Monday, November 12, 2018

Giga Historical Games Day - Part One of Three

Saturday, November 10, 2018 was a historical games day at Gigabytes Cafe in Marrietta, Georgia. William Thorpe did a fantastic job or organizing and getting games lined up for the entire day. He even got sponsors to donate prizes for a raffle that we were doing. Very impressed. He almost had the games running on time, but given the material he was working with (me included) that was asking too much of the poor man.

Starting at 10am I didn't leave until 7pm when my games finished and I was able to pack up. It was a great but exhausting day.

It was a terrific event and it was used as a fundraiser for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. From what I gather, there were 16 games that went on throughout the day. I hosted two games: a Kiss Me Hardy variant and a Sharp Practice game. In both games I had a full table of participants and they were at least kind enough to pretend they were having a good time for my benefit. :) Well I had a great time anyway. I also did a poor job of getting pictures of the games as they developed. Half the time I just forgot and the other half the pictures were questionable.

The first game was a five player game of Kiss Me Hardy using some modifications that I made for ships under the rate. It was a quasi-historical scenario based on actions of the Georgia and South Carolina State Navies in the American Revolution.

The game began with a merchant brig anchored in the center of the table. This is a Sea Dog Studios 6mm Brigantine model. The dots that you notice on this mat are markings from an attempt to make a hex mat on the reverse side of the felt for a game of Bag the Hun. It taught me to never make my own hex sheet.

To the southwest corner was a sloop from the Georgia Navy named the John B. As for the name, I am sorry, I couldn't help myself. During the game, I only heard one passerby groan when they noticed the name so I am guessing there is a dwindling number of Beach Boy fans left. The John B was a six gunned sloop armed with 6-6pdr guns. This model is a Sea Dog Studios 6mm Bermuda Sloop.

In the Northwestern corner was two small vessels from the South Carolina State Navy - the Defiance and the Liberty. Both were actual ship names but applied to different vessels. The Liberty was actually the name of a Georgia sloop. Both were very small vessels. The Defiance had a single gun in the bow and a stern gun on a pivot. The Liberty was a pilot boat with a single bow gun. Both of these miniatures are from Langton Miniatures 1/300th scale Napoleonic line. One is a armed ships's launch and the other is a British Gunboat. Excellent models that my painting does not do justice to.

To the Northeast was a Royal Navy galley Tamar. The Tamar was the name of an actual RN sloop that was very active off the coast of South Carolina but it was most certainly not a galley. It was a galley for this scenario as I didn't have a chance to make the ship that would have corresponded to it. It was an eight gunned vessel with 8-4pdr guns. No individual photos of this ship. But in the later pics, she is the only one with lanteen sails. This is a Warartisan paper model.

The last ship actually matched it's historical counterpart. The RN schooner St John. The St John had an extremely active career in the Revolution. It was involved in a number of actions including the Rebel raid on Nassau. It was armed with 12-4pdrs. It started in the southeastern corner of the table. Another model I don't have a good picture of. Which is just as well as I have dropped it at least 4 times and had to reattach its topsails and equal number of times. It is a WarArtisan paper model. Not the ONLY thing that happened to it when it was dropped from about 4' from the ground is the loss of one or two topsails that were fixed with the application of superglue. In the instructions, it mentions that rigging the ship makes it stronger. This is 100% true. Where I have rigging, it is much sturdier. I ran out of time to complete the job.

At the start of the game, the wind was blowing to the east which confounded the Royal Navy in moving towards the merchantman. The Rebels were able to move with great ease and quickly moved to intercept the merchantman.

The Liberty took a scenic tour through the rocks. One of the things I missed was pointing out that there was shoal water surrounding the rocks. The Liberty was so shallow drafted that it wouldn't have mattered anyway. But she shot through the rocks and spent a good amount of the game out of the action until the end.

One of the items that I was trying out was rules for "Flying False Flags". The Rebels weren't operating in a coordinated fashion as the Georgia Navy didn't know that the South Carolina Navy would even be there. The Royal Navy wasn't sure what any of the ships were. The Tamar and the St John were aware of each other, though. So I had a system of spotting test to determine friend from foe. It worked out mostly well. With the close confines of the space we had availible, it was obvious to the players who was who, but they were game for whatever the dice showed. Everyone was able to avoid a friendly fire incident but only just barely.

This run out of the rules with someone other than my 10 year old was very valuable. The early moves of the game can seem very slow. I am thinking of adding an optional rule to allow the first turn to be conducted in Inches rather than Centimeters to allow the ships to get into action faster. Also, the strike system needs to be adjusted from the base Kiss Me Hardy rules as no one passed a strike test during the game.

This shot is toward the end of the game where the John B has taken the Merchantman and was starting to be pummeled into submission by the St John. You can see the Liberty has made a come back and would sail circles around the St John before fleeing the table.

The scenario played out well. The Defiance menaced the St John for a while but one broadside put an end to her. Not unexpected for such a tiny vessel (a sailed ship's launch). The Tamar was beaten by the John B (turns out a father v son battle with the son as victor). The Tamar struck and had lost a mast in the fighting.

The John B went on to take the merchantman that had started to flee. Once the Merchantman was on its way to safety, the John B and the St John has a quick engagement that forced the John B to strike to the superior gunnery of the St John.

With the Liberty as the last Rebel vessel on the waters, their victory conditions assured by the merchantman's escape, it deftly dodged the St John's best efforts and escaped.

It was a well fought game. Top honors went to the captain of the St John who was our youngest player at the table. He was also a son of the Tamar's Captain as well. He captured two Rebel vessels and re-secured the Tamar. The Rebels also counted the action as a victory as they absconded with the gunpowder.

Rewarding his gallant victory, the captain of the St John was awarded with a 6mm Sea Dog Studios Bermuda Sloop. Ironically, the same model as the John B sailed by his brother who he happened to capture. (Players forgive me if I get this wrong) The St John was captained by Collin. The Tamar was captained by Tim. Jake was captain of the John B. Jim was captain of the Liberty and Chris (not me) was the captain of the Defiance.

One of the things I have noticed, is that I rarely take pictures of the gamer's during events. After Terry Haney's passing, this became evident as I went through a bunch of pictures of our games together and I didn't find a single picture of Terry among them. This one I hesitated to take since it involved a minor but I asked his Dad for permission. I wanted to show Brian over at Sea Dog the recipient of the prize.

I am going to stop for now and make another post on the Sharp Practice game and a third on the other events as this is starting to get long. Thanks again, William for a great event. I came so close to winning the raffle twice. :)


  1. Looks like a great game and nice to see the young guys getting involved.

  2. Fun looking games, Chris So glad you could make it

    1. Wish I could have stayed for your Seminole Wars game. Also wanted to play your Coastal Patrol game. Great day all around but tiring.