Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
6 Posts

Race the Wind» Forums » Variants

Subject: A gust of wind for a much neglected game rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Mark Stanoch
United States
Bradenton
Florida
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Let me start off by saying that I am totally incompetent at sailing. In fact, the last time I was on a sailing boat of any kind was 15 yeears ago at a Sandals Resort in Antigua celebrating a wedding anniversary. After several attempts at learning how to sail a Sunfish, the resort activity director politely pointed out that the shuffleboard tournament still had a few open slots. I can still hear my wife laughing at my failed attempt at nautical bravado.

I purchased Race the Wind about a year and a half ago but it just recently reached my game table. As a naval miniatures wargamer, I was drawn to the cool looking yachts and sparkling water of the game board. I slogged through the English rules and then read all of the posts on this forum. As I saw it, this great looking game was suffering from:

- Game pieces which refuse to remain standing
- Excessive "boaty" language which obscures basic game mechanics
- Predictability of movement during the long legs of the race

The first of the fixes was pretty easy. I simply purchased 1" fender washers for all of the game pieces (yachts, course flags, and committe boat). I undercoated them with a spray of Games Workshop Skull White, let then dry over night and then brushed a coat of Games Workshop Regal Blue thinned with 25% water on both sides. This thinning allows the white undercoat to bleed through and provides a reasonable simulation of depth. For you real miniaturists out there, you can apply a thinned down green wash followed by highlights using Games Workshop Ultramarine Blue. I glued the game pieces onto the center of the fender washers using Elmer's Glue All (I never use CA when attaching miniatures to bases). The results are terrific. The fender washers, due to the extra metal not present with ordinary flat bolt washers, adds a pleasing heft to the miniatures in addition to imparting a rock-solid stability. The 1" diameter fits the intersections nearly perfectly allowing just a little bit of overlap between adjacent vessels.

To tackle the second knock, I simply combined the great player aids which have been posted on this site into a single reference sheet. This new player aid shows allowable movement and maneuver allowances for all combinations of wind direction and yacht attitude without referring to nautical terms (i.e., really, Broad Reach is something that we non-boaters resort to only at family style restaurants). I will upload this aid shortly.

For the final fix, I determined that the yellow and blue tokens simply had to go. Yet, I still wanted to add some variability into movement to make the long legs a little less "programmed". My solution was to salvage a pair of artillery firing dice from Warhammer 40K. I used the die which have "Up", "Down" marked on two sides and the die marked "Left" and "Right" with all of the other faces blank. I roll this pair of dice AFTER each move and move the yacht accordingly. Obviously some moves are not possible, so some judgment is required. I have found after a number of solo play tests, this simple mechanic introduces a nice degree of uncertainty (which can be explained by the vagaries of wind gusts and lulls as well as currents) while avoiding fiddling with 80 tokens! Sure the probabilities are very different using these dice than the tokens, but it makes for, in my view, a much cleaner game.

I hope you enjoy this landlubber's variant. It may not be the world's most accurate yacht race simulation, but it does provide a pretty exciting game!

I would be interested in knowing whether this variant breathes new life into a great game or if this is just a bunch of hot air.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ted Groth
United States
Appleton
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
1)Using the fender washers is great! Better than the plastic discs I used.

2)The player aid looks useful. In particular the overlap rules are concisely stated. I don't like the ship cartoon images though, as they obscure the indicated heading, and don't really represent the racing yachts very well either.

3)OK, the die roll variant should do a good job of eliminating the fiddly nature of the yellow and blue counters, and also elminating the "programmed" feel of the long legs of the races. But jostling the boat position at the end of movement based on a die roll doesn't feel quite right either. Control of a sailboat is limited by variations in the wind and tide, true, but a good sailor is rarely surprised by these changes, and would adjust the tiller or sails. So the effect of the die roll would be better if it was known at the beginning of the move, so the choice of move to make could be adjusted, with this knowledge. The actual adjustment could still be made at the end of the move though.

Personally, I like the idea of the counters, as they simulate the sailors skill of reading the surface of the water to predict puffs and lulls in the wind. But they can be too predictable, so I like an earlier variant which allows the effects of the two types of counters to switch occasionally. (another helpful tip is to use numbered counters for the wind shadow effect for each boat, since using the same yellow counters is confusing) I must admit the counters are fiddly, and your die roll variant at least fixes that!

I do like sailing. That is me on my boat in my avatar.
I also like the proper use of nautical terms, or "boaty language." Unfortunately, the English translation for this game doesn't use the standard nautical terms in the standard way in several places, and the result is confusing. I certainly agree that it would have been best for this game if the movement rules were explained in simple ordinary language first and foremost, but I would still want this accompanied by the accurate nautical terms as well because (believe it or not) the nautical terms provide clarity. Nautical terms developed as a precise way of describing nautical concepts, and avoiding the confusion that arises with imprecise language. I do admit that nautical terms are sometimes used just to show off instead, when a more common word would serve just as well.

Hopefully you will get a chance to try sailing again, perhaps with more rigorous instruction than you might have had with the Sunfish at the Antigua resort. Learning how to coax the desired direction of movement from boat, sails, wind and tide is quite an enjoyable challenge!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
pilum pilum
France
flag msg tools
mb
carthagenj wrote:
For the final fix, I determined that the yellow and blue tokens simply had to go. Yet, I still wanted to add some variability into movement to make the long legs a little less "programmed". My solution was to salvage a pair of artillery firing dice from Warhammer 40K. I used the die which have "Up", "Down" marked on two sides and the die marked "Left" and "Right" with all of the other faces blank. I roll this pair of dice AFTER each move and move the yacht accordingly. Obviously some moves are not possible, so some judgment is required. I have found after a number of solo play tests, this simple mechanic introduces a nice degree of uncertainty (which can be explained by the vagaries of wind gusts and lulls as well as currents) while avoiding fiddling with 80 tokens! Sure the probabilities are very different using these dice than the tokens, but it makes for, in my view, a much cleaner game.

I hope you enjoy this landlubber's variant. It may not be the world's most accurate yacht race simulation, but it does provide a pretty exciting game!

I would be interested in knowing whether this variant breathes new life into a great game or if this is just a bunch of hot air.:D



This variant is very very good, except you must roll BEFORE movement.

This game is very neglected : you are right.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gustavo Motta
Brazil
Araranguá
Santa Catarina
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
carthagenj wrote:
My solution was to salvage a pair of artillery firing dice from Warhammer 40K. I used the die which have "Up", "Down" marked on two sides and the die marked "Left" and "Right" with all of the other faces blank.


One die is marked one face "Up", one face "Down" and four faces blank. Die marked "Left" and "Right" with all of the other faces blank. Ok?

I did not understand how this works. Can you explain to me?

Thank you!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bruce Silzer
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: A gust of wind for a much neglected game ... ah! ... but sailors can read the wind
I just got my copy of RtW and was horrified at the thought of setting up all those dots to represent the wind variations... time consuming or what. Not only that , since when does the random wind get to play a part in "strategy". No way but sailors CAN read the wind.

Here is my quick solution and boy does it ever work well.

1. Placement of the dots... mix them together and distribute them evenly (sort of) among the captains. Then the captains sprinkle them onto the four quarters of the racing surface. The random dots are then adjusted onto the intersection closest to them and whossh the puffs and snuffs are in place.

BUT WAIT there is more...

2. As a wind dot is arrived at it moves ... YES winds move....
These puffs and snuffs are shifted by rolling 2d6 and the wind direction die. THe dice tell you how far the wind token is displaced and the wind direction die tells you the direction.Oh yes if by some strange miracle a dot drifts off the playing surface just transpose it to the opposite edge.

What is the effect? Well you have variance just like on the water and you get to read the wind.

May the winds be kind to you.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bruce Silzer
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: A gust of wind for a much neglected game ... Heel her over and cut the waves with tacky gum ...
Nothing is more exciting than heeling a boat even on the game board.

The old regatta boats allowed you to heel a boat which added realism to the simulation. The models in RtW were not designed to do this and someone suggested a washer or nut glued to the side to allow the heeling effect. I thought about this and decided this would detract from the feel of the "race".

I am a retired teacher and one of my best tools was a thing called tacky putty. You know, that gum like substance that you can rip off roll into a ball dab onto a paper then slap it onto virtually any surface. It comes off just by rolling, even after a year in place, and it leaves no mark.

Take a little bit and attach it to the keel of the model in such a way that it wraps to the port and starboard side just below the water line or alternatively make a slightly larger cylinder of the material and place it on the keel. Shiver me timbers ... the boat she heels and it stays.

The added bonus to heeling port and starboard is that you really do have to attend to all rules of right of way. (Ignore the "all boats on a run are considered on starboard tac".

Fair winds to you all. 
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.