Steel Castles sourcebook in the yards!

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Charles Lewis
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Steel Castles sourcebook in the yards!

Postby Charles Lewis » Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:50 pm

Image

Steel Castles is the working title for a setting book I've started work on for VBAM, 2nd Ed. It will be based on the pre-WWI naval arms race, but in spaaaaaace. Underneath will be a conversion of the real ships into VBAM stats - the space part will mostly come from the map.
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Re: Steel Castles sourcebook in the yards!

Postby Charles Lewis » Wed May 18, 2016 6:42 pm

Interesting tidbit on how quickly naval engineering advanced during the run-up to World War I:

The first British class identified as a "battleship" is the Majestic class of 1894. Majestics massed 14,900 tons, carried 4 12" guns, and could go up to 16 knots with coal.

The last WWI-era British cruiser class was Formidable of 1916. Formidables massed 18,600 tons, carried 4 15" guns, and could go up to 31 knots with oil turbines.

That's a helluva lotta progress in 22 years when your cruisers are bigger and almost twice as fast as your original battleships!
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Re: Steel Castles sourcebook in the yards!

Postby murtalianconfederacy » Thu May 19, 2016 8:57 am

Although, to be fair, I'm pretty sure armoured cruisers of that era always massed around the same as battleships and often required as many, if not more, crew than said battleship...

But one thing that I'm not sure on--do you mean the Courageous battlecruiser class? That's the only class of ships I can think of that mounted 4 15" guns and top speed of 32 knots. A quick search doesn't have any Formidable-class cruiser pop up--indeed, the first search result was for the pre-dread Formidable battleship class...
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Re: Steel Castles sourcebook in the yards!

Postby Charles Lewis » Thu May 19, 2016 2:10 pm

No, I meant Courageous. Grabbed the wrong name off my list. :oops:
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Re: Steel Castles sourcebook in the yards!

Postby murtalianconfederacy » Sat May 21, 2016 8:34 am

'Tis fine, just wanted to keep you honest...;)
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Re: Steel Castles sourcebook in the yards!

Postby Charles Lewis » Mon May 23, 2016 1:48 pm

murtalianconfederacy wrote:'Tis fine, just wanted to keep you honest...;)



Somebody has to... 8)
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Re: Steel Castles sourcebook in the yards!

Postby Charles Lewis » Mon May 23, 2016 6:29 pm

I've compiled all the British dreadnoughts, battleships, and cruisers for the era: 39 classes in total! Clearly, as I expected, once I get the British fleet compiled, I'll have enough to work with to develop my conversion process. Once that's where I want it, I can focus on the rest of 'em. :)
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Re: Steel Castles sourcebook in the yards!

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:33 pm

Getting that initial baseline nailed down is always the hardest part of any conversion, whether you're converting wet naval ships or pew-pew-pew space ships :lol:

Good to see the progress, Charlie!
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Re: Steel Castles sourcebook in the yards!

Postby PaulB » Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:06 am

What's the Formidable? Only HMS Formidable I found was a pre-DN Battleship.

Many of the WW1 cruisers were I think like the Towns, which just had 8 single 6" guns all around with just shields and hand-loaded. Cruisers with Turreted guns I think came mostly after the war with Treaty Cruisers.

Cruisers didn't have above 6 or 8" guns. In the Washington, London and Geneva conferences Britain wanted to limit guns to 6" or less, so I doubt that a "cruiser" class had 15" guns or do you mean a Battlecruiser? Which isn't really a cruiser.

- - - -

Either way, cool project. I have a ton of books on Ships from the time. RA Burt's books on British Battleships are amazing. Right now going through some books from Norman Friedman which are not quite AS good. Don't have too many books on non-british ships from WW1 but just picked up a new Osprey book which focuses on Japanese ships from the Russo-Japanese War.

- - - -

Another thought might be instead of doing your own translations, to instead convert from a different game. It's arguably less accurate (and less fun, because then you can't drool over the ships) but it might be easier. I think both Mongoose and the Colonial Battlefleet guys do some WW1 Naval games.

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Re: Steel Castles sourcebook in the yards!

Postby Charles Lewis » Sat Jun 25, 2016 12:42 am

As I stated above, I originally misspoke, and was referring to the Courageous class of cruisers. And yes, they had 15" guns, 4 of them, mounted in pairs.

In the 20's, HMS Courageous was converted to an aircraft carrier, much like Furious. Furious had been intended to be the third ship in the class, but later changed and purpose-built as a carrier.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Courageous_(50)

I originally started working with Avalanche Press' WWI games, but utlimately decided to do a straight conversion from the specs, rather than baking in someone else's assumptions.
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Re: Steel Castles sourcebook in the yards!

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Sat Jun 25, 2016 8:46 pm

What's the map going to end up looking like? Is it going to be vaguely based on the real world map of the main European naval theater, or something else entirely?

I'm certainly looking forward to seeing how this all comes together :)
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Re: Steel Castles sourcebook in the yards!

Postby Charles Lewis » Mon Jun 27, 2016 2:32 pm

Right n ow, the plan is to make a map based on the predominant ports of Europe. It remains to be seen how literal this remains.
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Re: Steel Castles sourcebook in the yards!

Postby PaulB » Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:12 pm

Ah sorry, missed the correction. Also missed this ship in some of the books, probably because it's most notable as being converted to a Carrier. Didn't take note of the original 2-2 configuration.

How many fleets do you plan to have in the game? Or, more accurately what fleets do you plan to model? British & German for sure I assume. Maybe French, Italian and American? Japanese and Russian?

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Re: Steel Castles sourcebook in the yards!

Postby murtalianconfederacy » Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:49 am

One thing I'd like to see is the coast-defence battleships of the Norwegian, Swedish and Greek navies, but then that's just me...:D
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Re: Steel Castles sourcebook in the yards!

Postby Charles Lewis » Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:53 pm

As much as my information allows, I intend to have everything European in the book. I also intend to bake in some hooks to allow the material to be used with Jay's With a Purpose for a lot of options for gameplay.

The nature of the history will generate a much different environment for the Pacific, so while I'm not committing to doing a Pacific expansion; it's different enough that it should stand on its own.
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