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One type of wargame is miniatures. You only need a set of rules to play this game. You can, of course, use small plastic or lead ships, but simple pieces of paper will do, and is what I personally use. All you really need is a rules set. The one I use for WWII is called NAVAL ACTION. For modern action I use SHIPWRECK!
In general, you come up with a battle to fight, either real or hypothetical. You list ships for each side, and give them orders. The example below is from WWII, Atlantic action.
HMS Malaya, a WWI era battleship is escorting a convoy from Canada to England. She has two small destroyer escorts (actually WWI era destroyers), but they are mostly for anti submarine work. The convoy is about to run into KM Scharnhorst and Gnesineau, two German battleships. The German ships outrange Malaya, but Malaya has bigger guns. Weather conditions in the North Atlantic may preclude the Germans from using their superior range, but Malaya must protect the convoy. Can the Germans elude her and wreck havoc among the merchantmen? It is March, 1941.
We begin by creating data sheets for our ship. They are copied directly from our rules sets. We just need to get one fleet on one sheet of paper, and the other fleet on another. We use the sheets to record the ammo as we use it up, and damage to our ships. Another sheet is used to record our orders, as we move and shoot simultaneously.
To move, we use a tape measure to record distance on the floor. A typical move may be to go 7 inches forward, then to turn 30 degrees (we use a protractor to measure this) and move 4 inches in our new direction. We will then decide who to shoot at, and only THEN measure the distance between our ships, and roll a die to see if we hit. If we do, then we roll another die to determine how much damage is done. Our opponent does the same, and we continue until one side or the other is defeated, or flees.
BTW, the screen shots are using my Cyberboard gamebox.
The action after three turns. Neither side was in range on turn one, but didn't know it and both opened fire, missing. The convoy was ordered to turn 30 degress to starboard, along with the DE's, while Malaya advanced to engage the Germans.
Sch and Gn accelerated to full speed, and made for Malaya. On turn 2, both sides again fired and missed. Course for both sides remained the same as before.
On turn three life got exciting. Sch. missed, but Gn hit Malaya, causing damage. This reduced Malaya to half speed. Malaya replied by hitting Gn, causing HER to be half speed. What was troubling was the damage control phase. Gn. got her damage under control. Despite excellent British damage control, Malaya actually worsened, to heavy damage. She is now at 4 kts maximum speed, and the convoy is in serious danger.
The Germans have the initiative. Should they finish off Malaya, and
hope to catch the convoy later? Will the weather worsen, and help the convoy
escape? Should the undamaged Sch. go after the convoy, whil Gn takes on
Malaya? Will the DE's be able to protect their charges? Should the convoy
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