First I'd like to thank grognard11 for his fine work on the Merchant Ship Counters file, and whose idea I'm about to steal.

I suggest that a complete set of merchant ship counters be produced, all 560 of them. They should be printed double sided, with the front side showing only the type of ship small/large freighter or tanker, with matching silhouette, and the number of hits to destroy them. The back side of the counters should have the name, tonnage, and number of hits to destroy (if possible). Each type of European vessel, should be in a different background color, and the North American ships should be three separate background colors as well.

With this, one could setup patrols where a draw cup has the same 3-2-1 ratio of small freighters - large freighters tankers as in the 8.2.1 determining ship size chart. In fact, having individual ship counters would take care of all Aspects of target determination with one draw per ship as long as the draw cup maintained the 3-2-1 ratio more or less (which would be off slightly off though, after each draw). A very small number of counters would be needed per patrol, minimally say 12 sf - 8 lf - 4 tk, to maintain the possibility of finding 4 tankers at once ( a 1 in 1296 chance with dice, but still possible). If a lone tanker is called for, one can blindly draw one from the bag of unused tanker counters.

After each engagement, including following damaged ships, the ships that were involved would be moved off to the side and destroyed ships permanently removed from this Captain's game. Both kinds would be replaced in the draw cup with new ships drawn from the bag of appropriate unused merchant ship types. Starting in January 1942, every other European ship replaced this way would be with a North American merchant ship instead. At the end of the patrol, all ships in the draw cup and those set aside would be returned to the appropriate bags of unused merchant ships, mixed together, and a new draw cup would be formed. This demonstrates the usefulness of having different colors for the different counters. Also starting in 1942, at least 1/4 of ships in the European draw cup would be North American ships, and increasing closer to 1\2 by 1943.

The benefits of such a system are many. Although the sound of rolling dice is sweet music to my ears, merchant counters would greatly speed up the identification phase, and therefor lead to quicker combat and more fun. It allows for easy inclusion of North American ships away from North American waters, as well as allowing the future inclusion of additional ships as desired. It would also allow for the following variant.

As the front side of the counter would only give a type of ship and general size (through the number of hits needed to sink it), a target ID roll could be added to the phase. On any roll but a six, the target is flipped over and identified. Identification would be automatic if either watch officer is Experte, the Captain has achieved a rank of Korvetten-Kapitan or better, or the ship is subsequentlly sunk. This provides a little more color for the game narrative, as well as providing an additional perk for a more experienced crew. A small reinvestment of time from that saved by using counters in the first place.

Thanks.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
United States
Sellersburg
Indiana
flag msg tools
designer
ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ
badge
"By the power of truth, I, while living, have conquered the universe."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If they P500'ed something like this Id buy it.

I just like the idea of how they would look and the time you would save. Would be very neat to have country flags behind the silhouettes.

Basically like an upgrade kit for a deluxe version for those who want it.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
I thought about the flags too, but it would seem cluttered to me. Better (for flags) would be 5/8 counters on a bigger battle board. With only 3000 units of TH produced in the first run, I don't see this expansion getting professionally produced. Time to brush up on my desktop publishing skills...
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
And 560 counters is a lot to ask for. One could produce all 60 North American half inch ship counters and another 150 European ship counters (75sf, 50lf, 25tk) on a single counter sheet, if memory serves me.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ian Wedge
United Kingdom
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Luftwaffe Flak wrote:


I just like the idea of how they would look and the time you would save. Would be very neat to have country flags behind the silhouettes.



But which country? For example, the tanker counter in the game is a Dutch vessel. Obviously you could create a mix of British, Dutch, Norwegian etc. plus all sorts of neutrals, but then wouldn't you want to maybe get a mix of different ships so they don't all look the same? If you do (and I know I'd find it hard to resist) then be prepared for an awful lot of time spent on research. These things are harder to track down than I anticipated.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
United States
Sellersburg
Indiana
flag msg tools
designer
ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ
badge
"By the power of truth, I, while living, have conquered the universe."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Wedgeij wrote:
Luftwaffe Flak wrote:


I just like the idea of how they would look and the time you would save. Would be very neat to have country flags behind the silhouettes.



But which country? For example, the tanker counter in the game is a Dutch vessel. Obviously you could create a mix of British, Dutch, Norwegian etc. plus all sorts of neutrals, but then wouldn't you want to maybe get a mix of different ships so they don't all look the same? If you do (and I know I'd find it hard to resist) then be prepared for an awful lot of time spent on research. These things are harder to track down than I anticipated.


You are right, its alot of work but not impossible. Take a game like Steel Wolves: The German Submarine Campaign Against Allied Shipping – Vol 1

and take a look at this counter sheet(s) (The Yellow Strips are merchants):




It can be done, and Im not saying blatantly rip off Compass Games research but perhaps something could be worked out behind the scenes where Consim is allowed to use the data research to produce their own counters.

As everyone has said though, its a very tall order with a lot of tonnage work wise (Im so punny ).
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
I wouldn't say your jokes are subpar. I wouldn't say it.

Anyway, I think matching silhouettes to particular ships or countries is getting into obsession territory, and I wish any and all willing to take up the challenge, good hunting.

Much more reasonable, I think, and doable from a Consim/GMT view would be to simply use the silhouettes, names, and tonnage from the original game. Reusing silhouettes et al would create consistency with the charts and less confusion all around.

Somewhat related, it seems from the rulebook illustration that the combat display area for merchants is large enough for 5/8 inch merchant ship counters.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Kranz
United States
Plano
Texas
flag msg tools
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
All excellent suggestions, everyone. I appreciate that. Once we arrive at some viable options for an Expansion for The Hunters, I will definitely tun it by you guys to see what you think!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter
Canada
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sounds like a great idea, I'm in!!! I love my copy Steel Wolves

Waiting for my copy of Hunters to be delivered to my from NWS games.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.