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Thread: Fog of War and Hidden Information Rules Ideas

  1. #1
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    Default Fog of War and Hidden Information Rules Ideas

    This thread is dedicated to rule ideas relating to fog-of-war, hidden information, etc.

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    This was originally posted by Sebastian (Hobbes) in another thread. The original conversation can be found here: http://sailsofglory.org/showthread.p...vely-encounter

    Two ships, one french frigate and one british frigate, battle it out in the center of the mat.

    After a certain number of rounds, a third ship enters the area with the wind favoring a course to the duel, but due to fog, range, unawareness of the crews, neither ship knows the nationality of the newly arrived ship. This has been determined at the beginning without either side knowing (like card drawing).

    This ship heads in a straight line towards our combatants and each round both try to identify the intention of the ship by rolling a dice. Scoring a 6+ will reveal the nationality to that player and he can start acting accordingly. Maybe the dice roll gets a modifier depending on the distance between the ships. Something like > 3 * range ruler = none; >2 * range ruler = +1; >1* range ruler = +2; cannon range = auto identify

    As soon as both players know the identity of the ship (or one tells the other), it gets controlled by the respective owner.

    Winning conditions:

    Side with two ships:
    1. (only) sink the other sides ship

    Side with one ship:
    1. Sink both opponent ships
    2. Escape by leaving the playing field

    Draw:
    both sides lose one ship

  3. #3
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    Thanks Eric for moving this thread.

    I'm really keen on any opinion on the scenario I proposed.

    While thinking about it, I thought this might also be good rules for any situation where the origin of a ship is unclear. Something like a ruse de guerre (ala Hornblower in "The even chance") came to my mind.

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    This is a situation where signal flags would be useful.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Naharaht View Post
    This is a situation where signal flags would be useful.
    This brings in the issue that...as soon as the ships have line of sight to each other, why there be any dice rolling to see whose side it's on? I would think someone would spot a ship's national flag or they'd be using signal flags to communicate. Either way, someone would figure it out pretty fast.

  6. #6

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    I like the idea. This would be fun to try out.

  7. #7

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    I don't know about anyone else but, I'd maneuver to put my opponent between me and the phantom ship.
    Split if it's a foe. If it's friendly we have the opponent trapped.

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    Yep, and if you ID as hostile before your foe does, don't announce but just start rabbiting--maybe you'll get lucky and they'll get into a Blue-on-Blue. LOL

  9. #9

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    Strange scenario.

    A kind of gambling.

    If you play the scenario with real fog banks, like clouds in Wings of Glory it could be fun. ...and I think it makes only sense with frigates, as the newcomer.*

    Otherwise an arriving ship would be identified long before it comes in fighting range.




    *Maybe HMS Victory "suprised" by two French frigates in a fog bank. ...poor frigates.

  10. #10

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    I found a funny scenario:

    A battle between the 18-gun sloop-of-war USS Wasp and the 22-gun sloop-of-war, HMS Frolic.

    At half past eleven in the morning of 15 October 1812, Wasp and Frolic closed to do battle, commencing fire at a distance of 50 to 60 yards. In a short, sharp, fight, both ships sustained heavy damage to masts and rigging, but Wasp prevailed over her adversary by boarding her. Unfortunately for the Wasp, a British 74-gun ship-of-the-line, HMS Poictiers, appeared on the scene. Frolic was crippled and the Wasp's rigging and sails were badly damaged. At 4:00 PM Jones had no choice but to surrender Wasp; he could neither run nor fight such an overwhelming opponent.

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    So the Wasp was stung while frolicking with the Frolic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Comte de Brueys View Post
    I found a funny scenario:

    A battle between the 18-gun sloop-of-war USS Wasp and the 22-gun sloop-of-war, HMS Frolic.

    At half past eleven in the morning of 15 October 1812, Wasp and Frolic closed to do battle, commencing fire at a distance of 50 to 60 yards. In a short, sharp, fight, both ships sustained heavy damage to masts and rigging, but Wasp prevailed over her adversary by boarding her. Unfortunately for the Wasp, a British 74-gun ship-of-the-line, HMS Poictiers, appeared on the scene. Frolic was crippled and the Wasp's rigging and sails were badly damaged. At 4:00 PM Jones had no choice but to surrender Wasp; he could neither run nor fight such an overwhelming opponent.
    When you win the day you may find yourself the prize. Nice scenario idea Sven.

  13. #13

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    How about using upside down bases until a given distance from the enemy.
    (Most of us will remove the ship first, but there's always that two percent)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Comte de Brueys View Post
    A battle between the 18-gun sloop-of-war USS Wasp and the 22-gun sloop-of-war, HMS Frolic.
    Simple time-limit scenario: One player has to defeat the other within a certain time-frame, and/or without taking a certain level of damage; failure to do so means getting snarfed up by the rescuing ship.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7eat51 View Post
    This was originally posted by Sebastian (Hobbes) in another thread. The original conversation can be found here: http://sailsofglory.org/showthread.p...vely-encounter

    Two ships, one french frigate and one british frigate, battle it out in the center of the mat.

    After a certain number of rounds, a third ship enters the area with the wind favoring a course to the duel, but due to fog, range, unawareness of the crews, neither ship knows the nationality of the newly arrived ship. This has been determined at the beginning without either side knowing (like card drawing).

    This ship heads in a straight line towards our combatants and each round both try to identify the intention of the ship by rolling a dice. Scoring a 6+ will reveal the nationality to that player and he can start acting accordingly. Maybe the dice roll gets a modifier depending on the distance between the ships. Something like > 3 * range ruler = none; >2 * range ruler = +1; >1* range ruler = +2; cannon range = auto identify

    As soon as both players know the identity of the ship (or one tells the other), it gets controlled by the respective owner.

    Winning conditions:

    Side with two ships:
    1. (only) sink the other sides ship

    Side with one ship:
    1. Sink both opponent ships
    2. Escape by leaving the playing field

    Draw:
    both sides lose one ship
    Worth of trying!

  16. #16
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    As my limited knowledge tells me; in this period ships performance was largely the same between like classes. Some notable ships were markedly slower (HMS CULLODEN as I recall) and some were faster than average (American Humphries frigates). French ships were acknowledged to be better sailors (i.e. faster) but their crews were not as high quality due to a lack of sea time.

    I should think that even with these differences, the major factor in chase scenarios would be sudden rain squalls, fog, and - of course - changes in wind direction and strength. The advanced rules have allowances for alterations in wind direction and strength. Otherwise, there would be few chances for a ship to "slip away" unless a convenient rain squall happened by, or night fell. (Master and Commander - the movie, and the book - the lantern trick) I should think there are numerous historical examples of crafty Ship's Captains, but if not Hornblower, Ramage, Lewrie, and all the O'Brien books should give a lifetime of tricks for scenario specific methods for getting away. As I recall, USS CONSTITUTION gave a Brit squadron the slip by wetting down her suit of sails and getting lucky with a wind change.

    A fog bank could be simulated by a large white sheet, laid flat and slid along the edge of the mat, or over the mat at the appropriate wind speed. A rain squall could be simulated by a clear sheet of plastic used in a similar manner. A simpler method would be to state fog/rain/snow whatever on one edge of the map and any ship getting off that side gets away.

    Hidden movement becomes an issue only when the players would be able to see the models. (Duh!) Our little scale Captain Lewrie of the PROTEUS would be warned of another ships approach by his alert lookouts spotting the tall billowing sails of their adversary on the horizon. (I should think clouds could make this more of a challenge). Unless the adversary were considerably smaller, the PROTEUS would also have been spotted at the same time, allowing for equally alert lookouts. Either one ship would turn away and run, or they would turn to close to investigate.

    To prevent players from seeing the opposing ships a curtain could be rigged using wooden dowels or even the two halves of the SOG box! When it is determined that the ships are close enough to see one another the curtain (or box halves) could be removed and the mayhem ensues! I have played numerous WWII era where radar contacts were written on paper and tracked over time. Scenario specific rules covered radar quality and atmospherics (or the Judges whim! LOL) and similar things could be done for this period. Ages ago, I played Cordite and Steel with a group in Minneapolis and fog of war was simulated by moving a gym divider across the middle of the gym floor we played on!

    Call me "Mucho Pomposo" for my verbosity, but I got on a roll!

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