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fredmiracle
09-18-2014, 13:13
Expanding on discussions in a different thread, I wanted to explore how much interest there is in a community project to create tournament rules for SGN.

Responses to this thread should focus on:

expressing interest if you would like to participate
thoughts about how such a project should best be undertaken.


IF there is decent interest, then we can create new threads for detailed discussions on specific sub-topics. So let's hold off on those ideas for now.

Disclaimer: I'm not sure I have the time, personality and experience to lead such a project. I'm not a game designer, and I don't always play well with others. Also I often find myself out of the mainstream. But I'm excited about the possibilities, and interested to see what could happen if we put our heads together and gave it a try.

Here's how I personally envision the project (of course, it might not be the way it actually goes):

GOAL:


to create "tournament rules" for SGN. Why? To increase interest in the game by creating a new format that encourages more play and discussion, and adds some new dimensions to the game
to create a rules set of sufficient quality, and with sufficiently broad appeal (and marketing) that it goes beyond a few people on one message board fiddling around, and gets some decent uptake


WHAT ARE "TOURNAMENT RULES"?

By this, what I'm really talking about is to allow fairly quick games, so a tournament can be played in a reasonable time, while also enabling a "meta game" involving selection of different combinations of ships, etc.

Here are what I think would be some of the specific requirements:

Games can be played within X time limit (1 hour? 1.5 hours?)
Games can be reasonably be played with fleets of significant size (up to 4? 5? 6? ships)
Fleets are constructed using a points system
Fleets can have different characteristics, allowing them to stack up better or worse against other sorts of fleets (this is the "rock-paper-scissors" mechanism)
Individual units (ships for sure, and possibly other units like crews, captains, equipment, etc.) are significantly differentiated so the specific choices have material impact on how the fleet as a whole fights, and various synergies exist that can be exploited


There are a few other "principles" I think would guide the project:

SGN is a historical game, so even if such a project will necessarily introduce some "gamey" elements, it should preserve as much historical realism and flavor as possible. In certain ways it could even do a better job of highlighting the historical exploits of the various ships in the game
We've all seen power-creep and similar abuses in other games, and should work to avoid them. This will require striking a balance between distinctive and interesting units, and keeping things conservative and somewhat understated.
It should work with the ships we have, i.e. follow Ares' product release train (individuals could of course then extend it)
It should work with the existing game components as much as possible
It cannot be 100%, but to the extent possible, it should follow the existing rules set. No change for change's sake. Try to stay compatible
Once it comes together, it should be suitable for, and we should seek to achieve, some modest level of official support from Ares, so it can go beyond this board


PROCESS

If these premises were to be accepted, then here's how I could imagine it progressing:

The hardest thing is to try to come up with a rock-paper-scissors mechanism. I have a few vague ideas, but nothing too concrete. The era doesn't necessarily lend itself to this idea. Also, changes here would represent real rules changes, with fallout throughout the rest of the process. So I would tackle that first. It would involve brainstorming, writing rules, and then testing them to see if they worked. We could start by surveying existing games and thinking about what did and didn't work, and what we might be able to borrow
A somewhat related issue is whether other game mechanisms might need to be altered or introduced, so that we are more able to differentiate ships from each other. Again this would require brainstorming, discussion and testing.
If we pass those hurdles, the rest would be comparatively easy. The next thing would be to streamline the rule set as necessary, so as to allow sufficiently quick play, while remaining interesting
A related issue might be coming up with alternatives to some game mechanisms, like ships logs, damage chits, etc.
Then we could get to the fun part of creating data and abilities for all the ships in the game, thinking up new "add-on" cards, etc.
Huge amounts of playtesting, with detailed reports, would be needed all along the way.
Once things are coming together, we would want to draw on the graphics skills people to have to create the nicest possible presentation as possible, so it has more appeal.


This would obviously be a long term project. It would need a solid group of enthusiastic people to get committed to it, stay involved and continue to contribute over the long haul. If it's going to be any good, the ideas generated would need to be tested a lot, with a critical eye. It would also inevitably result in some disagreements and compromises. If we passed all those hurdles, I think we really might get somewhere.

David Manley
09-18-2014, 13:34
I would be happy to be an observer on this. As with many wargaming things these days I have next to no free time to actively contribute, but having run a number of similar sounding events in other settings I may be able to contribute the odd good idea or observation form time to time.

Diamondback
09-18-2014, 13:45
I'd be willing to assist--it looks like I may have a lot more time available for research soon things things have gone quiet with Ares on 'official' news and discussion...

David, one of our goals when Fred first started discussing this was "just enough mild differentiation to give a reason to choose one ship or captain/crew member over another"--something to add minor differences with historical inspiration, but without anything being so powerful as to become power-game or Munchkin fodder. For example, going back to my example of Pellew as a swimmer diving over the side to save men gone overboard, I was thinking he'd let you recover one Crew casualty counter, but the ship had to forfeit its next Move action and you couldn't use any other Captain ability on that ship that turn or for 1-2 turns after, like the "cooldown" time on WGF Aces abilities. Maybe also a limit that he could only use that ability when assigned to a frigate or smaller.

Popsical
09-18-2014, 14:07
I will be happy to contribute to this thread.

I firmly believe that for a tournie based version to take off, we must make ship damage tracks on a simple level and ditch reloading.
If you want a player under tournie circumstances to remember which ships have which broadside loaded, your going to have to accept lengthening the game for paperwork.
The last thing players participating in a tournie want to do, is stand around while the oppo does bookwork.
A simple damage track layout with tick off boxes is the best way to keep track of 3+ ships on an A4 page.

David Manley
09-18-2014, 14:12
Not sure reloading would add to paperwork if you assumed round shot and placed a broadside marker when you fired which was removed the next turn.

Popsical
09-18-2014, 15:02
Lets say you have 4 ships, thats 8 broadsides, now remeber which has fired and which is reloading. Assume some wont have fired in the last turn and thus are loaded and some are reloading, you will need either markers to place on the ship base or a tick box on your damage track sheet, hence paperwork.
To be honest, firing once a turn isnt particularly nasty, sometimes your not in arc or range anyway.

7eat51
09-19-2014, 12:32
I will participate in this discussion and the formulation of tournament rules. One thing I will do is canvas folks at the game store, learning more about what they look for in tournaments, etc.

Andy Blozinski
09-19-2014, 20:19
There are two hurdles I think you will need to overcome for this to succeed.
#1) This game does not lend itself well to one person running more than 2 maybe 3 ships tops. 2-3 ships is incredibly limiting for a variation of one's forces. If you go two person teams, then this problem is removed.
#2) "Kill the other guy" might get old as the only objective. You need a set of scenarios to vary games.

Diamondback
09-19-2014, 20:24
Which is where the proposal for Unique Abilities, and expanded Crew Abilities, comes in. Too much invites Munchkinry, too little and you might as well be playing like a stodgy old grognard--the fine art is in finding the right balance of enough to add differentiation and interest, without becoming overly gamey.

Popsical
09-20-2014, 02:16
To provide some advantage to taking smaller ships over 1 SoL, you could use a form of pre planned movement eg:

Sloop or similar may choose a movement card each turn.
Frigate or similar must plan 1 move ahead.
Ship of the line must plan 2 moves ahead.

I quite like the idea and will try it this weekend.
It provides a mobility advantage although small to the smaller ships.

Kentop
09-20-2014, 09:55
Smaller ships shouldn't be able to scratch a SOL. The cannon balls of the lighter guns would simply bounce off their hulls. Limit damage to sails only. Also, you may be able to simplify gameplay with fleet orders as in sloops can only fire when supporting a frigate. Rules making each class of ship actually behave like their class is important. Otherwise, a lucky enough sloop can totally disable a SOL with rudder damage. Winning a sea battle by fluke only provokes bad feelings.

Although this next comment is not about tournament rules, per se, Reloading and broadsides are not realistic in SOG. A Ship of the line has three gun decks, each capable of firing independently of the other. A full broadside does not mean that all three decks fire simultaneously. A full broadside usually meant that the biggest guns on the lowest deck fired. Then, the lighter guns come into action. If all the guns went off at once, it would rock the boat so badly that you would swamp the gun decks on the opposite side. You should be able to fire your 32 pounders one turn, and fire your 24 pounders the very next turn. Just sayin'.

Popsical
09-20-2014, 11:16
The current rules mean that a sloop cant really hurt a SoL, by at least giving them a maneuver advantage you provide at least a reason not to just take a SoL.
Tournies require list building to be varied and fun, by allowing the sloops to run rings around a SoL you can try to keep them alive whilst chipping at the SoL.
No one will pick sloops if one dies each time a SoL brings its broadside to bare.

Diamondback
09-20-2014, 11:18
How you take out an SOL with a sloop in one word: "Fireship."

I've actually proposed an Optional Rule where sloops and maybe small frigates at Full Sail can instead of choosing a Full, play a Backing and a Battle card, or three Backing cards, together as if they were one card so long as each stays within Veer limit, and can do the same at Battle Sail with two Backing cards. Basically, you lay one card down, lay the next where the ship base WOULD go on a normal move, then place the ship normally on the last card.

Also, I don't remember if this was Fred or not, but for War at Sea somebody had developed the idea of sealed "Mission Orders" envelopes you draw before putting your fleet together. Each card would specify your objectives, if applicable any required or prohibited units, and a point limit. I'll poke back over to Forumini and see if I can find 'em to copy for inspiration...

Kentop
09-20-2014, 11:54
How you take out an SOL with a sloop in one word: "Fireship."

I've actually proposed an Optional Rule where sloops and maybe small frigates at Full Sail can instead of choosing a Full, play a Backing and a Battle card, or three Backing cards, together as if they were one card so long as each stays within Veer limit, and can do the same at Battle Sail with two Backing cards. Basically, you lay one card down, lay the next where the ship base WOULD go on a normal move, then place the ship normally on the last card.

Also, I don't remember if this was Fred or not, but for War at Sea somebody had developed the idea of sealed "Mission Orders" envelopes you draw before putting your fleet together. Each card would specify your objectives, if applicable any required or prohibited units, and a point limit. I'll poke back over to Forumini and see if I can find 'em to copy for inspiration...

I like that mission orders idea. A way to simplify keeping track of broadsides with multiple ships is that when a sloop "supports" a frigate in a broadside, you add it's firepower to the frigate when calculating damage and you only have to track the "commanding" frigate's broadsides. It is up to the sloop's commander whether or not to assist a frigate. Mission orders would be like, "Give fire support to HMS XXX, then find the next nearest frigate and do the same thing, then, if the opportunity arises, fire on other sloops and smaller craft." Commanders of frigates would then want the sloops assisting them because they would increase their damage capabilities. A frigate or better could send up a flag saying, "All available sloops to me", and any sloops not engaged with other ships would try to sail to the frigate and assist. It gives the sloop commanders a lot more to do and makes their presence much more desirable instead of every ship for itself in an open melee.

David Manley
09-20-2014, 12:48
How you take out an SOL with a sloop in one word: "Fireship."

As long as the SOL is at anchor, aground - or incredibly ineptly manoeuvred :happy:

Coog
09-20-2014, 13:02
Fireships were quite ineffective by the time of the Napoleonic Wars.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_ship

Diamondback
09-20-2014, 21:37
Here's a link to the last remaining copy of Sealed Mission Orders I could find:
http://aaminis.myfastforum.org/archive/blast-from-the-past-1-warspites-sealed-mission-orders__o_t__t_8228.html

Leucomelas
09-21-2014, 18:46
I think this is an awesome initiative. I hope people don't mind if I weigh in on the conversation.

Any sort of tournament activity would be great for the health and longevity of the game. Observers could easily be roped into the fold ("whoa, look at those cool ships omg I want to play etc. etc."), and the act of customizing a fleet for a tournament engagement might be just the hook some people need to take it to the next level. I think there's a lot to be gained by the attachment and connection that comes after you agonize over how to build what you think is the best or the coolest fleet/deck/army/whatever. Instead of just being a miniature that you pulled out of the box and started playing with, but that is ultimately the same miniature that everyone else is playing with, it really becomes YOURS - it's probably the IKEA effect mixed with a dash of competition.

Going back to the original post:


Here are what I think would be some of the specific requirements:
1.Games can be played within X time limit (1 hour? 1.5 hours?)
2.Games can be reasonably be played with fleets of significant size (up to 4? 5? 6? ships)
3.Fleets are constructed using a points system
4.Fleets can have different characteristics, allowing them to stack up better or worse against other sorts of fleets (this is the "rock-paper-scissors" mechanism)
5.Individual units (ships for sure, and possibly other units like crews, captains, equipment, etc.) are significantly differentiated so the specific choices have material impact on how the fleet as a whole fights, and various synergies exist that can be exploited


1. I'd say at the most. I'd think 50 minutes, with a 10 minute break to have a snack / set up the next game / relax / talk about how amazing that last match was might be a good target. String four? games together, add some breaks and time for set up and administration stuff, and you're already looking at a 6 hour event. Regardless of the exact amount, I totally agree that one of the main tenets for this discussion should be "what sort of compelling experience can we fit reliably into X time frame."

2. I think higher ship numbers would be necessary if it was a more straightforward engagement, but you could get away with less (2-4?) under 2 conditions - first, if you can make ships unique enough that each one has a real sense of customization/personality that you can connect with, and two if there's unique objectives in a scenario that serve to spice things up.

3, 4, 5. Most definitely!

I think 5 warrants more discussion, although it's been touched on a bit in this thread.

Also as others have mentioned, I think a lot of customization could come from expanding on the Captain and Crew ability deck that already exists, and is in fact cited on Ares official point list. However, I feel that the fact that each is limited to being used once or twice a game is pretty fiddly, more so to me than keeping track of reloading or damage or what have you. Regardless, we could totally specify other crew members that would have impacted life on a ship and expand on the limited ones that are already there.

I also think it might work to identify individual areas of a ship that could be customized to some benefit or detriment, e.g. hull, sails, etc. Spending points to reinforce a hull might cause a ship to take less damage, but ultimately be less maneuverable. Pick 5 customizable ship sections, give each category 3 balanced entries to choose from, and you get a potentially robust system that wouldn't be hard to memorize, but would allow for interesting and compelling differentiation.

I know that the elephant in the room then becomes balancing the game aspects with the maintenance of some level of historical realism, but I think that the game side has to win out for this initiative to really work in the long run. I gather that that can be an unpopular opinion here, but ultimately It's a game, and things have to be fun, especially to appeal to a marginally wider audience. I think that history can still be used as an awesome framework that constrains our decisions, but we should have some freedom to develop within that framework.

I look forward to seeing how this thread continues to develop!

Disclaimer - I don't have as much SGN experience yet, but I do have many years of game playing/some design experience from a variety of genres/mediums, and I used to be pretty active and decently ranked in the local CCG tournament scene.

Diamondback
09-21-2014, 20:09
And for those not up for wading around other sites, I'll get on adapting 'em. Credit to Forumini user 'Warspite', inspired by the old naval game Seastrike.

Rules:
Obtain some identical small envelopes and place one mission written on a folded piece of paper in each. The envelopes are shuffled and each side then choses one envelope. This is his/her sealed orders and cannot be exchanged for another.
Conceal the nature of your orders unless instructed. Conceal your vessel/aircraft choices until you lay out.
You may choose to conceal land-based aircraft in a box until these are deployed on table.
You MUST reveal your orders and all vessel/aircraft choices when you claim the mission. You must also reveal your budget 'shopping list' for post-game scrutiny. If you excede this budget you forfeit the game.

Each mission is unique but to create some extra interest a few could be duplicated.
For example as many as three 'Sea superiority', two coastal bombardment, two night action and two claim moral victory scenarios could be included in the overall selection.


MISSIONS FOR WAR AT SEA:


Mission
W@S version
SGM


1) Sea superiority
Budget 125 points.
Free choice of any ships, subs or aircraft up to this total.
Mission: Destroy all enemy ships and submarines on the table. Leave nothing afloat. Mission is only achieved when the last vessel is sunk. Claim mission at that point.
Budget ??? points. (Normal W@S was 100pt, so 1.25xSGN normal?)
Free choice of any ships up to this total.
Mission: Destroy all enemy ships on the table. Leave nothing afloat. Mission is only achieved when the last vessel is sunk. Claim mission at that point.


2) Convoy escort
Tell the enemy this is a convoy escort game when you deploy on table.
Budget 100 points + 4 uncosted merchant ships [or counters] of any type.
Free choice of any ships, subs or aircraft up to this total.
Mission. A convoy must be moved from one side to the other side of your half of the board. This convoy must survive for SIX moves and at least two of the merchant ships must still be afloat on the start of move seven to claim the mission. Lose three before then and the mission is lost and the other side wins. Claim mission at start of move seven if you still have two merchant ships afloat.
Tell the enemy this is a convoy escort game when you deploy on table.
Budget 100 points (or normal SGN limit) + 4 uncosted merchant ships [or counters] of any type.
Free choice of any ships up to this total.
Mission. A convoy must be moved from one side to the other side of your half of the board. This convoy must survive for SIX moves and at least two of the merchant ships must still be afloat on the start of move seven to claim the mission. Lose three before then and the mission is lost and the other side wins. Claim mission at start of move seven if you still have two merchant ships afloat.


3) Subs and aircraft
Budget 80 points.
Free choice of submarines and land-based aircraft only.
Place two islands at least three squares inside enemy half. These mean nothing but will confuse him. [see 7, 11 &12]
Your submarines may start up to 5 squares from your base edge. 10 squares if the other side has drawn 'Convoy escort' or 'Night action'.
Kill two largest ships in other fleet to claim mission OR if other side are playing convoy escort prevent other side's mission success to claim your mission.
N/A, listed only for completeness


4) Holding action
Budget 90 points.
Free choice of any ships, subs or aircraft up to this total.
Place two islands at least three squares inside enemy half. These mean nothing but will confuse him. [see 7, 11 &12]
This is a minor front for you. Tie down the enemy forces here for eight moves and you will win in another theatre. If any of your surface vessels or submarines survive on move nine reveal and claim this mission.
If other side is playing 'convoy escort' start your submarines up to 10 squares from your base edge, other ships up to 5 squares.
Budget 90 points (90% of SGN normal).
Free choice of any ships up to this total.
Place two islands at least three squares inside enemy half. These mean nothing but will confuse him. [see 7, 11 &12]
This is a minor front for you. Tie down the enemy forces here for eight moves and you will win in another theatre. If any of your ships survive on turn nine reveal and claim this mission.
If other side is playing 'convoy escort' start your submarines up to 10 squares from your base edge, other ships up to 5 squares.


5) Claim moral victory
Budget 80 points.
Free choice of any ships, subs or aircraft up to this total.
Place two islands at least three squares inside enemy half. These mean nothing but will confuse him. [see 7, 11 &12]
Sink two ships of destroyer size or larger and immediately claim mission. You need only a moral victory to convince world opinion of the plucky nature of your resistance to the enemy. If other side is playing 'convoy escort' start your submarines up to 10 squares from your base edge, other ships up to 5 squares.
Budget 80 points. (80% SGN normal)
Free choice of any ships up to this total.
Place two islands at least three squares inside enemy half. These mean nothing but will confuse him. [see 7, 11 &12]
Sink two ships of frigate size or larger and immediately claim mission. You need only a moral victory to convince world opinion of the plucky nature of your resistance to the enemy. If other side is playing 'convoy escort' start your submarines up to 10 squares from your base edge, other ships up to 5 squares.


6) Night action
Budget 60 points.
You are limited to MTBs, PTs, DEs, Destroyers and Cruisers. Graf Spee is not a cruiser.
All enemy aircraft on land or sea are grounded and are out of the game. Enemy submarines may move two squares a move on surface until they come within visibilty range when they dive and revert to one square per move until out of visibilty range again.
Visibility is 0 to three squares only. No ships may fire further than that. Rolls of '4' do not hit in square three.
Your forces in this theatre lack air cover and you are too weak to fight in daylight. Your mission is to sink three enemy ships and immediately claim victory before daybreak. Dawn rises at the start of the tenth move. If mission not achieved by end of move nine you automatically lose.
If other side is playing 'convoy escort' start your vessels 8 squares from your base edge.
Budget 60 points. (60% SGN normal)
You are limited to 4th Rate and smaller only.
Visibility is B Range only. No ships may fire further than that. Damage draws of ? do not hit outside of C/D range.
Your forces in this theatre are too weak to fight in daylight. Your mission is to sink three enemy ships and immediately claim victory before daybreak. Dawn rises at the start of the tenth move. If mission not achieved by end of move nine you automatically lose.
If other side is playing 'convoy escort' start your vessels 8 squares from your base edge.


7) Coastal bombardment.
Budget 90 points.
You must choose at least two cruisers or larger. Free choice in other areas.
Place two islands at least three squares inside the other player's half. Either one of these is your target.
Your mission is to assist your land forces fighting on these islands. To win you must get your two cruisers into range. Both must bombard one island for one move to claim victory. If one cruiser is sunk, the other must bombard for two moves to claim victory. Claim mission at end of the applicable firing phase.
Budget 90 points. (90% SGN normal)
You must choose at least two two-decker ships of 5th Rate or larger. Free choice in other areas.
Place two islands at least three squares inside the other player's half. Either one of these is your target.
Your mission is to assist your land forces fighting on these islands. To win you must get your two heavy ships into range. Both must bombard one island for one move to claim victory. If one is sunk, the other must bombard for two moves to claim victory. Claim mission at end of the applicable firing phase.


8) Destroy enemy submarines
Budget 80 points.
Free choice of any ships, subs or aircraft up to this total.
Place two islands at least three squares inside enemy half. These mean nothing but will confuse him. [see 7, 11 &12]
You have the same budget at 5) ['Claim moral victory'] but your mission is now to sink every enemy submarine on the table and claim that you have 'cleared the sea lanes for the merchant ships of the free world'.
You claim the mission the moment the last submarine is sunk. Ignore surface vessels and aircraft.
*******
If other side has no submarines this mission reverts to 5): Claim moral victory. Sink two ships of destroyer size or larger and immediately claim mission. You only need a moral victory to convince world opinion of the plucky nature of your resistance to the enemy. If other side is playing 'convoy escort' start your submarines up to 10 squares from your base edge, other ships up to 5 squares.
N/A, listed only for completeness


9) Write down enemy air assets
Tell the enemy this is 'Convoy escort' when you deploy on table but conceal true nature until mission is achieved. Reveal mission orders then.
Budget 100 points + 4 uncosted merchant ships.
Free choice of any ships, subs or aircraft up to this total.
This appears the same as mission 2) [Convoy escort] but your mission is really to draw out and destroy all enemy bombers, torpedo bombers, dive bombers and patrol bombers. Maximise your anti-air assets to assist this end. Enemy fighters do not count towards mission success. Your merchant ships are sailing in ballast and are just bait for your cunning trap. The real convoy sails tomorrow and you want that to pass through this area unmolested from the air.
Your mission is to clear the skies of enemy anti-shipping aircraft. The moment his last applicable aircraft is shot down claim this mission. Disregard remaining enemy fighters.
Move the merchant ships from one side of your table half to the other and appear to be taking great care about their protection from loss. Well, you would, wouldn't you?
If other side draws 'Night action' he has no aircraft. Your mission is then to survive his night attack and frustrate him from achieving his mission. When his mission fails you win.
If other side has no anti-shipping aircraft your mission is then to prevent his mission. When his mission fails you win.
N/A, listed only for completeness


10) Enemy unsure of your intentions
Budget 90 points.
Free choice of any ships, subs or aircraft up to this total.
Place two islands at least three squares inside enemy half of the table. These mean nothing but will confuse him. [see 7, 11 &12]
Enemy intelligence in this area is poor. You may exploit this by fielding at least two cruisers and appear to be attempting a coastal bombardment. In reality you are seeking a moral victory. Sink three vessels of destroyer size or larger and immediately claim the mission.
Budget 90 points.
At least two two-deckers of 5th Rate or larger; free choice of any ships up to this total for remaining points.
Place two islands at least three squares inside enemy half of the table. These mean nothing but will confuse him. [see 7, 11 &12]
Enemy intelligence in this area is poor. You may exploit this by fielding at least two 5th Rate two-deckers or larger (must be two-decker ships) and appear to be attempting a coastal bombardment. In reality you are seeking a moral victory. Sink three vessels of 5th Rate or larger and immediately claim the mission.


11) Commando raid
Budget 90 points.
Free choice of any ships, subs or aircraft.
Place two islands at least three squares inside enemy half. One of these is your target.
Nominate one named ship [in writing] to be carrying a commando landing team. This ship must be destroyer sized or larger. Your mission is to get this ship in contact with an island for one clear move during which that ship is not sunk. At end of that move declare mission objective and claim the win.
Budget 90 points.
Free choice of any ships.
Place two islands at least three squares inside enemy half. One of these is your target.
Nominate one named ship [in writing] to be carrying a commando landing team. This ship must be 5th Rate or larger. Your mission is to get this ship in contact with an island for one clear move during which that ship is not sunk. At end of that move declare mission objective and claim the win.
12) Spy or sabotage mission.
Budget 80 points.
Free choice of any ships, subs or aircraft.
Place two islands at least three squares inside enemy half. One of these is your target.
Nominate one named submarine [in writing] to be carrying a spy or saboteur. Your mission is to get this sub in contact with an island for one clear move during which that sub is not sunk. At end of that move declare mission objective and claim the win.
Budget 80 points.
Free choice of any ships.
Place two islands at least three squares inside enemy half. One of these is your target.
Nominate one named ship [in writing] to be carrying a spy or saboteur. This ship must be 5th Rate or smaller. Your mission is to get this ship in contact with an island for one clear move during which that ship is not sunk. At end of that move declare mission objective and claim the win.



These were a rough draft when posted on the old Avalon Hill Boards, and haven't seen much work since then, but they might give us some ideas for starting points.

Hobbes
09-22-2014, 11:10
Thanks DB for that read. I quite like the orders you posted.

Can you comment on the flimsiness of assets in WaS. Reading through them, I wondered if for example mission 12 would be difficult to achive. Reaching a given point and staying for one turn shouldn't be that difficult (see AAR of the Treasure Island Scenarios).

However, even without the fleet designing aspect, I do like this for generating random scenarios. Up till now, Sog is either fleets of simimlar sizes battle it out or both players choose a specific scenario.

To all:
Would you try to simplify rules beyond the basic rules? I would try sticking with these as you don't have to adapt play between tourny and normal games. I would even try to bring in some normal rules such as raking (well especially raking, since it makes AoS combat special).

Additional rules:

fleet speed: The slowest ship in the line determines the speed of the entire fleet (squadron). In a given formation (line astern, vee) the lead ship selects manouver cards from the highest rating deck.
- tack at once: All ships within the line, use the selected manouver card in this turn.
- tack in succesion: All ships will use the selected turn manouver upon reaching the point where the lead ship first selected the respetive car.
- manouver restrictions:
--- lowest veer rating in the fleet is used
--- highest and lowest number in manouver deck must not be used.
--- if tacking in succession: next turn only allowed after all ships cleared the previou sturning point, else formation is broken up.

carronade heavy ships: These ships may only use 1/2 of their firing power when targeting a ship beyond B range. In B range, normal damage is inflicted. In C/D range 2* damage is inflicted.
- This would add to the Rock/Scissor-mechanism

high coastal defenses (like in Hornblower Mutiny):
- player may select a small island (the lighthouse) as a coastal defense
- Coastal defenses can fire 1.5 * ruler length and inflict B damage the full ruler length
- Ships cannot fire upon coastal defenses when within B range, due to elevation of the fort.
- placement rules would have to be specified in a given order combination

That are my thoughts for now.

fredmiracle
09-22-2014, 11:43
Hi guys, I'm looking forward to taking part in the conversation, but our fios has been down 3 days and no end in sight, and I can't really do a lot through the phone. Anyway when I can I'll be joining in...

Diamondback
09-22-2014, 12:28
Hobbes, good question. I never played that one, so can't really say--frankly, about the only chances I got to actually play were every two years at GenCon.

Might need to adjust that one a little--I'd suspect they all need a little adjustment for different game mechanics, since a small ship could easily go from pristine to destroyed in one turn.

Warspite
12-06-2014, 09:49
Could sloops be used in a scouting role? perhaps a card based additional SA could be added to make them useful in that context.

like has been said in SOG each person can really only be controlling 2-3 ships max before things bog down so the flexibility has to come in the form of something similar to the captain and crew special deck perhaps something with more national flavour (experienced britain gunners, inexperienced french and spain).

Also the winning conditions could add alot of variety SOG's more battle focused game system over something like WAS (war at sea) could lead to different objectives like disabling land forts, boarding and capturing enemy vessels especially the enemy flag ship, landing ground troops via sloops and frigates etc.

David Manley
12-06-2014, 11:56
Could sloops be used in a scouting role? perhaps a card based additional SA could be added to make them useful in that context.....

Maybe an approach in used in Age of Dreadnoughts might be useful here. In AoG you can assign light forces to your scouting screen or keep them with the main body. Having them out ahead scouting allows you some decent modifiers in the setup phase of a scenario and may well give you a sizeable tactical advantage at the outset. The downside is that (a) you have had to spend some points on CLs and suchlike that you have't spent on BCs or BBs and (2) it is not guaranteed that all of your scouting forces will have fallen back on the main body by the time the action starts (they may arrive later)

fredmiracle
12-06-2014, 12:33
Could sloops be used in a scouting role? perhaps a card based additional SA could be added to make them useful in that context.


I think you are on to something. I believe at the enormous Glorious First game in May, Dave is going to have some kinds of towing/signalling rules for frigates and sloops. I added towing mechanism to my First Algeciras scenario - http://sailsofglory.org/showthread.php?2720-First-Algeciras-Scenario . I think the jury is still out on these ideas, because they haven't been tried much. How useful they will be in smaller/shorter scenarios is a question.


Also the winning conditions could add alot of variety SOG's more battle focused game system over something like WAS (war at sea) could lead to different objectives like disabling land forts, boarding and capturing enemy vessels especially the enemy flag ship, landing ground troops via sloops and frigates etc.

Yes, again I made some stabs at this with my First Algeciras, based entirely on some very good boat/landing party rules David Manley made up. Again, I think more players need to do more with these to see how to use them best.

One thing that helps make mechanisms like this more meaningful is a campaign framework, and I'm still playing around with that (in my mind at least), but I know that's too involved for most players to find desirable. So I think you're right that a greater variety of well designed scenarios would be huge.

I've been totally swamped for months, but at some point I do want to revisit these questions.



Maybe an approach in used in Age of Dreadnoughts might be useful here...

That's a cool idea!

Warspite
12-06-2014, 12:55
The modifier method for scouting is certainly a good and conventional way of doing it but another alternative is perhaps allowing you to not have to plan your maneuvers 2 turns in advance instead having it at one.

Union Jack
12-06-2014, 17:50
Great idea but having played a number of games I found personally the following:
1. Running more than 1 ship with a full log sheet for each is complicated.
2. Playing a game with 1 ship v 1 ship took over 60 minutes, more like 90 minutes.
3. Playing 1 on 1 at a normal show with 10 minutes between games, too many tables.
4. How about following the KIS and KIF principle, Keep It Simple and Keep It Fun.
..a. 1 player 1 ship.
..b. Multiple players on a table.
..c. A given time limit to each game.
..d. Points are awarded for damage given (how you differentiate I leave to you).
..e. Once time is up, add up damage caused. He who dished out most gets 'x' points, and so on. 6 Players points are 6,5,4,3,2,1.
..f. Play a number of rounds. At then end of which he who has the biggest caused damage total is the overall winner.

Quick, simple and fun.
Encourages action.
Discourages inaction.
Rewards the bold.
Penalises cowards.

Diamondback
12-06-2014, 17:56
Problem is, Neil, it doesn't account for how much damage you TAKE in return. That said, it's a good foundation to build on... maybe +2 points for each damage point inflicted, -1 for each taken, add'l -5 each time your ship is sunk and +10 for each ship you sink?

Union Jack
12-07-2014, 17:25
I don't think you'd get that far to sink a ship(s) in say 60 minutes.
To alleviate keeping track of damage just stick to top and bottom track.
The more damage you take the less you'll dish out.
To start allocating points for damage given-damage taken+sinking ships-your ship sinking I wouldn't worry about.
The more you add the more complicated it gets.
Start with a basic premise then build up from that.
Only by play testing will you get a feel for what is practicable and what is not.

Diamondback
12-07-2014, 18:36
True, the problem is a pure Damage Inflicted encourages "gaming the system" without regard for consequences, pushing more meat into the grinder.

Warspite
12-07-2014, 20:40
Lack of differential in the ships could always be overcome with named captain cards for each ship like what is being done with Nelson/victory. Would allow for some SA flavour and add some strategy to the game.

Lurch
12-07-2014, 20:51
Couple ideas:
each contestant bring two fleets equal points value, same force comp., opponent chooses which to run.
Small enough to reach decision within round limits, say 1 hour.

Each round has a scenario maybe of increasing complexity, players get a handout listing in order of round.

Rules used strictly from book, no house.

Where would this happen in USA? Midwest?

Warspite
12-08-2014, 05:07
if frigates and sloops prove to be overcosted perhaps a fixing costing mechanism

This only takes effect if you have more then one frigate or sloop in your build: For each frigate or sloop in your fleet your fleets cost is reduced by 5. (only takes effect with multiples since they will already see play as singles with 1st rates as filler so it will encourage there use in multiples.

7eat51
12-09-2014, 02:44
Is the primary goal of tournament play is to broaden the player base by attracting general gamers, or is it to create a mechanism for organized play for the initiated?

Warspite
12-09-2014, 05:12
I think it is both, our current War at sea group holds tournaments probably 4 times a year and we always get people coming by to check the game out. When people see tournaments being played they take that as a sign that the game is active and supported and the current players enjoy the challenge of a tournament. With WAS we play with rules that aren't requirements in the rulebook its always nation pure (with appropriate minor allies) and use an order of battle that balances the different units.

7eat51
12-09-2014, 07:56
Then one thing I would suggest is to keep rules to the Basic and Standard, or some set of similar rules, if the game play is between individual players playing multiple ships. I believe general gamers will have their hands full just choosing maneuvers for multiple ships. There could be a mechanism over a season that gradually adds rules, but if they are not official rules, all players would need access to them well in advance.

I have been impressed as to what tournaments are doing for participation at our FLGS with other games. It definitely has me thinking.

Warspite
12-09-2014, 08:53
When I get to the point that I start running tournaments at JBC games waterloo canada (probably 1st quarter 2015) there will either be two approaches 1. regular 300point tournaments each player brings a french and english fleet and plays out your typical 1x1 elimination tourny or 2. Have a big event where everyone brings a 300 point fleet and is put on either the french or english side for a giant game (loosely based on some historical event like the nile, glorious first, trafalgar etc). There would be victory conditions, objectives etc so that it wouldn't need to drag on as a every ship has to be destroyed and the "winner" of the event would be the player whose ship(s) completed the objectives/had the best performance as laid out by the tournament rules.

7eat51
12-09-2014, 11:22
Interesting options, Jason. I think the second one could open up some exciting scenarios untenable otherwise.

The way Keith runs the WGF tourney at Origins is that folks start with early-war planes, and replace them with mid- and then late-war planes as they are shot down. Folks gain points for kills, and lose points for being shot down. So there is a lack of incentive to quickly get shot down and replace with later planes. I wonder if a similar thing could happen with SoG with each replacement being a bit stronger than the previous ship, even if that means creating new stats for ships - the joys of laminated ship logs and mats.

Union Jack
12-17-2014, 09:50
If you can think of the following, apologies to us grannies and eggs, perhaps this might help:

S: Simple
M: Measurable
A: Achievable
R: Realistic (in outcome not the game)
T: Timebound

Set up your trial and try it out. Amend as necessary until it is what you want.