Saturday, 31 January 2015


John had worked up a Jutland scenario using a naval variant of Neil Thomas's one hour wargames rules. The original concept came from the ANW Yahoo group which had some variant WW2 naval rules. The main difference is that units/ships get to both move and shoot, and in this version different types of ships have different numbers of hits. The actual battle is scaled down at a ratio of around 1:9, but it was an interesting run through. I took the RN and John the High Seas Fleet.

The Battlecruiser action, Beatty gets the upper hand on the Germans and RN destroyers carry out a daring attack right through the German line.

The RN battleships steam on.

Admiral Scheer steams on.

Oh dear, there seems to be something wrong with our Battlecruisers today.

However the rest of the German battlecruiser group soon heads for the bottom.

Battleships start to exchange fire, not much fun being at the front!

One of German battleship groups pours fire into the RN battle line.

Oh dear, things aren't looking too good for the RN.

However they get some revenge. Scratch one German battleship.

And another.

And another.

And finally the last one, even though the British are looking a bit tatty, they still rule the waves!
This was good fun and a perfectly reasonable naval game, certainly no worse than some/many sets I've played, and we got through it at a fair old pace. My main observation was that it was far too rewarding to 'gang up' on one target (that was how the RN blew away the entire German battle line in four turns), which was contrary to contemporary practice where the aim was to engage as much of the enemy line as possible to improve spotting and reduce return fire.

My suggestion was that the second and subsequent shots against the same target in one turn should be halved in effect, so you can still gang up if you wish, but firepower is maximised by spreading fire out. We'll try it out again with that modification.

It did also occur to me that this might work well for pre-dreadnoughts, and I was inspired to revisit and rework the excellent De Bellis Navalis along Neil Thomas lines. That will however be the subject of a future post...


  1. "My suggestion was that the second and subsequent shots against the same target in one turn should be halved in effect,"

    Even simpler - designate all firing against a particular target and roll the D6, with each ship after the first merely adding 1 to the score. The only issue I can se with that is ships that fire at D6-2 (I've not looked at the rules, but I know it's a 'thing' in OHW) would effectively always score 1 hit.

  2. We tried the halving thing in another game and it worked OK, but yes, might be too much mental arithmetic in a big game. Very hard trying to keep things simple!