About Warhammer Ahoy! 2010

Warhammer Ahoy! Is now at least ten years old. It first came about when I was chatting with an old friend of mine, Matt. I announced that I was going to build a ship for Warhammer, his response was ‘Jolly good , you do that’. At that time we spent a lot of time talking about gaming and what we were going to do, rather than actually doing it. So I don’t doubt that originally he was a little sceptical and in fairness, it was sometime between the original announcement and the ‘launching of my first ship, The Unicorn. (Now sadly demised). The first game of Warhammer using the Unicorn was at my house, it wasn’y much of a sailing game at that time and the Unicorn did little more than sit against a quayside, but the seed had been sown.

We started to fiddle with a few rule ideas, mixing the Mordheim rules with some stuff we cobbled together for boats. The next leap in the creation of AHOY! Was playing a game called Weapons & Warriors: Pirates which we played on a friend’s living room floor; for those of you who don’t know it, it is one of these games that involves firing plastic cannon balls from spring loaded cannons at each others forces of plastic pirates on spring loaded ships and fortifications, pinging little chaps all over the room. Pretty much what people who know nothing about wargaming imagine we do anyway.  The game in itself was a good laugh but more importantly, I reckoned that the ship models would work with 28mm figures, I asked my friend where the game came from and popped along to the toyshop to find the game in their Sale. We bought every copy. At that point Matt started writing furiously and in no time we had  playable game. We both love model making and as well as writing rules we started on more ships, Matt built the Karl Franz, the flagship of the Reikland River Patrol and me the Grong (Anvil) our first Dwarf steam ship.

The first games of Ahoy! were played at Matt’s place, and very quickly we developed the odd game into a campaign, played between the two of us and our wives Jenny and Heidi. It became a narrative campaign set on the rivers of the Empire. Either Matt or I would create a scenario and sort out the forces and we would usually GM the game leaving three players. At the end of the game we would discuss the outcome and what would happen next. This way we built a solid narrative, never really worrying too much about points and balancing sides, it all became about the scenario, which often had a daft name, based on a real or fictional naval action (The first game we played was called The Guns of Sigmar’s Stone; ie The Guns of Navaronne)

Ahoy! from there went from strength to strength. I took Ahoy! to Gamesday 2002 where it won best game and we returned to Gamesday a further three times. I  took it to other events, usually at Warhammer World. We got coverage in White Dwarf and of course we developed a website to share what we did. In the past four or five years AHOY! has just taken on a life of its own. The name has been coined all over the world and AHOY! has enthusiasts in all corners. It has been aped (but never bettered) in various places including in GW's own US production The General's Compendium. I was invited to be involved in the development of Warhammer Historical's Legends Of The High Seas and in the meantime have quietly written and developed various aspects of this new edition.

In 2010 AHOY! can now be played as we originally intended as a small scale skirmish game with small ships and small crews, but it can now also be used for bigger games with fleet lists enabling players to select their own ships and how the should be configured and equipped. AHOY! in the past has always been a two man job, now I am open to suggestion and contributions from all over the world. Remember none of this is official, it is your hobby so play it your way. If you would like to contribute to the development of this great form of Warhammer then join the forum and join in the discussions. Who knows your ships, figures and rules ideas could appear here.

Splice yer mainbrace you scurvy dogs!
Cap'n Swallowtail Tim