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Iron and Oak» Forums » General

Subject: Game Update rss

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Jim Day
United States
Ellicott City
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Based on input from our terrific playtest teams, a number of suggestions and revisions have been incorporated into the game. These represent what we think to be the best-of-the-best and go a long way to improve game play.

Some background information is in order. Since Iron & Oak utilizes an area movement system on a grid structured mapboard, some of the more unique ship maneuver actions, e.g., Ramming, were controlled by the play of Action Cards. Meaning, unless a player had a Ram Action Card in his hand, he could not attempt to ram an opposing ship. The playtesters found this limitation to be too restrictive and based more on the luck of the draw than on game play decisions. It also limited the number of attempts for a specific action to the number of that card in the Action Card deck making that particular action too predictable.

These special maneuvers, i.e., Ramming, Spar Torpedo, and Crossing the Bow or Stern are now possible at any time by completing a maneuver against a target ship, now placing the ‘control’ more in the hands of the player. We have also updated some of the other actions and added a nifty ‘Ship Orders’ movement system that comes into play when two or more ships are on a side. Previously, players called out ship moves one-by-one thereby befitting from the success of failure of one move before declaring the move action, if any, for the next ship. That created an unrealistic movement process that would not normally be found in naval actions. Ships just do not stop on a dime, especially during this period.

We tested these changes locally and found them to improve game play, better capture the action typical of the period, and enhance the gaming experience without sacrificing quick play and fun.
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