Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Finally some activity...

Today, I have ordered the first of the minis I hope to use for the mass-battle games for the Half-Continent.

Not knowing exactly which ones to use, I ordered three different 15mm sets from Minifigs - Dutch, French, and Russian musketeers with tricorne, in the classic March/Attack pose. A pic of the Russian minis is here. I am hoping to be able to use all of these, perhaps as differing factions in my battles.

Also, I have back-tracked in my choice of rules. Previously, I had wrote of a desire to use a historical set for the mass battles, but I have switched back to using a fantasy set, namely Fantasy Rules! by ChipCo. It is a simple yet flexible system that does need much for rosters or markers. If this fails I could always use a variant of Command & Colors, provided that I get a suitable hex grid...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Some naval calculations

As I worked on a naval gaming project at one of my other blogs, I found myself a bit distracted with thinking about the ships of the Half-Continent. As none of these ships are available commercially, I will need to scratch-build the entirely. First, I needed some rough dimensions.

At one of DM Cornish's web sites - daviddraws - there are a series of drawings, some of which involve the Half-Continent. Specifically, this page has line drawings of some of the various naval units. This is the start of the scratch-build project (although I am using the version of this same drawing found in my US copy of Foundling - it is just slightly different.)

There is a scale on the bottom of the pic, and I am using this as a base for all other miniature dimensions. By my rough calculations, a main sovereign ram could be 850' in length. That is a rather long ship. For comparison, HMS Victory, Nelson's flagship at Trafalgar, is only 227' long and USS Iowa (battleship 61) is 887' in length!

This, of course, needs to be scaled down for the table-top. A typical miniature scale for the table-top, commonly used for sailing ships and ancient galleys, is 1/1200. 1" (on the table-top) = 1200" (actual) or 100'. Our main sovereign, in 1/1200 scale, would be 8.5" long. Now, if one has a large table this would be fine - the mini would be beautiful with lots of detail. Unfortunately, I do not have that sort of luxury so a different scale is needed. Another common naval scale, used for many types of steam-powered ships, is 1/2400. Using this scale, our main sovereign would be 4.25" in length. This is a size that I can accept comfortably - still large enough for detail but not cumbersome in gaming.

Here is a rough listing of the different ships types, and their approximate lengths in 1/2400:

Main Sovereign - 4.25"
Main Ram - 3.25"
Iron Dought - 2.75"
Drag Mauler - 2.5"
Frigate - 1.75"
Gun Drudge - 1.25"

(For those who are wondering how long Hogshead, Poundinch's ship from Foundling, would be in 1/2400 - a paltry ½" long!)

These numbers give a rough start on the ships - beam measurements are next!