Barbarossa !

16th Century Naval Rules for Galley Warfare by Dave Millward.

Forward (January 1973)

These rules are designed to give a fast, rather stylised game reflecting warfare between galleys in the Mediterranean in the 16th century. They could easily be adapted to cover naval operations in the Baltic in the 16th and 17th centuries. They do not cover galleasses and galleons for two reasons; one, sailing rules introduce unwanted complications and two, working out broadside firing is rather difficult. Perhaps another member would like to work out something on this which we could publish at a later date.

The models I used were made from balsa wood with the canopy made from a section of plastic drinking straw cut in half. The only visible difference between Turkish and Christian ships was that the Christians protected the sides of their vessels with 'pavisados' and the Turks did not. This gives the Christians a tremendous advantage in an exchange of small arms fire, otherwise ships could I suppose be modified from models of ancient galleys.

The galleys of this period carried a very large complement of fighting men represented in the rules by the M factors. Each M factor represents about twenty fighting men. In the Christian ships about half of these would be arquebusiers and the other half armoured halberdiers, half-pike men and sword and buckler men. In Turkish ships half to two thirds would be archers and the rest swordsmen and spearmen, the preponderance of armour being heavily weighted in the Christians' favour. Turkish oarsmen were almost invariably slaves whereas most Christians were freemen. Therefore Christian oarsmen are allowed to fight in melee but Turks are not. Because of this Christian advantage in melee and fire power (Christian ships had five cannon, Turkish three) the odds in ships in a game should be three to two in the Turks favour.

These rules were inspired by Ed Smith's excellent Greek naval rules published some time ago. They have never been formally written up before. so there may well be one or two holes in them which I hope members will point out as they use them.

Forward (September 1998)

These rules were written 25 years ago, when the world was a very different place ! I have left them unchanged, expect for the insertion of the ship tables, as they are a Historical Document, as much as a set of working rules. They still work ok, giving a fast, uncomplicated game. Naturally, things have changed. You can now purchase very fine models16th Century Galleys, without having to scratch-build or modify. Ship tables can simply be printed off or photo-copied without the tiresome nonsense of coverlon and chinagraphs. There are some suggested modifications at the end. I hope that you enjoy using them !

THE RULES.

A). SCALES:

One ship is equivalent to one ship.
One move is equivalent to about two and a half minutes.
One hexagon is equivalent to an area of about 100 yards across.

B). THE BOARD:

The game is played on a board divided into one inch hexagons. These can be drawn (pain staking) or bought from Strategy, and. Tactics. or adapted from some other game. It may alternatively be played on a board composed of off-set rectangles each 2.5 cms by 2 cms ( as in Ed Smith's ancient naval rules).

C). SHIPS & SHIP CARDS:

The ship models should be up to a maximum length of one inch. For convenience ships are classified into three types, henceforth called A,B and C class according to size. A class represent Reales, usually flagships.B class are normal fighting galleys of varying sizes while C class are representative of Galliots and smaller lighter vessels.

Ship cards need to be made for each vessel. On these is shown the data characterising that. ship. This should be made from card and covered in coverlon or Perspex or something like that which can easily be written on with a chinagraph pencil allowing marks to be easily erased afterwards.

Class A galleys:

Ship's Name Speed 1s 1s 1s 2c 2c 2c 3c 3c 3c 4b 4b 4b 5b 5b
  Turn F F F C C C C C C E E E E E
Christian A Crew PO PO PO PO PO PO PO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO
  Marines M M M M M M M M M M Holes H1 H2
  Guns 1 2 3 4 5 Fires F3 F4 F5 F6   Fp Sp

 

Ship's Name Speed 1s 1s 1s 2c 2c 2c 3c 3c 3c 4b 4b 4b 5b 5b
  Turn F F F C C C C C C E E E E E
Turkish A Crew PO PO PO PO PO PO PO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO
  Marines M M M M M M M M M M Holes H1 H2
  Guns 1 2 3     Fires F3 F4 F5 F6   Fp Sp

Class B galleys:

Ship's Name Speed 1s 1s 2c 2c 3c 3c 4b 4b 5b 5b
  Turn F F B B B B D D D D
Christian B Crew PO PO PO PO PO SO SO SO SO SO
  Marines M M M M M M M M H1 H2
Fp Sp Guns 1 2 3 4 5 F3 F4 F5 F6  

 

Ship's Name Speed 1s 1s 2c 2c 3c 3c 4b 4b 5b 5b
  Turn F F B B B B D D D D
Turkish B Crew PO PO PO PO PO SO SO SO SO SO
  Marines M M M M M M M M H1 H2
Fp Sp Guns 1 2 3     F3 F4 F5 F6  

Class C galleys:

Ship's Name Speed 1s 2s 3c 4c 5b 6b
  Turn F F A A C C
Christian C Crew PO PO PO SO SO SO
  Marines M M M M H1 H2
Fp Sp Guns 1 2 3 F4 F5 F6

 

Ship's Name Speed 1s 2s 3c 4c 5b 6b
  Turn F F A A C C
Turkish C Crew PO PO PO SO SO SO
  Marines M M M M H1 H2
Fp Sp Guns 1 2 3 F4 F5 F6

SPEED: Cross off one of these squares, starting from the right, for each damage suffered, The last uncrossed square shows the vessel's maximum speed

CREW & MARINES: Cross off one of these squares each time a crew casualty is suffered.
Remember to cross off equal numbers of P0 (port oar sections) and S0 (starboard oar sections) if the fire is coming from bow or stern, cross
off P0 if fire is from port and SO if it is from starboard.

GUNS: Cross off one of these squares when a gun is dismounted by fire or when a Turkish A or C class looses 5 damage, when a Christian A class or Turkish B class looses 3 damage or a Christian B or C class looses 2 damage. The highest number left is the maximum number of guns that can be fired.

HOLES: Cross off one of these squares if the ship is holed in a ram. Throw one. dice at the end of each move. A 6 is needed to plug the hole. Add 'one. to the. score for each M factor not engaged in firing' or melee.

FIRES: If a fire is started on a ship, throw immediately to put it out. A 3 or more is needed. If this fails cross the square marked F3.At' the beginning of the next move throw again; a 4 or more is needed. If this fails cross off F4.Repeat the process for P5 and F6 in the subsequent moves, needing 5 or more and then a 6 respectively. Once F6 is crossed off the ship must be abandoned. (Note: on C class Galleys fires start at F4)

OTHER WEAP0NS: Cross off the Fp square once fire hoops and pots have been thrown. Cross off the Sp square once liquid soap has been used.

D) .MOVES:

D1.Moving is divided into 8 phases, and takes place alternately in the following sequence:
 
1.    Player 1 throws to put out fires and plug holes.
2.    Player 1 moves his ships.
3.    Both players may fire any ships which did not fire in phase 8 of the last move.
4.    Work out the results of all rams.
5.    Pight all melees resulting.
6.    Player 2 throws to put out fires and plug hole's.
7.    Player 2 moves his ships.
8.    Both players may fire any ships which did not fire in phase 3 of this move
9.    Work out the results of all rams.
10.  Fight all melees resulting.

D2. Moving one hex or turning 60 degrees takes one movement point, ships may only turn in one direction in one hex.

D3.Movement rates are given as the maximum number of movement points allowed to each vessel at a given speed. Turning circles at that speed are indicated by the letter beneath the movement point allowance on the ship table.

D4 Movement rates are indicated by the letter after the speed in the ship table. Slow (s). Cruise (c). Battle (b).
Ships may accelerate or decelerate by one speed per move e.g. a ship moving at cruising speed may next move accelerate to battle speed, stay at cruising speed or reduce to slow speed. A ship moving at slow speed one move may move at slow speed or cruising speed the next move or stop but may not move at battle speed etc. Eg. A class B Galley moving at Slow speed (1s) one move, could increase to Cruise spead (2 or 3), but not to Battle speed, the next.
 
D5.Turning circles:
All turns except f must be preceded by a, compulsory one hex straight forward.
a - up to 3 turns of 60 degrees in 1 hex.
b - up to 2 turns of 60 degrees in 1 hex.
C - up to 1 turn of 60 degrees in 1 hex.
d - up to 1 turn of 60 degrees in 1 hex with 1 clear hex between turns.
e -up to 1 turn of 60 degrees in 1 hex with 2 clear hex between turns.
f - up to 1 turn of 60 degrees in 1 hex without compulsory move forward.

E) .RAMMING:

E1 .When a ship enters a hex occupied by an unfriendly ship a ram takes place unless the attacking player states that he merely wishes to come alongside in which case he may throw to grapple. No further movement may take place this move.

E2.Types of ram:
a - bow ram: the ramming ship moves into the target ship's hex from directly ahead
b - beam ram: the ramming ship moves into the target ship's hex from either the right or the left
C - stern ram: the ramming ship moves into the target ship's hex from directly astern.

E3.Results of ramming:

a).Bow rams:       Both ships loose one oar section. Both ships throw one dice, a score of one or less indicates one damage point suffered.                               Deduct one from dice score of a smaller ship for each grade difference.

b).Beam rams:    The ramming ship's player throws one dice adding one for each hex moved in a straight line immediately before ramming and                              two for each grade larger his ship is than the rammed ship. If the ship is smaller deduct one for each grade smaller.

Score Result
13 or over ship sinks immediately.
10 - 12 ship holed, loses two damages and one oar section.
8- 9
ship holed, loses one damage and one oar section.
7
ship loses two damage and one oar section.
5- 6 ship loses one damage and one oar section
1-4
ship looses one oar section.
0 or less ship loses one oar section, rammer looses one damage.

c).Stern rams:      Raked ship looses its rudders and can only steer as l6ng as at least half the oar sections remain on both sides. It moves down                              one class on all turning circles except e. Throw one dice deducting one for each grade that the ramming ship is larger than the                              rammed ship: score 0 or less ramme4 ship looses. two damage, score 1,2 or 3 looses one damage

E4.Grappling:
When two ships meet in a ram, the ramming ship can always throw to grapple. If an odd number is thrown, then the rammed ship may also throw to grapple. To grapple, throw one dice; a 4,5 or 6 is required to grapple successfully, if the operation is opposed. If it is not opposed, then grappling is automatic.
 
Once grappled together, the grappling lines may only be cut by the side which has just won the round of boarding melee. This is automatically successful. The losing side may not cut the grappling lines.
 
If two ships do not grapple after a ram, then the rammer must back off one hex and the rammed ship remains stationary for the whole move after the ram. If the lines grappling two ships are cut, then the winning side, cuts the grapples and backs off one hex, as above, whilst the losing ship remains stationary.
 

F) FIRING:

F1.Cannon fire:
a).Ships can fire straight ahead only at the following ranges:
 
7-12 hexes Long Range
4 - 6 hexes Medium Range
2 - 3 hexes Close Range
1 hex Point Blank Range

b).For effect throw one dice per gun.

Score Long Range Medium Range Close Range Point Blank
1 nd nd nd nd
2 nd nd nd 1c
3 nd nd 1c 1c 1d
4 nd nd 1c 1c 1d
5 nd nd 1c 1d 1c 1d
6 1c 1c 1d 1c 1b 2c 1d
F2.Small arms fire:
Throw 1 dice per 2 M factors at point blank range.
Throw 1 dice per 4 M factors at close range.
A score of 5 or 6 causes one potential crew casualty.
 
F3. Crew casua1ties:
When a crew casualty is called for, throw one dice. A 1, 2 or 3 an oar section is removed, 4, 5 or 6 a marine.
Oar sections are vulnerable only to cannon fire so discard any apparent casualties caused by small arms fire.
Two hits are 'required to kill a Christian marine if the shooters are archers ,one if they are arquebusiers.

G) . MELEE

G1. If a ship is boarded by its bow or stern a maximum of 5 factors per side may fight in the melee.
       If it is boarded by its beam 10 factors may fight.

G2.Add up the total points engaged on each side (counting 3 points per Christian marine,2 points per Turkish marine and 1 point per Christian oar section) and throw 1 dice per 5 points. Half the score count as casualties to the enemy. Marines die first

G3. When a ship surrenders it becomes a prize. Crew can be used to fill oar sections on friendly ships. To do this both ships must remain stationary for four periods. Or it may be sailed off using its surviving crew as oar sections, guarded by at least one M factor.

H).OTHER WEAPONS:

H1.Fire hoops and pots:
Each ship has enough of these to use once only. They may be thrown immediately before any boarding action. Throw 1 dice.
Score Result
1 1 fire started on target AND own ship
2 no effect
3 1 fire started on target ship
4 1 fire started on target ship and 1 crew casualty
5 1 fire started on target ship and 2 crew casualties
6 2 fires started on target ship and 2 crew casualties
H2.Liquid soap:
This may be used only to repel an attempted boarding action. Throw one dice. The number thrown is the number of enemy factors out of the intended boarding party immobilised for one period.

I) .MORALE

I1.Throw for morale when :  the flag ship is taken or sunk.
                                            a ship has lost 1/3 of its crew and on any subsequent crew loss
                                            a ship has lost 1/2 of its damages.and on any subsequent damage taken

I2.Throw 2 dice and add or deduct as follows:

Add When Deduct When
2 testing the Flagship 2 on fire
2 enemy Flagship taken or sunk 2 own Flagship taken or sunk
1 for each enemy taken or sunk 1 each friendly ship taken or sunk
    1 each 25% damage taken
    1 each 25% crew casualties

I3. Morale Results:

Score
Result
4 or more
ship fights on
1 to 3
ship strikes colours if in melee
otherwise, fights on but may not initiate boarding action
-2 to 0
ship strikes colours if in melee
otherwise sails off
-3 or less
ship strikes colours if in melee or under fire
otherwise sails off

These results stand until the ship has either surrendered, left the board or achieves a different result' from a subsequent morale test.

*** End of original Rules. ***

Addendum (Sept 1998)

AC) Additional Ships

Spanish Ships    These were heavilly armed and generally slower than corresponding vessels of other powers

Ship's Name Speed 1s 1s 1s 2c 2c 2c 3c 3c 3c 3c 3c 4b 4b 4b
  Turn F F F C C C C C C C C E E E
Reale Crew PO PO PO PO PO PO PO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO
  Marines M M M M M M M M M M Holes H1 H2
  Guns 1 2 3 4 5 Fires F3 F4 F5 F6   Fp Sp

 

Ship's Name Speed 1s 1s 2c 2c 3c 3c 3c 4b 4b 4b
  Turn F F B B B B B D D D
Galley Crew PO PO PO PO PO SO SO SO SO SO
  Marines M M M M M M M M H1 H2
Fp Sp Guns 1 2 3 4 5 F3 F4 F5 F6  

Venetian Ships: these were extremely fast under oars because of their professional oarsmen

Ship's Name Speed 1s 1s 2c 2c 3c 4b 4b 5b 5b 6b
  Turn F F B B B C C D D D
Galley Crew PO PO PO PO PO SO SO SO SO SO
  Marines M M M M M M M M H1 H2
Fp Sp Guns 1 2 3 4 5 F3 F4 F5 F6  

AF) FIRING:

Firing ranges were far too optimistic, and guns unclassified, deliberately so, to give a quick game. By substituting the use of decimal dice (unheard of in 1973 !), it is possible to gave more realism and flexibility.

Guns will now be divided into categories, each with distinctive ranges and attributes.

Light Guns Swivels / 2lb to 4lb Upto half of these can also fire broadside on either side
Medium Guns 6lb to 8lb  
  9lb to 12lb  
Heavy Guns 18lb  
  24lb  
  32/36lb  
  50lb Turks only, slow to load but causing great damage
.Typical Armaments
 
Nation Reale Galley Galley Galleot
Venice 1x32lb, 2x12lb, 2x8lb 1x18lb, 4x8lb,2xLG 1x 18lb, 2x 12lb, 2xLG 1x12lb, 2xLG
Spain 1x36lb, 2x18lb, 2x9lb 1x24lb, 2x12lb, 2x6lb 1x24lb, 4x9lb, 2xLG 1x12lb, 2x6lb
France etc. 1x36lb, 2x12lb, 2x8lb 1x18lb, 4x8lb, 2xLG 1x18lb, 2x12lb, 2xLG 1x12lb, 2xLG
Ottoman 1x50lb, 2x12lb, 2xLG 1x32lb, 2xLG 1x24lb, 2x LG 1x6lb, 2xLG
AF1.Cannon fire:
a).Ships can fire straight ahead only at the following ranges:
 
Gun Point Blank Close Range Medium Range Long Range Random Range
Heavy Guns 1 hex 2 hexes 3-4 hexes 5-6 hexes 7-15hexes
Medium Guns 1 hex 2 hexes 3-4 hexes 5-6 hexes 7-12 hexes
Light Guns 1 hex 2 hexes 3 hexes 4 hexes 5-6 hexes

b).For effect throw one decimal dice per gun.

Score Point Blank Close Range Medium Range Long Range Random Range
1 nd nd nd nd nd
2 A nd nd nd nd
3 B A nd nd nd
4 B B nd nd nd
5 C B nd nd nd
6 C C A nd nd
7 D C A nd nd
8 D D B nd nd
9 E D C A nd
0 E E D B S

If the result is 'S' then throw again, a hit is only confirmed by the roll of another 0. Check for damage on the following table

Gun   A B C D E S
Light Guns Swivels / 2lb to 4lb 1c,        F 1c 1c 1c 1c, 1d 1c
Medium Guns 6lb to 8lb 1c 1c,       F 1c 1c, 1d 1c, 1d 1c
  9lb to 12lb 1c 1c, 1d 1c, 1d     F 1c, 1d 1c, 1d 1c
Heavy Guns 18lb 1c 1c, 1d 1c, 1d 1c, 1d     F 1c, 2d 1c 1d
  24lb 1c 1c, 1d 1c, 2d 1c, 2d 1c, 2d     F 1c, 1d
  32/36lb 1c 1c, 1d,    F 1c, 2d 1c, 2d 1c, 3d, 1H 1c, 2d   F
  50lb 1c 1c, 1d 1c, 2d     F 1c, 2d, 1H 1c, 3d, 1H 1c, 3d, 

H indicates a Hole is caused    F indicates a fire is started..

AG2 Although Christian Marines were often better armoured than the Turks, the latter were renowned for their ferocity. Additionally, many Ottoman crews were freemen, not slaves, whereas many Christian Galleys shipped slave crews, particularly French and Spanish ones. So, in melee, count the following values, instead of the original:

  Marines       Free Oarsmen Slave Oarsmen
Venice 3 2 na
Papal, Genoan etc. 3 1 0
French or Spanish 3 1 0
Ottoman 3 2 0
Swedish or Russian 3 2 na

Dave Millward, Sept 1998.

These rules may be downloaded from Wargames Forum free of charge, by anyone visiting the site. They may be printed out for that person's use and the Ship Tables may be reprinted or photocopied as required. However, the Rules may not be further reproduced or sold on, and remain the Copyright of D. B. Millward.

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