Houdini Blues
Issue 11, May 2002
Welcome to this the elenth issue of Houdini Blues, a subzine of TAP edited by Michael Lowrey, 6903 Kentucky Derby Drive, Charlotte, NC 28215. My email address is mlowrey@infi.net or call me at (704) 569-4269. Bonus points if you catch the music reference in the subzine name.

I'll be running an orphaned game here soon. It's Hellsmouth, which was formerly run by Mark Kinney. I also have about five signed up for my next Diplomacy game start come on, sign up, it'll be good for you.

The article this time is on the ship after which the Outpost game is named interesting history though certainly not one of the most distinguished ships of the past 100 years or so.

© 2002 by Michael Lowrey. All right reserved.


For some centuries, Russia has aspired to be a leading naval power. At times she has come close to achieving this goal. Certainly, many observers regarded the Russian fleet at the beginning of the Russo-Japanese War as being among the world's most powerful. Unfortunately for Russia, the truth soon became evident: though bravely manned, Russia's navy was often poor trained and led. The ships, meanwhile, were often of mediocre quality.

The three Peresviet class battleships typified all th at was wrong with Russian ship design at the turn of the 20th century. Of obvious French influence in an era when the French weren't building good ships, Conway's All The World's fighting Ships rightly describes the Peresviet class as a "thoroughly unsatisfactory design, both armament and protection being poor and speed not exceptional."

On a displacement of 12,683 tons, the Peresviets were undergunned with their main armament of four 10-inch guns in two twin turrets. A secondary armament of 11 six-inch guns was also fitted, five a side in casemates and a single gun in the bow. An anti-destroyer battery of 11 pounders was carried, as were five 15-inch torpedo tubes.

A realtively long ship for her day, Peresviet was 434 feet, 6inch in length, with a beam of 71 feet, six inch es, and a maximum draught of 26 feet. Fitted with 32 Belleville boilers producing 15,000 horsepower, the Peresviets had a top speed of 18 to 18.5 knots. The machinery was vertical triple expansion, and three propellor shafts were fitted.

The actual look of the ships was heavily French influenced, with pronounced tumblehome (inward curvature above the waterline). With three funnels, and a high forecastle deck running to the main mast, the Pereviet and her two sisterships looked massive, an impression enhenced by their two large

masts and three smokestacks.

The natural point of comparison for the Peresviet is the British Canopus class. Laid down between late 189 6 and 1898 and completed between 1898 and 1902, the Canopus and her five sisterships (Albion, Glory, Goliath, Ocean, and Vengeance) were of 13,150 tons, with a main armament of four 12-inch guns and a top speed of 18 knots. Their armor protection, with its main belt of six-inches of Krupp armor extending half the length of the ship and going 14 feet deep, was also much better than that in Peresviet.

The Peresviet and her sistership Osliabia were built by the New Admiralty yard in St. Petersburg. Both wer e laid down on November 21, 1895, and launched in 1898 (May and November respectively). They entered service in 1901 the long build time, a common characteristic of Russian shipbuilding, was a factor in their being outclassed when they entered service.

The third ship of the class, Pobieda, featured some minor improvements in her armoring and power plant and was built by the Baltic Works in St. Petersburg. She was laid down on August 1, 1898, launched in May 1900 and commissioned in June 1902.

Rare indeed are the warships that can claim to be sunk twice, but such was the case with the Peresviet. She was in the Far East in early 1904 when Japan attacked Russ ia. She was then badly damaged at the Battle of the Yellow Sea on August 10, 1904 before being trapped in Port Arthur, where she was scuttled after taking over 20 11-inch howitzer hits. The Japanese raised and commissioned her as Sagami.

In 1916, with Russia in desperate need of warships to guard her White Sea ports against possible German raids, the Russian repurchased the Peresviet/Sagami as well as several other vessels sunk at Port Arthur. Renamed Peresviet, she promptly ran aground off Vladivostock on May 26, 1916 and wasn't refloated until July. Finally, on her way to her new station, she hit a mineon January 4, 1917 laid by the German U-boat minelayer U 73 and sank 10 miles from Port Said, Egypt

The Pobieda was also in the Far East in 1904. She was mined on April 13, 1904 but put back in service by mid-June. She was then damaged at the Yellow Sea on August 10, 1904. Later, she was trapped in Port Arthur as the Japanese laid siege to it; she sank on December 7, 1904 after taking 21 11-inch shell hits. The Japanese later raised her and put her in service as Suwo. She was scrapped in 1922.

The Osliabia was in the Baltic when the Russo-Japanese war broke out. She sailed to the Far East with the Second Pacific Squadron, only to be sunk at gunfire at Tsushima.

The deadline for all games is May 21.


Outpost, Turns Two and Three

Turn 2

1. HAL (Partridge) passes.

2. Major Tom (Conlon) passes.

3. Bartertown(York) passes.

4. HICK (Hood) buys a population (Wa6, Or4) to man an ore factory.

5. HBDC VIII (Wilson) buys a Water Factory (Wa7 Wa7, Or5, Or1) and transfers population to it.

6. MMC (Brosius) buys a population (Wa8, Or3) to man a n ore factory.

7. Vince's Angina (Lutterbie) passes.

Turn 3

1. HAL (Partridge) buys a Water Factory (Wa8, Wa8, Or3 , Or1) and transfers population to it.

2. Major Tom (Conlon) passes.

3. Bartertown (York) opens the bidding on the first Heavy Equipment which Vince's Angina wins for 33 (Wa9, Wa8, Wa6, Wa5, Or 3, Or2). Bartertown opens the bidding on the second Heavy Equipment which MMC wins for 31 (Wa9, Wa9, Wa8, Or3, Or2). Bartertown then opens the bidding on the third and final Heavy Equipment and wins it for 30 (Wa10, Wa7, Or5, Or3, Or3, Or2).

4. HICK (Hood) buys a Water Factory (Wa7, Wa7, Or5, Or2) and the population to man it (Wa6, Or4).

5. MMC (Brosius) now passes.

6. HBDC VIII (Wilson) buys population to man an Ore Factory (Wa7, Or3).

7. Vince's Angina (Lutterbie) now passes.

Purchase order:Bartertown, MMC, HAL, HICK, MNC, Vince's Angina, Major Tom, HBDC

Upgrades Available: 3 Nodules (25), 3 Warehouses (25), Data Library (15)

Not Yet Delievered: 1/2 Nodules, 2/3 Heavy Equipment, 1/2 Warehouses, 3/4 Data Libraries

Outpost FactoriesUpgrades VP

Bartertown IV OrF, OrF, WaF DL, HE 5

MMC OrF, OrF, WaF, WaF HE 5

HAL OrF, OrF, WaF, WaF No 5

HICK OrF, OrF, WaF, WaF, WaF5

Angina OrF, OrF, WaF, WaF HE 4

Major Tom OrF, OrF, WaF Wa 4