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"Rules for Jutland?" Topic

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OldReliable186210 Aug 2020 4:59 p.m. PST

I'm on the hunt for rules for fleet actions in WWI, particularly Jutland. The maximum playing time would probably be about 5-8 hours. One thing that I'm especially interested is campaign systems, but something like this may have to be homebrew.

I would not mind using board games, but I'd like recommendations for miniature rules first.

55th Division10 Aug 2020 5:37 p.m. PST

i dont know if you have access to a 3d printer but this guy has tons of ww1 Ships to print off not very detailed but cheap to print


Bill Rosser Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2020 5:54 p.m. PST

Jutland from Avalon Hill meets your needs, time frame, all the major ships, and you can pick it up on e-bay cheap. Substitute 1/2400 models for the ship counters in the game.

daveshoe10 Aug 2020 9:34 p.m. PST

For rules you might want to look at David Manley's Si Vis Pacem (subtitlted "How Can You Play Jutland in a Day?"). The rules are available on Wargame Vault


There is also a supplement for the rules called Clash of Giants that covers Jutland.


McKinstry Fezian10 Aug 2020 9:36 p.m. PST

General Quarters 2 could probably get you a resolution and has a simple campaign system BUT, I don't think you can get a resolution in 5-8 hours unless you do a certain amount of slimming the OOB's. There are just too may DD's and CL's. You do have the option in GQ2 to treat the DD's (and IIRC maybe the CL's) as squadrons which I would think should be the way to go. Simply having to move the 60+ DD's per side individually would be a giant time sink all by itself. If you want to limit things to major units only, you will certainly finish in 5-8 hours once familiar with the rules.

OldReliable186210 Aug 2020 11:59 p.m. PST

Thank you for the recommendations so far – I hadn't even remembered Si Vis Pacem.

Another thing I'm looking for is command and control. At Jutland, we have several examples of poor signalling, or no signalling at all.

advocate11 Aug 2020 12:09 a.m. PST

More important than poor signalling, neither side knew exactly where the opposition was ; and sometimes exactly where they were in relation to the other columns in their own fleet.

John Armatys11 Aug 2020 2:45 a.m. PST

Probably more simple than you want (but you could always complicate them…), there is a WW1 Naval Warfare variant of Neil Thomas' One Hour Wargames here link

The second edition is the one to go for, it includes a mini-Jutland scenario, there is also a Coronel and Falklands supplement.

For a blog entry (not by one of the authors) see link

Personal logo David Manley Supporting Member of TMP11 Aug 2020 4:57 a.m. PST

As well as the SVP tactical rules there is the "Clash of Giants" campaign pack which supports it and which may cover the campaigning aspects that you are looking for. Its on Wargame Vault along with SVP.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP11 Aug 2020 6:24 a.m. PST

We use the AH Jutland rules, with 1:6000 scale ships glued directly to the counters that come with the game.



And it comes with its own campaign system.


Legionarius11 Aug 2020 6:29 a.m. PST

ColCampbell +1 Way to go!

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP11 Aug 2020 8:28 a.m. PST

ColCampbell +2.

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP11 Aug 2020 7:20 p.m. PST

I played a lot of WWI fleet actions using GQ2 and 1/6000 scale miniatures, in the first decade of this century. With all the work I did to speed up play, I was able to get 6-8 players through a pretty big battle in 5-8 hours. I did a lot of "Mediterranean Jutland" scenarios that were about 1/4 to maybe-almost-half the size of Jutland, but I never tried Jutland.

I still have all the 1/6000 ships for Jutland and mean to use them some day (I literally just completed an inventory, yesterday morning – I have every ship, plus extras and auxiliaries!). I agree the C3 issues are part of what makes the battle interesting, and probably the hardest thing to simulate.

I mean to try Si Vis Pacem, but I also have (vague) plans to make the Jutland game a multi-game experience with fleets and squadrons steaming onto and off of tables like the fleets steamed in and out of sight of one another. Doing this at home introduces some serious storage and continuity issues, and doing it at a convention introduces some constraints that make the gaming experience fun for multiple players. I haven't worked out the details yet.

- Ix

Blutarski12 Aug 2020 2:52 p.m. PST

Hi OldReliable1862,
Speaking as someone with some "hands-on" experience in gaming Jutland … if your intention is to do a complete Jutland scenario (including all the CLs and DDs) as a single day gaming event, do consider the option of employing the A/H Jutland game.

GQ2 has worked well enough for us in the past, based upon leaving aside the CLs and DDs. Experience showed that CLs were far too vulnerable to attempt mixing it up with any opposing ships larger then they were. GQ2's rules for DDs and torpedo attacks are not that great, hence we also tended to eliminate the DDs as well. If you intend to included DD flotillas, you should consider establishing some house morale rules; players tend to view DDs as cheap disposable assets and invariably throw them away in low probability suicide attacks against the opposing battle line (since the player never has to worry after the game is over about the real world need for anti-submarine screens to get the dreadnoughts safely back to port).

Speaking for myself, the most enjoyment I have had gaming Jutland was on an episodic basis (assuming a map campaign based upon more or less historical dispositions and distances):

1 – The battle-cruisers meet, maneuver for position and engage. Scenario ends when one of the main battle-fleets appears on the scene and the fleet admiral can sight the enemy.

2 – The side with advantage pursues its opponent. Scenario ends when the one fleet admiral is able to sight the opposing battle fleet.

3 – The battle-lines confront one another until neither fleet admiral is able to see his opponent's battle-line.

Strictly my opinion, of course.


OldReliable186212 Aug 2020 3:26 p.m. PST

Thanks Blutarski, I'm now realizing that I may have to adjust my estimate of the time needed to play Jutland. I've seen several references to GQ2, I may need to consider tracking down a copy.

I see no one has mentioned Naval Thunder, GQ3: Fleet Action Imminent, Challenge & Reply II, or Fear God & Dread Nought. Does anyone have experience with any of these?

Blutarski12 Aug 2020 5:23 p.m. PST

Hi OldReliable1862,
Re rules, I can share some experience -

I do not own these rules, but have played them a number of times. They represent a very considerable step up from GQ2 in terms of complexity. The author started writing GQ3 from a totally clean sheet of paper and there is consequently little or no similarity between GQ2 and GC3 mechanics.

Fear God & Dreadnought
I own these rules and have played them a fair number of times. I witnessed (did not participate) a big 1:2400 scale Jutland game played with FG&DN at a Historicon convention some years ago, but I would not recommend it for what I think you are planning. The a/m Jutland game event filled the entire stage area of a theater, involved a crew of about 10-15 participants and ran all day and well into the night. FG&DN is complicated, involves a fair amount of math computation and consequently plays at a rather stately pace (IMO).


hindsTMP12 Aug 2020 5:39 p.m. PST


Both General Quarters 1 and 2 are still in print, and available from Navwar in the UK. For WWI you only need General Quarters 2 (General Quarters 1 is WWII, backwards though that sounds). The only hitch with Navwar is you have to order the old fashioned way using post office or fax. See the "order form" at the links below. Pre-COVID he shipped promptly, and probably still does.


OldReliable186212 Aug 2020 5:52 p.m. PST

Hi OldReliable1862,
Re rules, I can share some experience

Thanks, I had wanted to try FAI, if only because they're more readily available.

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP12 Aug 2020 10:04 p.m. PST

Literally the only things the original GQ 1 & 2 system and the newer GQ3 system have in common are the name, the scale, and the author. Everything else is different. They even use different dice. I wish L.L. Gill hadn't reused the name "General Quarters" for the new system, it's misleading.

I love the GQ3 system, and with an experienced GM and at least a couple players familiar with the system, it can play pretty fast… but it just isn't a good fit for a battle as huge and sprawling as Jutland. I used FAI to play the Run to the South a few times in 2016-2017 with 6-8 players, and early this year played Dogger Bank with 8 players, and that was about what I consider to be the practical size limit for that system. (I would be willing to try a much larger battle with GQ3/FAI if all the players were experienced with the system, but I've never had that luxury.)

- Ix

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP12 Aug 2020 10:04 p.m. PST

I own FG&DN (and Dawn of the Battleship, the pre-dreadnought version), but haven't tried it. I'm not a fan of computationally heavy systems, pre-plotting, or sprawling rosters and charts, so I didn't expect to ever try it.

However, one of the local gamers just bought my extra 1/6000 German Jutland fleet because he wants to play Jutland, and he intends to use FG&DN for this, so I imagine I'll get to try it sometime next year or thereafter. There's no way I'm going to sit out a game of Jutland. grin

- Ix

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP12 Aug 2020 10:33 p.m. PST

Naval Thunder would probably work pretty well. Many of it's mechanics are certainly simple enough. I see a few things that I would want to change to make it play faster:

  1. More compact rosters. For some reason NT uses huge rosters that take up a half sheet of paper each, a complete waste for such a simple system. I think the information unique to each ship could fit on a roster the size of a business card, or smaller.
  2. IGO/UGO. The NT system uses an initiative-based movement system by groups of ships; this is going to drastically slow down a huge sprawling game with 250 ships organized into dozens of squadrons. One-group-at-a-time is only practical in smaller games.
  3. Abandon written orders. Pre-plotted movement is a huge time sink in big games, and unnecessary in multi-player games (which are chaotic enough already). If you just have to include accidental collisions, making die rolls when ships cross paths or get too close or something would be more efficient and faster to adjudicate.
I'm not a fan of the NT system, but that's a personal prejudice, and most of my complaints about it (besides those above) are invalid in the context of a huge naval game like Jutland. The system is reasonably well streamlined and easy to play, and it wouldn't take many adjustments along the lines of my suggestions here to make it play something like Jutland at a reasonable pace.

- Ix

OldReliable186218 Sep 2020 12:35 p.m. PST

Opinions on the WWI rulesets put out by Naval Warfare Simulations? There are three, I believe:
- Naval Warfare: World War I
- Steel and Resolve
- Dreadnought Rising! (This one is computer-assisted – very fun)

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