15mm Galley Wars game – painting an entire game in a single day….


August 13, 2018 by wargamerchris


Today Son #2 and I were trying hard to balance work with banishing the sinking feeling which comes from the night before school starts!  So today we set out to play a game as a way to celebrate summer.  I have a table full of Epic 40K set up – an entire imperial city planetscape ready for the Eldar invasion – but no….

So at 5pm we primed and began painting the  starter set from Blue Moon/ Old Glory Shipyards for their Greek vs Early Persian Galley Wars game.  This set comes with one each Persian and Greek triremes, crew figures (7 each) and rules and D20 dice.  This has been in our unpainted inventory for 18 months, but why not….

(Persian vessel above – commanded by the humble Erfan Azar – a captain with little reputation – having only been painted before dinner….)

Below his Athenian adversaries.  The Greek crew had two javelin men, two slingers, the commander and two marines.  Erfan had a slightly different crew composition – one archer, two slingrs, three marines, and his humbleness.




Erfan’s crew would only be whole for one turn – taking one casualty from missile fire for the next three turns in a row.  Straight in said the doughty  Erfan….



The Greeks struck the port side of the Persian vessel, but unlucky rolls meant no penetration – only a glancing blow.  The Greeks decided that grappling was bad – they still held a 4-3 advantage in missile troops and at close range can pick their targets.

A pause to say that the rules used were Galley Wars by Steven Thomas – given their typeface and general style – I would guess late 80’s or early 90’s – but great fun.



A persian marine grappled the Greek vessel on his first try – giving his fellows a chance to begin the arduous task of taking the Greek vessel by storm…

The first round of combat failed – the Persian in the lead failed to cross the gap against his foe.



The melee was linear but eventually the Persian commander was able to cross to the Greek ship and take on the Greek Commander and his two remaining javelinmen….


The javelins cooly took out Erfan’s remaining slingers, leaving the captain to write his own fate…  At this point, because we only had 14 figures in the game we adjusted the melee roles slightly to make them opposed.   In short, if the attacker hit to kill his target, the opposing player got a die roll and if rolling lower than the to-hit die, the defender managed to parry the blow.  Below was the pivotal round when the Greek commander dealt a lethal blow to Azari but he managed a miraculous recovery roll (1 vs the 7 to hit!)20180813_2138437385315830461500824.jpg

20180813_2143145792480201021762801.jpgIn the end Erfan slew the Greek, then calmly dispatched the slinger and javelinman to become master of  two triremes all to himself….  The name Erfan Azari will live in legend in our Galley Wars game….

Two ships and 14 figures painted in about two hours (while jamming school supplies in backpacks, making dinner etc….)  Tons of fun and a small legend – don’t say anything, but I finally won a game against my wily opponent!

But of course how can one man crew two triremes alone….20180813_2144333234861586353138181.jpg

2 thoughts on “15mm Galley Wars game – painting an entire game in a single day….

  1. […] down the rabbit warren that is an internet search, I found a blog (small soldiers – stout hearts) talking about Old Glory 15mm Galley Wars. Unfortunately the Old Glory website does not mention […]


    • You might write to the crew at Old Glory Shipyards – they have brought these to a number of conventions I have been at. They also have the ships up on their site in the shipyard last time I looked.


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Small Soldiers

I’m a father, soldier, wargamer and traveler. This site is for my kids and to share my work over half a lifetime musing on the history of warriors and the portrayal of their efforts in miniature.  I’ve never really known why I do this

Wargame Rules

Rules I’m gaming with now:

Lions Rampant/ Dragons Rampant
Black Powder
Age of Eagles/ Age of Valor/ Fire and Fury
Force on Force/ Ambush Alley/ Ambush Z!
Hail Caesar
Command Decision: Test of Battle
Battles for Empire 2
Pride of Lions
The Sword and the Flame

Rules I’m Considering:

Sword and Spear/ Sword and Spear Fantasy
Regimental Fire and Fury
Open Combat
Chain of Command
Sharpe Practice 2
Wilderness Wars
Test of Honour
Field of Battle
Pike and Shotte (Warlord)
General de Armee (TFL)
Flames of War – Vietnamese/ WW2

Rules I still need to find to make my life better:

15mm Napoleonic mass battles rules (holy grail)
15mm War of the Spanish Succession mass battle rules
15mm Zombie mass battle rules


Command Decision Test of Battle Forum:


Din of Battle:


Henry Hyde’s Site:


Dan Mersey – author of a couple of rules sets we like:


Miniature Addiction:


Wasatch Front HMGS (Journals):




Big Force on Force (Great modern gaming)


Last Stand Dan:



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