Close Action with Tumbling Dice 1/4800 Napoleonic Naval Miniatures

"Why, sir," said he, looking about him, "what splendour I see: gold lace, breeches, cocked hats. Allow me to recommend a sandwich. And would you be contemplating an attack, at all?"
"It had crossed my mind, I must admit," said Jack. "Indeed, I may go so far as to say, that I am afraid a conflict in now virtually inevitable. Did you notice we have cleared for action?"
- Patrick O'Brian, The Mauritius Command

Not being able to leave well enough alone, I realized that moving the chits around wouldn't cut it for my future games of Close Action. I sent some crew up the ratlines to see what they could spy. Reports were shouted down to us on deck: there were all sorts of scales and manufacturers to choose from!

After some consideration I learned that Tumbling Dice had an excellent reputation as a purveyor of fine nautical miniatures. The cast-in ratlines (although somewhat controversial), lent the masts, sails and rigging some bulk which would hopefully provide durability during games in the future.

I had a sudden epiphany: I could just order a few packs of their 1/4800 scale ships and stick them on the flat counters! They'd fit perfectly.

Look at the difference it makes between the two photos above! You don't even need to paint them* and the game looks much more fun! A blob of Blu-Tac will affix them temporarily and you're ready to set sail. Each pack of one- two- or three-decker ships comes with 3 ships in it and only costs £2.40. That's a good deal! I ordered a pack of each and then waited patiently by my mailbox.

But wait, you say! There are more than three bags there! Um, yes, I can explain that...

* - who am I kidding... of course I will paint them!


  1. SquadPainter, since you have a post up on war gaming, maybe you can give me some advice on starting in on war gaming. I've searched around quite a bit on this subject, but have not found much to the point info. Maybe you can recommend a simple rule set for 2 totally novice players using WWII 20mm figures (maybe armor to). I have plenty of figures to base to play with. I would also consider other historical period if it would be an easier entry into gaming. Any advice or direction would be appreciated. Thanks. Tank Taco

    1. TT - That is an interesting question that you pose. Everyone has their favorite rulesets. I think that I generally want to have a fun time with a decent fog of war combined with a reasonable playing time. Here are my favorite rulesets for periods that I am interested in. If you want more information on one, feel free to ask!

      WWII - Battlegroup Kursk: 20mm/15mm scale, easy rules, fun depth, neat mechanics
      Napoleonic - La Salle: Mustafa's rules are a delight to read and play. Highly recommended!
      Seven Years War - Maurice: another Mustafa gem. Read my battle report to see how much fun we had!
      Colonial Wars - The Sword and the Flame: classic ruleset that still holds its own today.

      I would say that you ought to pick a period and scale that you like, and jump in. As I mentioned, I'll be more than happy to answer any questions that you have. Ask away! - Jeff

    2. I should mention that Battlegroup Kursk has an excellent "getting started" section within its covers. There are model painting tips, how to base your forces, a beginning scenario with a few figures and armor, as well as a section on how to make a terrain board!

      The other rulesets listed above will also set you off on the right foot when getting started in this fun (and complex) hobby that we have. They don't have as much as BGK, but they do have enough to get you started. Like I said, pick a period that interests you and get started. - Jeff

    3. Thank you for your input. Since I'm already very interested in the Battle of Kursk, it seems to me since Battlegroup Kursk has a "getting started" section, then that might be a good way to go. I was excited when I heard about Battlegroup Kursk but thought that it might be for experienced gammers. So from what you say, It sounds like a good place to start. Thanks so much for the info. Tank Taco

  2. Jeff

    We should try this again with the Langton 1:1200 ships.

    1. I agree... that would be fun! We'll have to see if the ships are finished with their dockside refitting.


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