Trirreme Commander Rules Philosophy



Trireme is a game of tactical naval combat, focused on the simulation of combat between small fleets of galleys, rather than great naval engagements.

The objective of the simulation is combat between a few galleys in situations such as combat patrol, merchant escort, counter-piracy actions, and pirate assaults, etc. A game is best played with two to four galleys per player.

In this first edition we will focus on the Punic Wars (264 BC to 146 BC), between Rome and its allies and Carthage and its allies.

The Punic Wars were a series of three wars fought between Rome and Carthage from 264 BC to 146 BC. The term Punic comes from the Latin word Punicus (or Poenicus), meaning “Carthaginian”, with reference to the Carthaginians’ Phoenician ancestry.


1.1 The Galleys

The more usual types of galleys used in the Punic wars were:

Lembi /Hemiola : Small Galleys used for coastal patrol

Bireme: Light Galley with little protection

Liburna: Light, protected galley

Trireme: Medium galley that can use artillery weapons

Quadrireme: Heavy combat galley that uses artillery weapons.

Each galley, depending on the nationality, will have a maximum number of crew figures, detailed in the Annex.

The characteristics and specific rules for the galleys for use in the game are listed in the Annex of the rules.


1.2 The Crew

The crew of each galley is represented by 10mm miniatures individually based, that are detailed in our catalogue. The nationalities are Roman, Carthaginian, Hellenistic, & Mediterranean Mercenaries. You can buy them from our online shop at and from our distributors around the world.

The galley crews are the basic element in the game. With them players can move, shoot and engage in hand-to-hand boarding actions with other boats or ships. There are three crew types in the game, each with varying actions that they can perform.  They are:

Officers: They activate the crew of the gunboat or ship that they command, allowing the crew to perform permitted actions in the game (see Section 5)

Warriors: On board warriors with cuirass, shield & personal weapons who can engage in boarding combat. There are two types of warriors: Armoured Warriors and Unarmoured Warriors based on the body armour worn.

Auxiliaries: Auxiliary troops that use throwing weapons, such as javelins, bows or slings and have no cuirass, should use the weapon held by the miniature.

Each type of crew has an experience level:





The experience level of all three crew types occupying one galley is always the same.

Players choose the composition and experience of all the crews for their galleys during the game preparation phase.

The ANNEX shows the minimum number of officers and warriors that a galley needs to operate and the maximum number of crew that it can hold in total.


3.1 The game turn

TRIREME, is played in a sequence of turns, each consisting of multiple activations. During a turn each galley will be allowed up to two activations to perform various actions. When all the galleys for both players have been activated, the turn is finished and another turn starts.