Each battle-fleet comprises:
- Four pre-dreadnought battleships
- Two armoured cruisers
- Three protected cruisers
- Four torpedo boat destroyers
I hope that this will be enough vessels to enable quite large actions to be fought as well as the numerous smaller sea battles and skirmishes that take place during a war.
I can now begin play-testing my naval rules, and hope to do so over the next day or so.
The eight ships fall into two almost identical classes, with only the length of the two groups of four ship defining which class they are in. All I have to do now is to paint them … and then the play-testing can begin!
Firstly a free set of plans for a generic pre-war French super-destroyer comes with the magazine.
The design of Le Capricieux is based on that of the Le Fantasque-class of destroyers that were built for the French Navy in the 1930s. As a result she is a low, sleek ship, armed with five main guns and three sets of torpedo tubes, and with a certain Art Deco look about her, especially around the bridge area.
Although the plans are 1:144th-scale, they are certainly of use to wargamers who want some idea as to how to model a super-destroyer … and free sounds like quite a good price to pay!
The second item of interest is an article about John Hollis’ model of the USS Alarm, a torpedo ram that was built in 1874.
The ship has such simple lines that I can see it appealing to many wargamers as a possible starting point for a warship that they can use in their wargames. Rather like the Rendel gunboats operated by the Royal Navy and other late Victorian navies, Alarm is armed with one large-calbre gun forward and has minimal upperworks. (She was also designed to carry four Gatling Guns, but these seem never to have been fitted.) However, unlike the Rendel gunboats Alarm had a very prominent ram, which along with the spar torpedo she carried, was her principle weapon.
I stuck to a very basic paint scheme of black hulls, white upperworks, brown hatch covers, and coloured funnels. This serves to distinguish them as merchant ships and to give each one a slightly different look.
The fleet sails into action. The three protected cruisers are in the van, followed by the two armoured cruisers, and finally the four battleships.
I think that they look quite menacing in their mid grey colour scheme, and have turned out to look even better than I had hoped that they would.
The title of this blog entry comes from a long-forgotten song that was sung by the Australian baritone, Peter Dawson. The song was entitled THE ADMIRAL’S BROOM.