I think that 2020 may be the year if the ship! My attention has recently been grabbed by Ironclad naval warfare in the 1860s.
I have bought David Manley’s ruleset for the various naval conflicts around that time in Europe, principlally the Italian/Prussian War (Battle of Lissa 1866) and the Prussian/Austrian war with Denmark over Schleswig Holstein (1864). There is the core rule book Broadside and Ram that also has a campaign leading up to Lissa lots of ship stats and a supplement for the Danish War called The Schleswig Holstein Question, which has info about the warsand more ships stats, including for a hypothetical Franco Prussian naval conflict.
We played a four player game of a sort of Battle of Lissa the other night with each player commanding one of the Prussian or italian Armoured or Wooden ship divisions.
On the left the players are deloying with the Prussians to the left and the photo on the right shows Nick (Commander of the Italian Wooden ship division) wondering whether he will ever get into the game with his -2 AP modifier! The game is a bit like DBA and you through a D6 to get action points to manoeuvre your ships. If a ship or formation doesn’t get an AP it just continues on the same course at cruising speed. It costs APs to repair ships, change formations or change course or speed. Ships have a shooting factor and a defence factor and is resolved by opposing rolls as in DBA. The critical hit table, used when a shooter rolls a D6 and the target rolls a 1, adds extra excitement and fun to the game. Overall, we thought that the rules worked very smoothly and intuitively and were good for larger fleet actions. On re-reading the rules we got a couple of things wrong, but nothing to spoil the fun.
I probably started the fleets a bit too far apart so it took some time to get into action but it then soon turned into a furious melee in the centre between the ironclad armoured ships of both sides. We modified the ramming rules a bit so that a ram was only counted as such if it was with 45 degrees of the beam and we gave a +2 modifier if the ramming ship had a ram (as most of the ironclads did). We also used the critical hit table from the amendments siuggested at this site to up the destruction level!
The ships were paper downloads from the JuniorGeneral site:
https://juniorgeneral.org/naval/lissa/lissa.html – (excellent source for scenarios and paper soldiers, ships etc) and the cloth is a paper tablecloth from Asda for £2.00. I think I will be getting some NavWar 1/3000 ships for this period as they are good value and cover most of the ships needed.
I have also bought David’s rules for smaller naval actions in the American Civil War – but more of that next time as I am just waiting for the toys to arrive to play them with!