Scenarios


Terrain and something out of nothing

A rough mock up of a North African harbour. Stuff just placed on for effect nuthin' fancy.There is nothing more boring than a plain blue cloth for naval gaming. As many Age of Sail fights took place very close to shore, I wanted to model terrain for coasts from Ireland to the Tropics.I have made a fair old stab at it over the last week and by accident discovered a very useful purpose for what would otherwise have gone straight in the bin as useless off cuts from Amera products.I was very happy with the Amera stuff so much so that I ordered a shed load more after completing the items featured in this post. It is vacu-formed plastic, not particularly pleasant to paint but if surface treated with various materials, it produces very attractive results.The buildings and harbour pieces are metal and resin from the wonderful Brigade Models 2mm range. Obviously a sun bleached paint job helps convey the desiccated environment!So far I have started to build terrain for actions in these theatres:A Dutch VOC ship sales a

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Naval campaign game 5: All hands to the oars!

Darkness and fog - ideal for an escape bid from a potentially hostile harbourNovember 23rd, 1688: CopenhagenChaos reigns supreme in England. The invasion by Willem of Orange less than three weeks previously has caused the army to disintegrate. The naval service is in turmoil, torn between loyalty to its old commander in chief and King, the officers and men weigh the options for their individual and collective futures.Amidst the warmth of a harbourside tavern in freezing Copenhagen, a conclave of naval officers and merchant captains loyal to King James secretly discuss removing their vessels from port and sailing for Scotland or even Ireland. The Danes already hire thousands of troops to the Dutch and their Imperialist allies. An aggressive move may prompt King Christian’s soldiers to arrest the foreign sailors and impound their ships. To further complicate matters, the English 2nd rate Neptune is at anchor near the Danish naval yards and her captain is a notorious anti-papist and agitator against the King.Tur

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Naval campaign game 4: Tocht's raid April 1664

Set upTocht's squadron has sailed down the Channel and is approaching Plymouth. Several English warships are at anchor in the open waters south of the Hoe. Tocht has a mind to destroy as many vessels as possible. He has not spotted any sail in the Channel thus far and nothing significant is moving around the squadron at anchor. It is difficult to tell what size and state of readiness the enemy vessels are but clearly, they are 5th rate or larger, he suspects 3rds.Time to sail into the jaws of the English haven!T2 attack runTurns 1 to 3With a light southerly at their backs Tocht ordered the 2nd rate Delft and fireship Oranje into the anchorage to wreak as much havoc as possible. He chose to keep his powerful flagship De Zeven Provincien and the 3rd rate Eendracht patrolling the approaches so as to interdict any English manoeuvres to windward and prevent his squadron being bottled into the bay and destroyed. End of T3On Delft’s approach the English offered only ineffectual long-range cannon fire from a small fo

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Whiskey in the Jar-oh! Part 6: Characters and stuff

Hogan?Galloping HoganHogan’s role in this scenario is as a scout and not a fighter. He provides the Jacobite player with some extra options which emphasize his local knowledge and cunning.                                                                ·       Hogan and the Shannon: Hogan can change the position of the ford! When he writes down the designated crossing point at the start of the game he also chooses a second option. If at any time during the game his first option looks too risky he throws a D6 and on any score except 1 or 2 his second option becomes the ford unless the first option has already been used. If so, it must stand as the crossing point. He need n

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Naval campaign game 2: Free trade? De Ruyter's first scenario

Set upPeter's Dutch squadron under legendary commander Michiel de Ruyter has its first outing.De Ruyter - September 1664 off the Gold Coast/GhanaScenario name: Free trade?The Dutch East India Company (VOC) has been building trade via Gold Coast ports for several years. The English have become increasingly interested in bolstering their cash strapped economy and its own Royal Africa Company has enlisted the support of warships to restrict Dutch trade and enhance English commercial reach. Two large merchantmen are three months overdue in Amsterdam. De Ruyter's squadron was ordered to sea to find them. He has tracked the VOC merchantmen to a bay controlled by the RAC where they are being 'detained' for unpaid duty on goods to be shipped to Europe via English waters. The vessels are being protected by an English warship and lie at anchor under the guns of a large fort. The wind is blowing offshore making an approach to the coast difficult. My interpretation of Peter's plan - he sent it, I took notes and work

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Whiskey in the Jar-oh! Part 5: The game

The river Shannon at Portumna - near where Sarsfield's cavalry are thought to have forded.What happened? I had originally started posting this seven parter back in 2016 but for some reason never posted the final three parts which I have just come across and realized they were finished!So, picking up from Part 4 which you can link back to here:Whiskey in the Jar-o Part 4Here is Part 5 to be followed closely by Parts 6 and 7.Jacobite raiders - Erin go bragh!Game size & rulesThe game is a large scale skirmish and so I have assumed that the ratio of men to models is about 10:1. This makes the bodies of Horse about 60 men apiece around the size of 2 troops or a small squadron. Any rules could be used and logically I used the company level version of Beneath the Lily Banners.Game lengthThe game has 14 turns.DeploymentAll troops begin the game mounted and in column of march. The start positions are marked on the map. The Williamite Dragoons are in 3 groups of 2 squadrons and can be from different regiments

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Naval Campaign game 1: Sovereign of the Seas?

14th February 1665: Off the Isle of WightScenario name: Sovereign of the SeasHis Majesty King Charles II demands that every foreign vessel passing through English waters acknowledges his position as Sovereign of the Seas. In so doing each ship must lower its colours when an English warship is within sight. Although not at war, tension with France is mounting due to its support for the Dutch Republic which may soon fight England. A French squadron sailing from Brest to Boulogne appears to be ignoring the convention and has thus attracted the attention of an English patrol leaving the Solent.The table set up His Majesty King Charles II demands that every foreign vessel passing through English waters acknowledges his position as Sovereign of the Seas. In so doing each ship must lower its colours when an English warship is within sight. Although not at war, tension with France is mounting due to its support for the Dutch Republic which may soon fight England.End Turn 1Ship movements in the English Channel ar

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Naval campaign missions - the first five

Here are the first five missions for the chosen fleets in overview. One has already been fought, I have written orders from another and await the instructions of the remaiing Generals at Sea.In no particular order:De Ruyter - September 1664 off the Gold Coast/GhanaScenario name: Free trade?The Dutch East India Company (VOC) has been building trade via Gold Coast ports for several years. The English have become increasingly interested in bolstering their cash strapped economy and its own Royal Africa Company has enlisted the support of warships to restrict Dutch trade at the expense of English prosperity. Two large merchantmen are three months overdue in Amsterdam. De Ruyter's squadron was ordered to sea to find them. He has tracked the VOC merchantmen to a bay controlled by the RAC where they are being 'detained' for unpaid duty on goods to be shipped to Europe. The vessels are being protected by an English warship and are under the guns of a large fort. The wind is blowing offshore making an approach to the

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Your participation if you wish it....

English: From left: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 5th galley-frigateI mentioned previously that it would be fun to get some small fleets together chosen/owned by blog visitors and that I would where possible, fight out randomly generated actions and feed back the results. If lots of people participate then the game load may get onerous and your fleet may not see action too often but, we can only suck it and see.Size comparison  Dutch 2nd, English 1st, French 1st Having now used a very rudimentary points system for several games I am happy to share it  and encourage visitors including the many who don't actively post comments to send me their fleet choice which I will record and send back or publish under real name or nom de guerre on the blog. Each player could be a General at Sea or Admiral and think up their own suitably comic or heroic name.Berber Pirate squadron - six Xebecs and Xebec GalleysIf we get too many games I could potentially sub the scenario out to a blogger member to fight by prox

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Weather beaten? Part 1 intro : Tangier... but not as we know it Jim!

A representation of Tangier harbour in 1666. The shape is roughly that of the modern port as seen on various picturesThe English colony in Tangier has always fascinated me. I have gamed it on land and am currently in the process of assembling forces for it again in 28mm.I have gazumped that project with an extension of my Dutch Wars naval adventure. As  I always do, I try and stretch any project every which way to squeeze the maximum juice out. It was an obvious activity to check out Tumbling Dice's other ranges to find out where I could leverage them. The Napoleonic range has xebecs, xebec galleys and dhows.The Tangier Regiment (Kirke's) stand firm in the face of Berber cavalry (Dave O'Brien's collection)Some consultation with various sources informs that the Berber or Barbary Corsairs were a broad and loose amalgam of North African Arabs, privateers and renegade Europeans. Their ships were thus a mixture of Arabic and European types - A pirate fleet with a little difference was clearly on the cards.I h

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Foulness - what did I learn?

The blue markers indicate ships which have fired and which will need to pass a reload check before firing again.Firstly I learned that I enjoy naval wargaming as much as I did when aged nine. Then gaming involved hand-drawn and coloured plan views of Napoleonic men o'war  which sailed round my blue bedroom carpet using a rule set borrowed from the public library. I have such fond memories of those games which I think involved estimating the distance to target in inches and then writing your shots down on a sheet of paper. Does anyone remember those rules? I am talking around 1969-1972.The Foulness game was a blast. It ran eight turns and as a solo experience was remarkably pleasant. I am continually tweaking the Neil Fox two pager for the Dutch Wars and it is now up to about 10 pages but this is mostly explanations, expansion and notation for my own amusement.The biggest addition this time around was the inclusion of a 'reload' check after ships have fired. I wasn't sure about this at first but it worked

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The Battle of Foulness, 1st May 1672, Part 2 - Battle report.

Returning to the Essex coastline to bring you the news from the fleets... whether you align with the Dutch, English or French... here it comes.The most dramatic moment of the battle seen from the north.Turn 5 Many vessels, feeling they had the advantage of opponents in gunnery duels, attempted to back sail and hold  position to secure victory. The Ruby, surrounded and taking heavy fire, was shot to pieces and the smouldering hulk was abandoned. Baillie was never found. Vrede claimed the victory.The first English ship to be lost - Ruby was shot to pieces at close range and quickly sunk.De Ruyter and Philips were locked in mortal combat which caused the rearmost Dutch ships - Edam and Haas to collide as the head of their squadron held battle position. In her moment of victory, Vrede fell under the guns of the powerful Royal Katherine the broadside of which ripped along the Dutchman's waterline tearing a large hole and causing her to list heavily to starboard. Gouden Appel bumped the small English fire

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The Battle of Foulness, May 1st 1672 Part 1 Battle report

The war between the English and Dutch intensifies with King Charles' fleet desperate to expunge the shame of 1667 which haunts the navy, torments national pride and the authority of the Crown.Dutch admirals are brazen and bold and have little fear of probes and forays into the very heart of home waters. One such 'cruise' is moving down the English coast off Essex and appears to be heading into the mouth of the Thames Estuary. God forbid that the republican Dutch could repeat their triumph on the Medway although the fleet is now in a much healthier condition and itself spoiling for a fight.Admiral Spragge has been sent from the Medway anchorages to rendezvous with French men o'war allied to England. The hope is of repulsing this latest Dutch piracy. Will the French fight or, is it all for political show? With the Dutch under the legendary Admiral De Ruyter to windward and sailing south east, the squadrons converge off Foulness Island.Note: De Ruyter has a +1 initiative advantage over Spragge. I introduced a re

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Spoiling myself

Thick of the action at Foulness.Work has been pretty all consuming of late and I have been promising myself a gaming treat for a while merely as a little carrot to keeping me wading through the grind. The naval rules have been growing in detail and feel and during my travels. A point system and some of the random elements which I like to incorporate in rule mechanics to remove player control have been added and I wanted to road test both. The collection of ships is now over sixty of all sizes and nationalities so, on Friday night I planned the battle that I wanted to fight on the following day when everyone was out and I could throw dice, take pictures and notes to my heart's content.Having completed a couple of French ships I decided on 1672 as the year of the imaginary battle and this allowed me to ally the English and French against the Dutch. I chose one of the familiar stamping grounds - the Lower Thames Estuary as the location and set about drawing up the forces.PointsBy creating a base level points val

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Media work

Been busy talking to some media moguls in the hobby over the last couple of weeks. I did a podcast interview for Henry Hyde's Battlechat Live 32 which seemed to fly by but actually lasted two hours. Well, Henry and I are never short of a word or dozen and the experience was candid and interesting. He has a nice interviewing style which opens the interviewee up before they know it. Henry is a stalwart of the hobby and always innovating.Battlechat 32 Interview with BarryMr Hyde - Battle Chatter supremeThe podcast format is very nice to participate in and I was pleasantly surprised to actually get some emails to say that listeners had found it a good investment of time. I thought I was just rambling on actually!We discussed doing it again and next time focusing on a shorter more subject specific topic. Let's see if that transpires. I think the broadcast goes out to subscribers first and then on general release this week or perhaps next.  Thanks Henry for the opportunity to witter on and for allowing the kin

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