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The Battle of Lissa, 1866

Ironclad, Home grown rules by Colin Jack, 1/2400 scale

I’ll be the first to admit that we’ve been at sea a lot lately. However, Colin Jack hadn’t brought these little ships out for several years, and felt a sortie was long overdue. We were tempted by not having to do anything – useful as I came hot-foot from the cinema after watching the new pirate film (good but over-long). Well, I sort of knew what happened at Lissa, and I was pretty convinced that the Austrians were the ones to go for. Unfortunately Colin never told us that the Italians had far more rifled guns, most of our ships weren’t armoured, and ramming (the Austrian tactic of choice) was pretty hard to pull off!Melee-12We charged in using the naval equivalent of a Napoleonic column … and only managed to ram one ship – which got off with a slight dent in its side. Meanwhile the Austrian guns did some damage, but not nearly as much as the Italians did. We started losing ships – and things looked bleak.Fleets-approachFortunately the uncharacteristically aggressive Italian commander went home early, and ever the gentleman, Colin was happy to play the Italians in character. Consequently the Austrians managed an eleventh-hour turn around – ramming several Italian ships, sinking a couple, and turning defeat into a draw. Honour was saved!Melee-3Colin Jack supplied the ships (1/2400 scale Hallmark models) – which looked pretty good en masse – and he also supplied the “back of a postcard” rules, which did the business – although they probably need a bit of tinkering to achieve a “historical” result if we ever do this again. I can’t really say that 1/2400 is a scale for me either – far too small – a bit like playing with Microtanks or such-like. 1/2000 scale is about as small as I’d really like to go.


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