Napoleonic Naval

Empires in Arms is the computer version of Australian Design Group classic board game. Empires in Arms is a seven player game of grand strategy set during the Napoleonic period of 1805-1815. The unit scale is corps level with full diplomatic options

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hellfirejet
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Napoleonic Naval

Post by hellfirejet »

Hi Guys,
The biggest problem with this games naval aspect is this,unlike the land combat where the bullets & cannon are wiping out the Infantry. At sea the object of the battle is to demoralise the crew of the ships, which makes them strike there colours and surrender,the ship is then captured and taken as a prise.This represents a fundemental difference,you cannot compare Infantry and a heavy ship in this simplistic form of combat resolution.

As you know to build one heavy costs $12 and 1 manpower + taking 18 months to build and commission, so the decision to build these ships has to be taken, and at present the rules mean that they are a luxury for most Countrys and do not represent value for money or time invested in them to build.

All your investment and time is wiped out on the single roll of a dice,as the combat rules list them as lost or SUNK ?

Combat at sea could last for hours, with heavies pouring broadsides into each other, please note that a heavy can withstand hundreds of cannon hits to its hull and not sink,as the vast majority of such hits are above the waterline,to sink a wooden ship it needs to be holed below the waterline on a great number of occasions,and I should point out that at the battle of Trafalgar only 1 heavy actually sunk and this was due to a fire on the ship which in turn led to an explosion of her magazine,so even she would not have sunk. As it stands it is illogical to build these ships at present, because to loose them to a single die roll in combat devalues them and makes them expensive and pointless in the game for all Nations except Britain.

So the vital change that needs to be implemented for naval combat is this.
Combat result = LOST (sunk) is stupid and must be replaced by, Captured or prise and a ship instead of being listed as lost or sunk is transfered to the other fleet as a prise instead!
This simple change which is based on fact from history, is of paramount importance, there is a very big difference in each side losing ships completely, as is now and having to build new ships to replace the ones lost or sunk.

Lets assume that France blockaded at Brest by Britain decides to fight,as it stands now with the naval combat system, she could suffer a major loss in ships up to 25% of fleet strenght,these ships would need to be rebuilt and replaced with 18 months required to build them. But if they were captured or taken as a prise instead of being listed as lost (sunk) whose to say that France in another Combat fight with a better die roll would not recapture the ships she lost in a previous battle, plus take prises from Britain in so doing weakening Britain and strenghting her position.
The fact is this ships were captured and recaptured many times during the Napoleonic wars,these ships did not require to be rebuilt saving each country many months, money and manpower.

Also a major concern is the % loss table is excessive ie 5%,10%,15%,20%,25% off your total fleet removed is to high, this should be reduced to something like 2%,4%,6%,8%,10%,12% of your fleet transfered to the opposition!

Most battles were not overwhelming victories to one side or the other, this was rare Trafalgar for example, the vast majority of battles were between 1 - 5 ships captured by the opposing fleet.
It would be worth while for Spain or France to breakout from any British blockade with the knowledge that only 2% - 12% of her ships might be captured,but at least France or Spain for example could in the months ahead be able to combine there forces,as per history and be in a position with sheer numbers at least to challenge Britain,In stead of now in the game all France does is put all her ships in Brest for example and lets Britain blockade her there in a stalemate.With the navys playing very little part in the game.

The above rule changes plus the implementation of the naval pursuit and evasion for 1.06! would indeed make these ships much more of an option and a valued asset within the game, and give the navys of the world the respect they are due, for without her navy Britain would never have become an Empire, or the USA of today a Superpower.

If something like the above rule changes can't be implemented in the game as it stands, then all I can do is hope that maybe I will be able to create something similar via the forth coming editor, otherwise this is really a show stopper for me and my enjoyment of the game will suffer in fact the game will more than likely just gather dust and be put down to experience.
As I have said before in other post I like the game and given time has the potential to be far better but at this present time it is seriously out of touch with the time period it is trying to represent, and even allowing for the glaring errors within it the naval aspect is shocking to say the least and has no bearing on the facts. Well I can hear the original boardgamers saying that the naval part of the game has never been important anyway, then all I can say is I'm glad I never played the original then.

This is not the original version but it is the pc version,and as such there is nothing to stop it from improving the game, yes by all means have avaiable the original version but please don't stiffle the games potential via the editor or the computers adaptability to tweak the rules, allow Marshall the freedom he deserves to adapt the game in conjuction with gamers ideas for improvements.

Regards,
Graham.

I'm not retreating, I'm attacking in a different direction! Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller
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Mardonius
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RE: Napoleonic Naval

Post by Mardonius »

Keep it coming HFJ!!! The Naval Combat System -- as it was in the original game -- is extemely limited. For some reason we have not heard any willingness to revamp the naval combat system though I believe that the cost of ships will be reduced to closer to historical levels in version 1.06.
"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
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hellfirejet
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RE: Napoleonic Naval

Post by hellfirejet »

Hiya Mardonius,
I have been missing playing this game over the past couple of months,I have been distracted with Crown of glory ae + witp.Crown of Glory is good ship to ship,but I also like the option of fleet - fleet abstract strategy this game has the potential to be fantastic, and improving the naval side along the lines of my rule tweaks opens up a different demension and new strategy potentials for the gamers here. I just wish they would realise that I'm trying to help,I can't see the reason why the naval rules were so poorly written in the original game other than maybe they were short on time to release the original boardgame. It is baffling how after all these years that this has not been rectified.
Regards,
Graham.

I'm not retreating, I'm attacking in a different direction! Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller
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Mardonius
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RE: Napoleonic Naval

Post by Mardonius »

I'd ask Marshall for as to why not then.
"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
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hellfirejet
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RE: Napoleonic Naval

Post by hellfirejet »

Hi,
What do you guys think of each heavy ship being able to carry 1 Infantry factor each so that a fleet of 20 ships could carry 20 Infantry or 1 corps ?

Plus I read in the thread regarding Transport that they have a mixed reaction some like them some hate them I personaly like them since they are cheap + they can transport 1 calvary or 2 any other type factors, I would increase there MP 7 making them go anywhere the other ship types can go in 1 turn ? Also as a incentive for a Country to build a Transport fleet hows about giving the Nation with a transport fleet a financial bonus to represent Merchant ships over and above the usual trade between countrys
Regards,
Graham.

I'm not retreating, I'm attacking in a different direction! Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller
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pzgndr
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RE: Napoleonic Naval

Post by pzgndr »

As you know to build one heavy costs $12 and 1 manpower + taking 18 months to build

Marshall has changed this for v1.06. Heavies are $9 and 12 months, lights are $6 and 9 months. Evasion and pursuit rules are also implemented in v1.06, so these are good enhancements.

I would like to see the naval game further developed. IMHO, another necessary change is to fix the political point losses. Keep heavy fleet losses at 1pp but reduce light fleets to 1/2pp and 0pp for transports, or go to 2pp and 1pp respectively if the 1/2pp won't work. Proportional losses also needs to be considered. Beyond that, some sort of advanced naval combat system such as the variant published in The General or the system used in EiH should be considered as an option down the road. EiH has rules for damaged ships and "ships in ordinary" which are seaworthy but just lacking in crew/supplies and can be wuickly returned to service. I have not played these rules, but they appear well thought out and offer interesting alternatives, as game options of course.
Bill Macon
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Ted1066
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RE: Napoleonic Naval

Post by Ted1066 »

Hey, one big important thing to keep in mind when EiA was being developed: Napoleon wasn't an admiral and other than Trafalgar there were no other significant naval engagements for that period. Because of this AND the fact that there were numerous significant land engagements, a detailed land combat system was developed, but only a basic naval combat system was designed. You can bolt on more sophistication after the fact, but I don't think this will add anything to the game. With the naval rules as abstract as they are, nations other than Britain stand a chance of gaining a bit of dominance. Nearly all rules additions/modifications have to adjust favour to the British - they were THE naval power of the period, much as Napoleon was THE general (and, frankly, the French were THE army of the period).

My 2 cents, but I think its why the game is heavily weighted towards a detailed land game, and an abstract naval game.

Cheers,

Ted
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Mardonius
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RE: Napoleonic Naval

Post by Mardonius »

Ted:

Respectfully, I would disagree with you (and many others in academia/military/admirality, armchair or otherwise) in that I think that you are adopting a philosphy of historical determinism which I think is somewhat limited in intellectual vigor. More importantly, you are discounting that naval warfare could be a great deal of fun and make the game a lot more dynamic.

I am all for rescribing the naval rules.

best
Mardonius

"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
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RE: Napoleonic Naval

Post by easterner »

There nothing inherently wrong with revamping naval. It was pretty plain vanilla in original and raw vanilla extract here. But Law of Unintended Consequences means major playtesting needed. Adding capture rule would just move ships from other fleets to UK and work as a force multiplier with Brit gaining and oppo losing strength.

For instance Weather is critical. storms would inhibit moves and allow a chance at slipping blocades unseen. Weather, capture, hulks (captureds & damaged not worth repairing) need be considered.
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hellfirejet
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RE: Napoleonic Naval

Post by hellfirejet »

Yo Guys may I point out that France,Spain and thier allies swung the balance in number of ships in France's favour,it should be left up to the gamer how best to setup there forces to enable them to be in a postion to compete with Britain, France putting all her eggs in one basket in the port of Brest at default setup is stupid and plays in to Britains hand.[&:]

Plus why why why is Nelson the only Admiral in the game,all other Nations should have an Admiral allowing them a die roll bonus ? (being able to add Admirals via the editor is a possibility I hope)[&:]

As a game balancing attempt how about a rule in the game that forces Britain to maintain a strong Naval Fleet in the Channel & Mediterranean as this was Nelsons area of operations for much of his life,and true to the facts of the Napoleonic era,this would allow France and her allies to at least have a chance of winning more naval engagements. This could be a game yes/no option.[:)]

Instead of what happens in the game just now France fights Britain loses upto 25% of her fleet and struggles to compete afterwards,having to rebuild.[:@]

The addition of a capture rule should be standard practice for naval combat because that is what happened in reality,and no there is no reason why France can't win some naval engagements,please remember that this is a game France and Spain had bigger ships with a heavier weight of broadside,France in history made the critical error of firing at the oppositions sails in an attempt to cripple them and then disengage from battle using her own ships speed advantage,that was history the gamer is attempting to see what might have been possible.To disregard the naval side of the game on the basis that Britain will win at sea is an insult to the gamers ability to alter history,for this is the main reason we play these games to alter history. I'm hoping I will be able to implement some of these alterations via the editor.[:)]

As a foot note Napoleon was superior on land, but in the end as per history he got gubbed !!!!!
Does this mean all us gamers here are wasting our time, no we are trying to form alliances via diplomatic means to alter history and utilies all available forces at our disposal to win this game.

Regards,
Graham.

I'm not retreating, I'm attacking in a different direction! Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller
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pzgndr
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RE: Napoleonic Naval

Post by pzgndr »

But Law of Unintended Consequences means major playtesting needed.

This will be a long-term issue for everything about EiANW. Even with plain vanilla EiA, there were play balance issues on release and rules errata were released to address them, plus play groups used various optional rules, variants, and "house rules" in multiple combinations and permutations. And then there is bidding which further complicates what the game's default play balance is or should be. [&:]

There is this elusive notion that a perfectly balanced game exists with well-defined rules and set options that has been extensively play tested to everyone's satisfaction. I don't think so. Every player and play group seems to have their own ideas, and hard coding rules in this computer game version is guaranteed to annoy virtually everyone when their "pet rock" idea(s) are challenged. It is entertaining to watch the fireworks.

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Ashtar
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RE: Napoleonic Naval

Post by Ashtar »

Marshall has changed this for v1.06. Heavies are $9 and 12 months, lights are $6 and 9 months. Evasion and pursuit rules are also implemented in v1.06, so these are good enhancements.

[:@][:@]

[X(] Is this true? 6$ and 9 months for lights ships without any game testing enforced on all games? This looks quite dangerous, changing a lot in game balance without Victory Points being changed:

1) How already pbem running games are going to be affected? What about the poor fella just bought a lot of heavyes
with the old prices? You cannot enforce a rule change in the middle of existing games, you are going
to ruin them after people painfully advanced them through a lot of bugs. Please put this as an option only.

2) If memory serves me well, classic EIA ships were worth 10$ 12 months, why on earth is it now 9$?

3) Light ships are too cheap, as a matter of fact France, Russia or Spain do not need to buy much HS: GB has already a +1 bonus, so that IT IS IRRELEVANT TO NOT CONCEDE HS SUPERIORITY TO GB. Once the have a few HS to avoid the -1
(only lights) you have no reasons to buy more HS. At least change the -1 bonus to "having more lights then heavies"
instead of "having only lights". Gosh, you do not need to be a genius to see that...


4) Do you realize that one of the reasons for GB to have the second highest VP total is just its naval superiority?
Reduce it and you will have to reduce the required VP total. And of course no one knows by how much...


Al in all a terrible idea!!!!!!!!!
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RE: Napoleonic Naval

Post by hellfirejet »

I agree a balanced game is impossible to acheive, everything the gamer does in the game swings from one extreme to the other,as soon as you start playing the game and join forces with other Nations the whole idea of game balance goes out the window.

I just think that to treat the Navys of the world as a mere play thing and that they can't possibly help this game be more interesting for this period in history is baffling, since there were no airoplanes invented yet, the only forces available were on land and sea, so you can't have a grand strategy game when at least 40% of your available forces are ignored or belittled as the naval aspect is treated in this game.[:)]
Regards,
Graham.

I'm not retreating, I'm attacking in a different direction! Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller
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RE: Napoleonic Naval

Post by Ashtar »

I agree a balanced game is impossible to acheive, everything the gamer does in the game swings from one extreme to the other,as soon as you start playing the game and join forces with other Nations the whole idea of game balance goes out the window.

As a matter of fact EIA was a pretty balanced games, with VPs levels giving similar victory chances to everyone.
Start messing up too much with rules WITHOUT SERIOUS PLAYTESTING and you will have a disaster
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hellfirejet
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RE: Napoleonic Naval

Post by hellfirejet »

Ashtar what planet are you on, how can you possibly say that there is no point in France,Spain and Russia building heavys,and just concede that Britain will win at sea. I take it you are a land animal that thinks the sun shines out Napoleon's backside, This game is suposed to be GRAND STRATEGY this implies using all available force at your disposal, I ask you how can any nation sustain a land war without naval support. All countrys rely on trade and supplies for there very survival.
Regards,
Graham.

I'm not retreating, I'm attacking in a different direction! Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller
Ashtar
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RE: Napoleonic Naval

Post by Ashtar »

Ashtar what planet are you on, how can you possibly say that there is no point in France,Spain and Russia building heavys,and just concede that Britain will win at sea. I take it you are a land animal that thinks the sun shines out Napoleon's backside, This game is suposed to be GRAND STRATEGY this implies using all available force at your disposal, I ask you how can any nation sustain a land war without naval support. All countrys rely on trade and supplies for there very survival.

I come from the planet EIA, and I am tired of people unable to grasp its rules and mechanics.
Or to read, for what matter. Read again my post and you will see that I AM NOT saying that France should
let GB win at sea. WHAT I AM SAYING is that in order to beat GB at sea, light or heavy ships are exactly the same for
France. Is it difficult to understand this, in light of current rules?

Now, try to explain me in detail what are HS good for Napoleon in THIS GAME, please
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hellfirejet
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RE: Napoleonic Naval

Post by hellfirejet »

May I start by saying EIA rules are wrong and have always been wrong, being abstract is not an excuse for being completely out of touch with what actually happens with naval combat.

I'm not picking on you personaly but in general the rules for the naval side of the game needs serious reworking, I'm so frustrated with how these rules have been allowed to remain in place for so long,without been sorted, as for the build cost and times for heavies and lights, these are accurate in line with the cost of other forces in the game,Infantry,Calvary etc!
Regards,
Graham.

I'm not retreating, I'm attacking in a different direction! Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller
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hellfirejet
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RE: Napoleonic Naval

Post by hellfirejet »

To defeat GB at sea all a player needs to do is try to divide GBs forces some how,and in so doing you can then fight them at more equal odds,I know easier said than done but that is the only option you have.[:)]
Regards,
Graham.

I'm not retreating, I'm attacking in a different direction! Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller
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pzgndr
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RE: Napoleonic Naval

Post by pzgndr »

Is this true? 6$ and 9 months for lights ships

This is the issue resolution posted on Mantis for implementation in v1.06. We shall see.
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RE: Napoleonic Naval

Post by Ted1066 »

ORIGINAL: Mardonius

Ted:

Respectfully, I would disagree with you (and many others in academia/military/admirality, armchair or otherwise) in that I think that you are adopting a philosphy of historical determinism which I think is somewhat limited in intellectual vigor. More importantly, you are discounting that naval warfare could be a great deal of fun and make the game a lot more dynamic.

I am all for rescribing the naval rules.

best
Mardonius

Actually, I don't prescribe to historical determinism and this was the point of my post. EiA is NOT a simulation, it simply uses the time period to set the stage and allows the players to go in whatever direction they choose (such as my playing as Turkey against the AI and controlling much of Germany and all of Italy). "Limited intellectual vigor" . . . how could I interpret this as anything but respectful [8|]

Seriously, though, all nations can participate in the land aspect of this game and have to develop and execute on effective land strategies to succeed. Conversely, only 1 nation has to develop an effective naval strategy and try to entice the opponents into engaging in his strategy. Thus, I believe the developers of EIA recognized this and chose to focus the effort of rules development on the land aspects of the game and simplify the naval elements. I agree that better naval rules could make the game more fun, just not for everyone, only for those players with a serious navy (Britain for sure and to a lesser extent Spain, France and Russia). Is this vigorous enough for you?

Cheers,

Ted
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