Ancient Naval Rules

This is the scenario. I have a copy of Naumachia as well as Salamis ad Actium. I’m sure I could scratch up a copy of Diekplus next time I am at Mama’s. I also have a board-game or two which could be adapted to tabletop at a pinch. All of these sets are fine for 1/1200th and larger scales,

What I am looking for however is something to use with 1/2400th scale galleys, something that will work on a squadron basis (maybe several vessels to a sea base) and allow me to row around the briny deep sinking enemies by bursting their ships asunder – you know the sort of stuff.

The last issue (66 I think it was) of Wargames, Soldier and Strategy had an adaptation at the right sort of scale. The adaptation however was based upon Hail Caesar! which ranges in price from £20-£30 or US $42.75. This seemed a bit steep for a quick night’s naval gaming.

So, your task, dear readers is simple:

Can anyone recommend a good set to me that will work well with 1/2400th and allow a reasonable game (over in about 3 hours) with a reasonable number of model ships per side?

The Decision is In!

OK, after much deep consideration I have settled on the next wargaming project. It is:

All of this is in addition to finishing the American Civil War figures and pondering 20mm World War 2 ((I’m pretty sure that will be 20mm)).

The perfect wargamer’s solution.

Decisions Still Pending

Yep – wargamer’s paralysis!

With several kilograms of unpainted lead waiting in the man cave, I am still unable to decide what to do next. I looked further at the modern naval and even prepared an order for a Chinese and an Indian modern fleet along with the addition of a carrier or two for each and some aircraft models. I then duly faxed the order to Navwar only to have the fax machine fail to deliver (Navwar has the  most archaic ordering process and to be honest, the best way to order is to send them a letter ((actually, I am about to post that failed fax – I’ll report on the turnaround time in the future here in the Hole)).

Last night I received another batch of 2mm buildings from Brigade Models to use with the aeronefs and land ironclads. I am still trying to think about how to use them effectively. Mind you, I am fairly sure that I want to do something with them, so sure that I ordered some more 2mm terrain from Irregular Miniatures on Tuesday. Ian Kay of Irregular let me know that they were put in the post yesterday so I expect to see them here in Singapore by the middle of next week.

Whilst considering possible projects, I have been thinking about another 15mm DBMM army or two, especially as I really liked the look of the Khurasan Miniatures I have seen. I even considered some of the earlier American types from his ranges. It then occurred to me that as I was sitting in Asia, why not do an Asian army – say Cham; or Thai; or Vietnamese; or Indonesian; or Malay. Interestingly, I noted that Irregular Miniatures made Cham and as I had never tried painting any of his 15mm figures before, I thought I would give that a go. I therefore calculated a DBA Army for the Cham and ordered the figures off Irregular. They sell their figures individually which was nice – nothing left over from that for the spares box.

I even called up Paradigm Inifitum here the other day to see whether they had sold all the Plastic Soldier Company 15mm boxes that were not moving at the warehouse sale – let’s just say we are negotiating. Anthony has 20mm though so I am still really undecided about scale for World War 2.

Now, I reckon I have about a month or two of basing to finish the Union ACW army, so I guess the ideas are going to change about another dozen times before I finish the bases and can move on to the next project. Someone get me some sunglasses so I can no longer see the new bright shiny wargame figures

What’s Next 2?

Off the coast of Hawaii - the ABRAHAM LINCOLN Battle Group along with ships from Australia, Chile, Japan, Canada, and Korea steam alongside one another on 18 June 2000 for a Battle Group Photo during RIMPAC 2000. Official U.S. Navy photo by: PH2 Gabriel Wilson
Off the coast of Hawaii – the ABRAHAM LINCOLN Battle Group along with ships from Australia, Chile, Japan, Canada, and Korea steam alongside one another on 18 June 2000 for a Battle Group Photo during RIMPAC 2000.
Official U.S. Navy photo by: PH2 Gabriel Wilson

Thinking about What’s Next again today whilst nursing a hangover and it occurred to me that it has been a very long time since I have done anything Naval.

The naval thoughts were further developed when I ran across a blog entry, Chinese Navy Sails Forth, with a fleet built from a Navwar fleet pack for the PLAN and using the Shipwreck rules ((note that the publisher’s website does not seem to be loading at the moment)).

I have often looked at aerial photographs of a US  carrier battle groups (like the USS Abraham Lincoln battle group to the right) and thought, hmmm. Modern warships are kind of neat, especially in their uniformity within navies. In World War 2 and earlier there were big differences between vessels in the same navy. In modern times the colour if the vessels is consistent across a navy.

Apart from modern naval, which is something I have never played and is therefore interesting from that point of view alone, I also have the 1/1000th Battle of Lissa Italian and Austrian fleets here to paint as well.

So now the decision is between the Victorian Science Fiction (aeronefs) and modern naval. As I have a business trip coming up this week, I will have plenty of evening time to ponder the next period.

The Peruvian/Chilean Navy — The Models

DSC01478I started to put the models together, sort them by navy and prepare them for painting. It was a good opportunity to take care of some before photos. I was rushing to prepare for painting as well due in part to my wanting to undercoat some buildings I had just finished assembling. They were a test as one of them was my first experience with etched brass which now no longer holds the same degree of fear for me. Back to the ships.

The picture to the right is the Chilean fleet in 1/2400th scale from Tumbling Dice UK laid out in preparation for assembly. Most of the parts go together quiet well and only two or three episodes of finger sticking occurred, although with the residual super glue on my finger, the finger print lock is not going to recognise me in the morning Smile

I did make some simplifications when preparing the models, in particular to the Almirante Cochrane and Blanco Encalda, by dropping the sails altogether and having them steam up in battle trim. ((OK, so there were some issues adding the last batch of sails)) The two fleets are now outlined below.

The Peruvians

Type of Vessel

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Huascar
Monitor, capable under steam of achieving a speed of 10 to 11 knots. Weight was 1,130 long tons. Armour plating was 4.5 inches thick and armament was 2×300-pound guns. The ship was built in 1865.

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Independencia
Ironclad Frigate, capable under steam of achieving a speed of 12 to 13 knots. Weight was 2,004 long tons. Armour plating was 4.5 inches thick and armament was 2×150-pound guns. The ship was built in 1865.

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Manco Capac
Monitor – ex USS Oneota a coastal monitor built at Cincinnati, Ohio, by Alexander Swift & Co., and by the Niles Works, was launched 21 May 1864.Alexander Swift and Co., illegally resold the Oneta to Peru along with her sister-ship Catawba violated a treaty the United States had signed with Spain. Though the sale was allowed to proceed Swift and Co. had to pay fines that equalled nearly ⅓ of the total sale amount.She was capable of a speed of 6 knots. Weight was 1,034 long tons. Armour plating was 10 inches thick and armament was 2×500-pound guns. The ship was built in 1864.Because she was built as a coastal vessel she was not very sea-worthy so remained protecting ports etc.

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Atahulpa
Monitor – ex USS Catawba. She was capable of a speed of 6 knots. Weight was 1,034 long tons. Armour plating was 10 inches thick and armament was 2×500-pound guns. The ship was built in 1864.Because she was built as a coastal vessel she was not very sea-worthy so remained protecting ports etc.

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Union
Screw corvette of 1,150 long tons capable of 13 knots and armed with 12×68-pound guns and 1×9-pound gun.

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Pilcomayo
Screw gunboat of 600 long tons and capable of 10.5 knots. Armed with 2×70-pound guns and 4×40-pound guns.

At the moment, I am in Singapore and my Conway’s is in Australia so I am separated from my normal reference material. I shall look up more details of the vessels when I get back to Australia.

The Chileans

Details

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Almirante Cochrane
Ironclad Frigate of 3,500 long tons capable of 9 t0 12.8 knots under steam. Armour was up to 9-inch and armament was 6×9-inch guns.

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Blanco Encalda
Ironclad Frigate of 3,500 long tons capable of 9 t0 12.8 knots under steam. Armour was up to 9-inch and armament was 6×9-inch guns.

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O’Higgins
Screw Corvette of 1,101 long tons capable of 12 knots. Armed with 3×115-pound guns, 2×70-pound guns and 2×12-pound guns.

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Chacabuco
Screw Corvette of 1,101 long tons capable of 11 knots. Armed with 1×115-pound guns, 2×70-pound guns and 2×12-pound guns.

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Abtao
Screw Corvette of 1,051 long tons capable of 8 knots. Armed with 3×115-pound guns, and 3×30-pound guns.

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Esmerelda
Screw Corvette of 854 long tons capable of 8 knots. Armed with 16×32-pound guns and 2×12-pound guns.

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Magallanes
Gunboat of 772 long tons capable of 11.5 knots. Armed with 1×115-pound gun, 1×64-pound gun and 2×20-pound guns.

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Cavadonga
Schooner of 412 long tons capable of 7 knots. Armed with 2×70-pound guns and 2×40-pound guns.

I have had to cheat with some of the vessels as there are no specific models but at 1/2400th scale, this is not so noticeable. For example, for the Peruvian Manco Capac and Atahulpa I have had to use the USS monitor as that was the only single turret ACW monitor made by Tumbling Dice. The other monitor made was a twin turreted vessel. Similarly with the Chilean fleet, in particular Cavadonga which is a shade large and not with a brigantine sail set.

Undercoating of these will occur later this week (waiting for the glue to dry at the moment). More details about these vessels to follow too.

A Matter of Scale

DSC01470I recently received my Tumbling Dice UK 1.2400th ships for the Pacific War between Chile and Peru/Bolivia. It was only a couple of months ago that I received the Battle of Lissa fleets in 1/1000th (approximately) from Great Endeavours.

I decided a quick photo comparison. A screw corvette seemed about the only thing I had consistent between the Austrian fleet from Lisa and the Peruvian/Chilean vessels. A screw corvette it was.

The difference in size because of scale is seen quite clearly here in this photo. More from when I get some paint on these.

The Peruvian/Chilean Navy

DSC01469So, as I mentioned, the postman called today at the office ((actually, he called today at the condo as well – more steel paper from Magnetic Displays for my storage boxes)). I mentioned on July 23rd in the post the War of the Pacific 1879 to 1883 Naval Matters that I was ordering some 1/2400th scale vessels from Tumbling Dice UK. That was 10 days ago from London to Singapore. Damned good service from them.

I ordered the following vessels:

Code Description
ASV61 Hauscar & Independencia
ASV62 Aimirante Cochrane
ASV15 Corvette Screw
ASV11 Sloop Screw
ASV13 Gun Boat Screw
ASV51 USS Monitor
  Los Andes
  Javery

The USS Monitor is to provide a couple of single turret monitors for the Peruvians and the Los Andes and Javery were just to see what’s in them.

I like the way these guys look. Even included on some of the models are ratlines. I am so looking forward to assembling and painting these little guys. My big worry is that I may end up shelving my 1/1000th (ish) scale vessels and replacing them with 1/2400th as well.

More on scale in the next post.

The War of the Pacific – 1879 to 1883 – Naval Matters

So I was researching some ships last night to make up the fleets of what now is becoming my South American Project. I looked at some of the 1/1200th and 1/1000th available, Houston’s Ships again amongst others. However, I thought I’d go small as there is not so much space available here. I settled on getting some 1/2400th scale ships off Tumbling Dice UK. Twenty minutes on-line research at that wonderful mine of misinformation, Wikipedia, and I had enough information on the two fleets to spend another 20 minutes at the Tumbling Dice website. An order for the following has gone off:

Quantity Code Description No of Vessels Price
1 ASV61 Hauscar & Independencia 2 £2.00
1 ASV62 Aimirante Cochrane 2 £2.00
3 ASV15 Corvette Screw 6 £6.00
1 ASV11 Sloop Screw 2 £2.00
1 ASV13 Gun Boat Screw 3 £2.00
1 ASV51 USS Monitor 3 £2.00

The USS Monitor is to provide a couple of single turret monitors for the Peruvians. In fact, Peru had purchased two Canonicus-class monitors from the United States just after the American Civil War and these were used as coastal monitors. The Monitor is just going to have to serve the role as it was the only single turret monitor in the range.

Mind you, whilst I was in an ordering mood, I also ordered a pack of the Los Andes and a pack of the Javery, just to see what’s in them.

Too Many Figures

If it was September I’d put it down to Spring cleaning. However, it’s January. I’m madly rebasing figures to get ready for Cancon 2011 so I guess what just happened here is a product of a cup of coffee along with my desire to procrastinate on the rebasing.

I thought, “I must have a look and decide whether I will try and paint a new DBA army for Cancon 2011 or shall I just make one from my existing painted figures”.

I remembered that I had some figures in the other room but could not remember exactly which DBA armies they were. I recall writing something up in my blog several years about the armies that I had but I also knew that I had purchased the odd figure or two since then. I decided to have a quick look.

I started looking in the stock figures box where I have unpainted armies neatly stored in plastic, Tupperware like containers. I grabbed one box of DBA figures then opened a second box to see if there was any DBA figures in there. The figures there were for the Hittite Empire and were a DBM army I had forgotten I had to paint. I decided then that I needed a survey of my painting queue.

My goodness, this is what I found (and remember, this is just what I have here, it doesn’t count the figures I have at my Mum’s still to paint as well – those are mostly fantasy and American Civil War).

DBMM Armies (were for DBM originally)

I had collected many DBM armies when I was living in the UK – being paid in pounds made the purchases relatively inexpensive compared to buying them from Oz. Of course, the plan was to settle in to painting them all but so far I’ve not managed it yet. The figures are from Museum Miniatures, Chariot (now Magister Militum) and Essex Miniatures.

  • I/18 Minoan and Early Mycenaean 1600-1250 BCE
  • I/24 Hittite Empire 1380-1180 BCE
  • I/29 Philistine 1166-600 BCE
  • II/19 Seleucid 320-69 BCE
  • II/20 Ptolemaic 320-30 BCE
  • II/32 Later Carthaginian 275-146 BCE
  • II/33 Polybian Roman 275-105 BCE
  • II/36 Graeco-Bactrian 250-130 BCE

Now, all this may appear a little Book 1 and Book 2 heavy, however, painted I do have a few armies from other DBMM Army List books:

  • I/1 Early Sumerian 3000-2334 BCE and circa 2250 BCE
  • II/67 Greuthingi or Early Ostrogothic, Herul, Sciri or Taifali 200-493 CE
  • II/78 Late Imperial Roman 307-425 CE
  • II/83 Later Visigothic 419-720 CE
  • III/4 Early Byzantine 493-578 CE
  • III/28 Carolingian Frankish 639-888 CE

So far I have avoided book IV armies in DBMM.

DBA Armies

Of course, I can make DBA armies from the all of the above as well. I addition, I have the following armies. These are made up of a mixture of figures, from Xyston Miniatures, Essex Miniatures, Donnington Miniatures, Gladiator Miniatures, Falcon Figures and Alain Touiller Figurines. I think that is all the suppliers I am using. All of these are currently unpainted and therefore on the painting queue. The list numbers in brackets refer to the :

  • I/2b Early Egyptian 1639-1543 BCE
  • I/3 Nubian 3000-1480 BCE
  • I/6 Early Bedouin 1499-1000 BCE
  • I/17b Hyksos 1590-1537 BCE
  • I/59 Tullian Roman 578-400 BCE
  • II/5e Aitolian or Akarnanian (from the Later Hoplite Greek 450-275 BCE list)
  • II/45c Spartacus 74-71 BCE
  • II/76 Koguryo Korean 300-668 CE
  • III/10c Rajputs 747-1300 CE
  • III/20a Sui 581-623 CE
  • III/20b T’ang 618-755 CE
  • III/44 Tribal Mongol 840-1218 CE
  • III/62 (III/63) Early Polish
  • IV/01a Komnenan Byzantine 1071-1149 CE
  • IV/15 Qura-Khitan 1124-1211 CE
  • IV/17 Later Crusader 1128-1303 CE
  • IV/18 Lithuanian or Samogitian 1132-1435 CE
  • IV/22 Serbian Empire 1180-1459 CE
  • IV/28 Prussian 1200-1283 CE
  • IV/30 Teutonic Orders 1201-1522 CE (was list 151 in version 1)
  • IV/35 Mongol Conquest 1206-1266 CE
  • IV/43c Later Hungarian 1397-1526 CE
  • IV/56a Order of St John 1291-1522 CE (Cyprus)
  • IV/66 Later Polish 1335-1510 CE
  • IV/75 Timurid 1360-1506 CE
  • One other collection of figures I can’t identify

Other Items on the Queue

Of course, apart from all the stuff mentioned above, there are also many other items left to paint here including:

  • a number of 1/2400th sailing vessels for the Great Lakes war in 1812
  • a German Aeronef fleet in 1/1200th
  • British and German Land Ironclads and infantry in 2mm scale
  • 6mm Cold War Commander SciFi army (ONESS – from Brigade Models)
  • two 1/3000 space fleets for Full Thrust, also from Brigade Models
  • two 6mm Warmaster Ancients armies (Sassanian and Parthian)
  • three 6mm Napoleonic Armies for Polemos Rules (Late Prussian, Confederation of the Rhine and Polish – figures from Heroics and Ros, Adler Miniatures and Baccus)
  • 1/300th WWII Italians (North Africa) again, Heroics and Ros
  • 1/285th WWII Russians (I also need to get more vehicles for this). These are a mix of GHQ, CinC and Adler Miniatures
  • Bucket loads of 1/3000 ships including those needed for the Battle of Matapan and the Philippine Seas (WWII) and Jutland (WWI) along with then Austrian WWI fleet and some miscellaneous WWII British and German vessels
  • and the French WWI Navy in 1/6000th scale for John in the US.

With the exception of the WWII Russians and the 15mm Campaign DBA sets I’ve started building, I think I will call a hiatus on figure purchases this year, at least until I get to reduce the painting queue a little.

So, too many figures to paint? Nah, you can never have enough.