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"What are some fast, light WW2 naval rulesets?" Topic

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621 hits since 4 Apr 2022
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Comments or corrections?

Murloo04 Apr 2022 5:23 a.m. PST

I know of the "big" complex ones like General quarters, but i'm looking for something very fast, very easy so that i can get multiple people with little to no experience on a table and play. Is axis and allies War at Sea a good system for that? I already sometimes play Victory at Sea (new edition) and it is relatively quick, but it bogs down a lot when using large fleets with multiple Battleships and Carriers

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Apr 2022 5:52 a.m. PST

Task Force by Ben King. Damage is a simple track and ships lose speed and guns proportionally. Hitting is just "roll your range or more" with guns rated by die (short range guns roll a d8, long a d 20, etc.).

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP04 Apr 2022 6:19 a.m. PST

I've used Panzerschiffes for many years. The range
of resin models available for use with the rules
is immense.

Fairly simple gunnery and torp rules.

Thresher0104 Apr 2022 6:48 a.m. PST

General Quarters, especially the two older books, are NOT big nor are they complex.

They are some of the simplest, and best rules available for naval game play.

The newer version is slightly more complex, but not overly so.

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP04 Apr 2022 7:16 a.m. PST

General Quarters 1 and General Quarters 2 are not big, complex games. They also inexpensive and are available from Navwar:


Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP04 Apr 2022 7:47 a.m. PST

Victory At Sea is one of the simplest naval miniatures games around, so I'm guessing your problem isn't complexity, but rather somewhat clunky mechanics.

You should take a look at Find, Fix and Strike by David Manley (and maybe the WWI version Si Vis Pacem). Simple, fast, designed with fleet actions and air power firmly in mind.

If you can find it, there is an older set of rules called Battle Stations, Battle Stations which was easy to learn, fast to play, and handled large fleet actions really well.

If you don't mind using hexes, you could also use the tactical rules from the Second World War At Sea boardgame series by Avalanche Press. It's basically a super-simple naval miniatures game on a board, and also designed to make large fleets and air power easy to integrate.

Thresher01 and Big Red are correct: the original General Quarters (WWII) and General Quarters 2 (WWI) are not complex at all. The rules were only a half dozen pages of rules in 8.5"x5.5" books, and had no subtle or complex rules mechanisms. There really aren't any simpler naval rules around. Some of the mechanics were a bit clunky in operation, but I found ways to streamline them with color coding, props and markers. I used them to play very large fleet battles in just a few hours many times. These are still my go-to rules for Jutland.

General Quarters 3 is a completely new game it has nothing in common with GQ1/2 except title, ground scale and author. Literally everything else is different. It is a more complex system, but the basics are pretty easy to learn. I find it plays at a pretty good pace with a GM who is very familiar with the rules and a modest number of ships and players. I also converted it to IGO/UGO to speed up play (pre-plotting is always a time sink). All that said, I don't think this is what you're looking for.

- Ix

BillyNM04 Apr 2022 10:44 a.m. PST

I have them but never tried them – NAVWAR Naval Wargame Rules for WW2 Coastal Warfare by B Chalkley.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian04 Apr 2022 11:16 a.m. PST

Battle Stations! Battle Stations! is another to look at. Players control Task Forces (multiple divisions of ships) and not too down in the details on each ship

Major Mike04 Apr 2022 12:23 p.m. PST

Junior General has three scenarios than would probably fit the bill. Not only are the rules free, you can also download info to make paper ships, also free.

There is The Battle of Guadalcanal link

Midway link

and, Sink the Bismark link

Striker04 Apr 2022 1:51 p.m. PST

Naval Thunder is pretty quick and easy.

lapatrie88 Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2022 6:55 p.m. PST

Consider David Manley's Find Fix and Strike at Wargames Vault.

As mentioned by Yellow Admiral :)

skirmishcampaigns08 Apr 2022 7:35 p.m. PST

We switched to Naval Thunder and really like it.

Bozkashi Jones19 Apr 2022 10:26 a.m. PST

Another in agreement with Big Red and Thresher – the original General Quarters are very easy to pick up and are good to play.

It will depend on how big a fleet you want to have – I would say GQ is good for half a dozen ships a side for inexperienced players, maybe a dozen or so for experienced (though as I game mostly RN v. KM I rarely have these numbers!).

If you want big battles, like the Pacific Theatre or some of the Mediterranean fleet actions, then I would also always go for Battlestations! Battlestations!


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