Topic-iconNighty Night

andrewcooke71 created the topic: Nighty Night

2 months 2 weeks ago

So I did a rerun of Savo Island which I would have put in AAR but a couple of clarifications were required. Like history the Allied forces get their arses handed to them. However the Japanese did not escape without losses. In the opening salvos Canberra takes multiple hits but her armour holds. Her secondary rakes the Chokai forcing her to break off, casuing confusion with the Japanese forces. Canberra then receives multiple torpedo hits and disappears below the waves. Chicago manages to avoid serious damage taking round after round which her armor holds on the whole. The US cruisers proteciting the other side of Savo then come to the attention of the Tenryu and Yunagi which launch torpedoes their way, causing almost crippling damage to all 3 cruisers, which no longer want to take part in the action. The Australia arrives on board bringing Crutchley and his needed command points. The Hobart and San Juan's group also steam towards the action. When we called the game Chicago and Canberra were sunk. The 3 New Orleans class were seriously damaged. On the Japanese side Tenryu, Kako and Yunagi are sunk, Chokai and Furutaka badly damaged, and the Japanese are trying to make their escape past the US picket destroyers. The way I had it set up was as follows. The Japanese were in column. Chokai, alone, leading as flag then 2 groups each of the Kako and Aoba classes followed by a group of Yubari, Tenryu & Yunagi. This gave the Japanese 4 orders. The Allies had Canberra, Chicago, & destroyers on one side of Savo and the New Orleans class group on the other. Under RN command and with no Officer on board yet this only gave them 2 orders. Ralph Talbot, Blue, Australia, & the San Juan group are all off table available for entry, from their respective positions, as close assets once the shooting starts.

The realization that you can roll for each fire & flood meant that Quincy was able to put out all her 4 floods and 1 fire!

A coule of clarifications did arise however.
Starshells. If a ship fires starshells, regardless of which weapon system fires does it count as actually firing, is it now visible out to 60cms? What is your reasoning behind not negate the +1 to hit targets at night for target under the starshell? Is this because of the short time of illumination involved?
Searchlights. Two things. Firstly does using searchlights make both the target and illuminating vessel visible out to 60cms? Secondly do only the target and illuminating vessel ignore the night time +1 or can all ships within 40/60cms get this bonus?

The next thoughts are once again about PT-Boats and their counterparts as I am running 6 upcoming actions involving them.
If I play by the rules then torpedo boats would be visible 15cms short of a torpedo launch, even with a hit of 6 and save of 4+ this might not be enough. A couple of things came to mind.
Torpedo boats have the spotting range at night if movement is no more than 5cms halved to 20cms, & have the minimum movement for the remaining actions phase if they haven't moved the same, however they cannot attack with torpedoes unless moving at full speed. This would represent the fact that that when moving fast their wake was visible and they tended to loiter at low speeds?
The other thing would be allowing them to manouever upt to 180 degrees in a movement phase?

Last edit: 2 months 2 weeks ago by andrewcooke71.
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Naval War HQ replied the topic: Nighty Night

2 months 2 weeks ago

andrewcooke71 wrote: A couple of clarifications did arise however.
Starshells. If a ship fires starshells, regardless of which weapon system fires does it count as actually firing, is it now visible out to 60cms? What is your reasoning behind not negate the +1 to hit targets at night for target under the starshell? Is this because of the short time of illumination involved?


I haven’t got a lot of data for night fighting to be honest. The main goal I think is to differentiate between starshells and searchlights. Why use a searchlight if you can just fire a star-shell for the same effect? Currently there is a risk-reward thing going on. You can fire a starshell, increasing your range, but without the benefit or risk to yourself. Or you can use a searchlight, giving you a benefit to shooting but also making it easier to shoot at you. There isn’t more to it currently.

The night fighting rules can use some polishing, but it wasn’t that high on my list. I still lack a dedicated playtest group that is familiar enough with the rules that I can throw in all those advanced rules… That’s why I value your experience and would love the feedback of your nightfighting games.

andrewcooke71 wrote: Searchlights. Two things. Firstly does using searchlights make both the target and illuminating vessel visible out to 60cms? Secondly do only the target and illuminating vessel ignore the night time +1 or can all ships within 40/60cms get this bonus?


First one, it would be logical to be visible to all ships within 60cm, but it isn’t in the rules. I’ll correct that. Second one, all ships can ignore the +1 to target score on both ships. This can be inferred by the sentence in the ‘visibility’ paragraph in which all instances are named in which the +1 applies. I’ll clear it up though, since it certainly isn’t obvious.

andrewcooke71 wrote: The next thoughts are once again about PT-Boats and their counterparts as I am running 6 upcoming actions involving them.
If I play by the rules then torpedo boats would be visible 15cms short of a torpedo launch, even with a hit of 6 and save of 4+ this might not be enough. A couple of things came to mind.
Torpedo boats have the spotting range at night if movement is no more than 5cms halved to 20cms, & have the minimum movement for the remaining actions phase if they haven't moved the same, however they cannot attack with torpedoes unless moving at full speed. This would represent the fact that that when moving fast their wake was visible and they tended to loiter at low speeds?


I don’t really see the problem in this one. PT boats operate in swarms of at least 4+ ships. If we reduce the spotting range it will be impossible to counter PT boats since they will have the fish in the water with the correct activation order without anything that the opponent can do about it. Remember that ships need to declare targets before shooting, need to split their fire between 4+ targets (if they even have enough weapon systems to manage that), hit on a 6+ (which can be further affected by evasive action) and then the PT boats save on a 4+. That will surely make them a pain to handle for everything but a full squadron of ships, and in that case, PT boats are right to have a hard time attacking an organized enemy. I’d try them out first as they are now (with the change below) before we add more complexity.

andrewcooke71 wrote: The other thing would be allowing them to manouever upt to 180 degrees in a movement phase?


Ow! I like that one, I’ll put it on my list.

Thanks again for your feedback. I’ll try to update the rulebook ASAP with the issues raised. I’ll keep an eye out for the reports on your night actions.


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andrewcooke71 replied the topic: Nighty Night

2 months 2 weeks ago

I get the starshell/searchlight difference, I will keep things as is and let you know how they play out. Same with the PT boats, except I will use the 180 maneuver. We'll see if 4 PT boats can do anything against a group including Haruna and Kongo. It'll be a couple of weeks, but I will keep you posted

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Naval War HQ replied the topic: Nighty Night

2 months 1 week ago

Auch, only 4 pt boats? That's like 20 pts vs 200?


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andrewcooke71 replied the topic: Nighty Night

2 months 1 week ago

No one ever said things have to be fair... It will be much the same when Gregory and Little fight the Japanese destroyers! There are 2 PT vs Tokyo Express clashes that involve about 12 PT Boats in early '43.

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andrewcooke71 replied the topic: Nighty Night

1 month 2 weeks ago

US torpedoes and small night actions

As I said I am running a bunch of Tokyo Express/Guadalcanal games and have some things come up to discuss.

Savo Island x2. The first game me playing Allies, went almost historically. Canberra sank, Chicago and the 3 New Orleans class seriously damaged. The Japanese lost both the Yunagi and Tenryu. The second game was drastically different. Canberra still sank, but the US destroyers were able to get in torpedo attacks and sank Yubari, Aoba, Kinugasa & Chokai. This got me thinking about the bad reliability of the US torpedoes in the first part of the war. I thought of 2 options to simulate this, either rather than an automatic power of 4 roll a d6 -2, this would give a power of 0-4, or allow a save of a 2+. Both options produced similar outcomes in a couple of games I tested this with. Another thing was regarding the range for the long lance. I know there theoretical range was insane, but your template only gives them a 10cm bonus. Not knowing how you decided on the scale, would the ranges for these be double at least? Making the long lance extended range template 20cms. I can see in up coming games if this makes them way to powerful.

I then played 4 small games based on historical and what if encounters. Because one of these only had 1 IJN DD vs 2 US DD I came up with the rule that no matter the size of your force you will always generate 1 order token. This seemed to work. If you add in the leader token it meant that you still had to think about your order usage and allowed for that one or two turn ability to do more than one order. This also worked in the action between the APDs Gregory and Little and 3 IJN DDs when the US lost one ship. The other game was 4 PT boats vs 2 BCs, 1 CL & 7 DDs. The problem here was that the PT squadron was always moving before the bulk of the Japanese force had moved so it was incredibly difficult for them form an attack. The first game ended with 3 PT Boats sunk for no hits. In the replay I was able to manoeuvre around the Japanese and get in position behind. They went first and moved the CL to block the PTs from the BCs and I moved them in close to engage whatever I could. The Japanese killed one of the PTs and I was forced to launch the TTs. The targeted DDs moved out of range and I scored a hit on the CL which caused 2 hull boxes.

The changes you made about the save and turning do help, but I was trying to think of a way to give the PTs a better chance of attacking. A couple of things came to mind.

Allowing MTBs to skip activation and activate later in a turn or allow a side to skip activation by playing 2 disruption markers.

Treating an MTB attack just like an aircraft attack, but still use the template to determine how to allocate dice for the torpedoes, ie the attack is worked out immediately.

Lastly giving MTBs the ability to move and launch their torpedoes.

Battle of Cape Esperance this weekend. I am going to add in the japanese supply convoy to the mix.

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Naval War HQ replied the topic: Nighty Night

1 month 1 week ago

I'll get back to you after my holiday andrew, food for thought forsure


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andrewcooke71 replied the topic: Nighty Night

1 month 1 week ago

Enjoy your vacation!

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Naval War HQ replied the topic: Nighty Night

4 weeks 2 days ago

Sounds like some great battles!

andrewcooke71 wrote: US torpedoes and small night actions
This got me thinking about the bad reliability of the US torpedoes in the first part of the war. I thought of 2 options to simulate this, either rather than an automatic power of 4 roll a d6 -2, this would give a power of 0-4, or allow a save of a 2+. Both options produced similar outcomes in a couple of games I tested this with. Another thing was regarding the range for the long lance. I know there theoretical range was insane, but your template only gives them a 10cm bonus. Not knowing how you decided on the scale, would the ranges for these be double at least? Making the long lance extended range template 20cms. I can see in up coming games if this makes them way to powerful.


I do see your point here, but here I do need to point out the general nature of the rules, and things like practicality and balance. The US torpedoes we're notoriously bad, but so were the German torpedoes during the Norway campaign. The problem is that at some point during the war, the problems were solved, some ships received new torpedoes in 1943, some in 1944. It becomes a huge rules bloat and not to mention a pain in the ass database thing when I need to keep track for every single ship when they received better torpedoes. Next there is balance, US ships get better AA, IJN ships get better Torpedoes, this is a tight balance since there are games in which one of the two does not use the stuff they pay for. In surface engagements AA is less than helpful, for escorting carriers Long lances are worthless. If I calculate the crappy torpedoes I need to give the US DD's a pretty hefty discount, which avenges itself in the carrier battles because the escorts will become very cheap for a problem that is of no consequence in a carrier battle.

The long lance range is more of the same, first the historical argument, and that is that, just like surface guns, Long lances had a very big theoretical range. In practice though, that exceptional range was seldom put to use. The extra 10cm is an effective increase of 40% more range for the Long lances compared to regular torpedoes. Increasing it any further would bring the range beyond the threshold of 40cm, which means that almost no secondaries have a chance to engage a DD line before they can launch. Since you can't hit DD's beyond 60cm, this becomes a major balance problem and would upset the points cost of IJN DD's to such a point that any other role such as AA escort or ASW escort becomes practically impossible for the IJN to fulfill within historical orders of battle.

andrewcooke71 wrote: The changes you made about the save and turning do help, but I was trying to think of a way to give the PTs a better chance of attacking. A couple of things came to mind.

Allowing MTBs to skip activation and activate later in a turn or allow a side to skip activation by playing 2 disruption markers.

Treating an MTB attack just like an aircraft attack, but still use the template to determine how to allocate dice for the torpedoes, ie the attack is worked out immediately.

Lastly giving MTBs the ability to move and launch their torpedoes.


MTB's are more of the same as above. The balance needs to be found between fodder and superweapons. I will take your idea's into consideration, but I don't think I will put any of them in practice just yet. Historical scenario's where the balance is lopsided in points with more than 200 points cannot work with any amount of rules within the frame of the normal game. This brings me to the following:

Since historical scenario's are often so lopsided, special scenario rules are needed to if you want to model any of the specific circumstances of those battles. Feel free to introduce special rules (like faulty torpedoes, or super MTB's) to bring some balance, fun or historical accuracy into a scenario battle. The framework of the game is perfectly suited for this. Add a command station order, introduce a special rule, disable parts of the command station or add modifiers to the hit location dice, etc. I would encourage such creativity within the historical scenario's. I'll even convert any player-made scenario's into the official format and put them in the download section if someone wishes so.

I'm in version 1.5 and still working on the flow, balance and fun of the base game. I would love to make some historical scenario's available each with their own flavor and special rules, but alas, I haven't got the time yet.

As you know, I very much appreciate all the feedback you provide. On the above I think you will need to work within the scenario framework instead of trying to introduce more and more rules to the base game.


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"That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been;" -Ecclesiastes-

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