Friday, 30 January 2015

Prepare for ramming!: Play-tests of some simple Ironclad vs. Ironclad Naval Wargame Rules

After several false starts and not a few diversions, I have finally managed to stage a couple of play-tests of the simple Ironclad vs. Ironclad rules I developed from Lieutenant Chamberlain's GAME OF NAVAL BLOCKADE rules.

Play-test 1: Fight on the open sea
For the first play-test I set up an unencumbered 12 deep by 10 wide grid of blue Hexon II hexes. The opposing warships were placed on the rows of hexes furthest from each other and 5 hexes in from their respective left-hand column of hexes.


The first few moves saw each ship sailing towards its opponent ...



... before trying to manoeuvre itself into a position where it could bring its guns to bear on the enemy whilst remaining sufficiently far enough away to avoid being rammed.



Once their guns were in range, both ships began firing on each other, with varying degrees of success. (The upturned golf tees represent 'misses'.)




Eventually one ship (the one with the pronounced ram bow) managed to disable its opponent and just had enough sea-room in which to manoeuvre itself into a position where it could ram the enemy ...


... which it did!

Play-test 2: Fight amongst the islands
For the second play-test I placed four islands on the 12 deep by 10 wide grid of blue Hexon II hexes. The opposing warships were again placed on the rows of hexes furthest from each other and 5 hexes in from their respective left-hand column of hexes.


Yet again the ships began by sailing towards each other ...



... before one of them (the ship with the pronounced ram bow) turned to port so as to use one of the islands as cover.



The other ship sought to keep the range between the two ships as great as possible ...


... and when they engaged each other with gunfire they each failed to hit the other.


The ship with the straight bow then managed to hit and disable its opponent, and closed the range between them.


Unfortunately it was too far away to ram its opponent, and during the next exchange of gunfire the ship with the pronounced ram bow managed to disable its opponent ... and ram it!


Conclusions
The rules as they stand produce a fast and furious tabletop battle ... but it is somehow too fast and furious. It lacks some of the detail that I want from a naval wargame, and I am going to have to give some thought to how I can include things such as torpedoes and reduce the effectiveness of ramming whilst keeping the essential simplicity of the current rules.

10 comments:

  1. Interesting beginning! I was thinking that the vessel with the ram bow could be called the 'Rambeau'. Actually, to sound like the English 'ram' the first syllable should be 'Rim', but the 'a' seems to fit better for anglophones like us.

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  2. Archduke Piccolo,

    The play-tests were fun ... but I feel that the rules do still need a bit of work. As to names for the ships ... well Rambeau is an interesting suggestion and rather appropriate.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  3. Its appears to be a good starting point.

    It also seemed to me that the ships are worthy of names.

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  4. Ross Mac,

    I am thinking about adding some of the elements of my PORTABLE NAVAL WARGAME to these rules. This will make them slightly more complicated, but should improve them.

    I agree that these ships need names, and I hope to name them at some point over the next few days.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  5. You are going to name it, "Oh, why did I get Boat Insurance with such a high deductible?", right?

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  6. Might it be worth considering playing a couple of games with a number of boats on each side. The simplicity and speed might be virtues once the number of combatants increases?

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  7. Stu Rat,

    I'll have to make the model a lot bigger to get that name on its side! I was thinking more along the lines of something shorter and aggressive-sounding.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  8. Conrad Kinch,

    I would like to use more than one ship per side, but I think that the rules need a little more work before I do.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  9. Allowing reverse/astern, for example? Best way I know of to avoid a ram or a torpedo! :o)

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  10. Steve-the-Wargamer,

    It is certainly one of the options I am considering.

    All the best,

    Bob

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