Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Naval Projects...

In the wake of recent postings of simple naval wargames for battleships, I have been reviewing my 20th Century warships, and was reminded that I had some years ago begun laying down some destroyers, more or less, roughly and around about to scale.  Approximately.  I hadn't progressed very far: only one haing anything more than the hulls done.

Over the last couple of evenings I made further progress on them.  They're pretty crude, as the pictures will reveal...
There you go.  Four destroyers of the WW2 German Richard Beitzen type, made from cardboard, balsa, plastic tube, pins and assorted junk.  The hulls were made from thick cardboard, not the best material to use for that purpose.  They have my own numbering: Z91, Z94, Z97 and Z99.  Just because.

The little chappy alongside the four is from an actual kit (Tamiya, or Hasegawa, possibly). It came with a submarine and a four-engined US bomber. It's a Japanese submarine chaser of WW2.  Compared with the destroyers, it is way over-scale, so will probably count in my navies as a very small, lightly armed destroyer.

In the distance is a Matchbox kitset destroyer from which I modelled the smaller versions.  Alongside it is the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen (Airfix, I think), a fine looking vessel, but hard to figure out a use for at the moment...

The question now is, whether the destroyers can be slotted in to the simple naval rules already laid down, or perhaps a new set needs be created.  At that I still need to put together a destroyer or two to go with the Yamato battleships and the Iowa.  The odd cruiser wouldn't go amiss, neither...

One rules idea that has crossed my mind is to play the wargames on the points (corners) of the hexes, rather than the areas, but adding the centre points of the grid areas so as to form a kind of smaller grained grid area.  It will require modifying my board to include the centre points of each hex.  Might have to play test this idea.


  1. For lighter ships in simple naval rules I usually treat them as flotillas (for destroyers and light cruiser). A flotilla of light ships behaves more like light cavalry than an easy to sink target..

    One Hour Wargames form a surprisingly good basis for naval rules. John and I wrote both Dreadnought and pre Dreadnought rules based on OHW.

    1. Never thought of the flotilla idea. Did one vessel represent the flotilla, or was it still 1 model:1 ship, but all in the same grid area? My 4 destroyers combined in a flotilla would have, under 'my' present system a fire-power of 2 (guns), and 'protection' of 3 - a reasonable survivability to get to within torpedo range. I think the standard torpedo range should be 2 hexes (the Japanese 'long lance', 4).

      If I were to add, say, a 'Leipzig' light cruiser to the flotilla, it would have fire-power of 3 and 'protection' 5. Definitely worth thinking about!

      Thanks for your thought, Martin!

  2. Being a cheapskate, I usually designated one model destroyer as representing a few. Even two together would look like "some ships" though.

    I borrowed heavily from De Bellis Navalis by Colin Standish (DBA fir battleships). Destroyers can only be engaged by secondary guns, if hit they generally flee, but they can do neat things like lay smoke or fire torpedoes and bigger ships can shoot over them. So the battleships end up with destroyer screens.

    1. I agree that even 2 model destroyers together looks like a flotilla (I've had a look). I might just go with that. I think I will give them a nominal gunnery strike power and protection, probably slightly generous, as far as my present system goes. If I add cruisers, I'll probably have to fudge them as well.
      That will probably imply that I'll be adding maximum belt armour (in 4-inch increments) to 'protection'.

      I have in mind, very vaguely, a 3-tier ship-ship firing system with destroyers and small craft stats being different from that of cruisers and commerce raiders, in turn different from line of battle ships. Aircraft carriers will probably use battleship stats.

      I have an idea how I might handle torpedoes, as well. But these ideas will have to be play tested. Some when.