Victory at Sea!

Nomad

Mongoose
Half range sounds fine, but what about the shorter ranged guns?

It depends on what the smallest guns represented are. I notice that Graf Spee's 5.9"s are simply rolled into her 'secondary armament', and her 10.5 cm AA guns along with the British twin 4" mounts are classed as AAA.
It looks as if lesser weapons are just going to be abstracted out, rather than dealt with individually in detail. Well, that's OK.

You could put a cutoff for ranging in at 6". Due to their unstable nature as gunnery platforms, destroyer shooting against ships wasn't much use outside 2-3000 yards (US destroyers did fire at greater ranges in the Pacific, but I think that was more for moral effect). Destroyer gunfire could be limited to 6" maximum, and only effective against other DDs or smaller.

I've been racking my brains to come up with any example of a battleship using her secondary guns against warships, and I can only think of one - the Bismarck during her last stand, and notably ineffective they were too. I'm not sure if Spee used hers at the River Plate. I stand to be corrected if anyone knows differently.

I'm not at all convinced about the 'crossing the T' gunnery modifier. The point of crossing the enemies' T was to bring your full broadside to bear, while he has his aft (or forward) guns masked. At long (plunging fire) range, the ship's target area is basically the size of her deck, regardless of facing. Except in rare point-blank engagements (Cape Matapan, Narvik), WW2 naval gunnery was an exercise in area fire, which is why the number of guns firing is so important, and the precise orientation of the target isn't.

An example is the loss of HMS Hood. Hood blew up at about 12,000 yds (edit after fact check - about 16,500 yds) from Bismarck - inside her 'zone of immunity' where Bismarck's 15" shells would have been arriving at a shallow angle and hitting - and likely being stopped by - Hood's 12" belt armour. Admiral Holland knew this, and having approached the German ships head-on to cross the dangerous plunging fire zone as quickly as possible, he was in the act of turning to present Hood's broadside when she exploded. Just why Hood died when she did remains a mystery.

Identification - Langsdorff mis-id'd the British ships at River Plate, Hood and Prince Of Wales initially opened fire on Prinz Eugen, mistaking her for Bismarck, and later in the hunt for Bismarck a strike of Swordfish from Ark Royal made a very enthusiastic attack on HMS Sheffield (fortunately with dud torpedo fuses). There should be something in the rules for ship recognition.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Nomad said:
It looks as if lesser weapons are just going to be abstracted out, rather than dealt with individually in detail. Well, that's OK.
Preferable, when it comes to monstrosities like the Yamato post-refit!
You could put a cutoff for ranging in at 6". Due to their unstable nature as gunnery platforms, destroyer shooting against ships wasn't much use outside 2-3000 yards
Are you thinking 1" represents 500 yards? I was thinking about double that, but as absolute maximum (and so needing penalties to fire).
I've been racking my brains to come up with any example of a battleship using her secondary guns against warships, and I can only think of one - the Bismarck during her last stand, and notably ineffective they were too. I'm not sure if Spee used hers at the River Plate. I stand to be corrected if anyone knows differently.
Well, she did in the movie :wink:
I'm not at all convinced about the 'crossing the T' gunnery modifier.
I'm perfectly happy to change the name, but the effects are real. After a certain range, the bonus to firing at the enemy's broadside profile is negated, and you are better off with the advantage of firing at her end-on (no sniggering at the back, there!).
Just why Hood died when she did remains a mystery.
Best and most recent evidence I've seen blamed it on incomplete armour deck refit. A chance plunging shot hit just behind the aft superstructure (I think, not certain of the location), through an unarmored area of deck, and at the right angle to ricochet into the aft magazine. A crit if ever I saw one!
Identification - There should be something in the rules for ship recognition.
I don't know, it's always a bit fake in a tabletop game having to ID the enemy, unless you use double-blind play. Yes, it was important in reality, but on the table, I don't know.

Wulf
 

MongooseMatt

Administrator
Staff member
Anonymous said:
Just why Hood died when she did remains a mystery.
Best and most recent evidence I've seen blamed it on incomplete armour deck refit. A chance plunging shot hit just behind the aft superstructure (I think, not certain of the location), through an unarmored area of deck, and at the right angle to ricochet into the aft magazine. A crit if ever I saw one!
I actually know the grandson of the naval architect responsible for the removal of that armour from the Hood's deck - it was in preparation of it being fitted with radar (among other things).
 

Nomad

Mongoose
Wulf

Crossing the T;

In a rules - light system, I would think that the thing to concentrate on are the decisions a commanding officer (and the player representing them) has to take.

I don't know of any historical example of a captain turning his ship end-on to the enemy to become a smaller target against surface gunnery. To open or close the range, yes; to comb incoming torpedoes, yes; but not to avoid shellfire. Unless there are such examples, (please correct me if there are!) I don't think it's an important enough factor to be in the rules.

Matt

I'm intrigued about the removal of armour from Hood. She was slated for a major rebuild that would have brought her to the same standard as Renown - large tower bridge structure, countersunk twin 4.5" DP mounts amidships, improved deck armour for some reduction in speed. This was overtaken by the war and what actually happened was the hurried landing of her old 5.5" low angle secondary battery to be replaced by seven twin 4" AA mounts on the boat deck, together with lighter AAA including the infamous 3" UP rockets.
There was insufficient time to adapt the 5.5s old ammunition hoists and magazines for the new weapons, so their ammunition ended up piled in unarmoured lockers on the boat deck - where a major conflagration was seen shortly before the explosion, thought to have been started by an 8" hit from Prinz Eugen.
One theory is that this fire set off the torpedo warheads below the aft part of the boat deck, and the concussion detonated shells in the aft 15" magazine.
As I said earlier, my understanding is that at the range she blew up, plunging fire would not have been an issue.
Given the state of Hoods wreck revealed on the recent Channel 4 documentary - broken into four parts, the central hull lying upside down on the seabed and the stump of the stern upended like a tombstone - the exact cause must remain speculative.
 

Wulf Corbett

Mongoose
Nomad said:
I don't know of any historical example of a captain turning his ship end-on to the enemy to become a smaller target against surface gunnery. To open or close the range, yes; to comb incoming torpedoes, yes; but not to avoid shellfire. Unless there are such examples, (please correct me if there are!) I don't think it's an important enough factor to be in the rules.
But the rules are already, essentially, there, in that you get a bonus when the target is broadside on, a factor that wouldn't be relevant with plunging fire. It's not so much what the commanders do, as where the ships are.
As I said earlier, my understanding is that at the range she blew up, plunging fire would not have been an issue.
Given the state of Hoods wreck revealed on the recent Channel 4 documentary - broken into four parts, the central hull lying upside down on the seabed and the stump of the stern upended like a tombstone - the exact cause must remain speculative.
It was a TV documentary I saw. It wasn't plunging fire as such, but the angle was such that a shell penetrated the thin deck and travelled within the hull back to the aft magazine. The explosion and fire spread within the hull along corridors meant to ferry ammo fore to aft. A crit 6-6 in game terms.

Hmm... given the need to ratify crits in this system, it could have been a 666... :twisted:

Wulf
 

Nomad

Mongoose
The simplest way to reflect Harwood's tactics at River Plate may be to restrict all ships to one main armament target per turn, and to impose a one turn 'ranging in' penalty when switching to a new target. It'll need torpedo rules to give the RN a reason to close the range, and the Germans a reason to stop them, though.

It wasn't plunging fire as such, but the angle was such that a shell penetrated the thin deck and travelled within the hull back to the aft magazine. The explosion and fire spread within the hull along corridors meant to ferry ammo fore to aft

Well, I guess TV documentary makers are free to speculate along with the rest of us.
 

soulman

Mongoose
Well just got back from my friends house, and played a quick battle, 4 colours counters on a wood floor..!!! nice and simple to set up...

Rules easy to understand mainly ( test rules ) and simple to lean and play, but a game of tactics indeed.
I had the 3 RN ships, against my friends Graf spee, and told him the rules at each part of the turn, and it all went well, with only a couple of questions in the end, and we both had a lot of fun...

END OF BATTLE REPORT
RN lost all 3 ships, and the Graf spee only took 2 points of damage...!!!
I ended up in a turning battle 1 " outside her main guns, i had 15" and he had 18" and that ended my last ship...
" Never laught at a man with 11 inches "..!!!!

Thoughts on rules, nice and simple, easy to set up, and i real feel that i was firing shells and splashing water over his ship with misses, or putting the odd dent in his 5" armour, after the battle we went onto the internet to read about the battle, a fun game to play and then to lean stuff on the internet, maybe they should play it in schools to teach history...
BACK TO THE RULES...

Liked the simple moving and turning, no book keeping, the 2 types of infomation about weapons i liked AD & DD, wish that was added to ACTA, critical hits handled well.
QUICK QUESTION ON RULES...

when you turn your ship, 1 or 2 points, does that come off your speed
IE/ speed 7 - i move 3.5 ahead, and turn 2 to port, can i move 1.5" head or 3.5..?

I like the rules and looking forward to this game to appear in the shops, since you are playing a piece of history, and with some campaign rules like ACTA, it will be a great game to play..
After my battle leaving 3 ships on the sea bed and the graf spee with only 2 points of damage still on the high sea`s, thats a campaign to sink her i would like to play out..!!!

Also i`m a big starship combat fan, but not into rolling so many dice, i would love to see this combat system used in ACTA, with starship having a target number and a defence number ( armour or screens ) this would cut down on dicing rolling and speed the game up, i hope somebody starts to do this....

Well thats my say, great fun was had today with 4 paper ships in under 2 hours, then last weeks 20 a side battle with 28mm fig in a iraq battle on the same floor.... Keep up the good work Mongoose..
Well time for my bath, " no toy battleships or ducks "
 

MongooseMatt

Administrator
Staff member
soulman said:
After my battle leaving 3 ships on the sea bed and the graf spee with only 2 points of damage still on the high sea`s, thats a campaign to sink her i would like to play out..!!!

Well, this is it. really - this game has the same basic core as CTA. However, there is just something really funky about trying to sink the Graf Spee. . .
 

firekite

Mongoose
thats because she was scuttled on december 17th 1939 shortly after the battle of river plate.this took place off montevideo.
 

MongooseMatt

Administrator
Staff member
firekite said:
thats because she was scuttled on december 17th 1939 shortly after the battle of river plate.this took place off montevideo.

Well, replace 'Graf Spee' with any ship you have heard of. . .
 

firekite

Mongoose
why :?: know one said it had to be a historical campain, i just thought i would point that out so you would know why she was so hard to deep 6. :)
 

VonTed

Mongoose
What is the verdict on scale size?

1/1200 (1/1250) is the leading contender on what was intended. But several of us watching the game play out liked the 1/2400 scale idea (perhaps because we like the idea of a big fleet).

Can't wait to see the aircraft and submarine side of this!
 

Wulf Corbett

Mongoose
VonTed said:
1/1200 (1/1250) is the leading contender on what was intended. But several of us watching the game play out liked the 1/2400 scale idea (perhaps because we like the idea of a big fleet).
1:3000 or 1:6000 work best for scale effect (strangely, 1:6000 are more expensive...). Personally I have a mix of Skytrex & Navwar 1:3000 (I'd have a bigger mix if AndyG could find the rest of his :wink: ). Skytrex and Navwar are nearly the same range, clearly from the same original moulds, but both have expanded their range slightly differently.

www.skytrex.com (for whatever reason I get a DNS error for this site at present) EDIT: must be a problem here at work, it was fine last night at home, but still inaccessable here today. This is my preferred supplier now, as Navwar, despite having a slightly bigger range, are so damn hard to order from!
http://www.navwar.freeserve.co.uk/ (note that this is an 'unofficial' site and you cannot order directly from it!)

And yes, there are 1:3000 aircraft, but sadly a very small ( :wink: ) variety.

Wulf
 

MongooseMatt

Administrator
Staff member
Wulf Corbett said:
1) No distinct difference between deck armour and flank armour. Long-range plunging fire would bypass the heavier armour of earlier vessels, although it's always much less accurate. That's what killed the Hood. Presumably a torpedo belt will be a special trait.
2) Related to this, the idea of a ship blocking line of sight/fire is worrying. Of course, if using ACtA line of sight, only the tiny little centre dot counts, so that's not much of a problem, but ships just aren't that big, and, for that matter, plunging fire should be possible over smaller vessels.
3) There's a bonus to hit a ship broadside on to the firer, but most historical recorde make more mention of 'crossing the T', where the enemy is at right angles to you, giving you the whole length of the enemy vessel to accurately range on to (it's easier to accurately fire for angle than range except at close range). I can see the sense of both, but 'crosing the T' is by far more famous.

1. Yes, someone else mentioned this. Not sure whether we want the complication yet. We'll see when the advanced rules go in.

2. I was planning on using bigger ships than usual for this game - the Hood would be about 12cm, or thereabouts. Going to have to think about this.

3. Ah, this is already built into the rules. Firing fore or astern means you have fewer guns but the enemy has less chance to hit you. Firing broadside gives a better target for return fire, but you get to use all your guns in return.

The HMS Rodney, BTW, is quite an awesome ship because of this (may need looking at!!!).
 

MongooseMatt

Administrator
Staff member
Anonymous said:
1) I agree that plunging fire should be a possibility. I'm not quite sure how you would simulate it but it would add to the flavour of the WW2 milieu.
This also has some bearing on how bombs will be dealt with, as aircraft are brought into the rules set.

Actually, aircraft can be used 'as is' with the current armour, as the effects of bombs can be rescaled to equate it with deck rather than hull (basically, 1DD of bombs is different to 1 DD of shell, though both are rolled the same way - if you see what I mean.
 

MongooseMatt

Administrator
Staff member
emperorpenguin said:
At first glance the Graf Spee seems under-armoured compared to the light cruisers (3+ seems a little light for a pocket battleship) but a full game will tell

It really did have sod all armour :)

And can anyone tell me why US ships cram their sailors in like sardines? :)
 

MongooseMatt

Administrator
Staff member
AndyG said:
2+ for civilian ships and frigates and destroyers.
3+ for lightly armoured crusers and carriers
4+ for battle crusers and well armoured heavy crusers and older dreadnoughts
5+ for battleships
6+ for the super battleships.

Somewhat. I actually have formulae for most of the stats, based on the real thing (though sources vary _wildly_ in some areas!). It all needs tweaking but it means that, unlike CTA, there is a built-in ship construction system :)
 

MongooseMatt

Administrator
Staff member
soulman said:
Thoughts on rules, nice and simple, easy to set up, and i real feel that i was firing shells and splashing water over his ship with misses, or putting the odd dent in his 5" armour, after the battle we went onto the internet to read about the battle, a fun game to play and then to lean stuff on the internet, maybe they should play it in schools to teach history...
BACK TO THE RULES...

Thank you for that. This was _exactly_ what I was trying to achieve with the game.

soulman said:
I like the rules and looking forward to this game to appear in the shops, since you are playing a piece of history, and with some campaign rules like ACTA, it will be a great game to play..

They are not written yet but I have planned the campaign rules out (the final rulebook will contain campaign rules, general scenarios and historical ones). Think of the CTA campaign rules - now, replace the map with the Mediterranean or Pacific Islands. Strategic Targets are important ports and such like.

Now, go capture Gibraltar :)

soulman said:
Also i`m a big starship combat fan, but not into rolling so many dice, i would love to see this combat system used in ACTA, with starship having a target number and a defence number ( armour or screens ) this would cut down on dicing rolling and speed the game up, i hope somebody starts to do this....

Wondered when someone would raise this point :)

soulman said:
Well time for my bath, " no toy battleships or ducks "

Don't joke. We considered doing plastic ships that float. . .
 

MongooseMatt

Administrator
Staff member
And one last post, just to keep you chaps up to speed on this project.

There are lots of projects on at the moment (including one that CTA players are going to go dippy over) but progress is being made on VAS.

Next issue of S&P will have some advanced rules (including torpedoes, which I am really not happy with right now, but you chaps can rip apart), plus fledgling Royal Navy and Kriegsmarine fleet lists.

Right now (as in this minute), I am working out rules for submarines. Then it is on to aircraft. . .
 
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