S/G gives players a chance to run complex naval operations that are abstracted in most games. Naval gaming is so niche designers gloss over naval ops in most (all) land games. AH's BISMARCK is the only S/G competitor I can think of and a few Midway/Guadal games. But all of these were published and done. AP keeps finding new stuff to publish making the series richer. Kristin Ann High's ODE TO SWWAS sums up the good, but it can't make the bad go away: TACTICAL system.

The tac system DRIVES people away from S/G in droves. Too many naval grognards won't touch it with a 10 foot pole! GWAS is especially egregious with major campaigns seeing 30 DD/TB's sunk in action. Players fear torps and stamp out the little guys like ants. One hit and gone with a Hull hit.


Some folks think playing naval mini's will work. It will, if you don't mind rolling around on the floor 8 hours per battle. DREADNOUGHTS said; here's a new chassis with chrome. While the chrome was welcome it changed things for the sake of change without fixing the flaws.

So I've thought on this for years and concluded there has to be a way to add realism without adding excessive time. After discussions with Jim D. I started on WW2 DREADNOUGHTS with my new ideas added in. Jim laughed and drop kicked the idea over the side. :-(

So back to the drawing board. Jim approved, now Russell and two others have my revised Tac System. It brings in the missing chrome i.e. Smoke, Radar. Ships take unlimited Gunnery Hull hits without sinking. Flooding (and not stopping it) and Fires (and not putting them out) sink ships. Torpedoes MOSTLY still kill the old way but Hull hits by shells MOSTLY re-arrange the wreckage or as they say: "If you want to let in air, use bombs and shells, if you want to let in water, use mines and torpedoes."

To do all this required almost no rule changes, just plugging in new Damage Tables, extra rules to use them and chrome plus Very Optional Detailing rules: Collisions, super-heavy shells, formations.

So now I'm awaiting results and fixes from my blind playtesters to see if it works.

*The penguin Opus in Bloom County

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Replies to This Discussion

Sounds interesting. I have a similar love/hate of the system and cannot seem to get any gaming friends interested in giving it a go.
Yup. Many gamers don't like naval and many navel gamers don't like the simplistic system for tac. It is frustrating.
Think we need a set of "bridging" rules to fight the tactical actions with your favorite system, be it BATTLELINE, or FEAR GOD AND DREAD NAUGHT/COMMAND AT SEA, ROYAL NAVY/IRONBOTTOM SOUND II/DESTROYER CAPTAIN, and so on. I wince at the problems in the tactical system but generally suspend disbelief enough during battle resolution to keep me focused on the operational system, which is where GWAS/SWWAS shines.

Am very interested in this potential rules set and bridging possibilities into the Avalanche Press naval games....
Having given it one test, I am optimistic that Steve's Treaty Cruiser rules may be just what's needed. Bloodiness of tactical actions is well-tempered and feels more realistic. For example, CAs standing off to fire at long distance are largely wasting ammunition. And lighter ships have a higher rate of survival, even given their vulnerabilities. I'd say Steve's prototype system doesn't add a noticable amount of play time either.
Any chance of laying eyes on this set of optional rules?
They are not ready yet. Still testing and tweaking.

Here's a sample:

Damage (7.0)

Rules attempt to add historicity to the rule set. Note that ships no longer sink when all Hull boxes are lost. Instead a ship sinks when it explodes, has fires go out of control or pumps can’t keep up with the flooding causing the vessel to capsize or founder. Ships with Flooding lose 1 Speed and ships with fires are spotted at any distance at night (except certain weather states). Once a Flood is stopped the lost 1 speed is regained.

Ships are sunk immediately as a result of a magazine explosion or if all Hull boxes are damaged and a Flood result is then inflicted by a hit from mines, being torpedoed or being rammed. (See Optional Collision rule)

Keep track of excess Hull hits as 1 Speed is lost for each 50% of total hull boxes lost. Example: a Speed 3 CL with four hull boxes becomes DiW with 6 Hull hits if not yet sunk.

Guns incapable of penetrating the Hull armor of a target inflict a Non-penetrating Critical on a roll of 11-12. Flood is not inflicted if gun does not penetrate the Hull armor on a DR of 10.

I don't think mini's are an answer add too much playing time in otherwise short campaigns.
The additional details you're adding, at least from this snipet, should not impact play time significantly, and will make the tactical game more rewarding from an historical perspective. One extra layer of complexity would allow the game to be played with present components - always a bonus.

Minis are nice - but most of the rules sets are somewhat daunting and would dominate over the operational level of the main game. I have FG&DN, but would not want to break it out for each tactical engagement...
How do you guys play bombardment missions in GWAS? In SWWAS you have to return to port after bombarding a coastal zone and reload for three turns. In GWAS there is no reloading required as long as you have pre-plotted the coastal bombardments. But are the GWAS bombardments mostly "nuisance raids" so you have enough HE ordnance to shell targets until you need to refuel? It looks like the victory requirements in GWAS would allow for that. Just wondered what people were doing.
But are the GWAS bombardments mostly "nuisance raids" so you have enough HE ordnance to shell targets until you need to refuel?

Pretty much! In general WW2 missions were saturation attacks. In WW1 there was little Amphib activity. So doctrine didn't exist yet. Many WW1 bombardments were against shore emplacements and AP would have been used and they were usually quick in and out as shore guns were feared.

. Jan. 28 - First Sea Lord Fisher opposed the plan, threatened to resign, did not believe ships could destroy land forts; he had failed in 1883 to destroy the Egyptian forts at Alexandria, and believed as Nelson had believed that "any sailor who attacked a fort was a fool."
See http://history.sandiego.edu/gen/ww1/gallipoli.html
That makes sense. More important, it fits the GWAS rules. Thanks, Steve.
Latest Playtest Results!

USN CL's ambushed by Italian CL Sqd. 8/43. Battle #3 BOMB ALLEY

With US destroyers nosing towards the "Brit" Sqd the Italian CO opened fire at 10,000yds. Both US DD's lost their radar, one CL took Hull hit. Return fire desultary.

After several rounds each side had taken a few hits until R1, Stp 13 when a damaged Rowan was destroyed by a torp hit.

On R1, stp16 the Ital's had their CL's T crossed and CL Monteccucoli was smashed by 6" shells.

On R2, Stp 6 the Ital's withdrew behind smoke sporting a fair amount of damage. After a slow start the Brookilyn's radar proved decisive.

Rhind Radar, Gun, 2 Hull
Rowan Radar, Gun, 3 Hull Flood: Sunk from torp hit
Savannah Hull

Monte Fire Control(FCT), 3Sec, 1 Tert, 2 Hull
Duc d Aosta FCT, Gun, Hull
Savoia Torps tubes destroyed (empty)
DD26 Gun, Hull
Extensive use of Starshells, smoke used in withdrawal. Advanced Radar proved decisive in running off Ital's though a lucky Torp hit allowed Regia Marina to declare victory. US CL's kept range at 15,000 yds. US DD's often 5-10K range.
This is what Avalanche's Doug McNair has said within the last year in regard to GWAS Shore Bombardment:

> 5.2: If a ship in a fleet with a Bombardment mission
> fires during tactical combat, may it attempt Shore
> Bombardment (11.1) on a later turn?

No, it has to go back to port and be assigned a new mission.

> 5.2: Can a ship in a fleet with a Bombardment
> mission attempt Shore Bombardment (11.1) on more
> than one turn?

Yes, as long as the it is plotted to do so at mission-start.

> 5.2: A ship in a fleet with a Bombardment mission
> attempts Shore Bombardment (11.1) and on a
> subsequent turn participates in tactical combat.
> During that subsequent tactical combat, is it
> correct that the ship is still subject to having its
> gunnery fire halved during the first combat step it
> participates in tactical combat?


> 5.2: Is is correct that a ship with a Raid mission
> is not subject to the Bombardment mission penalties
> (e.g., having its gunnery halved in the first combat
> step in which it fires at an enemy ship) even though
> the ship can attempt Shore Bombardment (11.1) on a
> turn either before or after that combat?

Raid missions are only available through special dispensation in scenario rules, and they're usually limited to one or two ships. In exchange for these restrictions, we give raiders extra latitude in what they can do (their job is to do the unexpected). For that reason, penalties that apply to other missions don't apply to Raid missions.

> 11.1: Is a ship required to have a minimum number of
> gun factors of a particular type available in order
> to attempt a Shore Bombardment (11.1)?

Only if game rules or scenario rules say so.

> 11.1: Can a dead-in-the-water ship attempt Shore
> Bombardment (11.1)?

No, rule 11.1 says a ship can't perform shore bombardment if it takes damage in combat.

> 11.1: May a ship that is towing or being towed
> attempt Shore Bombardment (11.1)?

No, towing requires an Abort mission (meaning the ship has to head for port), and being towed implies that the ship took damage (see last answer).

> 11.1: Is it correct that the Shore Bombardment
> (11.1) prohibition on movement, fire or suffering
> damage in tactical combat only applies during a turn
> in which a ship is attempting to conduct Shore
> Bombardment?

Yes on movement, no on damage or firing.

> 11.1: If a fleet that is attempting Shore
> Bombardment (11.1) has been contacted by the enemy
> and will be subject to combat, can that fleet choose
> to delay its Shore Bombardment attempt to the next
> turn?

No, with all missions, you have to stick with your plotted movement or Abort.


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