Welcome to the Open Playtest

Join the open playtest for the WWII naval combat game.

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msprange
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Welcome to the Open Playtest

Postby msprange » Tue May 08, 2018 3:13 pm

Greetings, Captains, Admirals and Nautical Coves!

We would like to welcome you to the Victory at Sea Open Playtest, and thank you for your interest in bringing the second edition of this game to reality. We welcome all comments (good and bad!) and very much hope you enjoy your time with this game.

Your first step is to download the Playtest Pack, which can be found here: http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/pdf/vasplaytest.zip

There is a lot of material here, so take your time going through it, gather two small fleets, and try to sink some cruisers!

Please read the Playtest Pack document, as this will lay out the current objectives for the playtest, as well as provide a guide of where we hope to take this game.

You are welcome to post comments in this forum, and we encourage you to come back regularly so you can keep up to date with revisions to the rules set.
Matthew Sprange

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Re: Welcome to the Open Playtest (start here)

Postby Ol Warrior » Fri May 11, 2018 12:37 pm

In package three containing ship data. Please modify the column data as follows:
Weapons – Range - AD - DD – AP – Special
Moving the AP stat to after the DD stat which is what is modified by the AP is more intutive.

In Package one Attackt:
Can you make the ranges divisible by 4. This way when the ranges are quartered or halved they do not have fraction of an inch or centimeter.
this a more tidy for Point Blank range, etc.

Concerning dice identification would you use 1D6 rather than D6 in the files. This will give a constant approach to the dice like 2D6l, 3D6, 4D6...

What is the difference between a damaged turret and a destroyed turret. Can a damaged turret be repaired?

What specifically is a weapons system? Is it one turret or all Primary turrets of the ship or does this only apply to the Critical Weapons line in the Critical hit area?

When saying that Critical damage is cumulative are we referring to the increase in the Critical Score numbers?

Just for fun - what is Escalate?

I believe I know these most of what is intended but before setting up our first game with our playtest group need to be certain about these aspects.
Chuck
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Re: Welcome to the Open Playtest (start here)

Postby msprange » Fri May 11, 2018 12:53 pm

Ol Warrior wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 12:37 pm
Can you make the ranges divisible by 4. This way when the ranges are quartered or halved they do not have fraction of an inch or centimeter.
this a more tidy for Point Blank range, etc.
We do have this system originally, but the ranges have all been changed to match real world data.
Ol Warrior wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 12:37 pm
Just for fun - what is Escalate?
Check out 05 End Phase - this is one rule we are quite proud of, as it adds a lot of fun to the end of the turn (not necessarily for the ship's owner...)
Ol Warrior wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 12:37 pm
What is the difference between a damaged turret and a destroyed turret. Can a damaged turret be repaired?
This is correct - a destroyed turret is wrecked beyond repair.
Ol Warrior wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 12:37 pm
What specifically is a weapons system? Is it one turret or all Primary turrets of the ship or does this only apply to the Critical Weapons line in the Critical hit area?
Consider it one line on the ships stats - so, a main gun/turret is one weapon system, light guns are another (some ships have two sets of light guns), AAA is another, etc.
Ol Warrior wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 12:37 pm
When saying that Critical damage is cumulative are we referring to the increase in the Critical Score numbers?.
This is correct.
Ol Warrior wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 12:37 pm
I believe I know these most of what is intended but before setting up our first game with our playtest group need to be certain about these aspects.
Matthew Sprange

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http://www.mongoosepublishing.com
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Re: Welcome to the Open Playtest (start here)

Postby Ol Warrior » Fri May 11, 2018 1:01 pm

One last suggestion in the Attack chapter:
Would you rotate the Crew, Engine, and Weapons table to be like the Vital Systems table with the Die Roll results running down the first column? Again easier to visualize and consistent formatting.
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Re: Welcome to the Open Playtest (start here)

Postby locarno24 » Wed May 16, 2018 11:21 am

First thoughts:
~ Looking forward to an updated Victory At Sea!
~ Without having an initial play-through (will do my best), thoughts as below

Introduction
~ I know it's a personal thing, but 'counting up' always feels like it saves a moment's mental effort here and there compared to 'counting down'; why not simply have the Warspite's crippled stat be 26 - i.e. 'you are crippled once you have taken this much damage'.

~ Agreed AD, DD, AP makes sense as an order. I need to know how many dice I'm rolling before I need to know the score I need to get on each die.

The Turn
~ No Comments

Movement
~ Minimum move 1" - a capital warship being able to spontaneously go from max chat to a dead stop at will feels a bit wrong without a special action being involved.
~ "Ships may never be stacked on top of one another and so you may never end your movement ‘on top’ of another ship. If this is impossible, simply place the moving ship to one side of the other vessel." Which side? Given that if this situation occurs it is likely to result in one ship crossing the other's T at point blank range, who gets to decide which way round the ships are placed?
~ "Rules for motor torpedo boas are on pXX" - snakes with torpedoes. Almost as scary as sharks with laser beams.

Attack
~ See comments about counting up vs counting down. I'll happily admit it's personal taste and makes no real difference to the mechanics of the game.

When Damage Dice are rolled, the resulting number on each dice is compared to the target’s Armour score. For every Damage Dice that equals or beats the Armour score, 1 point of damage is deducted from the target’s Damage score.

"Any Damage Dice that roll a natural 6 (before any modifiers are applied) may also cause a critical hit. If you roll a 6, roll the dice immediately again. If you roll a 4 or more then, in addition to causing damage as normal, you will also have scored a critical hit!"
"A natural ‘6’ does not always cause damage."

So it is possible to cause a critical but no structural damage against a heavier ship (like the Armour 7+ Rodney)? Just checking, rather than objecting.

"Main Guns and Light Guns fired at a target that is at Long or Extreme Range gain a +1 bonus to their Damage Dice."
Could be read as meaning a +1 to the roll, or +1 dice rolled (although the 'Heavy Armour' section below clarifies)
Possibly word as increasing the AP by one?


When a ship is crippled, its speed is halved. Is it halved before or after the reduction in speed from engine criticals? (I.e. if a ship with a 4" speed and Engines 3 is crippled, is it immobilized?)

Mostly a question for carriers because most other things with 11+ hit points have some main guns, but what happens if a ship with no Main Guns takes a turret destroyed critical? Are effects other than the extra damage ignored?


I note there's still an 'instant death' critical. On the other hand, a damage die needs a 6 for a potential critical, a 4 to confirm the critical, a double 1 or 6 for the vital systems critical and a 6 for the catastrophic explosion. That means you're likely to see it something like 1 in 1296 shots, which is often enough to see it in the game but not that it should be a major thing. Obviously at some point, someone will have a battleship taken out by a 6" gun rolling a string of 6 6s in a row, and will be deeply cross, but it's not like you can avoid having the 'HMS Hood Killshot' as an option in a WWII naval game.


End Phase
"To repair a critical hit by Damage Control, select one location that currently has a Critical Score and roll 1D6, adding the ship’s Crew Quality score. For every point you roll above 8, the Critical Score of that location is reduced by one. Any traits lost by a critical hit on this location will also be repaired."
What else is restored? Are light weapons AD recovered? Speed? Re the post above, a destroyed turret is not restored.

Given that a ship is immobilized by high engines critical, under what circumstances does the compulsory movement rule come into play. I can't find any example of a ship being rendered adrift in the playtest pack.


Special Actions

"If the total matches or exceeds that listed in the Special Action’s description, the action is successful and will be performed. If not, the ship moves as normal."
...And suffers no other penalties associated with the special action?
Does a failed attempt to run silent or evade still mess with me attacking?


Come About!
This is presumably intended to only be a single extra turn, the first time you turn, whether it's after a 2" move, or more, or whatever. Equally does the 2" prescription interact with a destroyer with the agile trait? They should be able to turn after a 1" move, after all.

Evasive!
"However, all attacks the evading ship makes suffer a –1 penalty to their Attack Dice" - again, is this -1 die rolled or -1 on rolled results?
"and it may not move a distance more than half its Speed in this turn" again, interaction between half speed and fixed speed penalties from critical hits. Crippling automatically applies lumbering, which prohibits evasive, so no issue with half-half speed....

Flood Magazine!
"However, one random Turret is put out of action for the remainder of the game and cannot be repaired (if no Turrets are present, halve the Attack Dice of all Light Guns, rounding down). " See comment about destroyed turrets on ships with no main guns, and repairing turrets. If this is the 'standard definition' of a Destroyed Turret effect, then copy-paste where appropriate.


Special Traits

"Devastating: This weapon is exceptionally powerful, capable of blasting small targets apart and causing serious problems for even the largest vessels. Instead of causing one point of damage with each successful Damage Dice, a Devastating weapon will cause an amount of damage equal to what each Damage Dice actually rolls, regardless of whether it exceeds the target’s Armour score or not. In addition, a critical hit is scored for every Damage Dice that rolls a 5 or 6. Any critical hits scored will have a Critical Score equal to the roll of one dice."

So torpedoes essentially ignore armour and can jump you strait to a critical-6 score?



"Sub-Hunter: This ship carries specialised equipment designed to locate submerged vessels. Rules for hunting submersibles are covered in the forthcoming supplement XXX."
I rather hope they're in the section on Submersibles, which will ultimately be in chapter 14 of the same book....


Advanced Rules:

Bad Weather
"• Once an enemy ship is within 15-25” of a friendly vessel, make a Crew Quality check (as described on pXX) with a target number of 8. Success means the enemy ship has been Spotted and may be attacked normally by any friendly ship within 25”, as its location will be communicated to allies. Once a ship has been Spotted, it will remain so until it moves beyond 25”. "
What if I fail the CQ check? How often do I get to make repeat attempts to spot the ship, assuming it remains between 15" and 25" away and does not fire main guns?

Evading Torpedoes
"Ships that did not move at least 3” in the turn or are performing Special Actions may not attempt to evade torpedoes."
Including the Evasive! action?



Aircraft:
"To make an attack against a ship, each Flight must first roll to hit, using the table below. If the Flight is attacking a submersible or motor torpedo boat section and is not a Fighter or Bomber, a –1 penalty is applied to this roll."
Since no comment is made about a 6 being an automatic hit, Level Bombers can never hit an MTB. Which seems fair.

"To make an attack against a ship, each Flight must first roll to hit, using the table below. If the Flight is attacking a submersible or motor torpedo boat section and is not a Fighter or Bomber, a –1 penalty is applied to this roll."
Meaning that technically a carrier observation aircraft can attack a capital ship, it just will roll no DD if it 'hits', so can't inflict either damage or criticals.
I'm not sure if there'd ever be a rules situation where that matters, of course. Possibly relevant for some sort of equivalent of the ACTA border clash mission where repeatedly buzzing someone with observation planes might count towards victory?



Shorelines
"Land blocks all Line of Sight, and ships cannot target one another if land lies between them." - even with indirect fire with observation planes and anchored ships?



Coastal Structures
A civilian freighter is not exactly armoured, but more fragile than a wooden house? Would probably make this armour 1+, especially since it has 4 damage points.


Coastal Invasions
Am I missing a generic statline for a transport aircraft? Don't see any in the fleet lists.





Kamikaze
No comments.





Sumbersibles
"A submersible that is Submerged may either Surface or Run Deep.

A submersible that is Running Deep or Surfaced may sink or climb to be Submerged."

Should be "may change it's depth to...." otherwise the wording does not support maintaining depth.


Night Battles
"If the battle is taking place at night, Surfaced submersibles cannot be Spotted until they are within 10” of a ship, and are only automatically Spotted if they are within 3” of a ship."
How about Bad Weather? Obviously you would never voluntarily take a submarine into a bad weather engagement, since without torpedoes or light weapons they're essentially unarmed....

Also, how does detected and spotted interact? What happens if I spot a submersible, then it submerges, then surfaces again. I assume - but it's not stated - that I have to roll to spot it again?
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: Welcome to the Open Playtest (start here)

Postby locarno24 » Wed May 16, 2018 11:32 am

Ol Warrior wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 1:01 pm
One last suggestion in the Attack chapter:
Would you rotate the Crew, Engine, and Weapons table to be like the Vital Systems table with the Die Roll results running down the first column? Again easier to visualize and consistent formatting.
I think it may be deliberately inconsistent to underline the difference - the "critical levels" on weapons, engines, etc, are caused by inflicting second and subsequent criticals on the same critical 'line'; they're not a die roll, unlike the vital systems table, which is.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
locarno24
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Re: Welcome to the Open Playtest (start here)

Postby locarno24 » Wed May 16, 2018 11:56 am

Victory At Sea scenario:


"Both players should remove all destroyers and cruisers they intend to use for scouting from their deployment zone and put them to one side. In addition, they should nominate which aircraft will be used for scouting as well. Aircraft cannot be used for scouting in Bad Weather"

Assuming I rack up enough scouting points:

"may re-deploy any number of ships in Enhanced Deployment Zone" - needs clarification if this include ships set-aside as scouts or only ships I deployed and did not remove as scouts?

"As above, and a +2 bonus to Initiative for the entire battle." is this cumulative with 6 scouting points, giving a cumulative +3. If not, needs clarifying.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: Welcome to the Open Playtest (start here)

Postby Ol Warrior » Wed May 16, 2018 12:54 pm

locarno24 wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 11:32 am
Ol Warrior wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 1:01 pm
One last suggestion in the Attack chapter:
Would you rotate the Crew, Engine, and Weapons table to be like the Vital Systems table with the Die Roll results running down the first column? Again easier to visualize and consistent formatting.
I think it may be deliberately inconsistent to underline the difference - the "critical levels" on weapons, engines, etc, are caused by inflicting second and subsequent criticals on the same critical 'line'; they're not a die roll, unlike the vital systems table, which is.
At the top of the Column we "Ship Score" for the first Column once we totated the table and it is clear and easier to understand. As an example:
Crew Critical
Ships Score Extra Damage Effect Penalty
1 0 Shrapnel -1 AD *
2 1 Fire Escalate
3 2 Multiple Fires Weapons Critical Score +1
4 3 Heavy Shrapnel -1 Crew Quality
5 1D6 Hull Breach Engines Critical Score +1
6 2D6 Explosion Weapons Critical Score +1
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Re: Welcome to the Open Playtest (start here)

Postby locarno24 » Wed May 16, 2018 12:59 pm

Also;
If a ship suffers a critical, repairs it through damage control, and subsequently suffers the same critical again, which effects are re-applied? Extra Damage? Does a ship lose a second random turret (since the first one couldn't be repaired by damage control)?
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
locarno24
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Re: Welcome to the Open Playtest (start here)

Postby locarno24 » Thu May 17, 2018 9:39 am

When a ship suffers a -1AD result to its Light Weapons, does this apply simultaneously to all Light Weapons (if, say the ship is a Bismarck-class with two different sets of Light Weapons).

When a ship with the Restricted trait suffers a -1 AD to its light weapons, is the number of available light weapons attack dice in a broadside halved before or after applying the -1 AD?
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: Welcome to the Open Playtest (start here)

Postby msprange » Thu May 17, 2018 10:09 am

Brilliant feedback guys, we are reading everything and will update the game accordingly next month!
Matthew Sprange

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Re: Welcome to the Open Playtest (start here)

Postby locarno24 » Thu May 17, 2018 10:45 am

When a ship is crippled, Turrets are destroyed on a 4+, whilst light weapons and AAA are halved.
Are Torpedoes deliberately unaffected by being crippled?

Devastating
"Any critical hits scored will have a Critical Score equal to the roll of one dice."
Should be 'will increase the Critical Score by an amount equal to the roll of one die" - otherwise you get a weird rules conflict where a torpedo strikes a critical location which is already damaged.

"In addition, a critical hit is scored for every Damage Dice that rolls a 5 or 6"
Is this before or after modification for the Torpedo Belt trait - i.e. is it possible to cause a critical with a broadside strike to a ship with a Torpedo Belt 2 trait?
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: Welcome to the Open Playtest (start here)

Postby Greg Smith » Sun May 27, 2018 9:15 pm

locarno24 wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 11:21 am

Come About!
This is presumably intended to only be a single extra turn, the first time you turn, whether it's after a 2" move, or more, or whatever. Equally does the 2" prescription interact with a destroyer with the agile trait? They should be able to turn after a 1" move, after all.
I agree. This doesn't quite stack up with the turning rules.

Even a carrier like the Ark Royal can make 3 45 degree turns. It isn't clear whether Come About! applies to only the first turn, any one turn or all turns.

It would be better written to say the ship can turn up to 90 degrees, instead of can make two turns.

Do ships turn about their centre, their stern, or where do they pivot? I appreciate that there will be diagrams in the finished game, but it would help testing to know.
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Re: Welcome to the Open Playtest (start here)

Postby Greg Smith » Sun May 27, 2018 9:30 pm

The weapons critical track:

Is the -1AD, -2AD etc for secondary weapons cumulative. ie when a ship reaches critical level 3, could it be at -6AD?

Also, critical level 3 is described as turret damaged, but the -3AD is inflicted on secondaries or AA etc, is this correct?


Radar:
Radar is described as:
Radar: The ship is fitted with a surface radar system that allows it to operate effectively at long ranges
And in the radar rules:
A new development for World War II, the use of radar quickly spread to the sea where it was used to locate enemy ships at great ranges and direct the fire of turret guns, enhancing their accuracy.
But nothing in the rules reflects any accuracy increase. Now I know
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Re: Welcome to the Open Playtest (start here)

Postby locarno24 » Mon May 28, 2018 9:53 am

Greg Smith wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 9:30 pm
The weapons critical track:

Is the -1AD, -2AD etc for secondary weapons cumulative. ie when a ship reaches critical level 3, could it be at -6AD?
Provided you keep hitting the light weapons (or whatever)
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: Welcome to the Open Playtest (start here)

Postby dacis2 » Tue May 29, 2018 12:41 pm

1/4 and 3/4 ranges are very hard to calculate on the fly. Recommend either including a small table on the ship chart with the 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 ranges for its weapons, or a reference chart with said columns for every range from like 5-40 inches.

Old problem, but the crippling threshold is also hard to figure out on the fly if you're recording damage rather than remaining hitpoints. Recommend including the amount of damage it takes to reach the threshold. E.g. Brooklyn class cruiser - Damage: 24/8 (16)

Also related to crippling - does it not affect torpedo launchers?

On the Restricted weapons trait - Does this mean that ships with this trait can fire all of their light guns fore and aft? It seems a bit off since (to use the Brooklyn example), they had the same coverage fore/aft as to port/stbd.

Another old question - what happens when twin-linked weapons are fired at a target using the Evasive! special rule?

All in all pretty solid stuff. We tried a small (Cape Esperance - sized) scenario today and the rules seem to work fine so far.

EDIT: Oh, I almost forgot. Type 93 Long Lance torpedoes lack the "Wakeless" trait. Is this intentional?

EDIT 2: I know we're not supposed to bother too much with balance at the moment, but Japanese heavy cruisers feel rather undercosted at the moment. Their 7" speed gives them a significant advantage in terms of being harder to hit and being able to keep away from pursuing destroyers. In a cruiser clash, Myoko, Takao, Mogami and Tone class cruisers are able to pound away nearly with impunity at extreme range, and closing the distance puts you at risk of Long Lance attacks from themselves or their escorts.

In general, greater consideration might be required when giving any ship larger than a destroyer or light cruiser 7" speed.
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Re: Welcome to the Open Playtest (start here)

Postby msprange » Wed May 30, 2018 1:06 pm

dacis2 wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 12:41 pm
Another old question - what happens when twin-linked weapons are fired at a target using the Evasive! special rule?
This is worth covering now - statistically, they cancel out. In practice, you can only re-roll a dice once. So, you will re-roll all misses because of TL, but at the same you will also re-roll hits because of Evasive. Once that is done, nothing more can be re-rolled, because you can only re-roll a dice once!
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Re: Welcome to the Open Playtest (start here)

Postby Greg Smith » Wed May 30, 2018 8:38 pm

dacis2 wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 12:41 pm
1/4 and 3/4 ranges are very hard to calculate on the fly. Recommend either including a small table on the ship chart with the 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 ranges for its weapons, or a reference chart with said columns for every range from like 5-40 inches.
I second this. First edition range bands were simple. Secondary guns and torpedoes were never affected by long and extreme ranges.

I'm having flashbacks to adding range bands to ACTA Starfleet. It was not a step forward. :?
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Re: Welcome to the Open Playtest (start here)

Postby dacis2 » Thu May 31, 2018 4:34 am

Greg Smith wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 8:38 pm
dacis2 wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 12:41 pm
1/4 and 3/4 ranges are very hard to calculate on the fly. Recommend either including a small table on the ship chart with the 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 ranges for its weapons, or a reference chart with said columns for every range from like 5-40 inches.
I second this. First edition range bands were simple. Secondary guns and torpedoes were never affected by long and extreme ranges.

I'm having flashbacks to adding range bands to ACTA Starfleet. It was not a step forward. :?
Personally I quite like it. Torpedoes fired against alert maneuvering targets would need to be on high speed settings, which would drop the range considerably. It also adds in the minimum range for main guns against destroyers at point blank, which was a historical issue.

Just needs a quick reference and we're golden.

-----

Back to the playtest rules - I notice that there are some refits in which Advanced Radar is added to ships that already have radar. Does this remove the previous Radar trait? This has ramifications for trait loss due to crippling.
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Re: Welcome to the Open Playtest (start here)

Postby locarno24 » Thu May 31, 2018 8:03 am

I've no problem with there being range bands, but have them written on the stats sheet.
When we did our last game, each player's ship sheets had ranges with 8"/19"/29"/30"* and it made it a lot faster than having to do the mental arithmetic.
Ditto for 'counting up' to crippled.

Good spot on twin-linked versus evasive. Cannot Reroll a Reroll is a standard rule in Book 1, section 1, though, so shouldn't need expanding elsewhere.


Talking about wakeless torpedoes makes me think about evading torps - to a degree this feels like unnecessary complication. By which I mean that you're making an opposed roll to see if you successfully apply a penalty to the actual roll to hit.
1) This feels like a roll too many for the sake of it.
2) In a lot of cases it will make the torpedo miss automatically anyway because a 6 to hit with a torpedo is pretty normal** unless you can get within spitting distance (2-3") of your target.
3)You cannot evade torpedoes if performing special actions or moving less than 3" per turn. There is, however, no connection with your ability to manoeuvre. You can be suffering a rudder damage critical, on a lumbering ship, and you are still just as capable of evading incoming torpedoes as an agile Arethusa-class Light Cruiser.


* Because the range caps out at the 'horizon' of 30"
** Because a torpedo applies a -2 to hit, you cannot hit with them at extreme range, even firing into a ship's broadside, and a destroyer (which applies a -1 to hit for size and normally another -1 to hit for speed) is essentially un-torpedo-able, something 10 or so RN destroyers would strongly disagree with.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.

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