Monday, 24 August 2015

Galleys & Galleons Review

I had a lovely note left for me on this blog over the weekend from Peter Hunt of the Hong Kong Society of Wargamers stating "I'm well impressed with your Galleys and Galleons Rules. They are the answer to something that I have been looking for a long time."

How nice! Certainly a sentiment that I appreciate. Even better, Peter went on to note that he has written up a review on the Society website. Here is just a taster:

"The rules run to 78 pages and are well written, in a “tongue in cheek” manner that is clearly aiming at a fun game rather than a deep historical simulation, of which the presence of Kraken to drag you down into the deep, Leviathans to pursue o’er the Seven Seas, Rocs to descend on you from the skies, and an Edge of the World to fall off, leaves you in no doubt. Don’t be put off if that is not your cup of tea though; there is a good set of rules here that will serve well for historical games. Almost all the aspects of the Ganesha Games’ system are here, including using short, medium and long measurement sticks to govern movement and shooting ranges, and using multiple actions to make your shooting and fighting more effective, (for example a “full broadside” in Galleys and Galleons is the equivalent of an “aimed shot” in Drums and Shakos.) Movement is a bit different because it is tied to the wind as you would expect in an age of sail naval game and this is nicely handled by cross referencing the vessel’s rig to wind aspect which will give you a speed in terms of the short, medium or long measurement that the ship will move regardless of whether it is ordered to do so or if there is a turnover."

Moreover, Peter - seemingly an inveterate tinkerer of rules and a fan of Wargames Research Group's DBX systems - produced a great little document reconciling G&G with the DBX system and producing an alternative, simplified weather gauge. Check it out HERE.

One of the nicest additions to Peter's document is the profiling of a dozen or more historical admirals inline with the Flagship rule in the game. Another taster:

"Maarten Harpertszoon Tromp (1630-1653) Born with salt in his veins and enslaved twice by pirates before he was 24, Tromp finally took down Spanish naval power and held the growing naval might of Britain in check for a generation. He introduced the line of battle and was a consummate seaman who knew the Channel like the back of his hand. Tromp, like Nelson, fell to a sharpshooter. His flag captain concealed his death from the fleet to prevent a morale collapse. Dashing and also counts as a pilot. If he suffers a “Captain Hit” result throw a dice: on a 4,5 or 6 the flag captain conceals the death, continue the battle with the Flagship now counting as a Middling Seaman; on a 1,2, or 3 the bad news leaks out, all ships take a -1 on their shooting and offensive boarding action rolls."

And the summary of his thoughts on the rules?

"It turned out to be money well spent… and a substantial financial outlay. Money well spent because the rules are very good, and a substantial financial outlay, because with my enthusiasm for the period rekindled, orders immediately went off to Navwar and Langton for a lot more new ships, Brigade Models for buildings and fortifications, and Minibits for dice holders. In the meantime a week’s work finally got a Dutch fleet to sea."


  1. Excellent! Good to get a vote of confidence like this :)

  2. Looks good, a great temptation for our club!