Sunday, October 4, 2015

28mm Ironclads at Last

So, after literally years of building these silly things I have managed to get in a game. It is based on our old mythical VSF campaign of Daftrica. The German colony Deutsches Ost Daftrikan Organization (a.k.a. D.O.D.O. for short) was based at the original colony of Kaiserinport. This issued into a large bay grandly titled Der Kaiserin Zee. Below you see a map of the area.

The scenario is this; the Prussian Crown Prince is touring the colonies when a war breaks out in Europe. The news of this is passed along the telegraph line to the colony but there is one glitch; the cable is routed through a French colony on its way to Kaiserinport. The French had word of the impending conflict and have interrupted the cable service, leaving the Germans without a clue. The French have used the time to assemble what they consider to be a preponderance of naval force to interdict the return of the Crown Prince to his home.

Yesterday a fast mail steamer slipped past the French blockade and the news was delivered to the Crown Prince. He has resolved to use the forces at hand to return to his homeland to join in the fight (the armies are commanded in his absence by his septuagenarian half-wit uncle) or die trying.

As the sun comes up a French picket boat is seen flying a flag of truce in the Kaiserin Zee, assuming that the French intend to surrender the Germans begin to raise steam and  investigate this development.

the French picket boat approaches

the D.O.D.O. colony ships advance to make contact,
the small one is the gunboat Panther, the larger is the coastal monitor Brutus

the French Picket delivers the notice of Declaration of War
 and the French Admiral's demand for surrender,
the splashes of the return fire carry the Crown Prince's answer

the rest of the French navy watched from outside of range

the battleship Charles Martel, the armored cruiser
Lapin de la Guerre and the cruiser Nemesis approach

further German ships come around the headland and the plucky French boat flees,
 bravely returning fire with its single light gun

she seemed to lead a charmed life with almost all of the shells missing her

well, ALMOST al the shells missed her,
proof once again that a stray 12" shell can really ruin your day

the German protected cruisers make a hard turn to port
 while the colonial gunboats sail sedately (and slowly) ahead
French propaganda claims that the Germans fired on the survivors
 of the picket boat in the water

an extreme long-range shot from the French battleship straddles a German cruiser,
things just got real for the German Navy

the French fleet deployed for full broadside fire

a view from the French side of the battle

the guns crews of the Nemesis were frustrated that the targets were out of range,
a situation that they would not have to tolerate for long!

the French begin a turn in succession to close range
(and avoid grounding in the narrow Kaiserin Zee)

meanwhile the German cruisers charge madly ahead to close for a torpedo attack

the D.O.D.O. fleet splits up, the colonial gunboats to one side the light units to the other and the armored cruiser heads straight down the middle, splashes indicate misses by the French fleet

splashes also surround the Charles Martel,
 it seemed that everyone's shooting was poor at first

the French continue their stately maneuvering

while the Germans continue at full speed toward their appointment with destiny

the two light cruisers swiftly left their companions behind,
perhaps not the best tactic as they spent a few turns as the only target in range of the French guns

but they dashed madly onward trying to close to torpedo range

the French pummeled them with a wide variety of guns including the main batteries

the rest of the German fleet closed with the enemy at a much more relaxed pace

some phenomenally bad shooting by the French allowed both the cruisers to fire their torpedo salvoes before suffering serious damage, the light torpedo gunboat met its fate at the hands of the main battery of the Charles Martel, both cruisers scored torpedo hit on the Martel causing massive damage, however the sturdy construction of the Martel allowed it to continue in the fight

in the meanwhile the rest of the German fleet had finally closed to range
 and was starting to score some hits on the French

the Brutus and the Panther had finally closed enough that they could open fire with all guns

as things heated up the Germans closed at maximum speed; having done with the light cruisers the French executed a left turn and sailed directly toward the Germans, the rate of closure surprised everyone, guns blazed all around, Nemesis took a pounding but only minor damage was inflicted on the rest of the vessels

the French had realized that the arrangement of the guns meant that they would be most effective in the midst of the enemy, blazing away in all direction, so they turned directly toward the Germans; the Germans remained true to their plan and continued on course. This caused the fleets to close with surprising speed, the fact that both sides were now firing most of their guns caused the rate at which damage was inflicted to climb significantly. Taking the bull by the horns, both the captain of the Seydlitz and the Lapin de la Guerre decided to try to ram the opposing ship

additionally the steering gear of the Nemesis had been jammed by shellfire,
 resulting in a brutal three-way collision

despite their best efforts the two armored cruisers slipped past each other
 but the Nemesis slammed into the Seydlitz at full speed causing horrific damage to both vessels

meanwhile the Charles Martel found its targets were fleeing as fast as they could from the wounded but still deadly monster, the light cruiser with the Crown Prince slipped past suffering remarkably little damage

the entangled vessels fired wildly at each other at point blank range

and the commander of the Colonial squadron, recognizing that the Seydlitz was mortally wounded fired coldly into the mass of ships inflicting damage all -around

I want to thank everyone who attended, it was jolly fun putting the ships to use at last. There are some minor tweaks that I want to give the rules but I will soon (I promise) publish them for the amusement of all.


  1. Brilliant! That would make for a fantastic demo game at a show

    1. That was the original idea, I ran a much smaller game years ago in which the Brutus was the largest vessel, the main problem now is finding the required floor space. This game was run in my wife's dance studio and it still was cramped! I am currently searching for a venue to put this on at a Con.

  2. Wow! Great looking toys!
    Love it.
    Cheers, PD

    1. Thanbks.

      You can see them being built if you follow the Adventures in Blueboard and Foamcore link at the top of the blog

  3. I am sooooo jealous - it looks like a blast!

    1. It was! I am going to try to run another game at one of my friend's house, he has a ballroom that would do nicely......

  4. Great stuff! You've certainly captured the classic look of the pre-Dreadnaughts, especially the 'fierce face' aspect of the French warships. I wonder if you could deploy the fleets on a large lawn for a display game.

  5. What madness! What utter and complete MADNES!!! I salute you, Anton! >;)