Friday, August 10, 2018

Welcome diversion

Action on the Mahogany River
A week or so ago my copy of Bob Cordery's latest, Gridded Naval Wargames: Naval Wargaming in the Age of Steam, Iron, and Steel, arrived by courier, just as I was sitting on a mild winter's day (Antipodean late July) at my garden table attempting to put together some metal German WW2 15cm howitzers I recently discovered in my inventory.  The glue wasn't 'taking' for some reason, so the long awaited volume was a welcome break from frustration.
Confederate Shore guns getting ready to repel an attack by
Union Gunboat USS Lafayette.
I don't know how Bob shoehorns so much in so few pages - just 122, and yet there are ideas for six different war games - blockade running, battles between wood and iron, fleet actions and single ship duels, combined operations..  I makes for a great read, a fine source of ideas. plenty of meat and potatoes to chew on.  These little books make great bedside companions.  
The gun mountings are not glued to the turntables, so are free
 to swivel behind their barbette fortifications
The final chapter, "Coastal Operations", proved the inspiration for knocking together a couple of shore guns, possibly a touch anachronistic for the American Civil War riverine setting of the pictures accompanying this article.  This pair have been made from plastic tube, buts of felt colouring pen, balsa wood and the plastic top of a herb or spice jar (pieces I collect for their myriad 'recycling' uses).  
Having developed the strength of Island Number Nine,
The Union gunboat draws off.  Perhaps a landing will be required?
They are not perfect, by any stretch - pretty rough, withal - but they will do for my purposes.  Now, all that remains is to set up, carry out and report upon the Union attempt to capture or destroy the Confederate batteries of Island Number Nine.

17 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Cheers, Ross. This may be the impetus needed to look once more to my ACW riverine fleets.

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  2. I can see my weekend projects are: buy gridded naval games and make some shore guns.

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  3. Archduke Piccolo,

    I am very pleased that you've been inspired by my book ... and I love your model coastal defence guns. They look very impressive, and will be useable in battles set in the period from 1860 up to the end of the First World War, They may even past muster for guns used by the Norwegians against the Germans in 1940.

    All the best,

    Bob

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    1. Tanks Bob. Those guns would never have been built but for the pics in your book. The design was based on what I could make out in the pictures, and some internet pics or coastal ordnance. They will of course have to see real action some time...

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  4. Hi Ion,
    Great looking guns - plus it's always good to see your ACW stuff in action!

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    1. Gidday Brian! I'm moderately pleased with the guns. Of course, I've got to do a combined ops game some time. Might be forced to hoik out my 'One Brain Cell' riverine rule set... That will be another article (or two...).

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  5. Replies
    1. Cheers, Mark. I can see that the US Navy will be forced to do something about that...

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  6. I love your scratch built guns, boats etc.

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    1. The boats i made well over 20 years ago. They have been sitting in a drawer doing nothing for the last fifteen at least... Looking at them now will require a bit of repair work.

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  7. I recently got this book, and really enjoyed reading through it. I have all of his rule books and so far, this is my favorite. One of the neat things about his rules and these naval ones in particular is that they pretty straight forward and not particularly complicated (I want to avoid using "simple" to describe them). 90%, ok 100% of the folks I game with, are either Games Workshop/over-priced-game-of-the-day-with-nice-minis-that-you-must-use fanboys, or don't play anything at all, other than digital stuff. These rules are perfect to have a reasonably short, fun game that won't over tax them.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for you comments, Chris. I recall someone several years ago writing about 'breadth' and 'depth' in games. Any games. 'Breadth' had to do with the extent and complication in the rule sets and what they covered. 'Depth' had to do with the subtleties and nuances that emerged in play. Chess is a fairly 'narrow' game that has a great deal of depth. Go is probably a 'narrower' and possibly 'deeper' game.

      The Cordery rule sets dispense with unnecessary breadth, whilst retaining a challenging and satisfying depth. The only reason why I tend to make small changes is to adapt them to my armies and navies, rather than adapt them to the rule sets (a much harder task).

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    2. Chris,

      I have a favour to ask. Please could you submit an online review to whoever you bought your copy from. It would be much appreciated.

      All the best,

      Bob Cordery

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  8. The Mahogany River... Is that a tributary of the Monongahela?

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    Replies
    1. Well, it is true the source of the Mahogany was table land...

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