Naval War... Games!

Joined
May 12, 2018
Messages
251
#1
Has anyone ever messed about with the variety of Civil War era naval wargaming rules out there? I was just reading about how Dave Arneson (one of the other creators of D&D... the less famous one who later had to take legal action to get his share or the rights to it from TSR) was inspired by the war game “Ironclads” to add the concept of “hit points” to his miniature wargaming sessions that eventually evolved into D&D.

I’m generally interested by older game rule sets. My dad back in the day dabbled with the Steve Jackson Microgames, including Ogre, Rivets, Melee, and Chitin. I myself ran a role playing campaign using the old “Fantasy Trip” role playing system using Melee as a base that it’s creator Steve Jackson came up with to compete with D&D, which he later developed into his Generic Universal Roleplaying System (GURPS). Until this year Fanatsy Trip was a disputed copyright so available on the web in not quite pirated form... so as a broke college history student I loved it! Then Steve got the liscence back and I took a break from playing... I guess I was two years ahead of the curve?

Anyhow, Naval combat can be quite interesting to simulate, but also a nightmare of complexity with rules if you don’t abstract things a bit. I have a copy of a game called “Don’t Give Up The Ship” by Gary Gygax & Dave Arneson. It covered the pre-steam era and is... kind of a mess if you try and play it. Mind you, it might have been better if I’d been playing with someone else who had played before, I find that is the best way to learn new (old) games.

So, has anyone else done Civil War naval wargaming before? What rulesets did you use, and what did you think of them? With all the wild and crazy variety of ships involved in the war I imagine no two engagements would be alike. And if one is into “What If?”secenrios the relatively simple design of early ironclads ect would make designing your own ships fairly easy.
 
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rebelatsea

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Messages
4,276
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Kent ,England.
#2
Yes I played naval wargames in everything from Armada to WWII. I wrote one set of ACW rules and co wrote two more. I still have my WWII and ACW 1/1200, ACW 1/600, WWI 1/3000 collections. My Armada and Napoleonics in 1/600 scale are on loan to two university wargames clubs. Just as well really, I'm running out of room!
 

DaveBrt

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 6, 2010
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2,331
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Charlotte, NC
#3
I played 1/1200 WWII for several years. I wrote my own rules, based on ALNAVCO and Featherstone rules. The first computer program I wrote was for a class assignment in college; it calculated speed, angle, range, quality of fire control, etc into a hit percentage -- a table about 30 pages in length.
 

rebelatsea

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Messages
4,276
Location
Kent ,England.
#4
I played 1/1200 WWII for several years. I wrote my own rules, based on ALNAVCO and Featherstone rules. The first computer program I wrote was for a class assignment in college; it calculated speed, angle, range, quality of fire control, etc into a hit percentage -- a table about 30 pages in length.
Doing the research and testing for "The Devil at The Helm" with Bob Walker killed it for me. This was pre computer days. Still convinced we got into far too much detail and got far too scientific for the "thud and blunder" of the ironclad era.
 
Joined
Apr 18, 2014
Messages
96
Location
WI
#5
I like Iron & Fire 2nd Edition (3rd Edition at Wargame Vault). Detailed enough to be interesting but still streamlined enough to do decent sized battles.

For minis I use Tumbling Dice Victorian Period and Panzerschiffe 1/2400 scale ships. They are small but using centimeters instead of inches I can play a good sized game on a 3'x3' table.
Here are some pics of a Franco-American battle with Tumbling Dice ships.

IMG_20150208_122924914 (Medium).jpg


IMG_20150208_122934626 (Medium).jpg


IMG_20150208_122947644 (Medium).jpg
 



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