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Flying Colors returns you to the pinnacle of the Age of Sail, where mighty men-o-war and ships of the line met in vast engagements for command of the seas. Unlike other games set in the same period, Flying Colors provides a simpler, quick-playing system allowing players to reenact battles including dozens of ships on a side. Rather than focusing on the details of each ship, Flying Colors allows players to focus on maintaining control of their fleets as a whole, using a simple command system.


This web site represents the official support center for Flying Colors on the Web. From here, you can download the latest rules revisions and supplementary components for the game.


Flying Colors was originally published in DTP form by Relative Range. It was picked up by GMT Games, LLC in 2005 for professional publication. The game has undergone some substantial rules revision after its general release as the gaming community deeply involved in naval combat offered several suggestions to improve playability and realism. The latest version of the game rules and charts are available here for download.


Flying Colors is currently back in print as a new deluxe 3rd edition. This new edition includes the Ship of the Line expansion described below as well as roughly a dozen additional scenarios that have been culled from the pages of C3i magazine as well as created especially for this new edition. Here's your chance to upgrade older editions to the latest component standards. If you're new to the game, here's your chance to acquire a veritable encyclopedia of 18th and 19th Century Age of Sail combat. Order your copy here.


2005 Charles Roberts Award Nomination for Best Pre-WWII Game



The components for the first two printings of the game include:


  • 3 22x34” map sheets (A, B, and C)

  • 4 Sheets of Double-Sided Counters

  • 1 Player Aid Cards

  • 1 Rules Manual

  • 1 Play Book

  • 1 10-sided Die

The components for the third, deluxe printing of the game include:

  • 4 22x34” map sheets (A, B, C, and D)

  • 7 Sheets of Double-Sided Counters

  • 3 Player Aid Cards

  • 1 Rules Manual

  • 2 Play Books

  • 1 Ship Status Sheet

  • 1 10-sided Die




Ship of the Line is the first expansion to Flying Colors. It primarily (although not exclusively) covers major fleet actions during the period of the American Revolution. The expansion includes sixteen total scenarios and adds over 100 new, individually named and rated ships as well at over 30 new commanders.


In addition to the sixteen included scenarios, Age of Sail aficionados can recreate the struggle between Admirals Suffren and Hughes with newly introduced campaign rules. Players must maintain their vessels through five historical confrontations, and may or may not receive reinforcements to continue their fight for control of the Indian Ocean.


Also included in Ship of the Line are a new "Map D" (which mates with maps from Flying Colors), two player aid cards, a set of rules incorporating changes and corrections from the first edition of Flying Colors, and plenty of additional status markers.


Beat to Quarters is an expansion for Flying Colors that provides individual tracking cards (each the size of a standard playing card) for each ship included with Flying Colors. Using these cards helps reduce the "clutter" generated when using the large number of status markers on the map. The cards track sail state, damage, broadside status (fired port, starboard, or both), etc.


Additionally, Beat to Quarters provides a set of rules, markers, and charts to play Flying Colors without the maps! Ship cards are organized into squadrons and then the squadrons maneuver on a special board. Opposing squadrons that maneuver close enough may fire and resolve combat per the standard Flying Colors rules. Want to play Trafalgar, but don't have the space? Beat to Quarters is the answer!


Beat to Quarters is available now, from


On this page you’ll find several support files to enhance your play of the game that were not included with the original publication.




These sheets allow players to keep track of their fleets on paper, rather than using a large number of status markers that may clutter up the play area. These sheets should be open at all times for inspection by all players.

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