Monday, September 13, 2021

Torpedo Boats ... again

 Here are my torpedo boats, finished apart from some tidying up to do.

This is the whole Navy of Chervenia (Bulgaria) for the coming Second Blacklands War: six torpedo boats.  Since the originals were all named, I guess I'll have to name these.  Since taking these pics 10 minutes ago, I've added discreet single or double letter labels on the rear starboard corner of the base:

D = Drazki - Intrepid
Sm = Smeli - Brave/ Courageous
H = Hrabri - Valiant
Sh = Shumni - Noisy (If I were giving it a name in 'English' I'd call this one Calliope or Stentor)
L = Letyashti - Flying
St = Strogi - Stern/ Forbidding

Some of the tidying up will involve adding more white to the wakes, especially where the red of what I used to do the waterline has run (Damn).  

Lately I have found out more about torpedo boats and destroyers.  One surprising discovery was that until World War 2, neither class of vessel could reload their tubes.  Even in that war, only the Japanese had reloadable torpedo launchers.  With their 24-inch 'Long Lance' torpedoes, that must have given them an enormous advantage in certain types of naval combat. 

So torpedo boats' and destroyers' torpedoes are pretty much one-shot deals, the number of tubes they have equals the number of torpedoes they get.  I probably ought to redesign my Hellenican (Greek) and Turcowaz (Turkish) destroyers... but I won't.  Probably.

In the First Blacklands War, I was playing the destroyer's torpedo attacks more or less correctly (3 attacks only), but was way off in my understanding what was going on.


  1. Nice looking models. I guess you know that destroyers were created specifically to "destroy" torpedo boats hence the name. That said I did not know they had only one shot launchers, every day brings more knowledge. Regards.

    1. Yep: one learns something new every day. Oddly enough, the book I found that info in I've had for well over 30 years - and read it too. The memory didn't 'take' until now simply because I had no particular use at the time for that information.

  2. I'm not sure about a ship named "Smeli"; I can't help thinking the others should be "Stinki", "Wiffi", "Pongi" and "Maloderous"! ;-)

    1. It is Bulgarian after all. I did toy with setting down the names in Cyrillic lettering ... maybe I ought to have done. You missed 'Rancid' by the way.

      Mind you, you have given me an idea for a play-test 'incident' on the high seas, if the Sea of Hospitality (The Black Sea) can be so described. If, say, a flotilla of half a dozen TBs, 'Stinki', 'Pungent', 'Putrid', 'Noxious', 'Foetid' and 'Me Snoot Has Shut Down', whilst attacking a small convoy of MS and a Coastal Battleship, should find themselves hurtling at high speed for Davy Jones's locker, I'll still have the historical names in hand...

      A thought, anyhow!

  3. Your scratch built ships are looking splendid, the painting has bought them to life.

    1. Thanks, Peter -
      Having got these done, I've finally built up the momentum to finish of a sister vessel for the 'HNS Hydra' that has lain half-done for most of this year. Methinks in a 'future' war, the Turcowaz Navy won't be finding their task so easy...

  4. Archduke Piccolo,

    These are some excellent torpedo boats! I’ll have to include them in my forthcoming book.

    All the best,


    1. Bob -
      I don't think there is much in this world that would please me more. Speaking of which, I have in mind a different treatment of torpedoes - lower odds of scoring a hit, but greater statistical expectation of significant damage.

      At present the 3D6 system offers a 'damage expectation' per torpedo launched of 2/3 [(3x0 + 2x1 + 1x2)/6]. I was thinking of rolling 1D6, a six needed to hit, but if a hit scored, 2D6 floating points' damage, plus 1 critical hit (if using the card system).

      This offers a 'per torpedo' expectation of damage of about 7/4 [(5x0 + 1x21/2)/6]. It would have to be play tested, of course. I'm tossing up to see whether perhaps in the Blacklands 'interwar' months, there might have been 'incident', as I suggested in my reply to Neil Patterson.