January Playtest

Join the open playtest for the WWII naval combat game.

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msprange
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January Playtest

Postby msprange » Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:21 pm

Just in time for the weekend - the January Playtest Pack.

This is a big 'un, so I will let the Playtest Pack doc speak for itself - suffice to say, new ships and lots of scenarios!

https://www.mongoosepublishing.com/pdf/ ... stPack.zip
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Re: January Playtest

Postby Garydee » Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:46 pm

msprange wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:21 pm
Just in time for the weekend - the January Playtest Pack.

This is a big 'un, so I will let the Playtest Pack doc speak for itself - suffice to say, new ships and lots of scenarios!

http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/pdf/v ... stpack.zip
Looks like those destroyers I wanted have made an appearance.
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Re: January Playtest

Postby Greg Smith » Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:09 pm

I have to say the scenario layout maps are not very easy to follow. Why do they need to be 3D and at an angle? And counting squares to work out the distance is not good.

Keep it simple please. Flat with measurements is better.
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Re: January Playtest

Postby locarno24 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:59 pm

Something's still wierd with the Taranto scenario.
Royal Navy Fleet
5 Flights of Fairey Swordfish (each Flight armed with either Torpedoes or Bombs).

Victory and Defeat
The Royal Navy gains a Major Victory if it manages to cripple or sink at least one battleship and at least one Flight moves off the table. If no Flights leave the table and a battleship is crippled or sunk, the Royal navy gains a Minor Victory. Anything else is a victory for the Regia Marina.
Let's assume the entire Regia Marina is off ashore living it up and doesn't bother to shoot back.

5 Flights of Fairey Swordfish with Torpedoes deliver hits on a 5+ - meaning about 1 2/3 torpedo hits. These deliver 4 Devastating damage dice each, so 6 2/3.
That roll, against the most fragile italian battleship, Conte Di Cavour, causes an average of about 11 damage plus two critical hits.
Conte Di Cavour requires 38 damage to cripple.

Realistically, unless something is missing from the scenario, this is functionally impossible for the RN player.

Am I missing something?
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I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: January Playtest

Postby msprange » Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:01 pm

We are looking at Taranto right now - should be coming up with something funky :)
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Re: January Playtest

Postby rbax » Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:39 pm

I see this as being solved by one of to options. The one Matthew would prefer and a new rule.

Option 1) Matthew Preferred - Add a special rule(s) to the scenario - Ships in harbor during surprise attacks are not ready for combat (hatches aren't sealed...damage control pumps are disassembled...crew aren't on-board). Therefore, various off-the cuff ideas follow:

1) Reduce the to-hit from 5+ to 4+ (that will punch up the number of of hits).
2) On a to-hit roll of 6+, two torpedoes hit (i.e. a different way of increasing hits).
3) All Damage Dice receive the Twin-Linked Special rule (role each damage die twice - better damage results per hit).
4) Automatically score a critical in addition to any that are rolled.

Option 2) New Game Rule - This will complicate the game, which I know Matthew is trying to avoid.

1) For each pip on the die over the to-hit roll, treat as an additional hit. Thus a Torpedo Bomber Flight rolls a 6 (two torpedo hits). A dive-bomber flight rolls 5, (that's three bombs hits. Hmm...may have to re-balance the to-hit rolls for Dive-Bombers and Kamikazes). This helps accounts for the fact that each flight has 4 aircraft in it.

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Re: January Playtest

Postby locarno24 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:11 am

As a personal view, I think the former makes sense.
The swordfish aren't materially different from the ones I'm going to use in the game after, playing a generic "victory at sea" battle. So giving them extra 'punch' in this scenario seems wierd.

By comparison, the Italian warships are in a different state. They're under-crewed, not closed up, stationary targets, heck, they might even be ammunitioning or fuelling as the attackers turn up.

Given the manouvrability of flights versus ships, actually getting underway doesn't really matter all that much. Making it also remove a condition where torpedoes become more accurate and more deadly changes things dramatically.




A similar question about Attack on the Northern Patrol.
Don't get me wrong, the situation is historically accurate. Rawalpindi's commander described the upcoming engagement as "We’ll fight them both, they’ll sink us, and that will be that" and that's pretty much what's going to happen.

however, as a scenario, I'm not entirely sure what the RN player can actually do to influence the outcome, which kind of makes it an unenjoyable scenario to try to play.

Rawalpindi is so [censored] slow that it's not like it can try to evade, or even turn enough to have much chance of hiding in its own smoke, since it starts broadside on to the Kriegsmarine ships, and at 3" speed undamaged it can only ever turn once, and if it uses a special action to turn it can't simultaneously be making smoke.

It can shoot - but it has AP-2, Weak, 6" guns, so you're only firing them for the sake of rolling dice - it's physically impossible for them to even damage the 6+ armour, Armoured Deck warships even if you roll a 6 for every single dice.

The Kriegsmarine start (if I'm reading the 3d map right) at about 18" and 21" range respectively, well within half range of the big 11.1" guns in the A and B turrets, and with the merchant cruiser side-on to them.
If Rawalpindi uses the Evasive special action, it's being hit on a rerolled 3+ (about 44%) and if it does it's moving too slowly to turn.
In the first turn, the 12 guns in Scharnhorst and Gneisau should land about 5 hits, which is about 9 damage, enough to turn Rawalpindi to shattered wreckage in two average salvos.

Note that that completely ignores the secondary guns on the Battlecruisers (something like 26 extra attack dice, all theoretically ranging - albeit at long range - from the first turn of the game), the possibility of the Battlecruisers getting to point blank range and increasing their accuracy, or turning to unmask their X turrets, or Rawalpindi having to stop evading to perform damage control to fight escalating criticals.


I don't mind the scenario. It happened, it's historically accurate. But if it's a wargame, then the RN needs to have a victory condition which is credibly achievable, and surviving 5 turns of fire is not. I struggle to see what any RN player in this scenario can do other than go "......and I'm dead." Suggesting there needs to be any way for Rawalpindi to beat off two 500 point battlecruisers is obviously ridiculous, but as written, it cannot run, there is literally no point picking up dice to shoot, it cannot hide, and it somehow needs to survive 5 turns against ships which will kill it in less than 2 with average rolling.

If the Rawalpindi started at maximum visual range of 30", then it would at least be medium range for the opening shots, and deploying Rawalpindi head-on (since it was trying to attack) means the battlecruisers need a 5 to hit it, not a 3. If the ship was evading, that'd reduce the number of hits it's likely to take by a factor of 4, which is a good start.

In so far as Rawalpindi really achieved much, I gather it was successfully identifying and reporting the presence of the two battlecruisers. Some sort of objective re "getting within 30" and living long enough to get a radio message off" seems more realistic (albeit it's gonna be a quick scenario!)
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I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: January Playtest

Postby Condottiere » Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:00 pm

Torpedo netting at Taranto; the Italians took it down (or up), as they were planning on moving their battlewagons soon.

I would suppose that if you can blow up the shore line fuel depot, it should provide some night time lighting.
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Re: January Playtest

Postby locarno24 » Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:34 pm

Doing the setup for a quick game - noticed a typo.

Fleet lists, page 31 - Hood-class Battlecruiser.
Port Torpedoes state 10" range whilst Starboard Torpedoes state 12" range. They're MkIVs, the same as on the Admiralty Destroyers, so it should presumably be 10"
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Re: January Playtest

Postby locarno24 » Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:03 am

Coastal Invasion scenario:

~ How much do Landing Boats and Transport Aircraft cost? Do I get "enough to carry the force" for free?

~ Since all big gun emplacements have to be placed on an objective, what happens if the attacker successfully captures that objective? Assuming, for example, that a 490 point Lindemann-style gun emplacement is just erased the moment a couple of 5 point infantry saunter up is unfair, but on the other hand, if you can overrun that objective surely you should be able to stop the battery firing, even if it takes a turn or two.
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: January Playtest

Postby msprange » Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:39 am

locarno24 wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:03 am
~ How much do Landing Boats and Transport Aircraft cost? Do I get "enough to carry the force" for free?
Assume they are free for now (likely to change, but they will be very low cost).
locarno24 wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:03 am
~ Since all big gun emplacements have to be placed on an objective, what happens if the attacker successfully captures that objective? Assuming, for example, that a 490 point Lindemann-style gun emplacement is just erased the moment a couple of 5 point infantry saunter up is unfair, but on the other hand, if you can overrun that objective surely you should be able to stop the battery firing, even if it takes a turn or two.
Excellent question - I would say the defender cannot use them while the objective is taken, but can regain them if the objective falls back into their possession.
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Re: January Playtest

Postby AndrewW » Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:27 pm

msprange wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:39 am
locarno24 wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:03 am
locarno24 wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:03 am
~ Since all big gun emplacements have to be placed on an objective, what happens if the attacker successfully captures that objective? Assuming, for example, that a 490 point Lindemann-style gun emplacement is just erased the moment a couple of 5 point infantry saunter up is unfair, but on the other hand, if you can overrun that objective surely you should be able to stop the battery firing, even if it takes a turn or two.
Excellent question - I would say the defender cannot use them while the objective is taken, but can regain them if the objective falls back into their possession.
What about the attackers then being able to use them? If they are still in working order if they are recaptured would think the attackers could also make use of them. Though likely either side would want to spike the guns before capture.
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Re: January Playtest

Postby msprange » Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:41 pm

Can anyone find actual instances of such guns being captured and then turned to fire upon their original owners in a short space of time? Can't recall anything off the top of my head, but my coastal gun-fu is weak.
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Re: January Playtest

Postby locarno24 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:41 am

Not that I know of.
It must be very rare, anyway - most fortified batteries had a very limited 'sweep', so turning them on an inland target wouldn't be practical, and it'd be relatively rare for trained artillery crews to be wandering around looking for guns to fire, so using them effectively aside from maybe point-blank shots during an assault is unlikely.
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: January Playtest

Postby locarno24 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:49 am

Not that I know of.
It must be very rare, anyway - most fortified batteries had a very limited 'sweep', so turning them on an inland target wouldn't be practical, and it'd be relatively rare for trained artillery crews to be wandering around looking for guns to fire, so using them effectively aside from maybe point-blank shots during an assault is unlikely.

If they are still in working order if they are recaptured would think the attackers could also make use of them. Though likely either side would want to spike the guns before capture.
Agreed. The point I'm making is that - taking the Merville Battery as an example, a battery could have several hundred men assigned to crew it, so just assuming a 5 point infantry unit from a single glider flight can take it out is not garuanteed (admittedly in this example, that's what happened...).

I guess that's the defender's fault for not buying some infantry units of their own and sitting them on the same objective.
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: January Playtest

Postby Condottiere » Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:11 pm

You're thinking of the Guns of Navarone.

It's limited sweep because you have to put metres of concrete between you and return fire.

Better luck with a railway gun, that they usually shelter within a tunnel.

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Re: January Playtest

Postby Katerine » Mon May 13, 2019 9:38 am

1) Reduce the to-hit from 5+ to 4+ (that will punch up the number of of hits).
2) On a to-hit roll of 6+, two torpedoes baccarat
 hit (i.e. a different way of increasing hits).
3) All Damage Dice receive the Twin-Linked Special rule (role each damage die twice - better damage results per hit).
4) Automatically score a critical in addition to any that are rolled.
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