Topic-icon Version 1.3 released!

Naval War HQ created the topic: Version 1.3 released!

7 years 6 months ago

Hello all,

Version 1.3 is almost upon us and it is going to be the biggest release yet. Version 0.5 through 1.2 have been kind of 'open beta' releases, accessible from the old forum with registration only.

From 1.3 on, I consider the set to be out of Beta, so this will kind of be the first official release! :lol: Is the set done? Is it perfect now? Far from that; lots of OOB's and ships are going to be added and rules will be updated when need arises. Due to the 'living rule set' nature of the set it will probably never be finished in a definitive sense, and I don't think that is a bad thing. The players' input will be the driving force on where the focus will lie from here on, so join the project, join the community and let yourself be heard!

Highlights of the 1.3 release:

- We got a dedicated website now as you may have noticed!
- The Italian OOB from the start of the war up to Calabria has been added, introducing the Regia Marina to Naval War
- In the wake of the Italians the French Marine Nationale will also make its first appearance in the game. Unfortunately for the French, their navy did not get to see a lot of action before the armistice. I think it is time for you guys to set the record straight and show what could have been.
- The mechanics of the Command station have been cleaned up and standardized in 4 different kinds of orders (see rulebook for details)
- Points and weapon formulas have been revised. You will notice that weapon stats have been brought more in line to reality when it comes to Rate of Fire, Damage value and armor penetration. Before, these values were based on the ‘Thrown weight’ of the weapons. This has now been replaced by new variables like real Rate-of-Fire and weight of the shells. You will notice that because of this change, the RoF values of a lot of small guns has gone up and has gone down for the large guns. In response, the AP values of the small guns have also been lowered to balance things out. In addition to all this, ships torpedo RoF will now reflect the actual amount of fish the ships carried.

Notes and changes
- The german order 'U-boat threat' had the wrong text on the command station. Corrected.
- Improved the working and wording of Evasive action, this now lasts for the remainder of the phase, but the evading ship loses al splash markers that it has on other ships.
- Changed the 'Stroke of Luck' order, it now allows the reroll of a complete roll for armor or attack, including the successfull dice. This increases its potential usefullness and impact, and at the same time balances this out by the possibility of also fluffing this second roll, maybe even rolling worse
- Some orders that enabled the player to do an additional activation were seldom worthwhile, to either use or to disrupt. I added the text 'This is a maneuver(shooting/air attack/etc) ACTIVATION' this changes the order in an activation (that still can be disrupted since its from the command station). Which improves the use of those order a lot, since the UK can now activate 2 squadrons for movement with one order token, Japan can do a torpedo run maneuver with one order token, etc. The tradeoff for the player is that these activations can be disrupted, so they risk not being able to do the activation at all.
- Smoke has been changed to a maneuver activation, and now allows up to two ships in the squadron to make smoke. On failure, smoke and maneuver still happen, but the opponent may decide the direction of the smoke
- Merged some orders that had roughly the same effect, usually a repair order. These orders now come instead of the regular 'all hands on deck' order to create a bit more diversity. It also creates room for extra orders for some nations.
- Adjusted the British country special for balance purposes. The British Enigma now has only 4 roundels to fill, and a new order 'intercepting enemy communications' has been added.
- Adjusted the German country special for balance purposes. The german player now starts the game with 1 iron cross
- Adjusted the Japanese country special for balance purposes. Attrition now only has 4 levels, this makes the impact of losing a level of attrition more meaningful.
- The USA gained a new order, 'Logistical superiority' making support arrive automatically when successful.
- Strafing. This came up during our playtests, currently a player can add its fighter planes to an air attack to draw away AA dice. This represented the fighters drawing the attention of AA-crews by strafing etc. However, in real life strafing fighters would be able to pose a threat to very lightly armored ships like transports, small DD's and Torpedo boats. In addition to that, they would be able to damage any superstructure stuff like AA guns and the like. In line with that, I've added a 2-3 die (depending on type), Damage 1 AP 5 'gun' attack to the fighter-profile, this allows fighters to pose some threat to light forces and a nuisance to larger ships.
- Widened the data-card size a bit so it will fit the standard photo-size (100x148mm)
- Added a special rule for late war US-ships (like the Iowa's); Advanced RFC, this will allow the player to reroll any missed ranging shots.
- Added a special rule; Weak Deck armor, which increases the chance on a -1 modifier vs extreme range shots
- Added a special rule; Destroyer hunter; ships with this rule may roll one extra RoF die when ranging in on small ships, no effect on rapid fire weapons (which don't range in)
- Scharnhorst and Gneisenau lost their torpedo mounts because those were added after 1942.
- Added a 'crippled' status, this is achieved by coloring some of the hullpoints red. As soon as the red hullpoints are being crossed away, all weapon systems and the engine become damaged. The threshold of becoming crippled is about 20% - 25% of HP. This change does not require any extra bookkeeping or complexity, but it does add to the depth and realism, no more ships being fully functional with only 1 HP left.
- The American 8" cruiser guns had their stats calculated using the 355lbs 'super heavy shell'. This is incorrect since that shell was only available to the Baltimore and Des Moines class cruisers. The calculation is now correctly based on the 260lbs standard shell, this caused the RoF values to drop to normal levels. The points values dropped accordingly.
- Torpedo weapon systems have been reworked. General torpedo stats have been replaced with named, country-specific torpedo stats. The changes are not major, but some torpedo stats have been adjusted. I've also changed the formula for torpedoes to avoid having a higher or lower RoF than actual torpedo tubes carried. This causes a small loss in detail between the different classes of torpedoes, but in theory being able to hit more ships than the number of tubes fired didn't feel right for some playtesters and I agree.
- Reworked the points system (again...sorry). I've adjusted the formula's to take into account the amount of HP vs the armor rating. One extra HP on armor 3 is now worth less points than extra hp on armor 8. Furthermore the weapons points costs are now more standardized, removing the extreme points penalty of having guns spread out over front, broadside and rear mounts. Torpedoes are now discounted for ships that aren't per see a torpedo delivery system, so destroyers pay full points for their torps, cruisers and battleships get a discount because they do not have the primary job to get that close to ships. Cutoff point is ship size, so a small sized cruiser still pays full for the torps. This is because the small ships have a target score of 6, making them very much more suited and likely to be able to make use of their torpedoes. Carriers and seaplane tenders are now costed more by their air groups than by the weapons they carry, also the HP is discounted more than surface warships.

General effect of these changes is that old and small cruisers with small weapons and low armor are almost halved in points compared to 1.2, making them a little bit more viable. Long lance destroyers and cruisers have become more expensive while in general destroyers have become much cheaper. Battleships with big HP pools and high armor have become more expensive, while cruisers with torpedo mounts have gotten a bit of a price break. Overall the points values look a bit more balanced now.

- Changed the math behind the RoF and Dmg rating. These two values were tied to the total broadside weight (Rof*shell weight) leading to increased Rof and dmg value as the broadside became bigger. This lead to the undesirable side-effect that large weapons threw as many dice as they had barrels (or more) while small guns usually ended up with the minimum RoF per barrel; 0,5. having a high RoF rating increases your chance to hit, so in this system, a battleship would usually be able to one-shot even a heavy cruiser because of the inflated RoF. Now while I do want the game to play fast... I don’t want the game to play THAT fast :).

Result is that I am now experimenting with tying the RoF rating to the actual RoF, making it lower (to a max modifier of 0,5) for the slower guns, and higher RoF for the faster guns (to a max of 1). This reduces the RoF of the big guns, and increased the RoF of the little guys, leading to a new problem. To counterbalance the increased RoF of the smaller guns, their AP values have been lowered to balance it with ship survivability and armor.

This change should result in more interesting gunnery actions for DD's and light Cruisers, while toning down the lethality of battleships vs Cruisers (still not a good idea to go 1-on-1 with a battleship being a cruiser though). On the other hand, by boosting the small guns, secondary’s have suddenly become a more deciding factor in big-ship self-defense.

I hope you will all enjoy the game and help to make it even better yet!

Game designer

"That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been;" -Ecclesiastes-
Last edit: 7 years 5 months ago by Naval War HQ.

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