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Subject: What do I need to buy to get the full experience in terms of gameplay? rss

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Marcin Mościcki
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I already have probably around 50 WWI planes and don't want to buy more ships than needed for varied play, especially that I'm really dissapointed with their look. This is the one time of year however when I might indulge myself into something overpriced both component-wise and in terms of play hours it will see (subjective).

I know that the ships aren't that well balanced and one frigate is better than the other, so it means at least two more ships. How many are needed to turn the battle into something really tactical? WoG for me started from 6 planes per side, the more the better, but increased complexity here should make the number smaller.

How different are the ships? What should I pick to be able to play varied scenarios (escort, fort attacks, escape, full-on battle)?

It seems that two mats are in order for the full game and larger scenarios? What about all extras such as islands, rocks, etc?
 
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Björn Franke
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I have the whole wave 1 but never used more than the core set to play. We ddon't play Sails that regularly but one mat and the core set goes a long way funwise.

In my opinion it could be better to buy the terrain packs for coasts and bastions before more minis because they add more at first.
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Jason Kirchin
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My approach has been for each the British and French

1 1st rate
2 3rd rates
3 5th rates
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Marcin Mościcki
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And which would be best balanced against each other and what order of purchase would you recommend?
 
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Minot
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I've bought ships mostly to play the couple of historical scenarios that interest me.

That said, 2 3rd rates should normally beat 1 1st rate, and 2 frigates should be able to give a decent fight to a 3rd rate (3 frigates should be able to consistently beat a single 3rd rate).

1st rates are probably the least necessary of the ship types. I would probably get an extra third rate and a frigate or two per side (maybe one of the 40-gunners), depending on how many are going to be playing.
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Mayor Jim
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Buy everything ...actually, the basic set, a game mat and the terrain pack should get you pretty deep (no pun intended) into SoG. Afterwards, you can add ships to your liking as you become more familiar with them. The game mat is probably optional if funding is tight...I do like them though.
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Fred Miracle
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There's "need" and "want" of course. Here's what I posted on a different board to a similar question:


Our best games have been roughly matched fleets of from 2 to 4-5 ships, most/all of which are either SoLs or frigates. (Intermixing battleships and frigates is ok, but the frigates do get shredded.) With less ships you can do advanced rules, with more stick to basics. These are fun.

To vary it up, use the coastal fortress add - on pack, or give one side more ships but use the untrained crew optional rules

We use the chits, but I agree the ship mats are fiddly, and we rarely use them. I've gone to paper & pencil instead, it's way better. I made an XL spreadsheet with a log sheet builder tab. You can put up to 4 ships per 8x11 page and it automatically fills in all the stats. You can download it here: http://sailsofglory.org/downloads.php?do=file&id=83

To elaborate on the question of "what should I buy", a few thoughts:

1) you might consider whether you want to focus primarily on frigates, or on SOLs, or you want both. That might steer your further choices.

2) the original "wave 1" (third rates and "light" 5th rates) is increasingly scarce now, but has been reprinted and will be available in a month or two. So if you can pick up remainders cheap, do so. If not, wait.

3) The Wave 2 ships are mostly available now, and might not be in future. So think about buying what you want of them now.

3a) For SOL battles, 1 (or possibly 2) of the first-rates are useful for each side. You definitely don't need them all.

3b) The "heavy" wave-2 frigates are available and one of the most flexible purchases you could make. Definitely buy the British one and at least one of the French ones

3c) The sloops are fairly cheap, fun, and great to play with kids. I have seen 2 sloops beat a frigate handily, which shocked me. But they aren't really necessary. The only one I would buy is Thorn, just to give the US something else to run with Constitution.


If I had a starter set and roughly $200 additional to drop on the game, and wanted a broad assortment of gaming options, then between now and the spring I would consider buying:

1 First rate each for Britain (could be Victory) and France
2 of the Third rate SOLs each for Britain and France (to add to the starter pair)
1 Heavy Wave-2 frigate each for Britain and France
1 more "Light" Wave-1 frigate each for Britain and France (to add to the starter pair)

plus for USA matches:

2 USS Constitution
2 Thorn (could also be an ally for France or Britain in frigate battles)
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Marcin Mościcki
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Thanks! It surely helped a bit. Are similarly rated ships more or less equal? I remember being told that the english frigate in the starter set is much worse than french (or vice versa). Among those pointed out by you, are there any prefered choices from the gameplay perspective (I don't really care about commanding Nelson's ship, or the look of it).

Also, I'd rather stay with the English and the French. A similar approach in WoW and WoG saved me a lot of money with few downsides.

And another thought: I remeber reading, that the ships don't have any point values; I expect that mirror battles can go rather stale after some time and would like to introduce assymetrical forces and scenarios focused on objectives. It is what made WoG great instead of OK - simple extermination is good for huge dogfights with dozens of players, but what makes it replayable are baloon, bombing and recon missions. Missions, where it doesn't matter that your losses where higher as long as you accomplished your goal, and there's a lot to like about even ridiculously unmatched scenarios, as long as it's not 'last man standingmwins'.

As I mentioned, huge entertainment value from Hornblower's and Audrey's adventures is that they where varied, often unbalanced, and sometimes simply escaping was the goal.

Which brings me to another matter: how is boarding solved in the game? How detailed is the damage done and it's effect, i.e. is aiming for sails to slow down an opponent a viable strategy, can I aim at masts and so on? How close is a game of this to reading about those battles?

Also, I remember a lot of dissapointment about the number and variability of scenarios when the game came out? Has Ares bumped their play? I sure would hope that a publisher of a game which matches hobby wargames inprices at a couple of percent in minis count would support it rather than advise players to look for historical battles and try to recreate them (which to me never was particularly interesting, because as I understand, historical battles usually where mismatched, as few commanders would risk confrontation without an advantage if given choice).

Are there any aftermarket accessories already? The price for a couple of cardboard shores seem much too steep, I think I'd rather do some myself from some foam or pay more for something better.
 
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Jason Kirchin
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The ships do have points
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Kevin Duke
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The ships in the starter set are very close to equal.
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Marcin Mościcki
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Cool. Another question: what are the differences between different cards for the same ship in the starter? Quite a few people mention that it makes sense to buy two starters, as we get extra mats and tokens we'd need to buy anyway. Having doulbe of those ships also coincides with the above lists; the only downside could be distinguishing between same models on the table.,,
 
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Craig Foster
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I'm confused. There is no USS Constitution yet, right?

fredmiracle wrote:
There's "need" and "want" of course. Here's what I posted on a different board to a similar question:


Our best games have been roughly matched fleets of from 2 to 4-5 ships, most/all of which are either SoLs or frigates. (Intermixing battleships and frigates is ok, but the frigates do get shredded.) With less ships you can do advanced rules, with more stick to basics. These are fun.

To vary it up, use the coastal fortress add - on pack, or give one side more ships but use the untrained crew optional rules

We use the chits, but I agree the ship mats are fiddly, and we rarely use them. I've gone to paper & pencil instead, it's way better. I made an XL spreadsheet with a log sheet builder tab. You can put up to 4 ships per 8x11 page and it automatically fills in all the stats. You can download it here: http://sailsofglory.org/downloads.php?do=file&id=83

To elaborate on the question of "what should I buy", a few thoughts:

1) you might consider whether you want to focus primarily on frigates, or on SOLs, or you want both. That might steer your further choices.

2) the original "wave 1" (third rates and "light" 5th rates) is increasingly scarce now, but has been reprinted and will be available in a month or two. So if you can pick up remainders cheap, do so. If not, wait.

3) The Wave 2 ships are mostly available now, and might not be in future. So think about buying what you want of them now.

3a) For SOL battles, 1 (or possibly 2) of the first-rates are useful for each side. You definitely don't need them all.

3b) The "heavy" wave-2 frigates are available and one of the most flexible purchases you could make. Definitely buy the British one and at least one of the French ones

3c) The sloops are fairly cheap, fun, and great to play with kids. I have seen 2 sloops beat a frigate handily, which shocked me. But they aren't really necessary. The only one I would buy is Thorn, just to give the US something else to run with Constitution.


If I had a starter set and roughly $200 additional to drop on the game, and wanted a broad assortment of gaming options, then between now and the spring I would consider buying:

1 First rate each for Britain (could be Victory) and France
2 of the Third rate SOLs each for Britain and France (to add to the starter pair)
1 Heavy Wave-2 frigate each for Britain and France
1 more "Light" Wave-1 frigate each for Britain and France (to add to the starter pair)

plus for USA matches:

2 USS Constitution
2 Thorn (could also be an ally for France or Britain in frigate battles)
 
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Fred Miracle
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CHF_90265 wrote:
I'm confused. There is no USS Constitution yet, right?


Yes, that was a "between now and spring" list. The production run of Constitution is (I think) en-route to the USA at the moment, and expected to be in stores in January or so.

http://www.aresgames.eu/13839
 
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Fred Miracle
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schizoferret wrote:
Thanks! It surely helped a bit. Are similarly rated ships more or less equal? I remember being told that the english frigate in the starter set is much worse than french (or vice versa). Among those pointed out by you, are there any prefered choices from the gameplay perspective (I don't really care about commanding Nelson's ship, or the look of it).


The differences between ships of the same class are almost always small to trivial--a few gunnery or musket factors here or there. Not enough to change how they work from a gameplay perspective

(the main exception to this rule is Hibernia, which pretty much has an extra gunnery factor across the board compared to the flipside Royal George--this is huge)

The differences between ships of different classes but the same rate still tend to be fairly small--although the "heavy" fifth-rate frigates are substantially better than the smaller ones.

The English "light" fifth rate from the 1st wave, for example, has less staying power than the French equivalent, but better sailing characteristics and slightly increased gunnery, so in practice they are reasonably well matched.


schizoferret wrote:
Also, I'd rather stay with the English and the French. A similar approach in WoW and WoG saved me a lot of money with few downsides.


That works

schizoferret wrote:
And another thought: I remeber reading, that the ships don't have any point values; I expect that mirror battles can go rather stale after some time and would like to introduce assymetrical forces and scenarios focused on objectives. It is what made WoG great instead of OK - simple extermination is good for huge dogfights with dozens of players, but what makes it replayable are baloon, bombing and recon missions. Missions, where it doesn't matter that your losses where higher as long as you accomplished your goal, and there's a lot to like about even ridiculously unmatched scenarios, as long as it's not 'last man standingmwins'.

As I mentioned, huge entertainment value from Hornblower's and Audrey's adventures is that they where varied, often unbalanced, and sometimes simply escaping was the goal.

Also, I remember a lot of dissapointment about the number and variability of scenarios when the game came out? Has Ares bumped their play? I sure would hope that a publisher of a game which matches hobby wargames inprices at a couple of percent in minis count would support it rather than advise players to look for historical battles and try to recreate them (which to me never was particularly interesting, because as I understand, historical battles usually where mismatched, as few commanders would risk confrontation without an advantage if given choice).


As someone mentioned there is a point system (http://www.aresgames.eu/11269) and it's useful for designing scenarios, but the game definitely skews toward scenario play.

Frankly I think there is a lot of potential, but more remains to be done to get the most out of the game in terms of the complexity and range of scenarios. I did a First Algeciras scenario which included shallows, forts, boats, towing, variable wind, etc. and it was a blast.

http://sailsofglory.org/showthread.php?2720-First-Algeciras-...

I hope Ares publishes the results of the scenario contest from last spring sometime, that may offer some more options as well. But if there's one thing I would like to see more of, it is definitely in the area of expanding the toolkit of possible mission types.

schizoferret wrote:
Which brings me to another matter: how is boarding solved in the game? How detailed is the damage done and it's effect, i.e. is aiming for sails to slow down an opponent a viable strategy, can I aim at masts and so on? How close is a game of this to reading about those battles?


Boarding is pretty simplified, which I think is historically justifiable. But I do understand where you are coming from. I like the crew action rules, the special damage rules, and the poorly-trained crew rules--these are all engaging. But I do still encounter things in the books that just can't happen in SGN, because the realities of sailing these ships were so complicated and dependent on conditions, and it's hard to replicate in a game.

schizoferret wrote:

Are there any aftermarket accessories already? The price for a couple of cardboard shores seem much too steep, I think I'd rather do some myself from some foam or pay more for something better.


None that seem to have a lot of traction, although from time to time somebody posts about some islands they bought on ebay or something like that...

schizoferret wrote:
ool. Another question: what are the differences between different cards for the same ship in the starter? Quite a few people mention that it makes sense to buy two starters, as we get extra mats and tokens we'd need to buy anyway. Having doulbe of those ships also coincides with the above lists; the only downside could be distinguishing between same models on the table.


If you just want more third-rates in general, and the other stuff that comes in the second starter, then buy it, but as I noted earlier, the differences between the flip-sides are trivial at best.
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