Wednesday, 6 January 2010

War at Sea Sans the Grid

Whilst browsing the Axis and Allies: War at Sea section of the Wizards website I came across a version of the game that made use of a tabletop rather than a grid. I know this will probably seem a little odd given my avowed intention to only fight wargames on grid but they actually look pretty good. They make full use of the existing mechanics and substitute 3" legs or increments for movement and firing ranges with, for example, a speed of two squares being equal to 4 legs with ranges etc scaled in accordingly. Ships can turn freely at the cost of one 'leg' from their speed which given the ground scale I have no problem with and is keeping within the spirit of the original game. I am not a huge fan of naval rules with detailed turning restrictions due, in part to the scale distortion (which is why I like using grids!), but the suggestion offered seems to be a viable compromise. There are some other tweaks but the most promising aspect I can see is that air power appears to receive better treatment than in the standard game.

One of the issues with the basic game is that the aircraft are scaled at one base equalling 25 actual aircraft. In theory this is fine for the 'air-heavy' carrier actions in the Pacific but not so good for the European theatre. It is currently too easy to beat air attacks off and thus aircraft carriers are expensive liabilities.

Under the gridless system (and I have not read the entire script yet so please bear with me!) only the target ship can use its AA at full effect and escorts have a reduced factor. Also, more aircraft are now able to attack a single ship thus increasing the chance of scoring some damage. This will ensure that budding admirals will have to take the air threat rather more seriously than before.

Much to ponder methinks.

No comments: