General Quarters 3rd Edition (Loose Leaf)(1 customer reviews)
In the six years since the release of General Quarters the Third Edition, I’m happy to report it has been embraced by gamers around the globe, enhancing almost every aspect of the system while retaining the simplicity and playability of the original General Quarters. Along the way, many of you have contacted us through the ODGW Forum with insightful questions, helpful suggestions and requests for new rules to simulate even more aspects and weapons of Twentieth Century naval warfare. These, along with some of our own ideas have resulted in the Amendment 1 and 2 download files. But, amendments become inconvenient after a while. Because the program used to typeset General Quarters the Third Edition did not lend itself to creating change pages, it became necessary to re-typeset the entire text, while incorporating the amendment changes and chart updates to provide an integrated rules set. General Quarters version 3.3 consolidation is the result.
The amendment changes and a host of new optional rules have been integrated into the basic rule sections, requiring renumbering in couple of cases to retain a logical progression from the basic rules to the optional rules. A handy summary of these and other revisions is available on-line in the GQ 3.3 Master Rules Index which lists the changes and also provides a history of the Chart updates. I have made it a point to retain the original Welcome Aboard introduction and Designer’s Notes for historical continuity, along with this new preface to GQ 3.3.
During the integration process, I’ve also taken the opportunity to tighten up many of the other sections to enhance clarity. The torpedo attack process has been revised to utilize the Gyro Angle method (Amendment 2) throughout the rules in place of the older, more time intensive approach and the Ship Turn Indicator has been revised to use compass points (Amendment 1) to provide a “saltier” feel and consistence with Fleet Action Imminent, the WW I companion. In addition to the amendment changes, I also added some new things for GQ 3.3. These include an optional rule Section 1.5.16 to better simulate the reduced accuracy of extended gunnery ranges, optional rule section 3.1.8 for British U class subs, and optional rule Section 3.13 which provides new, streamlined procedures for simulating submarine attacks on convoys to reduce the tedium and time consuming plotting normally required for hidden movement. The new procedures makes convoy scenarios faster and more playable and can be used in conjunction with Mal. Wright’s groundbreaking Convoy series to simulate the tactical approach to contact.
In addition, we have posted the Merchant Ship System (MSS), an integrated system for merchant ships on the ODGW website. Gamers often dismiss merchants as mundane targets, mere “sea trucks” – until they suddenly need them in a scenario or campaign. In fact they are the reason for many clashes and their loss or survival determines success in an engagement. Bruce Wright and I have already prepared a number of Convoy Ship Logs and data on more than 400 merchant ships for you to download. Use in conjunction with rule Section 1.18.5 to track the value of merchant ships and their cargos in a variety of different situations. And Mike Baulch has provided a series of generic merchant ship color counters, along with convoy escorts and subs, in four popular scales to print on cardstock for those who haven’t yet launched their own miniature merchant fleet. Thus, the MSS provides everything you need to add merchant ships and convoys to your campaigns and tactical scenarios.
A number of great downloadable Supplements are also available on the ODGW website. The navies of China, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Siam, the USSR, Spain and Sweden are all covered, along with the Cherry Trees, capital ships scrapped as a result of the Washington Naval Treaty. Each supplement download includes informative articles, special rules, combat charts, CD Cards, aircraft Formation Cards, ready-to-use Ship Logs and small craft data along with multiple scenarios. Together, GQ 3.3 and these supplements provide unprecedented coverage of the navies of the first half of the 20th Century.
The separate GQ III Decisions at Sea series has also inaugurated an innovative campaign series built around a fast paced decision-based system that eliminates tedious map plotting, and bookkeeping. Check them out!
Many thanks to Adrian, Bruce, Chris, Gregory, Jim, John, Mike, Mitch, Nicola, Ralph, and Terry who have all generously volunteered so much of their own time to make all this possible and help our hobby grow.
Finally, a big thanks to Norm Harms for his many years of inspiration and support. Indeed, he’s a major reason I undertook the re-design of General Quarters in the first place after all those years. Norm’s busy with many projects of his own these days, but he’s always got a moment to answer a question or provide data from his vast nautical reference library. Norm is a true friend and a pillar of our hobby.
In summary, the GQ version 3.3 and related supplements and campaigns provide you an enhanced and expanded simulation of naval warfare in the first half of the Twentieth Century, and this allied with the ever expanding supply of miniatures and play aids available in the market ensures our hobby is vibrant, strong and better than ever. I like to think the spirit of Fletcher Pratt is looking on, pleased with what’s happening in our hobby.
Alamitos Bay 2012
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