Angry that she’d missed out on treasure from the wrecked ships, Li Chee the Pirate Queen shadowed Admiral Feng Shui from the islands to Qui Nhon in the South China Sea. Determined to exact revenge, she planned a night raid on the harbour at Qui Nhon (see picture above).
She hoped to capture one of the junks, avoiding the larger Treasure Ships and the Admiral’s Flagship. She’d also have to avoid the attentions of the fort guarding the harbour entrance.
All Feng Shui’s ships were moored facing into the wind. Li Chee decided to go for the smallest Junk. This would make a fine pirate Junk to accompany her on further adventures and was bound to hold some treasure too.
In this scenario, Feng Shui can only activate when Li Chee performs a boarding or firing action.
Li Chee slowly and silently passed by the fort and after several moves is in a position upwind of the smallest Junk ready to strike in a swift and deadly boarding action.
The hapless Junk attempts to cut the grapples and head away.
All this commotion has alerted Feng Shui, who turns his junk which is in irons to a firing position.
The captured junk is now manned by a prize crew and Feng Shui opens fire on it.
As the pirate junks begin to pull away to safety, Feng Shui makes a boarding attempt on Li Chee’s junk. Li Chee is in great peril.
It had been a lucky escape for Li Chee and using actions to cut the grapples and break free she was able to move away from Feng Shui, who was now in a bad position and would have to sail round the island or lose time in irons. The two pirate junks would now have to run the gauntlet of the fort.
The fort opens fire first on the captured junk.
And then on the Pirate Queen.
As the pirate Junks head for safety, the fort manages to fire on them again a longer range but fails to score a hit.
It had been a close-run thing but now, Li Chee had a second junk which she would repair and turn into a formidable fighting ship. Feng Shui was worried as he tried to get to grips with the Chilli Crab. The treacherous Straits of Malacca would have to be negotiated with their swirling currents and risk of ambush – things did not look good.
This game was based on the cutting out scenario from the Galleys and Galleons rule book. Vessel and fort stats below:
Jeremey takes us through some home made blast markers.
Having recently started repainting my old 6mm Sci-Fi forces my thoughts turned to the different types of blast markers used in various wargames, you know the ones, they are often made of hard translucent plastic in the shape of a flame. Wargamers use them for marking the spot they are calling artillery down on or even to show destroyed and burnt out vehicles.
The first thing I thought of was could I make my own? Having made many things out of EVA foam for my gaming I turned to that first as a very simple material to work with. I knew you could get the foam in thin sheets and in bright colours. As luck would have it I popped into a local Poundland store to pick up some things for a bit of DIY I had to do, and discovered in the crafts section a packet of foam rocket shapes.
So I bought a packet at the predictable price, thinking I could make blast markers out of the red and yellow rockets.
I made myself two flame shaped templates out of cardboard. One smaller than the other and made sure the smaller one fitted inside the silhouette of the larger one.
It was then just a matter of drawing round the templates, trying to fit in as many of the markers as I could. To make 3 blaster markers I would need 3 of the bigger flames in red and 6 of the smaller yellow flames to go on either side.
of course at first I completely forgot I’d need twice as many of the smaller yellow flames as the red, which is why there are only 3 of each in the picture!
Rather than waste the foam I experimented with a smaller blast marker cutting out from the red foam using the smaller of the two templates I’d made. I used standard PVA glue to stick the yellow smaller flame to the red foam and then repeated the process for the other side of the marker.
The final (sort of) stage involved me supergluing the marker to a thin wooden base that I had, which I then just painted to blend in a bit better. There we have it, very cheap, simple and quick blast markers for games.
However as you can see from the picture I took it a stage further. I added or rather smudged on some black miniature paint in that way explosions are often depicted. Nice simple effect that stops the blast marker looking too cartoonish. I also turned to the blue foam from the packet and wondered if I could make a splash marker. I don’t often play naval wargames but fellow club members do. I cut out a more splash like shape and as with the black on the blast marker I dabbed white paint on the edges of both the main shape and the smaller splash shapes, and of course I painted the base blue.
Now all I need to do is think up a way of using the green foam from the packet. Hmmm alien weapon blast effect …
John puts the 3D printed galleys supplied by fellow club member Colin into battle. This is a solo battle report using the Galleys and Galleons rules.
Rum Baba, an infamous Barbary pirate had been driven eastwards by the Christian warships but was still a thorn in the side of Venice. It was decided to despatch one of the newly built Galleass to their base at Chania in Crete to rid the Mediterranean of this menace for ever. En route, the Galleass and it’s escort were ambushed by Rum Baba and his pirate crews.
The Opposing Squadrons (details in Appendix)
The Venetian Squadron comprised the Lanterna Flagship commanded by Linguine, the new Galleass and a small Galliot to act as scout and draw the attention of the Ottomans. The Ottomans comprised Rum Baba in the Lanterna and three swift but lightly armed Galliots.
The Ottomans win the initiative roll and will move first each move. At the start of each move every vessel has to roll up to three D6 and roll equal or above its Q value to gain a successful action
The Galliots rush towards the Venetian Galliot intent on its destruction. Meanwhile, the Venetians move up cautiously and the Galleass takes in sail to maintain formation.
The Ottomans move up and use their final action to open fire at long range. One point of damage is inflicted on the Venetian Galliot from this fusillade.
The Venetians move into close range and fire back
Two Galliots and the Ottoman Lanterna close in on the outnumbered Venetian flagship and the two Galliots who have locked in combat fight to a standstill. The Galliots have the Derring Do special rule and attack with reckless ferocity. In the first round, all base combats are reduced to zero.
With the Venetian Flagship on 3 damage points, the Ottoman Lanterna moves in to deliver the Coup de Grace and Linguine Strikes his colours
With the Galleass now a dot on the horizon, Rum Baba takes Linguine’s surrender and collects his prizes. He hoped for a profitable ransom for Linguine and whilst He would sleep well tonight in the company of concubines, that Galleass worried him. His captains had been reckless, they would need to be more savvy next time.
Appendix – Data sheets for vessels involved in the conflict
I had a spare bit of balsa planking I’d used for a previous project where a piece had been cut out of it that left the remainder with a prow-like curve at one end.
I just happened to see it and then a thought popped into my head: ‘that looks like the prow of an ironclad.’
And that’s how this project came to be.
The first decision I had to make was size. It was going to be a gaming model not a scale model. Assuming that 15mm is 1/110 scale that would mean a scale model would need to be about 2 feet long.
That wouldn’t be practical since this would be used in big battle games and ground scale comes in to play.
But it had to ‘look right’ next to a 15mm figure, as if a crew could actually get in it. So it couldn’t be too small either.
The bit of balsa I had was 25cm long. I got out a 15mm figure, put it next to it and…it looked about right.
So that’s the scale I went with – the gamer’s favourite ‘looks right’ scale.
This proved to be a simple model to make, though some processes were repetitive.
I used Wills Scenics embossed plasticard for the wooden decking. With that done I then sanded the sides to make sure it was all nice and smooth.
Next came the superstructure. This was built in thick card and then clad in plasticard.
The plasticard was incised using a compass to represent the iron cladding. This got really dull! It was only after I had stuck it all together that I suddenly realised I had forgot to add any rivet details. I thought about doing it retroactively, but then I thought about the amount of rivets I would need to do and thought, ‘sod that – this is a gaming model.’
The funnels were made from styrene tubing with a bit of styrene wrapped around the top for where the stabilising wires were attached. Guide holes were drilled and they were glued in place.
The wheelhouse went through two versions. Some pictures show it with sloped sides, some with slab sides. The first version I did was sloped. But when it was glued in place it gave the whole model a modern ‘sports boat’ look with all those slopes. It just didn’t look right. So I took that off and made a new, square, one. The rest of the hull furniture was made from bits of styrene and chain from an old necklace.
Then on to the paintjob.
I got this wrong as well.
I’ll confess I don’t know too much about ACW river ironclads. I remember from ages ago seeing an ironclad game where the hulls had been painted silver (presumably to represent the iron). If I’m honest, that always seemed wrong to me, but I just respected other’s knowledge.
So I painted my model with metallic sides.
It just looked wrong and too shiny. I thought the matt varnish would dull it down, which it did. But it still looked wrong.
Time for a quick bit of research. Sure enough, my instincts were correct – they weren’t left bare metal! Black, dark grey, and light grey seem to have been the preferred colours. Even sky blue!
I prepared myself that I might have to do a re-paint.
Before that, though, I thought I’d do an experiment – an all over black wash. That seems to have worked and saved me a re-paint. It now has a darker finish, the black wash has taken off the metallic look but left it with just enough to suggest wear and tear.
Our Treasurer recently decided to expand his WW1 naval campaign into the Baltic – a theatre that saw a lot of interesting naval actions and a major amphibious assault.
That meant acquiring the Russian Baltic Fleet. Fortunately Russian naval enthusiasts have unearthed a lot of good material from their naval archives in the last few years and made it available on-line. After brushing up on the Russian alphabet and with liberal use of Google translate, this information is just a click or two away as long as you use Cyrillic text for your searches! I’ll give the correct 1914 Cyrillic names of the units, commanders and ships below with their western script equivalents.
1/3000 is the scale of my German Fleet, so off went my order to get started to Navwar – who still have an unrivaled range and reasonably priced models for this period.
First up on the painting table are 6 cruisers from the 1st and 2nd Бригада Крейсеровъ (Cruiser Brigades).
The flagships were the big old armoured cruisers Громобой (Gromoboy, meaning Thunderer), and Россия (Rossiya, meaning Russia) respectively. These are oldish Navwar sculpts and needed some work, but also needed quite a bit of conversion work to bring them up to 1914. Both had been considerably upgunned from the 1904 era Navwar model with prominent new casemates on the top decks – Gromoboy had also had a complete new set of boilers, but you can’t see them! Bring on the modelling knife, plasticard sheet and rod, bits of old national trust membership cards and superglue and voila:
Next were two other much newer, smaller armoured cruisers of 1st Brigade, the sisters Адмиралъ Макаровъ (Admiral Makarov, a celebrated admiral lost in the war against Japan) and Баянъ (Bayan, a celebrated 11th century bard). These needed very little work – not much more than just filing away the 11pdr gun in the bow and moving a couple of boats.
Last in this first batch were two 2nd class cruisers of 2nd Brigade, the sisters Богаты́ръ (Bogatýr, a Russian medieval warrior/knight) and Олегъ (Oleg – the name of several celebrated historical figures). These veterans of the Japanese war also needed some tidy ups and removal of some of the small guns from Oleg:
Finally painting and basing. The Baltic Fleet introduced a two tone paint scheme for all large warships in an order of March 7th 1912, with light grey upperworks and a darker grey hull side. All of these warships had unpainted wooden decks. Finally the Baltic Fleet continued to use 1m wide funnel bands throughout the war (painted out in most other navies). 1st Brigade used red and 2nd Brigade blue in 1914. First ship had a band at top of 2nd funnel, 2nd ship a band half way down 2nd funnel, 3rd ship a band at the top of 2nd and 3rd funnels and fourth ship a band half way down 2nd and 3rd funnels:
These ships underwent a bewildering number of changes in their armament during their lives, but contemporary records, photos and plans confirm their armament in 1914 as:
The society is refighting all of the naval actions of WW1 as a long running campaign, initially focussing on British Home Waters in 1914-1915.
Scenario 10 covered a night action off the Danish Coast on 17th August 1915.
Ships used are 1/3000 Navwar, with the Princess Margaret and the Light Vessel scratch built, all from Mark’s collection. Rules are Mark’s computer moderated rules written in Visual Basic 6.
British forces were heading in to the Heligoland Bight to lay a large minefield aimed at catching German vessels coming in and out of their ports. The large Minelayer, Princess Margaret, was escorted by seven modern ‘M’ class destroyers of the 10th Flotilla. The sun had recently set and the British force was using the light from the Danish Horns Reef Light Vessel to get a position fix before heading in to lay the mines. These were commanded by Mark as umpire.
Co-incidentally five large German destroyers of the 2nd Torpedoboots-Flottille had been on a search mission to the north that day and were heading back to port, also using the light vessel to get a fix before their final run in. This force was commanded by Jon.
The British force was silhouetted against the afterglow of the sun and so at 8.13pm the German force was able to sight and close on the British unseen. At 8.22 the British spotted the shapes of ships in the murk and after some hesitation about their identity, the closest Division of British destroyers opened fire. A short fight at about 5000 yards ensued with the British getting off a couple of torpedoes. Apart from a near miss on the British destroyer Miranda, no hits were made and whilst the British torpedoes crossed the German line they both missed.
The British had turned away and with the remaining light having gone, the two sides lost sight of each other. The players now plotted their next actions on a map.
The British decided to attempt to resume their course for minelaying and at 20.40 the two sides blundered back into contact. As there was no moon and the Princess Margaret reacted slowly to the new contact, the two sides found themselves very quickly at close range. The British 1st Division raced forward to shield the Princess Margaret, with both sides opening fire as they closed to just 600 yards and the German commander ordered a flotilla torpedo attack.
In a few minutes of mayhem the British destroyer Minos and then the German B 109 sank as a result of shell hits. The British were extremely lucky to avoid 16 well-directed German torpedoes which crossed the tracks of 6 ships including the Princess Margaret.
The Mentor and Moorsom were also badly damaged and reduced in speed and the German G 103 stopped by a shell in her engine rooms. She was able to repair her damaged steam line and get back underway at reduced speed after the action to limp home.
The British again broke off and this time headed west for their covering force. The German boats gobbled up the lagging Mentor and sank her with gunfire, then also stumbled across the crippled Moorsom as they steered south for home, again finishing her with a couple of salvos.
The British destroyers had succeeded in saving the heavily loaded minelayer they were there to screen, but had paid a high price, with 3 of their destroyers sunk, for only 1 German boat lost.
In the real action the Germans used the light advantage to close, then fired 3 torpedoes, before the British saw them. One of these hit and blew the bow off the destroyer Mentor. The Germans and British then immediately broke off, leaving the Mentor alone. Once shored up, she managed an epic journey to limp all the way home.
In all campaign games German losses count double, to reflect the fact that they were less able to absorb losses and to reflect their more cautious use of their ships.
Nevertheless this game was a German tactical victory as the tonnage of British ships lost was more than double that of German ships lost – 2805 tons to 1352 tons, a net score of 101 points for Jon as German commander and a loss of the same for Mark as British/Umpire. This leaves the league table as follows:
The club is holding its annual Open Day on Saturday June 23rd (11am to 4pm). This when we put on many games and open our doors for all to come and visit and get a much wider idea of what we do and the games we play. We try to put on a good variety of games across all the popular periods and scales, all of which are open to visitors to join in. We offer a special discounted membership rate for anyone who joins the club on the day. There’s also a prize draw sponsored by local manufacturer Brigade Models for all visitors.
This year there are seven games, including one put on by Milton Hundred Wargames Club, our nearby friends and neighbours. The six club games are as follows:
The Fall of the Ramas Echor – a 28mm Lord of the Rings game set just before the Battle of Pelennor Fields, TA3019.
Time to share a random selection of pictures from the last couple of club meetings – April 28th by Andy King, May 12th by Tony Francis and Stephen Tucker. Highlights include Pete’s ‘Charlie Don’t Surf’ Vietnam game, two naval games (Napoleonic and 50’s modern), Celtos Fantasy and a Star Wars fleet battle.
Following the successful bombardment on Tripoli and Benghazi, units of the Mediterranean Fleet have been detached to sweep the Sicilian Channel. Warned by air reconnaissance the Italians have sortied two strong cruiser and destroyer groups to intercept.
Order Of Battle
2nd Division, 7th Cruiser Squadron
HMS Gloucester, HMS Liverpool, Town Class (2nd Group) CL.
14th Destroyer Flotilla
HMS Mohawk, HMS Nubian, Tribal Class DDs; HMS Jervis, HMS Juno, J Class DDs
3rd Cruiser Divison
Pola, Zara Class, CA Trento, Trento Class, CA Bolzano, Bolzano Class CA.
Screening destroyers made contact at 02:03, NW of Benghazi, at a range of about 9000 yards, starshells were deployed copiously from both sides but failed to illuminate enemy ships. Closing at a combined speed of 40 knots though meant that the action was fought at close range.
By 02:09 the Britsih commander (Jon) was aware he was in contact with a significant and superior force.
Holding his course he was able to get into a good torpedo position. Whilst the Italians (Paul & Mark), tried to get the 12th Div ahead and bring the cruisers into action.
The initial exchange resulted in minor damage to Nubian, Corrazziere and Trento. The Italian 3rd Division was blocked for a short period by the 12th Division. It was all that the Liverpool and Gloucester needed. Heavy fire came down on Corriziere and Lanciere . Leaving them burning and stationary – in torpedo water.
A few minutes later two torpedoes hit each destroyer – putting the fires out….. Nubian came under concentrated from the 11th Div and was left with overwhelming fires and flooding. The 3rd Divison cruisers landed effective fire on Gloucester.
At this point Jon decided discretion was the better part of valour and withdrew to the SW under smoke. Nubian was finished off by the cruisers and immediate contact was lost.
A winning draw for the RN, as the Italians lost one more destroyer. Both sides had a destroyer with light damage and a cruiser (Trento and Gloucester) with minor damage. The RN really needed to retire to the east to join the battlefleet by daylight as being close to Sicilian and North Africa airfield in daylight was likely to be trying.
The game was played using Command at Sea, Version 4. Which gave a good feel for a night action. The range was down to 5000 yards at one point and attacks were potentially devastating. In fact the bulk of the damage was inflicted in two, three minute bounds which correlates well with historical actions. The smaller RN force was really at less of a disadvantage as the very low visibility meant that the larger Italian force found it difficult to get to grip.
The RN force carried out a bombardment of Tobruk, later rejoining the battlefleet. Other units were engaged at Benghazi and units were detached on anti-shipping sweeps. Italian units sortied from Messina and Taranto, covering the Sicilian Channel and sweeping into the Aegean, but failed to make contact.