Victory at Sea Scenario playtest

Join the open playtest for the WWII naval combat game.

Moderator: rcbecker1

Greg Smith
Warlord Mongoose
Posts: 8825
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2003 10:58 am
Location: Kettering UK
Contact:

Victory at Sea Scenario playtest

Postby Greg Smith » Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:43 am

We had a game using the Victory at Sea scenario. We chose 1200 points, because that would give us enough ships to have a reasonable game, or so we thought.

Americans (me):
South Dakota 800
Baltimore 200
Brooklyn 100
2 destroyers 2 x50

Japanese
Nagato, Mutsu 2 x400
Mogami 200
Light Cruiser 100
2 Destroyers 2 x50

Then we rolled for objectives:
American: Attrition
Japanese Defence Line.

This meant the Americans had destroy as many ships as possible, and the Japanese had to simply stop me winning to win.
It also mean the Japanese had to lose 120 points. Which wasn't particularly easy when ships are pointed in multiples of 50 points. We decided on just 100 points, so the Japanese gave up their light cruiser.

Then we rolled for weather and night. The scenario played was to be playing on Bad Weather and daytime. So we had a quick refresh of the bad weather rules. Destroyers it became apparent, would be useless.

Then we tried scouting. We couldn't send aircraft to scout, because of Bad Weather, so we just both send our destroyers. It became apparent that two destroyers on their own are absolutely useless for scouting.

To battle:

Both sides were reduced to three ships. We decided not to bother trying to return to the scouting destroyers to the battle, as they were pointless.

The first turn was at too long a range for spotting. The second turn was just in range for spotting. If it hadn’t been for an observing player reading the radar rules, we wouldn’t have realised radar works in bad weather. So with a complete failure of radar, but some spotting some ineffective fire was traded.

By the fourth turn, we were within clear visibility and fire began flying back and forth. We lost track of turns, but the quantity of Japanese big guns began to tell. And the South Dakota lost all of its turrets before succumbing to endless weapons crits and explosions. The Baltimore was crippled. The Japanese suffered crippling to the Mogami, but clearly won the day.


Conclusions:

The objectives had no effect on play at all. The combination of Attrition and Defence Line made little sense in game terms and simply resulted in us slugging it out.

It would seem to make more sense to combine certain opposing objectives into specific scenarios. Eg Breakout vs Defence Line.

Also, what happens if both sides get Fighting Retreat. Do both players simple sail all their ships off heir own side of the table and call it a win?

As for the 10% reduction in forces, that really is a pain. We both turned up to the game with printed sheets for our force. I turned up with a limited number of models. Increasing or decreasing our force on the fly was not any easy thing. My oppenet pointed out, what if his fleet was 3 400 point ships? Would have had to lose 400 points straight away to comply with 10% loss.

Bad Weather

Bad Weather had a huge negative impact on the game. We both couldn’t use our destroyers. We both couldn’t use planes for scouting. The Japanese lost their special torpedo rule. We both couldn’t use torpedoes at all. Any rule that takes out so many aspects of game play is not good.

Spotting was interesting. It definitely impacted my choice of targets for 2 or three rounds. That said, we each had three ships, so that was 9 rolls for each player. If we’d had bigger fleets, this increases exponentially. And then we have to track which ship can spot which target. In bigger games, this will be too fiddly.

Radar wasn’t mentioned in the bad weather rules at all. But it does give an extra chance to spot enemy ships. Oddly it is easy to spot with eyes (CQ8) than it is with radar (CQ9). Once we got within 15” inches radar was useless.

To keep it simple we resolved radar and spotting together after movement, before firing.



Playtesting and points

This is the second game where points have been a problem. I realise that points are not finalised, in this game two Japanese ships brought almost double the firepower of an American battle ship for the same points. Granted the Japanese ships had on less armour, but more shots means more damage. The battle was very one sided, which was odd given the Japanese had less points. It makes playtesting some aspects of the game difficult.




Suggestions

Remove priorities

Rather than have a single Victory at Sea scenario, break it down into 4-6 separate scenarios, with a random table for selection. Eg Breakout vs Defense Line, Last Stand, Domination, Attrition, Ultimate Enemy, etc. This works well for another game I play a lot of.

Bad Weather: maybe break it down to bad weather, extreme weather.

Bad weather, has minor penalties for smaller ships, maybe reduce horizon to 25” and decreases scouting roll to 6 instead of 5-6. Extreme weather as current rules. You could also add patchy fog, with fog banks littering the table, obscuring LOS.

Mention radar in the bad weather rules. Surely radar should be better than eyeballs?
"Bringer of Warmth, Carrier of Carrion, Prophet of Dilgarness, Speaker of all thing Llort!"

Part-time Narn.

ACTA playtester
Victorious Grand Admiral
msprange
Site Admin
Posts: 14525
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2003 4:25 pm

Re: Victory at Sea Scenario playtest

Postby msprange » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:33 am

Greg Smith wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:43 am
Mention radar in the bad weather rules. Surely radar should be better than eyeballs?
Possibly not, with 1940s technology, but I will consult with the Naval Boffins. Looking at your other comments and making changes...
Matthew Sprange

Mongoose Publishing
http://www.mongoosepublishing.com
msprange
Site Admin
Posts: 14525
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2003 4:25 pm

Re: Victory at Sea Scenario playtest

Postby msprange » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:38 am

Greg Smith wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:43 am
Rather than have a single Victory at Sea scenario, break it down into 4-6 separate scenarios, with a random table for selection. Eg Breakout vs Defense Line, Last Stand, Domination, Attrition, Ultimate Enemy, etc. This works well for another game I play a lot of.
Actually, I think I know how to do this without taking too much away from the scenario - from your experience thus far, which 'pairings' of objectives do you think work best?
Matthew Sprange

Mongoose Publishing
http://www.mongoosepublishing.com
Greg Smith
Warlord Mongoose
Posts: 8825
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2003 10:58 am
Location: Kettering UK
Contact:

Re: Victory at Sea Scenario playtest

Postby Greg Smith » Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:24 pm

msprange wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:38 am
Actually, I think I know how to do this without taking too much away from the scenario - from your experience thus far, which 'pairings' of objectives do you think work best?
This is my thoughts:

Breakout vs Defence Line
Sweep & Clear vs Defence Line
Destroy vs Last Stand
Attrition vs Fighting Retreat


These would probably work well against one another. All have an objective which requires remaining on the table:

Attrition, destroy, Domination and Ultimate enemy. Although Attrition and Destroy vs each other is pretty much a stand up fight.

I think Fighting retreat maybe a bit too easy. Its fairly straightforward to set your ships up on the table edge and sail straight off.
"Bringer of Warmth, Carrier of Carrion, Prophet of Dilgarness, Speaker of all thing Llort!"

Part-time Narn.

ACTA playtester
Victorious Grand Admiral
msprange
Site Admin
Posts: 14525
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2003 4:25 pm

Re: Victory at Sea Scenario playtest

Postby msprange » Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:27 am

Greg Smith wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:24 pm
I think Fighting retreat maybe a bit too easy. Its fairly straightforward to set your ships up on the table edge and sail straight off.
Ah, quick note on this one - I have clarified that this counts as a Tactical Withdrawal, which means you have to do more damage to the enemy fleet than you will lose by taking ships off the table. You will have to fight now :)
Matthew Sprange

Mongoose Publishing
http://www.mongoosepublishing.com
Greg Smith
Warlord Mongoose
Posts: 8825
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2003 10:58 am
Location: Kettering UK
Contact:

Re: Victory at Sea Scenario playtest

Postby Greg Smith » Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:15 pm

That should make it less straight forward and more interesting to play.
"Bringer of Warmth, Carrier of Carrion, Prophet of Dilgarness, Speaker of all thing Llort!"

Part-time Narn.

ACTA playtester
Victorious Grand Admiral

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests