[game pieces]

small target rules


How odd - I had posted this before and it apparently vanished, well trying again.

I'd like to suggest a pair of modifications to the current naval rules.

1. Small targets/agile targets - I would like to see a change from the current system of having one or more "miss" columns on the hit location chart. I propose instead that there be a to hit die roll modifier applied, say a -1 for monitors/agile cruisers and a -2 for TBs/TBDs. The "miss" columns could be filled in with smokestacks/armored superstructure locations for the cruisers/monitors and whatever springs to mind for the TBs - maybe an unarmored S or H - or another "sunk" result.
I feel that the current system results in TBs actually too easy to sink at range compared to historically and too hard to sink even with volumes of light fire at closer range - monitors and the like are just plan too hard to hit currently, when in fact they should be getting more often just usually without result.

2. Tertiaries - Battleship and Cruiser tertiaries, the 1pt S ones, should not take (or affect) the multi-target penalty for the rest of the ships guns. Make them assign all their dice to targets before rolling, but all roll at the standard odds. The reason for this being that the tertiaries were under local control - and not being guided by the same fire directors as the main batteries, nor are they encased in armor and subject to restricted fields of fire/vision.

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Re: small target rules

In recent there have been 2 battles with the monitors involved. One the American navy caught the Spanish navy and the BBs went in for the kill while the Monitors slowly lagged behind. The Spanish were in full flight when the Monitors came into the battle.

In the 2nd battle, 1 monitor was crippled while the PC Olympia and her column sunk 7 out of 8 ships that the Spanish had. The Monitor sunk 1 ship.

I have no problem with the monitors being changed to have an armored sunk column. Also, the monitors have the negative of being ran over by any ship the Spanish have.

Re: small target rules

there is already a close defense system in place for capital ships. all superstructurres are treated as 2 strength 1 guns for defense against small craft.
tim will be changing monitors . i do agree however that they should have a sunk colum or a more vulnerable hit sheet.
we did a test between a spainish crusier and an american moniter. the moniter won and the crusier was sunk. depending on die rolls that monitor could have been in decent shape.
it dose not mater if bill has been playing the monitors or against them they have not really affected any battles in tims new campagin.


Have you been playing with monitors on your side alot. That might be why you feel that they don't need to be changed anytime soon maybe you should be made to play against them a few times.



You guys might also want to think about adopting some kind of close defense system for capital ships against small craft. Many ships carried a number of small arms positions on their decks to provide some limited effect against small craft actions. But then again it was theorized (somewhere but my memory fails me) that a nightmare for any blockading force is that they would have to pull further out to sea at night to avoid small shore launched crafts. OKay that's all for now.


critical hits

HI guys,

Okay look as it stands now your missing my point about the over powerful monitors. What bugs me is that monitors are tough ships with low profiles but good armor. But along with good armor Tim has given them an effective 50% protection against all incoming attacks.

What I would like to mention is that although a monitor is a tough little ship with a low profile they should have an "instant death" slot on there profiles. Imagine a standard monitor with either its two or three space changed from miss to "sunk" with an armor value of 3.

This would more accurately represents a monitor. Monitors have low profiles and are small ships packed tightly with engings and ammo and a barbette that extends under the turret to the keel. Giving them a "sunk" armor value 3 slot means that a decent penetrating hit could spell disaster for the monitor.

Later you all might want to think about developing some kind of crittical hit system. This would be useful to show the advances in ship building and structure as the age of battleships progressed (i.e. some nations would have less forgiving crittical hits then others). But that is an item for another post.

Re: small target rules

oh course there is the good old defending your home type of tb assult. for example if the spainish flet had sailed down to washignton after new york and the americans had some tb they would have attacked. i suppose that should be worked out in some simple scenerio rules .

TBD suicide

Honestly, given the design theories of the time - everything cruiser sized and up positively bristled with what now seem to be ridiculous numbers of gatlings, machine guns, 2lbers, quickfires, barbettes etc. (Excepting of course the monitor types and the ONE BIG GUN types)

A squadron of TBs charging an undamaged and undistracted BB should die hideously to no gain. Assuming you could even convince the TB commander to try...now some sort of night ambush, restricted waters or chasing a cripple is another matter.

Re: small target rules

the problem is that people dont want to die. Some commanders dont like sending their men to certain death either. that is why you dont see tbds chargeing large ships. one shot from a 12inch gun will utterly destroy a torpedo boat and probably kill all abord her. i sugest a rule that only allows the tbds to engage ships that are dead in the water or burning heavally.

Re: small target rules

Mark You are correct regarding salvo fire as far as WW1 and WW2, previous to this period each gun fired separately making it almost impossible to distinguish fall of shot from your gun except at very close ranges.

Murph and other monitor haters should be aware that monitor stats will be degraded after the end of this campaign due to new research I have done to better take into account older guns and lack of hard-facing on armor. They were however hard to hit, this is in game terms the only real advantage to the type. Even with current stats I can't think of a scenario where they seemed to powerful, generally they seem to be desperately chugging forward popping off the occasional long-range hit.

Eric and other readers - say 6 small TBs approach a 1898 type BB - what results would you expect? This question is completely speculative because it never actually happened, even the very aggresive Japanese TBs operated exclusively at night or against cripples. Possibly such attacks should just be made illegal, although their were "jeune ecole" theorists who believed in the potential for such tactics, and the Spanish could have attempted them had the US fleet crossed the Atlantic to bombard Spain. So what do you all think?

Re: small target rules

I would prefer keeping the rules as the are now and maybe taking a miss column off the Monitors. Not a lot of modifiers are what makes this system a good one.


General comment: I have seen the discourse on various modifiers (never played the game), but I believe that historically, ships fired many salvoes at each other. The previous salvo giving a reading for the crews to adjust their fire, until they finally 'found the range'. It would seem that there should be a generally high penalty, that slowly disappears with each miss. A hit, would of course result in the loss of penalties. (Ha, Gotcha!)
On Speed: With the above true, unless the ship was changing speed rapidly, (A BB-HA!) the change of speed would have minimal effect. A more effective tactic would seem to be course changes...ala Zig-Zag...
Just my two cents. :roll:

Re: small target rules

Obviously I feel that the "miss" column is too powerful currently - it works okay for mid/long range shots but results in ships (especially monitors/small cruisers) being much harder to hit at shorter ranges than it really historical. (Or good for play balance)

Speaking of amusing WW2 torpedo stories, was it the brits who had all their gyroscopes (the thingy that keeps the torp at a steady depth) set using training warheads...of course the actual warshot torpedos were about 200lbs heavier and so they ran 10ft+ deeper than they were supposed to....heh (I remember the story clearly but I may be off on the country..been a while since I read it)

Re: small target rules

Too many modifiers for this system now, I suggest keeping the Monitors the same for now. Too much adjustment may open up other problems. The 2-12 system sounds nice, but hard to change over. Thats up to Tim's willingness to change all these ships.

Re: small target rules

ok i feel that if you are going to add small target modifiers then you need to add a speeed modifier. tbds and tb ziped arround at full speed to avoide torpedos and simmilar hazards. i have seen acouts of using speed in battle. unfortuneatly they were accounts of ww1 battles. i like miss columns but it seem to make the moniters too powerful. the have good armor good guns and are hard to hit. they are slow but that can be compensated for by a better deploment. instead of using the 1-6 hit chart you could make 2-12 charts for the larger? or 1-4 for the smaller ships and keep the larger 1-6? i suggest we get together sunay and try the rules proposals out. what do you think?

Guns & Torps

Mark you are of course correct about US early WW2 torpedos, they also had the amusing tendency to make a 180 turn and come back towards the submarine which fired them. US Navy bureaucrats didn't believe the accounts of the sub commanders who were censored for making excuses!

Jason suggests Monitors are "invincible", or at least too powerful. What do other players think?

In theory faster ships are harder to hit, although they also are less accurate, both for the reason that speed makes calculating the fire solution more difficult. I'm not sure if it made much difference in actuality in the 1884-1905 period, I have not read any accounts of captains or admirals adjusting ship speed to make themselves more difficult targets. At close range I don't think it is that hard to lead a target, at long range hits were pretty much just a matter of luck anyway. Anyone read any history on this question?

Smaller ships are harder to hit, the only question is what is the best method to simulate this fact. In a way having miss columns on hit location has the same effect as having negative modifiers on the to hit chart, in either instance players will often choose to not fire on smaller targets because they are harder to hit. The main virtue of the miss columns I think is that they make the game a little bit simpler and faster - but what to other people think?


If I recall correctly, the U.S. torpedeos of WWII, were still missfiring on order of 50%...at least until '42.

Re: small target rules

i seem to remember that torpedos, mines, and enven ammunition at the time was possible unrealiable. i also feel that this game should not really take all of thease things into consideration. the best part of this game is that it is simple. After saying that i think eric has hit on a good idea. i remeber moniters being a real #$%&* to sink. they are also better gunnery platforms then most cruisers. i like the idea that thease ships would be hit if you rolled high enough. sometimes people will ignore tagets because of the miss column. i could see the possibillity of haveing a 2-12 chart for larger ships and a 1-6 chart for smaller ones? possible modifiers could be -1 or -2 for size and another -1 for ships ovewr 20 knots and a + 1 for ships under 10 knots. the size modifiers would drop at 10 inches. i think the speed modifier would off set the moniters invincibillity. i am interested seeing another campagin style game with this game system. i would like to see possible rules increaseing and lowwering speed relative to the condition of the ships?

Naval Gunnery

After the completion of this campaign on the 29th I am dropping the -1 fire penalty for additional targets after the first. This is because gun crews aimed and fired their own guns in this period, centralized fire control didn't really happen until WW1.

I will think about the rest of your suggestion, I am also interested as to what others think.

It is of note that daytime mass torpedo attacks did not happen in this period, although some maverick naval theorists thought the idea was potentially decisive. Even the Japanese TBs only attacked isolated cripples or made surprise night attacks vs ships anchored in harbor.

Re: small target rules

Just as an example - here is a hypothetical decent american BB shooting at torpedo boats as it is currently set up.

BB - has 4 main guns, 4 secondaries, 8 tertiaries = 16 total shots
Range is 10" or less

First TB - he needs 4+ to hit, we'll assume 3 hits to sink with the guns/miss/H column accounted for - net 6 shots used on an "average" kill.

Second TB - needing 5+ to hit, net 9 shots used to on an "average" kill.

Third TB - needing 6+ to hit, 18 shots needed to insure kill - only 3 left...so a 1 in 6 shot at the last one.

I'm fairly certain that a full broadside from an undamaged BB at close range should be likely to sink more than 2 torpedo boats.

It has also occurred to me that the to hit penalties I proposed earlier have problems as well - possibly they need to be applied only at range 10+..or something....

Re: small target rules

I agree with Eric on this, though I don't feel the need to explain because I would just be repeating his ideas.