Car Wars.
Yeah, that was me 🙂 It wasn’t so much the complexity that I missed as the whole nostalgia thing really, but I was surprised that it I could still pick it up and play it after all these years, and it was still fun. Besides, I still maintain that Car Wars isn’t that complex.
From my rather narrow perspective of playing mostly naval games and mostly solo:
1. I want the rules to be as simple and streamlined as they can be while still producing believable results. Some supposed ‘fast play’ rules I’ve come across are only fast because after 3 or 4 turns everything has been reduced to a smoking wreck and everyone goes home for tea and medals. I prefer rules where turns go fast so there’s time to manoeuvre, and damage is sustained at a believable rate. They may be fast play, but can still take 3-4 hours to finish.
2. Easy on the brain. This is not always the same as being ‘simple’. I don’t mind a game with slower mechanics as long as the procedures are clearly defined and methodical. For example, the WW2 naval rules General Quarters 3 is considered by most to be harder to play than Naval Thunder, and yet something about NT makes my brain melt after a few turns. GQ3, at least for straightforward surface actions, is somehow more fluid and easier to get through. It may take slightly longer but it isn’t as mentally tiring. A lot of this is down to…
3. Player Aids. Rosters, markers, movement & firing gauges. To borrow a video game analogy – these things are your user interface for the game. If a roster for a single ship takes up half an A4 sheet and it’s all a wall of text and numbers, I’m just not going there. It needs to convey the information clearly at a glance, and still be small enough to get your entire force on a single sheet. GQ3 is very good at this.
ETA: A number of people posted while I was writing this so just to be clear: when I say ‘NT’ I’m referring to Naval Thunder and not Neil Thomas. 🙂
Interesting looking game. I haven’t done any modern naval since the 80s, but I’ve been toying with getting back into it at some point. It’s cool that there are now several lighter rule sets available than we had back then, and I’ve got both Naval Command and Shipwreck on my radar. I’m also quite drawn to Age of Missiles which looks a bit like a slightly more sophisticated take on the old Seastrike.
What ground scale are you using and how big a table do you need?
Thanks Thomaston. By the way I was going back over this this thread and I noticed you posted this back in November last year, which I totally missed at the time:
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.
Thanks for the links – those look promising. I will try and take the Togo rules for a spin very soon.
Had the pre-dreads out again this week. I’ve been trying to work out how much command/crew bonus to give the Austrians to even out the fleets, as it’s been a bit overpowered in my last tries and the Italians have been trounced. So just to get a sense of the baseline I ran a game with all the crews and commanders set to zero. The result: all Austrian ships sunk, no Italian ships lost, though some were heavily damaged and withdrew.
No AAR I’m afraid, but I think the pics make it clear enough
Great stuff Jim! I’m looking forward to seeing you get all your French & British ships on the table and do an 1870s Trafalgar. Go on, you know you want to.
Yeah, some sepia tones might be nice. I think it might be the Arial font and rounded boxes that make it look too modern though. It probably won’t happen with these, but I’m planning on doing the same sort of job with Fire When Ready, so I’ll try and give them a more Victorian/Edwardian look.
I’ve decided I don’t want to play any game that has record sheets bigger than a playing card!
Thank you Jim. The record cards are good function-wise I think, but I’d quite like to give them a more period look at some point. They look a bit too modern – they remind me a bit of the Full Thrust spaceship rules.
Great write up David, and the models look beautiful.
I’m late to the party with InWarD, but I’m planning on doing Huascar vs Shah and Amethyst in 1/2400 using a hex-based variant of D&C. I got bogged down knocking up terrain for it, so it probably won’t be till the weekend now.
It’s a Canon 550D with a Sigma 18-200mm lens, on a tripod and using self timer to prevent wobble.
They’ve come out really nicely. I’d never thought of using sand texture for the bow wave – very inspiring, I’ll have to try it!
I think that given how quickly the Hood blew up you have to entertain the possibility that she was just as explodey as Beatty’s battlecruisers at Jutland and adjust the rules accordingly. But then the game becomes a crap shoot – if Hood blows up the Germans win, otherwise the Bismarck gets hammered. It’s an interesting historical exercise, but probably not a very satisfying game.
There were also a couple of other factors in the Germans’ favour:
The wind was coming from the NNE, so both British ships had their primary rangefinders obscured by spray.
In addition to the mechanical problems with her guns, the PoW couldn’t fire her A turret forward because of the heavy seas.
The thing I don’t quite understand is why Lutjens continued to close the range long after it was clear he was facing two capital ships. He has a 2 knot advantage in speed and plenty of sea room to the west before he hits the ice pack, and his orders are not to engage British warships unless unavoidable. So why didn’t he bear away to the west and keep the Brits at 25,000+ yards, subjecting them to plunging fire? Even without the magazine explosion, Hood would have been extremely vulnerable at that range, and the PoW’s 14″ guns aren’t really up to the job.
This weekend I will not be playing this battle, since the Prinz Eugen still hasn’t turned up the post, so I will mostly be sulking instead. I did however playtest my scenario at least 6 times and can confirm it gives widely varying results!
3. In the absence of other information, ships in “Surface Action” start at a speed 10 knots below their maximum. Are there any specified starting speeds for the ships in the scenario? All the best, John.
I don’t know what David’s scenario specified, since apparently he posted it somewhere on Facebook, but from my research the Germans were doing 27 knots and the British 28.
Nice, I need to make some smaller splashes for 1/6000. I’ll definitely be trying your method.
Oh cool, thanks. I was aware of Objects May Appear but for some reason I thought they were only in 1/2400.
The Langley is a seaplane tender by 1937. There are optional rules for AVs and I haven’t decided whether to use them or not. I do have the model though, so probably will end up using her.
The US CVs are Ranger, Saratoga and Lexington, while the Kaigun have the CVs Kaga, Akagi and Soryu, and the CVLs Hosho and Ryujo.