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View Full Version : Up Helm, a suggestion for small tweets to movement



Cpt Kangaroo
07-24-2014, 12:16
I have reflected a lot about this, look it over and tell me if I have wasted my time... :sly:

One problem I have run into is when players have wanted to negotiate a narrow passage or come into line with other ships. The movement cards are unforgiving with fine maneuvering.

When making a turn, there is always the option of turning a little less, or giving the order to Up Helm and straighten your course. You aren't giving any additional abilities, just reducing the arc of the turn a little for fine adjustment.

I have allowed it in some of my games if requested, if only a simple turn is being used. Then I resort to the TLAR method of measurement.

In these situations, there is always a GM (me in this case) having the final say.

So, having said all this, is there perhaps some standard method we could employ that would maybe work well and be simple and uncontentious. (Ie: deviate no more than the combat ruler width.)

What say you all, and has this subject already come up?:steer:

Cpt Kangaroo
07-24-2014, 12:18
That is... Tweaks, not Tweets!
:smack:

Nightmoss
07-24-2014, 14:11
I have reflected a lot about this, look it over and tell me if I have wasted my time... :sly:

One problem I have run into is when players have wanted to negotiate a narrow passage or come into line with other ships. The movement cards are unforgiving with fine maneuvering.

When making a turn, there is always the option of turning a little less, or giving the order to Up Helm and straighten your course. You aren't giving any additional abilities, just reducing the arc of the turn a little for fine adjustment.

I have allowed it in some of my games if requested, if only a simple turn is being used. Then I resort to the TLAR method of measurement.

In these situations, there is always a GM (me in this case) having the final say.

So, having said all this, is there perhaps some standard method we could employ that would maybe work well and be simple and uncontentious. (Ie: deviate no more than the combat ruler width.)

What say you all, and has this subject already come up?:steer:

Hey Erin. I can tell you that this has certainly come up in my testing of the August Solo Scenario. Proximity to land of any kind is almost a certain disaster waiting to happen. While the solo campaign is initially going to use only Basic Rules, once you move into grounding damage the results for ships is brutal. Of course sailing close to land should represent increased danger, but some 'tweak' to the maneuver cards that allows for more control wouldn't hurt in my opinion.

So, yes I think a standard approach to this would be nice to have for future use. I'm using something pretty basic for the August scenario, but it really doesn't address navigation of narrow passages or adjustment in the maneuver cards.

Thanks for bringing this up. Can't wait to see what others might have to suggest.

Andy Blozinski
07-24-2014, 20:55
Learn to play with sail settings and cards and pick your moves 2-3 turns ahead more carefully?

Cpt Kangaroo
07-25-2014, 06:53
Andy, you make a good point. A sound knowledge of the movement rules goes a long way towards 'smooth sailing'.

However, even the most experienced of us find it challenging to perform standard maneuvers using a rigid card system, without some form of 'Nudge' factor occurring at times. This is of course much more evident for our 'new sailors' who may just be trying the game for the first time. I see nudging occur a lot, even in the WOG games. Let's face it... Nudge happens!

The focus of this discussion is, how could some standards be applied.

For a fun solo exercise to anyone following this discussion, try the following two scenarios:

1. Take three ships all on different headings, and bring them into line along another heading, then alter that heading by 45 degrees. (Seems simple, but in practice, very difficult to achieve and maintain a line. And that is with one person controlling all ships.) This is the most basic of maneuvers.

2. Using your favorite ship, set out two reefs with just enough room for the base to pass through with a rulers width on either side. Start your ship off center at an angled approach, say 45 degrees. To add to the challenge, place a second set of reefs a little further and laid out at another angle. This is a common skill done regularly and very achievable by a pilot worth his salt.

My point with these exercises is that, while possible, using a rigid card movement system makes such standard maneuvers very difficult and gets away from the original goal of a simple movement system.

Enter the 'Nudge Factor' with the 'Up Helm' standard. :steer:

Ducky
07-25-2014, 09:37
Maybe using a new action counter so some of the crew help you direct the ship, so you are allowed to make such small tweaks in movement???

7eat51
07-25-2014, 09:40
Erin, we have the following list of captain abilities (focusing on maneuvering) in the solo rules section for the current campaign. Something like this could be addressed via such a rule. One way of thinking about a captain-ability based option is that it differentiates captain/crew quality.

If a standard rule is in place, you could allow one ruler width subtraction to addition, but put restrictions on it such as only when approaching land, and only once per turn.


Quick Captain (QC): When a captain's ship would collide with another ship, the captain can maneuver the ship sufficiently to avoid a collision or entanglement. May be used once per game.
Deft Captain (DC): After all ships have moved, the captain can rotate his/her ship. Keep any one corner of the ship is fixed, and the opposite corner can rotate by up to the width of the ruler. May be used twice per game.
Handling Captain (HC): When wind facing is determined, if the ship is in the red zone, the captain can rotate the ship the minimum amount so that it is straddling the red and yellow, and thus is considered to have a yellow wind aspect. May be used once per game.
Maneuvering Captain (MC): When maneuvering the ship, the captain can choose to stop at an intermediate spot along the arrow, and not at the end-point. May be used twice per game.
Steering Captain (SC): The captain can increase Veer by 1 for duration of the turn. May be used twice per game.

Andy Blozinski
07-26-2014, 09:24
So you want to be able to "nudge" the ship 1/4" to keep from wrecking into that shoal? Maybe if the captain had plotted one sail setting lower in the previous movement, it would not have gone 1/4" further the previous movement and would thus not be running aground. Why bother having rules for running aground if you plan on letting them nudge it every time it's about to happen? I just pulled out an "A" deck and the differences between the 2,3 & 4 cards on the maximum deviation is pretty small. Think 1/16" and 1/8" are the huge differences. Sometimes smaller. You can already fine tune your movement by doing a good job of "sailing" and thinking ahead of time.
I've run multiple convention demo games with no one having played before and (10) ships on the board at once. Everyone generally has it figured out how to do a competent job a half dozen turns into the game or earlier. You just need to make sure they start out with enough initial spacing so they're not quickly smacking into each other. I've seen some pretty deft moves later in the game when they had it really figured out. I've never run anything but two card plotting, which is slightly more challenging, and it has gone well.

Cpt Kangaroo
07-28-2014, 11:47
My apologies for not responding earlier, been working a gazillion hours.

Let me start by restating what I am trying to achieve here.

The tweak I am talking about, is not a last minute 'save my tail from running aground', or 'line up for a better shot' type deal.

Instead, it is more like, I want to bring my ship in line with the flagship, which is 15 degrees off my course, and the smallest arc of turn in my cards is 25 degrees. I want to up helm when I am on course, not continue to oversteer.

The difference here is, it is pre stated with a general goal and using the minimum turn available. When I am asked for this consideration in one of my games, I usually will allow it, and I am sure this is commonly done.

With a tight navigational challenge, the sail setting should be at the lowest setting, giving the slowest speed. Same rules applied.

Having said this, my original question to the group is: Should there be some standards applied here to give uniformity.:minis:

Cpt Kangaroo
07-28-2014, 11:56
Andy, to answer specifically your post.

I appreciate the points you bring up, and you and I are very like minded with regards to uncontrolled 'Nudging'.

I wanted to get out an 'A deck' and lay out what you had explained for the benefit of all, but just haven't had the time.

You mentioned seeing some pretty deft moves, I was amazed at one particular one I witnessed at full sail turning right through a very narrow pair of reefs. I don't think there was a full ruler width to spare. Believe me, a lot of eyes were watching, so the move was very accurate. That captain had one heck of a good eye!
:salute:
Unfortunately, an enemy ship ran aground right in front and a collision occurred, stopping both.


10841

Andy Blozinski
07-28-2014, 20:18
Oh damn... a perfect maneuver blown by someone else. We've had a few tight maneuvers like that in the convention games I've run. It's amazing how quickly some captains catch on.