Simple rules for Small Scale Naval Warfare?
pendrake Wrote:I think shooting should be at any point during movement.

I am thinking that's likely a modification that shall be made. Initially I wanted people to have to end their turn and then shoot, as it would make getting into range more difficult, but now I'm thinking it would induce protracted battles and make getting into firing range a bit harder.

pendrake Wrote:I kinda think ranges should not be less for little ships. Range depended on other factors.

Yes, the more I think about this the more I agree. I'll probably keep the template the same length, but narrower.

In future I'll likely add larger ships with mortars, or front/rear facing guns. For now I'll keep it simple

Tob brought up in emails that after a bit of playtesting I should be able to find a balance between maneuvering and combat by adjusting length of the firing range. Less range = more maneuvering, more range = less maneuvering

(01-26-2015, 12:08 PM)Munin Wrote: It's maybe not "simple," but if you want Age of Sail naval combat, I highly, highly recommend "Sails of Glory."

If I can get some friends interested in naval gaming, I'll look into this one.
(01-26-2015, 02:21 PM)Caleb Wrote: Yes, the more I think about this the more I agree.

Because a smaller boat has fewer guns, not weaker guns. As such, the smaller boat causes less damage ex facto. I don't think you have to change the template either. The gun tech is the same for all boats. Some boats just have more guns than others.

As for firing at any point in movement, I think it would be safe to do so as long as players are only firing once per turn to
account for reload times. Advanced rules could cover this more accurately if desired.

When it comes to gun type, I think it would be more appropriate to focus on shot type. Again, mostly some advanced rules here, but solid shot would damage hull rating, chain and grape shot would damage masts and sails affecting speed.
In the basic rules, factor damage from range; the closer the range, the more hits a target will take, hence more damage.

Are you considering 'paying' for turning with movement?
Since we're aiming for simplicity, the crew points essentially represent all aspects of the ship, hull, crew, sails, rudder.

It's more of an abstract concept of damage being done. I'll see if I can make these markers today and get some playtesting done.

I hadn't planned on paying to turn, but we'll see how playtesting goes.
(01-27-2015, 01:14 PM)Caleb Wrote: I hadn't planned on paying to turn, but we'll see how playtesting goes.

You may not have to, but there is an odd saddle point here.

If everyone has free turning, no one risks stopping in irons. No one is going to stop turning so that they end up in irons intentionally, right? If there's no limit, a turn through the in irons points of sail is the same speed as a jibe!
Also, if there is no risk, there is no reward. As such, there is no incentive for a strategic tack. No incentive for strategic
tacks reduces maneuvering strategy and the game becomes a running gun battle.

Or maybe not. Playtest.

My concern here is that turning takes time. Time in this game is represented by speed, which is movement distance.
I think due to the unpredictability of the wind people may wind up in irons occasionally. Remember you turn the ships before wind changes.

Trying to get into a good position for firing may end up putting a ship into the wind.
Both very valid points, and brings up another possible solution if this is problematic. And the only way to find out is to play at this point.

I think you might be right. With the wind behaving as it is and the fact that the boats only have broadside guns, any issue may not surface.


The fact that all engagements will be broadside sort of prevents chases, or at least discourages them. If a fast boat decides to run, there may be no catching it. As soon as it's out of any fire angles/range, it's disengaged. There could be an Ogre-type scenario here with one big bad boat against a flotilla of small boats and the win condition for the big bad boat is escape. Win condition for small boats is stop the big boat (presumably for boarding).

Won't take much to work up a campaign.
I've definitely given thought to scenarios with many smaller ships and relatively few larger ships.

I still have yet to print out the papercraft ships, but I am hoping to playtest tonight. I cut out the compass and some bases from scrap materials.

Another thought that occurred to be regarding turning and avoiding being in irons:

Smaller vessels generally turn more quickly than big lumbering ships. When I implement small ships, I may want to increase their turning angle from 45 degrees to something like 90.
That way they are far more nimble, and will be harder to chase.
Combine that with their weak attack/hull numbers, and they could be a very interesting option.

To counteract how difficult it will be to get them in broadside range, I may implement indirect fire somehow. Maybe a small round template that gets placed somewhere within a certain distance of a ship with a mortar.

To add some randomness other than rolling a dice and seeing if it hits, I could add numbers on the edges of the circle and have players roll two D6.
First determines which direction the shot veers, second by how far.
This may be getting too complicated, however.
Well I got through a quick play test this evening.

I had 2 ships on either team and deployed from the south side of the board. Each fleet was separated by about a yard.

This was a mistake. One fleet was immediately caught in irons, and the other one got a significant advantage right off the bat.

I think a larger play area, with fleets deploying West/East would be better for game-play.

Other than that, it was fun. I used the small range template, although I'll probably use the larger one, and a larger playing area, tomorrow.
(01-28-2015, 11:38 PM)Caleb Wrote:  One fleet was immediately caught in irons

How so? Drastic surprise wind change?

If this ends up happening a lot, you may consider dampening the wind rules a bit to create slightly steadier winds. "Prevailing Winds", "trade routes", and such.

That, or create backwinding rules; maybe "Players in irons may turn one wedge leeward per turn after one turn of no movement" or the ilk.
Deployed facing the wind. Durr.... Blush

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