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"Sam Mustafa's latest ruleset for WW2 at Sea - Nimitz" Topic

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Kiama Kriegsspieler04 Mar 2023 6:52 p.m. PST


We've been playtesting these for several years now and therefore I can highly recommend this ruleset. WARNING – not for traditional naval grognards!

May I recommend that you take a listen to Sam's podcast (accessed from the link above) to hear all about these exciting new rules if you are into Naval wargaming. And, indeed, if you are not into naval aspects of wargaming because of the tedious minutiae of typical naval wargame rules, the its especially important that you check NIMITZ out – this is not your typical naval wargame!

Like all of Sam Mustafa's rules, these strike at the heart of the matter, delivering a fast, fun and simple game yet providing an authentic outcome. I love the naval history of WW2, and wargaming, but before NIMITZ I had struggled to find a ruleset that didn't send me to sleep; but with these rules you are right there from the get go! Either fighting a surface battle, or a more complex campaign across the whole spectrum of naval warfare, subsurface to air, amphibious troop movements and resupply. Highly recommended!

McKinstry Fezian04 Mar 2023 9:20 p.m. PST

Ordered. I've been looking forward to these.

Kiama Kriegsspieler04 Mar 2023 9:22 p.m. PST

You won't regret it mate!

Kiama Kriegsspieler04 Mar 2023 9:39 p.m. PST

More information here:


GatorDave Supporting Member of TMP05 Mar 2023 6:32 a.m. PST

I've been waiting for these. Order placed.

Mr Elmo05 Mar 2023 6:42 a.m. PST

I generally like WWI more but I'm a softy for rules.

Maxshadow05 Mar 2023 6:47 a.m. PST

So did I see somewhere that it deals with things such as searching for the enemy? Like you could conduct a Graf Spee game?

lloydthegamer Supporting Member of TMP05 Mar 2023 8:37 a.m. PST

I can't get the podcast to work, is this game card driven like many of his other games? Thanks

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Mar 2023 9:31 a.m. PST


It has a great campaign system for that. It uses a simple grid for hidden movement but the search system is fantastic.

I'm not a big naval guy in general, but I'd play the campaign game and let others do the battles.

Dexter Ward05 Mar 2023 10:26 a.m. PST

It is not card driven. The campaign rules include search, submarines and airstrikes

Deucey Supporting Member of TMP05 Mar 2023 10:37 a.m. PST

I'm interested.

I rather like Warlords Victory at Sea.

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP05 Mar 2023 11:43 a.m. PST

I ordered immediately when I got Sam's notice. Been waiting a while for something like this from him. He has a knack for combining the flavor of a period with a fun, playable game.

Kiama Kriegsspieler05 Mar 2023 3:17 p.m. PST

My thanks to those who have already correctly answered the questions about search mechanisms and whether its card driven.
Yes there is a search mechanism whereby you can use subs, flying boats or airstrikes to search (but beware, you may reveal yourself in doing so if you carrier launch!). The game mechanism is not card driven per se, but a lot of functionality rests on the ship or base data cards – these are used to keep track of your ship or bases viability. All available for free download from Sam' site.

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP05 Mar 2023 5:00 p.m. PST

I purchased Nimitz last night and took a quick look. At first glance it looks like other abbreviated naval systems low detail, fast mechanics, broad categories, lots of abstraction but I haven't dug in for a full read to see what's special here. I'm a bit disappointed that rules for fast play/large fleets/all arms has rosters at all, but that won't stop me from trying it out.

I suspect the integrated all-arms campaign game is where Nimitz will really shine. I'm already musing whether this time I've found a game that can do the whole Leyte Gulf campaign. grin

Abbreviated fast-play systems are usually better for large battles or sprawling campaigns, but a bit stale for small actions or one-off games. Sam did try to include some amount of apparent detail (e.g. multi-dimensional design differences, special hits) without bogging the system down with die rolls and charts, which may be enough for me. We'll see.

Until I get a few games in, it will be hard for me to say why this game is better than Find, Fix & Strike, Mal Wright's convoy system rules, the Avalanche Press SWWAS system, or even the old 1977 classic General Quarters 1. We might be spoiled for choices now.

- Ix

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP05 Mar 2023 6:54 p.m. PST

What scale ships? What size table? Can you do 4x6? My copy comes Friday and I would like to prepare. I have a nice 4x6 ocean mat and some 1/4800 US and Japanese ships I have never used.

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP05 Mar 2023 11:10 p.m. PST

The ground scale is… let's just say "abstract". grin

Ranges and speeds are very generalized, so there are no 2-knot speed differences or 1000-yard range advantages.

The intro says a 4x6 table is the expected standard the rules were written to accommodate.

Any scale of ships will work, but the as-written standard is 1/2400 scale. I feel this would introduce enough scale distortion to really bug me, so I would want to use 1/4800 or 1/6000 naval miniatures, or double the ranges and speeds. I think your 1/4800 fleets will work with the book as written.

- Ix

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP06 Mar 2023 7:07 a.m. PST

Thanks very much YA. Sounds very playable.I was hoping for his usual 4x6. I personally like the smaller scales as well because they give a sense of distance that's hard to capture in naval games starting with pre-dreadnoughts.

McKinstry Fezian06 Mar 2023 10:49 a.m. PST

I am also a 1/4800 and 1/6000 fan. Looking at the published information so far, I think they should work just fine in 1/4800.

I'm quite excited for the Halsey strategic/operational part that seems quite innovative.

dantheman Supporting Member of TMP06 Mar 2023 12:51 p.m. PST

Drowning in rulesets now. But for me simpler is better. I prefer high level tactical thinking opposed to technical detail.

Most rules give the latter and not the former.

Thresher0106 Mar 2023 5:36 p.m. PST

Sounds intriguing.

Interested to see how this compares to the old GQ1 and GQ2.

Any more info on how searches work?

Kiama Kriegsspieler10 Mar 2023 12:46 a.m. PST

Scale agnostic and no 'As written scale'. The distances given for a 6 x4 foot table size are for "miniatures that are 2 -4 inches in length". Our default in play testing was 1:2400, but my first 'official' game, posted here, was using 1:1800, which seemed to work well.

bigun62416 Mar 2023 11:25 a.m. PST

How well do these solo? From what I have read without having the rules the basic game should solo alright playing both sides.

Dexter Ward17 Mar 2023 7:40 a.m. PST

There is no hidden info in the tactical rules, so it will solo fine. The Halsey campaign not so much, unless you write a computer opponent.

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2023 11:53 a.m. PST

I think Haley sounds okay also. You are already allowed some Task Force markers as decoys. It should be possible to set up something based on this to add an element of solo drama to spotting.

Kiama Kriegsspieler18 Mar 2023 3:45 p.m. PST

biggun64 I play the basic Nimitiz game – the surface action – solo quite regulalry – it works fine as Dexter says. And cos its so streamlined its a lot easier on my poor brain to play both sides! Just be sure to have slow speed and fast speed markers (I use wake markers at the stern for fast and the same at the bow for slow) and ideally smoke markers to remind you which ships have fired…

sidley21 Mar 2023 12:18 p.m. PST

In all fairness, I like everything about these rules and have just received the Navwar battle of Matapan pack.
My only issue, is nothing for making smoke.

Dexter Ward22 Mar 2023 2:58 a.m. PST

Sam has posted on the rationale for lack of smoke. It was used historically when disengaging, so is covered by the disengagement rules

GGouveia28 Mar 2023 8:55 a.m. PST

Looking forward to playing this with my gaming club next week. Will solo Operation Freya beforehand.

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