Friday, 24 June 2011

The (Portable) Naval Wargame....Thoughts on the First Playtest

It was a brief game for sure but I learned a lot from the experience and it has given me much to ponder. Inevitably there are a number of minor rule clarifications to be made but by and large it seemed to work pretty well and so I was very pleased with the outcome. I have divided this post into two sections with the first covering clarifications of existing rules and the second some potential changes. I realise that this will seem a little odd as the rules have not yet appeared anywhere but should anyone wish for a copy then please let me know and I will ping them over - after I have incorporated the changes.

  • The use of DDs in multiples (2s) in respect of damage
  • Where speed is greater than any combat power (again, a DD related issue)
  • Hit dice scores - when cumulative and when individual (the rule of 6)
Possible Changes and Additions
  • Line of sight
  • Torpedo attack hit scores - 4, 5 or 6 with the re roll (to be consistent with gunnery)
  • Ship speeds - are they too large for the playing area?
  • Should torpedo attacks come after gunnery with gunnery damage taking immediate effect?
As can be seen the clarifications are fairly straightforward but the possible changes and additions are less so. Looking at the latter points individually the reasoning looks something like this:

Line of Sight - if a ship has a pair of destroyers in an adjacent hex between them and the ship firing (when checked from the centre of the firing hex to the centre of the target hex) then the line of sight is deemed to be blocked and the target may not be fired upon. The target may also not fire in the direction of the said destroyers.

Torpedo Attack Scores - In the interests of consistency I will make these a 4, 5 or 6 for a single hit with the 6 being a hit plus a re roll.

Ship Speeds - This is a little problematic during the era covered because the speed disparity between ships of the same notional type could be quite large. I am considering limiting the maximum move to 4 hexes.

Timing of Torpedo Attacks - I am considering splitting combat into gunnery then torpedo attacks with gunnery damage being applied BEFORE torpedo attacks take place. This should curb any kamikaze destroyer attacks as the DDs will have to run the gauntlet of enemy gunfire whilst getting into position to launch their torpedoes.

By and large then the game ran very smoothly, albeit very quickly and so I am confident that I am on the right track. The relatively minor 'tweaks' should be easily incorporated (and I shall do so over the next few days) and so I will run a further playtest to see how they work out.

The apparent focus on destroyers and torpedo attacks is really just a matter of fine tuning as whilst I had ensured that larger ships have to pay them all due respect I had overlooked the fact that destroyers also had to reciprocate this!

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