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Shipyard (WW2 Ship Design & Combat)
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Shipyard (WW2 Ship Design & Combat)

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...the game of Ship Design and Naval Warfare in WW2.

A simple and effective ship design system is coupled with a more granular combat system, allowing you to quickly build a fleet before a game, then test it out in battle.

Shipyard is designed for miniatures of around 1/3000 scale, although 1/1200 would work just as well. The game is designed for 2 or more players, on a table roughly 6' x 4' in size. An average game takes around 2 hours, including the time spent designing your ships (around 10 minutes to half an hour for designing, depending on the size of the game).

Ship Building:

Shipyard allows you to build ships of all sizes, from motor torpedo boats, up to aircraft carriers and super battleships. Each basic hull has a number of available "space" points, which can be spent on weapons, sensors, armor, or extras like aircraft, catapults and smoke generators.


Shipyard has a unique combat system, aimed at simplicity and a dose of realism. Fog of war and communication are represented: Ships start the game inactive, steaming forwards until they detect the enemy. Once they become active, they can send messages and orders to other ships, and begin to move and attack as they wish. Rules for Gunnery, Torpedoes, Air attacks and defense, submarines, depth charges, evasive action and much more are provided, allowing for a fun yet fairly accurate rendition of WW2 naval combat.

A printer-friendly version of the PDF is provided.

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Discussions (6)
Customer avatar
Ken F December 29, 2018 10:22 pm UTC
So we played another game last night pitting USN vs IJN. All builds were historical with the USN having BB South Dakota and CA Chicago, vs BB Nagato, CA Mogami, and 6 destoyers from two classes. The forces were roughly equal based on spaces (646 to 669). Which brings me to an observation on spaces and ship displacement. All of the historical builds I have made have fallen far short of their historical tonnage using the 65 to 1 ratio. I have found somewhere between 80-100 to 1 gets the tonnage more in the ballpark. This is really neither here nor there I guess as you can still load-out your ships with equivalents of their historical fittings regardless of tonnage calculation.

We chose again to drop range guessing, and allowed various starting fleet speeds, partly because it was a two on one player game and that allowed the two Japanese players to advance their own strategy. We had about three turns I think of steaming straight ahead undetected, and then all detections were completed in the next...See more
Customer avatar
Tom J January 02, 2019 12:56 am UTC
Hi Ken! Thanks so much for the AAR and your thoughts! very cool to hear.
I really liked that fact that a single 16" shell caused so much damage to Mogami - that was exactly what I intended with the damage system, especially around those super large caliber guns.

I originally did have the space-to-tonnage ratio at 1-80 but reduced it when tonnages of real ships kept being too high. I can re-examine that and probably find a middle ground :)

I agree that superstructure hits tend to be less substantial, especially considering they usually take place after battle has been joined. Rangefinders and sonar equipment can be quite vital if using the range guessing rules and if subs are involved.

We've found that once a ship takes critical damage, its usually out of the fight and may sink depending on the size. Sometimes this is unavoidable when its a single hit or torpedo salvo, but sometimes you have an option to lay smoke and withdraw your damaged ship before it can take...See more
Customer avatar
Ken F January 02, 2019 7:04 pm UTC
Concerning critical damage, can points of spreading damage cause critical damage? By the letter of the rules anything that pushes a ship to half its total causes a critical but it feels a little odd to me thematically that it should.

And as far as the math of the damage control mechanics go, space-to-tonnage ratio, etc, you know your game and what you want it to be much better than we do, especially after only 2 plays. I don't presume to suggest that something needs to be changed just based on our impressions. I will say this though. If my group ends up playing this regularly we will certainly switch it over from d6 to d20. D6's just don't give enough granularity to tweak the probability of things happening like how often damage should spread, or to-hit probabilities at various ranges, under various circumstances.
Customer avatar
Tom J January 03, 2019 1:35 am UTC
Yes damage markers spreading can cause Critical Damage, I assume it covers things like fire spreading to critical systems, or flooding interfering with functions, or both.

Using D20 or D10 is a good idea, I definitely agree the D6 isn't granular enough, I mostly use it for accessibility as not everyone has D10s or D20s. D20s would get rid of some of those multiple [6, 4+] type rolls.

If you find damage spreading too fast, I'd definitely recommend reducing the possibility of it spreading, such as only spreading on a 1 (D6) rather than 1-2. Its all about getting a game that feels "right" to you guys, and I'm really interested in the alterations people make to get a game more realistic for them.

Another alteration you could make is to only roll detection for the closest enemy unit, rather than for every enemy unit within range. This might help get more mileage out of the detection/messaging rules :)
Customer avatar
Ken F December 23, 2018 10:01 pm UTC
So we played a game Friday night and ran into a number of questions.

1. To be clear about movement. After a ship becomes Active, setting a speed is irrelevant. They can always freely move anywhere from 1/2 to 2x their speed, correct? As a note, in our game being able to immediately jump from 1/2 speed to 2x speed made dodging an incoming torpedo quite easy (granted our sample size for this was only a single occurrence).

2. What is the sequence for the Detection phase of the turn? Do you do all Command & Control first, then all Detection (as they are ordered in the rules)? Or do you select ships on a ship-by-ship basis and do everything they are going to do? There is a slightly odd situation where a ship might receive a message, making it Active on the next turn, but then detects an enemy ship on its own making it Active immediately. If I had to do all messaging first I might hesitate sending out a radio message if there is a good chance the receiving ship(s) would become...See more
Customer avatar
Tom J December 24, 2018 3:54 am UTC
Hi Ken, great questions as usual! Looks like I have quite a bit of clarification to do in the rules, I'll go through and type up some edits / clarifications based on these questions, and update the PDF through wargame vault :)

1. Yes that's correct, you can alter speed at will once you become active.

2. We do all detection first, then orders / messages.

3. Its best to do a single ships movement and actions at once, then move on to the next ship.

4. Good spotting, I will correct this - do you think Gun and Torpedo attacks should be allowed in the same turn? I may allow them to be done at the same time.

5. I will make the default that all Active units can attack a "Spotted" unit. I recently altered the wording of this section, but will make this the default and add the optional rule to track spotting individually.

6. Yes Torpedo attacks are intentionally left out, as often ships wont notice they are under torpedo attack (especially...See more
Customer avatar
Tom J December 27, 2018 2:40 am UTC
Hi Ken, I've just uploaded the new version, hopefully clarifying some rules and addressing your concerns. You will be able to download the new PDF at no extra charge through wargame vault.
The latest version is 1.3
Thanks again for your feedback, certainly helping to make the game better!
Customer avatar
Ken F December 19, 2018 6:35 pm UTC
Hmm, I don't think I understand Damage Control then. I understand how many dice to roll, and under which circumstances you can get Spread, No Effect, or Controlled as results, but I don't see how the Spread result is any different from the No Effect result. Both leave the damage marker uncontrolled, which will have to be rolled for again on the following turn. Correct? Am I missing something? I assumed that the Spread result would add an additional damage marker, or something like that, but I don't see that anywhere in the rules.
Customer avatar
Tom J December 20, 2018 3:29 am UTC
Ah, you're dead right Ken - when a damage marker spreads, you do add an additional damage marker to the ship. I might have deleted this sentence when I did one of the re-writes of the damage control section, sorry about that! I'll fix this when I do the upcoming edits.
Customer avatar
Ken F December 18, 2018 11:31 pm UTC
Thanks for the response. I have one additional question I forgot before.

What is the effect of damage that spreads during Damage Control?

P.S. I didn't get a game in last night like I hoped. The guys got busy playing something else.
Customer avatar
Tom J December 19, 2018 3:31 am UTC
Hi Ken, the only effect of damage spreading is that it could bring the ship closer to the number of Damage Markers needed to sink. It will also mean that there will be more damage to attempt to control next turn.
If spreading damage causes the number of Damage Markers to become half or more the number needed to sink the ship, it will also need to roll for Critical Damage.
Customer avatar
Tom J December 18, 2018 1:35 am UTC
Hi Ken, great questions!

1. A ship must be active at the start of the turn to send any messages or orders. This takes into account the time needed to process and respond messages, and makes things a bit more "clunky", which I felt was good for this period of naval warfare. Note that messages / orders sent by Radio can be transmitted to *all* ships within 36", so you always have the option of sending a mass message, at the cost of the ship sending the radio message being easier to detect next turn.

2. Ships must move at least 1/2 speed each turn. Coming to a stop and/or reversing I didn't think would be wise during combat - more something to do after you're out of harms way :) Active ships can freely choose the speed they wish to travel at, and can go from moving Flank speed the turn before to slow speed in the next turn, and vice-versa, if desired. You won't need to keep track of what speed a ship has been going, all you need to do is choose the current speed.
...See more
Customer avatar
Ken F December 17, 2018 9:55 pm UTC
Hi there. Looking to maybe play this tonight. We have been playing General Quarters 2nd edition, but might change it up a little. A few questions if I may after reading through the rules.

1. Can the same Order be passed down to multiple ships, from largest to smallest, in the same turn? For example, an active battleship orders an inactive cruiser, which if it successfully receives the order passes it on to an inactive destroyer. Or must the cruiser have been active at the start of the turn in order to send an Order?

2. Must ships move every turn? Can they come to a stop and/or reverse? Do they have to move their full speed? Can you jump from Slow to Flank speed, or vice versa, in one turn?

3. After successfully hitting with an attack, do you roll damage location for each individual gun that hit, or just once for the entire group?

4. The range bands on your various charts include the same upper limit on the lower band as the lower limit on the higher...See more
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This title was added to our catalog on December 08, 2018.