Last Updated July 10, 2002
These rules are based heavily on the Silent death fighter combat rules. (1990 version) I recommend you to buy these excellent rules. You should be able to play this game without purchasing Silent Death though.
C.A. and heavier models represent 2 ships, whilst DD's represent 4 ships and CL's represent about 3?
Don't get too hung up on ground scale, but I work with roughly 1" = 1,000 yards
Battlefleets manouvered in formation, and for good reason. It is important to somehow penalise those fleets that do not follow this dogma. In wargames terms it is always easy to move your ships around like little racing cars, this is just not accurate. So to simulate the superior command and control of ships in a line astern formation at the beginning of the turn you right down a movement plot for the squadron and then execute those orders later in the same turn. To simulate local initiative the same is also true if any enemy warships are within 6" of your ships no matter what the formation. If however your ships are out of formation and not in close proximity to the enemy you have to write down your movement plot, but it doesn't take effect until next turn. Later this turn you either use the movement plot from the previous turn, or if there isn't one, keep moving at a straight line at same speed.
Once movement has been plotted declare targets for any torpedoes you intend to fire this turn. No need to keep this secret as all ships plots have already been written down. Put small counters on the board to represent the firing point of the torpedoes. Important as the firing ship will probably have moved during the turn as well as the target.
Move all ships simultaneously according to plot. Check for collisions.
Fire all guns simultaneously, any sequence you like. All ships ought to say what their targets are before the firing commences but up to you whether you bother with this.
Check the range between the initial firing point of any torpedoes and the current location of the target. If the current difference is 10" or less than the torpedo may have hit, roll the dice to see. If the current range is >10" then the torpedoes automatically miss.
HOW TO FIRE GUNS
Gunnery uses the system from Silent Death. Basically each calibre of guns fires once (no matter how many guns in a battery), they then roll 3 dice to determine if they hit anything. Which dice are used are determined from the Weapons effect table. For Example a good quality British Queen Elizabeth class ship firing it's 8 X 15" guns would roll 2D8 + 1D10. The result of this roll is adjusted up and down dependant on the to hit modifiers, the range to the target, and the number of barrels firing. e.g. for number of barrels firing our 8 gun battery is 7 extra barrels divided by 2 rounded up, or +4 on the to hit dice.
Take this final adjusted figure and compare it with the to hit figure for the target ship off of the Ship characteristics table. Note that a battlecruiser needs a score of 17 or more to hit it, whilst a predreadnought needs only 15. This is to simulate that battlecruisers are much faster and more agile targets than pre dreadnoughts.
If the resultant score is sufficient to hit the target then determine the damage done.
WEAPONS EFFECT TABLE
An important principle behind these rules is that destroyers would not try to attack dreadnoughts with their guns, nor would a dreadnought use it's primary weaponry on a destroyer. As such weapons are grouped into two primary groups. The small calibre guns can only attack destroyers and light / protected cruisers. The larger calibre can only attack armoured cruisers and heavier. Please note the 7"-9" line duplicated is not a typo! Guns of about 8" calilbre should be allowed to fire at both categories of target, though note that ranges and damages done are different.
Low - the lowest of the three to hit dice rolled is the number of points of damage inflicted. If two dice were equal lowest add them together. If all three were the same count them all.
Medium - the middle of the three to hit dice rolled is the number of points of damage inflicted. If two dice were equal middle add them together. If all three were the same count them all.
High - the highest of the three to hit dice rolled is the number of points of damage inflicted. If two dice were equal highest add them together. If all three were the same count them all.
All - Add all three to hit dice together to determine damage done.
Remember when determining the damage to then add on extra damage caused by multiple barrels, those that cause high or all damage add +1 per barrel, others add +1/2 per barrel rounded up.
Once the total damage is calculated refer to the ship record card and deduct the "Dam Reduc" damage reduction value, basically armour, from the damage. e.g. if 10 points of damage are inflicted on an otherwise undamaged Queen Elizabeth class super dreadnought reduce this damage by 4 to only 6. As ships are damaged their Dam Reduc vallue is reduced, this represents the failing armour and hull integrity of the target.
Mark off the number of points of damage on the ship record card, see example cards (not yet written in July 2002). Assuming the target was hit and it is at least an armoured cruiser look at the critical hits table. Critical hits are not applied to lesser escort vessels.
SHIP CHARACTERISTIC TABLE
This table is intended as a general guideline to generic ship classes. Each ship should have it's own record card that reflects it's own personnal characteristics.
"Ship Type" - fairly self explanatory. Protected cruiser and light cruiser are the same thing. Armoured Cruiser is the same as heavy cruiser. Battleship means pre dreadnought battleship. Super dreadnoughts generally carried 15" guns
Speed - this is basically 1/3 of an inch movement per knot of real speed, normally rounded up or down to nearest whole number. Many late model pre dreadnoughts could steam at 18 knots (6 inches) whilst I believe HMS Dreadnought could manage 21 knots (7 inches)
+/- Turn is the amount a ship can accelerate or decelerate by per turn. Pre dreadnoughts in particluar could not change speed rapidly because of their coal fired boilers. Oil fired dreadnoughts had a significant advantage here. This should make relatively little difference in most games
Turn Cost - This is both the number of inches of movement it costs to make any turn up to 60 degrees, and the number of inches you must then travel in a straight line before making another turn. If you don't like this use a turning circle I recommend a turning circle of 4" diameter for ships with a turning cost of 1. 8" diameter for turn cost 2 and 12" diameter for turn cost 3, and just run your ship around the turning circle. Most British capital ships have a turning cost of 3 whilst Germans are only 2. Why? This is not a ship characteristic but a training one. German capital ships practiced running away more than British ships did! (Despite my slight bias showing there, it was a valid and very useful tactic that probably saved the German fleet from destruction at Jutland).
To hit - This is the roll that has to be achieved on 3 dice to hit the target. Smaller faster targets are harder to hit than big slow ships. Of course the nippy little ships generally could not take a pounding when they did get caught. Speed is normally not an adequate counter to big guns and armour.
Dam Reduc is basically the armour value of the ship, this is the amount of damage discounted per battery hit. i.e. if two ships each fire their 8 gun batteries at a Queen Elizabeth super dreadnought, both ships roll one set of three dice, determine if they have hit her and calculate the damage. Each ship then reduces 4 from the total damage inflicted. Not 4 per gun, or 4 between the two attackers, basically 4 per battery of a single calibre that fired on her from a single attacker.
Dam Boxes - This is the number of boxes of damage the ship can take before it breaks up. Increased damage on this table will lower the ships armour value, lower the ships speed, and eliminate secondary battery guns (primary batteries on light cruisers and smaller). It will not reduce the number of primary batteries on the ship. These can only be destroyed by critical hits.
Return To Dreadnought Page