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Subject: Combat Variant - Weather Gage rss

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Christopher O
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Summer grasses / All that remains / Of soldiers' dreams. - Basho.
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I've only played once, but already I've been thinking about how to spice up combat. Here's a variant I've been thinking about.

The Weather Gage

Combat vs. NPC ships seems too cut-and-dry. I suggest the following as a possible variant to spice up player vs. NPC combat.

When you play a ship card out of your hand to attack a ship during an open sea act, you have the "weather gage" a nautical term describing a favourable position of one sailing vessel in relation to another. Combat is handled as in the standard rules with the following exceptions: Frigates of any nation and Pirates are assumed to be too clever sailors (or at least better sailors than the lubberly merchants) to be caught completely off guard. When combating Frigates and Pirates, during each combat step (sail, broadsides, boarding), after the player has selected a card (if any) to add its number, flip a single card from the top of the draw deck and add half its value (rounded down) to the attribute in question. All other types of ships (including Treasure Fleets) behave as before.

When a ship card is played on you during an encounter, that ship has the weather gage on you. Frigates and Pirates flip a card during each combat step and add the FULL number on the card. As a balance, in this case, the enemy card flips their card first, before the player selects a counter. All other types of ships (and Natives) flip a single card from the top of the draw deck and add half its value (rounded down).

Combat between player-controlled ships is handled exactly as before - the pirate captains are assumed to be wary of one another and keeping a weather eye out for their competition. Combat with ports is not changed using this rule.

This makes standard ship encounters with NPC pirates and frigates less predictable and makes ships played as encounters potential threats (especially Pirates and Frigates) rather than the giveaways they generally are now.

If playing with the Commodore rules for additional ships, only one card is flipped per step, if applicable, not one per enemy ship. If merchants and pirates/frigates are mixed in the same group of opponent ships, the weather gage option is used as if the group contains only merchants.
 
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Karl Lepp
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I'll repeat this from my reply to your other post:

If you were to flip a card each time for combat values on the ship, remember that will increase the occurence of Storm. If you really want to flip a card for NPC combat each time, at least make the same card count for cargo (you could reason that the more cargo the ship has, the more watchful its captain).
 
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Tripp Corbin
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Sounds interesting, though I think the speed check at the start of combat covers this. I would be interested to hear what others exprience if they try this variation.
 
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