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"Scale for gunboats?" Topic

16 Posts

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Comments or corrections?

jeeves15 Jan 2022 8:12 a.m. PST

Some of you must have known this question was coming. Which scale do you use when you game with late 19thC/Early 20thC gunboats and other small craft?

Major Mike15 Jan 2022 8:31 a.m. PST

Well, we use 28mm, as shown here. TMP link

David Manley15 Jan 2022 9:29 a.m. PST

1/600 or 1/300

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP15 Jan 2022 9:47 a.m. PST


Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP15 Jan 2022 11:21 a.m. PST

15 and 28mm scale for us.

irishserb15 Jan 2022 2:03 p.m. PST

Another at 28mm.

Personal logo Florida Tory Supporting Member of TMP15 Jan 2022 2:20 p.m. PST

28mm for riverboats and dhows; 1/600 for ironclads.


jeeves15 Jan 2022 6:16 p.m. PST

I have a question about 1/2400 scale gunboats. I already have predreadnoughts and dreadnoughts in that scale. If I were to get gunboats in the same scale, what kind of actions/rulesets would I use them in? Would I base several gunboats together?

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP16 Jan 2022 9:51 a.m. PST

Gunboats really do not have a place in fleet actions. If you have dreadnoughts on the table, the gunboat captain is going to be somewhere else since he is nothing but a target.

jeeves16 Jan 2022 5:38 p.m. PST

So at 1/2400 scale, what do gunboat games look like?

HMS Exeter16 Jan 2022 10:51 p.m. PST

It would seem from your questions that you're coming at this a bit backwards. Let me pose some questions to refine the inquiry.

I assume you are not working towards participating with an existing gaming group that is doing naval wargaming. If that were the case, they'd have resolved the scale and rules set questions already.

Are you hoping to introduce naval gaming to a group you currently game with? If so, be warned, naval gaming isn't nearly as popular as gaming with tanks, or Shakos or Orcs. Reach out to your group with the idea of naval gaming. Don't be surprised if all you get are shrugs and yawns. If you get some interest, get their feedback on period, scale and rules.

If this is a solitaire project, fine, that is perfectly valid. If this is the case, nobody's opinion on anything matters, only what pleases you.

To answer your actual question, 1/2400 scale gunboat actions look puny. The only reasons to do them are,…

1. You have crushing space limitation issues.
2. You are gaming a large battle area which dictates small scale ships. Panzerschiffes make 1/2400 scale ACW warships that'd be just right for a Battle of Forts St Philip and Jackson.
3. As part of a naval campaign where gunboats are protecting far flung colonies from other gunboats. Ive seen LOTS of these and they can be a hoot. I played in one game between Turkish reserve fleet ironclads vs. A French reserve squadron made up of obsolete wooden steamers. The Turks thought the steamers were steel and torpedoed one. Several French sailors became the first humans to achieve low orbit.

What naval battle from a movie you enjoy would like to game? That might go a long way to charting a path forward.

jeeves17 Jan 2022 11:30 a.m. PST

It's just my uncle and I gaming and we're both very interested in naval warfare in all periods and places.

HMS Exeter17 Jan 2022 12:52 p.m. PST

OK. As you already have some dreadnought and pre dreads, forget about gunboats for now and start a new TMP thread requesting that people recommend rules for 1/2400 scale rules for the 1890-1920 period. Review the suggestions, pick something that looks promising, and give it a test drive. If you like it, there you go.

If/when there are problems, of if/when you want to expand into other areas, come back and I'm sure loads of people who've been where you are will chime in.


Striker17 Jan 2022 2:30 p.m. PST

I'm interested in what you find Jeeves. I have a bunch of IJN and French WWII 1/2400 for regular big ship fights and we use Naval Thunder for quick week night battles but I also have GQ3. I haven't played their "Rise of the Battleship" pre-dread rules much though. For gunboats, if I can find them, I'm thinking 1/600 for scale? The ranges would be less and the ships were smaller so this would give me some visual appeal and not have the minis get lost in the sea.

jeeves17 Jan 2022 3:09 p.m. PST

Problem is I already bought some 1/600 gunboats from pt dockyard:).

HMS Exeter17 Jan 2022 6:05 p.m. PST

Having ship models isn't a problem. It's an opportunity.

For 1/2400 I kinda like Naval Thunder. I've found GQIII a bit complicated, but I've only ever played it at conventions and I think the GMs were still learning the rules too. Actually, I've always rather liked the GCII rules, tho they're hard to come by affordable in the US. They're apparently available from Navwar in the UK.

RE the 600 scale gunboats, give their gunbiat rules a try. I know nothing about them, but they're inexpensive and seem a good jumping off point.

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