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Subject: Jutland - can I realistically expect a special effort here? rss

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nick P
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Wouldn't it be nice if Avalanche made a special effort here, given that Jutland is such an important battle (and we've waited so long for this game).

For instance:

Something other than the usual tactical map. Maybe a harsh North Sea grey map. Or one with larger hexes. Much larger hexes. Or vast hexes even!!

A special edition booklet with all the essays from the website plus additions included and a detailed account of the battles.

Actual submarine, minefield and fired and smoke counters (the subs and mines are useful for solo play).

Rules and counters for smoke, serchlights and flares, night fighting (remember, those Germans were good at fighting in the dark).

Complex rules allowing for the personalities of the commanders:- jericho as cautious, beatty as overly aggressive to the point of foolhardy.

Improved rules for the explodability of RN BC's over and above the usual Critical Hit factor.

Well, call me an optimist! I suppose that we'll get the usual asssortment of counters, churn-out tactical sheet and rule book. i still love this series though.
 
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Xander Fulton
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Considering that 'Bismarck' - the title that the designer said he got into writing games to make - was published with hideous colors, standard tactical maps, serious errors in counter printing, and usual assorted errata in the rules...

...I wouldn't hold my breath for Jutland.

Indeed, I've dropped out of the series, and sold all my titles. APL has great ideas - even some genius ones - and I really like the way the games PLAY.

It's just that their quality control is so abominable, it's hard to see the diamond beneath...
 
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nick P
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I thought Bismarck was ok. True, those black-lettered RN ships were a bit difficult to account for (for one tantalising moment I thought they were all the WW1 veterans specially marked but no!). I liked the strategic map a lot but I'm too dull-witted to play strategic games on my own. I need somebody to show me how to play these. One of my german ships was sort of frazzled on the colours too.

I had it out with Mike Bennighof that a vast tactical map would create the illusion of movement and distance and would also allow for tactical relations between the ships. A map size 34x34 or so would do nicely, larger even. Also print-out coastal regions or a book of them - I saw a guy's efforts on the web but cannot be bothered to print out and assemble these. I want something proper for the money I pay, not badly printed pieces of paper. I must say Mike actually responded to my email which was nice, not like those *ankers at L2 who happily took money from me for Russian Campaign. The counter sheet fell apart seperating the fronts and backs. I emailed L2 twice but no response. *ankers!!

Anyway, another issue I have with GWAS and SSWAS is the lack of scale on the ships which stilts attempts at using them as effective pieces for minatures game rules. I would like to see small overview destroyers, not ones as large as the Bismarck, not two types of destroyers, vast 600 ft ships and little silhouettes. But I still hold great store by this game. We need a genius who unlocks it potentials and creates a really viable system to utilise its components effectively. Thanks for your reply.
 
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Dave J
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I've pre-ordered this and i'm waiting for it to ship (any day now!). I've not played the series before but I thought this was a good starting point as it has been hyped up for a while. I hope i'm not too disappointed.
 
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R. Beef
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It's been released - haven't heard anything though
 
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Dave J
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Has anyone recieved their copy yet?

Can we have a session report/review?

I think my copy is halfway over the atlantic at present...
 
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R. Beef
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Haven't heard anything over at ConsimWorld forums yet -- but I'm sure we'll get a full on report when it arrives -- I'll post a link when the first one comes in
 
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Edward Gideon
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Hope so! I'll likely get it after the holiday fervor dies down around here and I've already had Northern Waters (Jutlands predecessor) for several years. Dave, you'll wanna surf the ConSim GWaS boards for info and tips, but I suspect that you'll like it once you get it. I bought 1898 on a whim in 2000 and have since bought a copy of every GWaS title and book module that was made.
 
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Dave J
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Cheers Edward, can't wait!
 
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nick P
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You boring old farts! Here am I, opening up a serious discussion on the frailties and glories of GWAS and you reduce it to a jolly hockey sticks exchange on whether the game has arrived yet. Out of here I say! The good old telephone is the correct instrument for such banal utterances. Leave this page devilfor the seious players boys!
 
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Edward
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For what it's worth, I quite liked Northern Waters---the orginal version of Jutland---and was more than able to play out all of Jutland over the course of a day. I can't help but feel, however, that something has really started to go wrong with Avalanche's QC, as mon frere d'autre mere Xander has mentioned. Leyte Gulf, for instance, omitted a ship (not an essential one, mind you, but I was really excited about getting a Battle-class counter for my own...a-heh, a-heh...special projects, and it wasn't there, and they still haven't released an errata for it) and its huge maps didn't line up in the slightest, nor did they match up with the maps of, say, Eastern Fleet, and it would have been pretty damned cool to combine that and Strike South for an extended campaign.

Puff, puff.

I have Hopes for Jutland, I really do. But I have to wonder what's going on over at APL, if everything's okay.

At any rate, if you can score a copy of Northern Waters, it's a pretty solid GWaS game. It doesn't have a lot of the chrome or---frankly spurious---historical stuff (HMS Warspite, moderately damaged at Jutland, is referred to as a "hulk" due to her damage in Benninghof's essay on armoured cruisers, a comment that belies a fondness for dramatic-sounding words over strict historical accuracy) that later games have, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Actually, you know what, I'm going to play SOPAC again soon. That's a damn good game.
 
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R. Beef
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Someone gave a quick mention that rules are updated and Jutland and N. Waters wouldn't cross. Hopefully as the day progresses there be more of a solid confirmation on the QA/QC of materials --I'm holding out until then...
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nick P
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Thanks for that! I read, in the review of Leyte Gulf that the maps are identical with Strike South plus one extra. Apparently, according to what you write, this isn't so. I still want to see a super-large tactical map for GWAS and SWWAS - imagine ships firing over 12 inches or more rather than 4-6 inches. I dunno. I think its a good idea. I feel enthusiastic about these games but I find I yearn for something more. I've tried white fleet and dreadnoughts but I find them cluttered. Perhaps AP should release a counter set to facilitate these systems like DG did with Battle Stations! Battle Stations!.

I would like also to see a designed flow chart with aircrfat boxes for air combat etc. It would help but I'm too dull-witted to design one myself. I've just refought the channel dash (a scenario of my own design)and got historic results except Scharnhorst and Eugen suffered some gun damage from coastal shelling. I think there are rich possibilities in this game series but would like AP to replay fan loyalty by rejigging some of the systems, including historic accounts of the campaigns in the game boxes and perhaps publishing riverine combat, arctic convoys and the "Red Oceans" sets to include these changes. There is a sense that AP keep on pumping them out without altering/updating the games. I can think of dozens of errors such as misleading box-info on numbers of couters, hard tactical maps that come out the usual paper ones, sections of the hit-lists missing, odd discrepencies such as in the overlay scenarios in 1904/5 where you can't fit the fleets on the tactical map etc etc. A new rule-book with more optional rules would be good too.
 
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Mike Haggett
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Jutland arrived here last night.

2 maps: 1 is the operational map (From Ireland to St. Petersburg) and the other is the tactical map. I don't own Northern Waters, so I can't say if the maps are identical or not. Quality: I put them in the playable quality (the grid is a white that pops right out). If you are expecting an artistic masterpiece, or even beauty of some sort...you will need to pass on this.

Scenario Book: Also includes the rules for air units. There are 7 battle and (IIRC) 44 operational scenarios. The operational scenarios have a good mix, from some Baltic Ops, to the early raiding in the North Sea. Jutland has 2 battle scenarios and 1 operational scenario.

Counters: It appears the Bismark problem was not reproduced--I had no difficulty reading the counters. Again, I put them in the functional category--I couldn't tell you if all of the silhouettes on the back of the capital ship counters are the same or not.
 
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R. Beef
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Can anyone give their throughts on gameplay. I've looked at consim forums but there hasn't been any feedback on it -- I guess that's not a good thing eh?
 
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Steve Lockett
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Re: Jutland - can I realistically expect a special effort he
nickp wrote:
...
I had it out with Mike Bennighof that a vast tactical map would create the illusion of movement and distance and would also allow for tactical relations between the ships. A map size 34x34 or so would do nicely, larger even. Also print-out coastal regions or a book of them - I saw a guy's efforts on the web but cannot be bothered to print out and assemble these...


Nick, you wouldn't happen to have a link for the third-party tactical map would you?

My copy should be here this week!

Cheers,

Steve
 
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Kirk Allton
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I received a copy two days ago of this game. I have not owned any others in the system, so I will answer your questions directly...

The tactical map is blue with a range of numbers and some dark blue ones in the middle. My impression is they are the same map. What I was a little surprised at was the lack of facing rules for the ships for movement and firing arcs.

There is a standard rule book, and a scenario book with more specific rules to the game in it. Each scenario has about a paragraph recapping the battle. More than adequate in my opinion, and I would suggest, "Castles of Steel" for further reading...great book.

No submarine or minefield counters. You can print off sub counters off the website, but it is somewhat dissapointing.

No rules for smoke, flares, night seemingly only affects spotting. I agree with you there.

Leaders are generic. I liked the fact they are present, and can be hors de combat on their flagship, but it wouldn't take much to go the extra step and give them rankings as you suggest.

HOW CAN YOU NOT HAVE THE RN BC RULE FOR BLOWING UP??? It isn't there as far as I can tell.

Overall, a good looking game that I am looking forward to playing. As you point out, simple addendums and tweaks would make this baby a beauty.



 
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Kirk Allton
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I received a copy two days ago of this game. I have not owned any others in the system, so I will answer your questions directly...

The tactical map is blue with a range of numbers and some dark blue ones in the middle. My impression is they are the same map. What I was a little surprised at was the lack of facing rules for the ships for movement and firing arcs.

There is a standard rule book, and a scenario book with more specific rules to the game in it. Each scenario has about a paragraph recapping the battle. More than adequate in my opinion, and I would suggest, "Castles of Steel" for further reading...great book.

No submarine or minefield counters. You can print off sub counters off the website, but it is somewhat dissapointing.

No rules for smoke, flares, night seemingly only affects spotting. I agree with you there.

Leaders are generic. I liked the fact they are present, and can be hors de combat on their flagship, but it wouldn't take much to go the extra step and give them rankings as you suggest.

HOW CAN YOU NOT HAVE THE RN BC RULE FOR BLOWING UP??? It isn't there as far as I can tell.

Overall, a good looking game that I am looking forward to playing. As you point out, simple addendums and tweaks would make this baby a beauty.



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R. Beef
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I've found out there are optional tacatical rules in the GWAS: Dreadnoughts for this series. I've got both on order and will give a heads-up on how they effect play. From what I've read over at consim their addition doesn't add any overhead.
 
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Kirk Allton
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I stand corrected. On the critical hit table, if you roll a "2" then a RN BC explodes. To get to it, you need to roll a "2" or "12" to get to the critical hit table, and a "2" on the table is 6 hull hits and a loss of speed. So, at least that is corrected.

What I am going to playtest is adding a rule from the NWS series. In that series, if a target is not in the two "broadside" hexes, a 1 is deducted form the FP. It would seem to work here also if using firing arcs. I also use a house rule that if the target lies in a direct line either in front of, or directly astern of the ship then the FP is halved, rounding up.
 
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Steve Lockett
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Re: Jutland - can I realistically expect a special effort he
Nappy wrote:
..
No submarine or minefield counters. You can print off sub counters off the website, but it is somewhat dissapointing.
...


They must have been listening, Kirk...

http://www.avalanchepress.com/GWAS_Mines.php

 
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nick P
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Yes. Very good on the part of Avalanche but why don't they put the things in the box in the first place? Is there a list or download of scenarios anywhere yet? I'm interested in the Baltic scenarios. What about the battle of Heligoland Bight? Is that in there?
 
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Steve Lockett
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Re: Jutland - can I realistically expect a special effort he
bugga! wrote:
nickp wrote:
...
I had it out with Mike Bennighof that a vast tactical map would create the illusion of movement and distance and would also allow for tactical relations between the ships. A map size 34x34 or so would do nicely, larger even. Also print-out coastal regions or a book of them - I saw a guy's efforts on the web but cannot be bothered to print out and assemble these...


Nick, you wouldn't happen to have a link for the third-party tactical map would you?

My copy should be here this week!

Cheers,

Steve


For any other lost soul, I'm guessing it was Xander Fulton whom Nick was referring to, who is a fellow BGGer... doh! and only the second poster in this thread!
thumbsup on the Player Aids, Xander!!!

I merely had to trawl every GWAS entry to find it...
For your convenience, go to:
xanderf.dyndns.org:443/index.html
then click on Projects, then look for the Great War at Sea tab.

The link given under the GWAS Mediterranean entry doesn't work as Xander's modified the site since that link was entered.

Or you could take the lazy way out and go to:
xanderf.dyndns.org:443/site/projects/gwas-swwas.html
while this direct link works.

[I removed the preceding http-colon-slash-slash as the entire link was not being formatted correctly and conseequently would not work]

Cheers,

Steve
 
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Kirk Allton
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Nick,
I will give them big props on scenarios. Alot of them, and pretty interesting too!

Helgoland Bight is there. There are 7 battle scenarios played without the operational map, and 44 operational scenarios! More than enough. As far as the Baltic, there is no battle scenarios outside the North Sea. As far as operational, there is a Sweden vs Norway in 1905 (hypothetical), and about 17 scenarios outside the North Sea involving Germans, Swedes, and Russians. You can never fault a AP game for not putting in any efforts on this part of their games.
 
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Jim Dauphinais
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I just received my copy yesterday. The components are beautiful except Avalanche could turn down the contrast quite a bit on the operational map :-)

This is both my first GWAS game and my first game from Avalanche.

Preliminarily, I am highly impressed with the scenarios. They appear to be well researched and are quite an interesting mix. I like how several of them provide the potential for a major showdown to occur. However, how is Avalanche's record on playtesting? As an ASL player I am accustomed to well playtested scenarios that are generally free of questions and generally well balanced within a 60/40 to 40/60 range. Should I expect this from Avalanche for this series?


My initial impression of the tactical system:

If Avalanche used 1" square counters with nice full color waterline side views, skipped the tactical map and only included the basic tactical system, the tactical system for the game would attract fewer negative comments

Seriously, the Basic Tactical System appears to be an elegant little system reminiscient of War at Sea and Victory in the Pacific with a nice relatively simple treatment of armor and penetration added. Clearly, the true focus of the game is the operational part of the game. Unfortunately, the tactical map and overhead view of the ships seem to create some false expectations in regard to what to expect from the tactical system. As it is the advanced tactical system appears to focus mainly on adding a third range level and reflecting that when large fleets are involved the ranges between individual ships will vary. I can see how others have been dissappointed that the advanced tactical game does not add much more than this.

I need to get reading so that I can give this puppy a try.
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