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TITLE: GalleonGalleonCover

AUTHOR: Trevor Raymond

PUBLISHER: Trevor Raymond (2008)


PRICE: Formerly available absolutely FREE from www.runtus.org

REVIEWED BY: Trevor Raymond (author)


Galleon is a set of naval rules that covers the period of warfare in and around the Spanish Armada period.


The rules are 27 pages and include plenty of diagrams, colour photos, reference sheet and a full size copy of the distinctive turn device required.


The rules are tactical. The rules include general maneuvering, special close quarters maneuvering, firing, boarding actions, repairs, etc.


One ship = one ship. Multi-ship actions can be easily fought though obviously this will take more time.


  • Ground scale is 1:500 (2 mm = 1 metre). Thus a nautical mile (2,000 yards) scales to about 4 metres for game purposes. The maximum effective gunnery range is set at 400 yards (scaled 800 mm). If using other scales, then scale proportionally.
  • Time scale: 1 turn roughly equals 1 minute
  • Table Size: A 6’ x 4’ table is sufficient.
  • Game Length: Three ships versus three ships takes about two hours.

Basing is important. Each ship model must be based on a rectangular base. I use the old Airfix ships (Revenge, Santa Maria, Mayflower) which are about 1:500 scale. The base sizes for 1:500 scale ships are:

A Great Ship is based on a 120 mm x 35 mm base

A Galleon is based on a 100 mm x 30 mm base

A Carrack is based on a 70 mm x 30 mm base

A Coaster is based on a 50 mm x 25 mm base

A Picket is based on a 35 mm x 20 mm base


Each full game Turn is made up of a series of phases. The sequence of play for each full game turn is:

1) Resolve Boarding Actions Phase

2) Movement and Firing Phase

3) End Phase


Each full game Turn is made up of a series of phases. The sequence of play for each full game turn is:

1) Resolve Boarding Actions Phase: Simultaneous

The players immediately resolve any and all boarding actions.

2) Movement Phase: Alternating

The player with the Advantage has the Initiative and thus moves first in the movement phase. Ships are then moved one at a time thus:

1) The current player with the Initiative chooses one of his ships that has not yet been used this turn.

2) Once the player selects such a ship, then that player:

a) Conducts any Turns for that ship

b) Determines the speed of that ship for its current facing (Aspect) using the Galleon turn device

c) Conducts that ship’s actual movement and firing

3) The player then determines if he has lost the Initiative.

The player will keep the Initiative providing that the chosen ship fired its guns and did some non-crew damage on an enemy ship.

If the player retains the Initiative, then he may then choose another one of his ships that has not yet been chosen this turn, and use it. The Initiative will pass over to the other player as soon as a player’s chosen ship fails to do non-crew damage during its turn.

Thus, play continues one ship at a time, alternating between players in a semi-random manner until all ships have been used. The movement phase is then over.

3) End Phase: Simultaneous

Once all ships have completed movement, firing, etc, players then do the tasks below in the order noted:

1) Firstly, players move ships that were afoul at the start of the turn at the slowest drift rate of those ships involved

2) Players then resolve the random events on all of their ships

3) Players then:

a) Check to see if any crew Recover on all of their ships

b) Check to see if any of their ships Strike

c) Check to see if any of their ships have become Unsteady

4) Ships that have not Struck may then either:

a) Attempt to Jury Rig, OR,

b) Attempt to Unfoul

5) Players then:

a) Adjust the sail settings on all of their ships

b) Determine if the Advantage has changed hands


Players may design their own scenarios or refight historical actions.


The game is about out maneuvering your opponent. There are plenty of diagrams to show how movement works using the Galleon turn device.

Gunnery is straight forward using six sided dice and a few modifiers. The effect can be minimal or devastating just like the gunnery in the era.

Boarding actions are quick and brutal.


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