The War Times Journal Home Page


  Small Scale Large Scale
Feature Metric Imperial Metric Imperial
Measure Unit Millimeter Inch Millimeter Inch
One nautical mile 330 13 660 26
Point Blank Range 0 - 100 0 - 4 0 - 200 0 - 8
Short Range 100 - 600 4 - 24 200 - 1200 8 - 48
Long Range 600 - 1200 24 - 48 1200 - 2400 48 - 96
Torpedo Range 25 - 100 1 - 4 50 - 200 2 - 8
1 turn Several Minutes
These rules have been designed for fast play of pre-dreadnought era naval wargames with a minimum of playing aids or charts. The combat chart itself is only one page, and the log for tracking ship condition has six vessels per sheet. There is an emphasis on gunnery and damage tracking, with many other factors either minimized or left out altogether. For example there are no command rules in the game, players simply move their ships. In this respect the game is for a much more casual environment, yet the core combat results — especially for gun fire — are realistic enough to give satisfaction (See Ranges below).
« 1.1 Game Scales
Quickfire can be played using any scale of gaming miniatures. Each turn's movement is calibrated to a fairly low rate of speed, which helps players make best use of more confined playing areas. The Game Scales table above right shows the basic ranges and measures for both metric and imperial measurement for two general playing scales; small and large. The small scale is intended for use with smaller models such as 1/3000 or 1/2400, and the large scale is for bigger models such as 1/1800 or 1/1500 - however players may use either game scale for any sized miniature so long as the game results are satisfactory. Feel free to experiment. Each of the three gunnery ranges shown: long, short and point blank, have particular characteristics which reflect the conditions at the respective distances.

« 1.2 Miniature Ship Models
Game play requires the use of miniature ship models, many of which are available at the WTJ Store. The WTJ Naval miniatures offer a variety of pre-dreadnought era ships, ranging from the big battleships necessary for the core of your fleet to gunboats and destroyers needed for supporting roles. Also available are minelayers, maintenance ships and other auxiliary vessels to help add realism to the game. All of these miniatures are in a range of scales, including 1/1500, 1/1800, 1/2400 and 1/3000 scale.

1D6 One six-sided die
2D6 Two six-sided dice
3D6 Three six-sided dice
ROF Rate of Fire
LOS Line of Sight
Miniatures and Bases - Small scale vessels should be mounted on bases for ease of handling. For 1/3000 scale miniature bases a standard size range of ¾" x 2" (20mm x 50mm) for most capital ships should work well. The lengths may be adjusted upward or downward for other ships sizes. For example the Russian battleship Peresviet and most newer Japanese battleships may look best on 55mm long bases.

For purposes of game play, the term vessel, model or ship does not usually apply to any base upon which that model might be mounted. For movement purposes it doesn't matter, so long as players measure their movement for the turn from the same position on the ship or its base. For purposes of gunnery and torpedo fire, players will usually refer only to the model and its immediate boundaries and not the edges of the base. Unless otherwise stated, always measure from the forward funnel on the spotting vessel to the forward funnel of the target vessel when checking the distance between two ships.

« 1.3 Equipment
Naval wargames are a bit more technically demanding than some other forms of miniature wargaming and require a few extra tools. The standard gaming equipment of tape measures, six sided dice and pencils are definitely required. Players will also want to download the Quickfire Combat Chart and Ship Log, both of which are available on the Quickfire home page.

Combat Chart — The combat chart is made up of tables which allow players to assign damage to ships during a battle. Any tables used for resolving combat are described in greater detail below. Some other tables that are used for reference are not described here.

Ship Log — The sheet used to track the condition of vessels during a battle is called the ship log. Each ship log sheet has logs for six ships, with each log showing the vessel's name, size, gunnery rating, armor rating, torpedo rating, ROF rating, speed and number of repair points. It also has an extra box for entering blast hit effects if they should occur. At right is a sample figure of a ship log's data boxes and how they might appear during a battle. Note the following details about the log:

The ROF box initially contained only the ship's "5 - 6" ratings. The ship has received two G hits which lowered the heavy ROF rating by two points. The ship has also fired its guns, as evidenced by the crossing out of the "Auto Shot" box. The ship has also suffered one S hit which affected the Speed, and it has suffered two blast hits which started two fires, one of which has gone out. At some point the ship used one repair point to make a repair die roll, and it then used another two repair points, bringing it's available total down to four from an original total of seven. None of the repair rolls appear to have succeeded, as evidenced by the lack of any upward adjustments for ROF or Speed.

1) Movement
Players simultaneously move their ships.
2) First Gunnery
Declare gunnery targets
Roll for hits and record damage.
3) Second Gunnery
Declare gunnery and torpedo targets
Roll for gunnery hits and record damage
Roll for torpedo hits and record damage.
4) Repair
Roll for all fires
Attempt repairs
Roll for sinking.
This figure does not include the extreme left column of the ship log which contains the basic text data noted above: Vessel name, size, gunnery rating, armor rating and torpedo rating. These are filled in before the game starts and remain unchanged during the battle.

« 1.4 Turn Sequence
Once all players have filled out their ship logs and laid their fleets out, game play is ready to begin. The game follows a turn sequence which is repeated until both sides agree to stop the game, one side admits defeat and runs away or if all of a player's ships are sunk.

1 Movement — Both sides move their ships. All movement is conducted simultaneously, and players must avoid watching other players move first before then moving their own vessels. An alternative is to roll dice, with the high roller deciding who moves first. This may be done once at the start of the game or at the start of each turn.

2 Gunnery — Both sides declare targets and resolve gunnery. The same side should always resolve gunnery first in order to speed game play. All damage within this phase is consider simultaneous, so the order in which damage is resolved does not confer any advantage. Damage inflicted during this gunnery phase becomes effective at the end of the phase and before the start of phase three. This means that any losses suffered during the first gunnery phase reduces effectiveness of fire for the second gunnery and torpedo phase (Phase 3).

3 Gunnery and Torpedo Fire — Both sides declare targets and resolve gunnery and torpedo fire. The same side should always fire first in order to speed game play (all damage within this phase is also considered simultaneous). Note that torpedo fire may only occur in the second of a turn's two firing phases. Also note that any damage which occurred in the previous phase two: gunnery directly effects weapons availability in this phase.

4 Repair and Sinking— All ships with fires burning on board must roll for automatic fire effects on the Damage table. Players may then attempt repairs to their vessels. Once all fire effects and repairs are resolved, any vessels with zero speed must roll for sinking.

The maximum distance a ship may move each turn is limited by the number shown in the topmost undamaged speed box on that vessel's ship log (Crossed out speed boxes do not count toward available speed). A ship may move less than the maximum available, and it may change its speed (distance moved) depending on the amount it moved on the previous turn. The distance moved should be measured from the front edge of the ship using a tape measure or scale, marking out the distance in inches or millimeters depending on the scale being used.

Turn Angles
45° 90°
45° 45°
« 2.1 Turning
In Quickfire, a ship turns by pivoting on its centerpoint and then moving in the new direction. The maximum angle a ship may pivot during any one turn corresponds to the speed box that the vessel is currently using. See the figure at right, which duplicates the layout of a typical ship's speed table, with maximum turn angles replacing the various levels of speed to which they apply. A ship may only turn once during each movement phase, and turning ships do not pay any movement penalties.
Example: The British battleship HMS Hannibal has an original maximum speed of 60mm. Using the first speed box (top-left on ship log showing 60mm), she can turn a maximum of 45° during any one movement. If she uses her fourth speed box (38mm) she would be able to turn 90° during any one movement. If for some reason her speed for the turn is using her eighth speed box (bottom-right on ship log showing 8mm) her maximum turn would be 0°, meaning that she couldn't turn at all.

« 2.2 Changing Speed
During each movement phase, vessels may change their previous speed by the equivalent of two boxes worth of movement. The Actual Speed is the amount of movement used by any one vessel on its previous turn. This contrasts with maximum Available Speed, which is the highest general speed available to that vessel according to its current highest speed rating.

Gunfire is conducted by rolling one black and two white Firing Dice (three dice total) and consulting the Gunfire & Hits tables in the combat chart. The black die is always considered the ROF die, and white dice are always considered the Gunnery dice. Actual dice used do not have to be these colors, but for sake of rules clarity the ROF and Gunnery dice are always referred to as the black and white dice respectively. To conduct gunnery, follow the steps below:
1) Take note of the firing ship's ROF rating, it is the number needed on the black ROF die.
2) Declare the firing ship's target and the gunnery rating (heavy or light) to be used against it.
3) Compare the firing ship's gunnery rating to the target's corresponding armor rating and establish the percentage difference between the two.
4) Roll all three firing dice and establish whether: a) the ROF die let the ship fire and; b) the Gunnery dice resulted in a G or S hit.
5) Record resulting hit (if any) in the ship's log and total the values of all three dice to see if any Blast Damage occurred.
6) If any blast damage did occur, record it in the Blast Hits box in the ship's log and/or resolve the damage in the Damage table.

Ranges — All gunnery takes place within one of three range categories: Long, Short and Point Blank. Long and short range are subject to the same gunnery rules regarding rate of fire (ROF), gunnery ratings, etc. The main difference between the two is that short range has a more effective blast damage profile. Point blank range functions in the same manner as short range except that it allows ships to use heavy and light gunnery simultaneously, and at two different targets. See the Game Scales table above for specific ranges listed by measuring system and use standard distance measuring for naval gaming (forward funnel to forward funnel).

ROF Rating — Every vessel has Rate of Fire ratings (called ROF ratings) which reflect the ship's overall volume of fire relative to other ships on the field. This volume of fire is affected by the number of guns, their size and their loading systems. Each ship has two ROF ratings: one relating to its heavy gunnery rating and one relating to its light gunnery rating (see Gunnery Ratings belows). During the gun fire phase, a ship must roll a number on the ROF die equal to or less than its current ROF rating for that gunnery type. If the number is greater than the current ROF rating for that ship, it has failed to "put enough lead in the air" that turn and is considered not to have fired. This is not to say the ship did not fire at all, just that it did not fire enough to warrant calculating. Ships with numerous quickfiring guns begin the game with very high ROF values. Ships with fewer numbers of slow loading guns will tend to begin the game with much lower ROF ratings.
Quickfire Effect – Ships with light ROF ratings of 6 may combine their gunnery points against targets within short or point-blank range. The combined points are set against the individual light-fire armor value of the target ship in order to achieve higher die roll odds on the gunnery table. Ships with modified light ROF ratings of 5 or lower may not combine their fire into such quickfire attacks. Making such an attack does not affect a vessel's ability to make individual point blank range heavy fire attacks in addition to the combined light fire attack. A ship may not participate in a quickfire attack and also conduct a separate light fire attack during the same phase.

Game Hint

When a ship misses its target, place a splash marker near the vessel that was being fired upon as a sign that firing against it has been resolved. Splash markers add a realistic and interesting effect to the battle, as do smoke markers for burning vessels.
Gunnery Rating — Most vessels have two gunnery ratings; one for the heavy fire of its main guns and heavy secondaries, and another for the light fire of all guns less than 10" (25cm). At long and short ranges, a ship may only use one of its fire ratings during any one fire phase, and that rating must be compared against the corresponding armor rating of the target ship. Heavy gunnery ratings are always compared to a target's heavy armor rating and light fire ratings are always compared to a target ship's light armor rating. Heavy fire is not allowed against size one or two (1 or 2) vessels moving one or more inches (25mm+). At point blank range, a ship may use both of its fire ratings simultaneously at up to two different targets during both fire phases. During point blank fire, other normal gunnery rules apply including matching of ratings (heavy versus heavy, light versus light), etc.

Gunnery ratings are never modified, and the two white gunnery dice always inflict very specific damage. Even-numbered gunnery dice results always inflict G hits and odd-numbered gunnery dice results always inflict S hits. As with ROF dice, gunnery dice results must always be equal to or less than the Die Roll numbers shown in the corresponding Gun/Armor column.

Blast Caps – Each heavy fire rating may have a small Blast Cap value shown next to it in the ship values list. If present, this small number places a cap on a ship's ability to score damage on the Blast Damage table by limiting the die numbers which can be used to score these extra hits. See the Blast Damage section below for more about Blast Caps.

Gunnery Table — To use the gunnery table, compare the appropriate gunnery rating against the corresponding armor rating for the target ship. Take the resulting percentage Gun/Armor difference and match it to the column in the combat chart's Gunnery table which matches that value. Note that the columns are for percentages which are equal to or greater than the gun/armor differentials. If a gun/armor differential is 98%, that counts as being in the 50% column.

The die roll value shown in each column is the highest total a ship can roll on the two gunnery dice to score a hit. If the sum of the two white dice is greater than that value, no hits were scored. If thesum of the two white dice is equal to or less than the number shown, a G or S hit is scored. Even-numbered gunnery dice results always inflict G hits and odd-numbered gunnery dice results always inflict S hits.

Blast Damage Table — To use the blast damage table, total all three fire dice results and compare them to the appropriate short range or long range line at left. If the value matches a number indicating a damage hit, apply that hit to the ship's log or resolve it via additional die rolls as required. Note that damage type is affected by target range, and that heavy fire die roll totals may be affected by any limits imposed by blast caps called for in the ship value. Blast damage may only occur in conjunction with gunnery damage. If no G or S hit is scored, no blast damage occurs.

Blast caps are limits placed on heavy fire effectiveness due to lower than normal presence of heavy secondary weapons which help cause the types of damage found in the blast damage table. Blast caps only limit the effectiveness of blast damage and do not affect other gunnery results. A blast cap value limits the numbers allowed for use in the blast damage table to a maximum shown next to that vessel's heavy fire rating. For example, if a vessel has a heavy fire rating of 4, it has no blast cap. If a vessel has a heavy fire rating of , it has a blast cap of 2. This means that each of the three fire dice results must be a two or less in order for the example vessel to score blast damage. A blast cap value of one (X¹) is most limiting. It restricts a ship to scoring blast damage hits on a "perfect" score of three on three dice (all ones). A blast cap value of three is most forgiving in that it allows the three fire dice to be ones, twos or threes while still scoring blast damage.

Gunnery Examples — Refer to the following examples for outlines of the gunnery process. Fire dice results are always called out in the order "Black, White, White." So for example, and fire die result of 4,1,6 would be a black die roll of "4" and white die rolls or "1" and "6."
Example #1: The Japanese battleship Mikasa is conducting long range heavy fire at the Russian battleship Borodino. The Mikasa player's fire die roll is 2,5,5. The black die roll of "2" means that the Mikasa did fire this turn because its heavy ROF rating is a 5. The Mikasa's heavy gunnery rating is a 10 and the Borodino's heavy armor rating is a 7. This means that the Mikasa is using the 100% Gun/Armor column, which requires a white die total of 7 or less. Mikasa misses the Borodino. Had the Mikasa rolled a 4,1,3, she still would have fired for the turn, and with a white die total of 4, she would have scored a "G" hit on the Borodino. Had Mikasa rolled a 6,2,1, she would have rolled a white dice total that might have allowed an "S" hit, but unfortunately her black die roll of "6" would mean that she failed to fire. As a result, no "S" hit would be scored even though the white dice gave that result. The black die roll must indicate that gunfire occurred in order for the white die roll totals to count toward damage. Otherwise they count for nothing.

Above: Russian battle line under fire - 1/1500 scale ships.
« 3.1 Targets
A vessel may only fire at one target during each gunnery phase using each of its weapon types (guns and/or torpedoes). Hence a ship may fire guns at one target and torpedoes at another, but it may not fire guns at two different targets during the same gunnery phase. A ship may fire at targets different than those it fired upon in any previous gunnery phases, including gunnery phases during the same turn (IE - a ship may fire on two different targets on two consecutive gunnery phases). Each gunnery and torpedo target must be declared before any firing is resolved. Chits may be used to assign targets.

Line of Sight — Vessels may only fire upon targets which are within their direct line-of-sight. Line-of-sight is drawn from the forward smokestack of a firing vessel to the forward smokestack of a target vessel. The potential target may not be fired upon if line-of-sight is blocked in any way by other vessels or land.

Arcs-of-Fire — Most ships concentrate their greatest firepower in a 120° arc centered on each broadside. Within this arc, ships fire using their full ROF rating. In the remaining 60° arcs to the front and rear (fore and aft) of a ship, all ROF ratings are halved. In some special circumstances a ship's weapon performance may not match this average rule. In such cases, like those of citadel type vessels, the ship values section will note the differences and how they should be treated for game play. The main Quickfire page includes a sheet of simple firing arcs to help players establish valid arcs of fire.

Friendly Fire — A ship may not fire on an enemy vessel if any part of a friendly vessel is both on the other side of the prospective target and in the line of fire. Set-up line of fire using standard distance measurement (forward funnel of firing vessel to forward funnel of target vessel).

« 3.2 Torpedoes
During the second fire phase, a ship which is within torpedo range of any enemy ships may roll to see if it launches any torpedoes. As with gunnery, all torpedo targets must be declared before die rolling begins. Unlike gunnery, torpedoes have a minimum range within which they may not be used and any vessels within that minimum distance do not check for torpedo fire. Each vessel may check for torpedo fire against either one or two target ships, with the following limitations in cases where two target ships are involved: (a) If checking for fire against two ships within the same firing arc (both targets to starboard, etc.) the ship must split its torpedo rating amongst the two targets. IE - A vessel with a torpedo rating of 3 could check as a 2 against one target and as a 1 against another. (b) If checking for fire against two targets located in different firing arcs, the ship may use its full torpedo rating against each of the two targets.

Note that a ship's torpedo rating may be modified during a game as the vessel suffers damage. Ships may attempt to check for torpedo fire once each turn until they score a hit against any one target. At that time their torpedo rating is crossed out and they are considered "out" of torpedoes for the rest of the battle. Torpedoes use the same arcs-of-fire as guns although unlike gunnery ratings, torpedo ratings apply equally within each fire arc.

To check for torpedo fire, roll three six sided dice (3D6) and consult the Torpedoes table on the combat chart. Cross index the target vessel's movement type with the current torpedo rating of the firing vessel to arrive at the torpedo hit number. In order to result in a hit, the dice total must be equal to or less than the hit number shown in the table's center field. If the total falls within the hit range, roll one more six sided die (1D6). The result is the number of S hits suffered by the target ship. Die roll totals outside the hit range cause no damage. A ship is considered moving if it used two or more speed boxes during the current game turn. Ships which used one or fewer speed boxes are considered immobile (static) for purposes of torpedo fire.

« 4.0 DAMAGE
As a ship suffers damage during the game, players will mark it on the ship log according to the type of damage inflicted. It is usually best to mark damage as a single slash until after both sides have fired, then fully cross out existing slash marks to show full loss. In cases where boxes – such as speed boxes – are marked off, this method works especially well. In cases where damage is the result of Blast Damage, players may not mark off a box, they may instead need to mark the blast damage code in the Blast Hits box on the ship log. This will happen with such damage codes as F (fire) and D (direction hit). It will usually be obvious which is necessary: Adding a code or simply crossing something out.

« 4.1 Damage Types
Several of the Quickfire combat chart tables contain abbreviations of damage which may be inflicted on participating vessels. Each of these damage codes triggers a very specific damage type. The glossary below offers definitions of all damage codes. Immediately following are guidelines for recording the various damage types. If a certain type of damage is called for on a vessel and there is no feature of that type on board, then the hit is counted as no effect unless otherwise called for by the nature of the hit in question.

Damage Code Glossary
B Blast Go to the Blast line of the Damage table and roll 2D6. Apply resulting damage hits to the vessel. Results may require further die rolls, in case of D hit, etc.
D Direction May cause ship to move uncontrollably on the following turn. When a D hit occurs, roll another 1D6 and note the results below in the vessel's Blast Damage box:

1 = 135° Left
2 = 90° Left
3 = 45° Left
4 = 45° Right
5 = 90° Right
6 = 135° Right

Direction damage can be repaired during the Repair phase of the game by rolling a two through seven on two six-sided repair dice.
E Explosion Go to the Explosion line of the Damage table and roll 2D6. Apply resulting damage hits to the vessel. G hits caused by explosions are removed as equally as possible from the heavy and light ROF columns.
F Fire Mark an "F" in the Blast Hits box of that vessel's ship log. Each turn that a fire burns, the player must roll on the Damage table to see if it has burned out (out) , caused a blast or an explosion (B or E) or continues burning (n/e).
fix Damage Repaired The S or G hit in question is repaired. Erase the damage from the log and reapply the previously lost ROF or Speed rating.
G Gun Hit Mark off one ROF rating point from the ROF box on the vessel's ship log according to the follow rules:

Each G hit caused by heavy fire reduces the target vessel's heavy ROF rating by one point. If the target vessel's heavy ROF rating is at "0," a light ROF hit is inflicted instead. If all ROF points are at "0," a T hit will be inflicted instead. If the Torpedo Rating (TR) is also at "0," an R hit is inflicted instead. If the Repair point level is at "0," an F hit is inflicted instead. The outline of this procession is: HROF>LROF>T>R>F.

Each G hit caused by light fire reduces the target vessel's light ROF rating by one point. If the target vessel's light ROF rating is at "0," a T hit is inflicted instead. If the Torpedo Rating (TR) is at "0," an R hit is inflicted instead. If the Repair point level is at "0," an F hit is inflicted instead. The outline of this procession is: LROF>T>R>F.
out Fire Extinguished The fire in question has either burned itself out or been extinguished. Note that players may not specifically attempt to extinguish a fire using their repair die rolls.
R Repair Hit Mark off one repair dice point from the Repair Dice box on the vessel's ship log. If no repair dice points remain, this hit becomes an F hit.

Note that unspent repair dice function as fire fighters. By their very existence they prevent fires which would otherwise happen in their absence due to the R hits ability to become an F hit.
S Speed Hit Cross out one speed box in the ship's log. Speed hits may be repaired on a repair roll result of 8 - 11 using 2D6. See the Damage Repair section below.
T Torpedo Subtract one point from the vessel's torpedo rating. Torpedo damage hits cannot be repaired.

« 4.2 Damage Repair
Each repair roll is conducted using two six sided dice (2D6). Repair rolls are not reusable and once a vessel's supply is exhausted it has no further repair ability. Players may use as many of their repair die rolls as they wish on any one turn and against any damage they wish, so long as the rolls apply to allowable repair tasks shown on the Damage table. Damage repair points do act as buffers against extra fire hits, and players are advised to keep one in reserve if possible.

« 4.3 Sinking
Any vessel whose speed is reduced to zero is considered in danger of sinking. At the end of each turn, roll two six sided dice (2D6) for each immobilized vessel, applying all pertinent modifiers to the die roll. If the modified result is equal to or less than the value shown in the Die Roll column for a vessel of corresponding size, the vessel in question has sunk and is removed from play.

Example: The French cruiser Dupuy de Lome has nine speed hits. This means that all of her speed boxes are marked off, and there is an extra "S" written in the margin next to her speed boxes. She also has one fire burning on board. Because her size is a 7, she will sink on any turn that a 2 through 4 is rolled on the dice. If the fire goes out, the sink roll is reduced to a 2 or 3. If there is an explosion on board (ships with zero movement continue tracking on-board events) which causes a fire and two more S hits, the sink roll will increase to a 2 through 7.

End of Turn — Once all damage and sinking tests are completed, the turn in complete. If the game is to continue, players now begin a new turn by conducting a new movement phase.

  Copyright © 2005-2013 by The War Times Journal at All rights reserved.
All games shown here may be freely downloaded for personal use only. Not for resale or any other commercial venture not authorized by The War Times Journal.