Saturday, 14 November 2009


NAUTA, FIGHTING FLEETS and CORVUS are all rules which allow for using a large number of ships and are necessarily simple. If one wants to direct 50 or so ships on a tabletop this may be the way to go but I find them sterile.

1/1200 or 1/650 scale ships are small but the appreciable size of Hotz ships in 1/300 brings them to life. Once the individual oars and planks are visible I find it a shame if one does not seek to add some detail and realism to any rules used. At 1/300 the deck crew can be represented, sails set or struck and the ships look much more colourful these are ships, not just counters. DEATH ON THE SEAS by Tom Hinshelwood are billed as 'skirmish' rules but I think they are ideal for Hotz ships. They have crew characteristics and plenty of detail without getting petty. Ancient naval rules drown in detail. It was not a ponderous activity like Napoleonic naval warfare when floating castles drifted past each other blasting away. Galley warfare was positional, highly tactical and included explosive bursts of activity even if there was no gunpowder available.

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