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Subject: Adding frigates to battles and other custom content rss

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Ryan Lee
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My game arrived finally, and I picked up Ship of the Line at my local game store. I also have Serpents on order, because I got impatient waiting for Flying Colors and figured it would be amazing so I might as well buy everything.

I've been reading through the rules, and I have the Battle of Minorca set up. Will probably run this one tomorrow with my friends, unless they want to do El Ferrol.

In the Minorca set up, the British have Deptford (50) to windward. In the actual battle, they had several other Frigates, including Chesterfield (44), Phoenix (24), Experiment (24), Dolphin (22), and Fortune (18), and the French had Junon (44), Rose (30), Gracieuse (26), Topaze (26), and Nymphe (24).


Now, I can understand why a whole bunch of frigates were not included in the game, since it primarily focuses on fleet actions, and frigates did not involve themselves in such battles most of the time. However, I can see how they might be useful in Flying Colors, to extend the Command Range of commanders through Formations, so that if Line of Battle ships fall out of command in a formation, the frigates to windward or leeward could continue that Formation Command to the van or rear. I can also understand the counter limitations and not wanting to make a counter for every ship ever.

But it might be nice to do so. Rob posted a PDF so that we can print and affix new labels to the counters from Ship of the Line.. I was thinking this would be a great way to add in our own customs ships to the game. Do you, Rob, or anyone else have a Photoshop template for Large and Small vessels?

Also, is there any place we can buy blank counters? Or the cheapest way of getting more counters? (Other than say buying another copy of Ship of the Line and putting new labels on its counters?).

Very much looking forward to playing this with friends tomorrow.
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Ryan Lee
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Here's a quick mock-up of what I mean, showing some of the other British and French vessels at the Battle of Minorca. I'll need to do more research to figure out if I assigned their in-game Relative Rate and other stats correctly, such as VPs. I also didn't have any images to work on except for the ships, so the attempt at a snow-rigged sloop-of-war for Fortune is just cobbled together quickly (I figured out that I could import the Ships of the Line counters errata PDF into Illustrator, and worked from there).
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Ryan Lee
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By positioning them this far away, they're not immediately useful, but they can be brought in during the battle to help re-establish command in the middle of battle, for instance.


Or is this just needlessly complicating matters?
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Rob Doane
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Quote:
Do you, Rob, or anyone else have a Photoshop template for Large and Small vessels?


The only one I have is for the games pieces in VASSAL, but it doesn't look nearly as nice as yours. Thanks for doing this!

Normally GMT sells blank counter sheets, although I can't find any listed on their website right now. Noble Knight appears to have some:
http://www.nobleknight.com/ViewProducts.asp_Q_ProductLineID_...
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Ryan Lee
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Thanks! I did play it last week, but I've been really sick this past week so haven't been able to report.

We played the first couple hours and forgot about the Audacity modification to Firepower. I was rolling well and my French ships were pounding the British pretty soundly. Then we remembered to give the British the Audacity bonus, and I started rolling poorly, and the tide of battle shifted. We each lost a commander to ships catching fire and exploding (but not out fleet commanders), but it meant that a big chunk of my van was suddenly Out of Command. In the end, the British had a couple ships dismasted, one sunk (explosion), and several ships damaged. A French ship attempted to board one of the dismasted British ships, failing to notice the full contingent on marines on board, and were captured in turn. After losing a few ships (explosion, dismasting, or just plain hull damage), the French tucked tail and fled.

I enjoyed it a lot, but our session ran really long. Pretty sure it took us about 6.5 - 7 hrs or so - so I can see that adding frigates to the battle would further complicate matters. But I could also see how they could come in handy for re-establishing command through formations and the like.

Unfortunately the long play time for that particular scenario turned one of my friends of entirely, and he refuses to try again with a simpler scenario, meaning that I'm very unlikely to get my regular group to play it again Meanwhile, Serpents of the Seas arrived, so there's TONS of less-crazy scenarios we -could- be trying. Looks like I'll have to look into play-by-forum / email instead.

If there's any interest, I could look at some of the other battles to create custom frigates for those. I was also looking at the Battle of Groix, that it might be fun to try to create a scenario around it, but with the ships all getting the same movement rate, I don't know how I'd factor in the "chase" aspect of it.
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