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"New ships, new scenario for the SYWcon" Topic

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Personal logo War Artisan Sponsoring Member of TMP21 Jan 2017 11:00 p.m. PST

I'm deep into my new project for this year's con. I blame Elliott (138SquadronRAF) who handed me a copy of this book:


with a sly smile and the words "here's another rabbit hole for you to jump down". I happened to have been agonizing over what kind of game to run at the 34th annual convention of the Seven Years War Association, and this seemed to fit the bill. So, I came up with a scenario in which a smallish East Indiaman is escorting a couple native dhows that had been pressed into service carrying supplies for the garrison at Bombay, and is attacked by Maratha pirates. I've gotten an early start, as this scenario would require new ocean tiles (done), Indian coastal terrain (done), and at least four new cardstock ship models (two down, two to go). I'm making some progress . . .


Now all I need is a couple Maratha ghurabs and a half dozen gallivats, and I'll be all set to give my players a colorful and exotic couple hours of naval action. You can see more photos of these models here:


So, I've got my room at the Waterford Estates Lodge (where the convention is held) and I'm looking forward to this year's convention in nearly breathless anticipation. It's always the highlight of my wargaming year.

More info on the con at

Edit: Ooops. Sorry about the crosspost to 19th Century Galleries . . . I got a database error while crossposting and mis-clicked on the retry.

whitejamest22 Jan 2017 12:04 a.m. PST

Wow, I'm blown away by that scene Jeff! Really amazing!

Yellow Admiral22 Jan 2017 10:12 p.m. PST

Sailing ships were packed with crewmen, yet gaming models are sold, painted and gamed spooky and empty like ghost ships. Your models above are occupied. Say more! Are these 1/300 scale miniatures? Paper stand-ups you made? Something else…?

I've never seen that water pattern in your photos before. Is that a new gaming surface?

- Ix

PS: You may have just made up my mind what I'm going to do for Enfilade.

Personal logo War Artisan Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Jan 2017 11:52 p.m. PST

When the ship models are very small (1:600 and smaller) I don't really miss the crew, but at 1:300 they do indeed start to look like ghost ships. The crew figures are a mix of Langton's 1:300 crew figures and 1:300 scale architectural figures. The Langtons give me uniformed officers and marines and recognizable gunners . . . but they're not cheap and must be shipped from the UK. The architectural figures are very generic but painted up they look the part and fill out the crews nicely. Some aren't very useful (men with briefcases and women in modern dresses) but at about a penny each it doesn't bother me to discard a few, and the seated figures are great for filling out boat crews.

And yes, that is a new set of "sea-o-morphic" ocean tiles with a wave pattern painted on. The color was chosen to match the base colors of my "Admirals" playtest 2.5D ships, but it looks suitably tropical for a coast of India scenario. The base color was rolled on with a rough paint roller, then a slightly lighter shade of the same color was blotched over the top with a sea sponge, and finally a lighter yet shade was dabbed on in a wave pattern using an artists "fan" brush. The hexagonal dot pattern (barely visible in the photos) is the right spacing for either the 1:2000 scale playtest ships which operate in small groups, or single 1:300 ships, and is done in a medium gray that is clearly visible when you are hovering over the table making your move but disappears when you step back a few feet so it doesn't disrupt the game's aesthetics. I'm very pleased with the way they came out.

Yellow Admiral23 Jan 2017 7:53 a.m. PST

The photo vignette is really nice. A full battle like that will be awesome.

I didn't notice the dot pattern at all in the photos until you mentioned it. Well done! :-)

You've been busy! I'm guessing those palm trees in the background are also homemade….? They don't look like any I've seen pre-built.

- Ix

Personal logo War Artisan Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Jan 2017 9:07 a.m. PST

You are correct . . . they were very quickly and crudely homemade. But then, since they're just a backdrop for the naval game, they only have to give the impression of palm trees.

Bertie23 Jan 2017 10:16 a.m. PST

Dear Jeff,
Will the new ships be available for purchase on your site?
I have been downscaling the 1:600 Anglo-Dutch ships that I purchased from you to 1:1200 and have been well pleased with the results. It should work for 1:300 too.

Yellow Admiral23 Jan 2017 10:24 a.m. PST

You have a keen artist's eye, and continually demonstrate superb judgement of what will contribute to a miniature vignette. I would have rejected most of the components here, but you've shown that 2D paper, bright colors and haphazardly-sized foliage can make a powerful impression of a sunny tropical shoreline. Superb and inspiring work. I can feel the warm tropical breeze on my cheek just looking at it.

- Ix

Personal logo War Artisan Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Jan 2017 11:57 a.m. PST

Bertie: Eventually. Right now I'm just focused on completing the materials for the scenario (and working 50-60 hours a week at my "real" job) so the time-consuming (and much less fun) task of refining the prototypes into kits with illustrated instructions will have to wait a bit.

Ix: You're making me blush. Stop it.

Bertie23 Jan 2017 7:11 p.m. PST

Dear Jeff,
No problem and no rush.
Indian Ocean type ships will fill a hole in the market, even if, as your friend says, it is a rabbit hole.

Volunteer Fezian25 Jan 2017 10:24 p.m. PST

I always knew you were good Jeff but this is outstanding! You are Master!

Personal logo War Artisan Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Jan 2017 8:01 p.m. PST

The next phase of my Anglo-Maratha scenario is complete. Inspired by paintings like this one:


I created a pack of pirate gallivats, which you see here setting out in pursuit of their prey:


They're only a couple inches long, even in the relatively large 1:300 scale, packed with sword-waving Maratha pirates, and mounting a brass cannon in the bow. Should strike terror into the hearts of the merchant captains in the game.

capncarp29 Jan 2017 10:50 p.m. PST

Those are 1/300 scale????
Curse you! Curse you and your gaudy display of talent and artistic ability!
<drools over the exquisite ships>

Yellow Admiral10 Apr 2017 2:26 p.m. PST

Postscript: Those gallivats are small, slow, lightly built, poorly armed, and have small crews, but extremely dangerous in swarms. Keep your chase guns loaded with grape…

- Ix

Fitzovich18 Jun 2017 5:52 p.m. PST

Look forward to seeing this series available for purchase.

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP19 Jun 2017 5:14 a.m. PST

The Gentlemen Wargamers, who provide the initial pool of play testers for War Artisan's rules did two things. The "Away Boards" rules were rechristend "Paper Ships and Portly Men" (an appellation I always thought more appropriate to "Admirals" rules) now refer to the fighting in the Indian Subcontinent as "Dhowboys and Indians" scenarios.

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