Victory at Sea!

General chat about Mongoose Publishing and its releases
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Wulf Corbett
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Postby Wulf Corbett » Tue Jan 31, 2006 1:40 pm

Next episode tomorrow...

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Postby MongooseMatt » Tue Jan 31, 2006 2:28 pm

Next episode in about half an hour :)
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Postby soulman » Tue Jan 31, 2006 6:08 pm

We love you guys, time for a quick look and then dream about warships in my hot bath....
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Postby VonTed » Wed Feb 01, 2006 2:13 pm

Played a game last night using the new torpedo rules and fleet lists. we both enjoyed the game quite a bit. The Kriegsmarine was handed a terrible defeat! And of course a couple of questions arose.

Torpedoes:
  • Placement: The torpedo is placed in contact with the front of the ship. Does this mean it can fire at any angle away from the ship or just directly ahead (ala beam weapons on ACTA)? We played them like beam weapons.
    Movement: The torpedo is moved during the following attack phase. So this means the ship would move over the torpedo during the next movement phase? This seemed odd so we played that they move first during the movement phase (before all other movement) and hits were applied at this time as well. (this worked well for me since I managed a critical hit to vital systems and sank the ship :D ) The attack phase movement may make more sense if the torpedoes are allowed to fire in the front arc (and not just straight ahead)?
    Hits: The torpedo hits it target if it strikes anywhere on the model/counter? (i.e. not just the center point where ALL other aspects of the game take place). We played it had to strike the counter silhouette and it seems reasonable.
    Size: The size of the counters (approximately 1/1800) and proposed size of the models (1/2000) are going to be mighty crowed on a typical gaming table. Several of the gamers are thinking 1/2400 will be a more manageable scale on the tabletop. Any chance of sanity taking hold? :oops:
And most troubling.
Fleet Lists: The Royal Navy completely outclasses the Kriegsmarine. We played Raid 5, each took 3 Raid level ships and 1 Battle level. The Kriegsmarine had 3 Deutschland class and 1 Scharnhorst class ships, the Royal Navy (IIRC) 2 Queen Elizabeth class 1 Renown and 1 Hood class.

The problem is that the Royal Navy Raid level ships are each the equivalent of a Kriegsmarine Battle level. Example, with key traits (speed and turning were similar, crew never really comes into play and secondary weapons were not the issue).

Damage:
  • Queen = 37/12 (Raid level)
    Deutschland = 17/5 (Raid level)
    Scharnhorst = 39/13 (Battle level)
Weapons:
  • Queen = 4 turrets 28"/2AD/3DD (Raid level)
    Deutschland = 2 turrets 18"/3AD/2DD (Raid level)
    Scharnhorst = 3 turrets 15"/3AD/1DD (Battle level)
The Royal Navy Raid level ships have the advantage, better range, good AD and excellent DD. The Kriegsmarine have better torpedoes, and AD but not so good DD. The range itself was a huge problem to overcome, just closing with the Royal Navy takes 2-3 turns of getting pounded before the Kriegsmarine can fire a shot.

If not for my one lucky critical torpedo hit I would have barely scratched the Royal Navy in our engagement. Completely outgunned. Still had fun and it was great learning the game better and getting a feel for the ships, but the fleet list and stats need to be tweaked a wee-bit.


PS. 1/2400 is good subliminal message !!
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Postby tactician » Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:14 pm

I watched Vonted get his butt handed to him by the Royal Navy... The amount of damage and the range advantage that the Royal Navy has is incredible... It is a very fun and exciting game... we play on a 4'x6' table... The Torpedo rules are a bit vague... Like Ted said we chose to move the Torpedos in the movement phase before any ships moved... Moving them in the attack phase just didnt seem right... And Ted was referring to "Boresite" weapons in SfoS B5... not really Beam weapons... We played that the Torpedos were launched straight out of the bow of the ship in line with the keel... Just wanted to add my 2 cents....


Thanks
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Wulf Corbett
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Postby Wulf Corbett » Wed Feb 01, 2006 8:53 pm

VonTed wrote:Torpedoes:
Torpedoes need a LOT of work. The current rules don't work at all well, and don't make sense except for subs. What ship (not sub) launches torps FORWARD? And no arc at all? Even subs could set the gyros on torps (even early non-homing ones) to fan out a spread. Speed, bearing, depth and even detonation time (some torps were set to explode only AFTER impact, some were proximity fused) could all be set on WW2 torps. At least the simplest of there factors should be represented.

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Postby lastbesthope » Thu Feb 02, 2006 12:46 am

Perhaps torps could be fired out in a straight line within a firing arc, or half a firing arc, thus simulating the straight running of the torp, whilst combining it with the programmabel spread of the torp.

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Postby Eisho » Thu Feb 02, 2006 3:43 am

I think one of the points Wulf Corbett is trying to make is that torpedoes on ships (destroyers and Japanese cruisers) were not fired from the bow (the front). The launching mechanisms were located on the port and starboard (the left and right sides as facing forwards).

For a destroyer to launch a torpedo attack on another ship directly in front of it, the firing ship would have to bring its port or starboard tubes to bear and would therefore have to swing approximately 90 degrees.

The way the rules present it (S&P 30), torpedoes are fired from the bow of a ship. This would work for MTB and PT boats and such like (and of course subs), but not for destroyers or the Japanese cruisers.

Even if nothing else, short delays between firing tubes from the sides of a ship would allow for an effective spread to be generated.

I can't comment so much on British versus German engagements, but if the Pacific is going to be covered (and I hope it is!) torpedo rules should also reflect differences in the quality between Japanese and American torpedoes.

Cheers,

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Postby MongooseMatt » Thu Feb 02, 2006 3:43 am

Have to confess, the torpedo rules are one aspect of the rules I am _not_ happy with. . .
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Wulf Corbett
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Postby Wulf Corbett » Thu Feb 02, 2006 10:57 am

Eisho wrote:I think one of the points Wulf Corbett is trying to make is that torpedoes on ships (destroyers and Japanese cruisers) were not fired from the bow (the front). The launching mechanisms were located on the port and starboard (the left and right sides as facing forwards).
Not just Japanese, everyone's ligt cruisers had torp mounts. Even a couple of ex-WW1 Battleships had side-launched fixed underwater tubes!
I can't comment so much on British versus German engagements, but if the Pacific is going to be covered (and I hope it is!) torpedo rules should also reflect differences in the quality between Japanese and American torpedoes.
The Long Lance, yes. Faster and longer ranged.

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Postby Eisho » Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:22 am

Not just Japanese, everyone's ligt cruisers had torp mounts. Even a couple of ex-WW1 Battleships had side-launched fixed underwater tubes!
Yes, sorry, I meant Heavy Cruisers.

Cheers,

Eisho
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Postby Guest » Thu Feb 02, 2006 5:51 pm

On scale I'd stick with 1/2400th as you would have only 2 competitors GHQ and CinC both U.S. based companies,GHQ are georgeous(I'v bought fleetsof them)Cin C are not bad but can be patchy(british destroyers are nearly as good as GHQ but U.S stuff is pretty basic)In both cases now you have to import direct from U.S as ther are no distrubuters that I know of so you would be certainly filling the gap in the U.K market.

Matt if you solve the problems of torpedoes good look to you,I have a nearly finished set of WW2 naval rules and have not totally solved the problem.I went for the torpedoes having to move to the target at a set speed(and that simplyfies,torps could be set for different ranges and at different speeds)and depending on size have 1-3 moves duration normally but with up to 10 moves for Long Lance and used markers for torps(I put together a torpedoe template divided into quarters which shows the torps move for the whole move)They are layed down after orders for the move are written and if the ship crosses the template during the correct quarter of the move a possible hit is calculated.The main problem we found with this method is that some players are hopeless at trying to work out how to angle their torps at the point of firing to hit a ship in 2-3 moves.
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Range Problems

Postby rbax » Thu Feb 02, 2006 8:43 pm

One of the greatest problems I have with this latest S&P article was the gun ranges. Based on a bunch of web searches I did, I found the following maximum ranges for the given heavy guns in the battle above:

Lutzow 11": 39890 yards (By virtue of a light projectile, high muzzle velocity and high elevation guns - 40 degrees)

Sharnhortz 11": 44750 yards (Longer than the Luztow by virtue of being 34 calibers long versus the the Lutzow's 28 calibers)

The British heavy weapon is the same 15" gun on all three of the vessel mentioned earlier using essentially the same turret design. The 15" Mark 1 had a maximum range of 36500 yards (note that initially only the Hood had this range as she was fit with 30 degree elevation guns while the other were limited to 20 degree elevation, these low elevation ships were refitted in the the late 1930's with 30 degree elevation guns giving them the same range.) The lower elevation (30 versus 40 of the Germans) of the guns combined with a heavier shell is why the range is less.

So in reality, the Germans actually have a better range then the British. Using the German Luzow as a basis with a range of 18 inches, the Sharnhorst would have a range of 20 inches while the QE2/Hood/Renown would have a range of 17 inches.

Now the DD results are pretty much true. The German guns tended to throw a lighter shell than equivalent sized guns of the allies as it was and in this case the British are using 15" rounds versus the German 11". Armor piercing shell weights were as follows:

German 11" (Lutzow): 661 lbs
German 11" (Sharnhorst): 727 lbs

British 15": 1938 lbs

That bigger British shell brings alot more hurt to the game than the Germans.

I'd also like to see plunging fire added to the mix. My opinion is that each ship should have a deck armor rating and a belt armor rating and that the guns should have two ranges. The first, shorter range indicates a belt armor hit while the second range bracket would be for plunging fire versus deck armor.

For the Lutzow, I'd use a gun range of 12/18 inches. For ranges of 12 inches and less the attack would be against belt armor while for ranges greater than 12 inches out to the maximum range of 18 inches the damage rolls would be against deck armor. The QE2 would have an armor rating of about 5/3. 5 versus belt line fire and 3 versus plunging fire. Thus the Germans want to hold the range at long since they have longer range guns and they have a better chance against the Britishes thin deck armor.

By the way as the armor exist now, I believe the Sharnhorst should have Armor 5 and not Armor 4. The Sharnhorst has a maximum belt armor of 13.8 inches versus the QE2's 13 inches yet it has a 4 armor while the QE2 has a 5. Also, I believe the Sharnhorst should have a crew compliment of about 1800 and as a result a crew damage of 72/24. Both of which will help that ship immensely.

--- Rich
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Postby Zee Zee » Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:33 pm

The ranges you quote are max ranges,and hits at those ranges were nigh on impossible.Most actions were confined to visibility ranges which were very dependant on the weather conditions and the horizon,in the North Atlantic many actions even with capital ships were at 20,000 yds or less.The British development of radar to direct gunnery increased the possible ranges,particularly with regards to night actions.Prior to that only aircraft spotting would allow for shooting at anything like max range.
Warspite has the record for the longest range hit on a ship,when she hit one the Italian Battlewagons at around 36,000yds(dont quote me on that).
the race for longer and longer range heavy guns and increase in elavation angles was very much a factor during the 20s and 30s when various nations upgraded ships or built new ones in the continuing arms races of the times,and little advantage was gained by these long range guns when actually in combat for the above reasons.In fact Admiral King of the U.S navy cancelled major refits of the old Texas class battleships which would have inreased the elevation of their 14" guns as British combat reports reflected the short range of many engagements and felt their current effective ranges would be adequate,in so doing keeping thes ships on the active list for Atlantic operations should they be required(given events at Pearl Harbour a wise move).
The Italians built ships with guns with incredible ranges,but to get these ranges they built very long gun barrels which vibrated excessivley when fired and made it very difficult to accurately calculate the fall of shot.
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Postby rbax » Fri Feb 03, 2006 1:03 am

The ranges you quote are max ranges,and hits at those ranges were nigh on impossible.Most actions were confined to visibility ranges which were very dependant on the weather conditions and the horizon,in the North Atlantic many actions even with capital ships were at 20,000 yds or less.
Won't argue that the ranges I quoted were maximums but they are the ranges to which these guns can fire. Early in the war, the Germans ships had a reputation for excellent gunnery (some articles indicate high training while others indicate the high quaility optics the germans used in their range finders). Sharnhorst scored a hit on the HMS Glorius at a range of 26500 yards.

Now assuming fire is limited to visible ranges as you suggested then the ships in question would have roughly equal ranges rather than such variable ranges. Its of note that the Hood - Bismark engagement began at approximately 25000 yards.
The British development of radar to direct gunnery increased the possible ranges,particularly with regards to night actions.Prior to that only aircraft spotting would allow for shooting at anything like max range.
But actual fire control radars were VERY late in the war and were really only used in the Pacific. Most radars during the war were limited to spotting ships to within a few degrees of arc and 1000 yards of distance which is not usable for gunnery.
Warspite has the record for the longest range hit on a ship,when she hit one the Italian Battlewagons at around 36,000yds(dont quote me on that).
It was actually 26000 yards on the Italian battleship Guilio Cesare. I know you said not to quote but what the heck.
the race for longer and longer range heavy guns and increase in elavation angles was very much a factor during the 20s and 30s when various nations upgraded ships or built new ones in the continuing arms races of the times,and little advantage was gained by these long range guns when actually in combat for the above reasons.
All true but this again goes back to the reality that there should not be blatant range variation amongst the various heavy guns that are currently present in Victory at Sea. The Queen Elizabeth's 15 inch guns should simply not have a 28" range over the Sharnhorsts 11 inch gun range of 18". Its note simple matter of bigger gun means longer range. Its a matter of elevations, shell weight, muzzle velocity (which in include barrel length) and so on.

--- Rich
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Wulf Corbett
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Postby Wulf Corbett » Fri Feb 03, 2006 10:06 am

rbax wrote:All true but this again goes back to the reality that there should not be blatant range variation amongst the various heavy guns that are currently present in Victory at Sea. The Queen Elizabeth's 15 inch guns should simply not have a 28" range over the Sharnhorsts 11 inch gun range of 18".
Personally I just think these ranges are too long altogether. For the sake of playability, and leaving a bit of room on the table for maneouvre and tactics, it would be better if the longest range of any weapon were around 25". The ones you quote aren't even the longest.

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Postby Guest » Fri Feb 03, 2006 10:23 am

Don't forget range finders.Its no use having a longer ranged gun if you cannot hit anything with it aka the Italians(on land the 303 Lee Enfield rifle has a max range of 2000yds but its effective range for most users is about 600yds).Another factor which seriously would reduce shooting at max ranges is Ammunition supply.Graf Spee was virtually out of 11" ammo at River Plate and the British Cruisers were not far off running out,so shooting at anything above effective range would be discouraged.Imagine you self if you had a ship with only 10 moves worth of ammo,would you risk firing ammo if you had little chance of hitting,or would you save it till you had a better chance of hitting(its one of the reason one of my cowriters for our rules is arguing for ammo limits).Saying that you are correct that the max ranges for many of the guns in the rules is strange, most capital size gun would certainly be effective up to 20,000yds with rare hits up to about 30,000 yds.Perhaps Matt may explain his reasoning for the shorter ranges of the German guns when I agree they should be equal or longer(mind you I find all the ranges a bit short for the proposed model scale)

As for Radar directed Gunnery,it was first used to effect in December 1943 by Duke of York and Belfast when they sank Scharnhorst.Though it was tried very unsuccessfully by British Shore battery's during the channel dash in Feb 1942.
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Postby Guest » Fri Feb 03, 2006 10:36 am

Had not seen your post Wulf before my last answer,pretty much agree with your comment.Only problem I see with it(and this is from experience)is physical one of model size ove scale.At 1/3000th the model length to scale causes problems with ship formations I hate to think how long a model at 1/2000th would be in actual scale distance.Though saying that its only rules lawyers and purists that would notice(again I'm talking from experience)
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Postby Zee Zee » Fri Feb 03, 2006 11:38 am

Damn the guest both times is me,Had new modem and the thing keeps timing me ot an losing the connection,Changed setting so hopefully problem solved.
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Postby Zee Zee » Fri Feb 03, 2006 11:48 am

This is just a thought,but would it easier to start developing rules for WW1 rather than WW2.Effective gun ranges were shorter,particularly with cruiser and destroyer guns.There was no radar,aircraft/submarines were far less effective,in many cases the use of DCT was in its infancy.Plus torpedoes were fairly basic.
Mind you I suppose marketing and sales potential is a major factor in going for WW2.
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