Me and my local nemesis got together and played our first playtest game this week. It was nice getting the ships back on the table. Below are some questions and feedback from the game. We’re looking forward to anyone’s thoughts on these.
The Game- We played a 400 pt Victory at Sea game, good weather in daylight, Japan vs US. Japan had the Fighting Retreat objective with a force of two Agano cruisers and four Akitsuki destroyers. The US had the Attrition objective with a force of a Brooklyn and Atlanta cruiser, two Porter destroyers and two Fletcher destroyers. Standard deployment zones were used.
Location of Victory Point descriptions: Currently these are in the advanced rules section. We think a better location for them would be in the Victory at Sea section as they aren’t optional for the core scenario.
Fighting Retreat objective and Tactical Withdrawal victory points: In a mission like Fighting Retreat, is moving your ships off the map still considered a Tactical Withdrawal. If a ship leaves the board it gives ¼ points to the opponent. In order to score a major victory, the person with Fighting Retreat must move ships off the board. Is this intentional?
Observation aircraft: Can observation aircraft from cruisers and battleships be used for scouting at the beginning of the game or only aircraft that are purchase separately to the list? We only found references to observation aircraft being used for over the horizon shooting at stationary targets and wondered if they could also be used for scouting purposes.
USN Porter class Destroyers: The Porter Class destroyer entry has 4 different entries for Light guns. One entry is the first listing in the weapon systems table, the other three are below the table. There is no indication of which one to use. Should these entries have specific ship names or service years associated with them? Should the three entries below the weapons table be moved to the USN Refit list?
Initial Japanese Fan Salvo: When totaling attack dice for the salvo, is it 1 dice roll per 3 AD per ship, or 1 dice roll per 3 AD from the total number of AD being by the fleet?
For slow loading Long Lance torpedoes used in a Fan Salvo, are they considered fired for turn 1 and thus can’t be used again until turn 2?
Sometimes we play on an oversized board or setting up on the short edges of the board. For situations where fleets start at these extreme distances (well beyond 34 inches or the starting distance) should the fan salvo still be applicable?
With changes to evading torpedoes, should ships on the receiving end of the salvo be given some sort of special roll to try and evade them as they won’t have a chance to use the Evasive! special action before the start of the game?
Evading Torpedoes: We had mixed feelings about replacing the torpedo evasion rules with the default use of the Evasive! special action. It didn’t feel intuitive to us that someone was forced to predict that they might come under a torpedo attack (or even a dive bomber attack) and it didn’t feel cinematic. We both felt there needed to be some sort of reactionary means a ship could use when they spotted fish-in-the-water or saw that dive/torpedo bomber making its attack. We also agree with trying to keep the rules as clean as possible. We came up with the following and would like everyone’s thoughts:
“If a ship comes under torpedo or dive/torpedo bomber attack, and it had not used a Special Action in the previous Movement phase, it may declare the Evasive! special action and apply the Evasive! modifiers to the attack. In order for this out-of-turn Evasive! action to occur is must pass a Crew Quality check of 8. As a result, the ship will start and remain in the Evasive! condition on its next turn.”
I also miss the ability of Torpedo bombers having a range of 4in from the previous edition. It feels weird Torpedo bombers have to be in contact to attack a shop.
Join the open playtest for the WWII naval combat game.
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