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Thread: Any existing campaign frameworks for AoS miniatures gaming?

  1. #1

    Default Any existing campaign frameworks for AoS miniatures gaming?

    Hello all,

    I'm new to AoS gaming (or, to be precise, I *will* be new to it when the ships finally arrive).

    Given my other proclivities, it seems inevitable that I will enjoy the individual battles better if they are placed within some simple campaign framework. After all, it is telling that although I enjoy all the Aubrey/Maturin books, the Mauritius Command is my favorite.

    In my mind's eye, I see a simple operational context, maybe a chain of contested islands, in which each commodore has a small mixed squadron, a few convoy assignments / cargo ships / troop transports, a few ports with fortifications; and must assign frigates and SOLs to appropriate missions--cruises, bombardments, blockades, raids and cutting out expeditions, invasions, etc. All this would be contrived so as to regularly set the stage for a miniatures battle. Perhaps a bit like the Solomons Campaign for WW2 naval.

    I've tried to web search for something along these lines, but I haven't turned anything much up. I looked at the (rather spare) operational rules for Heart of Oak, and there may be some mechanics to borrow there, but it seems it would take a lot of work to flesh it out.

    Am I just looking in the wrong place for resources? Does anyone know of any existing campaign rules along these lines?

    Thanks!!

  2. #2
    First Naval Lord
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    I can't speak for other games, but nothing has been laid down yet for SGN. My initial thoughts are to design 6 game maps, 3 British and 3 French. Work up some type of scenario for each of those mats (cutting out, blockade, fortress assault, etc.). Then give each commodore a set number of SOLs and frigates and have them assign them to each of those missions in secret. Then just play those missions with what each player assigned to it. You might need to assign an order to the missions before you start and limit how much resources can be allocated to each of them. This still needs some flushing out, just thinking out loud here really.

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    Ahoy, old shipmate!

    Couldn't we start by adapting some of the stuff we saw worked up over at Forumini, backdating and tweaking? I've already proposed lifting RB's Small Ship Evasion mechanic with only minimal modification...

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondback View Post
    Ahoy, old shipmate!

    Couldn't we start by adapting some of the stuff we saw worked up over at Forumini, backdating and tweaking? I've already proposed lifting RB's Small Ship Evasion mechanic with only minimal modification...
    What's a cutting-edge-weapon-enthusiast like you doing mucking around with smoothbores?

    Yeah, I never got into Grandest Fleet, but I wonder if I would find it more appealing for age of sail. I think that is worth giving a try.

    I like Royal Hajj's idea too. Actually it's much akin to the Solitaire Campaign I made for A&A naval minis (at the risk of tooting my own horn) and which Vinius has maintained for several years now.

    One challenge I see is that the spaces between battles seem more significant in the age of sail--at least I have a very vivid impression of the weeks Capt. Aubrey spends looking for action, his clever decoys, the cracking chases in high seas, etc. Not sure how amenable all that is to a campaign format though...

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    Well, Fred, my fun was largely in the chase... after WOTC decided they no longer wanted my money, when Andrea mentioned he was launching SOG I kinda hopped on board right at the beginning, and never looked back.

    Doing Wings of Glory too, perchance?

  6. #6

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    We've used Greg Novak's "To Glory We Steer" AoS campaign system which was published in a US wargames magazine (the Courier?) back in the 80s I guess. It works very well. Also a system I developed for Form Line of Battle that, like TGWS, used an area movement system. For battles on the Lakes I have another area movement system that a friend in the US devised for a one day campaign (which I merged with a Warhammer Trafalgar variant that a friend in Australia put together based on my own small ship modifications for those rules - truly an international effort!). Iv'e also run a few "episodic" campaigns that run a bit like the old fighting fantasy game books (event happens - do yo do X or Y?) for specific campaigns such as the Belize and Nile campaigns.

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    Former Admiral of the Fleet
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Royal Hajj View Post
    I can't speak for other games, but nothing has been laid down yet for SGN. My initial thoughts are to design 6 game maps, 3 British and 3 French. Work up some type of scenario for each of those mats (cutting out, blockade, fortress assault, etc.). Then give each commodore a set number of SOLs and frigates and have them assign them to each of those missions in secret. Then just play those missions with what each player assigned to it. You might need to assign an order to the missions before you start and limit how much resources can be allocated to each of them. This still needs some flushing out, just thinking out loud here really.
    I wonder if SGN will be different from WGF in terms of solo-play campaigns. It seems like WWI aviation has plenty of generic scenarios in which both sides were doing very similar missions. Therefore, one could set up a mission, and both sides play the "attacker", e.g. bomb trenches, pick up a spy, etc. With SGN, I don't know if it is possible for every mission to have both sides playing the same role, at least if historical accurateness is a concern. Keith, your idea here is intriguing, as it enables a solo-campaign in which players can play their respective side without having to play the same role in each scenario.

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    _Ironclads and Ether Flyers_ from GDW's _Space:1889_ also works.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by 7eat51 View Post
    I wonder if SGN will be different from WGF in terms of solo-play campaigns. It seems like WWI aviation has plenty of generic scenarios in which both sides were doing very similar missions. Therefore, one could set up a mission, and both sides play the "attacker", e.g. bomb trenches, pick up a spy, etc. With SGN, I don't know if it is possible for every mission to have both sides playing the same role, at least if historical accurateness is a concern. Keith, your idea here is intriguing, as it enables a solo-campaign in which players can play their respective side without having to play the same role in each scenario.
    For A&A Naval Minis I created a solitaire campaign generator, using an XL spreadsheet with macros. The way it works is this:

    1) You put in the theater (i.e. opposing nations), year, and point limit for the campaign
    2) The macros assign you three missions--i.e. Patrol, Invasion, Convoy, Bombardment, etc. Each has their own way to earn VPs.
    3) You divide your points among the three missions, and buy a fleet for each mission accordingly
    4) The macros assign the "opponent" three missions, divide their points, and auto-generate three fleets suitable for those missions

    Now you have three battles prepared, where you and the "opponent" each have a mission and a fleet to carry it out. In A&A naval minis, once you get to that point, it's usually not too hard to do a creditable job of solitaire play, the tactics are not really rocket science.

    Presumably something like that could work with SoG, although a lot of the details would probably need to be changed.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Manley View Post
    We've used Greg Novak's "To Glory We Steer" AoS campaign system which was published in a US wargames magazine (the Courier?) back in the 80s I guess. It works very well. Also a system I developed for Form Line of Battle that, like TGWS, used an area movement system. For battles on the Lakes I have another area movement system that a friend in the US devised for a one day campaign (which I merged with a Warhammer Trafalgar variant that a friend in Australia put together based on my own small ship modifications for those rules - truly an international effort!). Iv'e also run a few "episodic" campaigns that run a bit like the old fighting fantasy game books (event happens - do yo do X or Y?) for specific campaigns such as the Belize and Nile campaigns.
    Quote Originally Posted by csadn View Post
    _Ironclads and Ether Flyers_ from GDW's _Space:1889_ also works.
    Thanks for the suggestions, that gives me some things to look into!

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondback View Post
    Well, Fred, my fun was largely in the chase... after WOTC decided they no longer wanted my money, when Andrea mentioned he was launching SOG I kinda hopped on board right at the beginning, and never looked back.

    Doing Wings of Glory too, perchance?
    I've still been doing some Shapeways buying for War at Sea, but I have a real painting backlog, since I can only rarely find the time. It is a bummer not to get the periodic infusion of boosters to open. But I did a lot of playing this summer, and actually fit in a great game just yesterday (killed a P40 with 13 successes on 7 dice from my Zero ace!)

    Afraid I'm not doing WoG. I have broad interests in things military-historical, but in my busy life only naval games that involve pretty toys seem to rise to the top anymore. However the great reputation WoG has definitely encouraged me to get in on the SoG kickstarter when I heard about it...
    Last edited by fredmiracle; 11-03-2013 at 16:09.

  10. #10

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    One thing I've realized just in opening this thread is that my gaming experience is deeply linked to my literary exposure to the time period. For WW2, I'm pretty happy with the "battle to battle" campaign narrative, since most of the books I've read have that structure. For age of sail, I think I have different expectations for a campaign, because my rather limited knowledge is mostly based on the Aubrey-Maturin books and some Hornblower movies and whatnot. In that context, battle is usually an exceptional occurrence, whose outcome is heavily determined by what the opponents have done in the long periods of searching, sailing, training and preparing that happen in between.

    Just not sure how to make that into a campaign game

  11. #11
    Former Admiral of the Fleet
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    In case you have never looked at the solo charts for WoG maneuvers, here's a link to them: http://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/dow...p?do=cat&id=63

    For SoG, we'll not only have to devise such charts for the various maneuver decks, but rules guiding ammo selection, sail settings, etc. I know you started this thread focused on campaigns, but your post on your A&A solo generator made me think of this.

    As far as a campaign is concerned, it could be interesting to setup one in which ship captains can gain experience and bonuses to play, akin to ace abilities and the ongoing pilots in the Over the Trenches campaign.

  12. #12
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    I'm thinking along the lines of the Langton rules quick sheet. 1 dice roll dictated what each type of ship could do dependent on their crew and ship quality. As for target and ammo type, typically the French went to cripple an enemy ships fighting ability whilst the British went for sails (initially). Apologies if this is grandma and egg time but such was the amount of time playing with the Langton rules that certain bits tend to rub off.

    I later switched to the 7 years war period as most of the older Napoleonic ships were built during his period.

    I have details of fleet orbat and deployment, which could be utilised for the Nap period. Will try and post soon.

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    There are strategic level naval games from other periods that I think could be adapted.

    For example, grab the map from an Avalanche Press great war at sea game, and I bet you could borrow the movement and intercept rules for use on the strategic map, then when two fleets collide, just fight a regular Sails of Glory game.

  14. #14
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    Victory By Any Means: Fire As She Bears! Edition is exactly the thing you're looking for. It's an adaptation of a campaign system for spaceship battles, and there are a couple of spots where that's obvious, but it's set up to run campaigns from the AoS period. Here's the link: http://www.wargamevault.com/product/...rs_id=586&it=1

    There's also a free supplement for a 1793 Carribean campaign, which also gives a taste of what the rule system is like: http://www.wargamevault.com/product/...cturers_id=586

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