Things are at a small hiatus within the Great Hall, after the carnage of the disaster and having got the hall straightened out again I have lost my painting mojo at the moment. Possibly because of the amount of work I have to do to repair and make good everything or it could just be one of those phases we all have from time to time.
However as one would expect I have not abandoned all hobby related activities, and indeed I have been doing a couple of things to occupy my time.
I have started playing an online pirate RPG and I have to say I am having a lot of fun, trading,plundering and sinking ships. Although Edwin did kop one from me the other day as one of my requirements in a game mission is to sink welsh flagged ships, though I did stop at one attack on him to be completely fair.
Click the banner above to help me raise some plunder folks! and if it is your bag come join me in the land of Avonmora. If not just give the banner a click anyway as I will be most grateful.
Now staying with the Naval theme for this post, for several weeks I have been writing and adapting my own set of Naval combat rules for the age of sail. As a small group of players we enjoy the period but hated the Trafalgar rules as they are very slow and cumbersome to use and rarely get you a ship sunk or a game finished. With a goodly amount of gaming years behind me and having play tested many rule sets and tinkered with others I took up the mantle to write a set for us that will play fast, be fun and get a result. Now I also had to be wary as we do have a naval officer in our ranks, so I was under some pressure to make it good for him too, especially as he paints and rigs all the 1/1200th ships for us to play with.
A Willing Foe and Sea-Room"
Fast play Naval action rules for the age of sail.
So the above image is the name I have decided and settled upon for our rule set. I have used some elements from Black powder and Hail Caesar as well as a bit of Fire and Fury etc within the make up of the rules. These games all have their plus points and minus points but play-testing will refine the game further and after each session notes will be made and rules amended.
So far we have managed to have some good play testing time with this game and thankfully Rear Admiral Glenn is most pleased with my efforts, though not so keen on the fact his dice still fail him!
One of the early challenges for us was creating the hex system and developing that to work with the eight points of a compass, a bit of chat and head scratching after the first play test saw us change a few things around and that issue was solved. We went with a hex system to make movement very simply as each vessel moves a set number of hexes or makes a number of turns in relation to its speed rating. No tape measures required and no need to account for inertia etc as they are all calculated for in the speed allowances.
The compass in reality plays a more major role with the wind and weather so we have worked out how to align the compass to give completely random wind direction for all games and it works very well.
This week saw us go larger with the fleet sizes, and with several different rated vessels as I wanted the data cards tested and to calculate any adjustments we would need to make across the board. One of the elements of Trafalgar that we did like happened to be the ship data cards, although I have heavily redesigned them but they enabled you to accurately track your vessels demise without complicated calculations etc. Other than dice,a few markers and a pen this is all you need to play the game.
|one of the data cards I have compiled click the image for a full sized view.|
One of the great elements of the Black Powder and Hail Caesar games is the order system and the fact that officers can and do make errors of judgement! So I had to have a blunder table for anyone scoring a double six when making a command roll.
2 x D6 Score
Mutiny, you must role on the despised by the crew table.
Something strange is a brewing! roll on the wind table.
Anchor not secured and drops, vessel comes to a dead stop
I don’t be liking the look of that! roll on the weather table.
Rudder jammed, steer 1 compass point anti clockwise
Rudder Jammed, steer 1 compass point clockwise
Cannons are hot! firing this turn is at ½ effect rounded up
Jonah on board all morale saves are at an additional -1 this turn
Unidentified underwater hazard take 1 below the waterline hit no save allowed
Inspired crew all morale saves are at +1 this turn
Advance 3 hexes forward and carry out a boarding action if able to do so!
So onto our latest play test, I have been acting as Umpire for all the games as I wrote the rules and also this enables me to follow the play tests closely and make adjustments for events I see happen and based on Kevin and Glenn's feedback.
Glenn was impressed with the work Myself and Kevin had put into making a sea table for the game room.
What follows is not a game report as such just a few pictures of the play testing in progress, as truth be told I forgot to take too many pictures as I was recording how the rules worked in situations and taking notes for improvements.
|Kevin tries to work out which vessel is which as he deploys|
|Glenn swaps Rum for Tea as the British Fleet approaches|
|Things are going to get ugly|
|Sure enough ships make a visit to Davy Jones|
So far we have been very pleased with the way the game plays and now I will work on all the extras that come with naval combat in the form of some National characteristic and special ammo.
That just leaves me to welcome aboard the latest followers to the Great Hall: Eric and Pippoweb row heartily for your longship folks and enjoy the visits to come.
That is all for this week folks have a good week ahead.