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"Why naval wargaming?" Topic

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Bozkashi Jones19 Dec 2018 4:03 p.m. PST

Just curious, but I started being interested in wargaming after seeing a piece in the kids' TV magazine programme 'Why Don't You?' in the 1970s. It was two lads who wargamed WW2 land actions. My dad then bought me a copy of Gavin Lyle's 'Operation Warboard' and we had a few games.

When staying with my grandparents my grandfather (who had been at Singapore, Changi and the Burma Railway) used to take me to the local library and let me take out three books on his card. One of the books I took out was Paul Hague's 'Sea Battles in Miniature'.

It was the only wargaming book they had in the little library, but it got me hooked – I've been naval gaming ever since. I remember having a couple of packs of 1:3000 V&W destroyers and Flower class corvettes – I had my own 'Imagi-nations' and they battled over the shag pile seas of my grandparents' spare room.

So, what is your origin story? Why naval gaming, when it is very much below the radar of most gamers?

Fascinated to hear…

Lascaris19 Dec 2018 4:16 p.m. PST

I've always loved the sea and the navy's that sail upon it. Also, I spent 8 years in the USN which cemented the interest.

RudyNelson19 Dec 2018 4:27 p.m. PST

Naval wargamin in regards to miniatures has always been good for getting new players interested and understanding basic rule mechanics.

The average player may not understand troop ratios or unit levels but they do understand that a ship is a ship and once it sinks, it is gone.

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP19 Dec 2018 4:50 p.m. PST

I was a big D&D er in the late 1970's. ONe day I was going through the local Hobby store's discount bind. I found a small booklet called " Fletcher Pratt's Naval War game" It was a $1. USD I bought it and soon I was checking Jane Fighting ships. I made paper ships and I was hooked.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP19 Dec 2018 5:28 p.m. PST

Friend in elementary school had model ships to push around.

I got a few as a kid too.

Never really gamed with them until my teen years.

Dad was in the navy, and I like reading about naval history, so……

Found and bought GQ1 and 2 while in college. Bought a few other rules too, around the same time, for modern naval combat.

Tgerritsen Supporting Member of TMP19 Dec 2018 5:35 p.m. PST

Though it's only one of the topics I love to game, I've always been fascinated by naval history, especially WWI and beyond. The notion that these giant vessels could roam about and fire thousands of yards and hit anything amazed me. I grew up making model ships and got to know the curves and equipment of early battleships, carriers, destroyers and later more modern vessels and just found them amazing.

In high school, I played the first edition of a game called Harpoom with this crazy guy named Larry Bond at a convention and got hooked on modern naval miniatures.

Later I joined the US Navy and was in Navy Intel as a Russian Linguist and then got into other periods of gaming with a variety of rules after I ended my service. I've been playing ever since.

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP19 Dec 2018 5:52 p.m. PST

I've had an abiding fascination in sailing men-o-war as far back as I can remember. I don't know why. I grew up in the Midwestern US, far from the sea, without any seafarers in the family.

I didn't start naval gaming until I was over 30. I started playing ancients in my mid-twenties, but the armies and terrain began to sprawl and were becoming difficult to store and transport. One day I noticed that even a huge, sprawling naval game could pack into a small container. I started out building AWI fleets in 1/2400 scale, then WWI fleets in 1/6000 scale.

- Ix

khanscom19 Dec 2018 5:57 p.m. PST

First naval game that I can remember (early '70s) was "Don't Give Up the Ship"; ships were the generic markers from "Broadside" (I think). Tom Wham had designed a scenario that included Hornblower's frigate-- somehow the player managed to get a double initial broadside rake on 2 French 74s!

Later we tried Fletcher Pratt's rules modified for Russo- Japanese War.

It's still a secondary interest but I do have a small selection of models for 1/3000 pre-Dreadnoughts, 1/2400 WWII, 1/600- 700 WWII coastal forces, 1/666 scratchbuilt pre-Dreadnoughts, 1/1200 Napoleonic, 25mm Fanstasy Pirates, 1/600 Triple Alliance ironclads, 1/2400 moderns, 16th c. Armada and 1866 Austro- Italian (the latter two in card models from Juniorgeneral).

Tony S19 Dec 2018 6:27 p.m. PST

Somewhat the same as Bozkashi Jones. I discovered the library had wargaming books, and one of them was "Naval Wargames" by Barry Carter. I must have gotten that book out of the library dozens of times.

I got some blue construction paper and drew a grid on it for those rules. Although I started with simple paper cutouts for ships, soon I was making my own ships from balsa wood (my library also had the complete collection of "Janes' Fighting Ships" in the reference section, so I photocopied the ships I needed to get the dimensions and weapons right). Still got some of them, lo these forty years later.

Must have fought the WWI convoy action in the Adriatic dozens of times. Which also spawned a fascination with the WWI Austro-Hungarian empire, especially their navy.

Shame I couldn't have come across a book on programming computers instead of wargaming; perhaps given my obviously receptive and impressionable young mind, I'd have been a dot com billionaire!

I also remember using a big map of the world, and using small wooden coloured shapes for different types of fleets, making my own rules for – if I recall correctly – the three countries in Orwell's 1984.

ChrisBrantley19 Dec 2018 6:29 p.m. PST

My path was through literature – Forrestor's Hornblower, Kent's Bolitho, O'Brian's Aubrey, etc., which lead to Wooden Ships & Iron Men, and eventually to miniature gaming.

Kevin in Albuquerque19 Dec 2018 6:52 p.m. PST

I was interested in war history (many eras and types) as a youngster, played naval wargames starting as a teenager. Discovered naval miniatures in college. Read the naval fiction after college. Still have an abiding interest in all four categories today.

Personal logo David Manley Supporting Member of TMP19 Dec 2018 7:07 p.m. PST

Dad was in the Royal Navy in WW2, I've worked with warships my whole life. Naval Wargaming was inevitable :)

Rogues119 Dec 2018 7:26 p.m. PST

High School and college Naval ROTC, commissioned as an Officer and served almost 30 years it was a career and in my blood. Playing early Harpoon for training, and understanding how to defeat the USSR were the spark, playing my first HMGS East convention game an ACW Naval Game fueled the fire.

Allen5719 Dec 2018 7:32 p.m. PST

Played Jutland (AH) til I wore out the counters. Spent 4 years on active duty aboard an aircraft carrier making 3 deployments to Viet Nam followed by another 21 years in the active reserve. Had never seen the sea before then. As a kid I collected ship models. but we rarely played with them. I often wonder what is is about naval gaming. I play because I love the ships. The rules in general suck and even those that don't really are not satisfying. You have nothing to hide behind and in most games after the age of sail maneuver is immaterial but you can still get me to play the Solomons with the Japanese coming down the slot at night.

Personal logo Virtualscratchbuilder Supporting Member of TMP Fezian19 Dec 2018 7:48 p.m. PST

In the 60's I started building models around the age of 5, and by 7 all I built planes, tanks and ships, but ships were my favorite. I would build ship-like forms out of stacks of books and blocks and bombard them with sockballs. In the winter I built ship-like forms out of peatmoss and sticks and bombarded them with rocks and bricks. At 10 I was making top-down cut outs of ships out of cardboard. By 12 I was scatchbuilding my first ships out of cardboard and styrofoam. My interest got some push from MB's Broadsides game.

Around 1971 I discovered my first 1/700 Japanese ship – and though a lot smaller than the usual box scale Revell, Airfix and Aurora stuff, I standardized on that scale for my scratchbuilding. Over on nobody believed me when I said it was that early and was a bagged kit until a fellow from Japan said yes, the first couple hundred kits were shipped to the US in bags without box art, etc.

Around 1980 I discovered the Hague book and have not looked back. My Jutland and my SPI CA game suffered the same fate. I made counters for all the WWII ships for both games.

Have never looked back. Finished two French Mogadors in 1/700 and my first Cruel Seas ship today.

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP19 Dec 2018 9:54 p.m. PST

khanscom mentioned:

1/666 scratchbuilt pre-Dreadnoughts
Wait, what? Who invented that scale?

Trying to translate real measurements into that scale would make my thought bubbles all scribbly.

Texas Jack20 Dec 2018 2:04 a.m. PST

Lovely question, and I immediately knew the answer.

When I was six, way back in the late 60s, I was going through the American Heritage series and came upon the volume called A World Power (don´t remember what number it was), and on the cover was Dewey sailing into battle on board Olympia. Inside was this:


That started a live long love of all things naval, and a particular soft spot for the pre-dreadnought era.

Personal logo War Artisan Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Dec 2018 4:23 a.m. PST

Like Yellow Admiral, I grew up (and still reside) about as far from an ocean as you can get without leaving the planet, but one of my earliest memories is of watching the big lakers come and go from the harbor of Duluth:


I was only three years old at the time, and my fascination with ships has only grown over the decades. Imagine my delight when I discovered, in the early 70s, that you could actually game with them!

Aethelflaeda was framed20 Dec 2018 4:58 a.m. PST

I love age of Sail and a copy of WSIM got me beyond MB broadsides. Romantic stories from history brought to life with tactics like a knife fight.

Once steam power and turrets enters into naval games, the lack of terrain (wind direction) and minimized facing needs, usually made naval actions too much a function of range and speed. Too distilled, in that games basically became a line up and shoot affair with faster ships getting a slight edge to cross a tee. the die and OoB tend to dominate about who won a game, not decisions by the admiral l. I did like a riverine fight using ironclads and shore batteries and a big fort. There was some actual terrain to consider but unless it was a small ship engagement in confined waters I doubt I will ever play any naval from 1880 onwards

Operationally, I still love the Fog of War. My very first gaming experience was the 1960s era AH Bismarck played at the age of 7 or so. Basically a game of hide and seek.

Murvihill20 Dec 2018 5:21 a.m. PST

I think it was Fletcher Pratt rules and 1/700 ships for me. They were big enough to see and you could play on the floor. Also Wooden Ships and Iron Men.

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP20 Dec 2018 5:39 a.m. PST

Began reading history books at a very early age and became fascinated with WWI/WW2 naval history. Started building ship models at 13 years old and then added boardgames and like others literally wore out the components. From there, adding miniatures was easy (mid 70's).

Spent 28 years on active duty (USN) and retired in 2000.

Still read, build models, play both types of games: it never gets old and the fascination continues.

khanscom20 Dec 2018 5:52 a.m. PST

"khanscom mentioned:

1/666 scratchbuilt pre-Dreadnoughts
Wait, what? Who invented that scale?

Trying to translate real measurements into that scale would make my thought bubbles all scribbly"

The Z&M edition of Fletcher Pratt includes an Appendix suggesting sources of ship models; Pratt says that his gaming group used ships built to a scale of 1:666. I figured that I couldn't go wrong with the same scale-- probably most appropriate for "Devil at the Helm" ;-)

StarCruiser20 Dec 2018 6:51 a.m. PST

Grandeur, Glory, the magnificence of naval ships…

I read Hornblower – as my dad had many of those books. I also read history books and built models, including ships, from the age of about 3 (I'm 55 now).

Naval gaming just follows along in their wake!

Pontius20 Dec 2018 7:25 a.m. PST

I've always been interested in the sea and ships. Once I discovered the naval history shelf of the local library I read everything I could lay my hands on. A friend introduced me to WW2 land wargames using the small Airfix figures and 1:76 scale tanks. As I built most of the Airfix ships I developed a simple set of rules for naval wargames.
A copy of Dunn's "Sea Battle Games" introduced me to other periods and techniques, but I always returned to WW2.

At university I was introduced to 1:3000 scale and various rule sets. None of these sets seemed to give the correct "feel" so I set about writing a new set, which were used by the university club for some years.

Now some 40 years later I am still using some of those same Navwar models.

Naval gaming has several advantages over land gaming. It is cheap! For only a few pounds you can have opposing forces with several cruisers and destroyers, enough for several actions. They are easy to paint. At a push an all over waft of grey spray paint and you are ready to go. This means you are ready to play after an evening's preparation if necessary.

HMS Exeter20 Dec 2018 8:06 a.m. PST

3 reasons

1. Samuel
2. Eliot
3. Morison

I discovered his 15 volume set in my Junior High School Library. That was all it took.

SgtPrylo20 Dec 2018 8:10 a.m. PST

AH's Wooden Ships and Iron Men. I played the heck out of this game in high school, college, and beyond. I had an obsession with sailing ships and massed broadsides, daring frigate captains and the like. When I visited the USS Constitution in Boston Harbor in the late eighties, my fate was sealed.

But it wasn't until I played a game of Form on the Admiral's Wake with Rob Eubank at Fall In 2013 that I saw what was possible with fighting sail miniatures. I've never looked back. 40 1/1200 ships, 60+ 1/2400 ships, and 8+ rulesets…yeah, you could say I'm hooked.

EDIT: I forgot to add that my obsession has gone beyond the tabletop to the PC. Naval Action for sailing ships and some considerable time spent on World of Warships allows me to get my 'ship on' in the virtual game world.

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP20 Dec 2018 8:15 a.m. PST

So, what is your origin story? Why naval gaming, when it is very much below the radar of most gamers?

I got interested in history because of reading Richard Houghs "The Fleet that had to Die". It was a war I hadn't head of and the story fascinated me. End result I began studying the pre-dreadnought and ironclad periods.

Gaming came through a friend at school, who had discovered Donald Featherstone and the first book on gaming I bought, and autographed by the great man himself, was his "Naval Wargaming."

KSmyth20 Dec 2018 8:36 a.m. PST

I've lived near Puget Sound nearly all my life, and learned to walk on a ferryboat between Seattle and Vashon Island. When I was 15 my gaming friends introduced me to modified Fletcher Pratt rules which we played in San Francisco and the Peninsula. We used 1/1200 Navis and Neptun ships when they were still dirt cheap--no longer the case. I continue to play a variety of naval games 1/600 ACW with the old Ironclad rules (still my favorite,) 1/600 WWII coastal with Action Stations, and 1/700 modern with Bulldogs Away. It's just fun, and something else to do--also easy to put up and take down for conventions.

Wish I was a scratchbuilder, I truly do. I've seen such gorgeous work by Larry and others, but it's just not in my very limited basket of talents.

PVT64120 Dec 2018 9:04 a.m. PST

When I was 8 My father bought me a kit of the 1/700 scale Japanese DD Shiranui. That coupled with playing Midway with my next door neighbor started the fascination in WWII naval. I ended up buying almost every 1/700 scale model before girls came around. As an adult I now have a collection of 1/2400 scale WWII.

BrianW20 Dec 2018 9:25 a.m. PST

As I've said elsewhere, I blame my father. One of the first books I can remember him reading was a Hornblower novel. I started reading those as a kid, and from there it was a natural path: MB's Broadside, WS&IM, and then miniatures. I went away from naval gaming for about 10-15 years or so, but when I came back, it was like a family reunion. Although I'm mainly an Age of Sail person, I will definitely play other periods, as my blog shows.

I even wanted to be a Merchant Marine officer when I was growing up. That, however, was the late 1970s when the US fleet was going from 600 ships to 60, so it didn't happen. Growing up on the Texas Gulf coast helped as well. My grandfather had a small boat, and did his own shrimping until he couldn't anymore. So, I guess that there's more than just my father to blame for my love of floating things.

Shadowcat2020 Dec 2018 7:23 p.m. PST

Started with the old Heritage games in the 70's (Broadsides) then slid into Avalon Hill games (WSIM, Jutland, Bismark, Submarine), then went full blown minatures in the 80's (Seapower, and seapower II, 90's got into Harpoon a bit. Somewhere along the lines also grabbed a copy of Yaquinto's Fast Attack Boats (Middle east fast attack craft in the 70's. Still have most of the rule sets around here somewhere but finding the Cruel Seas game interesting, want to see where they go with it.

Winston Smith20 Dec 2018 7:39 p.m. PST

My origin story is Avalon Hill Bismarck, Midway and Jutland.
Also Morison's 15 volume naval history.
SPI Frigate and CA also played a part.

As for miniature gaming, I stink at painting small models of ships.
I sold mine off to more competent painters and modelers.
But, if you want to paint the models and run a game, I'll play!

kustenjaeger21 Dec 2018 1:25 p.m. PST

Reading Bryan Cooper's 'Battle of the Torpedo Boats' and cutting out cardboard top down plans from the descriptions to play on the floor of a hotel room on holiday when I was about 16 or so. I can't even recall the rules I used.


Pyrate Captain22 Dec 2018 6:44 a.m. PST

Janes Fighting Ships 1906/07. Drawings copied and pasted to balsa. The book even came with rules. This was about 1971.

Master Caster22 Dec 2018 7:56 a.m. PST

Mine started with seeing real ships from living in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. Dad was a plank owner on the USS Intrepid during WW2 and served again on her in the late fifties. He would often take me on board on muster days – what a thrill for a small boy. Some days we would go to the enlisted mens beach in Norfolk where the Naval practice landing beach on the Amphib base was next to it separated by a huge chain linked fence. The old LST's would pull right up to the beach throw smoke out and the bow doors would open and vehicles would pore out. Great stuff!
We used to vacation on Cape Cod and I have a deep love of ferries and passenger boats – grand dad Barrett who I never knew worked for the Steamship authority on Nantucket but I remember the old Nobska.
First gamed Avalon Hill's Bismarck in the mid 60's while living in Rhode Island, but that was at a friend's house after school way out in the west side of town and Mom got tired of driving out to pick me up – wish I could remember that friend's name.
Things really turned when I learned about Dick Bryant's miniature war gaming group in Brockton, MA in the late 60's/ early 70's. The first game I saw and played in there was a WW2 naval destroyer action in the South Pacific. I still have a collection of 1/1200 WW2 ships.
In the late 70's while in the Army and traveling west to Fort Lewis I stopped at the USS Cairo museum that's part of the Vicksburg National battlefield. Couldn't get it all out of my head and I guess that's when I got bit by the Ironclad bug. It's a nasty bite and I still haven't found a remedy yet.
Toby Barrett

Timmo uk22 Dec 2018 10:56 a.m. PST

Naval family. I loved making Airfix 1/600 ships. Discovered Avalon HIll's Bismarck and was given it for Christmas. I still rate it as my favourite wargaming experience using the miniatures style combat in the Advanced rules. I learnt WW2 tactics from that game.

Then bought WS&IM and played it to death.

I know some folks find naval gaming boring but I don't see that as there tends to be far more manoeuvring in both WW2 and AOS than many land based wargames, where often two armies just advance a few moves forward into combat.

Blutarski22 Dec 2018 3:32 p.m. PST

Toby – We gamed together in Dick's Brockton basement – Arnold Hendrick's "Surface Warship" rules.


Blutarski22 Dec 2018 4:15 p.m. PST

"Why Naval Wargaming?"
> Father served on a destroyer in the Pacific during WW2.
> Parents had TV quite early on (first one a B&W 12-inch screen!), so watched (by hook or by crook) all the great TV shows of the immediate post-war era – "Victory at Sea", "Silent Service" and many of the films – "Enemy Below", Away all Boats", etc.
> Lived for several years of my early youth with my father's copy of Roscoe's "US Destroyer Operations in WW2" at my bedside. Then read every WW2 book I could find in the library.
> Built models – first of clay, then of wood, finally plastic (first plastic ship model was Airfix's Graf Spee).
> Discovered "Jane's Fighting Ships" 1898, 1904, 1914, 1918, 1945.
> Then discovered AH Bismarck, Midway and Jutland (which I played to death and to this day regret having given away).
> Started collecting reference books and materials in earnest (& continue to do so).
> Hooked up initially with Strategic Games Society @ MIT, then with Dick Bryant & Leo Cronin @ New England Wargamers Assn in MA, where I was introduced to Arnold Hendrick's "Surface Warship", and also WS&IM, SOTL, Heart of Oak, Navwar Napoleonic Naval rules.
> Have developed several sets of naval rules – WW1/WW2 and AoS; still refining both on the theory that pursuit of perfection, however impossible to achieve, will result in achievement of excellence.
> Have met some magnificent people along the way and learned a very great deal about an historical topic that has fascinated me since childhood; no plans to cease.

Great thread.

Season's Greetings to All!


Brigman200022 Dec 2018 6:59 p.m. PST

In high school 8th grade history, we had to do a term paper. Living in Pennsylvania, my choice was the battle of Lake Erie in part because of the large number of sources in the Erie Library.

That was the beginning, ten years later my High school chum Bob was stationed at Erie for a 3-year stateside tour as a US Marine, and he called me to come up to the reserve center one evening with a mutual friend as they had something to show me.

Our friend Dave had brought along this board game, without a board called "Jutland" from Avalon Hill.
I had never heard of the game (or for that matter the battle).

I walked into the main hall and there were these two huge fleets containing several dozen Battleships on the floor. OMG! This was so cool! The fleets were in huge formations commanding a large amount of the sea, and the cardboard ship pieces all had accurate drawings of each ship on them.

This was so great!

For the Next 3 years while Bob was stationed in town I played Midway, WS& IM, and Yaquinto's Ironclads. Later 1/2400 Russo-Japanese miniatures would follow.

EJNashIII22 Dec 2018 7:24 p.m. PST

I'm from Annapolis. my brother and kid are Marines, and my father-in-law and brother-in-law are sailors. It is apparently in the blood.

colkitto23 Dec 2018 1:43 p.m. PST

Excellent question, to which – I realised – I did not immedately know the answer. My Dad started me on ship models with a USS Arizona when I was maybe 8 or so, and an Airfix Ark Royal with some nice Swordfish and Fulmars which I still have and may yet use one day. I too had a childhood dream of joining the merchant marine. But I suspect what pushed me over the edge was the discovery in my local bookshop of Phil Dunn's "Sea Battle Games" (when it stil had a 25 shilling price tag on it!) and the realisation that you could cut down the hull of the Airfix Victory and build whole fleets _and play games with them _. I remember being fascinated by a tiny (1200? 3000?) submarine in a model shop – it was really quite expensive, so was probably a specialist model, but then I found Davco and Navwar and that was me sold. Paul Hague's superlative first book made absolutely sure I would never escape …

Borderguy19023 Dec 2018 4:18 p.m. PST

I grew up on the Great Lakes, and the water was always close by. Seeing huge freighters and knowing some were on the bottom (as in hundreds sunk) fueled an interest in the maritime. Starting building model ships around 8 years old. didn't discover minis gaming until college, but that of course sparked an interest in all things gaming.

I don't actually own any fleets currently, but at Fall In! every year I try to fit in some sort of naval game until the day I make the plunge.

I was pleased today when I got an email from GMT stating Flying colors 3rd Ed made the P500 cut.

BW195925 Dec 2018 5:43 p.m. PST

I grew up three hours from Lake Erie and over eight hours from the Atlantic.I live an Air Force town, dad was an Air Force vet and I love naval war games. I have 1/2400 WW2 ships (mostly U.S. and Japan)and ACW ships in 1/1200. I want to do ancient and Spanish American. I have enjoyed reading about naval warfare and love the models.

Stew art Supporting Member of TMP26 Dec 2018 6:02 p.m. PST

… a little over a year ago I played in an Age of Sail game at a convention with an attitude of ‘lets Just play something different this morning." and I thought ‘this is fun, and you don't need any terrain.'

That's it really. Hey, not everyone has had a love affair with the sea for decades. 😀


Bombay Marine29 Dec 2018 11:03 a.m. PST

I don't love the ocean, in fact I joined the U.S. Army straight out of school to avoid being drafted into the navy! That said, I'm a romantic, and always loved movies about pirates and naval heroes. As far as wargaming went, I bought a lot of tanks and played "Tractics," then, in 1972, I read a battle report by Dave Arneson. It was based on "Don't Give Up the Ship." I was hooked. I bought 1/1200 Santos Miniatures and every book I could find.

Over the years, I modified DGUTS, and finally developed my own rules. I was never happy with the gunnery part, so gave up. Recently, when I got some 6-sided dice for Napoleonic powers, I pulled out the rules and found doubling the tonnage, and making a few other adjustments, gave me the correct casualty ratio for battle damage. Remember, Nelson asked, "What's the butcher's bill?" "Heart of Oak" has the best sailing rules, while parts of "Beat to Quarters" has morale and boarding rules which are more accurate than the rest. I've been wargaming, researching, and writing about the Age of Sail for forty-six years now. I'm currently writing an AoS novel, since most novelist refuse to do even basic research. (read C. Northcote Parkinson and Jon Williams for people who did it right.) It's a wonderful hobby!

Vidgrip Supporting Member of TMP31 Dec 2018 1:18 p.m. PST

As a kid, one of my first games was Avalon Hill's Jutland. At the local dime store I bought plastic models, including WWII Japanese ships in the Waterline Series. As an adult I worked for the US Navy and had access to a great library. When I seriously got into miniature gaming I quickly realized that naval gaming had advantages: relatively low cost and easy to paint compared to my other areas of interest.

Cursd Captain03 Jan 2019 9:53 a.m. PST

My father also served on a USN destroyer in the Pacific in WWII, so I grew up hearing about it.

But mainly my fascination with naval service and naval combat runs backwards from Star Trek; from the realization that, for example, ST's "Balance of Terror" is a tribute to "The Enemy Below," so "Star Fleet Battles" is really "General Quarters," and so on.

I am understanding the background of ship history so I will be ready to join Star Fleet when the time comes.

nugrim17 Jan 2019 8:17 a.m. PST

My uncle was a merchant navy captain and I live in a seaside town. I began with warhammer like all people my age then took the leap into napoleonics and when I discovered war artisan's ships I could finally make cheap paper and balsa ships, galleys followed soon after.

Max Schnell18 Jan 2019 12:13 p.m. PST

Being in the Navy, 1974 to 2003. Always liked reading history and stationed in Hampton Roads. Thoroughbred miniatures with Hammering' Iron rules.

Bozkashi Jones29 Jun 2020 1:52 p.m. PST

I've just re-read this thread and have enjoyed it so much!

One thing that strikes me is that, as naval gamers, we do seem to be a sentimental bunch – my great uncle died on the Glorious and, like many of you, childhood memories, family connections or a love of the 'romance' of the sea are very much part of my interest in the sea and naval warfare.

Reading the number of posts from those who had scratchbuilt models out of balsa as a kid reminded me of the very same – I remember, when I was about seven or eight, my dad teaching me how to use a scalpel to shape balsa to make model ships: no plans; just what 'looked' right.

The boy Henry has been badgering me to continue our 'Earnest Will' campaign next weekend (see link here: TMP link ) and I'm looking forward to it, but I'm wondering if a little retro Barry Carter action might be in the offing, maybe even with a bonding session building balsa battleships first!

Thanks for all your stories, I've loved them.

Best wishes,


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