Victory at Sea suggested rules changes/additions

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Victory at Sea suggested rules changes/additions

Postby noodle » Monday 10th November, 2014 12:48 pm

SUGGESTED HOUSE RULES

RADAR: The current radar rules make radar far more effective than it was during WWII. Radar tracking of gunfire should work the same, but if you are only using radar to fire (e.g. firing through smoke, firing at night out of visual range), the modifier to hit is -2 (as if extreme range), regardless of distance.
- Effectively firing using radar alone is just as good (or bad) at any range.

MOVING FAST: There is plenty of evidence to show if you are moving fast, your gunnery is worse. If on "flank speed" orders AND moving 7" or more (i.e. fast), you're gunnery suffers a -1 to hit (main turrets only, secondary, AA and torpedoes etc are unaffected).
- There should be a down side to moving at speed!

FALL OF SHOT: Historically if two ships fired at the same target, since tracking fall of shot allowed the crew to adjust their aim, there was a risk that the crew would be tracking the other ships fall of shot and not their own, leading to worse accuracy. To represent this, if a second ship fires at a target already shot at by another ship's main turrets (not secondary etc), then it suffers from -1 to hit. This is not applicable if the target is within 10", or if radar alone is being used to track the target. - I strongly recommend this rule is used as the current practice is to concentrate on one ship until it was sunk, which rarely if ever actually happened because of the fall of shot issues...
- removing the above as its been pointed out it makes super battleships even more super... :o

7+ TO HIT: If you need >6 to hit, you can still hit: 7 = 6,4+; 8 = 6,5+; 9 = 6,6

OPTIONAL RULES

WEATHER CHANGE; If anyone rolls double 1 or double 6 on initiative, then the sea state should change to or from bad weather.

DAWN/DUSK: If you want, roll a D20 to see what turn night ends or starts.
Last edited by noodle on Monday 10th November, 2014 6:06 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Victory at Sea suggested rules changes/additions

Postby Morph » Monday 10th November, 2014 1:39 pm

Someone's been watching the history channel...

But I like the ideas, especially downgrading radar! :)
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Re: Victory at Sea suggested rules changes/additions

Postby noodle » Monday 10th November, 2014 2:46 pm

Guilty. I also read a book about WWI & WWII navai warfare. The changes are meant to model "real life" more closely without being too hard. I'll print any houserules off for people to read and insert into the rulebook.

Victory at Sea isn't going to get any FaQs or a rewrite, so unlike say GW we are stuck with them unless we tinker. Rules as Written is less useful in this context.
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Re: Victory at Sea suggested rules changes/additions

Postby Juheera » Monday 10th November, 2014 4:38 pm

noodle wrote:SUGGESTED HOUSE RULES

RADAR: The current radar rules make radar far more effective than it was during WWII. Radar tracking of gunfire should work the same, but if you are only using radar to fire (e.g. firing through smoke, firing at night out of visual range), the modifier to hit is -2 (as if extreme range), regardless of distance.
- Effectively firing using radar alone is just as good (or bad) at any range.


What do you mean by this? are effects still stackable such as going fast and side on?

noodle wrote:
MOVING FAST: There is plenty of evidence to show if you are moving fast, your gunnery is worse. If moving 7" or more (i.e. fast), you're gunnery suffers a -1 to hit (main turrets only, secondary, AA and torpedoes etc are unaffected).
- There should be a down side to moving at speed!


This should be only if you have moved flat out as your special action for the turn.

noodle wrote:FALL OF SHOT: Historically if two ships fired at the same target, since tracking fall of shot allowed the crew to adjust their aim, there was a risk that the crew would be tracking the other ships fall of shot and not their own, leading to worse accuracy. To represent this, if a second ship fires at a target already shot at by another ship's main turrets (not secondary etc), then it suffers from -1 to hit. This is not applicable if the target is within 10", or if radar alone is being used to track the target. - I strongly recommend this rule is used as the current practice is to concentrate on one ship until it was sunk, which rarely if ever actually happened because of the fall of shot issues...


As we don't fire ranging shots, and there is no advantage to firing at the same ship for more than one turn is this necessary? also putting ships in squadrons simply bypasses this. It will also extend the time of games.

noodle wrote:OPTIONAL RULES

WEATHER CHANGE; If anyone rolls double 1 or double 6 on initiative, then the sea state should change to or from bad weather.

DAWN/DUSK: If you want, roll a D20 to see what turn night ends or starts.


Is the weather change mandatory when that is rolled or optional for the person that rolled it? mandatory is quite good.

The night fighting idea seems ok as it means the battles won't always be fully night fighting.
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Re: Victory at Sea suggested rules changes/additions

Postby Rick » Monday 10th November, 2014 5:46 pm

Most of the changes seem good. I like the radar change although I'm tempted to agree with Tom about only suffering a penalty to hit if you move flat out. I am very dubious about the fall of shot rule though. Regardless of its historical accuracy it would seem to negate concentration of force (which is the main tactic in most wargames) and would also push the game in favour of having fewer, more powerful ships - i.e. its better to shoot a ship with a battleship than buy multiple cruisers who then can't concentrate their fire. My impression of V@S is that it already seems to favour big powerful battleships over multiple smaller vessels and this would seem to push it that way entirely, creating a meta that would be entirely about the biggest battleships you can afford and torpedo frigates.
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Re: Victory at Sea suggested rules changes/additions

Postby noodle » Monday 10th November, 2014 5:53 pm

What do you mean by this? are effects still stackable such as going fast and side on?

Yes, Side on targets get hit more easily apparently due to deflection.

This should be only if you have moved flat out as your special action for the turn.

Completely disagree. Its not "going all ahead" which makes you hard to hit or it harder to shoot. No one is "redirecting power from guns to engines"... its the act of going fast which makes you hard to hit (-1 from shooting) and similarly going fast should make things harder to shoot...

As we don't fire ranging shots, and there is no advantage to firing at the same ship for more than one turn is this necessary? also putting ships in squadrons simply bypasses this. It will also extend the time of games.

There clearly is an advantage of firing at the same ship until it sinks... It can't get away on the next turn and gives VPs! Anyway, squadrons I hadn't thought of but really the first ship should fire separately. Destroyers aren't affected (secondaries only) so its only really cruisers which are - so shoot each ship separately or if its 3 - do the first - then the other two together. I don't agree it will make games longer at all. It will potentially change what you shoot at - or maybe it won't. It doesn't make ships harder to sink over the course of the game, but it makes "ganging up" less sensible (which is more accurate to real life). Once you've fired at a ship it would make sense to put a splash marker next to it to demonstrate this ship has been fired on (in fact, its like blast markers in gothic! :o )

Is the weather change mandatory when that is rolled or optional for the person that rolled it? mandatory is quite good.

I would say as soon as its rolled, the weather has got better/worse.
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Re: Victory at Sea suggested rules changes/additions

Postby noodle » Monday 10th November, 2014 5:58 pm

Rick wrote:Most of the changes seem good. I like the radar change although I'm tempted to agree with Tom about only suffering a penalty to hit if you move flat out. I am very dubious about the fall of shot rule though. Regardless of its historical accuracy it would seem to negate concentration of force (which is the main tactic in most wargames) and would also push the game in favour of having fewer, more powerful ships - i.e. its better to shoot a ship with a battleship than buy multiple cruisers who then can't concentrate their fire. My impression of V@S is that it already seems to favour big powerful battleships over multiple smaller vessels and this would seem to push it that way entirely, creating a meta that would be entirely about the biggest battleships you can afford and torpedo frigates.


It does to an extent negate concentration of force - which is kind of historically accurate. Historically fleets didn't simply all shoot one ship until it sank before moving onto the next one. I see your point about cruisers vs a battleship though and the possible unintended meta favouring torpedo boats and big battleships.

It could also be argued that this effect only really affects matters for large ships - i.e. at long ranges. Cruisers rarely had this problem historically. However I do feel its a little too easy just to fire at whatever you want with no problems sometimes. Happy to leave the fall of shot one out but the rest I really think we should put in as mandatory.

As for only having a penalty for moving flat out I totally disagree (see above). The point is to balance the -1 for moving fast with a very logical downside. If a ship has move 4" and goes "flat out" at a pathetic 5" it shouldn't face a -1 to its shooting. Meanwhile we have light cruisers merrily zooming around at 8", being harder to hit but apparently having 21st century gyrostabilised guns :)

*And before anyone accuses me of bias, they are italian "cruisers"
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Re: Victory at Sea suggested rules changes/additions

Postby Morph » Monday 10th November, 2014 6:03 pm

So what does the flank speed order actually represent?
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Re: Victory at Sea suggested rules changes/additions

Postby noodle » Monday 10th November, 2014 6:08 pm

putting more coal in the boilers...

Steffan points out though that naturally FAST ships have crews trained to fight and fire at high speed. So... The rule should be you suffer a -1 to your own shooting if:

- You moved 7 or more AND
- You are going flank speed

This prevents cruisers going naturally fast being penalised and stops slow coaches penalised on flank speed.
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Re: Victory at Sea suggested rules changes/additions

Postby Rick » Monday 10th November, 2014 6:19 pm

Morph wrote:So what does the flank speed order actually represent?


Currently it seems to represent the fact you'd like your ships to move an extra inch. Not the best rule I've ever seen since the only downside is you can't use another special order - but you rarely want to. I do take Duncan's point that a slow ship shouldn't be penalised for using flank speed. At first I liked Steffan's suggestion as I do think fast cruisers have the benefit factored into their "worth". I'd explain it less as a crew thing and more along the lines of the ship is designed to go fast - its built for speed, not like a less streamlined or seaworthy vessel straining its engines beyond its normal cruising speed. However as a counter argument this change actually makes Americans more powerful as they have ships that naturally go this fast, the changes to flank speed allowed other navys with 6" move cruisers to also gain the fast movement benefits many US ships enjoy.

Can we include Schrodinger's Radar in with the house rules? Instead of rolling for every ship in your fleet with radar every turn to see if they detect every ship in the opponents fleet and trying to keep track of it (which very quickly becomes more maintenance than its worth) simply don't bother. At any time either player can "open the box" and find out if a ship has detected another on its radar by rolling as many dice to detect as there have been turns (or turns since the last attempt to detect if one has already been made). So as an example, "Before I pick a target for my battleship I want to find out if it has detected yours on radar yet, its turn 3 <rolls 3 dice>".
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Re: Victory at Sea suggested rules changes/additions

Postby noodle » Monday 10th November, 2014 9:51 pm

Schroedingers radar should go in.

Funnily enough I was just reading about how US warships were built for speed and suffered less problems from shooting as they did so. I don't mind some US ships having this boost from natural speed 7+ as it's usually cruisers and not battleships which do this. But speed 6 battleships shouldn't be able to just get 1" extra speed with no penalties. I'll have to look at what ships can move 7 as a base, but at present we just get ships going fast to get the -1 to hit and it's a no brainer. Meanwhile move 5 ships simply can't do it.
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Re: Victory at Sea suggested rules changes/additions

Postby noodle » Monday 10th November, 2014 9:53 pm

I'm glad people so far like the radar fix. It makes smokescreens actually worthwhile if the opponent has radar. And it did throw off shooting against radar capable vessels.
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Re: Victory at Sea suggested rules changes/additions

Postby Rick » Tuesday 11th November, 2014 2:35 pm

Yes the radar rules needed tweaking. A fleet without radar has virtually no way of preventing an enemy from firing smoke and disengaging at will whilst radar equipped fleets like the US can basically just ignore it and rake in the VPs for destroying ships. Like gothic if only one side were allowed to disengage.

I forget, did we feel the need to rule that ships blowing smoke can't also fire? I seem to remember US ships could blow smoke and then fire through it without penalty :) Is this still needed with the radar changes?
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Re: Victory at Sea suggested rules changes/additions

Postby noodle » Tuesday 11th November, 2014 3:10 pm

SUGGESTED HOUSE RULES

RADAR: The current radar rules make radar far more effective than it was during WWII. Radar tracking of gunfire should work the same, but if you are only using radar to fire (e.g. firing through smoke, firing at night out of visual range), the modifier to hit is -2 (as if extreme range), regardless of distance.
- Effectively firing using radar alone is just as good (or bad) at any range.

MOVING FAST: There is plenty of evidence to show if you are moving fast, your gunnery is worse. If on "flank speed" orders AND moving 7" or more (i.e. fast), you're gunnery suffers a -1 to hit (main turrets only, secondary, AA and torpedoes etc are unaffected).
- There should be a down side to moving at speed, for ships which aren't "built for speed".

TO TRIAL: FALL OF SHOT: Historically if two ships (equipped with large guns) fired at the same target, since tracking fall of shot allowed the crew to adjust their aim, there was a risk that the crew would be tracking the other ships fall of shot and not their own, leading to worse accuracy. To represent this, if a second ship fires at a target already shot at by another ship's main turrets "big guns" (i.e. turrets which do >1 damage dice per hit, so not cruiser weaponry nor secondary etc), then it suffers from -1 to hit. This is not applicable if the target is within 10", or if radar alone is being used to track the target. - I strongly recommend this rule is used as the current practice is to concentrate on one ship until it was sunk, which rarely if ever actually happened because of the fall of shot issues...
- Amended so it only affects "big guns" - which is historically more accurate. For trial...

7+ TO HIT: If you need >6 to hit, you can still hit: 7 = 6,4+; 8 = 6,5+; 9 = 6,6

SCHROEDINGER'S RADAR: Instead of rolling for every ship in your fleet with radar every turn to see if they detect every ship in the opponents fleet and trying to keep track of it (which very quickly becomes more maintenance than its worth) simply don't bother. At any time either player can "open the box" and find out if a ship has detected another on its radar by rolling as many dice to detect as there have been turns (or turns since the last attempt to detect if one has already been made). So as an example, "Before I pick a target for my battleship I want to find out if it has detected yours on radar yet, its turn 3 <rolls 3 dice>".

OPTIONAL RULES

WEATHER CHANGE; If anyone rolls double 1 or double 6 on initiative, then the sea state should change to or from bad weather.

DAWN/DUSK: If you want, roll a D20 to see what turn night ends or starts.
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Re: Victory at Sea suggested rules changes/additions

Postby noodle » Tuesday 11th November, 2014 3:16 pm

Updated rules. Included Schroedinger's radar :). I would like to trial the "fast" negative effect, and the fall of shot. On discussion the fall of shot issue is really only one for "big guns" anyway as its the 11" and above (>1 DD per AD) which rely on waterspouts to range in on their target. 8" and 6" guns make a much smaller splash. :)

You could also argue fall of shot only matters when 2 similarly gunned ships are shooting the same target, but that's far too complicated and would add nothing. By limiting the effect to battleship guns, it may also be a lot of faff for nothing, because it only stops battleships ganging up on the same target... That does happen, but only in WAR level games usually!

The rest of the rules are ok. Once we have trialled and decided whats in and whats not, I'll printout.

Smoke - if you fire through a smokescreen with radar you're limited as above, so I'm not sure its a problem. Its certainly possible to fire through you're own smokescreen, just not particularly intelligent.
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Re: Victory at Sea suggested rules changes/additions

Postby noodle » Tuesday 11th November, 2014 10:58 pm

Test results:

Weather changes were fun, as was the arrival of night/day

Radar changes feel right and make you think

"Fast" amendment made move 7 ships valuable again and didn't make you sad when you saw move 5... So I like it.

Fall of shot. Tested, didnt do much as it only happens when you have 2 battleships. However it makes 2 battle level battleships ganging up on a war level one more balanced* (instead of a win to the 2 battle level**), so I think its a positive - think we need to add if you HIT rather than just shoot at.

Schroedingers radar needs more clarification following the rules change for night (shoot biggest radar'd target) in the expansion

Plus Ben managed to play THREE skirmish level games on a Tuesday, by 9pm... Its number of ships and setup which slow the game...

*But I lost
**which happened even with this rule thanks to stupid criticals and useless torpedoes, and expert italian gunfire apparently. Yes, I lost to italians.

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