Tuesday, July 3, 2018


Over the past year or so I have played several games of "Form on the Admiral's Wake" at various club meetings.   The rules are not complex and provide an interesting and fun game.  There is no guarantee as to what order the various action cards will be drawn in and one person shuffles the end of turn card into the deck instead of placing it at the bottom as per the rules.  Players could handle a dozen or so ships and a battle such as Trafalgar could be played with two on the British side and four on the Franco-Spanish side.

Form on the Admiral's Wake is available from Brian DeWitt in PDF form on a CD .  The rules come with five scenario books in addition to the rules and card deck.   I used a company in China called ArtsCow to have a deck of cards printed for the rules.  If you use them you will need to select the 54 card set and  download a software program called Silverlight from Microsoft.  The cards are not expensive and they give a discount for the first order.  While Trafalgar is not one of the scenarios included with the rules, almost all of the ships on both sides can be found in the other scenarios that are included.

I recently purchased the two boxed sets of Trafalgar ships from Forged in Battle  These are a little over an inch long and fit nicely into the hex cloth I purchased from Amazon.  For most battles you would only need a couple of yards, but for Trafalgar you would probably need about four yards in order to have a wide enough battle area to allow the British fleet to approach in the formation it used..

Although the ships are small, they are well detailed and have minimal mold flash to remove.   The Franco-Spanish set comes with a special casting for the Santissima Trinidad.    Keep this one separate from the others when painting them as the difference between it and the other large ships is minimal.   The sets include all the ships of the line (3rd rate and larger) along with four of the British frigates.  None of the Franco-Spanish frigates are included.   While frigates were usually kept out of battles between ships of the line, they were used to relay orders by standing off behind the line of battle.   For those who want to add the rest of the frigates and maybe also build an American fleet, either the British or Dutch sets from the battle of Copenhagen will provide the missing ships.   The British set is probably the best one to purchase for this as it has enough large frigates for the Franco-Spanish fleet and enough gunboats to cover the remaining smaller ships in both fleets.

I used a brown spray primer and then painted the sails and sides of the ships.   After painting the side color I then used a very dry brush to paint the gun hatches and other parts black.
 Both fleets.  British on left, Franco-Spanish on right.
 British ships
Franco-Spanish.  Santissima Trinidad with red sides.
Custom made cards from ArtsCow.  You can upload almost any image you want for the back of the cards.   Text can be black or almost any other color and backgrounds can be added,

1 comment:

Prufrock said...

Those ships look like a great deal. Great era to play. I use GMT's Flying Colors board game to get my age of sail fix, but these are very tempting...