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Update for 8-15-21 - Second Version Rules Underway

The changes submitted by the playtesters will be addressed in two parts.

The Rules changes for Version 2 of Black Smoke Blue Water will generally be to those section headings in the current rules that we feel need adjusting or replaced.

The second part is creating an advanced rule set consisting of more involved procedures. Some of these are for new rules, table changes, and the addition of vessel points used for upgrades.

They will be used for buying better, engineering improvements, officer ratings, crew training, and national strengths. They will be based in part on historical GNP data from 1890-1920. For example, two players decide to play a game of 200 vessel points for each opponent. They could just take ships or could decide to expend some of the points to improve upon the vessels and their crews.

Looking ahead I would like to have campaign rules using national points. For each year new builds can be designed, laid down, launched, and completed for use or older vessels scrapped to free up crews for new vessels. As time moves on, the chance of war increases until it breaks out based on die rolls. Vessels will have to pay for their crews too. But this will come later.


These are just a few of the changes coming to the second version of BSBW:

1) Semi-Heavy Batteries: (combat resolution coupled with primaries)

2) Variable Crew Quality (roll a die for these)

3) Monitors - Harder to Hit

4) Sinking Ships - (change to a dice roll %)

5) Torpedo Refits - (system upgrades)

6) Torpedo Attacks - (spreads - templates) (too much power)

7) Torpedo tube damages? From gun hits.

8) Tumblehome - plus and/or minus effects

9) Repair Table Resolution - options for ease and better table distribution chances

10. Vitals increased and changes to end on hits vs vitals

11. Changes to the Main Combat table for better damage distribution of Random Hits.

12. Ramming resolution changes

13. Grounding Adjustments



Update for 8/10/21 - Second Version Rules Underway

  The general goal has always been to create rules that enable quicker play.  This is done by including the most often used functions and tables on each vessel card for the player.  It enables ease of play and less frustration for new and longtime gamers without long amounts of searching through the body of rules.  Game systems should be built that do the task of resolving play (with minimum dice rolls and modifiers) and that the players can make most of their efforts toward maneuvering to bring their weapons into play. 

To resolve the recent?  issues with the Web Store programing, the changes required a great deal of time but we believe that they will be functional for your requests.  This was accomplished by using the remaining working features of the site somewhat differently than originally designed and for the hours put in, it appears to have been successful.   I think we have found ways to work with what is now available to us. 

Over the past four years, our sales and my expectations did not come through as hoped. Following our best year, the worldwide Pandemic certainly impacted us and many others.   During the last two years prior to becoming aware of the site’s malfunctions, the release of a second edition of the Black Smoke Blue Water Rules has been in our thoughts and works......  

Originally, I had set a goal for completion of the rule changes to be completed by August 31, 2021.  The Website issues came to our notice this past in mid-June and then the rules had to be put on delay till now.   It will probably be another month or so to wait, but with so much input there should be a number of welcome changes. 

It has been my fortune to have two great groups of players who became our playtesters.  They have together put forth intelligent changes and useful options.   I hope I have done my best to listen to all offerings and differing points of view.  We will act on those changes that will best fit or fix concerns within the original concept of the rules.  Also, we will address issues related to historical accuracy, and have them as campaign, optional, or advanced type rules.

Again, thank you, for your patience and support.


For any inquiries, you may contact us at:



Previous as of  8/9 21 - We have placed the Japanese 1/1200 scale active on the site today.
Previous as of  8/4/21- The 1/1200 scale has been the most popular in surveys of Pre-Dreadnought miniatures vs other scales. Today we have begun listings that contain the option to order 1/1200 scale vessels on a regular basis.
We have a large inventory of the current 1/1000 scale and we intend to keep that scale as a product along with the 1/1200 scale. The 1/1200 scale vessel productions will gear up as time progresses. We currently have the Russian and Japanese files mostly converted for 1/1200 scale at this time. You can see the pricing on the website for 1/1200 vs 1/1000 for several nations at this time.
Previous as of 8/3/21, we enabled the operation for Austrian & Italian vessel models and Spanish & Generic (small craft) models. They are now available along with the BSBW Rules, Vessel Data, Game Mats, Templates, and Shore Batteries Categories that have been operational since this past Saturday.
They are the smallest of the five dual national vessel categories and therefore the ones that could be done quickly. The other three categories are larger and we are restricted somewhat to limitations of the number of products per category.
We continue to resolve the issues with the Web Store. The recent changes required some time to complete and we believe/hope that what we now have will be functional for your requests. These changes will eventually involve more recent photos for the vessels when time permits.
Our next categories will each be enabled 1/2 at a time so that we can have fleets available for the Russo-Japanese war as it is the most requested era. They will be followed by the USA, French, German and British ASAP pending the success of those already made operational.
More updates to follow.
Thank you, for your continued patience and support.
For any inquiries, you may contact us at:


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Prices, shipping costs, and descriptions of products effective 8/01/2021 and are subject to change.