Rules "Slipping Away"?

Discuss the Victory at Sea range of naval games.

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Rules "Slipping Away"?

Postby DM » Thu Dec 23, 2010 5:11 pm

I think you will see a great game slip away if they ignore it much longer.
I'm going to pick up on this because its a comment I see frequently and related to a lot of rules, not just VAS. Back in the 1980s I bought a set of WW2 naval rules called "General Quarters". Between the time they were published and the mid-2000s the only items that were published were the original rules and the WW1 version. This was and is a "great game" and it managed to become one of the premier naval wargames rules on the strength of just those 2 books. Spearhead is another great example - one rulebook and what is it, 2 scenario books? Still one of the leading WW2 rule sets. Fire and Fury? The premier ACW brigade level set of rules, with one rule book published 20 years ago, two scenario books and only recently a regimental set published. Or how about DBA? one of the most popular sets of ancient rules, published in the mid 1980s, still going strong - it has a revision every 5 years or so, but thats it, just one book.

Why do people think that rules will "slip away" just because a publisher doesn't churn out endless supplements and revisions for it?
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Postby Da Boss » Thu Dec 23, 2010 5:25 pm

I would tend to agree - I have lots of games I still play - Block Mania anyone :)

If its not commerically avaialble than the only real issue is how difficult it is for new players to get hold of games - but in these days of pdfs etc - out of print games are often "less so".
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Postby Captain Chum » Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:40 pm

If I am a consumer and want to get into a naval war game what am I going to look for. First I am going to look on the shelf at the store. If a game is out of print, it is more than likely not going to be there. As a game gets older, it becomes harder to find and may not even get looked at.

When deciding to purchase a game, I would also be interested in its player support. Does it have player aids? Updated rule sets? If I am an existing player of lets say, WOTC war at sea and I want to step up my game a little these are the things I would be looking for in a game system. Perhaps the word "system" is not the best term here. If MGP has published VAS as a one and done game then it will eventually go out of print IMHO. From reading there State of the Mongoose Address thread I do not think that is the intention.

As I mentioned in the other thread, I think miniatures would play a big part of it. I do understand this would be a large investment but MGP has looked into that. AOD looks to get an update soon. War at Sea has been going for a few years now. Their miniatures and player support are key factors.

I am not saying I would like to be knee deep in endless supplements and revisions. If it is a good game like VAS, it should'nt need many but there are always some bugs to work out. Even if bugs are worked out, an occasional update shows the player that the publisher of the game he plays is still engaged. Scenario supplements for example. Even a simple game as Battleship has evolved over the years. This keeps the game alive and I can find that game, as simple as it is, still on the shelf.

Anyway, just some thoughts to ponder with.
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Postby Spectrar Ghost » Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:14 pm

There are at least a dozen major suppliers of WWII naval miniatures, in scales ranging from 1:6000 to 1:1250, and at least a few 1:700 waterline models. I would guess a range of naval wargames minis would be at best risky, and at worst, foolish.

As to updates, I would think the huge set of Italian stats DM just posted would convince onlookers that this is not a dead game.
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Postby rcbecker1 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 4:17 am

Well I have to say Im to blame for the newest headache that DM has. As for his recent work in the forums I am glad he has rejoined with his time and ability. I can tell you how long I have pushed to get stuff going here again. Thus I am very happy to see this forum moving forward. So I say thanks to all who have participated of late. Some of this traffic is players looking for more than a simple set of rules to use for there 1/1800 WAS ships. Includding myself. I was so glad WOTC came out with ships for me to use with these great set of rules I found.
Now down to bussiness:
1. For players to see a game moving forward you need updates to common problem rules. This was done with OOB a great improvement.

2. Working out complete ship list so they can use there cool minis.
Same for planes.

3. A way to create sheets for print out thats easy and correct. This I have tried to do and share them with anyone who ask.
My future project create a ship manager so players can download it and be ready to play.

4. Convention & game store support. this is provide by the Mongoose Infantry.
My future project is help Matt (or someone at Mongoose) create a way for Stores and Cons to contact Mongoose to ask for support. Then after this a local MI rep will be able to contact them offering support. (Example, Demoes, Tournaments)

5. AS for minis there are alot out there allready I would not bother. I think you do better with a darn near perfect set of rules and awesome support.
As a Mongoose Inf. rep I hope to help complete this goal.
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Postby Captain Chum » Fri Dec 24, 2010 4:53 am

I would buy that for a dollar! :lol:
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Postby Captain Chum » Fri Dec 24, 2010 5:04 am

Spectrar Ghost wrote:There are at least a dozen major suppliers of WWII naval miniatures, in scales ranging from 1:6000 to 1:1250, and at least a few 1:700 waterline models. I would guess a range of naval wargames minis would be at best risky, and at worst, foolish.

As to updates, I would think the huge set of Italian stats DM just posted would convince onlookers that this is not a dead game.
rcbecker1 has brought up some excellent points. What I want everyone to understand is that I do not think the game is dead. I would like to see more energy put back in the VAS. Thanks to rcbecker1 and the updated stats from DM things are moving forward. I just would hate to see a great game go by the way side and IMHO there are other things like what rcbecker1 pointed out that could be done.
As for miniatures, yes there are several different suppliers of miniatures. What I have found out that not all suppliers are on the same page. One scale might have a ship you need that doesn't match the scale you are playing with. I think this game would go to a higher playing field with its competitors if it had its own scaled miniatures to go with the game. For now, I can use my WAS miniatures. If VAS ever comes out with their own miniatures, that would be very cool. 8)
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Postby fmagaw » Fri Dec 24, 2010 7:14 am

Hi all. VAS is alive and well here in my game group and I have even more fun teaching noobs the finer art of naval battle with this game. I have a question. Has Mongoose ever considered printing a book of record sheets for VAS? I would be very interested in a product like this. What do you all think?
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Postby rcbecker1 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:17 pm

First off fmagaw thanks for stopping back at the forums.
As for your question this is something I have interest in also and hope Mongoose see's a need for. It could even be a PDF for sale for $10.00 per fleet. The ship sheets being premade in the PDF, maybe with pics of the ship, stats and a breif historic note were justafiable. The stats would be free to update and make your own sheets if you dont want to buy the premade fleet PDF.
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Postby DM » Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:12 pm

Pre-made downloadable PDFs for a niminal sum seems like agood way to go. I wouldn't worry about the "blurb" descriptions of the ships, just restrict to what is needed for the game.

Something else that would be useful would be a piece of software that catalogued the ship stats and allowed a user to print out sheets for whatever ship they wanted. I've seen people do these for age of sail games using Excel. Is this someting that might be os use? And, if so, is there anyone out there who has the skills to do it?
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Postby Spectrar Ghost » Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:45 pm

DM wrote:Is this someting that might be of use? And, if so, is there anyone out there who has the skills to do it?
Yes, and probably, but not me...
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Postby rcbecker1 » Sat Dec 25, 2010 1:03 am

Thats the biggest complaints of the new players is making all the sheets andf getting the list. I would be willing to help on this project but If Mongoose does it, it would half to have a cost. If we did it, it could be free.
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Postby captnmartin » Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:54 am

I'd like to see an update to the Priority Level system, a general shakedown and balancing of all the ships in the game using the new system, and corrections to a few of the ship stats.

Rules Clarifications in a few cases would be nice.

V@S 2.0 or 1.5 or whatever you would have to call it. The ruleset is strong, and easy to play, but it can still be tweaked and improved.
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Postby MongooseMatt » Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:41 am

This is something we have been looking at.

VaS is one of our best selling games, and it just keeps on going! It won;t be going out of print any time soon.

On the other hand, I don't think anyone would complain if we released VaS 2.0, and this is something we have considered. The only thing halting progress at the moment is the decision whether we should have our own range of ships (or buy up an existing range, again, it has been looked at).

So, we are pondering such things. We'll have to see what turns up!
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Postby captnmartin » Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:03 pm

Thanks for the answer, I figured that you would be looking into it. I stumbled over the game a few months ago and am a big convert. The Age of Dreadnaughts rules added some things I'd like to see in V@S (officially, since we already include some in our games)

As I mentioned, a second edition with further fixes and clarifications, and another look at balancing would be excellent I think.

On the subject of models, I don't find it necessary, there are already a lot of manufacturers out there at the moment, I personally enjoy figureheads 1/6000, being detailed enough to distinguish ship classes, small enough to paint quickly, and acquire fleets cheaply. An official range would be nice, but not essential.
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Postby rcbecker1 » Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:26 pm

I agree theres no need for a line of ships theres already plenty out there. Just keep VAS the best set of rules and they will be played and will sell.
As I said before ship sheets and more statted ships is the biggest complaint Ive heard, you correct this and tweak the rules and you will have the best unless the players want to know if there gun farted when it penetrated the enemies gun carraige.
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Postby captnmartin » Thu Jun 23, 2011 1:51 am

As I said before ship sheets
Definitely this!

Battletech would be brutal if it wasn't for stuff like SSW that lets you print out force sheets for play.

I would be willing to pay for a well crafted program as well.
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Postby MongooseMatt » Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:37 am

The thing is, if we also had a miniatures range, we would be very comfortable in doing a nice, big hardback, full colour throughout, with lots of pictures of pretty painted miniatures :) I have a vision in my head of what that book would look like, and I really want to do it...

Alternatively, a box set with some common classes of ships in plastic to kick your fleets off - another possibility we have looked at.
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Postby captnmartin » Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:32 pm

Well, I know you guys are really happy with your new modeling process, if you did do ships, what scale would you be looking at?

1/2400, 1/6000, or something different?
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Postby lastbesthope » Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:15 pm

captnmartin wrote:Well, I know you guys are really happy with your new modeling process, if you did do ships, what scale would you be looking at?

1/2400, 1/6000, or something different?
I bet Matt'd be tempted at 1:1

:lol:

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