Wooden Wars Naval Action!

 "Put your backs into it!'
~ pretty much every naval Lieutenant, ever...

Gun boats row towards the shore supported by the HMS Smeagol

The Capture of  Fort Mouton

This Kublacon I ran my first ever Wooden Wars naval action, wherein the HMS Smeagol had orders to transport and support British troops in taking a French coastal fort on Pont du Mouton, a heavily gunned, yet lightly garrisoned shore fort that defends the harbor of the Port city of Qu'est -ce que le Troupeau. 

The battlefield is 9 x 12 feet.
The battle was held in the grand foyer of the convention, which means right across from registration and one of the first things folks see as they come into the convention. A real plum spot! 
 Many thanks to the staff of Kublacon who really supported my games and in general are just really nice folks! 

   In this scenario, the rowboats had to row for at least 4 turns before making it to the beach, all the time being fired upon by the fort of 8 guns. In our 3 home play tests, the boats never made it and the HMS Smeagol was sunk once, so I was keen on seeing how this was going to go!

Gun Boats Away! 

Salts, young and old brave the waves and gun fire as they close on the fort.
The British had 6 gun boats, each filled with Marines and an officer, plus a bow gun and a gun crew. They could move each turn and fire the bow guns, but were very susceptible to the forts guns. 
Gunboat and crew ready for action! 

Movement is done with "marshal's batons"
One of the players getting ready to fire. His socks are not regulation.

  Fort Mouton

 Typical of all my Wooden Wars games, the terrain needs to be destructible to the onslaught of rubber balls. Instead of using kids wooden "ABC" blocks as they looked out of place with the rest of the game, I had a couple of 2x2's cut into blocks, then did a grey wash upon them. Over all the area has a simple yet definable feeling to it, and the blocks worked quite well.

The fort had 8 mighty guns, plus a small milita in the garrison keep. The walls were quite sound and proved to be more than a match as ball after ball bounced off of them.

Fort Mouton and it's sheep. Note the garrison troops
The garrison soldiers. Typical of such troops,
enthusiastic, but maybe not the best of shots.

one of the 8 guns of the fort takes aim at the HMS Smeagol
The Gunships get closer- and take out a fort gun and the main door
Using the rocks as cover, three gunboats made it to shore, one with only half crew
At the beginning of the battle , the rowboats came in, and the barrage of the fort's guns aimed too high, flying over all the rowboats but striking true on the HMS Smeagol, taking off a sail  and knocking out  a gun and several crew. 
HMS Smeagol is struck by two of the fort's guns!
As the gunboats closed in, three were sunk by the fort
The militia come out to repel the attack. The youngest
officer was not too happy about their prospects.
 The gunboats got closer and the fort dialed in on them, taking out 3 boats, and half the crew of a 4th. It didn't look like the British were going to have a chance. At this point the militia braved up and came out, only to be fiercely savaged by the HMS Smeagol's broadside. At this point it was also reported that a sheep had been struck "hors du combat". 

There were rumors during the game from the onlookers that not unlike the Falklands, this battle was over "strategic sheep purposes".  Whom am I to judge...

The Fort is Taken! 

 Two and half gunboats worth of Marines and sailors made it to the beach, only to lose 3 men straight off by the Smeagol's guns!  The rest stormed the fort, were repulsed on the far left, stormed again, taking the left half of the fort.  On the right, the sailors made quick work of the militia, captured two sheep, and stormed the left of the fort- easily overcoming the poor gun crews. After that a quick march and the flag- and Fort were captured! 
British forces storm the fort, are repelled and storm again!
Blurry in action shot of the butcher's bill
and the final move to capture the flag
The fort is taken!

About Wooden Wars

Wooden Wars (tm) is a miniatures game which hearkens back to the days of H.G. Wells. Players command armies of sturdy wooden soldiers, cavalry and artillery (and now ships!) against each other on an expansive floor battlefield. Victory is achieved by knocking over all the opposing side's army by firing(tossing a small rubber balls)and melee(moving into contact), or by capturing key objectives like a star fort or the enemy's flag. This is a very visual and visceral game, where tactics, positioning, excellent hand-eye coordination and good old fashioned luck will win the field! 

This is a great game for children age 8+ and families, and as you can see by my convention photos, attracts people of all ages. One of my favorite things about wooden wars is that it is an equal opportunity game, and I am happy to say that many of the girls and young ladies (and moms) that play usually out maneuver and out gun the boys.

Cheers, thanks for taking a gander, and as always I love your questions and feedback!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Baron- it was an inspiring game!

  2. Nice to read the action report after seeing how beautiful it looked being played. Wooden Wars with boats is like your worlds colliding. Keep up the great stuff!

    1. 144- it kinda does close the loop, doesn't it?

  3. Thgat's just glorious. So good to see so many kids both young and old scrabbling on their knees to play toy soldiers. Well done you! Looks really good too

    1. Robert- yes, getting everyone on the same playing field, as it were. Thanks for your kind words.

  4. Replies
    1. Jay- thanks- I'll be running this again at Pacificon, maybe with a few... adjustments...