16th Century Naval Rules for Galley Warfareby 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 I have left them unchanged, expect for the insertion of the ship tables, as they are a Historical Document, as much as a set of working rules.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 !
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:
Class B galleys:
Class C galleys:
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
|13 or over||ship sinks immediately.|
|10 - 12||ship holed, loses two damages and one oar section.|
|5- 6||ship loses one damage and 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
|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|
|5||nd||nd||1c 1d||1c 1d|
|6||1c||1c 1d||1c 1b||2c 1d|
G) . MELEE
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.
|1||1 fire started on target AND own ship|
|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|
I2.Throw 2 dice and add or deduct as follows:
|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:
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
Venetian Ships: these were extremely fast under oars because of their professional oarsmen
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|
|50lb||Turks only, slow to load but causing great damage|
|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|
|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|
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
|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|
|Papal, Genoan etc.||3||1||0|
|French or Spanish||3||1||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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