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The Orkney Wargames Club meets

in Kirkwall on Thursday evenings.


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Kafkalida Island, 1560

Renaissance Galleys, Galleys, Guns & Glory, 1/300 scale

In early November we’re off to Antwerp, to put on a participation game at the Crisis show. the aim is to run a game  for about eight people, and to finish it in less than an hour. So, this week we were trying out a couple of scenarios, to see what worked best. Obviously given the constraints we aren’t going to use all out 20 ships a side – that would be madness.We’ll take them along though, and range them around the table so they look pretty. However, for our games we’ll just give people a couple of ships a side – ideally a galley and a smaller galiot. Jack Glanville acted as the Master of Ceremonies for these, and came up with the ideas for our scenarios.The first involved a damaged and crewless galleass. Both sides set out from the table edge to either reclaim it (for the Christians) or destroy it. We set it up in the middle of a 6×4 foot table – the size we’re getting at the show – and both sides started on their respective long table edges. Of course by now you’ll have spotted the obvious flaw. In order to sink the galleass you just need to shoot at it, or send men aboard to set it alight. the Christians, however, needed to board it in sufficient numbers to overpower any Muslim boarding parties, while at the same time protecting it from enemy fire. They then had to get it in tow and haul it away to safety. All this took more time than wad – and then some! In our game the Venetians did what they do best and shot at the enemy – sinking a galley and a galiot. The Barbary corsairs boarded the galleass, and set her ablaze, while the other Turkish pair of ships kept the Spanish at bay. In the end the Christians simply couldn’t get enough people on board to put the fires out. Close-range Muslim bow-fire saw to that. So, the game was an emphatic Muslim win – and we needed to think of ways to rig the scenario to make it a more equal fight. The obvious solution is to start the galleass closer to the Christians starting positions.



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