Sunday, 11 September 2022

Broadside Empires of Steel: 'Gong Games Day


The authors of the Broadside Empires of Steel  Great War naval game...

were invited down to Wollongong Uni to demonstrate and help with a BEOS games day: Ben (left) and Andrew.

There were a lot of beautiful model ships and reference material to feast our eyes on!

After we all introduced ourselves Ben and Andrew started off with a brief explanation of the rules and orders cards.

We then broke up into pairs to play four separate games, the authors circulating to provide advice and answer questions.

I think just about every naval fleet from WW1 was represented!

Theo (left) took charge of an Austro-Hungarian Fleet against Tony's British Royal Navy:

It looks like the RN, in the background, took a traditional approach to formation keeping!

Stuart (left) was also leading a British fleet, against Caesar's Imperial German force:

Early on in the game Stuart rolled 4 6D6s. He's not usually a 6 throwing git so I had to record the moment for posterity!

On my table Drew and I played a game based entirely on the contents of the Warspite kickstarter:

So Drew had the SMS Konig and SMS Bayern.

Whilst I had the eponymous HMS Warspite and HMS Colossus.

Despite this being our first game, and our inadvertently starting the game up and down rather than across the table, we got into action really fast and easily picked up the elegant core mechanics.

I managed to sink the Konig...

But the mighty Warspite was only a bad dice roll away from Davy Jones' locker!

So what did I think of the rules,  now having played them and had a chance to chat at length with the authors? Given I have myself tried and failed to develop fast play WW1 naval rules, I am really impressed with the playability of these rules. Yet while the authors make it clear that fun was given priority over historical authenticity, it seems to me these rule deliver on that too. Highly recommended!

For further information and lots of resources including training videos:


  1. The thing that immediately catches my attention is that this is playable within a typical domestic table space, still with enough vessels to give and interesting and nuanced game. I am not a naval buff, so I imagine that I could fully embrace the rules and enjoy without issue.

  2. Sounds great and ideal for a quick game. Be nice if it wasn't such a clunky title. Sounds like one of those app games you get on your phone.

    1. Thanks Jim - I take your point about the title! But the game is fast moving...