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Subject: Water, water everywhere, but not enough to hide a cruiser in rss

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Neil Whyman
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Far Seas Review

Intro
This game is a two-player wargame. It simulates the frantic attempts of the Royal Navy and its allies to locate, hunt and destroy the eight German cruisers that were beyond European waters at the outbreak of World War One.

It was published by 3W in Strategy & Tactics magazine, issue 125, in 1989. The designer was Martin Anderson and the Developer was Dirk Dahmann. Map art was by Rodger MacGowan and counter art by David Fuller. Playtesters include Dave Arneson, Jack Greene, Larry Hoffman, Wilfred Bitter, Volkmar Bose, Mac Fernandez and Thomas Franke. The game was never reprinted, and I assume never will be, which is a great shame as I feel it deserves to see a boxed edition.

Movement is on the strategic level while combat is handled in a pretty simplistic tactical way that seems to be able to avoid unbelievable results. The game features hidden movement. It would appeal to those who like Naval games, World War One, David vs Goliath match-ups and area movement games. Personally I like asymmetry and this game is wildly asymmetric.

A game will take probably 3 to 5 hours depending on how long the Germans last and how many tactical battles have to be fought.

The Components
Map
The map is fairly flimsy. It covers the bulk of the salt water surface of the planet, from just north of Scotland down to the edge of the Antarctic ice. It is divided into 34 sea zones. 32 are numbered, and can be entered by ships of either player. Then there are two areas that are off-limits to the German cruisers (English Channel and Mediterranean Sea). The map is marked with a scattering of British “stations”, each with a VP value of 1 or 2, and four German colonies. Each zone has boxes for the used and unused ships, plus a merchant shipping density number (from 0 to 3). The colours work well but it would have been nice to use more of the spare space for game-related tables and charts. The east and west edges are, obviously, “wrap-around” (i.e. if you sail off the east edge you appear on the west edge). My feeling is that the choice of the vertical map “seam” (which runs through India) was not well thought-out. A seam that runs through the Americas would have allowed a little bit of map distortion to help give extra space in the cramped Caribbean zones without it being obvious, and would have limited the East/West connection points to just Cape Horn and the Panama Canal.

Counters
There are 120 counters in all: 98 ship counters, 16 damage point markers, a game turn marker and 5 Special Convoy counters. All are single-sided ½ inch square. Of the ship counters 18 are German, 2 Russian, 9 French, 15 Japanese and 54 British (it should be noted that the designation of a ships as “British” really means “from the British Empire”). The ship counters represent Battlecruisers (BC), Pre-dreadnoughts (BB), Armoured Cruisers (AC), Cruisers (C), Protected Cruisers (PC), Light Cruisers (CL), and Armed Merchant Cruisers (AMC). The ship counters are well thought-out. They show the name and class (BC, CA etc) of the ship, the range at which it can open fire (A, B or C: C being shortest range), its speed rating, its capacity to take damage, and its damage roll modifier. As an example, a Battlecruiser (BC) would have range A, with probably 7 or 8 hits, -1 Damage Roll Modifier and speed of 4+, while a lowly protected Cruiser (PC) might be range C, 1 hit, -4 gunnery and speed 3 (which is as slow as it gets in this game). Usefully, each ship counter also includes the start zone number or the turn it first becomes available. My only real issue is with the Blucher counter: its designed speed was 24.5 knots I believe, qualifying it for its 4+ speed rating; yet at Dogger Bank it was only capable of 23-24 knots (ie. a straight 4). It is also graded as a BC for VP purposes, which is a bit high I feel, though I acknowledge that it was superior to a regular AC.

Rules booklet
This is just several sheets that have been removed from the middle of the magazine. There are 12 sides, but one is used for the photocopiable ships log and one is for the tables. The front sheet is just credits and contents and the back sheet gives the counter manifest. One and a half sheets are dedicated to Designer Notes and Player Notes. So that leaves six and a half sides of actual rules, two of which are optional. Shiny but thin paper, and the print is not completely permanent either. The font is smallish for an aging grognard, and there isn’t much relief in the way of graphics etc to break it up. Chief complaint with the rules is that they are poorly written, though this is somewhat mitigated by the use of examples throughout.

Charts/Player Aids
The middle two sheets of the rules booklet contain the charts and the ships log. These need to be photocopied.

Scale
Time
The time scale is somewhat abstract. The game has nine turns. Historically the last of the eight German cruisers became ineffective on March 8th 1915. Taking this as the effective limit of the game (since wear-and-tear and lack of parts would probably have rendered all surviving ships non-operational by then) we get about 4 weeks per turn. However, the counter for the British Battlecruiser HMS Tiger, which entered service in October 1914, is only available from turn 7 onwards. This suggests that the scale is about 14 days per turn, and I tend to think this is more in line with what the designer intended. This puts the battle of the Falklands (December 8th 1914) into the last turn of the game.

Counter
The Counter scale is one ship per counter. Counters represent anything from a humble Protected Cruiser (a misnomer if ever there was one) to a Battlecruiser. The Germans also get some Armed Merchant Cruiser (AMC for short) counters.

Speed (tactical)
There is a slightly confusing speed scale in this game; it appears to be a 12-step scale of speed, but the only steps used are called:

3 (less than 19 knots),
3+ (19 to 21 knots),
4- (21 to 23 knots),
4 (23 to 24 knots), and
4+ (greater than 24 knots) !

There are probably several thrilling reasons for this scale, but I am unable to reveal them to you. Several of the ships represented in the game (most notably Battlecruisers) could steam at 27 knots, which you’d think would qualify for a 5- rating; this, after all, is why the Blucher lies at the bottom of the North Sea . . .

Geographic
The geographical scale of the game is global with area movement.

The Simulation
The eight German cruisers were: Scharnhorst (Admiral von Spee’s flagship), Gneisenau, Dresden, Emden, Karlsruhe, Konigsberg, Leipzig and Nurnberg. There are many fascinating stories entwined in the fates of these ships. For instance the future Admiral Canaris was a Lieutenant aboard the Dresden, one of only two crews from the eight that avoided massive loss of life. The history is rich and tinged with romanticism and replete with heroism: there are several occasions where one crew sacrificed themselves to permit others to escape. There is now plenty of material on the internet that provides a good basic knowledge of the period, and much has been put into print too for those wishing to dig deeper.

The game permits a good simulation of the campaign, without any hint of channeling the players down the historical path. All aspects of the historic results are within the scope of the simulation, along with several others. The ability of the tactical system to accurately simulate a sea fight is not bad but questionable, but its function is to get a result quickly so that attention can once again be returned to the activity on the map, and it achieves that admirably.

The historical fates of the eight German cruisers are instructive to know. Karlsruhe suffered a catastrophic explosion (probably a cordite accident) and sank on November 4th 1914. But the British were unaware of the loss until March 1915, and continued to search for it, tying up valuable assets. After a prolific career of merchant ship capturing, the Emden was sunk in a battle with an Australian cruiser in the Indian Ocean on November 9th 1914. Having operated along the west coast of Africa the Konigsberg was blockaded in the Rufiji on November 11th 1914 when the British sank a block-ship in the exit channel; but the Konigsberg wasn’t actually destroyed until July 11th 1915 by shallow-draft monitors. Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Nurnberg and Leipzig were all sunk at the Battle of the Falklands (Dec 8th 1914). Dresden (only survivor of the Falklands), engines too worn out to be able to continue operations, parked itself at a remote Chilean island on March 8th 1915. She was scuttled by her crew on March 14th 1915 when a British cruiser arrived at her hiding place.

How to play it
The game is played in nine turns. A turn starts with the British player (if he wishes) placing ships on unconquered colonies. This is followed by one or more movement segments. After these are done, and if the correct conditions exist, the German can declare a “Raid on England”. Finally, if the required time and ships have been accumulated then German Colonies are captured.

A movement segment comprises several steps:
1. German announces the identities of any sub-set (that must include at least one of the eight cruisers) of his unmoved forces that will be moved in this segment;
2. German records their moves on the log sheet;
3. British then conduct moves for any of their unmoved forces that they wish;
4. German performs the logged moves;
5. Consequences are dealt with (e.g. the Brits might be searching for the Germans, or the Germans might be waylaying merchant ships and stealing their coal, or they might be burning a British shore base (at which the British might have parked a ship or squadron as defence against this) etc.;
6. Germans in zone 2 can attempt to Return to Germany.
Once all the consequences and VP adjustments are done then the German can have another movement impulse, etc. etc. until eventually all the German ships have been moved.

This permits action to happen in the same zone in more than one movement segment. The effects can be odd. For instance: if a German cruiser and a British ship both enter zone 10 in the same segment then that British ship can search for that particular German cruiser, but not for any that moved to zone 10 in prior segments Although this can feel odd I rationalize this as being reasonable because of the huge size of the zones and the fact that the British ships must also spend time coaling, provisioning etc. even though not explicitly simulated in the game.

I'm not going to detail how all the various consequences of movement get resolved as this is too much like just transcribing the rules.

Optional Rules
Armed Merchant Cruisers
This is a pro-German rule that gives the German player five extra ships. The AMC’s can only score points from Merchant Captures, are mostly slow, and always lose combats. But their vulnerability is off-set by the option to seek internment prior to any British Search (so long as they are in one of the prescribed zones). This can save them from doing nothing but contribute to the total of German ships sunk. But their real impact is on diluting the British efforts against the cruisers. Personally I always use this rule.

Breakout of German Battlecruisers
Pro-German. This rule permits the German player to send his Battlecruiser squadron out into the North Sea (zone 1) to escort any Squadron of returning cruisers back to Germany. This certainly makes returning to Germany a less risky proposition, but, as the designer noted, is really only there to appeal to players who like to see lines of dreadnoughts blasting away at each other. On the plus side it does reduce the amount of luck that is present in determining whether or not the German player gets the high VP benefit for getting a ship home. I view this rule as a detraction from the real game and don’t use it.

Cordite Accident
Pro-British but weakly so. This rule creates the possibility that a cruiser might blow up. Scharnhorst and Gneisenau (the best German cruisers) are immune, and the odds of actually losing a ship to cordite are roughly 50%. The good news is that no VPs are lost, and that the counter remains on the board until brought to battle by the British! So in a way it is a benefit because it prevents the British from ultimately scoring the points for sinking the ship. Personally I always use this rule.

Special Convoys
Pro-German. These five convoys represent the troop reinforcements that flowed to the war zones from around the British Empire. They are worth up to 15VP each which makes them VERY high value. I always use this rule.

German Overseas Colonies (Samoa, New Guinea, Tsingtao and Kamarun)
Neutral impact. This rule forces the British to work to capture the German Colonies. The up side is that, once captured, the assigned ships are free for other duties. The down side is that if they are not captured then the Germans get 5 VP each (10 for Kamarun). Using this rule adds more flavour and more options, especially in combination with the coaling rule. Personally I always use this rule.

Boer Rebellion
Pro-German. If a German cruiser raids Capetown (or visits Luderitz Bay) then there is a chance that the Boer Rebellion will spread. This is worth 15VP. Not sure I like to have 15VP resting on the roll of a die, but this can be used by the British to lure the Germans into a trap so I play with it.

Coaling
Pro-British. Good though it is, a game played without the coaling rule will feel hollow compared to one played with it. This is the rule that off-sets all those pro-German rules above. Coal was the endless need of all warships of the period. A ship with no coal reserves was useless. Basically the German cruisers have to find coal each turn in order to be able to keep their next move secret from the British. Coal can be got from certain friendly neutrals, from German colonies, and from captured merchant shipping. Failing that, each cruiser is permitted three free coalings per game. In any turn in which a cruiser is not coaled it must be moved BEFORE the British ships in that particular movement segment. That is a huge disadvantage, often terminal. I always play with this rule.

Raid on England
Pro-German (again). Bombarding sea-side towns was a favourite pastime for the Germans. This rule helps to discourage the British from pulling too many Battlecruisers from England. If they have five or fewer in England then the Germans can use their Battlecruiser Squadron for a raid (worth 2VP) once per turn. This is not risk-free for the Germans since a 5 vs 5 fight slightly favours the British (since the German BC squadron comprises 4 BC’s and an AC – though in this game the armoured cruiser Blucher is labeled as a BC). Each BC pulled from England costs 5VP, so I have not seen the British be willing to pay the 15VP minimum cost that would reduce their BC squadron to 4 ships. And when it is down to 5 BC’s I have not seen the Germans be willing to risk losing the Blucher (worth 5VP) to get a certain 2VP. Basically discovery of the Germans is automatic, and if they attempt to run they have a slightly-less-than 50% chance of success, while failure cripples their gunnery for the first round of combat – all not very enticing. So although I play with this rule I confess that I have yet to see it used.

Victory!
There is only one Victory Point total in this game; the German player is rewarded by increases in the VP total while the British player is rewarded with subtractions from it. The rules define graduated levels of victory versus the VP score. My feeling is that this is not a well-calibrated measure of player performance. Once two players have played the game and come up with a score then you can decide to compensate the weaker player in future games by adding or taking away some of the Optional Rules. To my way of thinking this tells me that the VP track is not accurate except by some chance combination of Player skills and Optional Rules. My preferred method of scoring is to play twice, with the players switching roles for the second game. Whichever player gets the most points as the German player is the winner.

Points are awarded as follows:
Capturing Merchant ships
Raiding Stations
Sinking British ships
British movement violations (deciding to take free use of certain restricted ships)
British Cowardice
Returning to Germany
Surviving at Sea to the end of the game
Surviving in the Rufiji delta
Sinking Special Convoys
Preventing British capture of German colonies within the allotted time frames
Inducing the Boer rebellion to spread.
German BC squadron raiding England

And points are lost when:
German ship sinks

Play
Both players have the luxury of a great wealth of options to choose from. But they are faced with vastly different situations so let’s look at them separately:

British
The task before the British player is to locate and neutralize the German ships before they can do too much damage. To help him he has a large navy plus the use of several French, Russian and Japanese ships. But the British player also has other responsibilities that tend to prevent him deploying all his ships in the hunt for the Germans. These other responsibilities include protecting merchant shipping, guarding the forces that are capturing the far-flung German colonies (Samoa, Kamarun, Tsingtao and New Guinea), guarding “stations” (which I assume are the Empire’s fixed politico/military assets), protecting Special Convoys, preventing any of the cruisers from getting back to Germany, and preventing the German Battlecruiser Squadron from raiding England. The British player has several Battlecruisers and pre-dreadnoughts in his inventory, but the bulk is armoured cruisers (AC) and down.

The British have a terrible dilemma facing them. Of the ships that are fast enough to catch the Germans most are too weak too sink them. So there is a good deal of risk associated with searching for the Germans because you just might find them. This is nicely captured in the “cowardice rule” which, put succinctly, gives the Germans the VP value of the British ship if it declines to search for German ships when it can do so. This dilemma eases as time passes because more and better ships are released from Japan, the Med and from England, and because ships are released from their attacks on German Colonies as they are taken. So the early game is more one of slowing down the German scoring rate than actually seeking them out for battle. One of the gems in the rules is that when British ships search for the Germans but fail to find them, then the Germans can make a surprise attack on the searchers, which almost inevitably results in the loss of the British ship. The net result is that British aggression can result in easy kills for the Germans unless the searching is well-organised.

German
It is easy to feel overwhelmed at the size of the forces arrayed against you. Fortunately there are a multitude of opportunities for scoring, though each will have associated risks. The German player needs to keep the points rolling in for as long as possible before the inevitable happens. The art is to keep the British guessing, give him several things to worry about that will induce him to use his ships doing the wrong things. The successful German player will be a master of bluff and deception.

One of the richest psychological rewards for the Germans is to still have a ship on the loose at the end of the game. But this can be tough to achieve, and is certainly not necessary for a German victory. So while the German should seek longevity, it is only because its by-product is lots of options that will keep the Brits guessing (and thus less able to put together crushing searches).

Each turn the German player will have to decide which ships to move in each movement segment. This can be a delight in itself. If the ships chosen are all within one of the same zone then the Brits have to wonder that you might be forming a powerful squadron. Perhaps they are close enough to hit one of the colony invasion forces, which could cost big points and get you some free coal (see below). Will the British be willing to run the risk? As the German, you can tease the Brit with this possibility but then move the ships on completely independent missions.

On the other hand you can deliberately choose to move ships to the same zone but do it in different movement segments. That way any ships deployed searching for one will not be able to search for the other, and the German can see how at least some of the British ships have been deployed before moving the second cruiser.

The two German Armoured Cruisers (Scharnhorst and Gneisenau) are very good at sinking anything weaker than a Battlecruiser. Seeing them together is a scary sight for the British. In fact in a straight fight with a Battle cruiser the odds favour the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, though at the probably cost of one of them going to the bottom. If they hit a BC using Surprise Search then it is quite likely that they will both survive. However all German ships get steadily less and less combat-effective as they participate in more engagements. Think of it as being wear-and-tear that could easily be fixed in peacetime, but for which spare parts can’t be gotten outside of Germany in the present circumstances. So the German player has to gauge rather carefully when it is worth while to enter battle and when it is not, even when victory in said battle is assured.

Coal
The black stuff has a central role in this game. German ships lacking coal have to move before the British, not just log their move, but actually visibly move. This tends to be a terminal handicap, and is the Achilles Heal of the German player. I applaud the designer for not making the British ships recoal, the rules only apply to German ships. To summarize them: each German cruiser (not AMC’s since these always move first regardless) has coal at the start of the game, and is accompanied by sufficient German colliers (not represented physically) to provide coal for any other three turns of the German player’s choosing. The German ships get coal if they are in a sea zone where they have an unconquered colony provided that there are insufficient British ships attacking the colony to seal off the port. They also get coal whenever they capture merchant ships, but each point of merchants captured will only fuel one cruiser or squadron. The sea zones have merchant ship numbers ranging from zero to 3. Coal is also available in three sea zones that border pro-German neutrals. So you can begin to appreciate why von Spee was taking a squadron of five cruisers to the Falkland Isles on December 8th 1914 now.

So this weakness for coal provides the British with clues to predict the Germans’ plotted movements: they must have coal or they become extremely vulnerable. The battle for coal is a major element in the game, neither side can ignore it.

Things it would be nice to see in a boxed version
One has to accept the production limitations of a magazine-format game, but that doesn’t stop me pondering what a full-up boxed edition might have contained. Here’s a few thoughts on that, and if it ever does get a reprint I hope some of these ideas can be squeezed into the box.
• An additional VP gain if the German player achieves some hidden objective that the Brit player is unaware of (e.g. Admiral von Spee survives, at least one ship returns to Germany, etc.). Perhaps the spreading of the Boer Revolt should be one of these since it is so hard to bring it about.
• Counters to mark the zones where coal can be had for free.
• Map “seam” down through the Americas.
• Map zones shaded or bounded to indicate the limits of the Japanese navy.
• Some indication on the map of areas from which the AMC’s can choose to be interned.
• Counters to cover Stations that have already been raided.
• A Battle Board with the tactical sequence written on it.
• A speed differential between the 26/27 knot BC’s and the slower Blucher.
• A Goeben/Breslau scenario on a map of the Mediterranean, and a Campaign game where the results of that scenario are used to determine what ships (and when) are available to the main game. The entire “Flight of the Goeben” episode was over in the first 2 weeks of the war, and the ships were “sold” to the Ottoman Empire on August 16th, so this scenario would need a different time scale applied to it.
• Turn Sequence Player Aids (e.g. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/file/info/27414
• Ship Log Player Aid sheets (e.g. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/file/info/27415
• More of the charts on the game board.
• A mounted map so that stacks of ships don’t fall over.
• Squadron markers to replace larger stacks.
• The routes of the Special Convoys marked on the map.
• A revamped “Raid on England” rule that puts the raid into zone 1 instead of the Channel. This, I visualize, would not qualify for automatic discovery, thus giving the German more incentive to play historically (the Blucher took part in several bombardments of the North Sea coast of Britain before being sunk at the Dogger Bank January 24th 1915).


Ratings
Components:
Rules clarity:
Tension/Excitement:
Replayability:
Depth of simulation:
Solo play:

Overall:
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Re: Long Review
You have provided a very elaborate and detailed account for additions concerning this, so why not actually go the extra effort and create those then? Consider any as a VARIANT add-on then, or call these "Balancing" kinds if you will. I'd suggest some 'stickers' placed around the "Gamemap" that denote the various 'items' of which you've brought up here with, for "Coalings", "Japanese Limitations", "Internment" places, etc. Then have a "Legend" denoting these off to the side somewheres, or even some 'Card' for that. I do like the notion of a "Battle Board" with "maneuverings" taking place within this, since for the most part that will just BE "Ocean" or "SEA" as such. Good Luck on anything if you did pursue those, of which you were astute enough to delve upon for this.
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Xander Fulton
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Re: Long Review
Question - have you played Avalanche Press's "Cruiser Warfare"? This covers the same topic, and seems like the same scale. In fact, reading some of your descriptions, I can't help but get a feeling some (few) ideas have been borrowed, as well.

I'd be interesting in hearing your take on that title, if you've had a chance to look at it.
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Neil Whyman
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Re: Long Review
XanderF wrote:
Question - have you played Avalanche Press's "Cruiser Warfare"? This covers the same topic, and seems like the same scale. In fact, reading some of your descriptions, I can't help but get a feeling some (few) ideas have been borrowed, as well.

I'd be interesting in hearing your take on that title, if you've had a chance to look at it.
Great War at Sea: Cruiser Warfare? No I haven't seen it. Long, long ago I took the decision not to buy any more wargames (well after I was into three figures though). Personally I don't have any experience of ANY of the Great War at Sea series. But as far as I could tell, those few of the personal comments on BGG under "Cruiser Warfare" that do compare it with The Far Seas seem to favor the latter.

If CW has borrowed from TFS then all I can say is that they were wise to do so!
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The Fars Seas is superior to Cruiser Warfare in almost every respect. Having played both, I wouldn't bother with CW again... ever...

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nwhyman wrote:

My only real issue is with the Blucher counter: its designed speed was 24.5 knots I believe, qualifying it for its 4+ speed rating; yet at Dogger Bank it was only capable of 23-24 knots (ie. a straight 4). It is also graded as a BC for VP purposes, which is a bit high I feel, though I acknowledge that it was superior to a regular AC.
I'm trying a couple of solutions to the issues you bring up:

1) re: the Blucher's speed, roll a die to determine its performance per encounter -- perhaps a simple 50/50 that it will achieve 24.5 knots (game speed 4.5) or 23-24 knots (game speed 4) -- but only after committing it to action.

2) re: the Blucher's VP value, split the difference between a BC and an AC, and you get an acceptable 4 VPs.
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nwhyman wrote:
Things it would be nice to see in a boxed version
• A Goeben/Breslau scenario on a map of the Mediterranean, and a Campaign game where the results of that scenario are used to determine what ships (and when) are available to the main game. The entire “Flight of the Goeben” episode was over in the first 2 weeks of the war, and the ships were “sold” to the Ottoman Empire on August 16th, so this scenario would need a different time scale applied to it.
• A revamped “Raid on England” rule that puts the raid into zone 1 instead of the Channel. This, I visualize, would not qualify for automatic discovery, thus giving the German more incentive to play historically (the Blucher took part in several bombardments of the North Sea coast of Britain before being sunk at the Dogger Bank January 24th 1915).
MOVES magazine issue # 75 (April-May 1993), pgs. 43-44, published a "Goeben Variant", which is NOT a separate simulation, but is incorporated into "The Far Seas" by adding a Pregame Turn and new units, rules, options, and VPs. This Variant also provides for overseas deployment of German and British BCs, with increased possibility for a North Sea showdown. Oddly, additional Japanese ships for home waters defense are discussed, but are not provided for in either new units or rules. Note also that the Blucher is specifically ranked as an AC for VPs.
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nwhyman wrote:
Things it would be nice to see in a boxed version
• A revamped “Raid on England” rule that puts the raid into zone 1 instead of the Channel. This, I visualize, would not qualify for automatic discovery, thus giving the German more incentive to play historically (the Blucher took part in several bombardments of the North Sea coast of Britain before being sunk at the Dogger Bank January 24th 1915).
This is a perfect addition to the Optional Rule: historically (to my knowledge, at least - please correct me if I'm mistaken), the Germans did not dare raid Britain via the Channel, while making several embarrassingly successful (yet materially ineffectual) coastal shellings up along the English/Scottish border area. Because Raids in Zone 1 are NOT automatically discovered, perhaps the VP award should be limited to 1 (vs. 2 in the Channel).
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nwhyman wrote:
Scale
Time
The time scale is somewhat abstract. The game has nine turns. Historically the last of the eight German cruisers became ineffective on March 8th 1915. Taking this as the effective limit of the game (since wear-and-tear and lack of parts would probably have rendered all surviving ships non-operational by then) we get about 4 weeks per turn. However, the counter for the British Battlecruiser HMS Tiger, which entered service in October 1914, is only available from turn 7 onwards. This suggests that the scale is about 14 days per turn, and I tend to think this is more in line with what the designer intended. This puts the battle of the Falklands (December 8th 1914) into the last turn of the game.
Two weeks per turn time scale certainly fits with the activation of Japanese reinforcements in turn 2 (Aug. 23: Japan declares war & attacks Tsingtao, http://www.worldwar-1.net/world-war-1-timelines/world-war-1-...).
However, it makes the idea of a 'Pregame Turn' in Marsh's "Goeben Variant" (MOVES #75) problematical, as the action in the Med. would take place during - and not before - turn 1.
I'll test it out to see if it can be meshed into the first turn, or if it indeed requires a "Med. only" pregame turn in order to properly integrate with the game.
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