Unsurprisingly the Ram attack has caused me a number of minor headaches in respect of how to undertake it within a war game. I have the bare bones of how it should work and intend incorporating it in the Close Range Attack phase of the rules rather than more commonly within the movement phase. This will save incremental or sequential movement which can slow things up considerably - especially when there is a lot of such attacks under consideration. As a fudge this will also include spar torpedo attacks as essentially in order to attack they have to 'ram' a vessel.
The basic idea I have is that a player declares his Close Range Attack as normal and so the target is now faced with three options. It can respond with its own Close Range Attack (this is primarily when facing off attacking destroyer/torpedo boats in the 1890 to 1920 set but is the same in principle for the earlier period) and so the combat proceeds as normal. It can ignore the attack - typically to ensure that it can fire in the subsequent gunnery phase. Finally, the new choice is to Evade and this is specifically for use against a ram or early spar torpedo based attack.
I have a process worked out for this that needs a little road testing but the gist of it is that attacking ram needs to roll a d6 and score higher than his target's speed to make an attack. The target must also roll a d6 needing to score higher than the attackers speed to evade. If both are successful then the ram attack damage is calculated at half its normal rate to represent a glancing blow against the target. If the attacker passes and the target fails the evasion roll the the attack is at full effect. If both fail then the attack does not happen at all; similarly if the target passes and the attacker fails then that is also a failed attack.
Using this simple technique means that a fast ram is more likely to catch a slow opponent. The evasion roll represents each side lining up to attack or dodge the blow or to minimise the impact where possible. The resolution of the blow itself will be the same as for a conventional Close Range Attack so the mechanics are nicely aligned.
It looks very much like the rules will be easy enough to put together - ship specifications will be far more problematic although the 1860 to 1905 Conways will be absolutely essential for this part!