Friday, 7 September 2012

Dogfight Over The Channel

We played another game of Aeronef last night; for Geoff and I it was our second session, but Caesar and Tim joined us for their first game and, because it's a simple set of rules, picked it up very quickly.

Geoff threw together two forces for a straight dogfight, with no objective more complicated than just destroying the opposing force. All ships were 'nefs, with the French having a trio of Class 4 frigates a couple of Class 3 cruisers and a single Class 1 battleship, whilst the opposing British had four Class 3 cruisers and four Class 5 gunboats. In general the British ships had an edge in armour and guns, whilst the French ships were faster and more maneuverable.

I only took a few photos, and they're pretty awful. Still, better than nothing ...

A couple of the British cruisers, with supporting gunboats. These are miniatures from the old GDW 'Sky Galleons of Mars' game:

The other half of the British force:

The French battleship, and a supporting cruiser. Depicted as dirigibles there were still classed as 'nefs for the game. Both models are converted from 1/72nd aircraft parts.

The other French cruiser (another aircraft drop-tank conversion) along with the frigates - my scratchbuilds in their debut game:

The only shot I took of the actual game - a French cruiser takes 12 hits in one turn, which send it crashing into the sea:

The British won a fairly convincing victory. One French cruiser (depicted above) got isolated from the main force and was hit by concentrated fire. The French frigates then came under fire; by the end of the game only one was left, being pursued off the table by two British gunboats and taking the worse of the exchange of fire. When we finished the second French cruiser had just gone down, and the battleship was coming under sustained fire from several British ships. The British didn't lose any vessels, although a couple of their gunboats were damaged, and one cruiser had taken several very damaging hits.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the game, and next time we'll try another scenario to give the game more focus.

Next week? Maurice again, I think.


  1. Your ships look good in the air!!

  2. Thanks Geoff and Alan for putting on a most enjoyable game. Great models and such ingenuity and attention to detail in scratch-building. Nice and simple rules made picking it up in an evening easy and the alternative history created a terrific theme. My strategy was not terribly involved other than flying into contact and concentrating fire (a general personal gripe I have with most fleet style games), though I'm certain a scenario would give Aeronef plenty of tactical depth. I was in fact a British double agent, which explains why I did so atrociously commanding the French! My union jack parachute could be seen as I ejected from the burning French cruiser.

    1. Fleet games which strongly limit movement and allow line of fire to be blocked are obviously more tactical even in a straight head-on fight. For all its faults 'Void and Stars' avoids the concentrated fire problem, firstly because not everything acts each turn (the aforementioned fault, it has to be said) and secondly because, for a spaceship game, it's strong on terrain which blocks movement or line of fire. One of the reasons I like age of sail games is the fact that you are not so much fighting the enemy sometimes as your ability to bring your ships into battle despite the wind. And it's much harder to concentrate multiple ships on one, unless the enemy hands it to you on a plate :)

  3. I've played a few games of Firestorm Armada, the spaceship game from Spartan Games. It's good fun but unless you have terrain it does feel a bit like an exercise in who can roll more sixes. Uncharted Seas, the Spartan Games fantasy naval game is much more fun. Wind, islands, monsters - who could ask for anything more?

    At the October Wargames club we've played a few games of Close Action (I think it's called), a really good Napoleonic naval game. It's hexbased and more complicated than Wooden Ships and Iron Men but less complicated than Harpoon.

    They've played Land Ironclads at the same club and I have the rules. I just don't want to get figures for another game just yet. I do like the rules though.

    1. I don't know how Land Ironclads compares to Aeronef in terms of rule compatibility, but I guess they're designed to work together. The Aeronef rules are very basic indeed. And they actually encourage you to chop and change them; indeed there's an almost official change which simplifies the turn sequence (making the rules even easier to play). It does revolve around rolling lots of sixes, though. The real charm of Aeronef is the setting and potential for scenarios.

  4. Land Ironclads - same rules. No issues.


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