Model warship combat is an organized gaming activity with international participation and following. It involves the construction and deployment of radio-controlled model warships, usually in a pond or lake setting, with pre-established rules of engagement, depending on club type and event.
Most model warship combat participants favor models depicting types of ships that existed in international navies prior to 1946, primarily from the world wars. Two popular models are the USS Des Moines and the German World War I dreadnought, the Bismarck. For armament, these models typically use small pneumatic cannons to fire BB-sized projectiles at opposing ships. Some consider model warship combat to be a blending of hobby genres, particularly of naval wargaming and robot combat, the latter being applicable due to the reliance on radio controlled electronics.
Model warship clubs may engage in a number of different combat formats. For example, in campaign format, opposing teams may set multiple objectives that can only be accomplished after a series of sorties or battles. In team free-for-all, opposing teams of equal strength engage one another in a less-structured encounter.
The two principle organization formats are called big-gun and fast-gun, the former being identified through the loose confederation of member clubs, along with the need for cannon caliber and armor thickness to match the prototype vessel. Fast-gun clubs use .177-inch caliber BB guns exclusively and have more liberal rules for firing rate.