The Fletcher Pratt Naval Waragme
168 pages ISBN 978-1-4475-1855-6
The Fletcher Pratt Naval Wargame was one of the most successful naval wargames of the 20th century. The straightforward rules, based on the innovation of estimating the range in order to hit, have an enduring fascination as a simulation of the ‘big gun era’ 1900-1945.
As a result of extensive research, this book brings together previously unpublished material into a comprehensive guide to these classic rules, including:
- The contents of the new book on the Fletcher Pratt Naval Wargame
- The foreword is by Commander Bothwell USN 1943-1973. He is the last of the original Fletcher Pratt players and much of his commentary is included throughout the rules.
- Chapter 1. The Hunt for the Fletcher Pratt Wargame outlines my search to find the WWII version of the rules, as opposed to the 1933 version of the rules that have been reproduced ever since.
- Chapter 2. is a short summary of the life and work of Fletcher Pratt. From rearing monkeys, to military historian to war correspondent, Fletcher Pratt had a full life.
- Chapter 3. Has a short summary of how to play the Fletcher Pratt Naval War Game
- Chapter 4. The Complete Rules for the Fletcher Pratt Naval War Game as used by the New York group during WWII
- Chapter 5. has one of previously unpublished Fletcher Pratt Strategic Games. This one dates from before WWII
- Chapter 6. Picking one original scenario written up by Pratt himself was hard, but I chose the Arctic Convoy Action off Murmansk as it included discussion by Pratt of the game versus the historical reality.
- Chapter 7. offers some guidance on how to play the Fletcher Pratt Naval Wargame based on years of experience by editor (John Curry)
- Chapter 8. includes the Donald Featherstone's Variant to the Pratt rules; the key being the reduction in ranges. My suspicion is that Don had access to the original version of the rules, the ones that Pratt used in his flat in New York, as opposed to the massive ranges in the published version of the rules.
- Chapter 9. There have been many optional rules proposed for the Pratt game, this chapter only includes the ones that Pratt agreed with.
- Chapter 10. Has an evaluation of the Fletcher Pratt Rules against naval reality. It includes contributions from Fletcher Pratt, James Dunnigan (SPI), Phil Barker (WRG), Commander Bothwell and others.
- Chapter 11. has some guidance on how to play solo naval warfare.
- Chapter 12. gives some guidance on how to play the Pratt game on the table top , as opposed to the original playing area of the floor.
- The rest of the book has a select bibliography, some media coverage of the Fletcher Pratt War Game Notes on World War II Naval Gunnery Ranges, notes on the discovery of the lost Fletcher Pratt Land War Game, notes on Aircraft Carrier Capacities for aircraft and some suggestions for sources for 1:1200 Scale warships. The book has some sample Ship Cards for WWII, but many more are provided online via the website. This includes an online ship card generator to assist the modern player to create those essential ship cards.