Fletcher Pratt's Naval Wargame: Wargaming with model ships 1900-1945

Voros

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The History of Wargaming Project have published an expanded version of Fletcher Pratt's naval war game rules, in hardcopy and Kindle.

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I consider Pratt one of the finest fantasy writers of the first half of the 20th century (The Blue Star, The Well of the Unicorn and the comedic novellas he wrote with De Camp for Unknown) and he was an important figure in early wargaming as well. Jon Peterson writes about Pratt in Playing at the World and about his involvement with the first known women wargamers on his blog.

And amazingly the game and Pratt was written about in a 1963 article in Sports Illustrated of all places.

There is a scathing review of the POD on here but my Kindle edition is fine, the photos are clearly reproduced and the penetration chart is legible, haven't read enough yet to confirm there are no typos but so far nothing is jumping out at me.

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The Fletcher Pratt Naval Wargame was one of the most successful naval wargames of the 20th century. The straightforward rules, based on the innovation of estimating the range in order to hit, have an enduring fascination as a simulation of the ‘big gun era’ 1900-1945.

As a result of extensive research, this book brings together previously unpublished material into a comprehensive guide to these classic rules, including:

The full rules, with previously unpublished amendments by Fletcher Pratt.

Optional rules as agreed by Fletcher Pratt.

The previously unpublished strategic game.

Solo wargaming rules.

Guidance on how to play the game.

Updates for the rules as suggested by Donald Featherstone.

The sample scenario, The Action off Murmansk, illustrates how hidden setup, limited visibility and fog banks were included to make the game more realistic.

An in-depth evaluation of the rules versus naval reality featuring contributions from experts such as James Dunnigan, Commander Bothwell, Fletcher Pratt and Phil Barker.
 
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TristramEvans

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Played it a few times, quite fun if you have the

floorspace. Apparently it was quite the social phenomena back in the day...

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Curious about the expanded edition. I have a few books from the History of Wargaming Project, (Tony Bath's Ancient Wargaming and WRG 6th) and enjoyed them thoroughly.


Hmm, now wondering if they're having a Black Friday sale this year...
 

Bunch

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Does anyone know how it compares to Jutland by Avalon Hill? My dad had that and loved it. Seems very similar from the bullet points.
 

TristramEvans

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Does anyone know how it compares to Jutland by Avalon Hill? My dad had that and loved it. Seems very similar from the bullet points.

Not familiar with that one. Fletcher PRatt's, FWIR, is a pretty fast and loose game. Ships have hull points (how much damage they can take), speed, and weapon loadouts. Successful hits do a certain number of points of damage and taking damage can cause systems/weapons to malfunction, or speed to be reduced. There's a bit more to it, but not much.
 

Gronan of Simmerya

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You have to estimate the range when firing, which is quite a feat at 15 feet or so. They're at stabbing distance in that picture.
 

joetheok

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Out at Iowa State, we were always partial to, and had great fun with, General Quarters, another older naval wargaming rules set; on of the professors with a decent disposable income and no children built up a very large collection of 1:1200 ships, and the university wargaming club was allowed to reserve the main ballroom at the Memorial Union once or twice a semester, and the larger meeting rooms upstairs more often than that, for free, to shove ships around.

You have to estimate the range when firing, which is quite a feat at 15 feet or so. They're at stabbing distance in that picture.
Depends on the floor surface treatment to some extent. (Caption on original, "Wargaming at the Naval War College in the 1940's")
(Source: http://www.manbattlestations.com/blog/2016/05/14/re-fighting-jutland/)

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Secrets of Blakcmoor

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It's a fun game. I have ref'ed it myself but not played. That is the problem with being the one who buys obscure rules sets, you never get to play as your friends can't create scenarios or run the game.

I have a large collection of mostly Alnavco 1/1200 ships that used to belong to Daniel Nicholson.

At 1/1200 scale you can use the smaller scale play area, thus an area that is 10 x 10 feet works well.

I will try ref'ing it at Gary Con this year, fingers crossed on how well I do that. I will likely remove torpedoes, or limit them to within one turn range. Otherwise you get so many fish in the sea that it takes a long time to deal with as a ref.
 
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