Friday, April 10, 2015

Hail Poseidon at Black Hills

Steve & Peter fought another test game for Peter's Hail Poseidon rules he's developing for the Mare Nostrum campaign (which about ready to kick off after a very entertaining 1st diplomacy phase) (with Jim umpiring).

In previous games we struggled with the problem of the non-moving side being sitting ducks in the IGUO system.  Today we tried using a Reaction Test to determine what happened when a ship moved into contact with an enemy (but still IGUO).   The Reaction Test takes account of relative ship size & speed, crew skill and angle of approach to make each contact a fair fight regardless of whose move initiated it. The result of a contact could be a successful ram, an oar rake, or an evade.  It also determines the relative positions of the ships after the contact - which may provide an opportunity to grapple & board.
The black hulled ships are Peter's Athenian triremes.  Steve's fleet has regular crews but has a pentreme flagship.  The counters on the ships record the ship's last move distance (in ship lengths).  Two 0's = immobilised for a turn.  This allows us to limit acceleration & deceleration and to include relative speed in the Reaction Test when ships clash.  Damage and crew stamina is recorded on roster sheets.
The turning template controls movement (the pentreme template has a lesser angle).   There is wreck counter to the left of the template where a ship had gone down.
In the end Peter had used his superior crew's better manoeuvrability to gain a close win.

The Reaction Test seemed to work really well - providing a lot more scope for tactical skill to govern the result rather than luck - QED.  We saw a few opportunities for further refinement & identified a couple of issues not covered.  We think another test game & Hail Poseidon will be ready for real action in the campaign.

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