Balance issues

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    Andrew Watkins

    We have played a few games now, mostly with a large number of large ships, English and French fleets.

    The game seems a little biased towards the English

    English get +1 for every shot, this is huge
    English get a free skill test reroll for every ship, more subtle but very useful.

    French get a small bonus if using chain shot or firing high, unfortunately though chain shot is useless and firing high is not worth it even for the french.

    French also get sturdy hulls and streamlined a little cheaper, but not cheap enough to warrant using it.

    In other words the french have nothing useful and the english have some real bonus’s all for free.

    We are trying a few small balance tweaks.
    We have given the french no modifier for firing high, which is quite useful, still not using chain shot but it makes it a little more viable.

    Considering lowering cost of sturdy hulls to 30 points and streamlined to 10 points for the french. Only allowing sturdy hulls to 3rd rate ships and larger

    How many of you have played sizeable games between french and english, what have you found?

    We have also introduced 2 small tweaks to make life easier.
    a) when a ship is disabled we take it off the board same as sunk ships
    b) if ships are in a line and something happens to the ones at the front we allow the ones at the rear to swerve the minimum needed to avoid colliding with them.


    invisible officer

    Hmm, the “Problem” is that you expect a ballanced game. But the game is based on history and so the “biased towards the English” is correct They had been better in gunnery and seamanship.
    They did not win every fight but most battles of SOL.

    Most SOL battles in that era had been fought against larger fleets.
    So the RN Player should be ready to accept a stronger fleet of the French one instead of tinkering with the rules.

    The French Sané designed hulls had been superb, but expensive.

    Andrew Watkins

    True I am looking for balance
    True the English ships were better crewed etc than the french.
    But this is a game so it is only reasonable that if one side is better than the other then it costs more to balance it out.

    The problem with the free national upgrades for the english and the french, where the english ones are quite reasonably better than the french ones is that they are free.

    Another perfectly reasonable option is to make NO changes whatsoever to firing high etc but just increase the cost of all english vessels by 10%

    Would that be more along the lines of what you would expect?

    The obvious problem with playing the game as is with english V french is the english are pretty much always going to win. whilst this is also historically accurate it does not make for a very good game.

    We could play bolt action historically, with the english, americans or russians in 1944 having 3 times the number of points as the germans in every game, or the germans having 3 times the number of points in 1940 but it would not make for a very good game 🙂

    Steve Burt

    Just increase the cost of all English vessels would be my advice.


    For balance purposes, I have not been using the National Rules. My 2nd game was USN vs RN, so both were drilled. Easier just to eliminate it all together, since they both would be adding the +1.

    My last game on Saturday 7 December, I played French vs British. The French are bombarding a British beachhead in the Med. For this purpose they have 2 Bomb Ketch. There is a French Squadron of 2 x 1st Rates and 4 3rd Rates protecting the bombardment group. The British are entering the board from the SW corner, with a 5th Rate, 2 x 1st Rates, 4 x 3rd Rates. Victory conditions are the British must prevent the destruction of the beach head, and the French must destroy the beach head. Scenario was very balanced. Did not use the National rules. French started with 10 points more than the British, but since the objective was to destroy the Beach head, they had to make a decision whether to use the Mortar ships on the beach head or support the sea battle.

    Andrew Watkins

    2 excellent ideas there

    1) increase the cost of the english
    2) don’t use the national rules.

    I suppose the 2nd one removes any possible bias from the game!

    Personally I prefer the 1st though. Will ask the guys and see what they think.

    Bruce Scott

    Don’t play the poor Spanish….

    Andrew Watkins

    I think the spanish are better than the french as long as you take a couple of 1st rates


    After same games I think : english and americana +10% pts, french no changes, Spanish -10%


    For absolute balance, I’m not a fan of adding (or subtracting) points without knowing the formula that was used to point ships. The only way to ensure balance is not to use the National rules.

    Now having said that, I agree with Invisible Officer, most scenarios are not going to be balanced in points. A good place to use crew skills to balance the game.

    Andrew Watkins

    We are just going to add 10% to english and use the national rules


    We are just going to add 10% to english and use the national rules

    I get it, and I am not a tournament player. So as long as everyone around the table agrees cool. What anyone does around their game table is strictly their business. Please let us know how this effects game play!

    Rather than these nation rules, my next step will be to add ships as they were actually armed during this period. This is going to mess the point system up as well. So, I’ll probably go with something balanced around builds. Don’t know yet.

    Adam Carriere

    One thought I had was to give the British a penalty for a Veteran Crew similar to what the Spanish have. After all the RN had great difficulty getting all the Able Seamen they needed to man all those ships.

    Andrew Watkins

    I guess it is relative, as much difficulty as the English may have had i think you will find every other nation had MORE problems getting top notch sailors.

    Ken Redington

    Crew quality is also a issue that would be used in a historical match up. French were average to poor, Spanish the same leaning towards poor, and the Brits were elite for the most part. This gives you more hulls for the French and a lot more for Spanish but better stats for the British.
    Below is my OPFOR till I get my Brits finsihed

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by Ken Redington.
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