Last night my butterfly approach to wargaming took another turn.
Inspired by a series of posts Bob Cordery has made - particularly this one - on his "simple pre-Dreadnought wargaming rules" I popped over to his free downloads page and helped myself.
Naval wargaming is notorious for the paperwork involved - what with ship's records cards, chits and Stuff. But when Mr Cordery says these rules are simple, he means SIMPLE. The entirety printed out on a sheet of A4 (double-sided if you want the diagrams explaining arc-of-fire) and only took a read-through to understand them. For those who want to fight the ACW or the Battle of Lissa there's also a variant for the 1860s,
Within a five minutes, I'd broken out a hex board and some tokens and was playing one of the scenarios he'd tested for COW.
After running through it twice, I decided that using round counters was unhelpful when playing with ships (apparently it matters which way you put the pointy end).
|There was a reason the Novgorod wasn't a success|
So what do I think? These are lovely rules and gave me a good night's entertainment (which is what it's all about). I am sure that the simplicity is deceptive, and some quite sophisticated actions could be played out with them, Nevertheless, they would serve as a great intro to naval wargaming for someone who is averse to record keeping. As that aversion wore off, you could complicate matters by adding house-rules, simultaneous movement, damage tables - the whole kaboodle!
I'm certainly going to carry on playing them. I'm never going to go as far as painting teeny-tiny ships, but I'll upgrade my snapped-up coffee stirrers (I've already downloaded some ACW and WWI counters from the Wargames Vault).
This has also served to reminded me that I intended to try some sole games of Blood, Bilges and Iron Balls. See what I mean about butterflying!