I have spent further time during the dreadful weather we having, to drill down further into the Dreadnought rules from Paul Hague's book. It has been a very inspirational experience for sure and the funny thing is that a lot of what he had written actually seems to read a whole lot clearer this time around! I can only put this down to my knowledge of naval warfare during the period having increased over the years and so I feel better equipped to take a more detached view of things.
I mentioned in my previous post that the rules as written could be used for the entire dreadnought period and indeed, the author fully intended this. Obviously the aerial dimension for WW2 actions is an additional complication and I believe his follow up title covered this. The one thing that crossed my mind though was when using the critical hit method for damage how would you factor in turret mounted secondary weapons? This was a big WW2 design feature for sure as most modern battleships has turret mounted secondary weapons rather than in the hull. The answer is simple - and I can't believe I missed it - and really quite logical. The author states on page 116: "Turret guns are reduced by critical hits but secondary guns on the maindeck are reduced proportionally with standard hits."
The first dreadnoughts tended to have the secondary guns hull mounted and so the only turrets were for the big guns. So as written the above sentence makes perfect sense for early period fleets. All I would do then would be to include secondary turrets where applicable meaning they would need to be destroyed by critical hits rather than progressively. I have no problem with this in terms of how the rules work and so will happily use this for WW2 or indeed any other warships with turreted secondary guns.
The other thing I will need to tackle is servicing the needs of the hex. The gun ranges translate very handily into hexes but, as ever, move distances are a little more problematic and additionally have an impact on the ship charts for progressive damage purposes. I will need to give this some thought but at the moment I am considering something rather radical to resolve the issue.
I might revert to naval gaming on a normal table top using rulers for distances and turning circles for changes of course. Now there is an idea - I wonder if it will ever catch on?