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Discuss the Victory at Sea range of naval games.

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Rick
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Postby Rick » Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:14 pm

You could do variants from any period after the age of sail onwards, late American civil war up to hypothetical modern engagements, or even the near future with stealth ship technology.

Love to re-enact the Alabama engagement! 8)
"Understanding is a 3-edged sword" bit like a toblerone, really.
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Postby DM » Sun Oct 29, 2006 12:00 pm

I've looked at a few period variations so far. WW1 is an easy conversion. You have to put a bit more thought into extending further away bt the basic Attack Dice, Damage Dice, Damage sstem (being essentially a fairly standard wargaming machanism) is readily adaptable. You just need to consider (for example) what rolling the "Attack Dice" really represents and what factors will affect it. The main change I'd think about is going away from the d6 to a d10 or d20 based system. Personally I find the former too restrictive.
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Postby Lord David the Denied » Wed Nov 01, 2006 12:07 am

Not sure if anyone asked this yet, but... why are torpedoes only allowed to fire once? Anything bigger than an MTB carries multiple reloads for torpedo tubes.

I noticed something else reading through the preview. In the description of weapon arcs, submarine torpedoes are listed as being able to fire to the front or rear. Any submarine that carried stern tubes had only one or two tubes at the stern while they had four in the bows. Are torpedoes firing to the rear subject to a penalty on the bumber of AD they roll?
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Postby E Nicely » Wed Nov 01, 2006 12:56 am

There's a whole lot of ships that didn't carry torp reloads or a very small number of them. VaS is abstract like CTA is so 4 extra torps (or whatever) translates to one shot. Aft torpedo AD will be less than front torp AD in most cases.
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Lord David the Denied
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Postby Lord David the Denied » Wed Nov 01, 2006 1:26 am

What ships would those be? What sort of a naval designer would waste space and weight on torpedo tubes without a decent magazine to make them worthwhile? I know some idiots have worked in naval design in the past, and then the politicians have come along and buggered with things, but one-shot torpedo tubes? I don't believe it.

On a completely unrelated note, does the RN get Queen Elizabeth, Nelson and King George V class battleships in the rules?
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Postby rbax » Wed Nov 01, 2006 1:37 am

Lord David the Denied wrote:What ships would those be? What sort of a naval designer would waste space and weight on torpedo tubes without a decent magazine to make them worthwhile? I know some idiots have worked in naval design in the past, and then the politicians have come along and buggered with things, but one-shot torpedo tubes? I don't believe it.
Actually, many ships had reload torpedoes, though not all. However, most did not have the ability to reload their tubes in a rapid fashion, especially in the middle of combat. They were forced to reload in between battles, typically in calm seas and in daylight.

That was the significance of the Japanese and their torpedo doctrine. Through speciallized equipment and intense training, they had the abilility to fire a spread of torpedoes, retreat under cover of a smoke screen, and 15 minutes later turn back in with their tubes at least partially reloaded.
On a completely unrelated note, does the RN get Queen Elizabeth, Nelson and King George V class battleships in the rules?
Yes

--- Rich
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Postby E Nicely » Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:52 am

rbax wrote: Actually, many ships had reload torpedoes, though not all. However, most did not have the ability to reload their tubes in a rapid fashion, especially in the middle of combat. They were forced to reload in between battles, typically in calm seas and in daylight.

That was the significance of the Japanese and their torpedo doctrine. Through speciallized equipment and intense training, they had the abilility to fire a spread of torpedoes, retreat under cover of a smoke screen, and 15 minutes later turn back in with their tubes at least partially reloaded.
That was it. I remember in playtest we discussed this a bit. We pushed pretty hard for the Japanese relods and the Long Lance's.
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Postby Lord David the Denied » Wed Nov 01, 2006 11:17 am

So do destroyers get this one-shot business for their torps as well? I can see it (maybe) for capital ships like the Hood that mounted torpedo tubes, but destroyers' main weapon against capital ships was their torpedoes...

Good to hear all three wartime battleships will be in the game. One of each for me, then... 8)
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Postby DM » Wed Nov 01, 2006 12:48 pm

Strange as it may seem (or not, if you are a military naval architect), most ships with torpedo armament did not carry reloads, despite it being their apparent main armament (actually it may not have been - depth charges were as important in many cases). Torpedoes are extremely large, heavy pieces of kit that need careful handling. Most TT mounts were only capable of being reloaded in harbour under relatively benign conditions. RN, USN, French, Italian and German destroyer designs generally did not employ reloads. The main exception were the Japanese, and even here the abilty to reload torpedoes at sea was not universal. Even carriers had very limited numbers of torpedoes available to their aircraft (playing a campaign game with realistic ammunition limits makes one MUCH more careful when mission planning!) Rest assured the playtest and development team had access to ship specs and drawings which made it clear where such a capabilty existed and where it did not. Now, thats not a 100% guarantee that we got it right in every case (vis the Fletcher radar debate) but in general the torpedo abilities in the ship specs represent what the real ships actually had.
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Postby Jellicoe » Wed Nov 01, 2006 2:00 pm

Its not that strange that there is only one outfit of torpedoes on most ships - they are big weapons. Modern warships, apart from VLS equipped ones, tend also to be limited to a small number of Surface-to-Surface Missiles can cannot reload them easily.
DM wrote: Even carriers had very limited numbers of torpedoes available to their aircraft (playing a campaign game with realistic ammunition limits makes one MUCH more careful when mission planning!) Rest assured the playtest and development team had access to ship specs and drawings which made it clear where such a capabilty existed and where it did not. Now, thats not a 100% guarantee that we got it right in every case (vis the Fletcher radar debate) but in general the torpedo abilities in the ship specs represent what the real ships actually had.

The magazine capacity of carriers was a lot smaller than maybe is perceived today. Partly this is also as a result of the larger carrying capacity of modern carriers and this is then thought to be the same for the 1930-40s. I don’t have the exact figures in my head, but as a general rule most carriers would not have more torpedoes than for 1-2 complete strike loads, although slightly more for bombs. A couple of strikes by the complete air group of a carrier would have left it’s magazines pretty much empty and requiring replenishment.

Once the larger Essex and Midway carriers came into service the situation improved, but the primary factor in sustained carrier operations was the availability of replenishment at sea. As I understand it VaS is primarily a tactical game so in the times available I would guess there is a limit to how many strikes a carrier might launch. This is not to say that some campaigning element could not be added where ammunition availability would role over from a previous engagement and then as DM says this adds an interesting element to the tactical choices.
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Postby Lord David the Denied » Wed Nov 01, 2006 2:11 pm

DM wrote:Strange as it may seem (or not, if you are a military naval architect), most ships with torpedo armament did not carry reloads, despite it being their apparent main armament (actually it may not have been - depth charges were as important in many cases). Torpedoes are extremely large, heavy pieces of kit that need careful handling. Most TT mounts were only capable of being reloaded in harbour under relatively benign conditions. RN, USN, French, Italian and German destroyer designs generally did not employ reloads. The main exception were the Japanese, and even here the abilty to reload torpedoes at sea was not universal. Even carriers had very limited numbers of torpedoes available to their aircraft (playing a campaign game with realistic ammunition limits makes one MUCH more careful when mission planning!) Rest assured the playtest and development team had access to ship specs and drawings which made it clear where such a capabilty existed and where it did not. Now, thats not a 100% guarantee that we got it right in every case (vis the Fletcher radar debate) but in general the torpedo abilities in the ship specs represent what the real ships actually had.
Can you provide some references to support that? My main focus in military history is elsewhere than naval warfare, but I have read quite a bit about warships of this period and I've never come across a single reference to single torpedo loads for ships. I even read the (rather tedious) wikipedia article on the torpedo to check into this and there was no mention of them being one-shot weapons for surface ships.

Now I'm not saying you're all totally wrong, but I'd like to see some references to this obviously-important point. No offence intended.
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Postby DM » Wed Nov 01, 2006 2:57 pm

As a starting point I'd suggest Friedman's "British Destroyers and Frigates", "Nelson to Vanguard" by DK Brown, M J Whitley's book by (IIRC) AAP on WW2 destroyers and his excellent books on German surface ships, Conways 1922-1946, the Conways book on the "Kellys" (published a few years back - intersting because it discusses the REMOVAL of torped tubes and their replacement with a single 4" HA AA gun, such was the perceived relative importance to the RN), etc, etc. failing that a quick visit to just about any preserved WW2 destroyer (e.g. Blyskawika, Cavalier, etc.) should confirm it :)

As for refereneces - steer clear of Wikipedia, for obvious reasons!

No offence taken - and I'm not surprised that you are surprised to be honest. I guess I had always assumed there were reloads until I started looking at design information ina bit more detail.
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Postby Jellicoe » Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:08 pm

Lord David the Denied wrote: Now I'm not saying you're all totally wrong, but I'd like to see some references to this obviously-important point. No offence intended.
A fair point you make, but you just need to look at some schematics of destroyers and their weapon loads. Accounts of destroyer actions also tend to mention this or rather one can infer it. Usually particular mention is made when a ship does have the capability to carry reserve torpedoes and reload them. As this was something the IJN tended to do more than other nations references can be found in literature regarding the IJN.

Mike Whitley’s, Destroyers of WWII, makes mention of this in his introductory bit on Japanese destroyers as well as in the sections devoted to the particular classes of ships which had this ability. In Evans and Peattie’s work on the IJN, Kaigun, there are numerous references to this particular capability and how it was different to other navies.
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Postby Lord David the Denied » Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:11 pm

I'll look out for those books. Cheers. Not sure where I can see a preserved destroyer, though. Any naval exhibit tends to be near the sea (oddly enough :wink: ) and here in Derby I'm about 200 miles from the nearest coast...

I did see a reference on wikipedia to the Japanese being able to reload torpedoes inside 15 minutes, but nothing about any other navy being able to to reload them or not. The only other relevent reference was to the Battle of Jutland that said many destroyers missed a chance to fire on German battleships because they'd expended all available torpedoes in one salvo.

On another completely unrelated note, I see that destroyers are given a "secondary armament" with all-round fire and low AD instead of A, B, X and Y turrets with light guns. Why was this done? I'd have thought even destroyers would be able to split fire and be conscious of their orientation to the enemy.

I also notice that some of the cruisers and battlecruisers in the preview don't have any secondary guns. I was under the impression every capital ship carried seconday batteries to fend of destroyers and other such riff-raff with wasting their priciple armament on them.
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Postby Wulf Corbett » Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:16 pm

Lord David the Denied wrote:On another completely unrelated note, I see that destroyers are given a "secondary armament" with all-round fire and low AD instead of A, B, X and Y turrets with light guns. Why was this done? I'd have thought even destroyers would be able to split fire and be conscious of their orientation to the enemy.
All secondaries can be split - in the same manner as turreted weapons in ACtA. In fact, that was the point of the definition, to simplify things and save having to track the fate of multiple smaller turrets. The simplification does abstract out the actual fire arc limitations of turrets, mind you.
I also notice that some of the cruisers and battlecruisers in the preview don't have any secondary guns. I was under the impression every capital ship carried seconday batteries to fend of destroyers and other such riff-raff with wasting their priciple armament on them.
Only the two French ships lack Secondaries. maybe it's a French thing :wink:

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Postby Jellicoe » Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:19 pm

HMS Belfast is in London, not quite the sea, but I guess the river counts as something similar. :)
Lord David the Denied wrote: I also notice that some of the cruisers and battlecruisers in the preview don't have any secondary guns. I was under the impression every capital ship carried seconday batteries to fend of destroyers and other such riff-raff with wasting their priciple armament on them.
Which ones do you mean? On cruisers, generally light ones, the secondary battery is the heavy AA battery which can also be used against surface targets.
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Postby Lord David the Denied » Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:19 pm

How do you split fire with a 1AD secondary battery?
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Postby Jellicoe » Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:26 pm

Lord David the Denied wrote:How do you split fire with a 1AD secondary battery?
Pass I don't know I was just making a general point, somebody who playtested it will have to answer that one and if it is just something that is relevant to a few ships.
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Postby Wulf Corbett » Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:27 pm

Lord David the Denied wrote:How do you split fire with a 1AD secondary battery?
There are, obviously, exceptions... :roll:

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Postby Lord David the Denied » Wed Nov 01, 2006 4:47 pm

Which was the reason for my query. A 1AD secondary battery doesn't seem right for a destroyer that mounted six or eight 5" guns.

Also, most of the capital ships I looked at only had 1 or 2 AD on their secondaries, but a ship like the Hood mounted around ten 5" guns as a secondary armament. Did you consider using turrets for them like the main guns?

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