General Quarters

Brief Description WWII naval rules. There has been talk of a second edition, but we're told it "...is at least a year or two away from completion."
Period WWII (and WWI, with supplement)
Scale unknown
Basing unknown
Contents unknown
Designer unknown
Publisher Published by C-in-C. It is no longer listed in the C-in-C catalog, but is still available in retail channels.


General Quarters, Part 2 adds WWI to the game system. Several of the tables in Part 1 are replaced by improved versions in Part 2 (using D10 rather than D6). There are also new rules for various minor aspects of naval warfare in WWII.

What You Think

Jim Davis (jhdavis19@hotmail.com)
I have played naval games since 1970, starting with Fletcher Pratt. I haven't used anything but General Quarters in the last 20 years. I try new rules as they come out, but go back to GQ.

My former group in LA ran many campaigns using them - all worked. The rules are quick to learn, quick to play, and give a good result. We even played several games with large carrier strikes, and those rules worked too. (It is a good idea to have one player as the air commander with big strikes.)

I especially like the torpedo rules. I hate moving masses of toothpicks all over the table for several turns. GQ has you estimate where the enemy will be, which to me is the basis of shooting torpedos. Adjust for range and speed if you guess right, and roll dice. It is quick and gives a realistic result.

We found that we could play major fleet battles, air battles and - a favorite for shorter games - the Graf Spee. My friend Dan and I have played that game 20 times, have subsituted the Alaska for the Graf Spee, used U.S. for British, etc. Good set of rules.

DB (Megalor150@aol.com)
We have played the devil out of these rules, since we adopted them over such horrid sets like Seekreig and Sea Power.

Gunnery is abstracted into an attack factor/defense factor type of combat, and then you roll on a simple odds chart to determine damage. To be sure, these rules are not for "techno-geeks" who want to know where each and every shell lands, and how many cups and saucers are broken in the officers' wardroom. Much like Heart of Oak (the finest Age of Sail rules ever written) the empahsis is on tactics and maneuver, not "Do I fire CPC or AP rounds this turn?"

We have played many large-scale WWI and WWII scenarios with these rules (including Jutland), and they have always stood up to the test. I highly recommned them to anyone interested in moderate- or large-scale fleet actions.

Charlie Clay (Tankrider@aol.com)

I recommend this set of gaming rules. General Quarters is a fun and quick game system that gives enough historical flavor to make it worthwhile.

If you keep the game limited to destroyers and cruisers, a 9' x 5' gaming table is plenty big. Battleships tend to dominate as would be expected as there isn't enough maneuver room to get out of their way.

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Online Resources

The Gamers' General Quarters page
Rules descriptions (including excerpts from the rulebooks) and reviews.
General Quarters page at wargames.com
Brief overview, plus data files for 500 warships.
David Manley's GQ page
Optional rules and player aids.
The General Quarters Mailing List
"This list is a forum for players and referees of the naval miniature wargaming rules sets, General Quarters and General Quarters II to discuss the rules and the games in which they are used. Topics may include, but not be limited to: - battle and scenario reccomendations - tips for players and referees - suggestions for game preparations - techniques for the painting of ship models - information regarding World War One and World War Two naval history."
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Last Updates
16 August 1999new URL for The Gamers' General Quarters page
19 April 1999comments by Jim Davis
15 April 1999comments by DB
9 January 1999mailing list added
link to David Manley's page
12 November 1998added supplement
Comments or corrections?