Sunday, 17 May 2020

Blood, Bilge and Iron Balls

It's been an age since I've done any wargaming, so I was pleased when I finally got my act in order to get some solo naval wargaming done (a very long-term goal of mine!).

I pulled out Blood, Bilge and Iron Balls, which is an age of sail (really Napoleonic) set of rules.  Way back in 2014 I took part in a play-by-post game, which I enjoyed (there's some eye-candy in the blog archives if you want to look at it - Clint, the host had some rather nice models he set up for us).

Wanting to do a fleet action, but wanting to keep it manageble, I played using the order of battle for the Battle of San Domingo.  In a reversal of Real Life, this turned out to be a French victory.  My inexperience in ship handling meant that Admiral Louis' division wasn't engaged until very near the end of the four hours that I devoted to the battle, which significantly tipped the balance in favour of the French.  But there are enough variables to give some replayability, so I may set up the scenario again and see how it goes.

BBIB plays well as a solo game.  I think it handles the randomising of turns nicely, as it does damage (which can have quite an effect on the game).  I think that before I play again, I will sit down and write my own crib-sheet: the quick-reference sheet in the book is OK, but it didn't stop me from doing quite a bit of back-and-forth in the book.  I also need to get my head around the rules for boarding.  And next time I'll play on a table rather than the floor - it didn't require as much space as I expected, and by the end of four hours, my back and knees were complaining!


  1. Fantastic to see you wargaming Edwin. Hoping all is well?

    1. Yes, thank you Michael.

      I've been watching the Schloss project with interest.


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