Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Notes to self: Musings on WWI Naval rules (North Sea) Part #1

Recent sources of Inspiration: Dreadnought Gunnery Book
Michael Brooks

Though please note, my version was the good old fashioned paper edition.

And a long standing favorite:

What I want from a set of naval rules?
  • Fast Play
  • Historical Accuracy
  • No "fiddle and widdle, billimeter twaddle"
Rules that come the closest?
  • GQ I and GQ II Rules (over thirty five years old now)
    • (Best bit) Gunnery abstraction is excellent
    • (Worst) Movement and Command & Control
Thoughts of my own, time to devise "Battle Cruiser Fleet" (BCF) Battles, my Great War Naval Rules for "Battle-cruiser clashes in the North Sea"

BCF Actions in the North Sea (Version 1)
Context of Rules
Mainstay of the naval actions in the North Sea was between the Battle Cruiser Fleet (BCF) and the High Seas Fleet (HSF) Scouting Groups (SG), as running engagements rarely got to the point of battle squadrons of the Grand Fleet (GF) engaging the battle squadrons of the High Seas Fleet (HSF).
Each ship will be represented 1-to-1 on the ‘table-top’, therefore there is a high element count to the game.
(Note: This could mean quite a lot of counters)

However the counters are not moved individually (bar ‘exceptional  circumstances’ – i.e. ships being damages and sunk) but moved in squadrons relative to one another. Counters/Ships are held in a fixed position within the formation.

Absolute movement is not measured, rather relative movements (sea areas) between squadrons.  The umpire may have to have a form of master map (to be confirmed).

Movement ‘orders’ are maintained as: Close (decrease distance), Maintain and Open (increase distance) and issued to squadrons. The success of the intention is based on simultaneous order declarations.  

Gunnery is handled as per General Quarters (GQI and GQII) is abstracted into fire-power factors and ‘quartered’ reductions (I like the way the traditional GQ does it) rather than counting turrets and shells.

Command and Control is based on the relative position to the Flagship. Command “PiPs” are used/spent by the Admiral to control his formations (signalling), messaging (intelligence to GF and HSF admirals and ‘over the horizon’ scouting formations) and gunnery (target priority).  

Individual battle squadrons or formations have their own initiative and morale levels.

Design Goal:
German and British doctrines are different and will be reflected in the orders allowed to be played by the admirals. Note: This is a form of constraint propagation to make the rules specific to North Sea actions (1914-1918 WWI period). The personal and national characteristics of the commanders (Beatty, Jellicoe, Hipper and Scheer) also will effect the 'freedom of movement' to perform certain actions.

I hope the "festive period" turns out to be a fertile period of naval wargaming experimentation. Note I an trying to keep the context of the game scope quite tight to re-fight historical scenarios and the "what-if" permutations.   

1 comment:

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Thank you Tango01 for liking this post on the TMP forum:

I would loved to have posted a reply back but as a standard user I don't seem to be a "trusted member" with privileges to post?