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Optional Rules : Nearshore Operations

Ships firing onto shore may use the Shore Target Combat Chart to assess shelling damage to fortified and unfortified land targets. For fortified targets, a player should score direct hits on a battery base in order to qualify for shell hit die rolls, just like on the normal ship to ship combat chart. The size differential on the Shells vs Fortified chart relates the size of the shell being fired to the size of the battery being fired upon. An average fortified battery base should be roughly half the size of a ship base for a one or two gun battery, and the same size as a ship base for a four to six gun battery. For bombardment of unfortified shore targets such at palaces, water towers, radio towers, housing districts and other related soft targets, players only need to declare them as targets and roll once per two guns for direct fire, and once per four guns for indirect fire. The Shells vs Unfortified results will give an abstracted description of the target hit proximity, which players may then interpret in light of the size of shells being fired and the nature of the (probably civilian) target. Shore based guns fire at ships using the same combat chart as used for ship to ship firing.

Elevations - There are three elevations available to shore based positions: Sea level, hillside and hilltop. While in normal fighting trim, ships may only fire at sea level targets and hillside targets. Ships may fire at or over hilltops and hilltop positions only by stopping and conducting a medium counterflood on the side of the ship away from the target. The resulting list allows the ship's guns to fire at the increased elevation needed to engage hilltop targets or targets on the other side of a hilltop. The ship is subject to normal uneven flooding rules while counterflooded, hence the relative inability of a fleet to engage numerous hilltop fortifications. Hilltop batteries of 28cm or larger may fire at a range of four range brackets.

Hillside batteries have a blind zone equal to one-quarter of a range bracket in all directions from the edge of their base. They may only engage targets beyond this blind zone. Hilltop batteries have a blind zone equal to half of a range bracket, also in all directions from the edge of their base. In exceptional situations, especially of poorly sited or designed fortifications, the blind zone may be a full range bracket. Very powerful "modern" shore batteries (often sited over a full range bracket inland) may have a one range-bracket blind zone but a maximum range of five range brackets.

Shoals and Sandbars - If players wish, they may mark shoals and sandbars which pose navigational hazards (actual marker points should be kept small or slender, they affect a wide area). For game purposes, a sandbar only grounds a ship and prevent it from moving, whereas a shoal or reef grounds a ship and causes damage and flooding. Channels with marker buoys should be exempt from the hazard proximity, or they should reduce by at least half the range at which the obstacles pose a hazard. A grounded ship can work itself free of a sandbar on a die roll of 1-5 on the first attempt, 1-6 on the second attempt and 1-2 on the third attempt (limit of one attempt per movement phase). If it fails at all three attempts it must wait until after the battle, when the tide comes in and refloats it (barring towing rules and/or the presence of seagoing tugs). The same applies to shoals and reefs, however if flooding becomes severe enough, it may be best not to refloat the ship. In stormy seas a vessel may be a lost cause as soon as it hits.

Grounding Chart - Roll 2D6
Hazard Type Obstacle Distance
¼ Range Bracket
Obstacle Distance
½ Range Bracket
2 - 5 6 - 9 10 - 12 2 - 5 6 - 9 10 - 12
Sandbar G Slow n/e n/e n/e Slow
Shoal Slow n/e G FL n/e n/e G
Reef Slow G 2FL G 2FL n/e n/e G FL
Slow = Keel is dragging in the mud or gravel. Maximum half speed for the turn.
G = Grounded.
FL = Flooding hit. Vessel rolls for flooding at 100>.

Die Roll Modifiers:
+2 to grounding roll if in rough seas.
+4 to grounding roll if in stormy seas.
+4 to FL occurrence die roll if in rough seas.
+8 to FL occurrence die roll if in stormy seas.
Players must decide before game play whether mines are present in the battle zone, and if so, whether they are mines from only one side, or from both sides. On every third turn that a ship moves in a combat zone (game board) that has enemy mines, it must roll at the end of the movement phase to test for mine spotting or hits. Roll 2D6 per moving ship. Any ship which rolls doubles may have spotted a mine. Consult the table below to establish what happens next, using the actual doubles number rolled as a basis for the spotting event:
Mine Spotting Results  
Doubles Number Ship Position
Leading Following
1 - 5 False alarm False alarm
6 Hit Spotted
Doubles Number Modifiers:
Closest known enemy mine: -1 if over one nautical mile distant
Closest known friendly mine: -1 if less than nautical mile distant
Ship speed more than 10 knots: +1
Night movement w/searchlight: +1
Night movement w/o searchlight: +2

In the case of a Hit result, treat as a torpedo hit and roll for Flooding Occurrence and random location according to the normal game rules. Mines from before 1902 have an attack value of 60 and mines from 1903 or later have an attack value of 120. In case of Spotted result, consult the locator table below. In case of a False alarm, nothing happens.

A leading ship is one which is the front ship in a line ahead formation, or one which is otherwise moving without any other friendly ship moving on a parallel course immediately to its front within three cables distant. A following ship is any following a leading vessel within three cables or less.
Spotted mine locator: For Hit results, mark the mine location with an adhesive dot at the center position of the vessel that was hit. Remember to draw an X on the mine marker to show it was detonated. For Spotted results, roll 1D6 and place each spotted mine in relation to the spotting ship according to the following directions , based on the angle from the bow of the ship:
1 = 45° to starboard
2 = 90° to starboard
3 = 135° to starboard
4 = 45° to port
5 = 90° to port
6 = 135° to port

To establish the newly spotted mine's distance from the spotting ship, roll 1D6 and multiply the die result number by the following distances according to the game scales used: Small = 5mm, Medium-Small = 10mm, Medium-Large = ½", Large = 1". Any vessel whose base touches a mine marker dot must roll 1D6 to test if it struck the mine. On any result of 5-6, the vessel has struck the mine and must roll for flooding effects on the combat chart. On a die result of 1 through 4 the vessel is considered to have missed the mine, which remains in position unexploded. Remember to mark exploded mine markers with an "X' or other symbol to show they are inactive. Note that even inactive (exploded) mines count toward the "Closest Known" modifier in the Mine Spotting table above.

Sample Shore Batteries - The following list of battery types should give players an idea of the types of guns and positions which might exist. This is only for reference, and players should note that battery configurations will vary wildly by nationality and region.
Heavy Position (new)
Quantity-Type:×1 - 30cm  Size:60  ROF:1  Penetration:16-13-10  Arc of Fire:135 degrees

Medium Battery (new)
Quantity-Type:×6 - 15cm  Size:7  ROF:2  Penetration:6-4-2  Arc of Fire:135 degrees

Medium Battery (old)
Quantity-Type:×4 - 20cm  Size:9  ROF:1  Penetration:5-4-2  Arc of Fire:95 degrees

Medium Battery (old battery with new guns)
Quantity-Type:×3 - 15cm  Size:7  ROF:2  Penetration:6-4-2  Arc of Fire:90 degrees
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