There are no actual instructions here, but The Penny Whistle has some really neat photos of index card ship models. They should be relatively easy to replicate and look like they could be used in a fun game.
To Glory We Steer Fighting Sail Rules
To Glory We Steer is a well-done set of rules for the age of fighting sail:
From the period where the mighty multi-oared Galleys had almost faded from memory other than a coastal raider, to the days where black funnelled Ships of the line belched out sparks and smoke, there existed two hundred years of an Age of Sail. …
This set of rules takes from many contemporary accounts of battle, to gain a whiff of the sea air in themechanics, Hopefully threading through it enough realism without baffling a Landsman who knows little of the Age of Sail.
As you give your crew orders to “Man the Halyards” or unleash a perfectly timed broadside, I hope that some of this may come across and that those who know their foretops from their gaff sails might gain some pleasure from commanding. This said, many compromises have been made in the way of a playable game that is challenging and involving for players.
You are not pushing a model and rolling dice. You are a Master and Commander in the Heat of Battle!
Dark Seas Nightime Naval Warfare Board Game
Dark Seas is a free print-and-play board game about nighttime warfare between naval forces in WWII. From the author:
Here’s a board game (as opposed to a miniatures game) featuring the night battles between naval forces in the Second World War. The game is designed for quick play, but with the intention of highlighting some of the key features of these battles. To play, you should have two six sided dice, a twelve sided die, a hex grid with large hexes, and adhesive-backed paper to make the counters. Optional, but highly recommended are some sets of colored wooden blocks of the type used by Columbia Games in their block games. These make very nifty counters that can be set on edge for ease of use. Below are the rules, a set of scenarios with maps, sheets to organize task groups, and a counter set.
Surface Action WWII Naval Rules
Surface Action is a set of free wargames rules for tactical surface combat in WWII. These are billed as simple, fast play rules.
The author writes:
This is a simple, quick play, rule set covering surface actions in World War II. The game is designed for use with 1/6000 scale ship miniatures. The time scale is 5 minutes per turn and the distance scale is 1000 yards to the inch. The game components include: Rules, tables and designer’s notes, and Scenarios.
You’ll also need some counters, which are easily made by marking up some pre-made blank counters. Specifically, you should have some counters numbered 1 through 12.
Sea Wings WWII Aircraft Carrier Rules
Sea Wings is a set of free wargames rules for aircraft carrier warfare in World War II. The author writes:
“Sea Wings” is a game of aircraft carrier warfare in World War II. It is of moderate complexity, and is designed for play between two players. The game is designed for play on a 4 by 6 foot tabletop. The game scale is 4 hour turns, with 1 inch equaling 24 nautical miles in the playing surface. The game units are individual ships and air points representing 6 aircraft each. Ships can be represented by cards (provided below) or miniatures.