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The Orkney Wargames Club meets

in Kirkwall on Thursday evenings.


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Ironclads – Playing the Period

Some of the ugliest ships known to man The mid-19th century was a real transition time for warship design – sail to steam, wood to iron, smoothbores to rifled guns, roundshot to shell – and the American Civil War landed plump in the middle of it all. While some wargamers dismiss this as a boring

Battle of Port Royal Sound 1863

Ironclads,  Sail & Steam Navies, 1/600 scale I missed the club night game this week thanks to Storm Babet. Both Sean 2 and I have to cross causeways – the Churchill Barriers – to get to town, and they were closed, with waves crashing over them. Fortunately, he was able to come round on Sunday,

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

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

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,

Battle of the Yazoo Bend, 1862

Ironclads, Bill’s Ironclad Rules, big toy variant, 1/50 scale This week Thursday was om a Tuesday. Rather, we usually meet on a Thursday, but this week Edinburgh’s Navy Club is being used as a polling station, so we switched days. We also swapped games. the plan was to play Napoleonic single ship actions using Post

Attack on Fort Sumter, 1863

Ironclads, Bill’s Ironclad Rules, 1/600 scale For more than a year now, my pal Bill Gilchrist has been developing a set of ironclad rules. At the moment’s they’re simply called Cap’n Bill’s Ironclad Rules (working title), but at some stage they’ll get a proper name. This game involved Fort Sumter – a very nice model

Frying Pan Shoals, North Carolina, 1863

Ironclads, Bill’s Ironclad Rules, 1/600 scale We were all at see this week in Edinburgh, as Bill Gilchrist gave us another taster of his “Ironclad” rules. The battle was completely fictitious, involving Confederate ships more usually found on the Mississippi River, off Savannah and up in Pamlico Sound, as well as a more appropriate Union

The Battle of Helgoland, 1864

Ironclads, Prusso-Danish War, Bill’s Ironclad Rules, 1/600 scale For a while now, Bill Gilchrist and I have been developing a set of naval rules for the “Ironclad” era. I say Bill and I, but actually I’m just there in a sort of “naval buff” supporting role – Bill is the real brains behind the project.

Mobile Bay, 1864

Ironclads, Bill’s Ironclad Rules, 1/600 scale Bill Gilchrist and I have been developing a set of naval wargame rules. Actually Bill has been doing almost all the work – I’m just there to share the credit. They’re tentatively called Ironclad, and the plan is to have them published by Osprey, as part of their rules

Wassaw Sound, Georgia, 1863

Ironclads, Smoke on the Water, 1/600th scale For a change we ran off to sea this week, or rather to a tidal estuary. We decided we hadn’t played a naval game for a long time, and consequently we dug out our American Civil War ships. The game was loosely based on the battle between the

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