Thoughts after a few games

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  • This topic has 11 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 2 years ago by Nat.
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    my 2p..

    I played VaS version 1, seemed a bit Yahtzee with all the dice but was fun, only issue being the terrible turning radius of the ships

    VaS version 2 as we have here fixes that, seems to abstract out a few things and seems to not be an overly accurate simulation, but then it doesn’t claim to be, it is however an enjoyable game so to me its got the balance between the two correct – thumbs up on that. also thumbs up on ship stats in the book not “you only get the ship rules with the models!” which would have been a hard “no” for me)

    Models with bases.. marmite issue, can’t stand them, happy to play using other things and again thumbs up that the base seems (mostly) not to matter, like the scale of the models seems (mostly) not to matter – only really for stuff like attack aircraft in base contact and frankly thats not exactly rocket science to resolve (i.e. don’t be “that guy” and try to stop flights attacking by claiming they can’t touch a smaller or non-existing base)

    there are a few quirks, like carriers in the battleline, again though while it did happen when things went (very) wrong we also have battleship on battleship action which is something that didn’t happen too often – historically not sure of many actions where one or both sides had both air and surface units fighting at the same time – again this being a game more than a simulation works as its easy to go both ways. Also the prohibition on carriers using their aircraft for scouting, I could see sticking a limit on how many but this is something that happened quite a bit. just feels a bit odd.

    ditto the lack of ability to stick spotter planes on the board, can see it both ways as it becomes a “must have” so both sides do it, so it cancels out mostly – I just liked the models zipping about trying to be close enough without being too close to stuff trying to swat them down.

    the 30″ “hard horizon” works such that you do at least have to try and close the gap and avoids some more odd situations so for me this is a plus – I would have suggested deployment is measured from the centreline though not the table edges, minor point and very easy to adapt individually. Would note other games base this on ship size (proxy for height of masts etc) so bigger ships can see and be seen from further than smaller ones and that this could potentially be a good addition given the game has the ship size classes already (so battleships can see each other from further than a battleship and destroyer can see each other for example)

    Type 93 torpedo strikes over the horizon? I know its a game “thing” the Japanese get but the ability to fire them further than the ship can see pre-game but a different range in game “feels wrong” if that makes sense, specifically because as the opponent this is a pregame random dice roll that can potentially do some serious damage that you can do nothing to mitigate. Getting squished as a consequence of of something you have done is fine, but as a result of something you cannot avoid seems wrong.

    Possible solution to the above: all fleets gain the option to split deployment of ships on the table, can put up to half craft into “delayed deployment”, such craft move onto the table from turn one (from positions marked during deployment not “anywhere”, they are there just a bit further away), these craft cannot be hit by the initial fan attack – at a cost of being further back initially – also allows some key ships to be “protected” to a level initially – only really needed facing the T-93 fan as will be out of range of everything else anyway

    Not tried the submarine rules as yet but they look good, especially how they essentially have their own specific scenarios and do not feature in normal fleet actions

    enjoying it overall, can see a market for a second volume with more ships (though we have loads), more scenarios and campaign stuff, stick in say mines, minesweepers etc (specific scenarios again not a general thing), only concern is where the long term market for Warlord actually is with this given the game is essentially complete with just the book?

    a few other more general observations

    those who are wanting the models, but not USN or IJN have at present no way to get all the counters directly – seems an ideal product to have them separately available (or added to the fleet boxes maybe?) Have had this with other Warlord games, you can get the “full” rulebook and a “force” box but there are some bits only in the starter set

    given the ship models are 3D sculpts would it be in the least possible to have then with a <i>separate</i> base – I get the issues around manufacture with resin and the base aiding in the production of the ship models but maybe worth keeping in mind? The actual ships are very nice themselves but if you are going to have a base that thick make it both plastic and include dials for the damage states.


    overall, thumbs up, enjoyable game and a good evolution of the first edition, bring on a WW1 version 😉


    if you pop over to the ‘news from the wardroom’ thread I’ve put some documents about the gameplay including a ‘cheat sheet’ for the full turn order so your not flipping through the book all the time..

    theres also a house rules document that helps cover some of the points… however about the overhorizan type 93 shot… its a Beyond Horizon Shot, so the target has to be stationary, and you have to have an observer aircraft to assign to the attack Plus as its over 20″ you have to re-roll your 6 to hit…. so yeah IF & its a big IF you manage to pull it off well done, cause its going to be super rare!



    will check that out thanks, the over the horizon stuff is the pre-game torpedo strike where they things can not only shoot further than Yamato could fire its guns, but can also fire further than they can fire during the game – all of which is “meah” but its the way the opponent can do absolutely nothing about it and could end up starting with a critical unit dead or half dead.

    its up there with “on a dice roll of a six one of your units exploded on the way to the battle”, there are times such randomness doesn’t make a game better


    @Nat he means fan salvo, not normal over the horizon shot.

    And yes, it’s bullshit on the receiving end; but it is also a significant risk on the IJN’s end as well, as it removes a significant part of their torpedo armament for relatively limited success chances, especially if your ships don’t have reloads (e.g. Fubukis)


    don’t see any risk for the IJN, yes a lower chance of a hit – but not everything has to fire the salvo, and the chance to trade one load from one side for a chance to perhaps remove a key unit seems well worth it.

    I see why it has to be unlimited range to “work” or its a waste of words, but personally yes the long lance had range, but short of hitting stuff that didn’t know about it the chances of a hit were tiny and to be honest I’d give them normal ranges in game for the normal hit chances and then let them fan salvo at any time up to the horizon, but with a positive modifier v things not moving faster than say 3″


    Assuming you have a Fubuki with Long Lances, and that you would normally launch torpedoes at a 6-to-hit range (which you shouldn’t, you should be getting closer for a 5+ or a 4+), with a fan salvo you’re rolling 1 x 6-to-hit for a random target instead of 9 x 6-to-hit against a target of your choice.

    Fan salvoes can hurt if you build your fleet around them, but ships with Long Lances are very expensive compared to everything else they bring to the table, and if you’re bringing enough Long Lance ships to get consistent hits in the fan salvo, your opponent has, by default, enough of a budget to bring escort vessels and cut your chances of hitting anything important drastically.

    Like, to get a statistical certainty that you’ll get one hit with a fan salvo, you need to bring 6 Long Lance ships. Assuming you go for three Kageros and three Mogamis, (~1150 pts), a UK opponent can bring almost three Tribals for each Kagero. The odds that you’ll be able to land a hit on whatever the big ship those DDs are defending is minuscule.

    Bottom line – if you know you’re going vs IJN, flood the table with small, cheap DDs. They essentially hardcounter Long Lances.

    Feed the IJN with few, expensive targets and you deserve what’s coming to you. That is literally what the IJN fleet lists are built to fight.


    oh aware you can build a fleet round it, though to be honest I try not to “optimise” a list knowing what my opponent has. I do have a reasonable destroyer compliment (9 of the beasties) which I figure are perfect for facing off v IJN torpedoes as they are almost literally not worth the torpedo shot – IJN greatest weakness seems to be a high density of points on some otherwise not very robust hulls leading to a shortage of guns.

    its just literally I find the idea of a mechanic where your opponent can do zero to counter it such as any form of ‘pre game’ weapons strikes with unlimited range a bit “moRe rAndOM iS MorE FuN” stuff which frankly sucks, I like it to be my own mistakes and opponents better tactics that kill me, not a random dice roll.

    torpedoes being nasty up close makes sense, though quite why the T-93 is more accurate at range than anyone elses is curious – give them a high “extreme” range but similar closer range bands as anyone else.. but thats just the way I see it.. “Wakeless” works exactly as it should incidentally, thats evil..

    usual opponent loves the Mogami class.. I’m hoping to introduce them to my Royal Navy destroyer group tomorrow, reckon out scouting will be simple and then there is a lot of juicy juicy points in a pair of expensive and not well armoured hulls..


    *evil laugh*


    had a few more games today, managed to even win one, the Destroyer flotilla has proven its worth, not quite enough for scouting duties reliably yet but I want a few more anyway.

    Game 1: Royal Navy V IJN with a Kongo & Mogami, basically ran rings round them, lost as my fleet lacked a “bruiser” of any significance (I lack any of the cheaper battleships), lost but learnt a lot about destroyers

    Game 2: similar matchup, except managed a win.

    both games hardly any IJN torpedoes fired due to a lack of targets, mostly because the Kongo was having fun with my cruisers

    Game 3: larger, fighting Americans, who actually had some destroyers of their own, mine doing excellent work keeping his off me and generally being a royal pain.. again need a bruiser, have Prince of Wales, amazing how much damage that can take, and take it it most certainly did..

    thoughts for any future versions

    • swap the “to hit” dice for a D10, balance around that, as well as a “fast target” -1, have a “slow target” +1 so damaged ships get easier to hit (also have a “very fast” -2, and a “stopped” +2, this applying to anything with a speed of zero, then have “fixed target” be a +3)
    • if going with a D10 system add a “size” stat to each ship in place of the -1 to hit a destroyer, maybe cruisers -1, destroyers -2, escorts -3 (but likely slow enough they are easier to hit for speed), and perhaps an accuracy shift stat per weapon type (normally 0, -1 for weapons noted as having rubbish accuracy or fire control, maybe +1 for weapons noted the other way)
    • given Type-93 torpedoes the same BP, Short & Long brackets as other torpedoes, but the larger Extreme range, can still hit but they didn’t get miraculously more accurate than anyone elses
    • drop “roll one dice per barrel” for a more balanced mechanic, maybe twin turrets two dice, triple & quad two dice with a +1 to hit or re-rolls (would need testing), reflect the way ships tended to straddle the target – or allow “straddling fire” as an option to roll fewer dice at range but more accurate.

    there are other things but trying to keep it simple, currently a lot of battleships are able to fire to 29-30″ as “Long” range, so if they have the side of a target go from “unable to hit” (over the horizon) to a 4+ to hit with each barrel which seems a bit much (4+, 5+ for range, 4+ for side aspect)


    TBH with dice, I agree, with the changes that warlord made to VaS from mongooses v2 beta, I was surprised that they didnt move over to the D10 to hit with more possible modifiers – afterall they make Cruel Seas which is a D10 to hit.

    Size stat…. thats going to be a lot of grey area’s… such as small pre-dreadnought battleships & super battleships, corvettes & destroyer leaders all counted as destroyers… when you start adding things like this i feel that you are heading away from simple /easy to pickup wargame and heading towards the simulation style – there are already other game systems out there that cover the simulation side of things.

    Torpedoes as a whole I feel should be looked at, both ranges and applicable modifiers, not just the type 93s

    1 barrel = 1 AD…. doesnt actually work out like that… eg twin linked turrets are often down at least 1 AD compared to other turrets of the same number of guns…


    aware a size stat adds complexity, but would need a D10 system to be worthwhile – its really a way of shifting the “its a destroyer!” modifier to be the ships size but also allow “its the Yamato!” at the other end

    key being for most craft its a “0” so ignorable, but removes the need for other modifiers, traits or special rules for what amounts to a “hit dice” modifier, its just a stat, shoot at this, apply this mod. thankfully Warlord is good at avoiding wordy special rules that amount to “+1 to hit” etc.

    yes torpedoes overall worth a look, the game misses a huge use for them, treat them as “terrain” almost, its viable in many games (and reality) to fire them knowing the hit chance isn’t amazing but with the intention of making the enemy change course towards or away from specific directions – in effect take the speed of the torpedo into account and give the target a chance to break off to try and evade unless you get very close – I get the abstraction but its actually something useful to be able to do

    and yes have seen its not always 1 barrel = 1 AD, some being “2 AD” per turret, others “1AD with a reroll” to be what amounts to 1.5AD etc, just seems that say long range at the side of a battleship, with another, which keep in mind is likely only just within sight is a situation where getting a hit should be hard enough (i.e. not a 4+, 4 to 5 then back to 4), having an average of half the shells you lob hit is a bit much especially given how ships fired a spread at that range to get more chance of a hit but minimal chances of multiples – again a D10 system would probably be better here as it allows a bit more space for such things

    still think overall its a good game and its enjoyable to play, just a few bits test the level of immersion in it being “WW2 at sea” a bit really.

    as with a lot of Warlord stuff, closer to “the game of the film” than “the game of the war” with a focus on the spectacular over the realistic


    Quite looking forward to giving this a try. Agree entirely about the tokens and templates from the starter set!  I’m not THAT interested in the US / IJN (at least at the moment), I intend to buy the hard back rule book so no need for that, I have loads of dice so essentially it’s JUST the templates and tokens.  I think I’ve found somewhere that does a good template set, will have to hunt around for the tokens.  Pity to feel like your’e forced to the starter to play the game.  Easy enough I would think for them to bundle those things separately like they do for Bolt Action or even do a RN / Kriegs starter set.


    @legere TBH all you need is a token to go on the table to tell you if the ship has a critical effect…. then laminate the ship card are write the effects on there.

    & a 45deg turning template plus some 3″long smoke markers

    • This reply was modified 2 years ago by Nat.
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