Monday, May 6, 2019

Cavalry in the Shenandoah-Little Wars 2019

This is the third and final entry for Little Wars 2019.  In addition to running three events myself, I assisted my good friend and gaming mentor Mark Anderson with his ACW Fire and Fury game.

Mark is a veteran gamer of probably close to 50 years with a very sizable miniature collection.  He owns the largest gaming miniature collection I have seen in person and it is probably not an exaggeration to say it numbers 40,000 or more figures in various scales from ancients through WWII.
Shenandoah Valley
He hosts a weekly gaming group at his home that meets probably 40+ times a year.  I was fortunate enough to be invited several years ago after meeting at Little Wars and since then myself as well as well as my boys have attended countless times.   The group meet to refight many historical battles in miniature.   While Mark hosts in his home and has a massive collection many of the group members bring and put on their games throughout the year.  This is a great way to playtest new ideas for upcoming conventions.  On any given week you can expect to find between 6-12 gathered to refight the event planned for that week.
Captured wagons being escorted
I tell you this so you understand that Mark does not do anything small.  His submission for Little Wars this year was no exception.  He decided on a hypothetical ACW scenario revolving around a Confederate Cavalry raid North to capture supplies and wagons and the ensuing Union response to try to recapture or destroy the wagons before they could get to safety.  In total each side had 2 cavalry divisions with Artillery and the confederates had a brigade of militia in addition.
Garrison duty
The rules used were Regimental Fire and Fury.  We enjoy both the Regimental and Brigade Fire and Fury for ACW.  We have also used the rule variants to run a number of AWI battles.  They perform very well and are great for a convention game as they are easy to learn, have a very well one quick reference sheet and produce somewhat realistic results.  This is where I and a handful of other "Irregulars" came in to assist Mark in judging and interpreting the rules for the 12 players who had signed up to play in the six hour event.
Rebel Militia

The gaming table was 6x15' and had more 15mm ACW cavalry then I had seen in any event.  We had play tested the scenario a couple times in the months prior to make sure it was somewhat balanced.  The Confederates start on the North end of the table escorting a large wagon train with a goal to get them off the southern end of the table past Winchester, while preventing the union cavalry in pursuit from destroying the wagons and capturing buildings.
Guarding the population center

Once all the players arrived they were divided into teams.  I did a quick explanation of the rules following the turn sequence and how to use the QRS.  Mark did an overview of the scenario and issued OoB as well as orders to the commanders.  The teams briefly divided to form their strategy and then the battle was on.

The OoB and orders were as follows:

Federal Order of Battle                 Low Casualties

1st Cavalry Division          BG W. Merritt Gallant   6,560 Cavalry 24 Guns
1st Brigade        BG G.A Custer Gallant                                        1,760     Troopers 6 Guns

1st Michigan     Crack 12-8-5       Beach loading Carbine          480         9,8,7 Stands
5th Michigan     Crack 12-8-5       Beach loading Carbine          480         9,8,7 Stands
6th Michigan     Crack 10-7-4       Beach loading Carbine          400         8,7,6 Stands
7th Michigan     Crack 10-7-4       Beach loading Carbine          400         8,7,6 Stands
6th Battery N.Y. Lt.            Veteran 3 sections 6-3” Rodman Rifles

2nd Brigade      Col. T.C Devin Able                                              1,600     Troopers 6 Guns

4th New York    Veteran 12-8-5  Beach loading Carbine          480         9,8,7 Stands       
6th New York    Veteran 10-7-4  Beach loading Carbine          400         8,7,6 Stands
9th New York   Veteran 10-7-4  Beach loading Carbine           400         8,7,6 Stands
17th Penn       Veteran 10-7-4  Beach loading Carbine             400         8,7,6 Stands
2nd U.S. Battery B             Veteran 3 sections 6-3” Rodman Rifles

 Reserve Brigade   Col. A. Gibbs Able                                         1,600     Troopers 6 Guns

1st U.S. Cavalry   Veteran 10-7-4  Beach loading Carbine         400         8,7,6 Stands
2nd U.S. Cavalry Veteran 10-7-4 Beach loading Carbine          400         8,7,6 Stands
5th U.S. Cavalry  Veteran 10-7-4  Beach loading Carbine         400         8,7,6 Stands
6th PennsylvaniaVeteran 10-7-4  Beach loading Carbine         400         8,7,6 Stands
2nd U.S. Battery D             Veteran 3 sections 6-3” Rodman Rifles


2nd Cavalry Division                          BG William Averell

 1st Brigade  Col. J.M. Schoonmaker Able                               1,600     Troopers 6 Guns
8th Ohio            Veteran 10-7-4  Beach loading Carbine           400         8,7,6 Stands
14th Penn         Veteran 10-7-4  Beach loading Carbine            400         8,7,6 Stands       
22nd Penn         Veteran 10-7-4  Beach loading Carbine           400         8,7,6 Stands
1st New York    Veteran 10-7-4  Beach loading Carbine           400         8,7,6 Stands
5th U.S. Battery H      Veteran 3 sections 6-3” Rodman Rifles

1st Brig., 2nd Division IV Corps       Col. ATA Torbert Able       1,920

1st New Jersey Veteran 12-8-5 Rifled Musket                          480         9,8,7 Stands
2nd New Jersey Veteran 12-8-5 Rifled Musket                         480         9,8,7 Stands
3rdNew Jersey  Veteran 12-8-5 Rifled Musket                         480         9,8,7 Stands
4th New Jersey Veteran 12-8-5 Rifled Musket                         480         9,8,7 Stands
 5th U.S. Battery                 Veteran 3 sections 6-12pdr Napoleon’s

General Merritt,
The enemy has just completed a successful raid into Clarke County with the objective of securing supplies they need desperately. A convoy of captured wagons has been sighted entering the Valley with the objective of reaching Winchester. You are to take your Division into the Shenandoah Valley to capture or destroy those wagons. You are also ordered to take Winchester, either occupy it or burn it and its’ railhead. You are also tasked with destroying all the farms and Plantations you can.
 Assigned to you for this mission is your 1st Cavalry Division and 1st Brigade 2nd Division under BG Averell. 1st Brigade 2nd Division from VI Corps is also marching to assist you but we are not sure of when they may arrive.
 We have managed to out flank and penetrate the Valley with 3 of your 4 Cavalry Brigades. The enemy has brought up an Infantry Brigade to form a rear guard protecting the convoy at Dalton. Another Infantry Brigade may have been spotted protecting the bridge over the Shenandoah River near Winchester. Local guides tell us there may be a ford over the Shenandoah, this could be helpful. We believe Winchester to being held by Confederate cavalry and possibly the HQ for Wade Hampton’s Cavalry Division.
 We anticipate a tough fight, your forces are not strong enough to win this fight with frontal assaults only, stay mobile, maneuver where possible to gain an advantage. Remember your cavalry will have a hard time against his infantry. Destroy as much as you can and withdrawn your troop to our lines in Clarke County.
 Good Luck,
 Phil Sheridan
General Commanding

Confederate Order of Battle

A.N.V. Cavalry Corps  Maj. Gen. Hade Hampton, Gallant    4,800 Troopers, 16 Guns
3rd Cavalry Division     Maj. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee, Gallant        2,400 Troopers, 8 Guns
Lomax’s Brigade          BG L.L. Lomax, Able                        1,280 Troopers, 4 Guns
5th Virginia            Crack     12-8-5   Rifled Carbine                 480        
6th Virginia            Crack     10-7-4   Rifled Carbine                 400
15th Virginia          Crack     10-7-4   Rifled Carbine                 400
Chew Battery       Veteran               2 Sections 4 12pdr Napoleon’s
 Wickham’s Brigade    BG W.C. Wickham, Able                    1,280 Troopers, 4 Guns
1st Virginia           Veteran    12-8-5  Rifled Carbine                 480         9,8,7 Stands
2nd Virginia          Veteran    10-7-4  Rifled Carbine                 400         8,7,6 Stands       
3rd Virginia          Veteran    10-7-4  Rifled Carbine                 400         8,7,6 Stands
2 Virginia BatteryVeteran 2 Sections 4 3’ Rodman Rifles
4th Cavalry Division   Maj. Gen Willman H.F. Lee, Gallant    2,400 Troopers, 8 Guns
 Chambliss’ Brigade  BG J.R. Chambliss, Gallant                  1,200 Troopers, 4 Guns
9th Virginia              Veteran 10-7-4  Rifled Carbine               400         8,7,6 Stands
10thVirginia             Veteran 10-7-4  Rifled Carbine               400         8,7,6 Stands
13th Virginia            Veteran 10-7-4  Rifled Carbine               400         8,7,6 Stands
Pegram’s Virginia Battery             Veteran    2 Sections 4 12pdr Napoleon’s
 Gordon’s Brigade    BG J.B. Gordon Able                           1,200 Troopers, 4 Guns
1st North Carolina Veteran    10-7-4  Rifled Carbine               400         8,7,6 Stands
2nd North Carolina  Veteran   10-7-4  Rifled Carbine              400         8,7,6 Stands
5th North Carolina  Veteran    10-7-4  Rifled Carbine             400         8,7,6 Stands
Hart’s S.C. Battery Veteran 2 Sections 4 3’ Rodman Rifles
Johnson’s Militia Brigade    BG R.E. Johnson, Able             1,200 Troops, 2 Guns
16 Virginia     Trained 10-8-5   Rifled Musket                       400         8,7,6 Stands
19 Virginia     Trained 10-8-5   Rifled Musket                       400         8,7,6 Stands
6 Militia          Trained 10-8-5   Rifled Musket                       400         8,7,6 Stands
3 Virginia Battery  Veteran 2 Sections 4 12pdr Napoleon’s
 General Hampton,
As you know the Shenandoah Valley is the breadbasket of the Confederacy more now than ever before. It is vital we defend as best we can. Last week General H.F Lee took his4th Division into Clarke County on a raid to capture supplies for the cause. He has been very successful; he is currently escorting a convoy of captured wagon through the lines to Winchester.
He is being pursued by both infantry and cavalry formations. I have placed a Gen. Johnson’s Infantry Brigade under your command to help cover their retreat and protect the valley. Gen Chambliss’ Brigade is escorting the wagon’s while Gen. Gordon’s has been sent forward to help cover the retreat.
Gen. Fitzhugh Lee’s Division is currently in and about Winchester. He tasked with protecting the Valley, Winchester and the captured supplies are a priority. Use the Infantry Brigade and your Division’s as you see fit. Lomax’s Brigade is at your Headquarters in Winchester and Gen. Wickham’s Brigade is off the table near Winchester. The fate of the nation is in your hands.
R.E. Lee
Commanding, Army of Northern Virginia
Scenario Rules
No Road Movement Turn 1
Unit may not charge from off the table the turn they enter
 Point Costs
Each building destroyed or held at the end of the battle    5 pts
Each Wagon destroyed or captured.                                  10 pts
Bridge Captured                                                                 10pts
20% chance per stand to fire a building
 Contested Artillery Fire     1-5 Hits enemy, 6-10 Hits friendly

The battle developed as it did when we play tested.  The Confederates achieved some early success keeping the wagons just out of reach of the Union pursuers.
On the move
 The Confederate cavalry were divided into 1 division returning from the raid with another posted in the valley with the command in Winchester.
Deploy to meet the invaders
 The Union pursued the wagons as well as sent Custer South in an attempt to flank and cut off the rebels before they could escape
Long lines of cavalry
 Along the way the Cavalry from both sides as well as the rebel militia clashed at numerous points.
 While the Union managed to destroy a few wagons it appeared the Confederates would be successful in their objective early on as the Union was not able to achieve a decisive breakthrough
Here come the Blue Bellies
 The Rebel infantry took up a very strong defense in the center allowing the wagons to pass and attempted to hold off the pursuit.
Go Around if you cannot go through

Holding strong
 Many charges were made and checked as the union invaders tried again and again to break through to destroy the supplies.
Contested ground

Formed for the charge

Wagons hotly contested

Rear guard action
As time was about to expire the Union made a final valiant attempt to breakthrough the rebel lines and get to the wagons.  This time they were able to maneuver a lone regiment ahead of the wagon train and successfully cut off the escape route securing a narrow victory.

It resulted in a great day of gaming in which both sides seemed to enjoy themselves in what proved to be a nail biter right to the end.

As always Mark pulled off another epic event and exposed several new players to wonders of American Civil War gaming using Regimental Fire and Fury.

Not wanting to rest on their laurels the group has already been working for several months to prepare for a refight of Austerlitz later this year in 15mm.  In fact, much of the terrain bards used in this battle were newly constructed for the upcoming campaign and repurposed to represent the Shenandoah.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Rorke's Drift -Little Wars 2019

This was the first time I had the opportunity to run Rorke's Drift at Little Wars as I did not have it complete last time I was there in 2016.  Then we ran Isandlwana.  As a result it seemed appropriate since it was the 140th anniversary of the battle this past January.  I would have liked to run Isandlwana followed by Rorke's Drift like we did at Rock Con last October, but being solo Isandlwana is a bit much for one judge.

The event started at 5PM, but since snow and sleet were in the forecast the Little Wars organizer found me an empty table and I was able to set up in the morning and leave it up as a display throughout the day.  As I was assisting with Mark's ACW game next door I did notice it attracted a lot of attention throughout the day. 

Unfortunately the scenario really only accommodates seven players unlike Isandlwana where we have had 12 or more.. At game time all the tickets were sold and the table was full, there were a couple extras hoping to get in.  We had one no show, so we were able to accommodate an extra and a few other hung around to watch the action.

Only a couple players had experience with Black Powder (BP) which was fine as the system is so easy to teach and this particular scenario only uses BP as a framework with a lot of scenario specific components.  The beauty of BP is that it is so scalable and easy to bolt on additional mechanics to make a historical scenario.

For those not familiar with the history the battle occurred in the afternoon/evening of January 22nd 1879 into the early morning hours of January 25th.  Approximately 4500 Zulu attacked the drift which was defended by about 140 British Soldiers.   The Zulu did not coordinate their attacks well and the British under the direction of a Royal Engineer, LT Chard and their commander LT Bromhead were given ample warning that the Zulu were on the way and had constructed a hasty, but formidable defense around the hospital and store house using mealie bags and crates along with wagons.

Historically the British held out and 11 Soldiers were awarded the Victoria cross as a result of the Action.  While casualty figures are not exact the Zulu could have suffered as many as 1000 casualties of killed and wounded.  The British had less than 20 killed and about an equal number wounded.

Depending on perspective our players were either hoping to repeat history or drastically change it.
Rorke's Drift Set up for Display
Our scenario began with the British defenders alert that the Zulu were quickly approaching and manning the defenses while work parties continued to construct some of the unfinished defenses.  The British players did not know what direction the Zulu would come from or how many, just that there were a lot of Zulu off board on hand (39 units).  The British would only have 12 units plus their commanders available.
Redoubt in place
The Zulu players are only allowed to attack with only 1 eight stand IMPI the first phase which can come from only two of the three possible jump off points.  They are also given a number of fake stands (also 8 on phase 1) to place to simulate the fog of war.  These are revealed when they are shot at the first time.

Quick disclaimer, unfortunately my phone failed me and did not capture all of the great action that occurred throughout the game, so the report will be a bit abbreviated.

Defenders at the Karaal
Initial Assault from the garden
 The Zulu achieved some success in the first phase of the battle.  They were able to break two British units before wisely deciding the initial attack was spent and withdrawing.
Attack developing behind the hospital
Hospital being pressed

Hospital overrun

A chink in the armor as a second British unit gives way
 The Zulu commander wisely chose not the let up the pleasure and renewed the assault with portions of the other 3 fresh IMPI.  In attack phase 2 and each their after they are allowed to attack with a total of 12 units with 4 feints.
Assault from the front renewed
The second assault phase is all it would take.  Keep in mind that each phase can last multiple Black Powder turns, but no units are allowed to recover until the Zulu player withdraws and declares a passive phase.  This never happened.

The Zulu continued to press the attack. British commanders were slow to respond and probably kept troops defending the karaal and building barricades longer than they should.   This allowed the Zulu to break through the outer defenses and drive home the attack.

Ultimately they were able to destroy or shake more than half of the British units resulting in a complete victory for the Zulu.

This is not the first time the Zulu have won this scenario, but I believe it is the first time they have done it with only two phases of the possible 12.  Some of this is contributed to some excellent saves on the part of the Zulu and the overall inexperience of the players as a whole.

The most important part was that win or lose both sides seemed to enjoy the scenario and at least 5 were completely new to Black Powder so they learned the basic rules.
Hospital on fire
One of the more comical parts for me was when the Zulu started the hospital on fire and I placed the fire markers (Tea light candles that light up inside) all play stopped and everyone had to get up and take pictures.

Again, I apologize for the brevity of the report and lack of pictures.  I thought I was taking pictures throughout the event, but it may be time for a phone upgrade which I have been putting off.  :)

You can find the scenario I use here:
Rorke's Drift Scenario

If you want to check out the other Anglo-Zulu battle reports you can find them here:

Previous Rorke's Drift battle report

I always enjoy hosting these scenarios and this was no exception.  We had a great group of players who were great sports throughout the evening.

As this year is the 140th anniversary of the war it is my hope to present these battles a few more times at upcoming conventions.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Battle of Tsushima- Little Wars 2019

This past weekend I was able to attend Little Wars in Chicago again after a couple year break due to work conflicts.  This is a great convention as it really focuses on historical gaming and I  enjoy running events and teaching new players.  Due to my schedule I knew I would not have much time to prepare something new, so I decided to return to Naval Thunder pre-dreadnaughts as it has been several years since I had them out.

I love this particular period and in my opinion it is where Naval Thunder really excels as a rule set.  It is simple and fast moving and allows for larger scenarios which is great for a convention setting.  I decided on the Battle of Tsushima  1905 as I have the complete OoB for the Russo-Japanese war and I had not run this particular battle in many years.
Japanese fleet sails into action
I opted to host two six hour sessions, one Friday afternoon/evening and one again Sunday AM with a total of 10 players in each.  my friend Mike, who I learned Naval Thunder with was available to assist.
Russian Main Battle line
The beauty of Naval Thunder is it is easy to teach with a very handy Quick Reference Sheet (QRS) and in this period, Rise of The Battleship, all the modifiers are pretty straight forward and easy to learn.  After about a 30min introduction to the scenario and rules we are usually playing.

Russian 2nd Pacific Fleet
If you are not familiar with the battle it took place on May 27th 1905 between the Japanese Pacific Fleet and the Russian 2nd Pacific Squadron.  In August 1904 the Russian 1st Pacific Squadron had been soundly defeated by the same Japanese Fleet when is had sortied from Port Arthur which was under siege.  As a result the Czar ordered the formation of a second fleet to go relieve Port Arthur and restore the pride of the Russian Empire. 

Full Japanese Fleet steams to intercept
The 2nd Pacific Squadron was formed from the Baltic fleet and comprise of some first rate Battleships and Cruisers along with a number of 2nd and 3rd rate older battleships.  The fleet was not allowed to transit the Suez canal and had to make the Arduous 18,000 mile  journey around Africa.  As a result when it arrives off the coast of Korea on its way to Vladivostok it was in poor shape. for a naval battle.  The long voyage and lack of opportunity for maintenance meant their bottoms were heavily fouled, significantly reducing their speed.

Admiral Togo aboard Mikasa
Admiral Togo commanding the Japanese fleet aboard the Mikasa sighted the Russians on the evening of May 26th and the Battle of Tsushima commenced the following day.

Admiral Togo commanding the Japanese fleet aboard the Mikasa sighted the Russians on the evening of May 26th and the Battle of Tsushima commenced the following day.

 Historically the battle was another devastating loss for the Russians.  They lost all their battleships and most of the cruisers to battle of being scuttled by the crew.  Three Cruisers escaped to Manila to be interred by the United States and only one cruiser and two destroyers made it to Vladivosok.  4,380 men died and another 5.917 were captured while 1862 were interned.  

In comparison, the Japanese only lost 3 torpedo boats with 117 men killed and another 500 wounded.

Tsushima proved to be a route and a glorious victory for Togo and the Japanese which essentially ended the war with the peace being settled finally in September of 1905.
 The scenario we used was straight out of the Naval Thunder "Rise of the Battleship" supplement.  All the ships were represented in 1/2400 scale on a 8'x4' playing area.  The scale is roughly 1" equals 500yards.

The Players were challenged with changing history, which essentially happened in both scenarios we played over the weekend.  I am not going to provide a complete battle report for both games, but will give a summary along with the photos for each.

Friday's Battle:

The first session started at 1 PM on Friday and was sold out.  One player was a no show, so Mike took command of one of the Japanese cruiser divisions.

In the battle Friday the Russians took an early lead delivering some hard blows to the Japanese early one of which even resulted in a magazine explosion.
Opening moves

Cruiser fight develops
I think the Russian commanders understood the mission to preserve their fleet and attempt to slip past the Japanese.  As a result they sent their Cruisers forward to provide a screen while the main battle line initially turned away and then paralleled.  I initially questioned this tactic as they were not moving toward the objective right away, but in the end it worked for them.
Cruisers exchange Torps

Casualties start to mount
The Japanese made a slight tactical error by sending the cruisers straight forward and turning the Battleships toward the Russian lighter ships.
Russian Battle line moves to engage

Remnants of fallen ships
In the end this essentially created a screen blocking Togo main battle line from engaging the best Russian units.  At the same time the Russians made great use of the destroyer flotilla by sending it straight into the jaws of the enemy.
Russian destroyer closing in on giant prey
The destroyers went after the Japanese Battleships.  I do not think anyone realized the threat these destroyers posed.  We had increased that threat by allowing all ships to fire torpedoes during the Battle ship shooting phase.  We do this during our WWII games where a destroyer represents a single ship and it works very well and provides satisfying results.  In this era a flotilla represents multiple ships, so it was probably an error on the judges part to allow this as capital ships do not have as many secondary and tertiary guns as they do during later periods.
Russian line looks to slip past the Japanese fleet
In the end the Russian destroyers which are armed with 3 torpedoes each were able to score multiple hits on the Mikasa and Shikishima the lead Japanese battle ships causing ongoing critical hits including flooding.
Japanese fleet still intact, but severely bloodied
One must also understand the during this period damage control is not that effective, so a fire or flooding which can be controlled fairly easily only had a 1 in 10 chance of being contained (natural roll of 1 on a 1d10) so they tend to cause a lot more ongoing damage  which can quickly sink ships which do not take as much damage during this period.

In the end, when time expired they Russians had sustained heavy damage, but none of the two main battle line were damaged while the Japanese had sustained almost as many casualties and two of the four battleships were damaged with ongoing issues. 

As a result all agreed this day would go to the Russians and it was unlikely the Japanese would be able to stop many of the Russian capital ships from limping to Vladivostok.

While the flotilla did seem a bit over powered sue to the rule modification we did not feel it effected the final outcome as the Japanese did not focus fire on them until it was to late and they would have still been able to attack.  Either way the Japanese fleet was out of position.

Sundays Battle:

Sunday's game started at 9 AM.  Again we had a full table of ten players and this time Mike did not play, he just helped judge.  The only change we made to the scenario was using the torpedo rule as written where each class of ship launches in their respective fire phase.

 This time the battle unfolded in a more historical fashion.  The Japanese wisely held their main battle line back to see where the Russians would go before committing.
Opening moves
The Japanese scored several early successes against cruisers and took an early lead.  While many critical hits were scored on both sides they did not result in nearly as many fire and flooding results like we observed in the previous battle.
Ranging Fire

Some skillful sailing in line abreast
 The Russian admiralty did make good use of their destroyer flotilla again, this time attacking the Japanese Armored Cruiser division.  Not as many destroyers made it through, but they did score multiple hits.

Svyetlana and Destroyers find themselves in the middle of the Japanese line

Russian battle line moving into range

Cruisers in line abreast
Russian destroyers wreak havoc

Battle lines exchange fire

Casualties begin to mount

Fires erupt in the chaos of battle

Coastal Battleship represent well

Japanese battleships in line abreast
The Japanese returned the favor with their two destroyer flotillas and scored hits with guns as well as torpedo hits.  The essentially took out the Russian flagship , Knyaz Survorov, by the end of the battle starting multiple fires and floods along with damaging the Imperator Alexandr III and Oslyabya.
Japanese destroyers close in

Russian Flagship gets punished
The Russians were able to inflict more damage than they did historically, but suffered many crippling blows including to the first rate battleships.  The moral highlight for the Russian fleet was a lone destroyer that was limping north past the Japanese force.  Had the battle continue, like history, it is unlikely many other ships would have made it past to join it.
As the Knyaz Survorov slips beneath the waves the Oslyabya battles fires and floods
Command rolls did play a bigger role in this game with several Russian captains losing their nerve and deciding to retire along with a couple of Japanese ships.
Russians end in a general state of disarray
The Command check and results is one thing I would like to play with in future scenarios.  I like the idea that ships out of command or that just watched their flagship get destroyed may decide to voluntarily retire, I do not like the idea that they simply disappear.  I think they should simply turn away and continue to move away at their fastest speed as their presence while escaping could influence the battle as opposed to just disappearing.

This concludes the trilogy for my Russo-Japanese War reports.  Although separated by many years you can go back and look at my previous reports for Battle of Yellow Sea and Ulsan.  The only other major action would be the attack on Port Arthur and I am not sure how I would game that.

Battle of the Yellow Sea:

Battle of Ulsan:

I really enjoyed getting the fleets out again.  In case you are wondering the majority of the models are from Panzerschiffe (see favorite vendors), mounted on 3' x 1" metal bases.  I then added the masts to all the ships using piano wire.  This is a very affordable option to get into the hobby as the most expensive ship is only $4.00.  Adding the masts was a long and painstaking task, but really makes the models pop.
Russian Battleship Oslyabya
While the masts look great, they make the models a bit delicate for convention play.  As a result, several masts were damaged during the course of the weekend This was nothing that cannot be easily repaired with an evening in dry-dock though.. 

I like the metal bases dues to the fact that I use magnetic storage boxes and my preference if for the ships to sit flat on the table.  This does require very delicate handling tough.  If I continue to bring these fleets to conventions though I many fashion some thicker acrylic bases that can be magnetically attached to the existing base bottom so they can be more easily grasped which is the cause of the issue.  A raised base will be more practical for these events and likely result in fewer damaged ships.

I am definitely looking forward to getting these fleets along with my other pre-dreadnaughts out again sooner rather than later.  I really enjoy this period of naval history and the Naval Thunder rules really shine for any engagements up through WWII which are gun fights.

Hopefully you will see more naval posts in the near future.