A simple Ironclad vs. Ironclad wargamePosted: January 19, 2015
Lieutenant Chamberlain’s rules use a 20 x 20 squared grid, but I wanted to use my Hexon II hexes … and I don’t have enough to create a hexagonal grid that is anywhere near to being that big. Therefore my first major change was to reduce the range of the armament carried by the opposing ships so that they would have room to manoeuvre before being able to open fire on each other.
The second major change I made was to allocate each ship a flotation value. (I am going to use flotation values of 20 for each ship in my play-test.) In Lieutenant Chamberlain’s rules ships can only be sunk by ramming (they were written at the height of the era when the ram was seen as being the Ironclad’s main weapon) but I wanted my ship’s to sink if they were repeatedly hit by gunfire.
The Game Apparatus
- A dice marked as specified in Rule 12;
- A dice cup;
- A playing board (12 x 10 hexed grid);
- Two Ironclads armed with one bow gun, one gun on each broadside and one stern gun;
- Islands and/or rocks (Optional … but no more than a maximum of three of each).
The Rules of The Game
- Choose sides by tossing a coin. The winner selects which of the two Ironclads they wish to command. The vessels are then placed as follows:
One Ironclad in one of the hexes in the centre of the North edge of the board, heading South;
One Ironclad in one of the hexes in the centre of the South edge of the board, heading North.
- If islands and/or rocks are to be used, the player who won the toss up places the islands and/or rocks, aligned with the hexes marked on the board, as follows:
- not less than two clear hexes from the North or South edge of the board) AND,
- not less than one clear hex from the other edges of the board AND,
- not less than one clear hex from each other.
- As for Islands but may be closer to the North or South edge of the board (i.e. not less than one clear hex away from the North or South edge of the board).
- The first move is made by the player who lost the toss.
- Move one hex at a time, alternately, except as specified by Rules 15 and 16.
- Stopping is not allowed, except when disabled. (See Rule 15)
- Course may be altered by six points, to Port or Starboard, each turn (i.e. 60 degrees) at the beginning of the turn.
- The speed of the two ships is equal, except when disabled.
- Going astern is never allowed, even to avoid being rammed.
- One side wins if sinks its opponent before it gains open sea (i.e. by moving on to any hex on the opposing edge of the board).
- The Armament of the ships is as follows:
- A bow gun, with an arc of 60 degrees either side of the fire and aft line;
- One gun on each broadside, with a 120 degree arc of fire (i.e. 60 degrees from the fore and aft line);
- A stern gun, with an arc of 60 degrees either side of the fire and aft line.
- Ships are in range when separated by five or less clear hexes.
- The Firing Dice is marked as follows:
- One side marked D4 (for Disabled and four flotation points are lost);
- One side marked H2 (for Hit and two flotation points are lost);
- One side marked H1 (for Hit and one flotation point is lost);
- Three sides marked M (for Miss).
- Ships moving and in range may fire any guns that bear. Ships move before firing.
- Ships may fire over rocks but not islands. Use a ruler to establish whether the line of fire is blocked by any intervening island.
- A Disabled ship stops and the other immediately moves three hexes, altering course as required. No firing is allowed by either side during this movement. If the moving ship finishes on the same square as the Disabled ship, the latter has been rammed. (See Rule 16) Otherwise the Disabled ship is brought back into action, moving one square straight ahead, firing as normal if any guns bear.
- Ships are temporarily Disabled only, unless they are rammed;
- Disabled ships have sufficient way to alter course once;
- A ship disabling its opponent twice in a turn, inflicts the loss of eight flotation points, but only gets one ramming attempt.
- Successful ramming wins the game as the rammed ship is deemed to sink. The only exception is when the ramming is head on (i.e. the ships are bow-to-bow). Ships cannot be rammed head on; they may only be rammed in the side or stern.
- Hits reduce a ship’s flotation value. When a ship’s flotation value is reduced to zero (0) it sinks.
These are by no means a perfect set of rules for an Ironclad vs. Ironclad battle … but I think that they will be worth play-testing.