- Russia (for the Black Sea)
The system is very simple to use works by simply deducting the current defensive combat power from the offensive combat power being used against the target. This will yield a figure that is applied to the roll of a d6. The resultant final score is then compared against the hit chart and the appropriate number of hit markers are placed alongside the ship (ore recorded on some paper if need be). That is it.
The offensive combat power includes an allowance for secondary weapons and torpedoes if applicable. I say allowance because this is not a separate factor - it is a part of the offensive combat power. For example, a ship has an offensive combat power of 8, with a secondary allowance of 3 and torpedoes of 1. This means that the ship could use all 8 points (subject to firing restrictions due to the target type) against a target or, it could use up to 3 points as a secondary factor leaving 5 to use elsewhere.
I have adopted this technique for a simple reason. I believe that if a ship is close enough to a target to need to use its secondary weapons then the quality of its main weapons fire will be degraded as the nearer target (presumably carrying torpedoes!) will have a much greater level of attention being paid to it. It means that the historically valid tactic of using a destroyer attack to disrupt an enemy battleline will have the same effect on the playing area. This will encourage players to ensure that the battleline is adequately protected so it can continue function in the role for which it was intended.
The number of offensive combat power points assigned to combat also determines the maximum range a ship can engage at which means that battleships need to be kept at a distance in order to gain the maximum benefit of their weapons.
The defensive combat power is basically the number of hits a ship can sustain before being sunk and the combat mechanics mean that as a ship takes damage then the easier it is to damage her further as the firing modifier will increase in real terms. The rationale behind this is that the ship will gradually sustain more damage than can be coped with and so additional damage would then be proportionally more effective.
All will be clear when I run the first playtest (all being well over the weekend) which, as usual, I will report on the blog.
I am quite excited about the potential of this set - not least of which because I have finally managed to draft a set of naval rules that fit onto two sides of A4 paper and not in 'bible print' either!
These have been a really interesting series of posts - I had started off thinking you were going for a sort of DamnBattleshipsAgain-lite, but it is definitely developing into something more unique.
I think your idea about the close-in combats affecting the main batteries is an excellent development - too often in naval wargame rules you get a sort of Super-Battlestar tendency developing, where anachronistically omnipotent targeting of ships left right and centre occurs, as if Pre-Dreds had modern Aegis tracking systems!
Should be a nice way to more effectively denote the threat of TBs at the time too.
In my experience TBs and DDs have a very short life expectancy in most naval games and invariably get thrown in as a kamikaze style attack at some point - usually for want of something sensible to do. In my opinion the threat of TBs should force the player to modify his plans and to be honest, in many cases they are cheerfully ignored as the 'laser sighted secondary' weapons proceed to shoot the bejesus out of them. This way a battleline can choose to ignore them and carry on blasting over the horizon at their opposite numbers but in doing so run the risk of a nasty 17.7, 18, 21 or 24" surprise.....Ooooer Matron, Fnar, Fnar......
I will see how it works out during the playtest.
All the best,
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