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Richard Bakers add-on/Simulation War At Sea Rules
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Post subject: Richard Bakers add-on/Simulation War At Sea Rules  Reply with quote   (Liked by:0)  Like this post
I don't see these posted anywhere despite being from 2012 so I thought I would give them a thread so people can view them, they look pretty good I really want to try them out.  Funny that they really didn't gain any traction.



Gaming: Today I think I’m going to step out of the theoretical ground of the last couple of posts, and muse about something more specific: What do I wish I’d done a little differently with War at Sea (aka Axis & Allies Naval Miniatures)? Overall, I’m pretty happy with the outcome of that design; it’s fast, fun, and serves as a good skeleton for layering on as many house rules and mods as you might want. But I still think I could have done a little better.


The first thing I wish I’d included in the game was a simple facing system. The classic naval tactic of “crossing the T” doesn’t appear in AANM because of the relatively high abstraction of ship movement and position. The reason we didn’t include this early on is because initial design drafts contemplated far more abstract versions of the game, where ships might be grouped into Task Forces fighting in an area of maybe 200 miles by 200 miles. Playtests of this approach showed us that ship dispositions were pretty boring in a large-scale game: You wanted your TFs together, so you wound up with “100 points in a box.” The shift to a more tactically focused game came relatively late in the process. Anyway, here’s a simple implementation of facing rules we could have used:


·         Draw a game map using large hexagons, say 5” or so.


·         Ships and submarines move by a) entering the hex directly ahead and can change heading by up to three hexsides when they enter a new hex, which counts as 1 movement, or b) remain in their current hex and choose any heading. This basically means you can’t make any real distance going “south” on a turn you begin facing “north.” Destroyers and PT boats might be able to start with a course change, and would have more ability to maneuver.


·         Ships and submarines have arcs of fire: Ahead, Astern, Broadside. These basically correspond to shooting “out” of the hexside in front of you, behind you, or the two hexsides on your port or starboard.


·         Submarines can’t make Broadside torpedo attacks (some older subs did have trainable torpedo mounts outside their pressure hulls, but maybe that could be handled with a special ability).


·         Ahead or Astern Gunnery attacks take a penalty of -1 per die. This is an easy way to model reduced volume of fire from a limited number of guns bearing dead ahead or dead astern. Sure, we could present exact Gunnery dice for ahead/broadside/astern attacks for each different ship, but we’re talking about a simple patch we could add now to the game.


·         Some ships (say, Rodney or Richelieu) would gain a negative special ability to the effect of “no Astern Main Gunnery attacks allowed.” Richelieu might also get a special for “no penalty for Ahead Main Gunnery attacks,” I suppose.




There you go – pretty simple, really, and you’d add some fun positional advantages and disadvantages to your War at Sea games. You could force your opponent to choose between moving toward the objective or guarding against having his T crossed, for example. However, be careful, since this makes Initiative *really* important. Whoever moves second gets a big advantage by being able to see exactly where enemy arcs of fire lie and moving accordingly. And submarines suffer from their non-broadside attacks.


Here’s another one: Delayed Torpedo Resolution. Our initial design wanted to make a stronger distinction between gunnery attacks and torpedo attacks for surface ships but really punished destroyers, so we relented in the errata and reprint and moved destroyer torpedo attacks to the same phase as their gunnery attacks. But torpedoes really should have run times of 5 to 10 minutes even at pretty close ranges, which is pretty close to about one game turn. So here is an alternative I wish I had thought of at the time: To simulate the run time of a torpedo attack, when you make a Torpedo attack against a unit, don’t roll the attack on the turn your unit fires its torpedoes. Resolve the attack on the following turn. Here’s how this would work:


·         When a unit fires Torpedoes at another unit, place a Torpedo Attack chit on the target unit.


·         Roll a d6 for each Torpedo Attack chit on the board at the end of the Movement Phase.


·         Torpedo Attack chits “hit” on a roll of 5 or 6. However, a unit can degrade a Torpedo Attack to “hit” only on a 6 by choosing to evade torpedoes instead of moving in the Movement Phase. You could indicate this at the moment the ship evades by flipping the chit to a "degraded" side.


·         Units evading torpedoes do not move. They remain in their hex. (If you use facing, too, the unit must change facing by 2 or 3 hexsides to evade.)


·         Torpedo damage could be randomized—say, 1 to 3 points normally, or 1 to 4 points for a Long Lance attack. It bugs me that destroyers are always killed by torpedoes even though they often survived being torpedoed.


This doesn’t really change the timing of torpedo attacks from surface ships—when you fire the torpedo, it’s on its way, and if you’re blown up in the current Attack Phase, you still get to roll your dice next turn from beyond the grave. This does weaken torpedoes a little bit in that a torpedo attack in Turn X doesn’t affect the claiming of objectives in Turn X, but instead in Turn Y. But it makes torpedo attacks much stronger in that they’re much more likely to hit unless the targets choose not to move. Many times in real battles ships turned away from real or imagined torpedo attacks, and this rule creates that behavior in the game.


Both these systems are all about increasing the simulation value of War at Sea. Whether or not they’re worth the added complexity, well, that’s up to you. But if you’re inclined to tinker under the hood with your War at Sea game, maybe these will spark some ideas for you.
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PostThu Mar 07, 2013 11:11 pm
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These are good ideas, very simple and will not overly complicate the game.  
Idea For Long Lance torpedoes, why not use damage=(1to3)+1, that is, either 2,3,4 pts of damage based on these rollls:  dice roll of 1,2=2pts, 3,4=3pts, 5,6=4pts of damage.  This way, the average is 3 pts, which follows the game.  
This makes LL torps brutal, but they were...
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PostFri Mar 08, 2013 12:15 pm
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I was thinking the same thing otherwise they are a bit nerfed with these new rules since there is a 50 percent chance they will be less effective, 25percent the same, 25 percent more effective vs regular torpedoes which are balanced the same percentage wise.
SJG Gamer wrote:
These are good ideas, very simple and will not overly complicate the game.  
Idea For Long Lance torpedoes, why not use damage=(1to3)+1, that is, either 2,3,4 pts of damage based on these rollls:  dice roll of 1,2=2pts, 3,4=3pts, 5,6=4pts of damage.  This way, the average is 3 pts, which follows the game.  
This makes LL torps brutal, but they were...
PostFri Mar 08, 2013 1:41 pm
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Played these rules with firehouse and they are a very interesting dynamic and add alot to the game. I actually prefer playing with them way more realistic, more strategy and fun.
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PostSun Mar 17, 2013 1:32 am
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The delayed torpedo resolution really changes things, but that's not bad.

The varied torpedo damage is easy to start using immediately. I like doing a d3 and a d3+1 better than RB's offer.

This is nice stuff.
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PostSun Mar 17, 2013 2:18 am
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What I noticed was torpedoes become powerful in the sense that you feel you HAVE to evade otherwise they hit on a 5-6 , the evade facing movement causes chaos with target ship being harrassed and it plays really neat and realistic.

Smaller ships and torps get a boost as well as air since the facing hampers movement of ships .  Battleships come back down to earth a bit since they come under alot more pressure.

Playing with these will make it hard to go back it fixes things without adding much if any complexity.
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PostMon Mar 18, 2013 4:31 pm
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Agreed!  I like the idea.  One detail about a special type of unit, submarines.  I presume that ships that do not turn away & comb the sub-launched torpedoes will also be hit by torpedoes on a 5 or 6.  
Idea Is there an option that the sub suprizes the target, as sometimes happened and the target-ship does not comb the torps because it does not realize it is in danger until ... the die is rolled and a 5 or 6 is a hit. Shocked
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PostTue Mar 19, 2013 1:06 am
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Something I never took into account, how does firing a torpedo work? Do I need to be broadside or astern/ahead? Or is there a dice penalty
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PostFri Apr 05, 2013 2:59 pm
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no limitations/penalties that I am aware of.
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PostFri Apr 05, 2013 5:56 pm
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Almost all torpedo mounts on DDs, Cls, & CAs were fired on the side.  Thus a torpedo-firing surface should only be able to fire at targets that are in its broadside arc.  Targets ahead & astern should be immune to surface-ship fired torpedoes.  
Idea Submarines usually had bow and also stern torpedo tubes.  Therefore submarines should only be able to fire torpedoes from ahead or astern with an astern shot being -1 torpedo because there were usually fewer stern tubes on most submarines.  If any subs had an equal ammount of stern tubes or no stern tubes, this could be noted as a special sub SA.
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PostSun Apr 21, 2013 4:49 pm
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SJG Gamer wrote:
Almost all torpedo mounts on DDs, Cls, & CAs were fired on the side.  Thus a torpedo-firing surface should only be able to fire at targets that are in its broadside arc.  Targets ahead & astern should be immune to surface-ship fired torpedoes.  
Idea Submarines usually had bow and also stern torpedo tubes.  Therefore submarines should only be able to fire torpedoes from ahead or astern with an astern shot being -1 torpedo because there were usually fewer stern tubes on most submarines.  If any subs had an equal ammount of stern tubes or no stern tubes, this could be noted as a special sub SA.
good to know maybe that could be incorporated but give subs there own movement phase after the surface fleet so they don't get deked out.
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PostMon Apr 22, 2013 6:33 am
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For the Battleships and Battle Cruisers that carried torps, many were mounted below the waterline near the bow, where they not?

Not sure, just asking because of the 2 previous posts, which I agree with.
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PostMon Apr 22, 2013 4:48 pm
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All battlehips built up to c1920 originally had a few underwater torpedo tubes.  However, the WW1 experience was that the range BBs firet at was well beyond torpedo range.  Also, the below-the-waterline torpedo room was a weak spot in the anti torpedo protection.  Nearly every navy removed these between the wars, especially when anti-torpedo bulges were added.   All of the USA BBs @ Pearl Harbor on 7Dec1941 were originally built with them, but they were removed in 1920s. The USS Tennessee & California were the last prewar US BBs to lose theirs, in the middle 1930s.  
I think only the HMS Rodney & Nelson had underwater tubes.  They fired broadside.  
The torpedo tubes added onto the Scharnhorst, Gneisnau & Tirpitz were added during WW2 to help sink merchant ships more quickly.  They were above-the-waterline mounts identical to what CLs & CAs had.  These BBs' mounts should also fire only broadside.
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PostTue Apr 23, 2013 1:17 am
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Interesting, hopefully I get a chance to play this ruleset again and try out these realism add-ons.
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It serves also edit:

- Speed ​​modified for destroyers: 3 speed (it is difficult or impossible to use the destroyers with speed 2.

- Elimination of the rule of the destroyer "Sub Hunter" makes no sense to this rule! Sufficient modified speed of 3.

- Add to each destroyer skill "Lay smoke screen" all the destroyers have historically this possibility tactics.

Rules speed created by Leon1980 Axis&Allies Italy forum

Speed Rules:
Speed 1 (1-18kn)
Speed 1+ (with 5-6 Dice - up to Speed 2) for admiral rules
Speed 1++ (with 4-5-6 Dice - up to Speed 2) for admiral rules
Speed 2 (19-28kn)
Speed 2+ (with 5-6 Dice - up to Speed 3) for admiral rules
Speed 2++ (with 4-5-6 Dice - up to Speed 3) for admiral rules
Speed 3 (29-38kn)
Speed 3+ (with 5-6 Dice - up to Speed 4) for admiral rules
Speed 3++ (with 4-5-6 Dice - up to Speed 4) for admiral rules
Speed 4 (39-48kn)
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PostTue May 21, 2013 11:53 am
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Sub hunter allows dd's to still get at subs even you lose initiative, you could have speed 10 with your dd but if you lose initiative the sub can simply move to a different sector .  The game is still a cmg with sa's so some things have to be accepted for flavor and making units different.
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PostFri May 24, 2013 3:14 pm
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I understand that is a miniatures game, but some skill and speed are not realistic.

With my gaming group we use some rules homemade ... type: Submarines hidden. (so the battleships and cruisers sailing with caution)
Sometimes we use speed 3 for the destroyers. (eliminating the ability sub hunter)

play with the rule of submarines hidden adds a suspance to the game!
Practically always play with this rule.

small changes would be enough to make the game more exciting ... and not just the classic brawl at the center.
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Making the movement / facing work with a square is possible I think to fit the regular map types.  It would lead to full broadside, ahead, astern as your only facing options where it could take 2 movement to change to a different facing.  Would make movement a little stiff but you could also change it to 1 movement to switch facing to compensate that.
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Azrael wrote:
Making the movement / facing work with a square is possible I think to fit the regular map types.  It would lead to full broadside, ahead, astern as your only facing options where it could take 2 movement to change to a different facing.  Would make movement a little stiff but you could also change it to 1 movement to switch facing to compensate that.


Placed you ships diagonally across the sector. The sector that only touch at the corners are your ahead and astern and the broadsides are the straight edges of the sector.
PostFri Dec 27, 2013 12:13 am
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Yeah that does work well enough.


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