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Great War at Sea: Jutland» Forums » Rules

Subject: Rules and Variants discussion rss

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Gary S.
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Hi fellas,

After downloading the Tactical Play Charts it is obvious that they contain references to rules that are not listed in the Rule Book that shipped with the game. For example tactical movement, facing, smoke, and primary guns v's light ships.

I noticed that the rules with the game are dated 2000 and their examples refer to the Meditteranean game in the same series.

Am I right in assuming that there are other rulesets released since 2000 that I somehow need to obtain to make sense of the summaries given on the Tactical Play Charts?

Thanks for any responses.
 
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nick P
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Re: Tactical Play Charts and Rules shipped with game don't tally
Am I right in thinking the download rules summary pertains to the advanced rules in the scenario book "Dreadnoughts"? It certainly sounds like it. You should still be able to pick up the book from your local games store (or shop as we prefer to say here in England). Its worth getting because as well as a bunch of scenarios and the advanced rules (well worth looking at) you get a sheet of counters, many of them various imaginary incarnations of the dreadnought Rio de Janero. Anyway, trust lovable old Avalanche to complicate the issue of rules summaries at the crucial moment. i've never played the advanced Dreadnought rules by the way, though I have tried the other rules set, the ones included in "White Fleet" which apply to pre-dreadnought battleships. You play these out on a standard hex board rather than an Avalanche combat sheet. They are very good though I found tracking damage control over fiddly. There is good factored in chrome for exploding Japanese guns, flammibility of coal-choaked Russian ships and superior US fire-control (I mean as in damage control). Squadrons within the fleet are in danger of running amok and falling out of synch with the fleet commanders intentions. All interesting stuff.
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Gary S.
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Re: Tactical Play Charts and Rules shipped with game don't tally
Thanks Nick, looks like I need to shell out another £20 GBP if I want the 'advanced' rules contained in 'Dreadnoughts'.

Looking around the Geek I can't see any other discussion of them and wonder if they are worth the extra cost.

I also think that Avalanche are needlessly complicating things by putting rules reminders on their free downloads for Jutland (e.g. the TPC) that have no relevance to the basic game. An explanation would have been nice and would have saved me an hour or two of headscratching!
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nick P
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Re: Tactical Play Charts and Rules shipped with game don't tally
Don't take it so personal (as Dylan would say). Its fairly standard for Avalanche but we still love 'em. Actually Dreadnoughts is worth getting (it has some good essays too)but the standard rules are ok and you can embellish them via common sense - ship facing reducing fire factors etc.

By the way, don't swallow that stuff in the rule book about needing maybe ten dice. I use about forty to sixty in various colours - it really speeds things up. Here are my favoured colours:

Axis.
Primary-green
Secondary-Blue
Tertiary-Cream

Allies.
Primary-red
Secondary-yellow
Tertiary-white

Cheers


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Jim Dauphinais
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Re: Tactical Play Charts and Rules shipped with game don't tally
Actually, Steve's charts are NOT really for the Dreadnoughts rules.

I received the Dreadnoughts rules last week and I think they are worth the money especially for playing the Battle Scenarios. Karl Laskas has done a real nice job with them though I disagree with how easy he has made it for explosions to occur.

Steve's charts are really for the standard advance combat rules with some extras added for facing, smoke, fires and targeting that are somewhat borrowed fromthe Dreadnoughts rules. I agree that they are confusing as presented. HOWEVER, I lean in the direction he is going as my current preference is to use the standard advance combat rules, but with just enough extras added to correct the most glaring shortcomings of the standard advance combat system.

Specifically, my current leanings are to use the Standard Advance Combat rules with the following changes:

- Sequential fire -- initiative player fires first during each combat impulse of the round (greatly speeds up the record keeping)

- Apply facing with the movement options of: forward, turn then forward, forward then turn or two turns.

- All Groups ending their movement in the same hex must face the same direction.

- The stacking order of a Group is fixed with the top ship of the stack at the head of the column and the bottom ship of the stack at the tail of the column. Multiple Groups in the same hex are placed in parallel stacks representing an extended column where the top stack is the lead column and the bottom stack is the tail column.

- Only the lead ship in a hex can fire through the front hexside and the tail ship of a hex through the rear hexside.

- Only the lead ship in hex can receive fire through the front hexside and the tail ship of the hex through the rear hexside.

- Halve all firepower not through flank hexsides, Fractions Rounded Up (FRU).

- Halve all primary firepower at Light Ships, FRU

- Halve all firepower at Night, FRU

- +1 fire drm if firing straight down the length of the target (Crossing the T)

- Treat ALL pre-1917 critical hits on British BC and AC from primaries as explosions (this is very close to the historic Jutland AC/BC explosion per primary hit rate of about 4-1/2%)

- No Referred Pain.

- Only ships within the same Group (i.e., stack) may combine fire at the same target and such firepower is halved.

- Intervening hexes containing ships block Line of Sight.


If this is too fiddly for folks, my recommendation is to forget about facing entirely and simply going with this:

- Sequential fire -- initiative player fires first during each combat impulse of the round (greatly speeds up the record keeping)

- Halve all primary firepower at Light Ships, FRU.

- Halve all firepower at Night, FRU

- Treat ALL pre-1917 critical hits on British BC and AC from primaries as explosions

- No Referred Pain.

- Only ships within the same Group may combine fire at the same target and such firepower is halved, FRU.

- Intervening hexes containing ships block Line of Sight.


I am in the process of trying to formalize these "optionals" and would appreciate any comments on what I am proposing.
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nick P
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Re: Tactical Play Charts and Rules shipped with game don't tally
yes. Very interesting and you are right, it does borrow heavily from Dreadnoughts. Its good to see Avalanche respond to their fans' concerns in this way - who knows, maybe it was even that forum we ran on expecting a special effort for Dreadnoughts! The halving ships' fire when several shoot - I assume there is a stop to prevent this ending up less than any single ship in the stack?

I'd like to see flares and searchlights factored in for the Germans' prowess at night fighting. What about the High Seas Fleets ability to fast turn? It was there in Dreadnoughts. Very interesting and thanks.
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Jim Dauphinais
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Re: Tactical Play Charts and Rules shipped with game don't tally
Thanks for the comments.

nickp wrote:
yes. Very interesting and you are right, it does borrow heavily from Dreadnoughts. Its good to see Avalanche respond to their fans' concerns in this way - who knows, maybe it was even that forum we ran on expecting a special effort for Dreadnoughts! The halving ships' fire when several shoot - I assume there is a stop to prevent this ending up less than any single ship in the stack?


I am not sure Avalanche is fully aware of what Steve included. However, I expect he was influenced by the Consimworld discussion of last summer.

In practice, I think all fire degrades when multiple ships fire on the same target. So, I don't feel a "stop" is needed. If you have a 10 and a 4 firing, your better off just letting the 10 shoot alone and have the 4 target something else. Dreadnoughts is much more sophisticated in that a -25% was applied in multiples as you added more ships to the combined fire, but simple halving is less fiddly and roughly gets you to the same place since I limit combined fire to ships in the same group.

nickp wrote:
I'd like to see flares and searchlights factored in for the Germans' prowess at night fighting. What about the High Seas Fleets ability to fast turn? It was there in Dreadnoughts. Very interesting and thanks.


I'd argue allowing the German +1 fire drm to continue to be applied at night effectively captures the impact of better German training in night fighting.

In regard to the 180 turn, I give all capital ships the ability to pull a 120 turn. That is close enough for me.

Note that for playability's sake, I have not included the Dreadnoughts penetration modifications. However, Dreadnought's penetration changes could simply be layered on by not allowing primary guns to penetrate heavy hull armor at 2 hexes and not allowing secondary gns to penetrate light armor at 2 hexes.

I am fairly resistant to adding chrome (unless I am just playing a battle scenario in which case I'll just use the full blown Dreadnoughts rules as is). I am looking for quick play, but quick play that reasonably suspends disbelief. For me, I get there by: (i) moving to sequential fire (to improve playability), (ii) bringing the British "blow up" rates up to the historic levels by treating all primary critical hits as pre-1917 British BC/AC killers, (iii) slowing down the hull hits (especially for the Germans) by removing referred pain, (iv) adding LOS which implicitly allows smaller ships to screen and (v) halving primary firepower at light ships (to reflect that they are harder to hit).

My facing "optionals" add a little bit on top, but unfortunately they are a bit fiddly and only really add a reason to Cross a T. There is a lot that can be said for the latter, but it is costly to get there from a playability standpoint. I am actually leaning against using the facing additions, but I am still mulling things over.

Note that both versions of my "optionals" will allow a reasonable recreation of the German turn around maneuver complete with screening. Just make sure the Light Cruisers and TBs are in group separate from the capital ships so that they can move to block LOS to your capital ships.

I am going to be playing with these "optionals" over the next couple of weeks. Also, I have a copy of SWWAS:Bismarck on the way to me. Once I have taken a good look at the SWWAS approach to tactical combat, I may make some changes to my proposed "optionals" for GWAS.

 
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David Seddon
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Re: Tactical Play Charts and Rules shipped with game don't tally
Look out for the next but one Forward Observer. It's about Naval Warfare in the Big Gun Era. We certainly discuss the GWAS series.

I have North Sea and may not upgrade to Jutland, but we'll see if temptation takes over...
 
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Jim Dauphinais
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Re: Tactical Play Charts and Rules shipped with game don't tally
After some more thought, I appear to be converging on the following:

- Halve all primary firepower at Light Ships, FRU.

- Halve all firepower at Night (except for German ships), FRU

- Halve all primary fire at 3 hexes, FRU

- Quarter all primary fire at 4 hexes (where 4 hex fire is allowed), FRU

- Treat ALL pre-1917 critical hits on British BC and AC from primaries as explosions

- No Referred Pain

- Only ships within the same Group may combine fire at the same target and such firepower is halved, FRU

- Intervening hexes containing ships block Line of Sight

- All applications of halving and quartering are cumualtive -- which is to say two halvings results in a quartering. However, fractions are not rounded up until after all applicable halving and quartering has been applied.


I am still mulling over primary gun and secondary gun hull penetration at 2 hexes. There are certainly ships whose belt and deck armor cannot be penetrated by primary guns at 16,000 yards. However, the fatal hits on the Queen Mary were at 15,000 yards and my recollection is the under the waterline hits on the Lutzow were at somewhere around this range. Playability suggests leaving things as is, but I am still undecided.

In regard to my previously proposed move to sequential fire, I have now concluded that such a change is unneccessary. I simply forgot the old trick of only putting a slash to mark hits until all fire is resolved.

I am leaning toward completely canning my previously proposed facing provisions. The reason is that facing opens a whole can worms. All sorts of primary turret arrangements exist in this period (e.g., several of the monitors and some of the CDs have bow-only primaries). Moreover, secondaries really should only be hit through starboard and port hexsides. For me, I won't be satisified by adding a few facing rules -- I'll want a whole bunch once I add a few. This is going to sound radical, but I now think Mike was on the right track by not including facing rules in the standard advance combat rules. It doesn't appear to make a lot a sense with a 8,000 yard per hex scale and a whole bunch of ships with unusual gun configurations.

Instead of facing rules, what I think is really needed is a simple rule that encourages battle lines and a desire to cross your enemy's T. Many grand tactical land battle games provide rules which encourage linear formations and protection of flanks without explicitly having facing rules. I have to believe I can come up with something fairly simple not involving facing rules that would define when a T is being crossed and provide an appropriate reward.

Comments?
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nick P
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Re: Tactical Play Charts and Rules shipped with game don't tally
Yes, I've pondered the turret-configuration issue myself but still favour facing rules - I admit that perhaps the Crossing the T scenario was somewhere in the back of my mind and you've helped to bring this to light. Thanks. What about RN MN's? Were the old turrets mounted on them rejigged? Can they fire 3 or 2 hexes? Are they actually any good at shooting ships? They seem to have been designed for shore bombardment, supporting the left flank in Belgium.

I'm glad you reduce gunnery factors for firing off at small vessals. I don't know much about naval warfare but somehow a Dreadnought shooting off, say, a whole 6-4-2 broadside at a couple of TB's seemed a bit...well..unfair. The big ships relied on their own destroyer screens for protection against TBs DDs etc.

All-in-all I'm very pleased with Jutland and am glad to see that several of the issues I raised about the game have been answered. It seems a lot of good thought (including your own) has gone into this whole debate and GWAS (and SWWAS) are being opened up and improved. I'd still like to see a deluxe North-Sea grey tactical map with super large hexes though - I dunno why, I suppose I want to feel the ocean swelling over my card table. The standard issue map seems too small. When I played Great White Fleet rules I had a real sense of oceanic space but that was countered by the fast movement rates of the ships at that scale. Oh well!
 
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Gary S.
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Re: Tactical Play Charts and Rules shipped with game don't tally
I'm still following this interesting thread. I'd like to comment on the optional rules you are discussing but have only 3 games under my belt so far, therefore don't feel qualified.

However, I have already adopted the 'halve primary fire at light ships' option, and am tempted the by night option too. I'm very interested in seeing what you veterans come up with next.

One question though, why are you set against the 'reffered pain' rules? ISTM that it would take an age to sink a ship if you were waiting for one of the relatively rare 'hull hits' roles to come up, and there would be a lot of disarmed ships charging around the map. What am I missing?

[Edit} Second question prompted by our latest game of Jutland. We played Scenario 2, I was the Russians trying to stop a joint Scandinavian ivasion of Finland.

We had to suspend belief after my opponent rapidly (and unluckily) rolled lots of 6s to get the August Baltic weather up into 'Gale' status, and a raging storm lasted for five days!

This made for a very silly game as most of my fleet never left port as it couldn't shoot. Meanwnwhile his invasions sailed up and began their unloading.

Therefore I'd think about an optional rule that unloading should not be allowed in severe weather conditions - say anything above 'Storm'. Would that be workable?
 
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Jim Dauphinais
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Re: Tactical Play Charts and Rules shipped with game don't tally
Pheasant Plucker wrote:
One question though, why are you set against the 'reffered pain' rules? ISTM that it would take an age to sink a ship if you were waiting for one of the relatively rare 'hull hits' roles to come up, and there would be a lot of disarmed ships charging around the map. What am I missing?


There are many that believe that hull damage happens too quickly in the game causing a greater number of sinkings than history would suggest was typical. This is well illustrated when the Dogger Bank Battle Scenario is played with the Referred Pain as usually the Blucher is sunk too fast -- historically the Blucher took 70 shell hits and 7 torpedoes before she sank. (Karl Laskas' Dreadnoughts set of rules creates a different problem as I feel he made explosions too likely as the Blucher seems to always explode in this scenario under the Dreadnoughts rules.)

The issue with the Referred Pain rules was further complicated when a strange Q&A was issued by Avalanche Press that effectively makes a ship with one tertiary box more vulnerable to enemy fire than an unarmed ship! This greatly increased the vulnerability of small ships like destroyers.

I have been soloing Operational Scenario 1 without Referred Pain and the only strange experience I have had is that when a Norwegian CD got four different hits on transports, each counted for nothing because they were primary and secondary hits. However, this would have still happened under the Referred Pain rules as those gun hits are treated as misses under 8.61.

To summarize, the few battleships and battlecruisers that were sunk during WW I without a sudden explosion generally only did so after receiving an extraordinary amount of damage. It was much more common for battered gunless wrecks to limp back to port. Ignoring the Referred Pain rules seems to provide a more historic outcome provided you increase the likelihood of per-1917 British BCs and ACs to blow up (hence my proposal to treat all critical hits on them by primaries as blow up results). Ignoring the Referred Pain rules also implicitly makes small ships much harder to hit as they should be.


Pheasant Plucker wrote:
Second question prompted by our latest game of Jutland. We played Scenario 2, I was the Russians trying to stop a joint Scandinavian ivasion of Finland.

We had to suspend belief after my opponent rapidly (and unluckily) rolled lots of 6s to get the August Baltic weather up into 'Gale' status, and a raging storm lasted for five days!

This made for a very silly game as most of my fleet never left port as it couldn't shoot. Meanwnwhile his invasions sailed up and began their unloading.

Therefore I'd think about an optional rule that unloading should not be allowed in severe weather conditions - say anything above 'Storm'. Would that be workable?


Looks like a freak game. The odds of getting to a gale are pretty low.

I suspect the weather rules don't currently affect the unloading rules due to the fact the standard unloading rules are focused on unloading in ports -- not amphibious operations. I think this is worthy of a question to Avalanche Press. I'd say even a squall should delay unloading during an Amphibious Operation.
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Jim Dauphinais
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Re: Tactical Play Charts and Rules shipped with game don't tally
A new development on my quest:

I have been examining the 2 hex primary armor penetration issue further and I have decided leave things as they are in the standard advanced combat rules due to the inability to find conclusive analysis that supports that primary hull armor should generally not be penetratable by primary guns at 2 hexes.

The Seekrieg 4 tables (http://www.seekrieg.com/Seekrieg4InfoPage.htm) indicate that, at 16,000 yards (2 hexes), an Iron Duke Class BB (13.5" guns with 12.0" belt armor) can penetrate the belt armor of a Kaiser Class BB (12.0" guns with 13.6" belt armor), and vice-versa. However, the Naval Armor and Ballistics Program (http://www.panzer-war.com/Naab/NAaB.html), which combines the armor penetation program of Nathan Okun (of Bismarck '79 Advanced Game fame) with the ballistics program of Robert McCoy, suggests that while the Iron Duke can penetrate the belt armor of the Kaiser at 15,000 yards (again 2 hexes), the German 12.0" shells of the Kaiser have a lot less capability and cannot penetrate the belt armor of the Iron Duke at that range.

I think the bottom line for me is there are definitely ships with primary guns that can and cannot penetrate the prmary hull armor of other certain ships at a 16,000 yards range, but, due to the great variety of ships included in the game and the strong desire for high playability, it does not make sense to try to account for this detail. Moreover, I think it is important to recognize that the primary gun factors themselves reflect greater or lesser amounts of penetation. Thus, the Blucher (8.2") only gets 2 primary factors while the Queen Elizabeth (15.0") gets 10 primary. By the game system increasing or decreasing primary gun factors, the probability of penetration is fine tuned in an abstract manner.

Therefore, I have decided not to adopt Karl Laskas' primary gun penetration rule from his Dreadnoughts rules into my proposed "optional" rules for GWAS surface combat. IMO, the rule just does not have a place in a game with this coarse of a gun and armor system. Things are best left alone in this regard.
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Jim Dauphinais
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Re: Tactical Play Charts and Rules shipped with game don't tally
I received Great White Fleet and SWWAS: Bismarck today. I'll being considering these new inputs as I continue in my quest to come up with "optionals" to make the Advanced Combat rules reasonably realistic without changing their playability or speed of play.

As an aside, I played Dogger Bank once again with with the standard Advanced Combat rules. The Blucher, Moltke, Indomitable and New Zealand were sunk and the Lion came within one hull box of sinking. All of this occured in what amounts to two hours of combat (two tactical rounds). Historically, the Blucher was practically sunk in about two hours and a few ships on both sides had taken quite a beating. However, the situation was far from being one where another four capital ships were in danger of sinking. It is experiences like these that have led to the desire to not apply the Referred Pain rules and two halve gun factors at a 3 hex range (much of Dogger Bank was fought as a running battle at a range of just under 20,000 yards).
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nick P
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Re: Tactical Play Charts and Rules shipped with game don't tally
Nice one Jim! You've been ripping the heart out of the AP rules and reconstructing them these last few days and that's for sure! Will you be presenting them formally on a word doc at some point? I'd like to give them a try. What is your view of the strategic game by the way?

As for Great White Fleet - I like the approach a lot and think its refreshing to see the ships in line ahead on a large blue area. It makes a change. Either way keep up the good work - I love GWAS and SWWAS but felt they needed somebody to give them the time they warrant with regard to the tactical rules. People bad-mouth AP and I know they can be infuriating but Bennighof's range is vast with regard to ships - these games are a truly educational resource. Incidently, only yesterday I bought Napoleon in the Desertdespite remarks about the maps. I think it is an astonishing package, the landscape as depicted is hostile - truly proteon. I think peole should give AP a break. I feel these two forums on GWAS have helped open up communication a bit.
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Gary S.
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Thanks Jim, we're adopting your recommendations slowly but surely in our games now. We're doing Op. Scenario 3 today.

I'd like to ask two further questions:

1) Some of the Hull damage boxes in the Hit Records book have an additional box outline all around them. I notice that this is on the most 'modern' and what I would expect to be heavily armoured vessels such as Warspite. However, I can't see what it is meant to signify in the rules - can you help?

2) My opponent is convinced that ships should be able to split their secondary and tertiary guns on to targets other than the target that the primaries are firing at. He reasons that they were not part of a central fire control system and fought independantly against targets of opportunity. So he would like to keep his primaries firing against capital ships, while having the smaller guns simultaneously firing at approching smaller vessels. Any comments appreciated.
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Jim Dauphinais
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Pheasant Plucker wrote:
Thanks Jim, we're adopting your recommendations slowly but surely in our games now. We're doing Op. Scenario 3 today.

I'd like to ask two further questions:

1) Some of the Hull damage boxes in the Hit Records book have an additional box outline all around them. I notice that this is on the most 'modern' and what I would expect to be heavily armoured vessels such as Warspite. However, I can't see what it is meant to signify in the rules - can you help?


The extra box drawn aroud the hull boxes means that the ship is not subject to plunging fire due to thicker deck armor. See 8.8.

Pheasant Plucker wrote:
2) My opponent is convinced that ships should be able to split their secondary and tertiary guns on to targets other than the target that the primaries are firing at. He reasons that they were not part of a central fire control system and fought independantly against targets of opportunity. So he would like to keep his primaries firing against capital ships, while having the smaller guns simultaneously firing at approching smaller vessels. Any comments appreciated.


Neither the Standard Advance Combat rules nor the Dreadnought rules allow a ship to ever split its fire between multiple ships (see 7.5 of Series Rules and 6.0 of the Dreadnoughts rules). However, these rules may exist for playability sake. I don't know enough to tell you whether from a realism perspective the secondaries and tertiaries had their own fire control systems. I will say that in my playthrough of the Dogger Bank battle scenario I caught myself wanting to have the Germans close the range to have their primaries focus on one of the heavy hull armor British BCs while their secondaries focused on one of the British BCs that had light hull armor. I have to say I am glad I caught myself because I doubt such optimization would have ever occured. For this reason, I am leaning toward leaving things as is in this area as well -- a ship may not split its fire over multiple ships.

I'd also argue that I doubt a captal ship would remain focused on a distant enemy if torpedo boats are making a run on it. I suspect the capital ship would be focusing all guns, regardless of how ineffective they might be, on those approaching torpedo boats. Hence, the real power of torpedo boats is to act as a screen to distract enemy captial ships much in the manner they were employed by Sheer at Jutland to allow his escape. What secondaries and tertiaries add are higher rate of fire guns that are more effective at stopping small torpedo boats.
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Jim Dauphinais
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nickp wrote:
Nice one Jim! You've been ripping the heart out of the AP rules and reconstructing them these last few days and that's for sure! Will you be presenting them formally on a word doc at some point? I'd like to give them a try. What is your view of the strategic game by the way?


My current plan is to do so and I will be interested in having others give them a try. They will be a blend of the Dreadnoughts rules, SWWAS optionals and a few touchs of my own. They will work with or without facing. Ultimately, I am hoping to submit them as daily content.

In regard to the operational game, I am soloing my first one with the solo rules on the Avalanche website. It has worked reasonably well, but I think the solo rules as written are insufficient for scenarios involving raiding missions.

However, I have discovered that there is in fact an excellent Cyberboard module available for GWAS: Mediterranean available at http://cyberboard.gamebox.free.fr. I have no idea if the author got the proper permissions from Avalanche, but it is very, very well done. I'd love to see Avalanche step up and post the module on daily content. These games do not solo that well and I'd really like to see Avalanche join the other wargame companies that already allow cyberboard or vassal modules of their games. For me it could be a key determining factor in regard to how many more games I buy in the GWAS and SWWAS series.
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Jim Dauphinais
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After completing my solo run of Operational Scenario 1 (One Thousand Swedes ..., where I got to play with all sorts of 1 and 2 gun factor ships), reviewing the SWWAS series rules and subsequently making a few more run throughs of the Dogger Bank battle scenario, this is where I have ended up:

- Halve all primary firepower directed at Light Ships and MTBs.

- Halve all firepower at Night (except for when German ships are firing).

- Halve all primary firepower at 3 hexes.

- Quarter all primary firepower at 4 hexes (when 4 hex gunnery is allowed).

- Treat ALL pre-1917 critical hits from primaries on British BC/AC with light hull armor as an explosion that sinks the ship.

- For ALL ships, treat a "2" result on the critical hit table as an explosion that sinks the ship.

- Referred Pain is used, but modified as follows:

> No primaries, primary hit becomes a secondary hit armor permitting

> No secondaries, secondary hit becomes a tertiary hit armor permitting

> No tertiaries, tertiary hit becomes a hull hit armor permitting

> All primaries destroyed, primary hit becomes a hull hit armor permitting

> All secondaries destroyed, secondary hit becomes a hull hit armor permitting

> All tertiaries destroyed, tertiary hit becomes a hull hit armor permitting.

- Non-critical hull hits on heavy armor at 2 hexes by primary guns do not cause damage unless the optional Secondary Pentration rule (19.2) is in effect. If the Secondary Penetration rule is in effect, a non-critical hull hit at a 2 hex range by primary guns will penetrate and cause damage on a subsequent die roll of 4-6.

- When ships combine fire against the same target counter or MTB, halve the gunnery factors of every ship after the first.

- Intervening hexes containing ships or land block Line of Sight.

- All applications of halving and quartering are cumualtive (e.g., two halvings results in a quartering). Any remaining fraction is rounded up after all applicable halving and quartering has been applied. The remaining fraction is rounded down, rather than up, for ships in a fleet with a Bombardment Mission during the first gunnery combat impulse in which they fire at an enemy ship.



My playing of Operational Scenario 1 revealed that transports are just too hard to sink with either no referred pain or the GWAS referred pain rules as written. Furthermore, it just did not feel right that ships became harder to damage after their guns are gone. Upon review of the SWWAS series rules, it readily became apparent the solution was to borrow the Substitute Damage rules from SWWAS and use them as referred pain rules for GWAS.

The revised combined fire rule also comes from SWWAS. It is better than the one I previously proposed. Threfore, I have adopted the one from SWWAS.

I have added the finite possibility (1:648) of a cordite/black powder caused explosion on any ship while eliminating the vulnerablility of the more heavily armored British BCs to explode on a simple critical hit. My argument is that the Queen Mary exploding was a low probablility event that was prevented on the Lion and the previous year on the Seydlitz.

In the end I have added revised rules to address penetration of belt armor at a two hex range by leveraging the existing Secondary Penetration rule. I only applied it to non-critical hull hits since many of the critical hits that historically occured started with penetration of the primary gun turrets.



My latest Dogger Bank test using the above rules yielded the following result:

38 British VPs versus 28 German VPs;

Blucher was sunk by gunfire and Seydlitz had a third of its primaries knocked out along with recieving a hull and secondary hit;

Tiger fell back due to a speed loss from hull hits, Princess Royal did the same, Tiger also lost half of its primaries, Lion lost half of its primaries, Lion had extensive hull damage, Indomitable had minor damage and New Zealand had minor damage.

This is pretty close to the historic outcome. In testing I had the British initially focus on the Blucher then move to the Seydlitz, while the Germans split their fire between the Lion, Princess Royal and Tiger until one or more of these fell back. This is fairly close to the way fire was historically directed. Obviously, if the Germans focused fire on Indomitable and New Zealand, one or both of the latter might have sunk.

Next up will be torpedoes, facing and break off rules.
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Jim Dauphinais
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For Torpedoes:

Roll for Excess Damage (8.3) on all non-critical hits by torpedoes.

This provides for damage results that are closer to those under the SWWAS and the Dreadnoughts rules.
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Gary S.
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Great stuff Jim. I look forward to trying at least some of your new ideas next time up.
 
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Gary S.
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A further thought Jim. If I read correctly your referred pain variant makes it slightly more likely to get hull hits than standard? I'm wondering about this after we finished Op. Scen 3 at the weekend.

After I combined all three German fleets I cunningly managed to intercept 80% of the Russian fleet retiring from a bombardment mission. My opponent rushed virtually every destroyer/TB in the Russian Navy at me and I absolutely creamed them using standard referred pain. I must have sunk 75%+, and collected around 100pts in VPs for sunk light ships at scenarios end. In turn my opponent managed to hit me with just two torpedoes, both of them which were those bizarre turret hits so I pretty much laughed them off.

We both wondered at the very high loss rate amongst the light ships, and agreed that I wasn't particularly lucky (although I had 8 ships in each target hex so I was putting a lot of fire out). We would be loathe to make light ships even more vulnerable to sinking (merchants excepted). It seems that your torpedo variant makes torpedoes more deadly, but I'm still wondering at the vulnerability of the destroyers/TBs that launch them.
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Jim Dauphinais
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I see four possible options for Referred Pain:

1: Use it as written WITH the official Q&A regarding ships with only tertiaries.

2: Use it as written WITHOUT the official Q&A regarding ships with only tertiaries.

3: Use the Substitute Damage rule from SWWAS in place of Referred Pain.

4: Don't use the rule Referred Pain rule at all.



Option 1 is the most deadly to tertiary-only ships especially if you are not halving primary gun factors fire at Light Ships.

Option 2 effectively removes Referred Pain from being applied to tertiary-only ships once the tertiaries are all eliminated.

Option 3 effectively has the same outcome as Option 1 except that unarmed ships (e.g., transports) are now just as vulnerable as tertiary-only ships.


I am currently using Option 3 with gun factors halved when firing at Light Ships and MTBs. However, I think it would be reasonable to go with Option 2 if primary gun factors are NOT halved against Light Ships as all gun hits on tertiary-only ships would be ignored after all the tertiaries were eliminated. Note that there are some who believe the official Q&A regarding applying Referred Pain to ships with only tertiaries is in error (e.g., see the review on Wargamer.com on Plan Red).


I guess I am still waffling on the Referred Pain issue. I may still go back to not applying Referred Pain at all, but if I do I think I'll eliminate the halving of primary gun factors when firing at Light Ships.
 
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Full Circle

After some more soul searching, consideration of additional testing and some more Consimworld research, I have come full circle.

First, my additional testing only showed that I could slow down the rate of damage with my variant -- it did not really change the ultimate outcome. Instead, it really just increased playtime.

While the standard Advance Combat rules cause damage to be incurred at a fast rate, it makes a lot of sense for this to happen in a game that is really about naval operations and not about tactical naval combat.

In regard to Referred Pain, it appears from Consimworld that the 1st Edition of GWAS: Mediterranean worked just like the Q&A regarding ships with only tertiaries. Apparently this was done as design for effect and the Q&A was issued because it was decided to go back to this approach. Basically, the argument is that a large squadron of TBs/DDs was not inclined to take on BBs unless those BBs were otherwise distracted or damaged. So, the vulnerability of ships with tertiaries is intentional -- though there are aberrations such as TBs without tertiaries (though it could be argued that those gunless TBs are even smaller than ships with tertiaries).


So, I am back to the standard Advanced Combat rules, but with the following two additions from SWWAS:

- Gunfire may not be traced through hexes containing friendly ships.

- When multiple ships fire at the same enemy ship, halve the gunnery factors of every ship after the first, fractions rounded up.


Plus, I am adding:

- Primary fire at Light Ships is halved, fractions rounded up (this is based on an inverse of the SWWAS rule which adds a +1 die roll modifier to gunfire at BB, BC, CV and large transports).


Finally, I am adding a disengagement rule.

Under the SWWAS Disengegagement rule, at the end of each round if both players want to disengage, the battle ends. If both want to stay, the battle continues. If only one player wants to disengage, each player rolls a die with the player with initiative adding one to his roll. The player with the higher modified roll decides whether the battle continues. Ties are rerolled.

The GWAS Basic Combat has disengagement as well, but based on the speed of the slowest ship in each fleet where you always have the option to speed up your fleet to escape by scuttling (sacrificing to the enemy) a slow ship.


My variation melds to the two rules together as follows:

- At the end of each combat round after Emergency Repairs have been attempted, if both players want to disengage and opposing ships are no closer than one hex less than the maximum Sighting Range, the battle ends. If both players want to continue the battle, it continues. If only one player wants to disengage, the slowest ship in that player's fleet is no slower than his opponent's slowest ship, and all opposing ships are no closer than one hex less than the maximum Sighting Range, each player rolls a die applying the following cumulative modifiers to his die roll:

+1 Player's fleet currently has the initiative

+1 Player's fleet has a Leader

+1 For every level of speed the Player's slowest ship is faster than his opponent's slowest ship (e.g., a 2+ speed versus Dead-in-the-water yields a +4)

The player with the higher modified die roll decides whether the battle continues. Ties are rerolled. Disengaged fleets remain in the Operational map square where the battle took place. As allowed by 8.5, players can voluntarily scuttle (sacrifice) ships at any time. Pursuit (5.23) is allowed after a Disengagement. Ships may also still exit the Tactical Map in the normal manner (7.33) as well

I will not be playing with facing rules, but if I were, I would simply use the ones from SWWAS modified so that fire through the bow is multiplied by 50% rather than 75%. Also, note that the SWWAS rules include optional formation rules that can also be applied to GWAS.

So in summary, I recommend the following "Core Module" of optional rules be used in conjunction with the standard GWAS Advanced Combat rules in order to bring GWAS in line with SWWAS:

- Gunfire may not be traced through hexes containing friendly ships.

- When multiple ships fire at the same enemy ship, halve the gunnery factors of every ship after the first, fractions rounded up.

- Primary fire at Light Ships is halved, fractions rounded up.

- At the end of each combat round after Emergency Repairs have been attempted, if both players want to disengage and opposing ships are no closer than one hex less than the maximum Sighting Range, the battle ends. If both players want to continue the battle, it continues. If only one player wants to disengage, the slowest ship in that player's fleet is no slower than his opponent's slowest ship, and all opposing ships are no closer than one hex less than the maximum Sighting Range, each player rolls a die applying the following cumulative modifiers to his die roll:

+1 Player's fleet currently has the initiative

+1 Player's fleet has a Leader

+1 For every level of speed the Player's slowest ship is faster than his opponent's slowest ship (e.g., a 2+ speed versus Dead-in-the-water yields a +4)

The player with the higher modified die roll decides whether the battle continues. Ties are rerolled. Disengaged fleets remain in the Operational map square where the battle took place. As allowed by 8.5, players can voluntarily scuttle (sacrifice) ships at any time. Pursuit (5.23) is allowed after a Disengagement. Ships may also still exit the Tactical Map in the normal manner (7.33) as well.


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Jim Dauphinais
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As I noted above, what is immediately above I am dubbing as my "Core Module" of optionals and I recommend they always be used to bring the GWAS rules in line with SWWAS.

However, if players want a bit more realism, I offer the following "Cordite and Belt Module" that can be layered on top of the Core Module:

Cordite and Belt Module

- Fire at a 3 hex range is halved, fractions rounded up.

- Fire at a 4 hex range, when allowed, is now quartered, fractions rounded up.

- A Non-Critical hit by primaries at a 2 hex range will only penetrate heavy hull armor on a subsequent die roll of 4-6.

- The optional Secondary Pentration rule is in effect, but does not apply to the penetration of hull armor by non-critical hits.

- Critical hits from primaries on pre-1917 British BC/AC cause the latter to explode and sink.

- Critical hits from primaries on all other ships cause the latter to explode and sink when a "2" is rolled on the Critical Hit Table


Next up is the "Facing and Fomation Module".
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