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"What are the best rules for Pre Dreadnoughts?" Topic

18 Posts

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1,636 hits since 29 Feb 2016
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Personal logo herkybird Supporting Member of TMP29 Feb 2016 1:13 p.m. PST

Any suggestions? I am thinking of doing the Russo-Japanese war in 1:600, probably with Old Glory ships.

David Manley29 Feb 2016 1:28 p.m. PST

A shameless plug for my "Fire When Ready" rules from A&AGE, which were written with the RJW very firmly in mind

MajorB29 Feb 2016 1:33 p.m. PST

I like Bob Cordery's Portable Naval Wargame rules:
PDF link

Texas Jack29 Feb 2016 1:56 p.m. PST

Quickfire is big fun if you are looking for fast play, and they are free:

Allen57 Supporting Member of TMP29 Feb 2016 3:29 p.m. PST

Second "Fire When Ready"
Next choice is Barker's "Damn Battleships Again"

Tony S29 Feb 2016 3:31 p.m. PST

How odd. I was looking through my rules collection, since I just acquired a few pre-dreadnaught fleets and thinking the same thing!

I thought I had David Manley's rules, but it turns out I have the other pre-dreadnaught set from A&A (Perfidious Albion). Besides the ones mentioned above, I was also looking at "Damn Battleships Again", where you can do large fleet actions.

Here's a nice little review, some options and rules for a campaign link The rules themselves are available through a yahoo group, not from Barker's website anymore.

I was thinking of playing that, and the Quickfire rules solo, and maybe buy the "Fire When Ready". I also thought of "Ironclads and Ether Flyers" from GDW, and strip out all the ether bits…but after taking that away, you're not left with much!

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP29 Feb 2016 3:33 p.m. PST

I'd go with "Fire When Ready" too. Excellent set of rules.

Personal logo herkybird Supporting Member of TMP29 Feb 2016 5:12 p.m. PST

Thanks all, based on your recommendation, I have downloaded David Manley's Fire when ready!

21eRegt Supporting Member of TMP29 Feb 2016 5:34 p.m. PST

Naval Thunder: Rise of the Battleship. Just ran a 1/600 game at Tundra Con.

afilter Supporting Member of TMP29 Feb 2016 8:12 p.m. PST

Have had great success with Naval Thunder for this period.

rmaker29 Feb 2016 8:21 p.m. PST

Fletcher Pratt with appropriate modifications.

You can get Fred Jane's Naval Wargame from John Curry


Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Mar 2016 11:21 a.m. PST

A second and enthusiastic vote for Jane's Naval War Game as suggested by Brother Ross Maker. A much under rated, seminal system that is far more technically accurate and individual warship specific than most other systems dreamed of being.

ahem… Except for our own "Cordite And Steel," long now out of print and rarer than a good, readable copy of the Scroll of Thoth these days.

Still on a returning tide, you can learn much more about it if you wish to run a search string for it on the Messages Board here under the title. You'll be glad you did!


Captain Gideon01 Mar 2016 11:29 a.m. PST

Another vote for Fire When Ready my group used to do a lot of Pre-Dreadnought games and we had a lot of fun.


Martin Rapier02 Mar 2016 12:24 a.m. PST

They may not be the "best", but my favourite are De Bellis Navalis by Colin Standish. DBA with battleships.

Blutarski02 Mar 2016 9:13 a.m. PST

LOL – Still have a copy of "Cordite & Steel" ferreted away in my old wargame rules archive.

Does anyone here remember "Devil at the Helm"?


rmaker02 Mar 2016 11:01 a.m. PST

Does anyone here remember "Devil at the Helm"?

Yup. Have 'em. Never played 'em.

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP02 Mar 2016 6:43 p.m. PST

Does anyone here remember "Devil at the Helm"?

I'd better, I was one of the people credited by the author for the work on their development.

They are still a good set of rules. The only problem is that they are almost 40 years old as far as I know no longer available.

ScottS24 Dec 2016 10:17 a.m. PST

Hope no one minds me bumping this thread…

I've also been eyeing the 1/600 scale Old Glory pre-dreadnoughts. I'd love to do something with them, especially battles from the Russo-Japanese War. I've been interested in that one ever since playing the old SPI wargame "Red Sun Rising" as a kid. Later when I was stationed in Japan I took a tour of the Mikasa; it's an impressive beast in person.

I went ahead and ordered the 1/600 scale Mikasa to see if I liked the range. They're excellent. I might replace the guns with brass rod so they don't get bent and add some rigging, but even as-is it is a fine model.

The problem is that it is BIG. 8 1/2" long. It would be a nice display model, but as a gaming piece it is impractical. Say I do a "Battle of the Yellow Sea" with this range – four Japanese battleships lined up stem-to-stern, that's a formation almost three feet long. With spacing you'd be looking at almost six feet.

I've got a decent sized house with room for gaming, but once you add in cruisers and torpedo boats there's no way a game could fit on a table. I suppose I could do a game on the floor, Naval War College style, but that's a hassle and I don't know if my wife would want me to lay down blue carpet… ;)

So, does anyone have any ideas? Is anyone using those beautiful 1/600 scale ships successfully?

Wolfhag24 Dec 2016 9:32 p.m. PST

Still have my copy of Cordite and Steel and developed my own rules using the same concept,


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