Wednesday 20 April 2016

Battlezone 1998 Redux, Genre-crossing Games and Universal Resources

Recently picked this up for $15 on Steam - it's a 1998 PC game with graphics remastered to, if not modern standards, at least a level that doesn't make your eyes bleed.

Wow.  I vaguely remember this game from my childhood, but playing through the tutorial impressed me a lot.  Basically it is a game that crosses genres.

It is a strategy game - you build bases, base defences, harvest resources and make factories to churn out units like the Command & Conquer series.   It's also tank game - you skim a hovertank low over the planet's strafing and boosting thrusters to "jump" over obstacles.  It also feels a bit like the old school FPS like Quake.   Basically, it's a strategy game which you command as a tank pilot, but you can switch between vehicles and even steal enemy craft.  Both elements are solid - simply the hovertank/FPS part is good - but combined with the strategy element it makes the game great.

Battlezone was a 1998 classic which garnered rave reviews, and is one of the trend of "re-releases" (the gaming industry, like movies, seems to have run out of ideas) - where they polish the graphics to an acceptable level on an otherwise identical game.

So what about genre-crossing games in wargaming?

Well, the hypothetical tank game in my last post is perhaps an example.  "Tank games" aren't really uncommon of course - there are dozens of micro-armour/combined arms rules.  Heck, Flames of War with a tank-centric force composition can do that job.  But what I have in mind is a sort of Mordhiem-meets-FoW, where individual tank crew level up and gain special abilities, within a sort of mercenary unit feel like Hammers Slammers or Battletech - but with 1940s-60s tanks as the stars.

Games tend to fall into neat categories - "platoon level WW2"  "platoon level hard sci fi"  "10-man fantasy skirmish" etc.    Games can struggle to bridge "scales" (and rightfully so - the same tactics and game rules should probably not  be the same between, say, squad and company level).  Quite a common complaint from designers is the desire to have characterful heroes fighting alongside hordes of grunts (somewhere between/inclusive of the squad and platoon level) - keeping the game detailed enough to accomodate the heroes whilst streamlined enough to handle lots of grunts.  I'd suggest LOTR:SBG is one of the few which has done it successfully - it can be used with ~6 heroes in a quasi-RPG scenario, or handle as many as ~50 grunts per side.

I think when I say "genre crossing" I mean two things - the ability to bridge battle scale (i.e. detailed enough to zoom in on individual heroes, but can zoom out and deal with lots of grunts) as well as mixing up actual "genres"  i.e. the Dune universe with its emphasis on hand-to-hand dagger duelling in a sci fi world with spaceships and lasers is a good example.  I think this is a topic that has always subconsiously interested me - for years I have experimented with a game with 300kph submarine fighters merely so I could try to blend the maneuvers and tactics of PT-boat warfare, WW1 dogfights and modern ASW - three of my favourite, but rather disparate genres.   Whilst, say, Warmachine (with its magic-meets-robots) would seem to fall into the genre-crossing category I'm not sure if it does - as you can see from the compatible Hordes, the robots act simply as renamed fantasy monsters.    Whereas a 10-man modern skirmish where everyone had a Portal-style teleport gun would probably step outside of the usual genres by nature of its radically different tactics to "normal" modern warfare.

Hmm. I feel like I've talked myself around in a circle without defining/articulating anything clearly.

Any audience suggestions? What are games that you regard cross genres or the usual "boundaries?"

A further, fun question: if you could "mash up" elements from any two or three genres/games - what would they be?

"Stats" and Universal Resource Management
The Battlezone ability to switch "yourself" (i.e. your POV/player control) between vehicles interests me.  I've always liked the idea of demons "possessing" human hosts or an AI controlling hordes of robots.  Basically the "demon" or "AI" is a divisible resource which can be transferred from unit to unit.   A normal unit which is "possessed" or directly controlled "override" by the master AI will become a "hero" unit and be gifted with extras stats, activations and special rules.   This resource could be represented by a pool of counters which are assigned to specific models.   For example, one token might give a unit +1 stats and an extra activation, two tokens might give a special ability, etc.

There could be various rules for how this "power" is transferred which could create a meta-game in itself.  In addition, units which are "possessed" or "overridden", if killed when in possession of the special tokens, might lose the tokens permanently.  Risk vs reward - if I add +3 tokens to make a normal unit a super unit - but I lose the enhanced unit - the resources attached to it at the time are permanently lost - perhaps fatally weakening my overall ability...

Basically, we often use resource management "pools" of tokens etc for activation (Infinity) or magic (Warmachine) but I'm thinking a universal resource that boosts activation, magic/special abilities, AND unit stats.  You don't have an avatar or warband leader on the tabletop like Warmachine - instead "you" are the resource pool.   A bit like the "life points" in Magic that sit in front of you on the table - when they are lost, it;s game over - only they can also be lent out to power your units on the table.  It also adds an extra victory condition - once the "universal resource" is expended, you lose.

I suspect CCGs (like Magic) would be fertile ground for exploring this sort of "universal resource" management.  Anyway, a further question:

Any games where something similar has been done? (I can't think of one offhand)

What is the best/deepest resource management mechanic you've encountered?

Friday 8 April 2016

Tank Games - an Unexplored Genre?

EDIT: (a) For those who simply read the title, then comment, this post is not saying tank games do not exist, but there is areas to explore within the genre (i.e. smaller skirmishes, non-Microarmour/ battalion scale). (b) Also, if you have linked here from TMP please tell Tango to bugger off and not link my blog again, ever

We have shedloads of WW2 rules, and quite a few modern sets.  But there isn't many that specifically focus on armoured warfare.  Yes, we have tanks in those WW2 games (Bolt Action, FoW etc) but they are part of a whole.  I'd like a game specifically focussed on tanks, with infantry merely playing a supporting role.  Think Warmachine; solos and casters are detailed, whilst "grunts" are generic groups.   Given that there are so many miniatures around, and everyone loves tanks (if you don't, your man-cave privileges are permanently revoked). So why don't we have more games that focus on them?  (No, weird/expensive boardgames or stuff from the 70s doesn't count)

Tanks (and crews) are the "heroes" or "aces"
Tanks should have detail, infantry do not. Tank weapons and capabilities are quite detailed, but infantry is streamlined, simplified and generic.  Specific tank crews can "level up" perhaps with a limited range of "special abilities."  Infantry are merely rookies, experienced or veteran which applies to all infantry on a side.  So some sort of (simplified) Mordheim-esque campaign system is required.

Squadron/platoon level
There are plenty of combined arms games (like FFTW3) at a large scale (brigades, battalions).  In order to keep our game focussed on specific crews, it will need to be a manageable size.  It will use between a troop (3-5 tanks) and a squadron (~12 tanks) with between a platoon (~3 squads) and a company (~9 squads) of infantryArtillery is unlikely to appear at this level.  So we're sort of looking at the FoW-Bolt Action scale from a tank-centric focus.  Whilst sweeping Cold War battles involving complete divisions (and usually abstract rules where a single tank = a platoon) are beloved of gamers, a lot of tank battles in WW2 involved a dozen or less per side, not hundreds. 

The Crusader is possibly my favourite tank.  Back when tanks were in a transitional period, and designs were innovative and weird, rather than the boring copy-paste MBTs we have today.

Realistic tactics = focus
In order to win, you need to use realistic tactics. I'm not a tank expert but I presume "bounding overwatch" where some tanks fire while allies move up/flank will be heavily used, as will setting up ambushes and taking hulldown positions.

For example, a troop activation might be "bounding overwatch" 2 tanks fire and 2 move.

I also want tanks to feel and move like tanks.  In some games they simply feel like infantry and kinda freely move anywhere and face and fire any direction.  Perhaps give them a turning radius if they move over 1-2" per turn.  Maybe limit the amount of degrees they pivot in a move?   I'll need to know exact stats - from memory a Panther could pivot 360 in 30-40 seconds; but how would Russian mud etc effect this?   this could simply translate into I.e. light tanks can spin 270, mediums 180, and heavies only 90, halved in bad going....

Gun traverse may also a thing; early Panther tanks took a full minute(!) to turn 360.  While I'm not going to track turret facing in-game, it might effect "reaction" times to targets off to the side, for example, or the ability to engage multiple targets.

I'm happy to have a somewhat fluid/flexible time/ground scale as long as it mimics the correct tactics and feel.  For example, I presume the "practical" RoF of many guns would be around 15 rpm no matter what the actual RoF is - they need time to aim. 

Activation & Reaction
Reactions seem sensible as tanks might peek out over a rise or round a building then compete to get a shot off first. I'm not sure the level of co-ordination between tanks - perhaps activate by troop if equipped with radio, with units having to pass some sort of test without.

No IGOUGO of course; I'd like the initiative to swing back and forth; perhaps as tanks take hits and fail morale/skill tests, the "active" player would then become the "reactive" player. 

Simple damage
I'm thinking a few levels, that could be denoted by a marker.  There's no hitpoints, just general effects.

Shaken = crew is freaking out, from non-pen hit. Perhaps it's being scoured by 20mm fire or a deflected shot or something.  Maybe temporary -1 to rolls, perhaps tank cannot advance in the direction of the fire.

Damaged = this is where the detail comes in, but keep it simple (maybe so can mark with micro d6)
1-2. Bail out! = crew jump out beside tank; may test to get back in later
3. Crew injuries = -1 to all rolls for rest of game as crew are impaired or have to multi-task/take over from wounded comrades
4-5. Mobility damage = perhaps a radiator is hit or tracks damaged; tank can must pass a test or remain stationary that turn; if is passes it may move at half speed for rest of game; if it fails a 2nd test it is permanently immobilized (and -1 to fire if hydraulic turret)
6. Weapon damage = turret ring jammed or similar; gun cannot be used until a crew test is passed

Killed = this takes a few forms.
1-2.  Brew up! = tank explodes in spectacular fashion; it's a total write-off
3-4. Crew kill = everyone inside is dead; tank quite salvagable
5. Mobility Kill = tank immobilized for rest of game
6. Weapon kill = gun knocked out or turret jammed; may not use primary weapon for rest of game

The Grant is similarly weird and awesome. The whole design just makes me smile. 

Infantry Damage and Rally Points
Infantry damage would be simple as possible; shaken, pinned, or destroyed.
In many games infantry squads once "destroyed" are gone for good, I'd like to see them have a chance to 'respawn' at a rally point (roll based on their morale) within a certain range; representing scattered survivors re-forming and re-organising.  Rally points (or "jump off") points could be set like in Chain of Command and thus could be valuable tactical targets - i..e once rally point is overrun, you cannot respawn there.   I'd also like to look at "cohesion" ranges - most games have squads 2" apart - which be 20-30 yards in 1:300?  I'll have to look it up but I presume real life squads would be able to operate more independently than that.

Whilst I don't want to head into 90s territory with super-detailed spotting charts, I do think this should play apart in the game as many tank fights started with an ambush.  Perhaps tanks (or tank troops moving together) could be a "blip" until spotted (quite a few WW2 accounts say tanks were heard long before they came into sight) 

They could be divided into generic small (light/turretless TD), medium (T-34) and large (Tiger, Sherman) and have a set range at which they are revealed (halved if they are behind cover, doubled if they fire).

I'm thinking anything before good gun stabilisation, ATGW and helos as I feel tank warfare changes significantly. While tanks are still the best anti-tank weapon, we don't want those infantry peasants ruining things with Saggers or Apaches/A-10s interdicting a tank column before the fight happens. 

So I'm thinking WW2-late 1960s for the technology.

As I don't want to get bogged down with official orders of battle, I'm probably going to have battles in an "ImagiNation" between mercenary tank units where I can freely mix what-if 1946 wonder tanks in with early stuff that simply looks cool (Crusader, Lee), or use an S-Tank in my 1960s battles alongside more usual T-55s and Centurions. 

There is room for a 1:1 tank game that is not big battalion micro armour/Cold War.  The tank genre tends to focus on big battles rather than engagements of half a dozen tanks per side; and if it is in a ruleset such as FoW, the tank rules themselves tend to be lacking or merely part of a whole; rather than the "tank crews as stars/aces" of a game like Battletech; where mecha crew are the focus.
(a) individual crew skills which can level up like Mordhiem or Battletech
(b) campaign/experience system
(c) dynamic reactions/interactions and initiative not just IGOUGO + overwatch.
(d) more realistic movement system than microarmour rulesets
(e) minimal infantry/confine to pre-ATGW era
(f) simpler spotting than older microarmour rulesets
(g) damage system which has some detail (crew, weapon, mobility damage or kill) but can still be denoted by tokens

Think tanks-meets-Mordhiem - or Heavy Gear/Battletech with WW2 tanks instead of mecha.  This could be done by adding depth to existing micro-armour sets like FFTW3.  Finally, I have excluded ancient (read 1970s, early 80s) games and obscure/expensive boardgames.

Wednesday 6 April 2016

World of Tanks - Owning Your Results, Improving Yourself

Whilst to "repetitious" to be a full-time love, World of Tanks is a game I drift back to from time to time.  Slow paced, simple controls, and requiring cunning rather than reflexes, it is a good "dad" game to play with mates when you have a spare 10min.  Imagine chess where you are one of the pieces - a piece armed with a Pak 88 and in hedgerows rather than a checkerboard.

I've already done a few articles, a reviewGetting Started, basic skills/knowledge, improving from the basics and  intermediate skills.  The latter two reflect my journey from being a "reactive" player (only concerned about myself and my tank) to a greater awareness of the battle around me.

I recently got interested in it again, due to (a) being unable to wargame due to being on holidays but having access to a laptop and (b) and article on "win rate" and how people do or don't believe they can influence a game's outcome. As I both like stats, and I like internet arguments and pointing out fallacies, here's a brief overview of the opposing sides:

Stat Deniers: These people either claim that WoT games are "rigged" so they cannot win or that they always lose due to their 14 stupid team mates.  Or they claim the outcome of games is purely random due to the random mix of tanks and differing player's skill level.  They ignore the common denominator in all their games: themselves.  They tend to play by self-imposed "rules" and claim to only play for "fun." They often point to a single one-off game to prove they are "really" a good yet unlucky player and ignore the fact they win only 47% or less of their games and invariably have below average damage and kills per game.  Basically, the stats show they are mediocre players, so they blame anything but themselves.  I can't be bad - therefore stats must be meaningless!

Stat Whores: These people also think their team mates are stupid, but have decided that they can personally win matches, and the only person to blame for a loss is themselves.  They take responsibility for their themselves and their team. They will take every advantage possible within the game mechanics; under the theory "if the game allows it, and gives me advantage, I will do it."  Interestingly, they all tend to have above average stats and win rates that range from 55% to an astronomical 65-70% in some cases.  They tend to work hard to improve themselves by watching tutorials, streams, guides and videos, and by analyzing their stats to find their weaknesses.  Sadly, they often morph into arrogant pricks.

Why stats matter:  Most WoT players have played thousands of games.   With such large sample sizes, the stats are very reliable.  The average player has a 49% win rate (allowing for draws).
If you have a win rate above 60%, you are in the top 1% of players.  A player who goes completely AFK and just lets his tank sit in base doing noting for 1000 games would get a win rate of around 42%.  (There's one guy that has played 88,000 games with a win rate of 43% - only slightly better than being AFK - talk about never learning from your mistakes).  Handily, WoT has a lot of stats measuring tools and websites, such as vBaddict, noobmeter, and 3rd party programs like XVM.   Stats are great for analysing and improving your play (but sadly many use it to enlarge their e-peen.)

As you can see, I tend to favour the "stat whore" category who take personal responsibility rather than denying my shortcomings and blaming it on everything and everyone else.

Everyone remembers the time they carried the team and won the game, killing half the team including their top heavies, and capping solo against hordes of incoming foes. But you also have to acknowledge you can also "lose" a game - not just by dying in the first minute with 0 damage, but by your in-game choices. 

Teams are balanced by tank, not by skill. So often a lot of better players end up on one side, and a team gets stomped.  Poor players highlight this, and think that they only lose because they have bad teams.  But they ignore the fact that everyone gets bad teams - over 1000+ games it evens out.  There's a commonly held opinion that 30% of WoT games are impossible to win, 30% are impossible to lose, and the remaining 40% can go either way.  Good players know they can tip the "either way" games in their favour.    Further confusing the issue is "tiers".  Poor players feel helpless when they are a bottom tier tank in a game.  A Tier 5 M4 Sherman or T-34 vs a Tier 7 Tiger, IS or Pershing will be murdered 1v1, sure.  But it's not 1v1 - it's 15v15.  Even bottom tier, you can win games by flanking and supporting your team mates - you just can't rambo in, that's all.

With the new physics, it's possible to flip your tank and end up on your back like a helpless turtle all game. I did help my team mate right himself - after posing for a screenshot, of course.

After reading the post about the stats vs stat deniers, I looked at my own overall stats: 52% win rate, slightly above average kills and damage per game.   It had been rising ever since I started to put into practice the ideas from the intermediate thread and was 55% over the last 1000 games.

However, previously I had tried to better myself by focussing on higher damage and kills.  I had seen a significant jump in damage dealt and XP earned, and my win rate had climbed simply as a nice side effect.  But what if I deliberately tried to improve my win ratio?  What if I "owned" not only my personal stats, but also the win rate of the entire team?  I decided to do an experiment.   

As the official forums are useful but can be a bit of a cesspit of whinging and negativity, I've been visiting WoTLabs forums, which is run by purple (i.e. top 1%er) players.  Here's a collection of ideas gleaned from them, which I have been trying to put into practice.

1. Play the same tank or same style of tank repeatedly to get "in the groove". (i.e. swapping between a slow, tough KV-1 heavy and a speedy Chaffee scout is too a jarring change of playstyle) That way you can concentrate on the big picture of the battle (macro), rather than trying to remember the capabilities of your tank (micro).
Don't play every random tank in your garage for your "daily double." Focus on 2-3 similar tanks and play them repeatedly to get consistency.  You'll earn more XP anyway as you'll win more. 

2. Learn from others.  WoT is easy to get into a rut.  If you blame your team or the matchmaker, there's no incentive to improve.  Quickybaby and Jingles are popular Youtubers, but I'm expanding my horizons; Zeven and Taugrim try to be more educational as they play.

3. Learn from your mistakes.  After each game I make notes about my failings or discuss it with someone.  It started out  simple "why did I die?" but it is becoming more complex "what could I have done better"  "should I have swapped to the other flank earlier" "did I support from the right position?"  It's not an elaborate thing: it only takes 20-30 seconds or so.   If you view each match as a learning experience, it takes the sting out of deaths: "Well, it was a great position - but you need 2-3 tanks to hold it, not one."

4. Analyse your stats.  I noticed my survival % is low - so I need to be more cautious.  I also noticed my capture/defence ratio favoured captures.  But good players always have a higher ratio of defence.  So I need to defend more; instead of pushing aggressively.  Also, my damage could be higher.  I need to fire more: get into better positions and simply snap off more risky shots.

5. Know your enemies/limitations.   I've dropped back to Tiers 5 and 6 where I know every tank, it's capabilities and it's weakspots, already.  Again, this helps you focus on the big picture.   I know I can play well in Tier 5-6, but I'm merely OK at Tier 7 and struggle at Tier 8.  I'm going to get my stats up here, then move up the tiers - I'll stop around Tier 7-8 as higher tiers are too expensive and the grind is too long - stock tanks aren't as much fun!

6. Be positive.  Never blame your team.  When you are bottom tier, instead of cursing matchmaker, think "How can I be most useful?"  Being low tier changes your tactics, but does not make you play badly. Learn from your bad games. 

7.  Macro, not Micro.  Whilst I once used it merely to track nearby tanks to shoot, I now try to analyse the overall "flow" of the game.   Is a flank crumbling? Do I reinforce it or retreat?  Should I push out wider to flank or compress back onto my team mates in defence?    It's thinking about the big picture. 

8. Play your good, upgraded tanks, play your good crews.  I know some friends who relentlessly "grind" a tank from stock, then once they get a good crew and good upgrades, immediately move on to the next tank.  The problem: by quickly moving on to the next stock tank, they're always playing with sub-optimal gear - i.e. handicapping themselves.  They never play and enjoy their upgraded tank.

9. Never trade damage.  The good players regard their hitpoints as 4-5x more valuable than everyone else and seldom trade damage 1 for 1 unless their is a specific need to.  Corollary: it's seldom a good idea to suicide to save a team mate who yolos off.  Sometimes you just need to let natural selection take it's course.  Corollary: When you face another tank 1v1 it's not a honour duel to the death - feel free to retreat and go elsewhere - or lure him forward into crossfire.

10.  Don't go solo. Don't defend that crumbling flank solo.  You'll just get ganged up on and wrecked.  It's better to push with the lemmings.  Likewise, pushing to a great position is pointless if you're solo: it may be great tactics, but you'll get focussed down and killed.

11. Short term patience.  I don't mean camping an empty flank all game or sitting back on base "guarding" arty.  But it's just having the patience to not take that extra shot, or wait till the enemy tank turns side on so when you track it you can pen every shot.

12. Think ahead.  I think World of Warships, with it's lumbering behemoths taught me this: plan to ahead where you'll be in 20-30 seconds. It's not an inflexible strategic plan; more a "where should I be in 30 seconds?"  I'm trying to apply this to tanks.  Corollary: Have an escape route.  I always ask myself: if I go here, can I run away if things go bad?

13. Short term goals.  If you've already played 5000 games you can't suddenly change your overall win rate from 49% to 60% overnight.   I set goals over the short term, i.e. week - and compare it to my last 1000 games.

14. Play medium tanks more.  They have the best blend of speed (necessary to move around and help influence the game), firepower and vision. They're the best for "macro" level play. I personally like tank destroyers (Jadpanthers, Su100,StuG look so awesome) but they are too passive and "reactive" so I'm playing them less and less.  Heavies have poor view range and often "must" go to particular areas of the map; limiting their flexibility; many are slow.  I find it difficult to use light tanks as most current maps now are very confined and corridor-like; so their scouting is less useful; in most cases their firepower is lacking.

15. (EDIT). Winning in normal mode is simple:  Win one flank before the enemy wins on the other.  Simple, really.  You side can then cap, or reinforce the other flank at will. This informs quite a few decisions: do you try to "hold" a weaker flank to allow your superior flank time to push through?  Do you join the lemmings to push through a flank faster, as the other flank is screwed anyway? How can you find gaps in the enemy line to "lead" your allies forward?

I'll add in more as I think of them, but these are some of the key things that come to mind that I have been consciously working on.

Sites like Noobmeter can be helpful to analyse your gameplay. 

It's a small sample size of ~70, but since I started "owning" my play and trying to win the game, looking at the ebb and flow of the game, regardless of team or tier, my stats have climbed sharply.
I'll compare them to my last 1000 battles.

Although average damage has remained similar (it improved most back when I was working on the skills in my "intermediate"post).   Base captures and defences have both doubled.  My survival has climbed from 32% to 44% so my kills/deaths has climbed accordingly from 1.5 to 1.9.  But most tellingly, my win rate has jumped to a staggering 70% compared to my usual 55%.  It's mostly Tier 6, but that's where I mostly play anyway - I'm not claiming to be a good player, merely a much improved one.

I think I'm in the third stage of my WoT career:
Stage #1:  learn basics, like armour, vision, and camo mechanics
Stage #2: own my own results - work on improving damage/personal positioning to benefit myself
Stage #3: own the team's results - work on positioning/situational awareness to benefit my team

As my win rate has sky rocketed, so has my confidence and attitude.  I load in as a Tier 6 against Tier 8s with double my armour and firepower?  No worries - I can help somehow.   Games seem less random. If you're a 49%er, an "average" player - the game IS random - pretty much a coin flip.  But if you're consistently 60%+, you start to see meaning in the wins and losses. With consistent 5-6 game winning streaks, losses are now tending to be anomalies that can be analysed rather than random, regular occurances.  I'm not saying I'm suddenly an awesome player, but I am saying that applying the knowledge of better players has contributed to a massive improvement in my stats (at least over the small 70-game sample size). 

It's mostly generic advice above, but I think the crux is:  I'm owning not only my results, but the team's results.  It's not someone else's fault if I lose - it's mine. The second point - you can always improve, but you have to want to.  It's easy to plateau - the guy with the most WoT games (149,000!) has a precisely average 49% win rate. He shows perfectly, you don't necessarily get better through sheer experience.

Friday 1 April 2016

Historic Guns - the Sequel

Sadly, I still haven't had any "man cave" time as my family insists on more trips and holidays.  People tell me I'll look back with nostalgia at the time I had toddlers... (but I think they're full of crap)

However, one interesting fact - while on a few days holiday at Bundaberg (a town a few hours north) I checked out some more colonial guns I remembered from my childhood...  ...which turned out to have a direct link to those in my last post.

Basically, Queensland had it's own defence force (from 1859 until it became part of Australia in 1901); it also got it's own "navy" -  for 60,000 pounds it acquired two 360-ton 3rd class gunboats: the HMQS Palumba and Gayundah.

The Nordenfelt guns are all  1" (not .45 cal as I speculated in my last post). The quad (#3348) was earmarked for Fort Lytton but served on one of the two gunboats as well as at the Naval Store at Kangaroo Point.

The twin 1" (#6673) was one of two gun mounts on the fast, small 56-ft wooden piquet boat "Midge" - coincidentally, it's the sister gun of the smaller twin gun from the Maryborough Park from my last post.

The 6" Armstrong Gun (#4194) is a 4-ton, 80-pounder.  This was the stern gun of the HMQS Palumba which was replaced by a quick-firing 4.7" in 1905.

If you click you can enlarge the pic for further information.   In the top right is the gunboat Gayundah.

Pics of both gunboats. I'm sure you could google more info on the web, but I'm tired after my latest "holiday" with kids....

Anyway, when will there be wargaming and hobby-related articles?  Soon (tm)