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Subject: Is it really great ? rss

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Maciej Teległow
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I love the setting, idea and look of the game.
Looked through quick start rules and read in forums I have some questions about the game - in short to know should I buy it or not:

1. Does the game have enough strategy and tactics to think and win by clever manouvers and actions or is it just another dicefeast ?
2. Do the advanced rules add to the strategic and tactic options without bogging down play too much ? I have read quick start rules and they are really simple, I think too simple.
3. When and if elevation rules would be printed ?? and can anybody tell how the game would change with them ?
4. Is it fun to play and do the winner is the better commander or the better roller ?
5. How it compares in gameplay to other miniature games?

Thanks for answers
 
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1. It has, suprisingly, a lot of strategy and tactics - but let’s be honest – it’s also a dicefest. One lucky round and the whole strategy goes out of the window.

2. Lieutenant's manual shouldn’t have even been printed. Let me rephrase that – if I had played with L. Manual even once, the game would have probably gone to the shelf immediately. That's my opinion of it.

3. Soon, I guess. I feel they will be tricky though – deadzones will bog down gameplay, I think that cloud rules (especially with my modification) are simpler and bring enough tactics for my taste. But, of course, we'll see.

4. Very fun to play. The winner is the better roller, BUT only if you do not screw up badly. If you do, nothing will help you. So it's good that way.

Overall – I’m happy with it, drop by and we’ll play.


What I dislike about Leviathans:

Small ships are the best ships.

Check this out > if you are happy with: large ship rolling with a normal large gun d8+d8+d4 to hit a small ship (Armor 10-14, but there are some that have even 16 in some areas), small ship rolling d6+d10+d8+d4 to damage large ship (armor 13-19).
If you are ok with that then it's a game for you. If you are not – look somewhere else.
In other words – small ships rule for better or worse, they are more difficult to hit and they themselves hit big guys more often. And since a hit means damage - small ship is better than it looks.


Oh, and 5. Better than Dust Tactics and ...Battlelore I tried to compare simple war games with minis, don't have many of them. Still has nothing on AAMiniatures the best minis war game ever.

Hold on! Point to be taken - Leviathan uses simultaneous damage, one of the greatest advantages of AAM and similar round structure. It is a good game, worth buying. And it has something on AAM - the price, even though it's steep, still lower than collectible AAM.


Hope that helps.
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Maciej Teległow
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Thanks.
Please tell me one more time: who would win? The smarter commander or one who get better die rolls, even if he makes mistakes.
Is bigger ship worse then smaller even in one to one (bigger ships have more structure points and slots aka hp) ?
I think battle lore is not good game but i like battle cry, is it better?
What is the real play time?
 
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Aaron Bohm
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The "luck" aspect should probably be addressed. So, you roll dice for both the initiative, the weapons, and "breaking the keel" in Leviathans. So I'll go over these one by one.

Weapons: This is the least "lucky" area in my opinion and for the following reasons. Each ship has a certain power of gun and a certain degree of armor on various locations and sides. For the most part, it is difficult for the average gun to hit the average armor at long distance so things like bracketing or having better guns/longer range are a consideration when choosing your ship.

From a probability standpoint you are still going to have those higher than/lower than average rolls but each shot usually features 3 or 4 dice so that each shot has less of a chance to be influenced by that one big or little number. The most luck comes in the slot die, the one that tells you where you hit and an early shot to a crew slot on an opponent can be pretty lucky but it doesn't feel cheap and there are then opportunities for said opponent to angle wounded sides away from you as the game goes on.

The goal then is to manuever your big guns against the other ship's weaker sides and, if possible, when you are at close range and they are not. 80% of the strategy of this game can be boiled down to that concept and it's what makes it feel like a naval tactics combat game.

Breaking the keel: when you hit the same side twice AND reroll the broken side you get a breaking the keel roll (the roll that actually destroys the ship). The more wounded a ship is the more likely these shots will destroy it and it is very unlikely a once-wounded ship will be destroyed in this way but I will say that it is still based on a roll. You can fill a ship with holes like swiss cheese and still it will float on while your barely scratched battleship gets sunk after a couple hits and that does feel a little swingy at times.

Initiative: This is the only thing I hate about the rolling in Leviathans and more than likely I'm going to house-rule it. Initiative is the first roll and it determines who moves last. Moving last is very important. As you get to see where your opponent ends up and them manuever so you are behind him, crossing his T, etc. Furthermore, if you win several initiative rolls in a row, it very much feels like you have the upper hand, flying in circles around him.
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I. Smarter commander can negate 50% of opponents luck, but can still lose. Its just the way it is with dice. Your d6+d6+d4 can end in 14, and opponents d12+d8+d4 can be 6 and there's nothing you can do about it.
Good tactics are helpful, but can be negated.


II. 1 on 1 a smaller ship would lose most of the time, but there are exceptions. The Jean Bart, French flagship has no way to defend from the rear for example and I've seen British destroyers run circles around it. Damage its engine once or twice and you are home.


III."HP" are not very important in this game, that is the point, I think even structure points aren't. The most painful thing is this game is: a. to miss a shot, b. to lose a slot but not in regards to "HP" but in regards of further disadvantages it brings.


IV. Also, as I said - you have to remember that Big Ships get damaged easily. This is questionable design by the way - what's the point of having a big ship with: a. armor still comparable to other ships (maybe +1 to +3 better, but still, Hertfordshire, type 2 ship, has almost the same armor as type 4 ship) and b. having it be easily damaged by giving it an additional die to breach roll.

A moving destroyer adds just a d8 to opponents breach roll, a moving flagship - a d8+d10. Whats the point of it having a +2 better armor then, since the opponent rolls +d10 negating it and surpassing without any problems???

Also I think that range does not matter in this game, except when you are out of it (hard thing to do - a flagship won't outrun you).

Destroyer with a lightest gun at 8 hexes (its max range) shooting at moving flagship, both sideways: d4+d4+d8+d10 (more or less), at super close range, 1 hex: d4+d6+d8+d10. A +d2 difference. Range does not matter in this game.

The flagship with the biggest gun ever (British Leviathan) shooting back at the same destroyer: d12+d4+d8 (less than the destroyer!).

And hits mean damage. And misses mean no damage.

The fail point in the rules is making hits mostly dependable on the size of the ship (and it moving or not) - which in itself is a good idea, but only if you add an armor roll for damage - if you don't it and 1 roll determines both hit ratio and damage than it just means that the bigger ship - the easier it is to damage.

Anyways - I digressed to much.

Play time - I just finished 2 solo sessions with 4 ships - each took exactly an hour. So I'd say 2-3 hours with more ships and 2 players. That's how long our games lasted so far.
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Cedric Chong
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Konzik wrote:
2. Lieutenant's manual shouldn’t have even been printed.

Amen
 
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KC Bagley
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Konzik wrote:

AAMiniatures the best minis war game ever.


what is AAMiniatures? I tried google and found Axis & Allies Miniatures. Is that what you meant? and which one? the hasbro version or Wizards of the Coast (war at sea)?
 
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Julian Cullop
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Konzik wrote:


Small ships are the best ships.



A wet naval ship is essentially a gun platform: The bigger the ship, the bigger the guns, the more powerful the ship. To an extent this would be true of a flying battleship (if one can imagine such a thing) but the economies of scale would be much less because of the recoil on very large guns. A real life battleship can roll with the recoil because it floats on (fairly dense)water. A flying battleship would flip over with similar guns. Therefore it is 'realistic' to make flying battleships under gunned compared to their wet navy counterparts.

I haven't played Leviathans yet but this has been discussed in relation to games like Aeronef. In Leviathans, I'm not sure how this effects play balance but in any alternative history timeline which is even remotely close to historical reality, governments of the time would have wanted big battleships anyway. Trust me on this, they would.
 
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Yes, I mean Axis and Allies Miniatures, the WWII game. One of those companies bought the other, it was WotC I think and they currently publish AAM.

And, actually, you are right! There is a War at Sea version of it. And let me tell you, if it's as good and "land" versions, it surely is the best "ships" game out there

What makes AAM great?

1. Realistic Combat. The only game that does that. No silly modifiers, like even Conflict of Heores has. In no way can regular infantry damage a Tiger (like in CoH and Tide of Iron), unless they are exactly on the same hex - then they can use close assault weapons (if they have any, not every unit has them). No light AT gun will damage a Tiger. Medium AT will have problems and needs to shoot from closer range.

No other game that I know of does that!!

With HHR mod (that is excellent except for damage stats for 20mm guns
it is the most realistic WWII game ever, IMO (in regards to damage and armor).

2. Downplayed luck factor. With Tiger rolling 15d6 (more or less) for damage you can be sure it will even out to moderate 6-8 successes. With Sherman rolling 11 it will get 5-6. What I want to say is more dice = more even results.

3. Did I say no modifiers? No +1 for moving, +2 for card played (no cards there), +7 for commander and +2 for determination ...and suddenly infantry units break Tiger armor from 2 km (hello Tide of Iron!). All rules, ranges and damage are printed on the cards. They are divided into Anti-Inf and Anti-Arm, so super commandos plow through other infantry but still roll AT only in the same hex using similar grenades, and so on.

4. Finally - excellent turn structure model. Leviathans copies that and it's a very significant advantage. AAM has 2 rounds in a turn Move and Assault. All damage is simultaneous. No more waiting around the corner and camping for the enemy and then running at him (hello Dust Tactics!). Movement in assault phase can be stopped by suppressive fire, so charging units can be stopped. Some MGs have unlimited suppression, forcing you to get arty to deal with them with safety.

5. The price is deadly if you like to have more units, my most expensive game ever
Even Battlelore with all add-ons was much much cheaper.
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Dave Graffam
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shallowgrave wrote:
A real life battleship can roll with the recoil because it floats on (fairly dense)water. A flying battleship would flip over with similar guns. Therefore it is 'realistic' to make flying battleships under gunned compared to their wet navy counterparts.

If there's technology that allows battleships to fly, couldn't there also be technology that counteracts gun recoil?

I haven't played, but it looks like something I might enjoy. I wouldn't be bothered by the vulnerability of larger ships if it's balanced in some way. If every player has to deploy a large and relatively vulnerable command ship, that's a kind of balance. If you purchase your fleet without many limitations and it's just obviously to your advantage to purchase cheaper, more effective smaller ships, I'll probably be annoyed and start house-ruling some balances.

EDIT: Ah, I'm reading the point buy beta now. That's groovy.
 
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John Haward
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DagobahDave wrote:
[q="shallowgrave"]A real life battleship can roll with If there's technology that allows battleships to fly, couldn't there also be technology that counteracts gun recoil?


In-universe, yes. The British tend to be more advanced with this than other nations, which is why they tend to carry somewhat larger guns.

On modern British leviathans, the compensation is called the "Swan Stabiliser", it's one of the British's best-held secrets (not unlike the American's Norden bombsight in WW2). They're the saddle-like structures running under the hull from under the trim tanks.

Other nations use different, somewhat less effective, but equivalent systems.

Cheers!
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William Miller
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I definately agree that Axis and Allies War at Sea Naval miniatures is the best "ships" game out there. I'm not normally into collectible games, but the blend of history and playability make this one a keeper. I am especially attracted to the look of the game, the models are superb. And its vastly customizable. I have so far worked up nearly thirty different scenarios using my six fleets that are both historical and hypothetical. Also the stat cards are very well researched. Just can't brag on this game enough, except that I do have way too much money invested in it. I think I could probably enjoy Leviathans, but I tend to shy away from sci-fi stuff. Its fine for movies but thats about it IMO.
 
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