Viewer's Choice Celebration MiniCampaign

It has now been over 20 years since I launched "With MacDuff On the Web" and nearly 10 years since I launched my 2 blogs: Gathering of Hosts and Battle game of the Month.

To celebrate the years and the friends and the million hits I've decided to run a 3 game mini-campaign in late October. By popular vot e it will be set in the mid 18th Century.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Interruptions, Always Interruptions

This current Hearts of Tin game is one of my longest. I did finally end it this evening on or about the 18th turn after 5 days of sneaking in turns, 1 here, 2 there. Interestingly the game remained enticing and enjoyable and in the balance right to the end.

There's been an almost unprecedented run of things like an entire day without rain, a broken kitchen drain for me to replace and umh 2 naval games at Ron's.
The merchantmen in the foreground are 2d printed cutouts.

Last Friday I got to try his latest effort, a very effective kluge of Sails of Glory and Wooden Ships to allow us to use the beautiful ships and easy combat system on his hex mat. The scenario was the wagon train from CS Grant's Scenarios for Wargames translated to a naval convoy situation. I drew the French fleet trying to get a vonvoy through. The game was proof that you can lose a game decisively and still have fun. 

Having left my reading glasses behind (not on purpose) I went back yesterday and as long as I was there.....

This game was Two Sides of a River from Programmed Scenarios with shoals substituting for the river, inspired by 1 of Cochrane's exploits iir. My outgunned and split RN squadron was tasked with preventing the French from getting through in force. I lost a frigate but took a ship of the line and sank a frigate. That left me with a ship and 2 frigates chasing 1 and 1 as they left the strait. The victory conditions were a bit vague as to what constituted an effective force on his part but my force was certainly not destroyed so we called it a draw. Great game though, tense up to the end.

Hopefully tomorrow I will get pictures of the Atlantica game uploaded and Part 1 written up.


  1. Looks like fun . . . the idea of converting "Wagon Train" to a naval game is a great one.

    Unfortunately while I've not played many "sail" games, I've never found one that seemed to handle realistic movement and "fun". They have either been too technical or notably unrealistic. How did Ron's rules satisfy that problem? or did it?

    -- Jeff

    1. Jeff, I've not skippered anything bigger than a whaler under sail and am the most casual or possibly superficial of students of naval combat in the age if sail but it felt right to me. It was certainly fun and it was simple.

      The movement rules were adapted from Wooden Ships and Iron men which can be downloaded for free now. Ron had to adjust them since the paper map has a lot more hexes than his table. We looked at advanced rules such as adding and reducing sails , different ammo, etc etc but decided they would slow and complicate the game without being more fun for us. The combat was basically from Sails of Glory adapted to the grid. Very simple but effective.

  2. I got Sails of Glory. I like it ok, but its a lot of trouble to go to to play a game, IMHO. Do his rules simplify things?

    1. The substitution of hexes and written moves makes it much less fiddly, simpler and faster to play, especially with 4 and 5 ships on a side. It is less nuanced at the finer points of how the different classes maneuver but the feel was right for me. These games each took 2 to 3 hours to play. For the convoy game I had something like 10 or 11 ships to maneuver including the merchants.

  3. Nice post Ross. Looks like it would have been a fun gaming day.

    1. It was good gaming. Good thing I have friends to get me out of my same old from time to time.