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Dreadnoughts At Dawn
by Chris M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/13/2018 17:16:35

This is a really great rule set. Slightly more depth than General Quarters and (in my humble opinion) much more fun to play.

I love the mechanics. They work really well, are simple, intuitive, well balanced and above all FUN!

I find that the game is historically sympathetic without having to go into unnecessary detail that would slow down play and possibly detract from the fun. Much of the historic and technical detail is abstracted into the rule set and this seems to work well whilst providing battles that play and end as one would broadly expect.

The points system for the orders of battle works and the battles/outcomes are never one sided - even when everything is going against you (as happened to me this weekend).

Tracking in game can be achieved in one of two ways, the first using small dice in dice cells and the second by way of tracking sheets for the ships. I find both work really well, although I prefer the tracking sheets. I plan to make some small laminated cards to match with the ships in my (rapidly growing) collection. Then I can just pull out the ships and their respective cards and get playing, tracking on the laminate with a china graph pen or a white board marker. All I need to do is wipe the laminate clean at the end of the game.

In light of the comments from a reviewer about too many tokens being on the board - I really feel this is a non-issue. Tracking sheets keep the bulk of the tokens off the board if you don’t want to use dice cells. I find splash tokens aesthetically pleasing (you can buy little plastic water spouts). However, for purists, I see no reason why all tokens on the board could not be moved onto the tracking sheets (I have seen this done in other rules) in order keep the board completely clear.

Subsequent releases of Washington Treay period ships (essentially late WW1/inter-war) and other nations has really added a lot of deapth and flavour to the game.

What would I like to see next? Some rules to support a campaign (in the same vien as the core rules, ie fun and fast but sympathetic to the period) and some WW2 rules.

To summarise: A great rule set that deserves to be played in many clubs by period enthusiasts and noobies alike. Given the extremely low cost of entry (in terms of rules, models and tokens) I can see this becoming popular fast in my local club!

My compliments to the rule set author.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dreadnoughts At Dawn
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Dreadnoughts At Dawn
by Michael R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/08/2018 12:27:04

Good set of rules. Isnt as accurate as some, but in the same vein is a lot more simple. There are currently only British and German WW1 ships, but adding in your own if you are willing to do the research and play-testing to check the balance is pretty trivial and easy to do. The idea of the dice on the table is to limit the off-table record keeping, but that is still an option that is easily done. All in, a good set of rules, simple, fun and easy to play. Was described by my opponent (his first naval game) as the naval equivalent to bolt-action.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thanks for your review Michael, The "other Powers" expansion now available does add French, American, Japanese, Austrian, Russian and Italian fleets for those with a more diverse taste.
Dreadnoughts At Dawn
by George S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/25/2017 04:18:06

Quite an acceptable set of rules if you want a quick game lasting an hour or two; a reasonable alternative to General Quarters perhaps. I cannot quite understand the author's need to clutter up the table with devices to record ship data that would normally be held off-table. My preference is to see the ship models "in action" rather than details of my and my opponent's ships spread all over the table. All guns are grouped into weapons of similar bore size, and thus all 12" guns are the same, as are 15" weapons and so on. No account is taken of differences that historically occured. The same can be said of armour; if the ship has 12" of armour, it has the same defence as all others with that maximum thickness; no account is taken of different armouring systems. Ship data is provided only for the German and British navies of WW1, although the author says he will provide details of other naviees if there is a demand. That being said there is a nice system of "orders" that means the players have to think ahead. However, this does again revolve around 2 sets of chits being left on the table to clutter up the game. If you want a quick game and don't mind ship models and clutter, these might work for you.

[3 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thanks very much for the review, your opinions are much appreciated. I think you can say that my wish to clutter up the table with the dice that record the ships stats is quite unusual, i accept that! I think it is worth mentioning though that full record sheets are provided for every ship in the game so that the more conventionally minded can use them instead of the ship dice cells. If you download the free Washington treaty expansion you will see examples of these. I started with British and German ships at Jutland, as such there was limited differences in the guns both sides used. Once I expanded to the other powers which inclluded many more pre dreadnoughts etc I did indeed encounter old 35 calibre 12" guns from the 1890's which did not have the range or power of the dreadnought 40, 45 and even 50 calibre 12" guns (though i have read the 50 calibre 12" was not totally successful. As such i actually classify these older 12" guns as 11.9" yellow guns rather than 12" red guns. To explain that statement in the basic game all guns from 4" up to 15" are classified into one of just 5 gun calibres. White are 4-5" very light guns. Green are 6" and some of the older 7-8" guns. Yellow are the 8.1" to 10.9" old fashionoed guns from armoured cruisers and pre dreadnoughts. Red guns are modern british and german high calibre 11" and 12" guns. Blue guns are very modern 13.5" to 15" guns. The washington treaty expansion adds a 6th black category of guns which are the 16" to 18" guns used on actual and planned post war ships. this is deliberately quite simple and quite intuitive, but of course will not appeal to all, most really like the colour coding for guns and armour. I fully accept the criticism of armour values, it is certainly a simplification, and deliberately so, as every warship had greatly differing levels of armour on different parts of each ship you either have to simplify or become very detailed. I choose simplified. To explain further if your gun at the range you are firing at can penetrate the enemy armour (on a simple colour coded chart) then when you roll a D10 for damage all values count, all damage can occur. If your gun cannot penetrate the "maximum" armour of that ship at that range then when you roll your D10 for damage you can still inflict the lesser damages indicated by a roll of 1-5 but the higher damages implied by a roll of 6-10 such as a hit on a primary turret bounce off as these are the more heavily protected areas. whilst certainly a simplification this does work quite well. ship data is now available for British, German, French, Italian, Austrian, Russian, American and Japanese fleets so will appeal to a wider base. Open to suggestions for other nations. Glad you lilke the orders system, it does add a little clutter to the table and these are not optional i am afraid :( Once again thankyou for your review, I thought it would be helpful to other potential customers i f I expanded upon your comments a little Andy
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