Naval & Aerial War gaming 2017

2 May 2017

The MEGA (Metro East Gaming) rules edition of the Coral Sea campaign is a really worthwhile campaign to replicate if you’re looking for an ideal campaign game incorporating both air and naval ops in the one setting.

Being the a*hole I can be at times, I’ve chosen to re-invent the wheel and make my own version of the campaign using an amalgam taking bits from MEGA (thanks guys), what I’ve gleaned from Wikipedia (yes, it’s still quite relevant and still free service. No, I don’t feel guilty about not contributing through donation as I don’t have much spare cash to give anyway), and blend that material incorporating both GQIII and BTH rulesets.

I’m choosing two rulesets because I want to examine if either works well independently of each other. And I want to know to what extent GQIII is more profitable than BTH. And vice versa. If there is a way to incorporate both sets into the campaign experience, either by allocating one set to general air ops while the other can deal to the actual plane-on-plane aerial combat situation, I will find out for sure. I suspect, however, in bringing this idea to the conscious level, it may not work at all on a more practical level. Indeed, I highly suspect it will fail as both ruleset deal quite adequately with all aspects of the air ops phase on their own; they don’t need the other.

The May issue of Quarterstaff outlines the campaign background information with specified links for further reading. It’s personally disappointing that all that work is going unrewarded through interest. But I will soldier on because I enjoy doing the ezine and hopefully it will provide a useful visual archive of this period in my gaming and modelling life.

23 April 2017

Read through GQ3 again late last night. It has me excited to once again dust off them ships of mine and wage unrelenting war on my tabletop. Maybe tomorrow? Anyway, I’ve got an idea how to conduct this campaign after reading the rules. Will post a few reports of some of the action taken from my campaign sheet. Full results will be published in the November issue. Cheers.

22 April 2017

It’s never easy admitting you might have bitten off more than you can chew. I’ve yet to reach that point, but in re-reading the aerial component of the General Quarters III rules, I feel it’s a bit daunting. Add to that sense of feeling a little overwhelmed is the admission that in this month alone, I’ve engaged in one…two…three…four rulesets of different genres/periods/eras. This project will make it five. This is more than I normally handle which usually sits at just one per six months! While they are historical, each is different in complexity and “texture”.

I’m still excited to be playing this as I do enjoy my naval. It’s so complex and yet very enjoyable. Can almost taste the tangy salty air…almost!

The aerial component of the rules deals with naval air ops in a bit more detail than, say, Bag The Hun which only offers its maritime air ops in a quick easy bites. And that seems to be the problem with rules that cater specifically to one environment. GQ3 offers a little more than basic — at least in my limited experience. It’s more of a sit-down meal where you get a decent couple of courses, followed by dessert.

Reading all the intricacies has advanced a little further how I’m going to approach this short campaign. It will probably end up as per the usual GQ3 play with the naval vessels deployed and the air ops appearing and interrupting the normal flow of naval operations in order to perform their primary task. I just have to brush up on the ship-to-air defensive procedures and air defence manoeuvres of the ship escorts (ie what formation, procedure for firing and so on). If I’m able to I’m hoping to commence a couple of tabletop games within the next few days.


19 April 2017

Sometimes when I get sick or bored of land-based games, I switch to the two other mediums – the seas and the skies. This post will cater to that fascination for both mediums.

Naval Aviation war gaming

I have been thinking about getting back into my naval war gaming. But I’ve since discovered that I have a real fondness for naval aviation. My recent board gaming experience with Phantom Leader is a direct descendant of what happened in the Coral Sea back in 1942, my first campaign for this year.

I’ll be using the timeline events listed in the Wikipedia article The Battle of Coral Sea  for referencing and designing this upcoming campaign. It will be straightforward to extract the details and set up the game. The aviation rules will come from General Quarters III.

Of course, I don’t have all the requisite planes or naval vessels, such as plane tenders, gunboats, minesweepers, etc., so I’ll be using my 3D printer to produce what I need. Fingers crossed.

Coral Sea map resized for article A
Coral Sea


I’ve got two scales for airplanes, 1/600 and 1/700. As for ships, I only have 1/3000. They’ve worked well together in the past when I was running a few BTH maritime scenarios. Thus it will be quantities that may delay start. But I have an external incentive to get this up and running. Will keep this updated regularly. Cheers.

Next month sees the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea fought 4-8 May. Hmm, interesting.



Author: b20f08

I enjoy solo wargaming and writing. The first caters to the boy that never grew up; the latter satisfies a deep desire to communicate. Cheers.

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