Man O’ War

The classic game of naval warfare in the Warhammer world.

One of the best, perhaps even the best, games that Games Workshop ever made, Man O’War is a game of spectacularly entertaining and visually stunning ship to ship battles on the high seas. Out of print now and pretty pricey, but well worth the investment.

With the invaluable help of Scott Di Bartolo, I recreated the entire set of ship templates at a small, easy to use card size which you can print out, put in card protectors and mark with non-permanent pens. Much easier than the unwieldy original templates and counters. Some old rules contradictions have been resolved as well.

Update Log

Date Version Changelog
Jul 2021 2 Rules summary: added critical damage table and captain’s chart
Oct 2016 3.7 Ship cards: Undead Floating Necropolis fixed
Feb 2016 3.6 Ship cards: Dark Elf Doom Reaver and Death Fortress title fixes
Jan 2016 3.5 Ship cards: Elf Warship and Bretonnian Pegasus fixes
Sep 2015 3.4 Ship cards: Dwarf War Balloon and Gyrocopter clarifications
Mar 2015 3.3 Ship cards: Orc Hulk clarifications
Oct 2014 3.2 Ship cards: Orc Drillakilla clarification
Sep 2014 3.1 Ship cards: fort errors fixed
Sep 2013 3 Ship cards: extra forts added, some pages padded with extra ship cards
Sep 2013 2.5 Ship cards: Orc Hulk error fixed
Mar 2009 2 Ship cards in a better format and consolidated with flyers, a few errors fixed, and monsters and undead added
2005 1 Ship cards original release
Sep 2007 1 Rules summary original release


  • phill_nz says:

    cool writeups and surprising we never met i was in sydney from late 80s till 2000 and the regular gaming circuit is pretty small spartans etc
    i took my models to a mate not long ago . thought i had 60 odd but counted over 200 mow figures .. still missing elves emp greatship and the bretts .. plus a few odd others ( yeh im still pretty proud of my collection of mow ).. your articles have made up my mind to get back into it .. thanks !!

  • julien says:

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful work, I have worked 2 years in a GW store in Nice (France) and I agree that Man O’ War is my all time best game they have done, have all the fleet and still enjoy it after 15 years !

  • Tom says:

    How does Dreadfleet compare to this game?


    • Universal Head says:

      They’re very different. Man O’ War was the first and designe as a complete naval miniatures wargame with fleets from all the races of the Warhammer world. Dreadfleet is a game with very specific individual ships, each representing different Warhammer races, and a more restrictive set of scenarios. The former is a much more flexible, wide-ranging and interesting naval miniatures system. The later is much more luck-based, scenario-based, and restrictive.

  • Nick says:

    Thank you very much that you are still updating MoW files. Pure classic.

  • Where do I find the good ol’ Upgrade decks? I can’t find them ANYWHERE ;-;

    • Upgrade decks? What are those again?

      • You get one card from the deck free with your admiral’s ship, and can pay for extras at like 25-50 a pop. It’s mentioned in the rulebook, but not in the card stock (tokens and ship reference) printout sheet I found.

        • Sorry, I haven’t got my copy with me. Anyway, this is a rules summary, and despite my reworking of the ship card designs, my goal isn’t to reproduce all the game components here.

        • andrewgivens1975 says:

          If you’re still searching for an answer, three years later, they are called ‘Man o’War Cards’ and were 25 pts each, divided into four ‘suits’ (Crew, Guns, Hull and Special); each Mo’W could have up to one of each suit, but you paid for your cards and then drew them at random from the deck, so you could end up with too many of one type (and thus a redundant card with no ship to be used on) if you spent too many points on them.
          I still have the original deck. Can help you with details if you wish.

  • Scott Di Bartolo says:

    I’m so happy to still see these here! I forgot you had added all the additional House Rules to the summary as well. We should have done all the custom player designed ships at the time so people could easily have printed them up to use too. GREAT WORK PETER!

  • Aengus O'Sullivan says:

    Great work thanks, dug out my game and models today with my 4yr old son, a little premature but really looking forward to playing this again!

  • Payton Burrows says:

    I don’t know if y’all can do anything with this, but here is a link to a guy on Etsy who makes cheap MoW proxies that’s be perfect for anyone hoping to start playing.

  • Lee Wygant says:

    What program were these done in? I would love to make up the variants proposed in the sea of claws group.

    • I made them in Adobe Illustrator.

      • Dreadaxe says:

        And if the Man O’ War community Patreon you sometime it’s possible to imagine a new version of the ship card?

        • I’m always very happy to welcome new Patrons, but redoing these ship cards would take a LOT of time … it depends what’s involved. Are you talking one card or a redesigned layout for the lot?

          I’m not super keen at creating new cards for new ship designs, as that’s a rabbit hole that I may never get to the end of! This is supposed to be a set of alternative template cards for existing Man O War ships, not a fan project that is constantly updated with fan’s ship designs.

  • Ralf says:

    The rules reference would just need a couple things to be the only thing you need during the game: The critical damage chart and the “Captain’s Chart” (sub-table for criticals). Just noticed it during the last game, when I couldn’t find the critical chart reference. It was the only time I needed to go for the rulebook. 😀

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