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Wooden Ships & Iron Men» Forums » Variants

Subject: Anyone know of scenario variants for playability? rss

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Matthias Kievernagel
Germany
Braunschweig
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In another thread (http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1217863/list-differences-bet...)
dpnn commented about the light breeze in the Trafalgar scenario,
that "This is the Trafalgar scenario, and it makes the scenario unplayable, since ..."

So, this prompted me to open this thread
and ask if someone created balanced variants
of the historic scenarios and likes to share.
Also, I would like to know which scenarios you think
are quite balanced in their original form.

Thanks for any comments,
Matthias.
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Niek van Diepen
Netherlands
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Let me answer the last question first. In General 25-4 (pp. 25-31 and 45) Jim Lutz published an article "Age of Sail" subtitled "Chosing sides in WS&IM." His point was that superior crew quality won the day most of the time.

One thing we did at our club (Casus Belli Nijmegen, the Netherlands) was the addition of an extra crew quality:

A new Crew Quality, Seasoned (Se), is added between Average and Crack. Its effects are:
1. A +1 die roll modifier when firing with 4 guns or more in the Basic Game and 7 guns or more in the Advanced Game.
2. A melee multiplier of 3.5 (round fractions up after computation).
3. Victory point value is that of a similar Average ship, with 10% added, standard rounding.

Note the 20% gap between Average and Crack VP values, while the other gaps (Poor to Green, Green to Average, Crack to Elite) are just 10%. So something in between is a natural addition. This allows us to upgrade the better French ships and downgrade the worst British ships. Depending on the situation one could be generous to one side or the other.

It is usually me who does the balancing, then I let the other commander pick his (often her) side.

For balancing by VP, I'd recommend adding 0.5 VP for every carronade factor for Average crews, 1 VP for Seasoned, 1.5 for Crack crews and 2 VP's per carronade factor for Elite crews (rounding up where appropriate). Carronades mostly shield the standard guns in the game, so they produce a game-long advantage in gun factors.

A more flexible way is bidding: each player bids for the higher morale side. The player losing this bid can upgrade the morale factor (Gr to Av, Av to Se, etc.) of the number of ships bid by his opponent. Only half of the points may be used to upgrade ships by two levels.

I'll see what I can do about making our club scenario's available. One of them (Camperdown) is on Grognard. Note that this scenario is almost 20 years old and based on another General article, The Royal Navy Triumphant. It is balanced, but I am going to revise the values. A lot more data has become available, especially around 2005, the bicentennial anniversary of Trafalgar.
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Matthias Kievernagel
Germany
Braunschweig
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Hello Niek,

thanks a lot for that valuable information.
I hope I can try out a few of these ideas soon
and will report back here.
Thanks also for the mail.

Regards,
Matthias.
 
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