Sunday, March 8, 2015

Ram Anything Grey: Part 2

      It was another long week in a long winter. Thursday saw another 12 inches of snow. What's more, work asked me to come in at 4:00am on Friday to help with the snow removal. The first 5 hours of work was shoveling and snow blowing.  My wife says she hates winter because I tend to get depressed.  There has been little sunlight this last week and it was starting to get to me.  However, today the sun was out and the temperature reached 32 degrees, which did much to revive my spirits.          
The last couple of weeks I have been working on several different projects. Today I wanted to use my new Figurehead ironclads in a war-game. I wasn't sure which rules to use; Donald Featherstone's Ironclad rules in his Naval Wargaming book, or Bob Cordery's Portable Naval Rules 1860 to 1870.  Mr Corderys rules make for fast games with easy to remember rules.

    Instead of playing in my room, I set up this game in our bedroom. The sunlight shining through the window, with the fresh coat of snow made for a relaxing afternoon. Also, glancing out the window I could watch our resident turkey feeding in the yard.

    Both the Austrian and Italian fleet had four ironclads. Using the Portable rules all the ships were equal in strength.
The approaching Austrian fleet.

The Italian fleet.

The opposing fleets approach.

The Austrian fleet changes direction.

The Italian flagship opens fire on the Austrian flagship, and misses!

The Austrian line starts turning in on the Italian fleet, with the goal of "Ramming anything grey!"

Although taking a pounding from the Italian gunfire, the Austrian press home their attack.  The last ship in the Italian line, the Formidabile, changes course to avoid being rammed.

The Austrian ships, the Drache and the Kaiser Max, both  having suffered heavily from the Italians broadsides,  ram  the Regina and Palestro, causing sever damage to both.

The Palestro rams the Drache, but it is a glancing blow and does little damage. However, However, the Principe fires a broadside at the Drache, which promptly rolls and sinks. 

The Kaiser Max crosses the stern of the Palestro and it's broadside sinks the Palestro.

A scene of the ongoing battle, with the turkey outside feeding.

Both fleets have lost a ship and most ships have suffered heavily. Both admirals  decide to break off contact and head to port. But the ships continue to fire broadsides as the opportunity occur.

The Italian Formidabile crosses the Fredinand Max bow and lands four hits on it.

The fleets have now broken contact. Of the Austrian ships, only the Hapsburg is in fighting shape, the Fredinand Max and Kaiser Max are in critical condition. Of the Italian fleet the Principe and Formidabile are still in fighting shape (although one more hit to the Formidabile would put it in critical condition), the Regina is in critical condition. The battle is a close one; although the Italians have two fighting ships to the Austrians' one, the Italian fleet have suffered more hits.

The rules played out well, as all of Bob Cordery's rule do. I do believe I messed up on the movement, as I let the ships move forward as they turned. The fleets only made one pass at each other, but closed to close range, which made for a bloody battle. I must admit, I fought these ships as though it was an age of sail battle, but I'm sure that admirals of this period would have done the same. If I continue with these ships, the addition of wooden steam ships, as were used at the Battle of Lissa might add to the game.


  1. I really enjoyed reading this battle report ... and not just because you were using my rules! The models are perfect for the game and it looks as if the whole thing was quick to set up and play.

    I look forward to reading more battle reports in the future.

    All the best,


    1. One good thing about naval battles is it can talk only a few minutes to set up, although making up the rosters for the ships can slow things down. I have to remember naval games when I am short on time. I also have a couple of small pre dreadnoughts that I could use with your rules.

      Regards, John

  2. I hear you on the snow and of the sunshine. Did my first (short) casting session of the year today with the sun shining through the window.

    The naval action sounds like a good game.

    1. I am thinking of a couple of figures to make a mold of. Hopefully the cellar will start warming up soon so I can get some casting in.