Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Turning in Broadside and Ram

Bruce asked how turning works in Broadside and Ram, so here's how I have done it in the games I've played. As I tend to play tactical squadron sized games, I have changed the turning angles to a maximum of 45 degrees for most ships, with gunboats, steamships and smaller vessels being able to turn up to 90 degrees. I have also allowed paddlers to turn up to 180 degrees if stationary. This makes it a bit more realistic for small scale games featuring only half a dozen ships a side, which is what I usually do.

For turning, the rules are pretty clear, with all turns taking place before movement and with the option of manoeuvring as a single group if within 3'' of the flagship or squadron lead ship. The way I do it is to move and turn the lead ship then move the others in line astern, turning at the same point and conforming to the lead ship, maintaining equal spacing as far as ship CS or MS allows. You need to bear CS and MS in mind when forming squadrons, otherwise you could end up with stragglers. If ships haven't got enough speed to get to the turn point, then they just move up to the turn and can follow on afterwards. 

The other option is to turn the lead ship then arrange the others to follow in a gentle curved formation, which looks better but is probably less accurate than the turn on the spot approach outlined before. Finally, you can turn in echelon, again following the lead ship and conforming to its angle of turn, then moving forward as an echelon formation. As I limit turns to 45 degrees for armoured ships and wooden warships, this means that you need to do two consecutive echelon turns to form a line abreast, paying the requisite AP for the formation change when you do so.

I hope that makes sense?


  1. Have you tried Phli Barker's DBA (Damn Battleships Again) might be some ideas even if you don't like. I use them with a few mods for my Russo-Japanese fleets. They are, or were free online.

  2. Thanks Rob,

    I'll check them out :o)

  3. Thanks Jim! This seems to be a vague area in the rules that you have worked out on your own. "The way I do it is to move and turn the lead ship then move the others in line astern" While the rules say you must turn first and then move, I do not feel like that is realistic. You have created a better option for squadrons. For an individual ship, the turn and the movement also could take place together using a typical turning/measuring circle in the right scale. You can find these online at places like War times Journal for free. I am going to experiment a bit myself. I do like these rules in general and appreciate the work you have done on them. I too have a "Captain" that I have always wanted to try out. Thanks very much for you thoughts and examples on this and for your excellent website! Bruce

  4. By the way, I do love your aircraft as well! Bruce



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