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The Orkney Wargames Club meets

in Kirkwall on Thursday evenings.


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Naval Warfare

The Battle off Dagö, 1906

Pre-Dreadnought Naval, Perfidious Albion, 1/100 scale You’ll search long and hard for anything about this battle in the history books. It was, of course, a made-up affair, based around my eclectic collection of hand-built pre-dreadnought models. In this alternative history scrap, in 1905-06 France and Imperial Russia were both at war with Imperial Germany, and

Action of Basse-Terre 1805

The Age of Fighting Sail, Far Distant Ships, 1/1200 scale This game was set during Nelson’s chase of Villeneuve to the West Indies in May and June 1805 – a few months before Trafalgar. This was largely because Sean 1’s sea mat was Caribbean blue… Anyway, in this game the two Seans played the French,

The Dash for Horn’s Reef, 1916

The Great War at Sea, Fleet Action Imminent, 1/2400 scale It’s been a while. Last week I couldn’t reach the club in Kirkwall ’cause the Churchill Barriers were closed – the causeways I have to drive over to get into town. Then, thanks to ferry cancellations and a gale, I couldn’t get to my big

The Battle off Rügen, 1864

Ironclads,  Dahlgren & Columbiad, 1/600 scale We hadn’t played a naval game for a while, and so we opted for this – a sea battle in the era of ironclads, but without a single ironclad in sight! Still, David Manley’s excellent rules cope with wooden-walled steamships perfectly well. This game, a refight of the Battle

Action off Cape Cod, 1812

The Age of Fighting Sail, Post Captain, 1/1200 scale We fancied a trip to the sea this week, and opted for a frigate action. While we use Far Distant Ships for fleet actions, for the smaller stuff I opt for Post Captain, from the same people who produce General Quarters. While they claim you can

The Battle of Helgoland, 1864

Ironclads, Dahlgren & Columbiad, 1/600 scale About seven years ago, I refought the Battle of Helgoland, the premier naval clash of the Prusso-Danish War of 1864. The battle  actually involved the Austrians too, as allies of the Prussians, but the name of this little war sidestepped the awkwardness of a three-cornered title. Anyway, after being

Action off Minorca, 1805

The Age of Fighting Sail, Far Distant Ships, 1/1200 scale  When I was south last week I picked up two battle-ready French ships-of-the-line. My friend Jack Glanville had kindly painted and rigged them for me. So, we decided to stage another fleet action, with the 74s Pluton and Duguay-Trouin reinforcing the French contingent. In this

Resurrection! The “Phoenix Fleet” of 1864

The Ironclad Era, Dahlgren & Columbiad, 1/600 scale About ten years ago, during a trip to the States, I bought a load of Thoroughbred Models – lovely 1/600 scale metal kits. They were a mix of American Civil War ironclads and wooden-hulled steam-powered ships. On a whim though, I painted up the latter as Danish,

Action off Cape Palos, 1805

The Age of Fighting Sail, Far Distant Ships, 1/1200 scale Last Trafalgar Day we played a Napoleonic era fleet action using Osprey’s Fighting Sail rules. I thought they were quite fun and fast to play, but  I  had quite a few reservations about them. The amendments posted on the rules’ Facebook page helped, but they

Guns off Cape Ann, 1813

The Age of Fighting Sail, Post Captain, 1/1200 scale Two naval games back to back is a rarity. To be fair, in between, during the whole Christmas and New Year period, the wargame club here has been closed. In fact its still shut, thanks to Covid, although with luck that’ll change soon. So, this game

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