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Subject: Naval miniatures rules/scales rss

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Ryan Powers
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I've been a longtime player of historical miniatures in various forms but never naval minis. I know this site is focused more towards baordgames, but minis do get some coverage and I figure there's got to be plenty of overlap...

Am looking to branch out. I'm primarily interested in both world wars.

As such, I am soliciting opinions on rules sets and how they compare, and possibly preferred scales (and why) if you want to toss that in as well.

For most of my historical miniatures I run multiple sets of rules as often one is better for a different size engagement, or one handles certain aspects better than others. So I'm not really looking for the "best" rules just what's different.

So what do you use and why?
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Ed Holzman
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World War I and World War II era ships will likely be 1/2400 scale. If you go back to Age of Sail era, you will likely find 1/1200 scale more popular. As for rule sets, you will find lots of opinions. The newest GHQ Micronauts rule set is very nice.

http://www.ghqmodels.com/pages/military/index.asp

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Ryan Powers
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Bearcat89 wrote:
World War I and World War II era ships will likely be 1/2400 scale. If you go back to Age of Sail era, you will likely find 1/1200 scale more popular. As for rule sets, you will find lots of opinions. The newest GHQ Micronauts rule set is very nice.

http://www.ghqmodels.com/pages/military/index.asp


Thanks for the quick reply.

Scales for WWI and WWII seem to go 1/2400 and smaller. But again, this really isn't an area I'm terribly familiar with.

I actually have that set. But have no basis of comparison yet. I didn't mention it in particular just to avoid steering the choices any one direction right off the bat. I'm also looking at GQ[edit]3/FAI and/or Seekrieg5, but would love other options to be presented as well.Am going to set sale with some cardboard markers soonish to play with them a bit.

Grabbed it since it was on sale while ordering more Panzer I's than any one person really needs.
 
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The Dark Prince of the Blue Room
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At my local club, the guys are fond of GQIII, both for WWII but MOSTLY for the WWI and earlier period, covered in Imminent Action. Those seem to very popular, as a good balance between for ships with a couple of battlecruisers on a side. Problem with Seekrieg is that if you play with more than a couple ships a side, it takes forever. Best as a game for destroyer actions, really.
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Craig Truesdell
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Great War at Sea: Dreadnoughts
Great War At Sea: Great White Fleet
NWS Naval Warfare: WWII
Battlewagon

Although these are boardgames, they play quite well as mini rules also. Battlewagon has good manageable detail while NWS plays fast which is good if you need to recruit newbies to play some of the divisions. You could play a pretty large battle with NWS pretty fast and with little experience with the rules.

Great White Fleet has mini style rules for the GWAS series (pre-dreadnoughts) and Dreadnought has rules for WW1 era ships.


You can download SK4 for free, not for big battles though.
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Scott G
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I've checked out a lot of rules, including the new Micronauts: The Game rules from GHQ. (Hey, $20, how can you not check them out!) However, by far my favorite rules remain those that came with Avalon Hills 1979 edition of Bismarck. It's got a simple fast moving basic version, as well as fairly detailed advanced game rules. The problem is that you don't have a lot of data for ships not involved in the North Atlantic in 1941. So no Italians, Japanese, and really weak air rules.

You can also use any of the Command at Sea series, such as Atlantic Navies: Command at Sea Volume VII. I found the ship record data hard to visualize though.

The only one I was really upset with was Battle Stations! from Decision Games. Some of their ship data I found completely baffling.

There was recently a great review of Seakrieg 5, worth your time: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/315545

Why on earth did you buy a bunch of Pz Is? Are you doing the Poland or a hypothetical game?

Good Luck!
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Craig Truesdell
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Quite correct about Bismark, a bit limited ship wise but it is a great system.
 
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General Quarters (Third Edition), SEEKRIEG 5 and especially the Command at Sea series are all rather complex and might possibly scare off someone just starting out. My personal favourite is still the 1st edition General Quarters, but it can be hard to find these days. Another possibility if you enjoy coastal warfare is David Manley's Action Stations! (third edition) which is fun to play and easy to comprehend (at least in the 1st ed; don't know if he also has succumbed to featuritis lately).

The best demo game we've played with absolute beginners though was a Tsushima game that was vaguely based on DBA and originally printed in either Wargames Illustrated or Miniature Wargames. Combined with the excellent Figurehead/Hallmark 1:6000 fleet packs and a waxed cloth I found at the local hardware store we managed to set up a game that was both visually pleasing and real fun to boot.
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Ryan Powers
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wryone wrote:


Why on earth did you buy a bunch of Pz Is? Are you doing the Poland or a hypothetical game?


Poland. (EDIT: and maybe Spanish Civil War stuff if I can sort out some other bits)
 
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Ryan Powers
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geira wrote:
General Quarters (Third Edition), SEEKRIEG 5 and especially the Command at Sea series are all rather complex and might possibly scare off someone just starting out. My personal favourite is still the 1st edition General Quarters, but it can be hard to find these days. Another possibility if you enjoy coastal warfare is David Manley's Action Stations! (third edition) which is fun to play and easy to comprehend (at least in the 1st ed; don't know if he also has succumbed to featuritis lately).

The best demo game we've played with absolute beginners though was a Tsushima game that was vaguely based on DBA and originally printed in either Wargames Illustrated or Miniature Wargames. Combined with the excellent Figurehead/Hallmark 1:6000 fleet packs and a waxed cloth I found at the local hardware store we managed to set up a game that was both visually pleasing and real fun to boot.


I'm not afraid of complex rules. Just unfamiliar with these era naval rules. However, I always like to have a solid simpler set of rules around too, as that broadens the range of potential opponents.
 
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Brent Gerchicoff
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Hi all,

I'm really new at this wargaming. In fact, I got into it because of a great prof at my university who is letting me play War and Peace with another student and then writing a 25 page paper (unrelated) for credit. Really interesting stuff. Anyways, I've always been interested by naval combat and was looking to get into Wooden Ships and Iron Men which he recommended...and I've seen nothing but glowing reviews on here. However, I would like to augment the experience by using age of sail miniatures. I have no idea how to go about getting these. Any suggestions? All I've seen on sites like ebay are the Axis and Allies series (which, as I understand it, is a dumbed-down version). Any ideas, comments, suggestions?

Much appreciated!
 
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Ed Holzman
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I am a big fan of GHQ for just about all types of military miniatures. I have bought a ton of their stuff (mostly 1/285 scale WWII and modern armor and 1/2400 scale WWII and modern naval) although it has been a loooong time since any of it has hit the table. I have not done much Age of Sail stuff, but here is their 1/1200 scale model of HMS Victory



Nice stuff. Check them out at http://www.ghqmodels.com/
 
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Ryan Powers
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Since this thread has already steered mainly to more modern times, people who are better suited to answering your question may have already moved on.

You may have better luck asking in the Wooden Ships & Iron Men specific forums.

Based on the response above, 1/1200 seems to be a popular scale for your era.

Looking at http://theminiaturespage.com/oldlib/nav/fightsail/index.html should get you a range of manufacturers in various scales. But I'm even less familiar with that era than I am with the stuff I was asking about, so I can't really be of more use.
 
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www.rodlangton.com for Anglo-Dutch, Napoleonic and American Civil War. Rod Langton models are a bit pricey, but their models are gorgeous.

Gamesystems:
Wooden Ships & Iron Men
General-at-Sea
The Ironclads
Hammerin' Iron

www.navwar.co.uk for Ancient Greek and both World Wars. NavWar provided good value for your money, but order by www.spiritgames.co.uk. The guy(s) at NavWar are not particular fond of customers, oddly enough. I choose for NavWar since the Langton level of detail is not necessary in Ancient Greek large fleet games for me.

Gamesystems:
Fleet Action Imminent! General Quarters WWI Rules
General Quarters (Third Edition)

I don't have a system for Ancient Greek fleet action. Maybe I am going to design one myself.
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Mark Luta
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There was an AH game, 'Trireme' as I recall which was combat for classical fleets.
 
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I use Hallmark's 1/6000s. Sure, they're tiny, but they have good detail *and* you can play 1:1 on a big carpet and that's so much cooler than playing 4:1 on a table with oversized ships. That feels like playing with toy boats in the bath.

I use Panzerschiffe TG-3 for rules. I like their simplicity. Generally, I play in the pre WWI era so no planes or subs. I can get through a fleet battle in one night.
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Jeff Condon
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Old set of miniature rules by Ed Smith simply called "Ancient Naval".

The old Trireme game by AH is playable with miniatures.

A newer and more detailed game is "War Galley" (well worth the investment).

I suggest you look into each of these three before you go to the effort to design your own. And for playing the 1500's (Lepanto) there is a fine set of renn. naval rules. These were galleys with some forward firing cannon!

Ronin
"Taoist sage and sailor on the seas of fate."
 
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Robert Williams
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I've always used General Quarters for my WW1 battles and have not found them to be too complicated at all. I bought the miniatures from NavWar.


Rob
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Tom H
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Just refreshing this...

Try Naval Thunder: Battleship Row. These play nice and smoothly and are pretty cheap to get via pdf.

Just getting some IJN and USN ships together from Navwar.
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Paul Amala
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Seekrieg 4th ed is free http://www.seekrieg.com/ so you might want to look at to get an idea of what it is all about for starting to buy miniatures.

I use Panzerschiffe 1:2400 http://www.panzerschiffe.com/for my Russian/Japanese gaming. The are resin and the details are a bit lacking (not nearly as nice as GHQ for instance, but affordable).

I use 1:6000 metal minis for WWI & WWII - various manufactures.

I've used the original GQ and GQIII - great. But the system I like the be is the The Rising Sun: Command at Sea Volume I, Fear God and Dread Nought, The Russo-Japanese War etc. series for all three timeframes.

And finally for modern Harpoon 4 is the way to go.

[edit] forgot to mention that the Clash of Arms game like "Fear God and Dread Nought" and "Harpoon" come the top view counters (like good old Jutland from AH) that can be used in place of minis until you get your collection going.
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kevin halloran
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You ought to join the Yahoo group 1:4800 Naval Wargaming. Lots of advice on minis and rule sets. Mainly 1:4800 (which, btw, after experimentation is my preferred scale for WW2 naval action) but also stuff on other scales.
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Brad Andrews
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Sails of Glory came out since the original thread start. Some rough spots, but the figures look nice for that era.
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Matt Kiriazis
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winheath wrote:
You ought to join the Yahoo group 1:4800 Naval Wargaming. Lots of advice on minis and rule sets. Mainly 1:4800 (which, btw, after experimentation is my preferred scale for WW2 naval action) but also stuff on other scales.


Through this group, I learned about Shapeways and 3-D printed ships. The 1/4800 models come out looking GREAT! The plastic models cost about double that of pewter (lead/metal) minis. I invested about $140 for Japanese and US models for Guadalcanal night battles (barroom brawls with the lights turned off). Good mix of cruisers, battleships and destroyers.

As for rules, General Quarters (3rd ed. for WW2) and Fleet Action Imminent (for WW1) seem to do well for medium to larger battles (like Guadalcanal) for 4-8 players. I recently picked up Battlewagon (2nd edition; letter size pages) because the rewritten rules translate very well to minis.

In the Digital Age, I love Clear for Action rules because the co-designer has adapted them to the computer (as this AAR reports):

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1103161/clear-action-event-...

I also recommend trying out naval games at conventions to form an informed opinion. In the above post, I recommend attending Navcon in the Milwaukee area (usually in October). Literally, you play naval games throughout the weekend.

arrrh
 
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Matt Irsik
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After having played well over a dozen systems for naval miniatures over the last 35+ years, my thinking is that the Command at Sea system from COA is probably the best. The complexity level isn't too high (certainly not as high as Harpoon or Seekrieg 5), it's fairly easy to teach, and you can actually play some of the larger scenarios with a group. Seekrieg is probably the most realistic, but there is a considerable investment in time learning the system, preparing the game, then running a large scenario can be quite a challenge.

The only thing I'll say about Sails of Glory is that it's basically Wings of War with sailing ships. Great components, fairly easy rules, good for groups, etc. The issue I have with it is the same as Wings of War, Star Wars Armada, etc., in that 5 minutes after you walk away from the game you can't remember who won or lost nor do you care.
 
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Nick West
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I think WW2 naval gaming with miniatures suffers due to the difficulties in depicting air power at any reasonable scale so I would leave that to board gaming.

For WW1 I would add another vote for General Quarters - not too complex at all.

For Age of Sail my go-to set has always been Signal Close Action - although they do get a bit unwieldy for large fleet actions. For anything up to around ten ships per side though they are excellent.
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