I'm of the opinion that anything which floats can be made into a good game. For that reason, if you put on a game that has ships of some sort then chances are I'm going to enjoy it. Due to this, I've played with everything from sailing ships to World War II battleships. I haven't played any ancient naval (but want to try it), and I've even played Greenpeace protesters in a "Save the Whale" game. So, I don't mind trying out an oddball game. Keep that in mind as you read this.
One of the regular members of our gaming group likes to ram things when we play naval games. He's at his happiest when he can bang into other ships on the table. Preferably, the rammed ships are his opponents but I'm not sure that's completely necessary. This has actually become a bit of a running joke among the group. Unfortunately for him, ramming things with a sailing ship is really bad for the ship where rigging and the bowsprit are concerned. Because of this, I've been on the lookout for rules other than ancients where ramming is actually a viable tactic, and that wouldn't require a lot of ships. After all, this is a side project and not anything major. Well, I finally found something that I think will fit the bill:
I know what you're probably thinking: "Cod Wars? Huh?" These were a series of disputes between the UK and Iceland over fishing rights in Icelandic waters. They weren't really a war in the sense that wargamers think of one: there was only one fatality and the naval forces of the two nations never actually shot at each other. The actions of this set of "wars" consisted of the Icelandic Coast Guard cutting the lines of trawlers in Iceland's territorial waters, and vessels from both sides ramming each other. Not necessarily ramming to sink another vessel, but more like the traditional 'bumper boats' that the US and USSR played with each other during the Cold War. Well then, sounds perfect for my needs.
After buying the rules, I was pleasantly surprised (and somewhat relieved) to find that all the miniatures you would need to play a game were available on Shapeways. I bought what I would need to run the game, and was again pleasantly surprised when they arrived.
|L to R: ICGV Baldur, ICGV Tyr, 3 side trawlers, British tug Lloydsman
|L to R: ICGV Odnin, ICGV Aegir, 3 stern trawlers
|L to R: Star Polaris, Star Aquarius, HMS Exmouth, ICGV Ver
I will also try and get some extreme closeups before I start painting any of the models. The fact that the ships are printed in a translucent plastic doesn't help much in seeing the details from a photograph. To give you an idea of the detailing, the two ships at the top of the photograph (Star Polaris and Star Aquarius) are actually different from each other. One has slightly larger funnels than the other, AND it also has an extra crane and rubber boat on board.
|You don't even need to label their bases.