Thursday, August 04, 2011

My Ironclad gamble: Sail and Steam Navies

I've probably gotten more use out of ACW ironclad miniatures than any of my other projects.  I began with the old Lyzard Grin 1/1200 ships by Richard Houston, and immediately began buying 1/600 ships from Thoroughbred when they became available.

 My Lyzard's Grin ships are long gone, and I have a fairly sizable collection of 1/600 ships.  A lot of Toby Barrett's fine Thoroughbred vessels, some of the more serviceable Peter Pig ships, though I'm pretty choosey about those I purchased.  I also have some hulls for some of the Bay Area Yards, though I haven't been adventurous enough to do anything with them.  Love their accessories though. I also acquired some wonderful scratchbuilt miniatures from Larry Enoch

 Coming up on my birthday next week, and because I'll be teaching in Ellensburg on the actual day, the family all got together last weekend to celebrate my b-day along with daughter-in-law Michelle's.  I received some cash and decided to make a couple of ironclad investments. I ordered the Sail and Steam Navies rules from Bay Area Yards along with the USS Mississippi kit I mentioned in an earlier post.
Peter Pig fort with Thoroughbred guns

Larry Enoch's scratchbuilt U.S.S. Vanderbilt.  A beautiful model and a great ship to have in my collection
I've always played with the Ironclads rules, originally a board game published by Yaquinto in 1979.  It's a set of rules I've always enjoyed.  I have a couple sets of Ironclads, the original Yaquinto game and Expansion rules from the 70's and the Excalibur reprint.  They aren't in the best condition and I would love to replace them.  I've held off however, because Mr. Barrett, whose work I admire and whom I consider a long-distance soulmate owns the rights to the game and committed  to creating  miniatures version of the game with some computer managed features including shipcards and game sheets. I am well into the second decade of waiting.
U.S.S. Kearsarge. by Thoroughbred.  One of my few fully rigged ships
Scratchbuilt Niagara, again by Larry Enoch.  I should rig this bugger too.  An enormous ship; at one time the largest wooden vessel in the world.
Many years ago David Sullivan and I fiddled with the rules to make a miniature game sans hexes.  This was especially important with the larger vessels due to scale issues and allowing hexless maneuvers.  David created turning circles to represent shorter and longer turning radii.  We agreed to increase gun ranges to better represent scale, and converted hexes to inches.  There are so many things I like about these rules.  The fire resolution is great, matching real gun types with possible/probable armor ratings.  The hit location and damage resolution are time consuming but seem more realistic than rules that tend to create generic guns and armors.  Admittedly the rules work less well for large fleet actions, but honestly I find Mobile Bay and New Orleans to be a little cliche anyway.
Thoroughbred's Scorpion.  At one time destined to be North Carolina

Thoroughbred Tennessee.  After its capture at Mobile in August  1864, the Tennessee joined the Union Navy two weeks later.
One last scratchbuilt example.  The Rhode Island was a member of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron

We made these changes to the rules with knowledge and hope that we would have a true miniatures version of these rules. With all due respect to Toby, I've decided to head in a different direction.  My sense is that Sail and Steam Navies is similar to Ironclads, with all the features I hoped in e-version of the latter would have.  Computer generated ship cards will make game prep easier and the game should be easier to run at cons. I anxiously await delivery


Dave S. said...

I'll be interested in hearing what you think of these rules.

So, when do we play the first game with the new rules?


Kevin said...

I haven't received them yet. I'm running an Ironclads game tomorrow, so I'd wouldn't mind reprising it in S and SN

David Manley said...

I have a copy of the rules. haven't played them (I use Iron and fire) but they look really good.

You should try the BAY models. They do some highly unusual subjects, the quality is good and the people are very friendly and helpful. I've done the Mississippi with cut down rig in a "Port Hudson" kind of way and it is a lovely model. Just doing some of their gunboats now.

David Sullivan said...

You've inspired me. I just ordered a copy.

I've been wanting to play an ironclads game for a while now, but the task of creating all the ship charts put me off. (Yes, I am lazy.) The fact that all the ship cards come on a CD-ROM made this irresistible.

Kevin said...

Well, I'm thinking as soon as we get them we should plan for a game. Get Daveshoe down and all the other Dave's we know too. David Manley is officially invited too, though he'll have to pay his own cabfare.