Cruel Seas is a 1/300th scale tabletop miniatures game; you command flotillas of small ships in battle. With six or more ships per side, action is fast-paced; a thrilling seaborne dogfight can be fought in forty-five minutes or less.

Playing the Game

Cruel Seas is a fast-paced high-octane (or diesel) naval wargame pitting squadrons of small boats against each other in a desperate battle for control over the high seas. We’ve set out to make the rules as simple and intuitive as possible, while also simulating the trials and tribulations of captaining an MTB during the second world war.

Like many other Warlord Games titles, Cruel Seas uses our unique dice-bag based activation system. For those of you unfamiliar with this system, each player places a number of dice, tokens or chits equal to the number of ships in his fleet into a bag.

Without looking, draw a dice from the bag. This indicates which ship activates next. Play continues like this until all the dice have been drawn, at which point the turn ends.

Activated ships get the opportunity to move and shoot.

To simplify things, each ship’s maximum in-game speed is their real-world rate of knots in centimetres. Ships move at three rates.

  • Slow speed: 1/3 the ship’s maximum speed.
  • Combat speed: 2/3 of the ship’s maximum speed.
  • Full speed: The ship’s listed maximum speed.

Each time a ship moves a third of its maximum speed, it may make a turn. We use wake markers to track a ship’s speed. Be careful – crossing a bigger ship’s wake can have dire consequences!

Collisions can happen to those who don’t plan ahead, so think carefully before committing your precious ships to such a collision course.

Shooting is a very simple affair, with players rolling 1d10 separately for each weapon system on the ship, with a base chance to hit of 5 or less. Modifiers like the relative speed of the ships, the skill of the gunners or the distance between firer and target can affect the score you need to actually hit with your barrage of firepower.

Large calibre weapons like 37mm or 40mm cannons kick up great plumes of spray when they miss, making the target easier to hit on subsequent attacks.

The Cruel Seas Starter Set

Inspired to take to the high seas and build your own fleet of MTBs? Grab the Cruel Seas starter set from our webstore today!

The Cruel Seas Starter Set contains everything you need to command your flotilla in this fast-paced 1/300th scale tabletop game.

The Cruel Seas boxed game, ‘Strike Fast, Strike Hard!’, contains:

  • A4 softback rulebook
  • A4 quick start guide with painting guides and flags
  • 6 x Plastic Vosper Motor Torpedo Boats
  • 4 x plastic E-boats
  • 1 x set of plastic torpedo markers
  • 1 x set of plastic plume markers
  • 3x die-cut punchboards – double-sided and full colour (islands, sandbars, rulers, mine markers, game tokens, lighthouse, aircraft, etc)
  • 1 x A0 double-sided battle mat
  • Ship data-cards for Vosper MTBs, E-boats and a merchant ship
  • Wake markers
  • Fleet order chits (Royal Navy and Kriegsmarine)
  • Set of game dice (D10 & D6)
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