Thursday, 8 November 2012

Whoops! That could have been better....

It has been a rather frustrating day or so as my plans have not gone well. To begin with, the batteries in my camera had died. A simple matter to replace them you might think but on this occasion not so - as our entire supply of the size required had been used up! No matter, I shall use my daughter's camera instead. No joy there either as the batteries died after a single picture.

Batteries are on the shopping list for today....

The next thing was a little more serious. I started to fight a Battlecruiser action using the original Jutland rules and was immediately reminded just why I never pursued them as my naval set of choice 'back in the day'. I suppose I have suffered from a degree of 'rose-tintedness' with these rules as used to have some really cracking games with them BUT, I had forgotten one small thing. Ships are hit and rendered impotent with alarming rapidity - on this occasion in two game turns (each representing 10 minutes) the Royal Navy had three battle cruisers left with no operable weapons - and this was something that desperately needed addressing. Also, playing the game as written - with counters scaled at roughed 1/4800th - meant that firing ranges appear awfully close.

With these two issues requiring some thought I abandoned the action but have a ready made solution that I shall be employing going forward. For the issue of ranges and move distance I am going to abandon using the range finder and measuring gauge provided in the rules. This was my intention all along in any event and so using rulers and turning devices will be the order of the day.

As far as the hits are concerned my solution is very simple. Basically a ship uses its protection value as the column to use on the firing table. The dice is then rolled and the 'hits' scored is the number of hits that are cancelled out from the current round of firing. In effect it is making use of a saving throw/opposed dice roll.

Once I have the camera batteries I can proceed with the plan and get another game under my belt and so after the previous false start I can once again head to the grey wastes of the North Sea.

Once I have the batteries....;-)


Peter Douglas said...


That's what I recall from my teenage Jutland refights. The strategic game worked really well, and the map game is gold. However, while you might argue that the tactical game gave ok overall results the ship by ship results really looked wonky.

With all bits reducing firepower, it didn't take long til there were some truelly toothless Tigers (and Lions and Moltkes).

Looking forward to what comes off the drawing board. I might suggest you try the Hague rules for a start, I used them as a building frame for my home brews (which gave a good games of historical actions).


David Crook said...

Hi Peter,

I think you have hit the nail on the head in that the tactical game is designed for quick resolution within the context of the strategic game.

I want to maintain the overall simplicity but the hits will need to be reined in in some way. I hope that using the protection value generated dice rolls will offset it in some fashion. I reckon that this might be the answer within the spirit of the original system.

The Hague set have been earmarked for something rather more detailed although using them as a framework with the Jutland set may make for a cracking system.

I will let you know how it goes - especially now that I have some batteries!

All the best,


Bluebear Jeff said...

You might want to look at the "Naval Thunder: Clash of Dreadnoughts" rules:

They come as a .pdf download and are relatively simple to play.

Admittedly I've not played the WWI version, but I've enjoyed the earlier Pre-Dreadnought version of the rules.

-- Jeff

Paul O'G said...

"Ships are hit and rendered impotent with alarming rapidity" - sounds realistic to me! But yes, I get what you mean

David Crook said...

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for the heads up with these - I will take a look and see what happens!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Paul,

Very true but it does make for a dull game! Striking a balance between realism and playability is the plan then.

All the best,