Monday, February 15, 2016

Status of the Fleets

Looking back at by Blog posts and picture log it has been the Fall of 2013 since I was active in Naval gaming when I hosted a Naval Thunder event at RockCON.


Today while browsing the magazine racks the cover of World at War caught my eye with an article about the battle of Samar and the British in the Med.

As a result I was motivated to pull out the fleets that have safely resided in dry docks while my gaming interests were diverted to other periods and developing an extensive 28mm WWII, AWI and now Anglo-Zulu collection.

Fleets in Dry Docks
My Naval collection started back in 2007 with the release of Axis and Allies Naval Miniatures (AANM) "War at Sea".  The title immediately caught my attention as I use to play the classic Avalon Hill board game War at Sea and Victory in the Pacific.  AANM was nothing like the board games as it was a games using 1/1800 scale pre-painted models using a simple rule system with stat cards for each model played on a small grid map.  I was already playing the land game and I was instantly hooked as the models looked great and were playable right out of the box.  At the time I was no longer painting due to time constraints, but that soon changed.

Axis and Allies 1/1800 Fleets
While Playing AANM I discovered a few more traditional set of Naval War game rules, but the one I settled on was "Naval Thunder" which allowed you to use any scale miniatures in a traditional table top war games setting.  As I already had a vast collection of WWII 1/1800 scale ships I was set for that period.

1/2400 SPAN-AM, RJW and WWI Fleets
After attending NAVCON in Milwaukee and being exposed to the Russo-Japanese War I decided to build my own fleets of 1/2400 Pre-dreadnoughts.  Before long I had the complete OoB for all the RJW sea battles and expanded into WWI and later the Spanish American War as new supplements came out for Naval Thunder covering all periods from Span-AM War through WWII.

Spanish and Americans duke it out in a hypothetical action
Not long after AANM was coming to an end after releasing six sets of miniatures.  The producer Wizards of the Coast (WotC) decided the game had run its course.  Because it was a collectible miniature game (CMG) there was only so much that could be done in a historical setting without making many duplicates. 

The community was not satisfied though.  Although there would be no more "official" sets the community came together to release new decks (without miniatures) to keep the game alive.  Due to the creative use of repaints and 3D models the ships that WotC did not produce could be made and keep the game alive.  The original ships and planes are still available on the secondary market at a hefty price.  WotC released the last "official" set over four years ago, but just today I bought the latest community deck on E-bay which will open up an whole new list of possibilities for new ships to model.

Makings of the German Battle Line for Jutland
So my fleets have been neglected for the last 2 plus years.  One of my goals is to revive my naval gaming so the great ships can see the high seas again.  Maybe I can introduce some of my new "land" gaming friends into the wonderful world of Naval Gaming.

Pre-Dread American, Spanish and German project neglected

First things first though, I do intend to complete my Anglo-Zulu project and tie up a few Bolt Action loose ends so the work bench is clear.  Then the dock workers can return and start cranking out the many naval projects that have been on hiatus.

Shapeways Fleets waiting for paint
AANM waiting to be converted to new ships via repaint

The ships will sail again in 2016........


  1. Love the carrying army transport case there, got the exact same one :)

    Good to hear your getting your ships back out for a cruise! Should you be interested, I'm currently working on my own WW2 naval ruleset, chafing and polishing, but they are quite ready for play. So if you like to give them a test you can check the preview here:

  2. Nice and congrats, no easy task developing rules. Will look to check them out at some point. Going to take awhile to fully get the navy out of mothball. ;)

  3. Impressive collection Afilter. Best luck reviving your naval gaming. Your pre-dreadnoughts look particularly nice.

    1. Thanks, they were a labor of love adding the mast details.

  4. beutiful but as i recall a long time ago like in 2014 in a 12400 naval pre dreds u said that some german ships tried to provoke commodore dewey into a war with germany is that true?

    1. If you do a google search you can find a number or articles on German and American tensions in the Philippines.

      Here is one:

      The box of ships pictured are German, American and Spanish just for that purpose. ;)

  5. you should do a great white fleet alt history!