Tally Ho! by Ian Allen

Issue: 24
System: Man O'War
Publisher: Games Workshop

Tally Ho!
Attack on Jade Anchorage
by Ian Allen

The captain of the Bretonnian Galleon "Belle Soleil" looked around the harbour, ten other Galleons and Greatships of the Combined Fleet lay hard by. The Dwarves could not possibly fight, they had only four ironclads in the area. Two more were rumoured to be half finished - no guns or superstructure yet. Yes, it was good to be in this victorious fleet. As he looked out to sea... smoke. Surely the Dwarves would not attack... even as he thought he heard a familiar "Thwoppa Thwoppa-" followed by splashes on the other side of his ship; looking up he saw two Gyrocopters fly over and almost immediately two explosions under his feet. NO! Gyrocopters haven't the range to reach this island and don't carry torpedoes!

It was later said that the Imperial Admiral von, Roostveldt's only words about the dwarf attack on Jade Anchorage were "this day, will live in infamy".

So what's it all about? A scenario for GW's (now defunct) Man O'War with a new ship for the Dwarves - the Gyrocopter Carrier.

The Dwarves realised that they were outgunned and so finished two unarmed ironclads as carriers for torpedo carrying Gyrocopters. These they sent with their whole fleet (One Dreadnought and four Ironclads) on a pre-emptive strike against the combined Empire and Bretonnian fleets anchored at the island port of Jade Anchorage.

The tabletop should be set out on a 8 foot by 4 foot area. The South and half the Western side of the table are coastline (the edges of Jade Bay). A promontory is situated half way up the eastern side of the table which extends a third of the way across the table. The Combined Fleet deploys to the South of this promontory. The Combined Fleet picket line may deploy anywhere in the southern half of the table. The Dwarf fleet deploys 6" from the Northern table edge.


The Empire/Bretonnian Combined Fleet:

  • 6 Greatships
  • 5 Galleons
  • 3 Buccaneers (picket line)

The Dwarven Fleet

  • 1 Dreadnought
  • 4 Ironclads
  • 2 Gyrocopter Carriers
  • 1 Nautilus (at periscope depth at a point outside the harbour, to the North of the promontory, noted by the Dwarf player before the game).

The Gyrocopter Carrier

 [Thumbnail image of Gyrocopter Carrier]

The carrier has three Gyrocopters each of which is armed with a torpedo (as per the Nautilus). Note that each "flight deck" hit will destroy a Gyrocopter if still aboard or reduce the capacity (i.e. if two flight deck areas are lost and two Gyrocoptens return, only one can land. The second is forced to ditch in the sea !)

The launch of Gyrocopters is counted as a firing action. The 'Copters being placed next to the carrier at the end of it's movement. Recovery is conducted in a similar manner. Gyrocopters may be re-armed if they are recovered, taking d-Average turns.

 [Map of the battle area]

The Scenario

The Combined Fleet is at anchor in the Jade Anchorage as shown on the map. These vessels become active when the controlling player rolls a score on 1d6 as follows:

First turn: 6
Second turn: 5+
Third turn: 4+ and so on...

The exception to this are the Buccaneers which are placed in the landward half of the table.

The Dwarven fleet deploy along the northern edge of the table, no more than 6" in from that edge. The exception to this being the Nautilus which is at periscope depth at a location pre-set by the Dwarf player; this can be anywhere on the table outside the harbour.

The Dwarves wish to inflict as much damage as possible while losing less than half of their fleet. If three dwarven vessels are lost the rest of their fleet will withdraw.

The Combined Fleet must attempt to leave the harbour and drive off the Dwarven fleet.

I would suggest that no magic be used in this scenario.

So where did I get the Gyrocopter Carrier Models from? I made them from balsa wood to match the rest of my fleets. Whilst not being as well detailed and a little smaller (my Ironclads are 1¼" long and the carriers are 1¼" long), they are a hell of a lot cheaper. Alternatively you could use the Citadel Ironclad,. Remove the turrets, superstructure and funnels, then fit a deck of plasticard over the hull. It's up to you, but at £5.00 each the Citadel ships ain't cheap and I'm still on my first £5.00-worth of balsa and have the vessels from this scenario as well as an Elf Fleet and lighter elements of the fleets represented here.

Ed Note: Man O'War is a set of fantasy naval wargames rules published by Games Workshop although at present only available by Mail Order. It was reviewed in Ragnarok 9.