Small can be beautiful. I wanted to quickly produce a quantity of utilitarian vessels which I could use for brown water (coastal and river estuary) engagements in Europe and the far flung colonies between 1580 and 1720. Many ship designs are pretty elastic in terms of the span of time over which they can be used and as a start, I chose the Eighty Years War as a theme with an eye on the Anglo Dutch Wars, North America, Brazil, India and South East Asia.
'Spritsails' are mentioned a lot in accounts of the 80 Years War. It is a generic description of small inshore craft with a particular sail orientation. These were favoured by both sides. A few of the smaller Ark Royal Miniatures vessels have spritsails but I wanted to undertake some very simple conversions which usually amounted to the attachment of a single thick brush bristle and some rigging to further pimp the models.
I have also adapted the gunnery rules of Mad for War relating to category 2 and 3 vessels to accommodate the small number of light guns often carried aboard these little craft.
That modification is very simple. Allowing the Cat 2s to fire normally only at Murder range with a drop in signature die type for Musket range. No firing at other ranges.
|Wrecks - spent vessels|
The Cat 3s get normal capability at Murder range, drop the signature die type at Musket and Engagement range with no fire at Random shot range. In all cases, firing is with a single die.
Taken in the round, small ship actions comprised the majority of the numerous thousands of engagements which took place during the age of sail. I fully antivipate these models will be used heavily during my gaming activities.
The humble but versatile herring buss with half a dozen variations in rigging is provideind the raw material for the category two vessels with the Category 3 vessels coming from the 'Coastal craft; and small frigates codes.
|Spritsailers made from these Herring busses|
|Some larger Sprotsailers made from these coastal craft|
|Galleons and warships from these older merchant ships|
Flotillas of these craft used in river estuaries, bays, coastal waters, foreign river port and garrisons will provide everything needed for a fantastic night of gaming
|oared and square rigged firgates and pinnaces|