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Thread: Reducing damage from broadsides

  1. #1
    Ordinary Seaman
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    Andrew

    Default Reducing damage from broadsides

    Sometimes I don't like how ships can fall apart so quickly. I was reminded of this when play-testing a scenario where two ships opened with full double-shot broadsides. Nearly half of both ships' hull and crew boxes were filled on the first turn. In other cases, if one ship is lucky and the other unlucky, the game can be over from the beginning.
    I've seen other threads discussing this matter and which present some ideas for reducing damage taken. I like Dobb's suggestion of reducing damage depending on the size of a ships primary size of artillery (-1 for 12 pounders or less and -2 for 6 pounders or less). Dobbs' suggestion of side-specific damage is also interesting, though I'm not sure I'm ready to adjust the game to this extent yet, especially for scenarios with a number of ships.
    So far, I've decided to generally not use the "First Broadside" rule. In a way I feel that this historically-correct situation is already taken care of since the first hull box or boxes have larger broadside numbers anyway and are usually blasted away after the first turn or two.
    Now I'm wondering if there is a way to reduce the strength of double shot. One suggestion I saw was to only allow double-shot at C/D range. However, I feel this could lead to double shot being used too little since it is often too tricky to move this close given the game's different scales for artillery range and movement.
    Thus I've considered the following house rule for double shot:
    At B range, draw the correct number of A damage counters, but only half the number of B damage counters (agreeing to round odd numbers up or down at the start of the game).
    At C/D range, draw the correct number of A and B damage counters, as per the rules. (Alternatively, one could draw the correct number of B counters and half the number of A counters).
    I have not play-tested this and haven't considered how this might work with carronades.
    Any thoughts on this idea or other simple ways of sometimes reducing damage for games are welcome!

  2. #2
    1st Lieutenant
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    Dobbs

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    Your observations are what led to my side specific rules, but you are right, Andrew, that a game with lots of ships does turn into a heck of a brawl. Our last engagement with 8 ships of the line lasted more than 7 hours. Of course there was beer and pizza too...

    We play that double shotted guns have a range of C/D for the A/B damage. Out to short range they do Ax2.
    Last edited by Dobbs; 02-12-2020 at 16:17.

  3. #3
    Captain
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    [RESTRICTED]

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    If you wanna reduce damage, just double the Burden and otherwise game-on as usual. Quick and easy. Personally, I'd refine that by splitting the Hull damage track into Left and Right tracks also...
    --Diamondback
    PMH, SME, TLA, BBB

  4. #4
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    I like the quick and easy bit DB. The older I get the more it appeals. Having said that, however,
    it reminded me why I stopped playing with ships some forty odd years ago, and then rekindled my appetite for the game when Sails was released. I well remember the early days of Sails where we got a game set up played and packed away in an hour which is what got me playing again.

    Now that seven hour game seems to be more the norm for my solo play, and not half so boring, or check list orientated as the old rules seemed to make things. The actual action seems much quicker than I remember it from those early years.
    It is great that we have this arena where we can add extra rules to the simple basic Ares ones, and make further amendments to suit our own needs and perceptions of the game. As a debating arena it seems to be one of the most vibrant areas on the Anchorage.
    Thanks for all your input chaps, and long may it continue.

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  5. #5
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    Jonas

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    Sjörövarfabbe, you probably already know that I have seen that problem too and what solution I chose. I use the same damage as written, but have the shorter ranges. I feel that has the benefit of fitting best with historical results. Victory could do a short range double shotted stern rake and more or less knock a ship of the line out of the game while still not decide every battle in the first broadside. It becomes a tactical choice where you actually risk something by double shotting.

  6. #6
    Ordinary Seaman
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    Thank you all for your input!
    Certainly Sails of Glory is designed in a way that makes some room for introducing modifications. It's nice to introduce house rules that tweak the game towards what feels like a better representation of historical actions of the period. That the game is reasonably fast is one of the main attractions for me. 24 hr games or more were something I had time for long in the past. 1-2 hrs feels about right now though sometimes more is possible. Quick and easy house rules are generally what I'm looking for!
    TexaS>> I certainly appreciate your point about the Victory knocking a ship out in its first pass with double-shot.
    I guess keeping the C/D range damage as is, but maybe not allowing or reducing the B range damage for double-shot makes sense. I like the Ax2 idea... Doubling the burden is also good - and tracking side specific damage on the hull track is actually not hard - I hadn't thought of that simple alternative to using Dobbs' side-specific damage charts.
    Now I have plenty of ideas to try out... better get sailing...

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