Various Observations, Queries & Questions

Danger Frog

My local gaming group has played a lot of Victory at Sea over the past 5 or so years, but we have been quite out of the loop on the current playtest since very early on (Necromunda and Blood Red Skies have proven to be quite significant distractions). Over the last few weeks we’ve been getting back into VaS and have been going over the December rules pack and have played our first couple of games with it. Overall we’ve been very impressed by the rules. However, we have come up with a number of observations, queries and questions from the core rulebook, Royal Navy list and civilian shipping list. Next week will be our first proper go with the German fleet so I suspect we’ll have a few more questions and observations after that and I’m hoping to try out the coastal and submersible/convoy rules in early in the New Year to see what these are like as the new rules for these look really exciting.

Core Rulebook
• Weapons Critical Hits: what about Turret Damaged for ships without turrets? I would assume it must just roll a 4+ before firing any weapons.
• Rudder Vital Systems: Do you have to turn the full 45o at each opportunity; the rules just state that you must turn, but not by how much?
• Lumbering Special Trait: still refers to evading torpedoes
• Bad Weather, Night Battles & Searchlights: How does spotting (and automatic spotting) interact with the restrictions on pre-measuring? I would assume that spotting ranges should be checked every time a vessel ends its movement, but this feels like it is pre-measuring by the back door so am not sure.
• Beyond the Horizon Attacks: Do you actually launch the observation aircraft when you do this? The way I read it is that you need to have an aircraft on deck, but you don’t actually deploy it onto the table, otherwise you couldn’t fire over the horizon the next turn as you wouldn’t meet the restriction of being able to launch an observer (is this just a way of avoiding cluttering the table with models that don’t do any attacking?).
• Beyond the Horizon Attacks: What happens if you have declared a ship as your target and measure the range only to find out it’s over the horizon and thus ineligible to be attacked? I’m assuming the attack just fails, but it just seems odd as would a ship actually try to attack something it couldn’t see and potentially wasn’t even aware was there.
• Star Shells: What happens if you declare a target location beyond the maximum range of the guns, does it just land at the maximum range towards the targeted spot?
• Radar: Does radar do anything in good weather, except for being able to see through smoke and giving you a chance to check range before firing?
• Radar: What happens if you declare a target to detect that is either over 30” away or is within 5” of land, I assume you just fail at detecting anything this turn?
• Radar: Do you need to check at the start of each attack phase that a detected ship is still within 30” and at least 5” from land?
• Torpedo Nets: I would assume they block movement for surface vessels (or get damaged by surface vessels passing over them), but the rules just state they block line of sight for torpedoes.
• Victory Points: How many victory points would you get for crippling an enemy ship that later executes a tactical withdrawal?
• Aircraft Weapons: How do you know which are one-shot? I would assume all bombs and torpedoes are, but I can’t say anywhere in wither the rules or the fleet lists where it actually says this.
• MTBs: I’m assuming they ignore modifiers for range when making attacks like Kamikaze attacks do, but it isn’t stated explicitly in the MTB rules like it is in the Kamikaze section.

Royal Navy Ships
• What are the stats for a Supermarine Walrus bomber flight? They have a points cost, but aren’t in the stats table. Also shouldn’t there also be an ASW version?
• Why is the Short Sunderland not listed as an ASW aircraft?
• Given that the MTB section of rulebook states that the Royal Navy and US Navy added radar to some MTBs & MGBs later in the war do you plan to add an option for radar-equipped sections?
• Are there any plans to add in any coastal craft like armed trawlers, boom defence vessels or minesweepers? These vessels are quite essential for a lot of coastal engagements, especially any involving harbours.
• Are we likely to see any of the vessels from the old “New Ships for the Royal Navy” article that aren’t in the playtest pack appear in the book? These included such interesting vessels as the War Emergency destroyers (including HMS Cavalier!), the Battle-class destroyers that may have been key ships had the war carried on, the River and Captain frigates, the Abdiel and Adventure minelayers, and the Black Swan sloops.

Civilian Ships
• The Liberty and Victory ships are missing the number of guns and calibre (1 x 5”) from their weaponry tables.
• Any plans to add CAM ships?


Staff member
Cheers for this, much appreciated - you should see most/all of this coming in the next update (which will have a fair ton of new material!).

Danger Frog

That sounds very promising :)

Now that I'm back in the VaS groove I'm hoping to get a decent amount of time in over the next few weeks/months playing games, reading any new playtest stuff and trying to get more ships painted (sadly less than a 1/3 of my 300ish Royal Navy ships are currently painted).