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Thread: Collision rules

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Collision rules

    Are there more Captains out there that have opinions on the collision rules? If you have, have you made any corrections on them? I my self find the original collision rules quite hard to handle, especially when there are more than two ships involved. Therefor I have re-made the rules to the following:

    Make back sails for all involved ships and draw one entanglement chit. If having full sails, also draw one chit for sail damage. Easy-piecy, or not?

    I have tried theese rules a couple of times and find them handy, especially as they make the game much faster. That, I think is very importand when you are a lot of players controlling a bunch of ships in the same game. If you other Captains out there will try them out and provide inputs or feed back, I would be most greatful.

    Thanks!


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    The collision rules were made excessively draconian to dissuade players from driving into their own ships. I prefer something which is less damaging (as in real life) but which is an inbuggerance in terms of ships stopping and becoming entangled. so this looks good :)

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    I would appreciate a more streamlined system. Collision resolution slowed down games last year when we had a dozen ships in close proximity. I did not like the effect it had on the game feel, i.e. loss of momentum. I will try what you have suggested, Pete, in games between now and June. If it works well enough, I will adopt it for Origins.
    “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” ― Plato

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    In the handful of games I've run for the gang we've only had a couple of entanglements, but the current rules really drove the affected players up the wall! It did bog the pace of the game down as everyone tried to figure out how to get out of their situation. Your solution sounds very much simpler, and would aid in keeping the game moving along at speed! We'll give her a go, and pass along our recommendations! Thanks!!
    Last edited by John Paul; 03-10-2015 at 21:16.

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    It seems like there are two separate issues.

    The question of whether and how to apply either damage or entanglement effects doesn't seem like a big deal, it's easy to adapt to taste.

    The bigger problem for me is resolving exactly where the ships end up. This can definitely decide the outcome of a game--it drives who can fire at whom, and can restrict the options for future movement (or in some cases eliminate it altogether). So you can't blow it off as unimportant. And I'm not terribly happy with the rules as they stand, there seem to be several problems:

    1) it seems quite arbitrary--a very small difference in starting conditions can lead to radically different outcomes
    2) it doesn't seem to match intuition--if you try to figure out "what would have happened" you end up with something different
    3) it's very fiddly and involves more judgment calls than it seems at first glance

    Personally I haven't found a solution for it. Is the proposal in the original post supposed to address this part of the problem? If so I didn't quite get it...

    It's also probably worth noting that the flaws I noted above are arguably "realistic", since it does seem that when ships came together it could be quite arbitrary how they stuck, and which ships ended up with firing angles or the ability to break off and maneuver...

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    Quote Originally Posted by fredmiracle View Post
    It's also probably worth noting that the flaws I noted above are arguably "realistic", since it does seem that when ships came together it could be quite arbitrary how they stuck, and which ships ended up with firing angles or the ability to break off and maneuver...
    Maybe the answer is in this statement. What slows the game down is the attempt to have the ships follow their intended path, which leads to weird results anyway as you say.

    I wonder if it wouldn't be simpler to just recognize that two ships are in a "collision state" and then randomize the rest (entanglement, firing angles, movement direction after breaking off, etc.).

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    There should be an adjustment for the 5th rate and smaller vessels..........they can turn a lot quicker than a 1-3 rate those are like turning a 18 wheeler in a Macdonalds parking lot.
    They should have the ability to avoid a collision, would allow them to avoid the 1st rate wall of death as it runs over them.

    Shane

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    In most Age of Sail games the authors generally make the resolution and results of collisions, or fouling, so onerous as to "encourage", (force) players to avoid such conditions at all costs. After all, in reality collisions were extremely rare, though they did happen at times. Thus the rules attempt to encourage behavior and fore thought in the player in moving his ship about the gaming area. The limitation of the game design though actually limits the player to the choices of maneuver available to him in the course of the game. In SoG you have a finite number and type of movement cards, and in a hex based game the player is limited by the points and/or the sides of the hexes. Also, in a game the player is limited by the actual playing area.

    I remember shortly after getting my SoG game running a demo at a show. I had 6 players each running a frigate. On the table next to ours an American Civil War Ironclad game was being run. During the course of our game we had two collisions involving 4 of the 6 six ships in the game. In the Ironclad game a Confederate ram made about 4 attempts to ram Union vessels and was successful only on one attempt, which resulted in a glancing blow and little or no damage. At the time I thought what a difference in concepts where in one game the reality was to avoid colliding with your opponent we had two collisions, while in another where ramming was a tactic it was nearly impossible to occur!

    Anyway, rethinking the subject of this thread I came to a simple solution that at least makes things easier. After revealing maneuver cards if two, or more opposing ships are likely to collide each player must discard his selected maneuver card, then select the opposite maneuver card if making a turn, if the original card was a straight move the player must select a Damaged Mast card to execute. If the ships are friendly each owning player rolls a die, or selects a damage chit. The player with the higher number can then execute his selected move, while the lower number player must select a Damaged Mast card to make his move. The card selected must take his ship away from the other friendly vessel. The basic idea is to force the ships to turn away from each other! If a collision should still occur after the ships turn away from each other then the idea Pete suggests above could apply as well! There might need to be some finer detail added, but that was my basic idea to streamline the whole Collision exercise!

    I believe the current Collision Rules have the greatest of intentions, but in the attempt to urge players to avoid collisions they kind of over do the actual results.
    "War is the greatest game Man can play!" BG George B. McClellan

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Paul View Post
    Anyway, rethinking the subject of this thread I came to a simple solution that at least makes things easier. After revealing maneuver cards if two, or more opposing ships are likely to collide each player must discard his selected maneuver card, then select the opposite maneuver card if making a turn, if the original card was a straight move the player must select a Damaged Mast card to execute. If the ships are friendly each owning player rolls a die, or selects a damage chit. The player with the higher number can then execute his selected move, while the lower number player must select a Damaged Mast card to make his move. The card selected must take his ship away from the other friendly vessel. The basic idea is to force the ships to turn away from each other! If a collision should still occur after the ships turn away from each other then the idea Pete suggests above could apply as well! There might need to be some finer detail added, but that was my basic idea to streamline the whole Collision exercise!

    I believe the current Collision Rules have the greatest of intentions, but in the attempt to urge players to avoid collisions they kind of over do the actual results.
    I was thinking about this thread since yesterday and someting very similiar was going on in my mind, although I as unable to fully formulate my thoughts. But the obligation to discard planned manouver and play an avoiding one instead was definately the conclusion that I was coming to. I will try your proposition Paul next time I play, it seems very promising, discouraging wanton manouvering, and forcing some realistic outcomes. It also complements very well the original idea of Pete, that seemed to me somewhat lacking, (backing sails every time on collision course seemed to me as troublesome in regard to smoothnes of movement under sail, with skilled crew and captains - as our shipps are supposed to have, even if the admirals that command them do sometimes issue silly orders )

    I am now inclining to start to think about players commanding ships in SOG somewhat rather as commodores and admirals who issue general orders, but are not supposed to interfere with direct handling of the vessels and their captain's responsibilities, rather than to be actual captains (who would be more skilled in handling the ship, i pressume )

  10. #10
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    Jan, I think your comment about the difference between playing a Commodore vs. a ship's captain has merit, especially for landsman like myself. At the same time, players should be able to look at a table setup and anticipate potential collisions. This would definitely be the case if there was no pre-planned maneuvering, i.e. if players chose maneuvers each turn for that turn, I imagine collisions would become less probable.

    Along the lines suggested, instead of a direct opposite maneuver, what about a two-point veer shift in a non-collision direction? This would apply to originally played straights as well.

    The biggest problem I foresee with card replacement is when there are multiple ships involved. The calculus involved could become unwieldily as we attempt to utilize cards that preclude collisions.
    “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” ― Plato

  11. #11
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    Your talk of captains and admirals remind me of Lorentz Creutz. It was an earlier supreme commander of the Swedish navy, who was a great administrator that had no experience at all of the navy and didn't get along with anyone else. It is generally said in Sweden that the regal ship Kronan capsized and blew up due to him ordering the captain to turn without redusing sail.

    I think it is wise to remove damage from the collision rules and otherwise do something along the lines of Pete's suggestion.

  12. #12

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    This conversation seems very promising. Maybe the bigger ship has the option to play the closest card to the original maneuver that avoids a collision? If it declines to, then the smaller ship also has the option?

    I also like the idea of working in the "damaged mast" cards somehow, as that could represent wild unplanned maneuvering

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    Some additional thoughts I've had on this subject:

    Giving smaller vessels the "advantage" in determining their maneuver. This came to me while watching the scene from "Captain Horatio Hornblower" where the Lydia cuts across the bow of the Trinidad to deliver her initial broadside. This would preclude a die role, or a chit pull to determine which vessel gets the advantage as I stated above.

    Along the lines suggested, instead of a direct opposite maneuver, what about a two-point veer shift in a non-collision direction? This would apply to originally played straights as well.
    I suggested using the opposite Maneuver Card in the vein of keeping it simple, as this immediately eliminates all the other cards in the players maneuver deck. Of course, if using the Standard or Advanced Rules using the Veer Shift would be more inline with other rules of the game. My thinking was when making a move that will obviously put your vessel in some danger the normal reaction would be to reverse the action in the opposite direction.

    I also like the idea of working in the "damaged mast" cards somehow, as that could represent wild unplanned maneuvering.
    An additional thought I had much as Shane suggested above was choosing the "Damaged Mast" card based on the ship's rating. 1st, 2nd, & 3rd rates would have to choose the two masted damage, while other ships would choose the single masted damage card.

    My basic thought is to keep it fairly simple such that even when more then two vessels are involved they each have a chance to avoid the mishap yet may still suffer some risk in a following turn due to proximity of the enemy. It would also help keep the game moving along steadily particularly when novices are playing in the game.
    "War is the greatest game Man can play!" BG George B. McClellan

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    Thanks for all your replies and suggestions on this subject. I hope the discussion will continue in order to find a useful solution to the collision problem.

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    Just out of curiosity, according the original rules, assuming vessels are not entangled or boarding, what happens on the next turn?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mahan View Post
    Are there more Captains out there that have opinions on the collision rules? If you have, have you made any corrections on them? I my self find the original collision rules quite hard to handle, especially when there are more than two ships involved. Therefor I have re-made the rules to the following:

    Make back sails for all involved ships and draw one entanglement chit. If having full sails, also draw one chit for sail damage. Easy-piecy, or not?

    I have tried theese rules a couple of times and find them handy, especially as they make the game much faster. That, I think is very importand when you are a lot of players controlling a bunch of ships in the same game. If you other Captains out there will try them out and provide inputs or feed back, I would be most greatful.

    Thanks!

    Good solution! Here is mine from a Collision thread in the House Rules Forum:

    "Here is my solution used in a recent convention game:

    1. Risk of entanglement.
    2. Loss of speed/momentum, ie; start next turn on backing sails.
    3. If you collide while at Full sail you take one "C" chit for rigging damage.

    If an odd situation comes up like Alyssa mentioned we just play that the ships have sailed past each other.

    Eric "

    http://www.sailsofglory.org/showthre...mage-too-Harsh

    To answer Dobbs question in most cases ships that are not entangled or grappled I just allow to sail past each other the next turn. This is mostly a simple mechanic to keep the game moving. This question came up last weekend at a convention with a group of four ships two of which grappled ostensibly blocking a third from sailing past. Basically I said the ship got through before the other two actually grappled. The players understood this mad for a smoother game. Just easy to say they collide and slide past as the area the ship takes is should not be determined by the base size.

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    Using a real life example for illustration:

    During the Constitution's action with Guerriere having taken down Guerriere's Mizzen Mast Constitution moved to make a bow rake on her crippled enemy. In the process of avoiding the rake the Guerriere's Bowsprit became entangled in Constitution's rigging. As Constitution held the weather gauge, and had the momentum she was able to break free of the entanglement, and in the process brought down Guerriere's Fore and Main Masts, which had already received some damage in the action causing Guerriere to finally strike and surrender. The Constitution suffered only a few parted lines to the sails of her Main Mast as I recall.
    "War is the greatest game Man can play!" BG George B. McClellan

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