Thursday, 30 January 2014

Iron Ships and Wooden Heads - game report


Following a request from another member* of Sheffield Wargames Society I brought along my Iron Ships and Wooden Heads game.  I mentioned this game a while back - see here for the earlier post and here for the scenario briefing.  The game was set in the 1930s and involved two (entirely fictional...) South American countries. 
This scenario takes place after a period of rising tension between the Basque Republicand the Republic of Castile. The main issue is that of the disputed Purile Islands (Islas Purilas?) which lie some 200 miles east of the mainland, with the Basque Republic to the north-west, and the Republic of Castile to the south-west. This scenario can be played on a six by four foot table, laid out as follows:
The disputed Puerile Islands - two small (no more than 6 inches long) islands in the south-eastern corner of the table, and a small island in the centre of the table.
Jerry, Mark and Kayte led the Navy of the Basque Republic while the Castillian fleet was admiralled by Martin and welcome new arrival and old friend Tim C.  Above is one of the Basque squadrons - a pair of destroyer flotillas lead a battleship, carrier and light cruiser.  All 1/6000 scale Hallmark ships from my collection.
A Basque aircraft searching for the enemy.  A 1/1200 scale Hallmark model.  Maximum visibility was 18 inches.
The Castillian 'heavy cruisers'.  These were in fact pocket battleships with 11-inch guns.
A daring destroyer attack resulted in Crapo being crippled.  She was sunk soon afterwards.
The fleets manouevre.  Apparently all this was part of a plan...
The Castillian cruisers were soon heavily engaged.  At this point they needed a good NIP (Nautical Initiative Points) dice to effect some repairs.  Reducing a cripple marker to a hit costs 2 NIPs.
As a Castillian Admiralty spokesman said at the time - "Bollocks."
By now the next lot of Castillians were closing in - a pair of shiny new foreign-built battlecruisers.  Given the foregoing events Martin decided to "bugger off home."  I wonder if that expression appears in the Royal Navy's signals handbook...

*he didn't show up for the game.  Cheers Mick.

10 comments:

Col said...

Interesting scenario Tim, for a Naval War game. I would be worried about the wooden heads though.... they may give you splinters if you weren't careful;!

Tim Gow said...

Col
Good one! Being a landlubber myself I hadn't thought of that definition of 'heads'... Splinters eh? Ouch.

SoA Shows North said...

What a coincidence ... only yesterday I was looking at my own resources for putting on a game ...

Timely inspiration perhaps ...

Great stuff

Phil

Tim Gow said...

SoA Shows North
Great minds Phil....

Chris said...

I don't see anywhere in the rules concerning torpedo attacks. How are those resolved?

Tim Gow said...

Chris
Rather than complicate things, all hits inflicted from 4 inches or less cripple the target.

Michael Peterson said...

Probably a bad thing when your next posting instruction is to report as crew to a ship called Crapo. An entertaining bat rep and interesting setting for a game.

Tim Gow said...

Michael Peterson
The game has been around for 12 years without anyone reducing it to this level!

Archduke Piccolo said...

A fascinating posting, Tim. The first question that came to mind was the (working?) title for your naval rule set. I was wondering if indeed the heads on these iron warships were constructed of wood. Seems plausible and likely, withal, as visiting an iron-bound facility in the middle of a rough North Sea winter's night wouldn't be much fun...

I was impressed by the clear plastic/perspex bases. I was wondering weather to leave my balsa navies unbased, but your method has persuaded me it would not be a bad idea.

As for the epithet to which the defeated admiral gave vent, I daresay 'Bollocks!' is the local dialect for 'Cojones!' as he disappears into the Atlantisian vastness...

Cheers,
Ion

Tim Gow said...

Archduke Piccolo
IS&WH is I'm afraid the published title (the game was printed in Wargames Illustrated magazine in 2002). I was er, inspired by the rather better known expression 'wooden ships and iron men' but wanted to get across the point that the 1930s navies I was representing had all the gear but no idea....
What clear bases do you mean? Mine are all card (ships) and plastic counters (aircraft).