Tuesday, 27 September 2011

20th Century Naval via Battleship Galaxies

There cannot possibly a war gamer that has not played the pen and paper game Battleships at some point. Battleships Battleship (game) is a simple 'guess where the opponent is deployed and blow the living daylights out of his fleet' game and the only connection that Battleship Galaxies has to this is the use of a grid against a target ship to record firing effects i.e. hits or misses. In the star ship game firing is carried out by rolling a pair of coordinate dice - a d10 and a d8 and the shot lands where the two dice dictate scoring either a hit or a miss.

It occurred to me that this technique very neatly handles the whole hit location and damage effect for conventional naval gunnery. I am not advocating using aerial drawings of every ship in the fleet as a ship card as such but a damage record card could easily be incorporated in such a fashion.

Off the top of my head a grid could consist of say, 8 by 10 squares. A number of squares could be the flotation rating of the ship (the main hit point record) whilst others are given over to the essential systems we are concerned with - main turrets, bridge, director, steering and magazine (aka the 'critical' hits) - and the all important 'misses'. The trick will be to ensure that the chances of a hit are calculated correctly and take into consideration all the usual firing factors e.g. range, damage potential and number of weapons being fired and so on.

In my mind's eye I can see this quite clearly but I need to spend some time cleaning up the idea before expanding on it further. I have a process in place for the ship cards as they stand for the Sea Battles in Miniature/Jutland hybrid set I currently working on and so combining these into a firing/targeting system will be the challenge methinks. Should it work out then the implications and potential applications are both many and varied.

Headache and nosebleed central - here we go again!

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