Friday, May 8, 2009

Naval inspirations

You may remember that a few months ago I finally dared to paint some Figurehead 1:6000 ships, and overall I had a very good experience -- actually, I became very excited about naval wargaming! then, as usual, my mind drifted away from that project, which nonetheless is abandoned. Far from it! A couple of recent postings in other blogs have revamped my Fall flame. Bob Cordery shows some old Minifigs models, and Jeff has been working on his grand fleet.
The inspiration from their work made me elaborate some thoughts on my own project. First of all, I feel comfortable in doing naval WWI at the small scale of 1:6000, since all I have available is a 6' by 4' table, and ground scale would look completely off at any other level. That said, there is something for larger scale, let say 1:3000, and I wonder whether sometimes, in my future, I would consider that scale for the pre-dreadnought period -- where, I feel, scales can be further compressed without stretching credibility to an extreme. To this regard, a recent exchange on TMP did not go unnoticed, either.
The second thought is about rules. I do have an itching, and it has been going on for a while, for Seekrieg V. It is an expensive affair, reason for which I keep postponing the purchase. It also sounds a pretty complex ruleset, somewhat against my recent inclination for a simpler, "old school" approach to wargaming. Yet, I am fascinated by it for two reasons: first, I am more attracted by small naval engagements rather than large, Jutland-like confrontations; and second, I am sincerely curious about the inner working of a battleship, and I do not mind to somewhat dig deep into the belly of the beast, so to speak.
Of course, the irony is not lost on the fact that the complexity of the battleship would be represented on the tabletop but a tiny piece of metal in 1:6000 scale. There seems to be a strident contrast there. Maybe this is one factor that is holding me back from the investing in the rules (which, these days, might still outperform my 401(k)...) And maybe it is this very factor that tempts me in the direction of 1:3000 models for the pre-dreadnought era (which, by the way, would still be covered by Seekrieg V.)
Just thinking out loud.


El Grego said...


A 6' x 4' table should be big enough for the short ranges of 1/3000 pre-dreadnoughts, in my opinion of course!

I'm also thinking of 1/3000 pre-dreadnoughts instead of WW1, but I have yet to decide.

The Seekrieg Yahoo-group has some fascinating scenarios for pre-dreadnoughts, in a 'slight' change of course in the Russo-Japanese War; you might check into that.


Bluebear Jeff said...

The "Battle of the Yellow Sea" is a great RJW scenario in that the forces are quite even (most historical naval engagements were one-sided).

-- Jeff

Victor said...

All of my ships are in 1/3000 scale for both world wars. Its a great scale and has quite the variety and are less expensive than 1/6000.

As for rules STAY AWAY from SeaKrieg V
I played it at Historicon in 2006, when we met in person, and Author and his company of workers could not finish a game in 6 hours of play. The rules do not lend themselves to quick play at all.