Copyright © 2022, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2022, Paul Scrivens-Smith

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the creator.

Thursday 6 September 2012

Naval Thunder - Double Header

On Tuesday evening at Maelstrom Games Quinton and I tried out our first game of Naval Thunder.

As well as Battleship Row, I had also purchased the Bitter Rivals supplement so we played the Battle of the River Plate scenario. We had not played before, but the rules seemed straight forwards enough. I would play the Royal Navy and Quint would be the Kreigsmarine.

Things started badly for the Royal Navy some excellent shooting from the Graf Spee coupled with some terrible shooting from the Exeter and the first Royal Navy vessel was heading to the bottom. Achillies and Ajax had closed the distance and were soon engaging the Graf Spee.

The 6" guns on the two light cruisers were more effective than the 8 guns of Exeter and the Graf Spee was soon down to a single 11" turret and was slowed down, but Achillies was also dispatched.

In a final dance of death Ajax and Graf Spee had a round of shooting that was reminiscent of the HMAS Sydney / Kormoran engagement both were heading to the bottom.

Crikey, it was only half past eight, time for another game. Fortunately, I had also printed out the rosters for the Battle of the Denmark Strait. This time I would play the Kreigsmarine and Quinton would take the role of the Royal Navy.

Playing to history, my first salvoes from the Bismark were soon straddling the Hood, although no momentous explosions were noted, but the Fire Director was knocked out on the Hood. True to form, the Prince of Wales was firing badly but did hit the Prinz Eugen with a single 14" shell. Deciding that her 8" guns were adding nothing to this engagement I broke off with the heavy cruiser.

The Hood turned to engage the Bismark with broadsides while the Prince of Wales continued on an interception course. However, the Hood was soon listing badly and slowed to just a few knots, with all this damage and without a Fire Direction center the Hood was out of the engagement. The Bismark now engaged the Prince of Wales in a close range fire-fight. Although badly damaged with one 15" turret out and a lot of structural damage one 15" salvo crashed into the Prince of Wales which suffered a magazine explosion and sank without a trace.

The Bismark was soon steaming into open seas, the adventure would continue.

This was our first couple of games of Naval Thunder and they do give a fast and fun game and we have already arranged another game for a couple of weeks time.

I did not take any pictures during the game.


  1. I've always wanted to try WWII naval but no absolutely nothing about it including where to start! The Naval Thunder rules sound a fun set and I'll have to keep my eyes open for a set.
    Thanks for posting.

  2. Hi Steve, you can buy them online at the link I provided. I think it was $25.00 (~£17.00) for both Battleship Row rules and the Bitter Rivals expansion/scenario set.
    My ships are all from Navwar (, and all eight vessels to play these two scenarios would cost you less than £15.00. So about £30.00 would get you started.

  3. Enjoyed the report. That is the most destructive replay I've heard of the Battle of the River Plate. Normaly its a historicalish result. :o) I havn't played WW2 naval since the 90' you got me tempted.