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sleeping_squirrel

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Hi all !

An additional thing that should be refurbished according to me in the 2.5 rules is the mines system.

Actually mines are most of the time used as a delayed direct attack (by laying them just in front of enemy ships) and the rules make the normal area denial role of mines completely secondary and inefficient.

I think that triggering range and AD should be partially random and mines counter shouldn’t disappear after the first blast but only its AD power decrease slowly. On the other and, template rule should be dropped to keep a single indiscriminate attack against the ship moving nearby (possibly with a defensive CC counterfire).

And also, mines should become active only 1 turn after behind laid to make them really different from bombs and focus their use on area denial…

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11 minutes ago, Amiral X said:

Hi all !

 

An additional thing that should be refurbished according to me in the 2.5 rules is the mines system.

Actually mines are most of the time used as a delayed direct attack (by laying them just in front of enemy ships) and the rules make the normal area denial role of mines completely secondary and inefficient.

I think that triggering range and AD should be partially random and mines counter shouldn’t disappear after the first blast but only its AD power decrease slowly. On the other and, template rule should be dropped to keep a single indiscriminate attack against the ship moving nearby (possibly with a defensive CC counterfire).

And also, mines should become active only 1 turn after behind laid to make them really different from bombs and focus their use on area denial…

While I agree mines could use a rework, most games I know end in 3 turns (sometimes even two!). Counting turn 1 as a setup turn for the mines, I feel that the arming time would make mines mostly irrelevant in most battles.

I actually like Fleet Action's approach, where mine laying ships give the ability to put down minefield terrain markers at the beginning of a battle. I do like your point about non-fixed detonation ranges and slowly decreasing effectiveness though.

My suggestion would be:

  • Let mine laying models put down mine terrain at the beginning of the game, one field per squadron.
  • Minefields can be traversed, but detonate on a die (4+, for example. Could tie into magnetic mines, making them a 3+ to explode)
  • Any explosion reduces the AD of the mines. This could be a static number (1 or 2), or even a d6.

It'll still require some rework for some models though, as models that only have mines as a weapon system (like the CoA's Ptolemy) would still need some in-game weapons system to make them attractive, beyond the minefield.

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I can see how mines are much less useful when someone can essentially just sacrifice a single small model to set them off and not even have to worry about the rest of the squadron.  Moving ships one at a time makes sense from a gameplay point of view, but in reality the whole squadron would be moving at the same time.

I could see mines being an "area" and rather than an area damage when it is triggered, just a chance to trigger for every ship that goes through.  Maybe triggers a 2+ for massives, 3+ for large, 4+ for medium, and 5+ for smalls; maybe auto for massive, 2+ for large, 3+ for medium, 4+ for smalls.  So if an entire squadron wanted to move they would all take the chance of being hit and not just the first one.  I could see them lasting for 1 turn after they are triggered, so any ships moving through on that turn could trigger them and take damage, but once at least one ship has triggered them they will be gone at the start of next turn.  Maybe 2 turns?  Maybe permanent? Or maybe X number of ships hit based on the value/type of mine. 

Maybe Mine 5 would be 5AD, but also it would hit 5 ships before it is cleared (or 1 success per CC reduces the ships hit by 1).  If you had Mine (2) 5, for 8 AD it would still clear on 5 ships.  Any other way would require re-stating all mine ships, which would be better but also more work. 

Then you could have one stat for AD and one stat for number of ships hit, so AD is the strength of the mine and number of ships hit is the actual number of mines.  A bit more bookkeeping to that, but more realistic.  Maybe even something like 1 chance to hit for every 1" moved through the minefield.  So if you had a 3" of minefield a small traveled through would have 3 chances (of 4+) to trigger, even potentially triggering 3 (assuming it survives that long).  And a massive passing through it would automatically hit one per 1" moved.  Although then you would also have to redefine what magnetic mines do and mine controllers and then a way to define how big the mine fields are.  Maybe something like 3 mines per 1" circle, so if you have 9 mines you could do 3 1" circles arranged however you would like. A 1 mine per 1" circle would be the least amount of paperwork, but then you might want to be able to overlap them some.

I can see that as being a "better" system and more realistic, but I'm not sure if it would be worth the extra time and effort on the board.  Would it make mines more useful or would it simply make mines too annoying to use so they are used even less?

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I suspect a simpler solution may be to keep everything the same, but only have mine templates removed at the end of the activation in which they are triggered.

I do agree that they don't currently work as area denial and that would be a nice thing for them to do. The idea of mine layers giving you a mine terrain thing to put down at the start of the game would work, though I am not sure how that works thematically since the minelayers deploy with all the other ships. It would certainly add utility to the mines on large/massive vessels and the mine control generator. Perhaps for each mine your fleet can deploy, deploy that many at the start of the game in your half of the table. Doesn't help the thematic problem, but adds the area denial thing quite simply.

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For now, mine triggering zone is too small to be of any use as area denial. It is far to simple to go around except in very specific situation where 2 obstacle are close enough to create a pass that can be block by one or two mines marker.

I think that the mine marker should have the size of the explosion template, not be remove when detonating, but detonate only on a dice roll equal or lower than crossing model size and  only attack the model (no area attack).

Mines would be far more interesting to play this way.

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For thematic reasons, the mine ruses could be modified with a special condition that allows a player to use the minefield MAR with the number of mines being equal to the amount of mines the squadron has, but must be deployed in advanced deployment...with the usual restrictions of course. So no Danish pocket battleships in advanced deployment shenanigans 

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Originally posted this elsewhere but it fits better here.

2.5 is on its way and it will address the spam issue. Fleet Action was an honest attempt to address the speed uber allies demand signal. Streamlining has compromises. FA's approach to SAS heavily mitigated  the activation aspects. It didn't work for me but it had some good ideas in it. SAS has undergone dramatic changes at every release. I will wait to see what changes appear. The goal to me is not to change the current mechanics of SAS (which I like in general) but to find a way to mitigate the side effects of their presence. I don't see dramatically changing how SAS work in turn order or other base mechanics as a solution without impacting the game so much as to make it a whole new game.

SAS Spam: One way to limit the impact would be to increase the cost of SAS (starting point 5 points per SAW?). This would get ADDED to carrier costs. However carriers could still service all SAWs (see possible Local Air exceptions below). 

Also make losing SAWs cost VPs like models do.

Increase the range of SAS, making them more powerful, but keep the refit rules as is, limiting the repeat attack impact of bombers. 

Spotter SAS move in the activation of a carrier, or an IDF capable model (successful spotting applies  to active model)

I still like the idea of initial SAS moves requiring a launch from an carrier/airfield during its initial activation. 

Never have been a fan of local SAS, I get the idea- always having some SAS available keeps it in the game. But, local SAS needs to cost points and perhaps enter from an edge. If losing them costs VP then they should be able to leave the board to save  themselves.

Also the endless supply of airplanes that carriers have should not apply to local air. That would be simpler than capping carrier SAW replacements and the added book keeping the would involve. (I doubt this would get accepted, but I would like it.)

Aerial units should not block surface and vice versa. Period. For SAS it should be easier by way of temporarily removing SAW from the board as needed leaving at least one as a marker and then if REALLY necessary moving that marker as little as possible.

For other units , I would use paper markers ( from the stock supplied but reversed) oriented to mark the corners that show where the base is, as needed (to allow measurement to the base for attacks). I have seen players just leave the base in place and overlap the surface unit. Clever types might make paper bases of the appropriate sizes and even put pictures of the unit on them- get crafty, etc.. This would deal with the game speed impact. Is the cost of doing this worth addressing the gamey blocking ploys? You decide. I have never really experienced the blocking move as an intentional play and almost always talk through such situations where it is a marginal overlap. and accepting the rules as is on big overlaps. 

Forced collisions to limit maneuvers: If the active model at least two sizes larger than the inactive unit then post-collision maneuvering is not impacted. Positioning of the inactive models is done after the movement of the colliding larger vessel is completed, calculating a collision with any units as needed but only once. Tiny models never impact movement.

Activation spamming using models: Much harder. To a degree using a strategy of buying more small units vice more powerful stronger units should work. In practice not so much. I have, in scenarios, put limits on the number of activations, or on the difference allowed. Putting an activation limit on a game before choosing your fleet makes for interesting choices. Support Squadrons and embarked units complicate this a bit, but anything that can be an independent unit I usually counted. Scenarios, of course can balance things by having victory conditions that fit. Larger forces attacking smaller forces with different upper limits of activation can be accounted for in the victory conditions in many ways. Limiting activations, or activation differences would be suggestions not rules. But if included in the rulebook would carry more weight. 

 
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Just one more thing to remember: The current LOS rules for torpedoes are a real pain in the ass. Concerning models, give them the same LOS rules that regular ordnance has, so that pesky little models cannot block LOS to all torpedoes any more. This would streamline the rues and make torpedoes far easier to use. Assume that models that are bigger above the surface also have more depth below the water line, both for firing torpedoes as well as getting hit by them. This way torpedoes can be fired below smaller models in the same way that ordnance can fire over them. Torpedoes should still be blocked by terrain and glacier generators, because those have more mass below the water line than above the water line.

Torpedoes and rockets should be able to hit fortifications, but with black dice. This helps balancing fortifications as well as rockets/torpedoes.

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Something that has not been adressed yet, but I find kinda useful is to give all Small Squadrons difficult target instead of small target. Why I think so? At least in our Meta it is "the bigger the better". We mostly play with larges and mediums. Smalls however are only good for boarding. I really wish to see some destroyer or frigate squadrons on the battlefield. As it is now, in most cases it just doesnt make sense to field them as they are one-hit-wonders and definitly not worth the price of a battleship (in case of destroyers). The difficult target would either force the players to spend unreasonable amount of firepower from larges or force them to play arround with small and non capitol models (e.g. light cruisers, that dont see play that often). This is a nice addition I think many of you will agree. 

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Sure, let me just stay at RB1 of this RC battleship while it flails at my DR4/CR5 Shield(1) HP3 Destroyers that are hit on 6+ by everything but the poor BB's broadsides, while I return fire with 20AD hitting on 4+. The only thing that could maneuver to stop me is... opposing smalls.

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1 hour ago, Lifegiver said:

Well, I think most small and medium non capital squadrons are worth their points, while some others are not. I think this is more a concern about the balancing of individual models.

When was the last time you successfully fielded a destroyer squadron? :)

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2 hours ago, Green said:

And non-capitals :) Btw you only have to kill 1-2 models in order to negate their firepower completely. And btw right now they are only hit on a 6 for small target and RB1 primaries.....

So smalls and one type of medium, pretty much. I'm not sure what's up with your meta, but my destroyers are the bane of anything within 16", and most of my lists include two squadrons at 1k points. My opponents regularly struggle to kill them without significant investment.

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I have to agree with Sebenko. My destroyer squadrons are generally the bane of anything they can get into range with and require more than a little bit of attention to be dealt with. They may not have the boarding threat of a large but more than make up for it in my opinion by abusing enemy light and medium squadrons as well harassing larges.

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9 minutes ago, Green said:

your destroyers all together dont have the firepower nor the boarding threat of a large. And honestly im not talking so much about the heavy destroyers. Im talking about the cr 4-5 2HP things :)

Well of course they don't, they're 135 points for a squadron, instead of 180+ and are much faster. Corvettes are already ludicrously dangerous- 100 points for a squadron that can threaten to one-shot KO a battleship from two range bands out?

Frigates are pretty reliable too, especially CoA ones that can hit from RB4 with faster torps with no drop-off. They might not be as clear cut as others, but difficult target is definitely overkill.

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The other thing to look at is the fact that no squadron is fielded alone. If they are throwing a lot of firepower at the smalls it means something else is closing without taking fire.

If the smalls are being targeted that high in priority then that means your opponent sees them as a real threat.

Something is going to be shot at all the time and things die. Your job as admiral is to force your opponent to react to what you are doing rather than following whatever plan they came in with.

If they race up the board and die when nothing else is a real target that is your fault.

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I shot mostly weapons on smalls that have little to no chance of hurting something bigger. A broadside here and there, some rockets etc. Im not saying smalls are bad. I love using them too, but only for boarding purposes. Still cant see where lets say a squad Guilfords shooting 18 rockets at rb3 is not a one-hit-wonder. If your opponent knows what to do, he will return fire on them before you can protect it with a large and cripple 160 points with 1 go.

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Rockets are very random. Even 10 dice & some minor luck may damage a BB. Also, a damaged BB looses it's presious AA which it needs to defend against

-Boarding

-Rockets

-Dive bombers.

Thus the first 18 dice might be very important, even though it only do 2 out of 8-10HP in damage.

 

That being said, balance between small & large is something that always can be looked at. I don't think it's that bad, but it could probably be better also. In general I think large could do a slight increase in points.

 

 

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