"The Turtle"

A Flintloque Rules Supplement by Ed Proctor


Following on from his popular and successful 'Shiploque' articles in Ragnarok, the journal of fantasy and science fiction wargaming, we take a look at a specialised submarine for use in your games of Flintloque.


During the Great Rebellion from Albion, a young Amerkan Orc scientist from Gale University, Davy Plans, built a Submarine called the Turtle. It was powered by two hand-cranked propellers and used a drill to fix a 150-pound keg of gunpowder and clockwork detonator to the hull of an enemy vessel.

An Elf, Sergeant Leelac, operated the Turtle and made an attack on an Albion ship in New-Yeorc Harbour. The attack was not successful because he could not drill the hull (the Albion ship had some iron strapping). Leelac became lost and was spotted by the ship’s lookout when he surfaced, but he got away.

Now in the Mordredian Wars, the Albion Navy has set up a blockade against the United Secessionist of Amerka, to stop the trade between the United Secessionist and the Ferach of Armorica. The United Secessionist did not take this lightly, the provocation and the interruption to Amerkan commerce and other frictions such as the impressments of Amerkan seaman into the Britorn Royal Navy and it also gave a good, convenient excuse to conquer the Albion northern territory of Canucka. So the United Secessionist declared war and immediately started to plan the invasion.

The United Secessionist Navy has now become interested in developing a submarine to break the Albion blockade. A Hare, Professor Bobbet Fluff-Tail, a renowned Amerkan scientist, was put in charge in developing the new machine.

A submarine was developed and was also named the Turtle, based on the ideas originated by Davy Plans. It had a crew of one, was powered by a foot crank propeller and had a small sail for surface travel. It had a ventilation tube to the surface so could stay underwater for some time and was designed to place mines on enemy ships by drilling a hole to fix keg of gunpowder and clockwork detonator to the hull of the enemy vessel.

There have been several attempts to attack Albion ships but so far they have seen the attacks coming and moved out of the way.

The Turtle Submarine Rules

The rules are based on the Shiploque Rules from issue 54 of Ragnarok.

The Turtle cannot be fired upon if it is submerged and when it is on the surface there is a targeting penalty of 1 column right for cannon firing at it (or -20% to accuracy for the 3rd edition rules). It only has two sections to take damage against, hull and sail.

The Turtle moves underwater by the use of the propeller, but can be sailed as a sailing boat on the surface. It takes a whole turn to take down or put up the sail and can stay under the water for the whole of a scenario, but only six continuous turns when the ventilation tube is not used (Ramming the Turtle will destroy the tube).

The Turtle attacks by placing a mine on a ship’s hull and can carry a number of mines as determined by the scenario. At the beginning of a game the player who controls the Turtle must note down how many turns will pass after each mine is placed before it will explode.

When the Turtle contacts an enemy ship it will stop moving and start drilling. The drill will take one whole turn to drill a hole in the ship and then the whole of the next turn to place and arm the mine. There is a 1 in 10 chance that the drill will be unsuccessful and the Turtle will take another turn to find a new part of the hull to drill. Placing the mine is tricky, there is a base 70% chance (60% for Average and 50% for Raw characters) that the mine is placed correctly, if not it will fail to explode.

If the mine is placed correctly, the mine should explode in the Firing Phase (Artillery Phase for the 3rd edition rules). Throw a D10 on the following table for the result of the explosion.

Die Roll: Result

1: The gunpowder got damp, so the mine fails to explode.

2: The clockwork detonator slowed down; add another 1-5 turns before the mine explodes.

3: The mine was placed on the ship’s rudder and destroyed it; the ship will now drift each turn as per an un-crewed ship.

4-7: The mine explodes doing D10 X 5 damage to the hull (i.e. you throw a 5 on a D10 then multiply the result by 5 to get an Attack Factor of 25).

8-10: The mine explodes doing D10 X 5 damage to the hull and ship takes on water so affecting its movement by a 1 column left modifier.

If a submarine is still within 10cm of the ship when a mine explodes, it may also be affected by the explosion. To work out how much damage is done to the submarine then take the damage total that was done to the ship and if the submarine is within 5cm then halve this damage or if within 5-10cm then quarter damage is done. Also the crewmen can be affected as per a roundshotte hitting a ship’s hull (as per the Shiploque rules).

The Turtle Profile

 The Turtle  Movement  Crew   Hull DF    Rigging DF 
 Tack   Cut   Sail   Cruise  1 12 8
Sail  2   10   24   48 
Propeler  2   4 

* The Turtle cannot be paddled at cruise speed for two consecutive turns.

Authors Note

To learn more about Submarines in Flintloque, check out my article, Sub-Loque in issue 56 of Ragnarok. If you are looking for an historical reference, check out the submarine history website at www.submarine-history.com. If want to learn more about the journal, Ragnarok and the Society of Fantasy and Science Fiction Wargamers, check out their website at www.sfsfw.org.


Webmaster's Notes

An Orcs in the Webbe Original! "The Turtle" was written exclusively for Orcs in the Webbe's 2009 Advent Calendar and was published on Thursday 3rd December 2009.