The newbie wonders

Discuss the Victory at Sea range of naval games.

Moderator: rcbecker1

Colonel_Jenkins
Weasel
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 6:49 pm
Location: CLASSIFIED

The newbie wonders

Postby Colonel_Jenkins » Fri Mar 02, 2007 8:01 pm

Gentlemen, I hope you don't mind entertaining some entirely newbish questions. I'm thinking about 'taking the plunge' and was wondering about a few things:

1) For what scale of minis is VaS written?

2) How does the scale stack up to the visual disposition of the ships, i.e. do they have to run up to nearly boarding range (visually) to launch torps, etc. i.e. how 'crowded' does the board usually look?

3) How well does VaS account for the dominance of naval airpower and/or airpower as the principle offensive instrument e.g. Midway?
Doogie Howser, S.S.
captainsmirk
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1034
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:31 am
Location: Limbo

Postby captainsmirk » Fri Mar 02, 2007 8:10 pm

1) There is no standard scale, although most people seemed to be using 1:2400-3000 scale minis.

2) Can't really answer this one as haven't played yet. Although that said, aircraft carriers appearing on the table may be a little to compacted for your tastes.

3) VaS has basically been designed around Battleship gunfests, so aircraft as is have been nerfed in many peoples opionions to stop them dominating the game.


Nick
Captain Sheridan you're under arrest for a clear violation of the laws of physics!
resQscooter
Stoat
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:46 pm

Postby resQscooter » Fri Mar 02, 2007 8:19 pm

The ground/time scale is not stated as such but there have been several posters who have calculated them. I believe the latest answer is 9 minutes per turn and 1000 yards per inch.

Visually it really depends on the scale you do use. The counters supplied with the hardback edition look "OK". Personally I think 1:6000 miniatures look about right for the distances as stated above. Thats what I use, though I have just ordered some 1:2400 because they are beautiful.

Don't even get us started on "the dominance of airpower" :lol:

regards,
Scott
Last edited by resQscooter on Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Chernobyl
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 4943
Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 10:12 pm
Location: the part of the US that's still sane

Postby Chernobyl » Fri Mar 02, 2007 8:36 pm

1/2400 is a common size available from a couple different manufacturers here in the states, so that's what my local group is using. GHQ and Panzerschiff, mostly.

1" = 1000 yards seems the consensus, thoug I had calculated the time scale to be around 8 1/2 minutes per turn (based on figures for the Iowa class)

Yes aircraft have been nerfed; a lot of house rules have sprung up mitigating this and other issues (torpedo belts, high hit numbers, etc)

Chern
www.epicarmycard.com
For ACTA and E:A resources

Image
Colonel_Jenkins
Weasel
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 6:49 pm
Location: CLASSIFIED

Postby Colonel_Jenkins » Fri Mar 02, 2007 8:41 pm

Thanks for the responses so far.

I'm concerned about the aircraft issue. I'm into the USN, and it seems that naval aviation was the dominant factor in the Pacific. After all, if it wasn't, you would have expected the IJN to have done much better.

It would be disappointing to me if the game doesn't represent the fact that ponderous battlewagons like Yamato and Musashi were really obsolete in view of the potence of massed bomb and torpedo attacks. Yamato got her big debut against the valiant Taffy 3 and performed very non-stellarly... and both she and Musashi got pounded into mulch by naval airpower, may their crews rest in peace.
Doogie Howser, S.S.
captainsmirk
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1034
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:31 am
Location: Limbo

Postby captainsmirk » Fri Mar 02, 2007 8:56 pm

You shouldn't mistake VaS as an absolute Historical game, if that's what your looking for you will probably be disappointed. The game is much like ACtA designed with competative play in mind (even if many would complain about the balance between ships/fleets).

If aircraft showed their historic potency then fleets like the Kriegsmarine and Italian Navy would effectively loose automatically against an aircraft heavy US or Japanese fleet as all their ships are sunk before they can cause much damage. Although that said they could just pig out on land based aircraft I suppose, which get around the need to be launched (But more realistically should have limited endurance)...


Nick
Captain Sheridan you're under arrest for a clear violation of the laws of physics!
Oly
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 400
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 2:33 pm
Location: London

Postby Oly » Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:17 pm

Colonel_Jenkins wrote:Thanks for the responses so far.

I'm concerned about the aircraft issue. I'm into the USN, and it seems that naval aviation was the dominant factor in the Pacific. After all, if it wasn't, you would have expected the IJN to have done much better.

It would be disappointing to me if the game doesn't represent the fact that ponderous battlewagons like Yamato and Musashi were really obsolete in view of the potence of massed bomb and torpedo attacks. Yamato got her big debut against the valiant Taffy 3 and performed very non-stellarly... and both she and Musashi got pounded into mulch by naval airpower, may their crews rest in peace.
If you're after a game of Naval airpower then VaS probably isn't going to be the game for you. It's a game of ships and if aircraft were as powerful and dominant as they showed themselves to be then no one would bother taking any ships. Given that they have been softened somewhat to keep the focus of the game on the ships.

Some people, understandably, have issues with that and if you nose around the forums there's all sorts of suggestions as to how to make aircraft more the force that they were.

However that's not the game that I really want to be playing though so I'm very happy with VaS as it is.
Tzarevitch
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 235
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2006 6:45 pm

Postby Tzarevitch » Mon Mar 05, 2007 3:49 pm

Colonel_Jenkins wrote:Thanks for the responses so far.

I'm concerned about the aircraft issue. I'm into the USN, and it seems that naval aviation was the dominant factor in the Pacific. After all, if it wasn't, you would have expected the IJN to have done much better.

It would be disappointing to me if the game doesn't represent the fact that ponderous battlewagons like Yamato and Musashi were really obsolete in view of the potence of massed bomb and torpedo attacks. Yamato got her big debut against the valiant Taffy 3 and performed very non-stellarly... and both she and Musashi got pounded into mulch by naval airpower, may their crews rest in peace.
Don't read too much into what people are saying about the ineffectiveness of aircraft in the game. Most carrier engagements in WWII involved multiple carriers. VaS players deploy a carrier or 2 in a scenario then decry the fact they the don't get great results.

Bear in mind Halsey's carrier force that sunk the Musashi had 12 carriers, and several waves of attackers concentrated on her exclusively. Carriers were generally grouped to gether, with 2 large fleet units at minimum to have any effect. Also (the Midway fluke notwithstanding) tough targets frequently needed multiple aircraft strikes to sink.

Remember also that VaS battles occur at VERY short ranges by carrier standards. This is a function of reality as a game that is played throughout an auditorium is not practical, but it tends to produce results like that suffered by HMS Glorious where a carrier has to operate too close to heavy surface combattants. This keeps carriers from being the no-brainer inclusions in a VaS fleet that they historically were.

It is quite possible to get historical results using carriers in the game but you have to use a credible number of them to get that effect.

Tzarevitch
Colonel_Jenkins
Weasel
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 6:49 pm
Location: CLASSIFIED

Postby Colonel_Jenkins » Mon Mar 05, 2007 4:34 pm

Tzarevitch wrote:
Colonel_Jenkins wrote:Thanks for the responses so far.

I'm concerned about the aircraft issue. I'm into the USN, and it seems that naval aviation was the dominant factor in the Pacific. After all, if it wasn't, you would have expected the IJN to have done much better.

It would be disappointing to me if the game doesn't represent the fact that ponderous battlewagons like Yamato and Musashi were really obsolete in view of the potence of massed bomb and torpedo attacks. Yamato got her big debut against the valiant Taffy 3 and performed very non-stellarly... and both she and Musashi got pounded into mulch by naval airpower, may their crews rest in peace.
Don't read too much into what people are saying about the ineffectiveness of aircraft in the game. Most carrier engagements in WWII involved multiple carriers. VaS players deploy a carrier or 2 in a scenario then decry the fact they the don't get great results.

Bear in mind Halsey's carrier force that sunk the Musashi had 12 carriers, and several waves of attackers concentrated on her exclusively. Carriers were generally grouped to gether, with 2 large fleet units at minimum to have any effect. Also (the Midway fluke notwithstanding) tough targets frequently needed multiple aircraft strikes to sink.

Remember also that VaS battles occur at VERY short ranges by carrier standards. This is a function of reality as a game that is played throughout an auditorium is not practical, but it tends to produce results like that suffered by HMS Glorious where a carrier has to operate too close to heavy surface combattants. This keeps carriers from being the no-brainer inclusions in a VaS fleet that they historically were.

It is quite possible to get historical results using carriers in the game but you have to use a credible number of them to get that effect.

Tzarevitch
Thanks for that... it's really quite helpful. I'm still making up my mind about VaS. This makes me more inclined to look at it seriously.

Are the rules structured in such a way that one could game out Midway or Leyte and have an historical result?
Doogie Howser, S.S.
Burger
Warlord Mongoose
Posts: 8150
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 3:44 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Postby Burger » Mon Mar 05, 2007 5:08 pm

Colonel_Jenkins wrote:Are the rules structured in such a way that one could game out Midway or Leyte and have an historical result?
It uses dice... anything can happen.
Pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space,
Cos there's bugger all down here on Earth.

Image
Poi
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1129
Joined: Sat May 01, 2004 10:08 am
Location: Basingstoke, UK

Postby Poi » Mon Mar 05, 2007 5:10 pm

No. They're both too aircraft heavy for VaS, which deliberately downplays aircraft.
Poi

Honk if Pluto is a planet
Myrm
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 847
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 7:09 am
Location: Cambridge, UK

Postby Myrm » Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:59 am

Colonel_Jenkins wrote:
Thanks for that... it's really quite helpful. I'm still making up my mind about VaS. This makes me more inclined to look at it seriously.

Are the rules structured in such a way that one could game out Midway or Leyte and have an historical result?
Difficult. Tzarevitch has hit on the primary issue, distance. VaS scale is oft quoted as 'Unassigned but roughly 1000yds per inch'. That means a mile is 17", so think how big a table you need for the entire battle of Midway. I don't know enough about Leyte Gulf to know if the distances were similar or not, but I assume any decent carrier battle will have distances involved that take a fleet out of normal table ranges.

One way to deal with this is break the Battle of Midway down to a series of engagements, each of which forms a scenario to play through, so the IJN raid on Midway, the counter strike from the US etc. If done cleverly you could have multiple tables for each force and then rules for transfer from board to board and play simultaneously - however that requires adding material to the game to cover this and is not VaS out of the book.

As to whether the air power will be sufficiently powerful to regularly reproduce the events of the Battle, I dont know. I suspect possibly not, if you stick to the numbers of aircraft flights per carrier suggested. I would however question how many 6's the US forces rolled during the battle. Until you can answer that question then you simply cannot answer if VaS reliably reproduces Midway. By that I mean - was the historical result one that could be considered probabilistically likely prior to the battle. The capacity of VaS to produce the result IS there because there are serious crit results and even insta-sinks in the game so it could give the historical result.

If you are interested in the carrier wars, then I suspect that VaS airpower will be a little light in rules for you, the detail of carrier operations is basic to launch, and strike (reload rearm etc are not in there, given the distances involved). There are some who have suggested ways of upgrading rules and strnegth of airpower. These include giving carriers more flights of aircraft, making flights individually more powerful and allowing reloading. All these house rules are tracable on the forums.

The best way to go sticking solely to the rules is, I suggest, to do each air strike in the Battle of Midway or similar as a separate scenario, play them one after another and adjust the numbers of striking aircraft to be able to produce a result that meets your approval, maybe include a sub or two. Within that context, VaS will do these sorts of engagements ruleswise.
mrobs2002
Shrew
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2007 8:28 pm

Postby mrobs2002 » Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:18 am

Myrm wrote:VaS scale is oft quoted as 'Unassigned but roughly 1000yds per inch'. That means a mile is 17", so think how big a table you need for the entire battle of Midway.
Heh, almost :wink:. A mile is actually 1.76" at that scale. Even so, I think the fleets at Midway were at least 150 miles apart, so that means a table size of at least 22 feet.

Basically, carriers should not be within gun range of the enemy, otherwise they tend to lead very short lives (HMS Glorious). The advantage of carriers is that they extend the range of your firepower. In VaS, this seems to be difficult to simulate, due to the restricted size of the tables used.

Cheers, Martyn
Myrm
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 847
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 7:09 am
Location: Cambridge, UK

Postby Myrm » Tue Mar 06, 2007 4:50 pm

mrobs2002 wrote:
Heh, almost :wink:. A mile is actually 1.76" at that scale. Even so, I think


Sorry, typo missing the decimal point. Doh doh doh....excuse my Homer moment....
the fleets at Midway were at least 150 miles apart, so that means a table size of at least 22 feet.
What he says here :).....If you want 6x4 or anything close its not going to be on one table, add Midway in and its more of an issue.

Tim
Colonel_Jenkins
Weasel
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 6:49 pm
Location: CLASSIFIED

Postby Colonel_Jenkins » Tue Mar 06, 2007 7:21 pm

Myrm wrote: One way to deal with this is break the Battle of Midway down to a series of engagements, each of which forms a scenario to play through, so the IJN raid on Midway, the counter strike from the US etc. If done cleverly you could have multiple tables for each force and then rules for transfer from board to board and play simultaneously - however that requires adding material to the game to cover this and is not VaS out of the book.

As to whether the air power will be sufficiently powerful to regularly reproduce the events of the Battle, I dont know. I suspect possibly not, if you stick to the numbers of aircraft flights per carrier suggested. I would however question how many 6's the US forces rolled during the battle. Until you can answer that question then you simply cannot answer if VaS reliably reproduces Midway. By that I mean - was the historical result one that could be considered probabilistically likely prior to the battle. The capacity of VaS to produce the result IS there because there are serious crit results and even insta-sinks in the game so it could give the historical result.

If you are interested in the carrier wars, then I suspect that VaS airpower will be a little light in rules for you, the detail of carrier operations is basic to launch, and strike (reload rearm etc are not in there, given the distances involved). There are some who have suggested ways of upgrading rules and strnegth of airpower. These include giving carriers more flights of aircraft, making flights individually more powerful and allowing reloading. All these house rules are tracable on the forums.

The best way to go sticking solely to the rules is, I suggest, to do each air strike in the Battle of Midway or similar as a separate scenario, play them one after another and adjust the numbers of striking aircraft to be able to produce a result that meets your approval, maybe include a sub or two. Within that context, VaS will do these sorts of engagements ruleswise.
Great post! Very helpful. I like the multiple scenario idea.

On the question of representing Midway, I think clearly the strike on the Akagi constitutes a "lucky shot"... an insta-sink result that I understand the game allows for. Conceivably a similarly lucky blow happened against the Soryu, in the form of 3 solid hits instead of just one. Kaga seems to have been hit numerous times.

So my follow-on question is this: given the way the rules stand without house rules, could the Dauntless complement of the Enterprise cripple the Kaga and luck out against the Akagi, and could the Yorktown's complement similarly cripple the Soryu?
Doogie Howser, S.S.
Colonel_Jenkins
Weasel
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 6:49 pm
Location: CLASSIFIED

Postby Colonel_Jenkins » Thu Mar 29, 2007 5:23 am

Update: Even though I'm still suspicious that VaS may downplay aircraft too much, I found it for $20 so I decided on a lark to take the plunge.
Doogie Howser, S.S.
Lord David the Denied
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 4260
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 10:39 am
Location: Northampton, UK

Postby Lord David the Denied » Thu Mar 29, 2007 8:51 am

While you're wondering if air power is good enough in VaS, have a poke round for the number of strikes the RAF and RN Fleet Air Arm launched against Tirpitz. I found a site that listed the attacks by date and time, number of aircraft involved and type, number of bombs/torpedoes dropped, number of hits and damage done to the ship.

Let me tell you, it shook my faith in aircraft... :(
captainsmirk
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1034
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:31 am
Location: Limbo

Postby captainsmirk » Thu Mar 29, 2007 9:39 am

Well the Tirpitz is hardly a representative example...

Fleet Air Arm attack aircraft weren't always the most fantastic...

Plus Tirpitz was attacked in a position made difficult by terrain, its location in a fjord made torpedo attacks extremely difficult, plus she was extensively protected by torpedo nets.

Bombing would also be more difficult than out on the open sea, with land based AA fire having a more stable firing platform than a ship, plus you have the danger of flying into the side of the fjord...


Nick
Captain Sheridan you're under arrest for a clear violation of the laws of physics!
Makoto
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 812
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 3:29 pm
Location: Poland

Postby Makoto » Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:08 am

Then try the same with the task force send with Yamato to Okinawa. Instead of leaving a pair of damaged destroyers (as it was) most of those ships do survive, in pretty good shape at that.
The correct answer is: Because that is our job
Lord David the Denied
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 4260
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 10:39 am
Location: Northampton, UK

Postby Lord David the Denied » Thu Mar 29, 2007 1:44 pm

captainsmirk wrote:Well the Tirpitz is hardly a representative example...

Fleet Air Arm attack aircraft weren't always the most fantastic...

Plus Tirpitz was attacked in a position made difficult by terrain, its location in a fjord made torpedo attacks extremely difficult, plus she was extensively protected by torpedo nets.

Bombing would also be more difficult than out on the open sea, with land based AA fire having a more stable firing platform than a ship, plus you have the danger of flying into the side of the fjord...


Nick
All true, but they pounded that ship for weeks. Even when they hit her multiple times with bombs she didn't go under. Just the other side coin, mind. We know air attacks were successful...

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests