Monday, June 14, 2010

DV Playtest

Thanks to revmidni I was able to play test the latest rules for my WWII naval game. It went pretty well, the stats and dice mechanics seem to be working out well. I was worried that the craps-like 2d6 system wouldn't play well, but like any dice system you start to get a feel for it after a few turns.

Some minor things are going to change based on the game results. I'm going to open the range increment up from 10" to 12", and make minor damage convert to full damage at 3 points per instead of 5. This will increase the rate of damage dealt and make the first few turns more interesting. I was going to make deck and underwater hits more difficult to get, but they already where. I made a mistake when I produced my damage cards and put the wrong values into the damage grid.

As far as the game went, I set up two 5 ship fleets centered around a battleship. The French fleet had two light cruisers and two destroyers backing up the Richelieu. The Italians had 3 destroyers and a light cruiser backing up the Vittorio Vento. The French ships outclassed their Italian counterparts in almost every way. Better range, speed, armor, and guns. I fully expected a French victory. I was playing the Italians.

We both rushed our destroyers straight at each other. All three of my destroyers where sunk to one of his. His cruisers out ranged mine and where able to support his destroyers; canceling out my numerical superiority. Our battleships exchanged long range fire as they closed in. The Vento was getting lucky and landing hits, but due to my error copying the damage grids to the cards, all my shots where hitting below the water line. The poor quality Italian 15" guns vs the exceptional underwater protection of the Richelieu left me only doing minor damage to the French ship's hull. The BB's got to within a mile, and the French finally got the range. The Vento took some penetrating hits, resulting in damage to fire control. With the damage to fire control the Vento couldn't effectively fight back and finally went down with the help of French torpedoes. My remaining CL, with damage to her engines and taking on water, struck her colors.

Revmidni said he liked the rules, they where simple but had a realistic feel to them. There was only one time where I had to come up with a rule on the fly, and that was to cover the order of applying modifiers and halving values. The only awkward mechanic I noted was we would both occasional pick up our to-hit-dice and re-roll them for armor penetration - forgetting that they marked the hit location on the damage grid. I need to think of a good way to avoid that situation.

I also have a base line for coming up with a points system. The French destroyers where roughly 1.5 times better than the Italians, the French cruisers twice as good, and the French BB only slightly better than the Italian. Had I had slightly better luck on hit location against the French battleship, it would have been an even fight.

In the next two weeks I plan on adding rules for fighting close actions and using aircraft. I'll need to add a few more ships to the fleet lists to accommodate that. So expect to see some carriers, good AA destroyers, and the Japanese make an addition to the list of ships that have been stated up.

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