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"Pre-Dread rules (mini) reviews?" Topic

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1,309 hits since 29 Dec 2012
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agoodall29 Dec 2012 10:59 a.m. PST

With the Wargame Vault sale currently running, I'm thinking of picking up a set of pre-dreadnought rules. I see lots of recommendations for rules, but I don't see a lot of explanations why certain rules are recommended.

I'm considering _Perfidious Albion_, _You May Fire When Ready Gridley_, and _Naval Thunder_ (though money's a little tight, and for NT you need to buy two or three books).

Can you give me an idea of why you like any of these sets? What is it about the mechanics you like? How fast do they play, and what size engagement can be played in a 3 or 4 hour evening?

I'm also tempted to get the 2nd edition of _Grand Fleets_, but I'm having trouble finding an explanation of what has changed in the two editions. Can anyone give an overview of the edition changes?

agoodall29 Dec 2012 11:01 a.m. PST

I just realized that I gave the thread an awful title. "Mini" refers to me being cool with getting a short review of the rules, rather than request long, deep reviews. Of COURSE the rules are for miniatures games. :-)

Royal Air Force29 Dec 2012 12:12 p.m. PST

My group has been playing Perfidious Albion, in fact we played last night, we've enjoyed it. It's old school style with ship profiles overlaid with a 6 x 10 grid for hit resolution. Make sure you get Fighting Fleets as well, it gives you grids for most pre-dred ships. But the bundle price is more than the two bought separately

David Manley29 Dec 2012 1:00 p.m. PST

You can't go wrong with "Gridley", but then I'm biased :)
(that said I've played all three and have decided on the strength of that that I'm happy with my rules)

Phil Hall29 Dec 2012 2:01 p.m. PST

WTJ miniatures have two free sets of pre-dread rules. I've played the Quickfire rules and enjoyed them.


daveshoe29 Dec 2012 2:06 p.m. PST

I have the first edition of Fire When Ready Gridley (I'm not sure what changed with the second edition) and I use them for my pre-dreadnought games (Spanish-American War and Russo-Japanese War).

I like that the rules are easy to pick up and understand, even for non-naval gamers. with gunnery ships can take above or below waterline damage, which allows ships to take a lot of topside damage and still steam around or some waterline damage and still be shooting. Special hits are needed to take out guns or cause other special damage, but happen often enough to feel right for the era. Torpedoes are handled in an easy manner (no plotting, just get in range, launch and check for hits). There are rules for rating admirals and crew, along with some campaign rules, and an explanation of how to determine the ratings for ships not included in the rules.

Overall I think they are a very complete set of rules that play fast with enough chrome to give you a feel for the era.


Texas Jack29 Dec 2012 2:07 p.m. PST

Out of the three you mentioned, I would agree with the biased David Manley and go with Gridley. grin

However, if money is tight, then you can do far worse than having a go at WTJs Quickfire:

They can accommodate just about any size battle with a minimum amount of bookkeeping. They are a fun set of rules, however, they are quite basic.

Aha, Phil beat me to the Quickfire recommendation. My slow typing strikes again!

agoodall30 Dec 2012 9:02 a.m. PST

Thanks, guys!

I downloaded the Quickfire rules (well, "printed" them using CutePDF, so I have them as PDFs).

I think I'll pick up Gridley, and see what that looks like. I may also get Perfidious Albion anyway. I haven't been able to find a good explanation of the differences in the version of _Grand Fleets_, so I think I'll just keep the version I have.

Texas Jack30 Dec 2012 10:23 a.m. PST

I think that should just about cover it! I hope you enjoy gaming the pre-dread era as much as I do. Ive been doing it for ages and it is still my first love.

So do you already have ships?

agoodall30 Dec 2012 11:06 p.m. PST

Yes, I have ships. I have the entire Russian and Japanese fleets in 1/6000 scale. I have the Japanese fleet painted, except for some torpedo boats. Next to paint are the Russians.

I also have 1904-1905 from Avalanche, and I could use the counters from that, too.

Texas Jack31 Dec 2012 11:15 a.m. PST

So you are really good to go! Enjoy it, and give us an AAR from time to time, especially if the Russians win Tsushima!

WarpSpeed31 Dec 2012 8:43 p.m. PST

jack ive done it!

Texas Jack01 Jan 2013 3:49 a.m. PST

I read your post Warp Speed, we are still anxiously awaiting more details grin

TheDreadnought Inactive Member07 Jan 2013 9:58 a.m. PST

agoodall -

If you decide you're still looking for the perfect pre-dread ruleset, give Naval Thunder a try. You can buy the "Pre-Dreadnought Bundle" and save.

We've got a huge fanbase of pre-dread players, and a great community you can be a part of.


evilleMonkeigh Inactive Member20 Jan 2013 11:14 p.m. PST

David Manley (biased or not!) has a pretty good track record with naval stuff, so his "Fire when Ready" recommendation is probably spot on.

However, while looking for VSF rules, I came across this set of pdf pre-dread rules "Coaling Stations" which seem to have low record keeping like Quickfire, and interesting yet simple command mechanisms. Can't vouch for its historical accuracy though. I just reviewed it here: link

It's probably not as polished as the other rulesets though.

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