Help support TMP

"Simple Age of Sails rules for kids" Topic

4 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Age of Sail Message Board

Areas of Interest

18th Century
19th Century

2,155 hits since 16 Feb 2012
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo taskforce58 Supporting Member of TMP16 Feb 2012 5:21 a.m. PST

Some months ago a question was asked on BoardGameGeek about a simple set of AoS rules that can be handled by kids using plastic toy sail ships. I came up with the following set of rules:

TF58's super simple age of sail rules:

All ships are identical
All ships have 4 90-degrees arc – forward, port (left), starboard (right), and rear

- all movements are in a straight line, turns are performed at the end of movement.
- if wind is blowing from the forward arc, move 0 to 1"
- if wind is blowing from the rear arc, move 1 to 3"
- if wind is blowing from either of the side arcs, move 2 to 4"
- the "minimum" move listed above must be observed
- ships may turn (pivot) up to 90 degrees at the end of movement. EXCEPTION: if the turn brings the ship's bow pointing directly towards the wind, the ship must immediately stop turning (this is called Tacking).

- ships can only fire guns at targets located within either of the side arcs. Maximum range is 12"
- ships may fire at a maximum of one target within the port arc, and a maximum of one target within the starboard arc.
- ships cannot fire through another ship (friendly or enemy)
- to resolve the attack, roll two six-sided dice if the target is 4" or less away, or one six-sided dice if the target is more than 4" away (up to the maximum range of 12").
- each "6" rolled scores a hit.
- a ship is considered "damaged" if it accumulates 2 or 3 hits. 4 hits sinks a ship.
- a damaged ship rolls one less dice when firing. Therefore a damaged ship can only attack ships up to 4" away.
- if the firer is located at the target ship's rear arc, and the target ship is 4" or less away, the firer may roll one extra dice (i.e. 3 dice, or 2 if the firer is damaged).

Boarding action:
- if during movement a ship touches an enemy ship, they are considered "grappled". Regardless of their current heading, place both ships together side-by-side heading the same direction as the enemy ship.
- To resolve boarding action, each ship rolls two six-sided dice (one dice if the ship is damaged) and compare their total. If one side's total is equal to or greater than twice of the other side, then that ship with the higher total has won and the other ship is CAPTURED! Otherwise, the boarding action continues to next turn (where both sides rolls again) and the ships remains grappled.
- A ship that has been captured can move as normal, but cannot fire, nor can it grapple another ship. A captured ship CAN be fired on, and can be the target of grapple by another ship.

epturner Supporting Member of TMP16 Feb 2012 8:57 a.m. PST

Actually, that pretty cool. Thanks for sharing.


Deserter16 Feb 2012 11:28 p.m. PST

I love it… thank you

Who asked this joker17 Feb 2012 11:34 a.m. PST

Those are really cool. Most importantly, you managed to get the important aspects of sailing without having to resort to fiddly game mechanics. The rules are even simple enough to mod for larger and smaller ships.

well done!

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.