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""Black Smoke, Blue Water" Pre-Dreadnought Rules" Topic


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138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP09 Dec 2016 11:11 a.m. PST

This crossed my desk:

link

Anyone played these rules, can't seem to find a review on line.

They have a Facebook presence:

link

Any comments would be welcomed.

Yellow Admiral09 Dec 2016 1:37 p.m. PST

Darn, no PDF available. :-(

I've never heard of this game either, so I'm interested. Guessing from the photos:


  • No movement plotting
  • Busy rosters that will be very familiar to naval gamers
  • Approximately the same level of detail as FWR
  • Measurements taken from center of hull (see those pointy spikes sticking out the hull sides of the miniatures below? Those appear to be cast in on purpose, not mold artifacts or flash).

The miniature ships in all the Facebook photos appear to be a new line of 1/1000 scale resin castings, and the picture below claims they are available at the Raven Banner Games web site, but I only see 2 of them. My personal wish for cheap 1/1200 scale gaming pre-dreadnoughts is once again frustrated, but at least these may be able to supplement/replace the old Houston's Ironclads that are now functionally dead. If Deadly Warfare Games get around to the French fleet of the 1880s and 1890s, they'll get a bunch of my money. :-)

Here's a closeup of the rosters and some of the ship models, displayed below for those without Facebook access:

nukesnipe Supporting Member of TMP09 Dec 2016 2:25 p.m. PST

I purchased the rules at Millennium last month, but I admit I haven't yet played it. I have read through the rules, and they appear to be pretty good. It's sort of a alternate history game where some WWI technology is transported 20 or so years into the future, so you have airships and submarines working with your pre-Dreadnoughts.

The game is presented as "an alternate history game that could function in a simulation format." The game appears to be scale agnostic, so I intend to play with 1/6000 miniatures.

The game appears to be a high-quality desktop published work. The copy I have came with a 20-page rule book; 8 heavy card stock sheets of ship data cards for US, Spanish and generic units; a heavy card stock sheet of blank ship cards; a blank heavy card stock sheet of ship status cards; a card stock rules cheat sheet; a heavy card stock sheet of turning circles; and, heavy card stock sheet of status counters. And, an errata sheet.

Some game mechanics:

- uses colored d6: 2 each black, white and green for primary, secondary and quick fire gun hits; 3 blue dice for belt/deck/hull hits; 2 red dice for random chance/lucky hits.

- Additionally, 1 d12 and a "larger" d6 for random chance and lucky hits.

- Game turn sequence (quoted from rules):

"Select Maneuver both players secretly select order markers ow write the general orders to direct each of their formations for the turn _including_ planned ramming attempts. Formations are decided and set before play begins.

Initiative Roll both players roll one six sided die, the higher number chooses to move 1st or 2nd for the turn Simulation Option both players reveal to the other side the Maneuver Selection orders they selected after this roll. This sets the maneuver for the turn and simulates the time it takes to transmit orders to the fleet in an age prior to modern radio communications.

Movement Phase first moving sider [sic] moves their ships following the general maneuver that was selected. Bomb Drop markers from Air ship balloons are placed during movement when passing over the mid ship of the defending vessel. The seconding moving player repeats the same steps. Ramming and collisions may take place during this phase with damages taking effect in the Damage, Repair and End Turn Phase.

Gunnery Phase both sides vocally select fire controls, mark their targets for primary gun and torpedo and then fire their guns in initiative order. Gunnery is considered to be simultaneous.

Bombing Phase Air vessels roll their bomb drops.

Torpedo Contact Phase torpedoes attempt to contact targets. Players select fast or slow at the time of the D6 roll. Fast torpedo's [sic] have a shorter range but receive a +1 mod to the attempt to contact roll.

Damage, Repair and End Turn Phase All gunfire, bombing and torpedo damage is considered simultaneous. Damage now takes place from other phases and is followed by any repair attemtps that_may possible remove some damage from the current turn_. Turn is marked off."

They had the miniatures on display at the convention. They looked really nice; 1/900 scale, I think. Again, I plan on using 1/6000.

I'm looking forward to getting the chance to actually play this sometime.

Hope this helped.

Regards,

Scott Chisholm

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP10 Dec 2016 10:06 a.m. PST

Thanks for the insight gentlemen. Scott, sorry I didn't meet you at MilCon. I would have been interested in picking up a set of these. Obviously I spent too little time in the Dealer's Room

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