Foulness - what did I learn?


The blue markers indicate ships which have fired and which will need to pass a reload check before firing again.

Firstly I learned that I enjoy naval wargaming as much as I did when aged nine. Then gaming involved hand-drawn and coloured plan views of Napoleonic men o'war  which sailed round my blue bedroom carpet using a rule set borrowed from the public library. I have such fond memories of those games which I think involved estimating the distance to target in inches and then writing your shots down on a sheet of paper. Does anyone remember those rules? I am talking around 1969-1972.

The Foulness game was a blast. It ran eight turns and as a solo experience was remarkably pleasant. I am continually tweaking the Neil Fox two pager for the Dutch Wars and it is now up to about 10 pages but this is mostly explanations, expansion and notation for my own amusement.

The biggest addition this time around was the inclusion of a 'reload' check after ships have fired. I wasn't sure about this at first but it worked. It does need some finessing and revisiting.

Although  both fleets were of equal points I thought the Dutch would win because of the larger number of Veteran crews but, naval gaming is not as predictable as land wargaming. Once the shooting begins it is very hard to keep a formation together and turning a ship into the wind is prone to failure and delays.

The final bill in points terms was

The battered Dutch squadron heads back east towards Texel.
Dutch

Vrede                                115 points
Beschermer                      144 points
Harderwijck                     120 points
Edam                                  70  points
Rotterdam                           60 points
Wapen van Londen             45 points
Drak                                    45 points
Gouden Appel                    45 points   

651 points


The surviving English ships head from home.
English 

London                              160 points
Ruby                                    90 points
Peace                                   45 points

395 points

This looks pretty decisive and when the percentage damage taken by the other vessels is considered the Dutch received a further 156 points whilst the English sustained 239 additional points. Totals then are Dutch: 807,  English  634. This consolidates the clarity of the English victory despite the fact that one division attempted to withdraw from the battle.

Now some of you might be thinking, whoa! The rules have gone from 2 pages to 10 already, are you over complicating? Well, I too have thought about that. There is however a big difference. Neil's rules were to handle a public display with about 100 models and involving 10? players - new to both the period and naval gaming. That calls for simplicity, clarity and brevity. I do not have those needs.

I know his Napoleonic version is more comprehensive. I am now considering two additional elements and re configuring the points values as I had over-egged the master gunner relative to the advantages such a character provides.

Thee three issues at hand are: should Dutch crews be more efficient than English in terms of reloading, should Dutch ships sail/handle better and or faster than English? Thirdly, should the heavier English guns have more hitting power whilst making their ships less manoeuvrable?

Interested to hear from Blog visitors with knowledge or skin in the game!