Saturday, 29 April 2017

Pre-Dreadnought China Seas Campaign Map

I've been thinking about ideas for a simple solo pre-dreadnought naval campaign, based on a counter-factual clash between the colonial powers in the South and East China Seas. This would be very much along the lines of the campaign approach from Victory at Sea: Age of Dreadnoughts, perhaps using the operational campaign variant from the Far Flung Seas supplement, depending on the scope of the campaign. If it was just an Anglo-Japanese clash the latter would work well but, for a wider campaign involving the German, Russians, United States, Chinese and French, the multiplayer system in the core rules would be better.

Anyway, it wouldn't be tied down to Victory at Sea and could be based on a different system or approach. I like the look of Rory Crabb's Rise of the Battleship rules and have also been looking at Naval Thunder as a possible option.  Regardless of the rules, you always need a good campaign map to plot movement and gain a strategic overview, so I was pleased to find this one online. It is a contemporary (c1898) map of the colonial possessions in the region and, although earlier than the time period I'd like to focus on, it does provide a handy map on which to base any campaign planning. This is all a bit hypothetical at the moment but it's a good start.


  1. That's pretty damn cool Jim!


  2. Yep, and it's even got a grid! (although I would probably have to sub divide it a bit)

  3. Ive been thinking of running a campaign where the Allies in WW1 had to hunt down the Emden. The German player can go anywhere he chooses but with the aim of racking up 'kills' of merchant shipping - after pinching their coal of course! His limitation is a limited number of neutral ports in which to refuel and take on armaments - forcing him to coal at obscure islands and rendezvous. His problem is needing to use the radio to make contact with said supply ships (thereby giving the Allies an approximation of his position). The Allues have lots of ships but most must be used to escort merchant and troop ships to safe havens. So the Allies must rely on distress signals, tracking German radio signals and reports of port visits (or bombardments) to track their prey. I've been looking for a map to do this on and blow me down, here it is. It would need smaller squares to play on but provides an ideal opportunity for me to try this. Thanks!

  4. A great map! Good luck with the campaign idea, I look forward to seeing how it all works out.

  5. That sounds like a great plan Phil. I think you're right about the grids. I was thinking of sub-dividing them too, which would make movement more manageable and the time / distance ratio closer to realistic.

  6. Great map- thanks for sharing it.



  7. Hi Jim, I started off working on something similar, and located some useful maps, in huge detail. Unfortunately, most contemporary maps don't show critical things like Coaling Stations. I gave it up as I couldn't find a good way to force engagements and finding enough players to have an umpire and sufficient variety.



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