SHIPWRECK - A REVIEW

(the following review is based on one I wrote for the NWS Journal, "Battlefleet")


"Shipwreck" is a new set of modern naval rules written by NWS member Martin Bourne. The rules are quick play in nature. All die rolls use a d10 and much us is made of ship and weapon groups. For example ships are classed by displacement (up to 1000 tons, 1000 - 2600 etc.). Ranges are grouped into Very Short, Short , Medium etc. Weapons are similarly classed (e.g. Dual Purpose Gun, Light Missile, Heavy Missile etc.). If a hit is scored you roll a d10 and cross-reference the weapon class with the ship class to see what damage has been caused. Damage is also treated in a groupwise manner - instead of keeping track of damage points a ship is classed as suffering Light, or heavy damage, is Crippled or is Sinking. As a result book keeping is very simple. Having said that each individual weapon system onboard is noted and kept track of separately so there is still an element of detail. This gives a good feel to the game in that "after action" reports will talk of HMS NONSUCH being heavily damaged and having lost the 4.5" gun, whilst the VOROSHILOV was crippled and had her SS-N-14 launchers destroyed.

There are two types of turn in the game. Normal turns cover about 6 minutes and in these ships and helicopters move. If missiles or fast jets are about the game moves to a series of Combat turns (2 mins) during which the ships
and helos stop and only the missiles and jets move. The first time you read this you think it sounds a bit odd, but it works well (although personally I prefer allowing ships some latitude for making heading changes when air targets are detected).

The rules for submarines again sound odd the first time you read them bit work well. Submarines are kept in a semi abstract mode, closing or opening the range by range band until detected and localised when they move normally.
For a modern naval game the treatment of subs is a crucial aspect that will make of break the set, and in this case they work well.

Movement is kept simple. No need to remember that a Type 23 does 28 knots and a Kashin 32 knots - all ships cruise at 3 movement units per turn and sprint at 5 per turn.

As well as the main rules the book includes an introductory scenario and replay which serves to explain the mechanisms of the surface and air game. There are notes on modelling, making damage markers, basing, campaigns etc. and four appendices covering unit record sheets, weapon tables, aircraft stats and submarine stats.

There are plans for a range of supplements, fleet books, scenario packs etc. which we should see more of in the next few months, as well as a website that includes an ever-growing list of ship stats.



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