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Critical Hits

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Jason Van Tassell has proposed the addition of critical hits to the game system. I plan to do something about it as an optional rule if only for historic interest. Perhaps the most notable critical hit of the period was the hit on the flagship of the Russian Pacific squadron during the battle of the Yellow Seas which essentially decided the battle. Damage to steering controls forced the ship to travel in a circle for a few turns followed for a bit by the confused captains of the other ships who eventually in confusion retired back towards port.

Critical hits could effect steering, speed, command control, firepower, in some instances morale. Damage could be temporary or permanent.

The main problem with crit rules are they add more complexity and slow down the game. So my question to those who play or might one day play these rules is:

1) Would you prefer to not bother with crits?

2) Would you like to use crits systematically, for each hit rolling the dice again to see if a crit is generated, then rolling again and looking up the result?

3) Would you like to us crits but more abstractly with a system that didn't require a die roll every time a ship was hit?

Other thoughts?

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Re: Critical Hits

Bouncing this back to the top for a 2nd look.

I'm not perfectly happy with the critical rules as they are currently - but they seem workable. (and I haven't got a better one to propose)

The one suggestion I will bring back up is the possible modification of the current critical effects chart.

Current: 1-5 +S hit 6 area

I'd propose: 1-2(3?) No additional effect 3(4?)-5 +S hit 6 area chart

My reasoning for this is as follows, we have a current 1-218 chance of "something special" happening based on area - this seems right and resulted in 2 knocked out Fire Controls and 1 sinking in the last game, which seems about right. BUT - I don't think that 16% of all hits should do additional damage - making the change would cut it down to 11% or 8% doing "additional" damage.

I simply don't buy the emotional arguement against it. (the "but I got a crit!" defense) There are simply too many other areas - miss columns, FC, non-penetrating hits, etc - where mutiple rolls are required to determine the actual effect of a "success" for that to be a valid arguement.

As another note - I think the "area" chart needs a little work over..some more "odd" crits would nice rather than the +S locations. Possible ideas:

Location 2 or 3 - Flashback! Magazine flooded, 2nd/3rd guns no longer fire but still absorb damage.

Location 6 maybe move to - Engine damage lose 2d6speed? shift the FC result to location 2 or 3?

Location 4 - admiral killed Scenario specific , or maybe Squadron stuck on last turns orders???

Re: Critical Hits

Critical hits are lucky dice, sometimes ur hot and sometimes ur dead. A critical hit table is too clumsy for the gracefulness of the current system. Keep it neat, streamlined, and keep it moving. The battles are playing out very well so far.

In period critical hits

The only decisive critical hit in this period I am aware of was the steering hit on the Russian flagship at the battle of the Yellow Sea. Other crit type things that happened included a Russian BB magazine explosion (but only after being already very shot up), temporary loss of speed, Admirals or Captains being injured or killed, guns being jammed or gun barrels being shot off, some of the armor belt on the Russian BB Osliaba falling off in the middle of a battle, signal flags being shot off and masts knocked down, funnels being holed thereby reducing draft to engines and reducing speed, and a single hit on a Chinese cruiser which caused the captains morale to break and the ship to flee the battle, ramming another friendly ship on the way out.

This kind of stuff is fun but I am not sure it is worth slowing down the game for.

Re: Critical Hits

i dont like the idea of critical charts. they would add an elemnt of luck to the game that is not needed. the problem with our idea ofthe d8 roll wont work because there are times when you fire 6 or 8 shots at once. any other die rolls are to tedious and take away from the pace of the game. i like the system because it is simple. i it was wanted all kinds of modifiers and critical charts and rules of engagement can be added. thease might be considered for an advanced version of the game i dont see any of thoose as important in the current system.

Perhaps

Speaking of the battle where those cruisers went up.
Crit charts could be made and applied to different nationalities to represent that some countries built there ships sturdier then other and therefore were less effected by critical hits. I know that in the above example Brittish BC's were built with mobility and firepower in mind while German BC's were built as "low budget" battleships.

It was just a suggestion in anyevent. Maybe the fact the the armor values are higher in some ships would mean that they stayed afloat longer in the face of heavy punishment.

I am glad you all like my idea about the armored sunk column on the Monitors.

Maybe tim could put in a secondary die that is rolled along with the standard "to hit" role. An 8 sided die with the effect that if it roles the same number as the standard "to hit" die causes a critical hit. Then having a 1d6 chart for criticals for each nations ships types (one for BB's one for AC's and so on) Since we print up ship forms anyhow what is the harm in having a small chart off to the side. The 8 sided die would mean that 1/4 of the time there is no chance for a critical at all and only a 1/6 chance of a critical the rest of the time. This would mean that only 1 in 24 (check my math please) hits that penetrated would cause a critical.

Well anyhow its a thought if anyone else likes the crit idea then throw your ideas out there.

Perhaps

Speaking of the battle where those cruisers went up.
Crit charts could be made and applied to different nationalities to represent that some countries built there ships sturdier then other and therefore were less effected by critical hits. I know that in the above example Brittish BC's were built with mobility and firepower in mind while German BC's were built as "low budget" battleships.

It was just a suggestion in anyevent. Maybe the fact the the armor values are higher in some ships would mean that they stayed afloat longer in the face of heavy punishment.

I am glad you all like my idea about the armored sunk column on the Monitors.

Maybe tim could put in a secondary die that is rolled along with the standard "to hit" role. An 8 sided die with the effect that if it roles the same number as the standard "to hit" die causes a critical hit. Then having a 1d6 chart for criticals for each nations ships types (one for BB's one for AC's and so on) Since we print up ship forms anyhow what is the harm in having a small chart off to the side. The 8 sided die would mean that 1/4 of the time there is no chance for a critical at all and only a 1/6 chance of a critical the rest of the time. This would mean that only 1 in 24 (check my math please) hits that penetrated would cause a critical.

Well anyhow its a thought if anyone else likes the crit idea then throw your ideas out there.

Crits

As I can see it, although my knowledge is limited there is some merit in a crit system. This may be a little out of the period but these are some examples of critical hits being scored....someone jump in if they have some more in the period examples.

The HMS Hood when faced by the Bismark
The Battle of Trafalgar didn't 3 BC's explode in the early volleys of the battle.
Wasn't there an engagement prior to this when a german BC went up off the coast of South America.

As it stands it seems to me that there is some historical backing for consideration on this matter. I do agree that the system needs to be kept simple (thats the beauty of this system) but at the same time it would add some caution to the battle field. After all the great dilema of naval battles is that while BB's are awfully power, they were also so expensive that no country wanted to risk them in battle.

Re: Critical Hits

No new crit rules.

Re: Critical Hits

i really ont like any of tims questions. i esspecially dont like the idea of using an arbritary system where you just get crits. if a critical hit was so important to a historic outcome and we are attempting to play the historic. than make that crit happen at some point during play when the ship in question is hit.

Re: Critical Hits

i dont think crits are needed. my reasoning is :
1 the game should be kept simple
2 the time needed to resole crits would would not out wiegh there effect.
3 i feel the game is already approaching a point where it is too lethal. ships of that period sank but not as suicidealy as we have seen in battles.

i suggest a morale system or some strong gm rules for things like ramming or tbd attacks. i personnally would rather see some rules rather then gm fiat because as a player i dont like complete gm control of a game.