Prepare for ramming!: Play-tests of some simple Ironclad vs. Ironclad Naval Wargame RulesPosted: January 30, 2015
Play-test 1: Fight on the open seaFor the first play-test I set up an unencumbered 12 deep by 10 wide grid of blue Hexon II hexes. The opposing warships were placed on the rows of hexes furthest from each other and 5 hexes in from their respective left-hand column of hexes.
The first few moves saw each ship sailing towards its opponent …
… before trying to manoeuvre itself into a position where it could bring its guns to bear on the enemy whilst remaining sufficiently far enough away to avoid being rammed.
Once their guns were in range, both ships began firing on each other, with varying degrees of success. (The upturned golf tees represent ‘misses’.)
Eventually one ship (the one with the pronounced ram bow) managed to disable its opponent and just had enough sea-room in which to manoeuvre itself into a position where it could ram the enemy …
… which it did!
Play-test 2: Fight amongst the islandsFor the second play-test I placed four islands on the 12 deep by 10 wide grid of blue Hexon II hexes. The opposing warships were again placed on the rows of hexes furthest from each other and 5 hexes in from their respective left-hand column of hexes.
Yet again the ships began by sailing towards each other …
… before one of them (the ship with the pronounced ram bow) turned to port so as to use one of the islands as cover.
The other ship sought to keep the range between the two ships as great as possible …
… and when they engaged each other with gunfire they each failed to hit the other.
The ship with the straight bow then managed to hit and disable its opponent, and closed the range between them.
Unfortunately it was too far away to ram its opponent, and during the next exchange of gunfire the ship with the pronounced ram bow managed to disable its opponent … and ram it!
ConclusionsThe rules as they stand produce a fast and furious tabletop battle … but it is somehow too fast and furious. It lacks some of the detail that I want from a naval wargame, and I am going to have to give some thought to how I can include things such as torpedoes and reduce the effectiveness of ramming whilst keeping the essential simplicity of the current rules.