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'Floating Castles': Fast-Play Rules for Naval Warfare in the Ironclad Era, c. 1860-1885
'Floating Castles': Fast-Play Rules for Naval Warfare in the Ironclad Era, c. 1860-1885
by HLBS Publishing (The Honourable Lead Boiler Suit Company) (2006)
Player Count

Player Ages

Playing Time
2 hours
  • Nautical
  • Wargame
  • Miniatures
  • American Civil War
  • Book
  • Post-Napoleonic
  • Designers
  • Chris Peers
  • Mechanisms
  • Simulation
  • Family
  • Player Count: Two Player Only Games
  • Rating: 0/10 from 0 users


    Floating Castles are miniature wargame rules to simulate naval warfare during the 1860-1885 period.

    The rules cater for any scale with distances measured in yards and speed in knots, converted into inches or fractions.

    You'll need D10's as the rules are based around percentage rolls for most outcomes.

    The sequence of play is straightforward and is based on alternate moves, with each player moving one ship at a time based on an initiative roll. Shooting is simultaneous but torpedoes and ram attacks have their own placing in the sequence.

    There are rules for weather and stability, with a die roll at the start of the game to determine the conditions of play.

    Movement is measured in inches, with variable maneuverability depending upon the speed and size of ships involved.

    Shooting is determined after movement has taken place. All shooting depends upon arcs of fire although, once again, there are no templates provided. If a target is in range and inside a firing arc at the end of the movement phase, it can be fired upon.

    To hit a target, a D10 is rolled for each gun requiring a base 'to hit' score depending upon range. There are, in a addition, a small number of +1 modifiers for sea state, angle of fire etc.

    If a hit is scored, a percentile roll is made to detemine damage, with various hit locations and effects. Armour penetration is dealt with by averaging out the actual armour protection of a target across the whole ship, with each vessel classified as either light, medium, heavy or super heavy. Armour penetration depends upon a D10 roll based on the weapon fired and the strength of the armour, modified by range.

    There are additional straightforward rules for spar, locomotive and towed torpeodoes, mines, ramming and boarding. These are dealt with after the movement and shooting phases have been resolved.

    At the end of the rulebook there are 13 comprehensive page of data tables for virtually every fleet that you might wish to deploy, with stats for both minor nations and the major powers. There are also details of the formulae used to calculate the stats for each ship, so you can always fill in the blanks for those vessels that aren't listed.

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