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"dawn of the battleship?" Topic

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valerio03 Nov 2016 5:05 a.m. PST

I am surprised there are no review of the new Dawn of the battleship rules from the Almiralty Trilogy. Any opinions on it?

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP03 Nov 2016 11:48 a.m. PST

The delay is probably because the 3 people who like playing the Command at Sea system are still working their way through the last game of Fear God & Dread Nought that they started in 2015…. :-)

Dawn of the Battleship is a relatively cheap PDF ($12 on so I just bought it and took a glance. I'll probably never play this system, but I can offer some first impressions:

  • The core of the system is the Command at Sea engine, so I expect Dawn of the Battleship to play at a similar pace and level of detail. A standard ship roster is a full 8.5" x 11" sheet of data, plus one 8.5" x 11" sheet of move plotting (or more, if you play more than 18 turns).
  • The rules appear to very thoroughly cover the relevant aspects of the period, many of which are under-represented or ignored in most rules. Even if you don't play DoB, it's good to see what expert researchers think are important considerations in the period.
  • The background exposition about each technology and rules system covered by the rule book is well-written, clear, and nicely explains the reasoning behind the rules mechanics. You not only know how the rules work, you understand why they were designed the way they are.
  • The bibliography is long and impressive.

I also bought the Monroe's Legacy book to take a look at the scenarios and "data annexes". All the data and scenarios in this book are relevant to the US Navy in the period of the Spanish-American War and of limited utility outside that framework. That said, the "what-if" scenarios cover battles with Germany, France, Britain and Japan, so there is some limited data on ships of those nations, and with the data annexes on weapons and ship damage calculations, you could certainly generate more.

The scenarios are nicely laid out with lots of nautical details and a low-rez map. Most of the scenarios are "what ifs", though I daresay much better researched than most pre-dreadnought "what ifs" :-).

The ship data is only worth paying for if you are playing Dawn of the Battleship it's just a listing of some very basic ship stats you can get from Conway's, Jane's, various other books, or even Wikipedia, with a few clarifications relevant to DoB mechanics (firing arcs, armor ratings, size/damage ratings, etc.) which are pre-calculated from them.

There is a data annex explaining period availability of optical rangefinders, a very pertinent topic in a transitional period of experimental gunnery techniques and technologies.

- Ix

valerio03 Nov 2016 11:03 p.m. PST

Admiral, sir, thank you very much. I was thinking about a small project in a large (1/1200? 1/1500?) scale – maybe greek turkish war 1913. Maybe Italian vs French cruisers, I love their looks. So I'm cool with complex detailed rules, as I'll never will buy many expensive large models…

Just one more question. Since I have conways I could generate my own ship rosters, for ships not included in the game, if the rules provide me data on how to do this. In the rules, do they give you instructions on how to create your ships? Or in Monroe legacy?

Blutarski04 Nov 2016 5:20 a.m. PST

A tip of the hat to Bob Eldridge, who is the culprit responsible for "Monroe's Legacy".

Good job, Bob!


Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP04 Nov 2016 6:07 a.m. PST

You need the "data annexes" in a scenario books to generate ship rosters and look up weapon performance (in game terms). Monroe's Legacy is the only scenario module available, so for now you have to get that one.

You might be able to play a Greco-Turkish battle using Monroe's Legacy, since the Greek and Turkish ships were foreign designs and at least some of the weapons would appear in the data lists as US, French, British or German weapons.

- Ix

valerio05 Nov 2016 7:50 a.m. PST

Finnaly I got everything.. It looks pretty cool and not as complex as I feared. I'll post a review as soon as I can try it

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