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Author Topic: Adventures in Napoleonic Naval Combat, where to begin?  (Read 340 times)

Offline N.C.S.E

  • Librarian
  • Posts: 186
Adventures in Napoleonic Naval Combat, where to begin?
« on: August 26, 2017, 11:12:43 AM »
I've become quite enamoured with the idea of Napoleonic Naval wargaming where the actions of the individual crewmembers are modelled as they interact with the ship and the enemy.

There are a few companies out there offering (very expensive) ships and figures and I'm wondering if anyone can offer any tips on whether the genre "works" as a game and what scales and rules offer the best experience.

Offline stew

  • Lurker
  • Posts: 4
Re: Adventures in Napoleonic Naval Combat, where to begin?
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2017, 06:54:52 PM »
I was waiting for more knowledgeable people to chime in before I did, but here goes: 

I also recently began AoS gaming.  I do think the genre works as a game.  So first, let's talk ships.  I recently did my first ship as seen here on the blog:
https://tllw.blogspot.com/2017/07/set-sails-for-adventure.html

The most popular scales are 1/2400 (small), 1/2000, 1/1200 (Langton and GHQ), and 1/1000 (sails of glory).  Your preference will depend on what you're trying to model as usual; want whole fleets then likely use smaller ships.  I really liked the 1/1200 as I'm going for about 12 ships max.  The models are pricey but not extremely so, and are honestly very good. 

You can see a size comparison on this post:  https://tllw.blogspot.com/2017/08/international-naval-wargame-day-kiss-me.html
along with my thoughts about Kiss Me Hardy.

Which brings me to rules.  You'll also have to decide if you want to use a hex sea mat or not. 
As you can see on the above post, I went a little overboard (get it?  Overboard, when talking about sailing..) on buying rules.  I've now read them all at least.  You will not find rules that go into great detail about ships / crew that also focus on large fleets.  They tend to go one way or the other.

No rule set I have found models the actions of individual crew members.  Most ignore crew except to track it's quality to use in maneuvers like tacking, and track it's losses to affect morale.

However, Post Captain (The rule set that I like the best so far and am eager to try out) also has a crew management feature.  How many crew factors assigned to sails, to work the guns, to do repairs, etc.. You only have so many men to go around.   

Hope that helps. 

-Stewart


Offline Furt

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 2368
  • Barbarous...
    • "Adventures in Lead"
Re: Adventures in Napoleonic Naval Combat, where to begin?
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2017, 09:15:06 PM »
I've become quite enamoured with the idea of Napoleonic Naval wargaming where the actions of the individual crewmembers are modelled as they interact with the ship and the enemy.

I think with this type of game you are talking the larger scales like 20mm and 28mm.

Blood & Plunder, although not Napoleonic at this stage, but likely to venture there one day, does this type of game well.

Also I've read someone Too Fat Lardies is producing some rules for this very thing.
“A prisoner of war is a man who tries to kill you and fails, and then asks you not to kill him.”

http://adventuresinlead.blogspot.com/


Offline Munindk

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 523
  • Denmark
Re: Adventures in Napoleonic Naval Combat, where to begin?
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2017, 06:59:43 AM »
I started on the Aubrey and Maturin series not too long ago and I've been wanting to game this period too.
I've settled on Blood and Plunder for the moment, and it sounds right for the amount of detail you want too.

There are a few issues though:
1. Its set prior to the Napoleonic age.
2. Its 28mm so it takes up a lot of boardspace.
3. There are usually only 1-2 ships per side, unless you play on a REALLY big board.
4. Currently there's no ships of the line. The biggest is a light frigate with a small Galleon comming out in the spring.
5. 28mm ships are expensive although B&P ships are some of the cheaper (but still good quality) 28mm ships on the market.

Issue 1 could probably be ignored, the naval tactics probably werent all that different for the smaller vessels and their engagements. Issue 2, 3 and 5 could be solved with either a huge board (10+ feet x 10+ feet) or by using 10 or 15mm models.
Issue 4 requires you to make up rules for larger ships, but that I dont think it would be too difficult once you have a grasp of how B&P handles naval combat.

There's some really nice and cheap 15mm pirates miniatures out there, that could easily work as sailors and there's lots of soldiers that would make fine marines.  For me it looks like finding 10 or 15mm ships at reasonable prices is the biggest issue.

If you want to stick to 28mm and small engagements, you could probably save a lot of money by only buying some sailor type models from B&P and making your marines from plastic kits. Ships can be scratchbuilt too. Gary Chalk made som wonderful Brigantine plans that can be found here: http://wargaming.info/2010/arrr-a-buxom-beauty-a-pirate-ship-in-28mm-part-2/#.Wae43shJY-U
Part 1 of the blog, which has a lot of details about construction is also worth a read: http://wargaming.info/2010/avast-ye-lubbers-a-pirate-ship-in-28mm-part-1/#.Wae438hJY-U

I havent had time yet, but I intend to build a couple of ships, probably by enlarging Gary's plans a bit to make frigates.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2017, 07:25:02 AM by Munindk »

Offline Vintage Wargaming

  • Librarian
  • Posts: 109
    • Vintage Wargaming
Re: Adventures in Napoleonic Naval Combat, where to begin?
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2017, 08:25:19 AM »
I have some ships which work for 20/25mm which come from the board game Broadsides and Boarding Parties. It's OOP and hard to find - easier in the US than here in the U.K. I would think - so not cheap but I am pleased with mine