Issue: 30
System: Man O'War
Publisher: Games Workshop

Tora!! Tora!! Tora!!
by Jake "Dartfrog" Bledsoe

Dwarven Aircraft Carriers:

After the introduction of the War Balloon and the Gyrocopter to the Dwarven navy, it was only a matter of time before an ingenious engineer would design a vessel capable of carrying these aircraft out to sea. Deployed far from their sheltered airbases, these flyers could strike at land and sea targets throughout the Old World, and provide long range aerial defense and reconnaissance for the Dwarven fleet. This new ship is a floating airbase capable of carrying four squadrons of flyers and conducting at sea repairs. No enemy port is safe from air assault while these mighty ships prowl the seas.

The first such ship, the DSS Illustrious, was the brainchild of Dwarven Engineer and Captain Gjarl Ironhand. The idea occurred to him following the near destruction of his Ironclad the DSS Shadow by Orc Wyvern riders in a skirmish with Orc raiders far from shore. The attack destroyed almost the entire superstructure leaving the ship burning from stem to stern. The fact it remained afloat to be towed back to Barak Varr was a credit to its Dwarven construction. During the ships reconstruction the idea of affixing a flight deck occurred to Captain Gjarl. By removing the aft turret and moving the entire superstructure to the starboard side he managed to construct an entire flight deck and hanger onto the ship.

The ship that sailed forth from the Dry-docks of Barak Varr was like no other in the Old World. In addition to a sizable battery of cannon, it carried four squadrons of Dwarf Flyers. In its first action against a combined Skaven and Dark Elf fleet the Illustrious and her squadrons accounted for seven enemy ships of the line. Its sheer presence distracted the enemy to the extent that a squadron of dreadnoughts led by the infamous DSS Immortal managed to break the Enemy line, and send the Black Ark Soulflayer to the bottom with four Doomreavers still trapped within.


The following rules apply to the Dwarf Aircraft Carrier. All Man 0'War game rules and Dwarf special rules apply unless otherwise stated.


The Aircraft Carrier's Powerful steam engines propel it up to 6" in a turn and it may turn on the spot the same as an Ironclad or Dreadnought.

The Aircraft Carrier may backpedal up to 3".

The Aircraft Carrier may not ram.


Broadsides: the Aircraft Carrier has two broadsides to port and starboard while each battery is operational.

Turrets: the carrier mounts one turret forward that may fire through 180 degrees.

Gatling Cannon: the Aircraft Carrier differs from the other Dwarven ships in that it carries an anti-aircraft gun as part of its standard outfit. This is used to fend off the enemy flyers that invariably close in to destroy the carrier's flyers during their vulnerable launch and recovery phases. The Gatling Cannon provides a 2 dice attack at 6" against a single flyer. The cannon is mounted above the bridge so any hit to the Carrier that knocks out the bridge also destroys the Gatling Cannon as well.

Special Rules:

Aircraft Squadrons: The Aircraft Carrier is capable of carrying up to four squadrons of flyers. These may be any mix of Gyrocopters or Warballoons. The aircraft are stored inside the Carrier's massive hanger bays. Flyers are purchased separately from the Dwarf Fleet List. The carrier may never have more than twelve aircraft (four squadrons) on board at any time.

Launching and Recovering Aircraft: Aircraft squadrons may launch normally from the carrier during the movement phase. Due to the complexity flight operations, however, the carrier may not fire its cannons in the same turn it launches or recovers aircraft. The Gatling Cannons may still tire as they were designed to protect the flyers during their vulnerable landing phase.

Recovering Damaged Aircraft: Whenever a Dwarven flyer is shot down roll D6. On a result of a 5 or 6 the flyer is not destroyed, but is instead returned to the carrier. This represents the aircraft's either limping home or another flyer in the hanger bays coming on line. The recovered flyer must Sit out for one turn, but may return to its squadron in the following turn. The flyer may only launch if its squadron is within range that turn. The flyer cannot become a straggler. If the rest of the squadron has been destroyed the flyer must still miss one turn, but is treated as an independent in the following turn.

Sample Carriers:

The following are a list of sample carriers and air-wings you can field with your fleet. Point values include the carrier and its air-wing.

 [Thumbnail image of Aircraft Carrier]

Damage Locations:

High (Save)
3 Fore Turret: fore turret lost. (3+)
4 Bridge: anti-flyer batteries destroyed. (4+)
5 Funnels (5+)
6 Flight Deck: vessel may not launch or recover aircraft. (3+)
Low (Save)
2 Bow (3+)
3 Gundeck (2 locations): each hit destroys one broadside. (3+)
4 Paddles: immobilised (4+)
5 Boiler: immobilised (3+)
6 Stern (3+)

Below the Waterline Hits: 4 (3+ Save)

Battle Honours: 8

Cost: 200 points (you may only have 1 carrier for every 1000 points in your fleet).

Dwarven Torpedo Planes:


The following rules apply to the Dwarf Torpedo Plane. All Man 0'War game rules and Dwarf special rules apply unless otherwise stated.

Dwarf Torpedo Planes are large, specially modified Gyrocopters. They are armed with an experimental, air-dropped Torpedo. Organized into squadrons of three aircraft, they provide the Dwarven Carriers with an excellent anti-shipping capability.

Torpedo Planes are slower, and less maneuverable then the smaller Gyrocopters. The fly slow and low in an effort to bring their weapons to bear on enemy shipping.

Points Cost: 75 points per squadron of three Torpedo Planes

Movement Rate: 12"

Wounds: 1

Saving Throw - Gyrocopter: 5 or 6
                       Pilot: None

Battle Honours: 1 each

Special Attack: a Torpedo Plane's special attack differs from other flyers in that the flyer does not come in contact with the target vessel. instead the flyer launches a special torpedo with a range of up to 6". When the torpedo is launched roll 1D6, this is the distance the torpedo travels in a straight line from the front of the Torpedo Plane. If the torpedo strikes roll another D6 and consult the following chart.

1-2 Misfire: The torpedo enters the water at too steep an angle and breaks in half.
3 Porpoise: The torpedo porpoises out of the water, striking the target above the waterline. The target takes a hit to one random low location. - 1 Save.
4-6 Target: The torpedo strikes the target below the waterline. Save as normal. Roll D6 for damage:
1-3  Target takes 1 Below the Waterline hit.
4-5  Target takes 2 Below the Waterline hits.
   6  Target takes 3 Below the Waterline hits.

Reloading: the Torpedo Plane may only fire one torpedo per game. However, If a Carrier is present, the bomber may return to rearm. Roll D6:

1-3 Torpedo Plane must wait one turn to rearm.
4-6: Torpedo Plane must wait two turns to rearm.

Boarding Actions and Close Combat: a torpedo Plane gets 1D6 +1 in boarding actions and close combat, as it has one wound. The flyer may not initiate a boarding action, and can only fend off opponents if it wins the round. The aircraft has a single Gatling cannon for defensive fire and is allowed a single die roll.

Dwarven Dive Bomber:


The following rules apply to the Dwarf Dive Bomber. All Man 0'War game rules and Dwarf special rules apply unless otherwise stated.

Points Cost: 75 points per squadron of three Dive Bomber Planes

Movement Rate: 15"

Wounds: 1

Saving Throw - Gyrocopter: 5 or 6
                       Pilot: 6

Battle Honors: 1 each

Special Attack: Dive Bombers attack their targets by diving almost straight down on them from high altitude. This makes them very difficult to hit. Any ship attacked by~the dive bomber suffers loses one attack die for defensive fire. That means that a ship with 4 crew may only roll three dice, a ship with three crew may roll two, etc. In the case of ships with only one crew, they may still roll one die, but only strike the Gyrocopter on a 5+.

Bombs: if the Gyrocopter survives the incoming fire it can drop one bomb on any high location. select the location and roll on the table below. There is no save modifier.

1-2 Misses
3 Strikes the Location aft of the target.
4 Strikes the Location forward of the target.
5-6 Hits target location

Boarding Actions and Close Combat: a Dive Bomber gets 1D6 +1 in boarding actions and close combat, as it has one wound. The flyer may not initiate a boarding action, and can only fend off opponents if it wins the round. The aircraft has a single Gatling cannon for defensive fire and is allowed a single die roll.

Ed Note: Man O'War is a set of fantasy naval wargames rules published by Games Workshop although at present only available by Mail Order. It was reviewed in Ragnarok 9.

This article originally appeared on Jake Bledsoe's "Poison Dartfrog" website (one of the few to contain MoW material). However the site is no longer on line and with Jake's permission we have taken the opportunity to publish the material in Ragnarok.

Rumours persist that Workshop will re-release this excellent game in a different format (some outlandish rumours suggest in 28mm scale!!), but nothing official has been stated and problems obtaining the plastic masts for the miniatures from GW mail order would suggest that it is not a priority. Alternative ships can be purchased from historical companies such as Skytrex and NavWar, although they will require some work to get them to fit in with the style of the GW ships.