Saturday, April 30, 2022

Encounter tables.


Thanks to all those who commented on my idea of creating encounter tables for this campaign. I've done some work on the idea, so here goes...

North Sea, Kattegat and Skagerrak map squares adjacent to coastlines are high traffic zones and will have the higher chance of ship encounters. D1 & D2 will have a chance of encounters with Norwegian and Icelandic shipping, and hostile Royal Navy warships.


Encounter Zone

1d10 score

Adjacent Coastal Squares - Roll twice


All others


During hours of darkness


Fog/heavy rain


Minus scores are cumulative.

Go to type of vessel(s) encountered table.

Plus one to dice roll if transiting squares adjacent to hostile country. Minus one if transiting squares adjacent to own country.


Civilian Vessel Encountered


Own national small civilian craft


Own national fishing boat


Own national merchantman *


Own national passenger liner or ferry *


Allied national fishing boat


Allied national merchantman *


Allied national passenger liner or ferry *


Neutral fishing boat


Neutral merchantman *


Neutral passenger liner or ferry *


Hostile national warship


Hostile national fishing boat


Hostile national merchantman *


Hostile national passenger liner or ferry *

In general fishing vessels from hostile powers were left alone to go about their business unless they were really cheeky and sailed close to the hostile shore. Even during WW2 some British boats still fished off the coasts of France. It's up to the player whether such boats are fired upon or captured, but the example of the Dogger Bank Incident should serve as a warning to what can go wrong.

* Roll 1d6: Score of 6 indicates the vessel is equipped with wireless. Go to chart to see if the vessel transmits an encounter message.

Nationality of vessel

Transmits on score of:







Hostile warships and wireless-equipped merchant vessels from a hostile power will automatically transmit a contact or mayday call. Warships will identify the type and course of the encountered enemy. Merchantmen will merely transmit an encounter with warships. Neutral warships will transmit an encounter message but it will be enciphered. All the hostile power will know is that the neutral ship(s) encountered something. Warship transmissions will be received automatically by their Admiralty. Merchant and neutral warship transmissions are picked up by the hostile power on a d6 score of 5-6. 

For the sake of completeness I've added a neutral warships table. It's up to the player again if there's a chance of a misidentification happening and what the consequences are.




Neutral national Destroyer, Auxiliary or Fleet Courier


Neutral national Cruiser


Neutral national Armoured Cruiser


Neutral national Battleship

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Pre-Dreadnought ~ Further operations

I'm shaping up the next scenario in the 1905 Moroccan Crisis series of linked games. This will involve three armoured cruisers, the two Prinz Adelbert class ACs SMS Prinz Adelbert and Friedrich Karl, and SMS Prinz Heinrich along with an escort of light cruisers and destroyers. The objective is to break out into the North Atlantic and commence commerce raiding on British and French shipping. 

Under this scenario the armoured cruiser force leaves Heligoland at dusk on the day of the Battle of the Humber. Security is absolute. Unlike the previous clash where British Admiralty intelligence intercepted German naval wireless traffic and was able to forewarn the fleet of the German move, the cruiser force received all orders via telegraph and fleet courier. 

At the same time a Royal Navy division from the Channel Squadron is on the move, destination Heligoland. Composed of four Royal Sovereign class battleships and escorts, its objective is to bombard and neutralise shore defences and destroy any enemy warships in the area. 

Green arrow: German plotted course. Red: British course.

To set things in context: The Royal Navy was already on a high state of alert following the October 21st 1904 Dogger Bank Incident where a Russian fleet transiting the North Sea opened fire on British fishing trawlers in the mistaken belief they were Japanese torpedo boats. Yes, quite. Although the Russian's profuse apology and compensation mollified British public opinion, the Russo-Japanese War is still in progress and the Royal Navy remains watchful against further 'incidents.'

I'm thinking of taking a leaf out of the Traveller SF rpg book by drawing up a chart of shipping encounters which both sides may come across en-route. There'll be a chance of a wireless equipped vessel - neutral or hostile - transmitting the coordinates of the encountering squadron to all and sundry. This may or may not give advanced warning of an approaching force.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Pre-Dreadnaughts moving again

Jim Jackaman's recent post on his 1/2400 Pre-Dreadnaught project inspired me to get my own project moving again. Issues with my laptop had stalled the production of ship record sheets on the Paint program for the Paul Hague rules I use. However, months turned off and isolated from the 'net has done wonders and the machine is quite functional again - hence these.

The four Siegfried-class coastal defence ships...

 And the four Royal Sovereign-class battleships.

I hope to get a game in sometime soon. Gardening season's upon us so it'll be as-and-when I can find time.

Saturday, April 2, 2022

To the Manor ~ Done!

'tis finished at last. I'm going to call this done. 

Camelot! Camelot! Camelot! (It's only a model...) Shush!

The roof is a print from a paper craft HO scale railway model, reduced slightly in scale and varnished. The design began as an American wooden shingle type roof, but looks sufficiently like a medieval stone tile pattern it'll do fine. The windows I left blank, painting them in with a dark brown shade to look more like a natural shadowy interior. The whole was given a coat of Future/Clear/Pledge/Whatever polish with some very diluted sepia and black ink to give it a weathered 'recent rainfall' look.

Now go away, or I shall taunt you a second time!

In the Lion Rampant rules this manor would count as 'Superb cover,' giving a defending unit bonuses for cover etc. Hopefully I'll get it into action in a game before long.


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