3D Printing the Mosquito Fleet: The Ultimate Guide for Cruel Seas and other WWII Coastal Battle Games

A lot has changed since we originally wrote this article back in January 2019. We’d just started playing Cruel Seas, and just got an anycubic photon. We hadn’t even launched the marketplace here on Wargaming3D.com and everything was located on Thingiverse. Since then, Thingiverse has had a series of issues that meant that folks moved over here, and a lot more designers have got involved with creating 1/300 ships that are suitable for using in games like Cruel Seas. With that in mind, I’ve given this article a full rewrite to bring it up to date and list all (or at least most) ships that are suitable for use at time of updating.

What is Cruel Seas?

Cruel Seas is a great new tabletop wargame from the team at Warlord Games. Launched near the end of 2018, the game has been so popular that local gaming stores have struggled to keep up with demand and keep stock on the shelves. It’s an immensely playable, simple (The rules section of the Rulebook is only 6 pages long, and I managed to teach my wife to play in under an hour – she’d never played a table top game before in her life) but addictive game that has the great turn activation from bolt action, with a movement template method similar to that of X-Wing or Gaslands. To quote the makers:

In Cruel Seas, you take on the role of a naval crew manning their fragile coastal craft as they head out day and night to take on both the sea and the enemy. Command your flotilla of small ships as they head out to attack a convoy, drop off Commandoes for a behind-the-lines mission or task them with one of the other myriads of missions this small and versatile craft would perform.

Be it the Coastal waters of England or across the Channel to France, on to the Mediterranean waters or on further to the vast Island chains of the Pacific, Cruel Seas will ensure your small ships see plenty of adrenaline-fuelled action.

Cruel Seas is a 1/300th scale tabletop miniatures game where you command flotillas of small ships in battle. Action in the game is fast-paced – with six or more ships per side, a thrilling seaborne dogfight can be fought in forty-five minutes or less.

Rather than focusing on large ships like most naval wargames do, Cruel Seas instead focuses on the “Mosquito Fleet” – that is the small ships that fought in the coastal areas of Europe, the Mediterranean and the Pacific. The Rulebook also contains a relatively simple points system for creating basically any ship in existence. Basically, grab your copy of Janes Fighting Ships of WWII (you have a copy right?), look up the details of the ship in question, work out speed (knots = CM, rounded up to nearest 3), compare size, armor etc with similar ships to get an approximate hull value (this is the hardest thing to estimate), add up the points for weapons, choose an experience level for your crew and you’ve got your own ship.

It would be better if there was a slightly more scientific method for choosing hull points, so common sense is required here and it is entirely possible for people to come up with different stat cards for the same ship. Then you’ll need to add your ships details to a ship card, which is used in the game to list the weapons and locations, keep track of hull points lost during battle, and any critical hits that your ship has experienced.

Getting Started with Cruel Seas

Getting started with Cruel Seas is easy. At a minimum you’ll need some ships for each player, a copy of the rule book, some dice, some wake markers, some rulers and you are good to go. It’s possible to make a lot of this yourself, but for the basics I suggest you purchase the following:

  • Cruel Seas Starter Set: An all in one starter set, that includes everything you need to play, as well as some British Vospers and E-Boats.

If you don’t go for the starter set above, then you’ll want to get the following:

  • Cruel Seas Rulebook: Now in it’s 3rd printing, the latest version should have a picture of young captain in the corner. If you end up with an older version (which I have) it’s not the end of the world, you’ll just need the Errata (linked below) and you’ll be good to start.
  • Cruel Seas Ruler: Game Craft Miniatures makes a great little MDF ruler thats much better than the one that comes in the set. You’ll want at least one of these.
  • A Set of D10s: Cruel Seas mostly uses D10s rather than traditional D6 for dice. If you don’t have some of these already, grab some now.

Other cool stuff that will make your games much more fun include:

  • 6×4 “Ocean” Mat (neoprene mats are great)
  • Dice Bag
  • 1/300 Scale Train Passengers – They can be painted up as cheap and effective crew models, fair easier than printing unless you have a resin printer.

I suggest that anyone playing, downloads the Errata/FAQ and grabs some wake markers from the Warlord Games website and joins the two main facebook groups:

The creators suggest using 1/300 scale ships for small ships, 1/350 for the bigger ones, and it appears that they are using the same scale planes as Blood Red Skies making them 1/200 in size – personally I keep it simple and just print everything at 1/300. Just like most other other WWII games, 3D printed models are acceptable, and fill the gaps in the available product range for niche (or common) ships, that said if you are playing at your FLGS, I suggest checking if its ok before you use 3D printed or 3rd party stuff, and support them by purchasing what you can from them, after all without your FLGS, where would you get all your cool stuff?

Heres an updated roundup of what’s available (you can find our full range of 1/300 WWII Ships here, and check out my collection on Thingiverse here) and where you can find it to help you get your fleet on the tabletop, it’s still a major work in progress so book mark this page and come back often!

Vosper by Deweycat

Great Britain & Commonwealth – Royal Navy/Merchant Navy

Great Britain wasn’t known for the extremely fast and dangerous E-Boats, but fielded a large amount of torpedo and gunboats. The Royal Navy had a wide range of boats throughout the war, operating in the Channel and Mediterranean theaters, from small boats to larger vessels packing a lot of firepower, including corvettes, destroyers and landing craft. Here is a selection of 1/300 3D Printable boats suitable for Royal Navy forces in cruel Seas:

1/300 Royal Navy Motor Torpedo Boats:

1/300 Royal Navy Motor Gun Boats

1/300 Royal Navy Subchasers:

1/300 Royal Navy Minesweepers

1/300 British Merchant Vessels

1/300 Allied Landing Craft

1/300 Royal Navy Destroyers and Corvettes

1/300 Other Ships:

ADP High Speed Transport by Qwibqwib

United States – US Navy

1/300 US Navy Patrol Boats (PT Boats)/Gunboats

1/300 US Navy Landing Craft

1/300 US Navy Minesweepers

1/300 US Navy Subchasers

1/300 US Navy Destroyers and Destroyer Escorts

1/300 US Navy Aircraft Carriers

1/300 Cargo and other Ships

Grief Seaplane Tender by Qwibqwib

Germany – Kriegsmarine

1/300 Kriegsmarine E-Boats

1/300 Kriegsmarine Torpedo Boats

1/300 Kriegsmarine Ferries and Barges

1/300 Kriegsmarine Minesweepers

1/300 Kriegsmarine Submarines

1/300 Other Kriegsmarine Ships & German Merchant Ships

Soviet Monitors by Greggycast

Soviet Union – Navy

1/300 Soviet Motor Torpedo Boats(MTB)

1/300 Soviet Riverine Gunboats

1/300 Other Soviet Boats

Regia Marina Spica Torpedo Boat by Qwibqwib

Italy – Navy

1/300 Regia Marina Motor Torpedo Boats

1/300 Regia Marina Ferries and Barges

1/300 Regia Marina Minesweepers

1/300 Regia Marina Subchasers

1/300 Regia Marina Submarines

1/300 Other Italian Boats

IJN Boats by Qwibqwib

Japan – Navy

1/300 Imperial Japanese Navy Motor Torpedo Boats

1/300 Imperial Japanese Navy Subchasers

1/300 Imperial Japanese Navy Landing Craft

1/300 Other Imperial Japanese Navy Ships

1/300 Japanese Aircraft:

HNoMS Otra AKA Togo Vorpostenboot by Qwibqwib
HNoMS Otra AKA Togo Vorpostenboot by Qwibqwib





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