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Friday, 1 June 2018

A life on the Zondersee.....

                    I have mentioned at various times now that I was building a collection of 1/300 ships of upto 30 guns. Small shallow draft ships to give my inland see a bit of naval action in support of the imaginary land forces. I have used the paper models provided by war artisan and very fine models they make too.

                          I have accumulated some 20 models now and really wanted to play. So we come to the age old question, which rules?  Most of the available rules are strictly aimed at larger ships ie rated and above with a nod of the head to frigates. What I  was looking for began at no guns and ended at thirty. I did find a few but they were so detailed that I found them too complicated to be playable or too genaralised to be worthwhile. After a lot of trials I realised I had missed the obvious. The same webpage that generated the ships also had a "FREE" set of rules to play with those self same ships designed for the battles on the American great lakes. (face palm time)

                          The rules "away boarders" are a free download from . They do require you to do a bit of work making the various counters and ship control sheet and indeed a playing area. I tried the instructions for the play area to find I was laying out the centre points of large hexagons. As I have a sea mat with 4" hexes I had saved myself a job.   The size of the hexes was perfect for even the largest ship in my collection including the long planned frigates. Having made the counters etc I played a number of games with various local players and they gave them a resounding thumbs up and I have to admit I had a lot of fun too. I really recommend these rules. After the initial effort games play out at between one to two hours with each player able to control upto 3 ships comfortably.

                       The success of finding the rules I needed inspired me to finally start on my frigates.  These were a bit of a challenge as the originals are 1/600 so I had to scale up the parts and find suitable card support for the structure. here is the result so far.. I'm well chuffed to date.

                                     32 Gun Frigate Dutch origin

                                      28 Gun Frigate Dutch origin

                                  The nature of the rules will make these two the behemoths of the inland sea. They are quite capable of destroying most of my ships with a single broadside. I see them therefore looking for each other whilst acting as the flagships of the two large nations. Also because of the draft of the frigates they will be restricted to the deeper water and because of their age needing a lot of maintenance. 

                     We were also a bit short on merchant ships so what better vessel for the Sondersee than a Thames sailing barge or similar. After a bit of fiddling with paintshop and google references I came up with this beauty. I can see it being used in a lot of scenarios.

                         At the moment the Zondersee is my focus of attention and I find little interest in figure painting. At least the boats keep me occupied.