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Advanced Naval Combat - 4/6/2011 2:14:42 PM   
pzgndr

 

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Does anyone have a copy of The GENERAL Vol.26, No.6, “The Influence of Sea power - Advanced Naval Combat for Empires in Arms” (Variant) by Bob McDonald, Mike McGinnis & Ed Whittaker? Any opinions regarding play balance, etc.?

I've been aware of this variant but have not actually seen it. Empires in Harm has its own variant on naval combat but the early EiANW design decision was to not implement this system, only to introduce light ships and transports. For possible future consideration of an advanced naval combat game OPTION, it would be nice to see a copy of the original Avalon Hill variant rules (presumably playtested to some degree with satisfactory results?) and enter this into Mantis.
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RE: Advanced Naval Combat - 4/7/2011 5:54:23 PM   
Mardonius


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I think I could get a hold of it. Understood that the General system was not balanced, but neither was the war. The concept is correct but it discounts the ability for Navies to get better, as they have from time to time when the war is long enough and the enemy is determined and has access to money.

_____________________________

"Crisis is the rallying cry of the tyrant" -- James Madison
"Yes, you will win most battles, but if you loose to me you will loose oh so badly that it causes me pain (chortle) just to think of it" - P. Khan

(in reply to pzgndr)
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RE: Advanced Naval Combat - 4/8/2011 12:23:34 PM   
pzgndr

 

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Not sure how EiANW could implement Navies getting better?  Marshall would have to implement something to allow unit characteristics to change based on date, event, etc.  Right now there's no way to implement original optional rule 12.3.7.3 to reduce Napoleon's ratings in 1809 and 1812.  One thing that could happen is the addition of other naval leaders besides Nelson, with later arrival dates.

I'm assuming the AH variant does not include light fleets but it would be nice to see what combat system they introduce.  What EiANW needs as a game option is a basic naval combat system comparable to the land combat system with selection of naval tactical chits and some consideration given to morale levels and differences between heavy and light fleets (even if only 1 hvy = 2 lt).  It does not have to be more complicated than that.  Just something to make naval combat more interesting than it currently is.

(in reply to Mardonius)
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RE: Advanced Naval Combat - 4/8/2011 2:41:11 PM   
pzgndr

 

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Quick question.  Are the advanced naval rules at http://www.boardgaming.info/EIA-archive/downloads.php the same as the variant rules in The GENERAL?  These refer to the missing naval combat chart in The GENERAL.  These rules appear reasonable but question would be whether to implement the rules for disabled ships (hulks) or not; ie, disabled ships would be automatically eliminated from play as currently done in EiANW.  Would anything else be needed??

Update. I added Mantis issue #788 to implement the EiH forced naval retreat rule. This rule represents the impossibility of light ships fighting heavy ships-of-the-line. Proportional naval losses for mixed ship types should also be implemented. Together, these two changes would go a long way to resolving the complaints about light fleets. Mantis #510 for proportional naval losses by nationality and reducing PP loss for light fleets to 1/2 would also be nice but not critical. Resolving the light fleet combat "problem" is more important.

< Message edited by pzgndr -- 4/8/2011 7:20:12 PM >

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RE: Advanced Naval Combat - 4/9/2011 12:52:34 AM   
Mardonius


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These are the rules. Thanks for finding them. Per navies getting better, well, that would require some programming. I could write the rules but that is not the problem in our realm, as you know well. Moreover, I put to you that there is no point in pursuing a naval review unless this improvement (with requisite investment of money and time) is a possibility. For GB would be invincible. That is a fact from a deterministic historical perspective but it need not have been so had the French been truly determined: witness Virginia Capes.

_____________________________

"Crisis is the rallying cry of the tyrant" -- James Madison
"Yes, you will win most battles, but if you loose to me you will loose oh so badly that it causes me pain (chortle) just to think of it" - P. Khan

(in reply to pzgndr)
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RE: Advanced Naval Combat - 4/9/2011 1:22:23 AM   
pzgndr

 

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Well, I see the near-term issue to reconsider light fleets in combat for the standard game, and the longer-term issue to think about what an advanced naval combat option could look like. EiANW implements EiH v4 rules regarding light fleets getting a -1, but that's about it and nothing about how losses are taken. EiH v5 (which I recently looked at) made some major changes to the naval combat system, particularly this idea of naval retreats for light fleets NOT being able to fight heavies. That would be a worthwhile change to consider for EiANW, for those games with mixed fleets. For classic games without light ships, it wouldn't affect anything.

Would GB become invincible with some modest changes? I don't see how it would be "worse" than things are now. The near-term improvements I suggest shouldn't change anything. Even an advanced combat system with chits shouldn't change overall balance, but rather provide some tactical variations that should produce some occassional greater results as well as lesser results. GB may not be lucky all the time!

I also think enhancements to the Editor to allow creation of additional naval leaders could spice things up some. Add a French leader to allow local advantage in either the Atlantic or the Med, wherever Nelson is not. And if/when Nelson is killed, that provides a modest shift in relative fleet performance. So there are some possibilities to think about even if major reprogramming isn't likely, yes?

(in reply to Mardonius)
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RE: Advanced Naval Combat - 4/9/2011 1:57:51 AM   
Yearworld


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Although a little complicated, I think the EIH 4.0 naval rules can be used to make naval combat much more interesting and fun.

First you are required to take porportional naval losses both between fleets(including any minor fleets) and between heavy and light ships. Here is an example:

A British stack of 50 ships= 32 British(64%) 10 Swedish(20%) and 8 Portuguese(16%) loses 9 ships total in a batlle. Losses are 5.76(6) British 1.8(2) Swedish and 1.44(1) Portuguese ship. Then you look at Heavy vs. Light. The 50 ships were 38 heavy(76%) and 12 light so losses should be 7 heavies and 2 light.

Also consider the morale used which is interesting: Britain is 3.5 and France, Russia, Spain are 3.0 Turkey 2.5 and Austria/Prussia 2.0. But navies also get modifiers like +0.5 for the Turks if in the Med and +0.5 for the Russians if in the Baltic which makes things lots more fun.

Also there are chits to choose in battle.

All this would have to be done using the admin menu and playing off map with online die rolls but it makes the game much more fun. I have worked on implementing the Commissioned, Damaged, and Ordinary ship types into the game using empty fleets.

I think it would be great to start a game and test these Naval rules out.

Yearworld(Kevin)

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RE: Advanced Naval Combat - 4/9/2011 2:57:04 AM   
Dancing Bear

 

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A morale system is workable. I'm not too worried if GB is invincible at sea, because that how it was in history. GB has other disadvantages that offset the advantage.

The rules that pzgndr is advocating look good. They appear to say the following:

1) For open sea combats: If there are heavies on both sides, then only the heavies fight. If one side has no heavies, then the side with lights only retreats (transports are captured). If both sides are light, then the lights fight each other.
2) For blockade escape combats: A light fleet can always slip past a blockade which consists only of heavies, otherwise escaping fleets must always fight as per open sea combats.
3) For port battles, losses inflicted by port guns are divided between the attackers light and heavy ships in the proportion to which they are present.
4) in a battle where both sides have a mixture of heavy and light ships, if a side losses all its heavy ships, then it losses the battle, no matter how many casualities are inflicted. i.e. the light ships would retreat once the heavy ships on their side are destroyed.
5) interception rules would need to be changed, so that intercept weaker meant intercept fleets with less heavy ships, not a smaller number of ships in total.
6) fleets consisting only of heavies could never intercept fleets consisting only of lights.

(in reply to Yearworld)
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RE: Advanced Naval Combat - 4/10/2011 3:49:57 AM   
Mardonius


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dancing Bear

A morale system is workable. I'm not too worried if GB is invincible at sea, because that how it was in history.


History is not deterministic. Just because something was, does not mean that it had to be.


_____________________________

"Crisis is the rallying cry of the tyrant" -- James Madison
"Yes, you will win most battles, but if you loose to me you will loose oh so badly that it causes me pain (chortle) just to think of it" - P. Khan

(in reply to Dancing Bear)
Post #: 9
RE: Advanced Naval Combat - 4/10/2011 4:52:19 AM   
Murat


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How about we get all the bugs with current game fixed then focus on screwing with it to add 'historical accuracy' at the cost of play balance?

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RE: Advanced Naval Combat - 4/11/2011 3:05:02 PM   
Mardonius


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Murat

How about we get all the bugs with current game fixed then focus on screwing with it to add 'historical accuracy' at the cost of play balance?


Hey Murat: Little hint: we are not ever going to get rid of all the bugs. Per the Historical accuracy etc, if one adopts options, one should not have to worry about balance. This can be readily fixed, if it were ever an issue, with VP or Bid point adjustments, n'cest pas mon Marschall?? Our little banter is not going to hurt anyone...

_____________________________

"Crisis is the rallying cry of the tyrant" -- James Madison
"Yes, you will win most battles, but if you loose to me you will loose oh so badly that it causes me pain (chortle) just to think of it" - P. Khan

(in reply to Murat)
Post #: 11
RE: Advanced Naval Combat - 4/19/2011 12:34:12 PM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

screwing with it to add 'historical accuracy' at the cost of play balance?


FWIW, I'm not suggesting a change in play balance. Adding some variation to naval combat with the selection of tactical chits should provide occassional greater and lesser results for a bit more excitement, but overall that should not skew the game?

For historical accuracy, the current rules allowing light ships to engage heavy ships really should be reconsidered. There have been plenty of complaints about this feature not only here, but also I assume within the EiH community which prompted rule changes from v4.0 to v5.0. It should be easy enough to implement the light fleet naval retreat and that should help resolve many concerns. I don't see how it would hurt, yes?

(in reply to Mardonius)
Post #: 12
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