Turn Allowance Question

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    Mark Barker


    We’ve played a couple of games at the Bognor Club and they have worked really well. In the Wargames Illustrated overview article there is a mention that a ship that accelerates up to Combat Speed can take a second turn during its activation ?

    It makes sense to have this limitation – 1 turn at speed Slow, 2 turns at Combat and presumably 3 turns allowed at Full but can’t find this referenced in the rulebook anywhere.

    Designer help please, what is the intent ?


    Mark Barker
    West Sussex

    Zloy Krolik

    I believe you get 1 turn for every 1/3 of your movement. The rules aren’t clear if this is 1/3 of your full movement rate or one turn for every 1/3 of your current rate of movement.

    The rules could have had better proof reading & editing.


    Page 9 – You get to make a turn after each third of the movement. (this is always a third of your full speed)

    A ship at full speed (36) must move exactly 12 cm before making its first turn, move exactly a further 12 cm before making its second turn and its last move of 12 cm before it can turn a third time.

    Cheers 🙂

    Mark Barker

    Hi Rich,

    That’s the root of the confusion – if you are moving at 12 cm with a full speed of 36cm, then “making a turn after each third of the movement” means you can turn every 4cm …

    The text in brackets does not really help (the movement is always a third of your full speed) – so for 36cm full speed that makes 12cm. ‘You get to make a turn after every third of the movement’ – one third of 12cm = 4cm !

    In simplest terms I think the rule is intended to say “A ship gets to make 1 turn per Speed Band moved.”

    So a ship moving at Slow can turn once at the end of its movement. A ship moving at Combat will be able to turn twice and a ship moving at Full Speed will be able to turn three times during its movement, in each case moving a distance of 1 Speed Band (i.e. one third of its full speed) between turns”

    Is that it ?

    Do merchantman have any other limits on the number of turns they can do in a movement. Even limited to 30 degrees they do seem very nippy … “I’ll pop the brakes and he’ll fly right by”.

    Whoops – wrong game !

    Charles McKellar

    This has some in my community confused also. Given the full speed of 39 for a US PT boat and the full speed of 9 for an IJN Daihatsu class landing craft it will take the PT boat 39cm more or less to turn 135degrees while the Daihatsu will do it in 9cm. That’s generally like a cow trying to chase a rabbit. It can never catch it.

    Zloy Krolik

    What if the ship is moving at slow speed? Does it get one turn after moving 12cm? Or one turn after moving 4cm?

    The rules could have been clearer on this point. It is a fundamental part of the rules & to have such ambiguity about them is sloppy.


    As I understand it:

    Slow speed = 1 turn
    Combat speed = 2 turns
    Fast speed = 3 turns.

    Move each 1/3rd of your full move and get 1 turn

    You have to move 1/3 of your full speed.
    The turn system does somewhat fall apart with such different speeds and no option to move under your full movement allowance.


    Reading the Turn rules on its own is confusing. But when you read the Speed section in the rulebook (page 8), it will be easier to understand.
    Accoring to this section we have 4 speeds: 0, 1/3, 2/3 and full speed (3/3). Now read the Turning section and you the wording “During their move, each vessel can make either a red or a yellow turn after each third of the movement” make much more sense.

    Mark Barker

    No it doesn’t I’m afraid. ‘After each third’ suggests you can always make 3 turns regardless of what speed you select.

    That’s how a dozen experienced gamers read it in my group, and anyone who has ever played Full Thrust will read it.

    We only questioned it when a tanker moving at Slow completed a bootlegger reverse over two turns to avoid torpedoes that would have put the General Lee to shame.

    ‘… after moving a third of its full speed distance’ would be clearer, and I can see a house rule coming in our group limiting the number of turns a ‘Large’ ship can make in a single activation to address the ‘cow vs rabbit’ issue.

    Which leads to an important question to Charles – why would a cow be chasing a rabbit in the first place ?

    It is odd this issue did not come up in playtesting. Other than this one wrinkle the rest of the game hangs together very well and is great fun to play.

    Mark Barker

    Joe allwarden

    Richard – can you explain the author’s logic in this question? Just restating the rulebook wording does not help – that ambivalent wording is why there is confusion. An explanation of why that interpretation makes sense would be more helpful. Played 3 games tonight using 1/3 of the current speed for turning and seems to make the most sense, but i’d Like to hear the reasoning from the game designer. Thanks!

    Charles McKellar


    Cows chase rabbits for a number of reasons but mostly for the hell of it.


    its one for the FAQ, its also one to have a clear diagram of in the second edition (eventually)

    its also something of a learning point, its very easy when proof reading and testing such things to overlook potential confusion because those playing it “know” the correct interpretation.

    Though to me the most “sensible” interpretation appears to be the wrong one, the ability to turn the same amount regardless of speed makes sense, the faster you go the wider the arc you will turn in (so make a turn after each third of your maximum speed which is the speed you are moving that turn). Slower moving craft are more manoeuvrable. You could potentially cap this so “slow” speed craft and those not moving can make a single turn (you need a bit of flow over the rudder to actually turn significantly, but can use differential engine settings to turn at any speed).

    Bill McGill

    If I understand the way a real life vessel turns correctly, the turning circle doesn’t vary considerably with speed. So being able to make one turn every 1/3rd of maximum speed makes a lot of sense. No matter what actual speed your boat is doing, the turning circle will have the same diameter. You will just take longer to make a full circle the slower you do it.


    The turning radius will be affected by centrifugal forces. So a the faster a ship (and the more mass the ship has) is, the larger is the turning radius, but still might turn faster than the same ship on low speed.
    But this would be way to complicated in a tabletop game, a fixed diameter works better.

    Mark Barker

    William is right, merchant ship turning circle is largely unaffected by speed (confirmed by ship model tests and ship trials) and normally takes at 3-4 ship lengths.


    Be careful when Google searching this subject, there is what looks like a mirror site ‘marinegyann’ with the same diagrams showing as the shipsbusiness site, access to that was blocked as a virus attack when I tried to look at it. You have been warned.

    So in overall game terms, earning 1 turn every 1/3 of full speed regardless of which speed band you are actually travelling at is fine.

    Limiting large merchantmen to a maximum of one 30 degree turn per activation would generate a realistic turn circle for them but obviously make them much more vulnerable to torpedo attack in the game.

    As I think we can assume they will be doing all they can to turn when they see torpedo tracks coming towards them and peacetime limitations be damned, giving them two turns would seem a good balance and still let the cow catch the rabbit.

    Charles must have feistier cows where he comes from …

    Mark Barker

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