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New to AoS gaming - Need help on rules


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#1 bobg

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 02:24 PM

I'm new to AoS gaming and been looking for a small ship action rule set without Hex play.  

Very interested in Post Captain

 

1.  I plan to use the Waartisian 1/900 ships - will it be difficult to adjust scale or allot of calculations for them to be used (gauges, ranges, movement)?

 

2.  How many pages are the rules?  Trying to decide if I will buy download or have a hard copy sent.  If I ask for hard copy will the download copy be available right away?

 

3.  For beginners like me is there a basic rule set included or can some rules be ignored to make it not overwhelming and fun?

 

 

 



#2 Brian Weathersby

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 09:51 PM

I will try and answer your questions, but please keep in mind I'm nothing more than a satisfied customer.  I'm sure one of the ODGW staff will be by later in the New Year to give you some better answers than I can.

 

1)  First of all, the War Artisan ships are really beautiful, so good for you!  If I were just starting out I would probably go with those instead of metal ones.  As for gauges and whatnot, the ones included with the rules are 1/1200 and 1/2400.  However, in the download sections there are gauges for 1/3000, 1/2000 and 1/1000 scale.  I would probably just use the 1/1000 ones without any changes to learn the system.  If you want to be a purist though, you could just print out the 1/1000 gauges at 111% and have everything in your scale.

 

2)  There's not an easy answer to this, because the rules are broken down into different sections and then there are the charts and ship sheets.  The rules are about 90 pages, not counting charts and ship sheets.  The rules themselves can be printed in black and white and, in my opinion, you don't lose anything.  For games though, the charts and ship sheets are best in color.  Personally, I ordered the PDF and not the hard copy because I couldn't wait to get my hot little hands on it when they came out.  Having access to a printer that I can run copies on for free definitely helped me make that decision.  As I bought the download, I don't know how ODGW handles buying the hard copy.  Sorry, but I can't help you there.

 

3)  The rules are broken down into sections, as I mentioned above.  The "Basic Rules" section (that's what it's titled) will get you to gaming.  Within that section, it's broken down even further into subsections like Movement, Sailing, Gunnery and the like.  The rules assume that you have no sailing experience at all, and pretty much take you by the hand.  Also, the sailing model in this game is specifically designed to make learning it as easy as possible.  As with any rules, some sections could have been written a bit more clearly, but you can always get an answer here on the forum.  It's easy to dip your toe in a little at a time until suddenly, you feel like a ship's captain.  When I have run the game at conventions, players pick up the basics within a turn or so.

 

The nice thing about AOS gaming is that you can get started with just two ships.  Be forewarned though; you're liable to find yourself wanting more and more ships until one day, you want to do something crazy like refight the battle of Trafalgar.  You will need a different set of rules to run a large battle like that.  Welcome aboard!


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#3 bobg

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 01:41 PM

Thanks Brian for your response

 

I decided to order the printed version and glad I did.  Going to try first use the 1/1200 scale ships on the download page to learn the game.  Single ship scenarios look to be a good place to start

 

I'm struggling with the movement and turn gauges.  I'm a very visual learner and wonder if there is any game play tutorials of 4 or 5 turns with pictures using the gauges and logs.  Does any one know were I can find one?

Maybe an AAR out there somewhere with them?

 

Didn't see any out in the download  folders

 

Thanks for your help 



#4 Brian Weathersby

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 11:20 PM

Well, I went back through the pages and photos on my blog, and I don't really have any specific pictures of the gauges in use.  I'm kind of busy the next few days, but if you'll be patient with me I will try to set up some photos using the gauges and post them on this thread.



#5 bobg

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 10:57 PM

Thanks Brian - that would be greatly appriciate. 

Hopefully someone else will also chime in



#6 Brian Weathersby

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 01:15 AM

I haven't forgotten you.  Unfortunately, "kind of busy" turned out to be a bit of an understatement.  After getting everything around here fixed, we are going out of town tomorrow so it will be another week or two before I can take the photos.  I WILL do it, though.

BWW

PS: What are you looking for?  Basic things like move and turns, or more complex stuff like tacking?



#7 bobg

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 04:07 PM

No Problem Brian I know how lief gets in the way of the fun things

Basics - Movement and Turning to start

I have everything cut out including the ships counters to start.  I think I can figure out the turning piece but struggling with the 4.4 acceleration and deceleration rules  when is it allowed and what is the max/min movement allowed under the rule.  Read few times and not sure I'm getting it.  A written example with movement factors would be great.

 

enjoying the details of the rules just need to start playing



#8 Brian Weathersby

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 01:53 AM

OK, let me start this post by apologizing profusely for taking so long to get back around to you.  It was not my intention to take this long, and once again I'm sorry for the delay.  I hope that my tardiness hasn't driven you away from the rules because, if so I've cut you off from one of the best rule sets out there for this level of engagement.
 
Now, with my grovelling out of the way, let's take a look at movement.  The first thing to do is to see where the wind is blowing from in relation to your ship:

 

Attached File  pic 1.jpg   311.13KB   1 downloads

 

After that, you then take the wind gauge, turn it so that the arrow is the same as the wind direction, and that tells you what speed (S, M, F) you will be using for this segment:

Attached File  pic 2.jpg   107.7KB   0 downloads

 

Since the wind is coming from the right/starboard side of the ship, we use the side with the green arrows on it.  Unfortunately that came out blurry, so here is a closeup of the wind gauge:

Attached File  pic 2a.jpg   167.89KB   0 downloads

 

This tells us that we will be using the F movement stick.  I decide that I want to turn my ship to the left,   Before I can turn though, I have to move the ship's advance in a straight line.  This ship has to move 1/2 of its movement before it can turn.  For this example, my movement is 6 MF, so I must move 3 in a straight line.:

Attached File  pic 3.jpg   98.18KB   0 downloads  Attached File  pic 4.jpg   157.76KB   0 downloads

 

The rules say that you should measure movement from the bow of the ship.  Since my ships are already based, I have painted those white lines on the base where the bow is.  Now, we're ready to turn.  I make sure to use the F turn gauge, and put it against the bow of the ship, and move however many points I want around the turn.  For this, I'm using all three points I have remaining:

Attached File  pic 5.jpg   311.23KB   0 downloads  Attached File  pic 6.jpg   131.84KB   0 downloads

 

As long as I keep turning in the same direction next phase, I don't have to move the advance and can just keep turning.  Before I move in the next phase though, I have to check the wind position in relation to my ship.  This time, I use the side with the red arrows, since the wind is coming from the left/port/larboard side of the ship.  This time, however:

Attached File  pic 7.jpg   268.08KB   0 downloads

 

I will be using the medium speed and turn gauges instead of the fast ones.  One thing to remember is that if the wind gauge is on the line between two speeds, use the lower of the two.

 

Now that is the basic movement and turning system.  Let's get a little fancy, and look at how to tack, or pass the bow of the ship through the wind.  To start out, you have to be sailing as close to the wind as possible, also called "pointing."  When your ship is pointing, it will look like this on the movement gauge:

Attached File  Tack 1.jpg   225.25KB   0 downloads

 

If you look on the yellow section of the wind gauge, it says "4 MF TACK."  That means you must have at least 4 movement points to tack.  Let's just say that our example ship is still moving at 6 MF.  We move 2 forward, and then pivot the ship so that it is facing directly into the wind:

 

Attached File  Tack 2.jpg   257.8KB   0 downloads  Attached File  Tack 3.jpg   281.88KB   0 downloads

 

Now tacking is a 4 phase maneuver, and what I showed above is the first segment of the maneuver.  In the second phase, the ship stays where it is and you roll to see if the attempt to tack is successful.  For this, let's assume the ship passed the roll.  No need for a picture here.  Since you were successful, in the third phase the ship pivots by the stern until you are pointing with the wind on the opposite side of the ship.  After you do that, use the wind gauge to make sure that you have pivoted enough:

Attached File  Tack 4.jpg   197.44KB   0 downloads  Attached File  Tack 5.jpg   72.18KB   0 downloads

 

In the 4th phase, you start moving again with 2 MF.  I didn't take a picture of that because I figured there are already enough pictures of ships next to a movement stick in this post  :D .

 

So that is the basics of how to move.  I haven't even touched on changing sail settings and whatnot, but if you want that can come later.  I also promise not to take so long with those, if you need them.  Hope this was helpful for you.

 



#9 stewart

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 08:27 PM

Brian is, of course, completely correct and that's a very good explanation of how the gauges work.  

 

(hi Brian!)  

 

-Stew



#10 bobg

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:46 AM

Thank you Brian that was exactly what I was looking for.  Was kinda was doing it right but the visually sinks it in.  Especially the tack rule

 

Spent last couple of weeks working building my Warartisian 900 models (couple each of 18 gun, 28 gun and 44 gun)  still need to add a little rigging and bases

 

I'm sure I'll have more questions as I go on

 

-Bob



#11 Brian Weathersby

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 02:29 AM

STEW!  Glad to see you found your way over here.  The blog has slowed down somewhat, as I'm trying to keep the New Year's resolution about improving my health  Also, I'm playing around with some ideas for a campaign game.  Thanks for the vote of confidence on this; it's nice to have other people say I'm doing it right.

 

Bob:

Glad I was able to help, although still embarrassed about it taking a month.  :(   Ask away with any other questions, and I promise not to take as long next time.  



#12 Cpt M

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 07:27 PM

Brian-  Many, many thanks for posting your response and photos!  MUCH better than anything I could have posted.  And sorry about the late response (real life has been dealing me curveballs the last few months).

 

At one point, it was discussed doing a video demonstrating what you posted.  But that fell to two factors:  1)  The design group can be charitably termed "tech challenged" (we're a bunch of boobs when it comes to this sort of thing!).  and 2)  The design group have faces made for radio (trust me, you really don't want to see our mugs!).  So the idea kinda died there and then.

 

But you've hit the nail squarely with your photos. 

One additional thing:  When using the Wind Gauge, the "arrows" (the green and red ones) should point in the same direction as the ship's bow.  

 

And a little story about that gauge...

 

Lonnie is the one who developed the movement system and I'm the itinerant scribbler who turned it into the gauges you now have.  In fact, I still have the original sketches that Lonnie sent me long ago.  And, amazingly enough, there is very little difference between those first crude sketches and the final product.  That's how solid the concept was. 

 

One of the things I did add was the arrows around the edge, so as to make it a little easier (hopefully!) to line up the gauge with the ship mini.  Since the gauge is 2 sided (one for when the wind is coming from the starboard side and one for the larboard (or port) side), its important to get the gauge lined up correctly.   And easy to get wrong.  In the Development group there is one player who almost always gets it wrong.  And that would be me....  Never mind that I probably spent several hundred hours staring at that gauge while doing the graphics.  I still manage to flub it up at least several times a game...   Oh well.....  



#13 Brian Weathersby

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 02:48 AM

Cpt M,

You're very welcome, and I'm glad to be of assistance.  I also understand how real life can be a punk when it comes to getting in the way of gaming.

 

At the risk of sounding like a suck-up, I really think that Post Captain is one of the best sets of rules out there for simulating single ship up to 2-3 squadrons per side engagements.  It has enough meat to keep players interested and feeling personally involved, while getting rid of a lot of the traditional sailing ship "fussiness."  I have referred to it as the spiritual successor to Heart of Oak, with the benefit of 40 extra years of game design techniques.  The wind gauge design is inspired.  I often forget about the smaller arrows because, to me, if you have the correct (port/starboard) side up and correctly aligned to the wind then the gauge must be correct.  They are useful though, in that their coloring makes them a quick aide-memoire as to which is larboard and which is starboard.  Much quicker than trying to read the print on the wind arrow, that's for sure!

 

I also appreciate the fact that there are explicit rules for cutting out actions, land battles and cargoes.  I haven't had a chance to try them out yet, but the completeness of the system is great when you start looking at ideas for campaign games.  Of course, no naval gamers would expect anything less from the authors of GQ 3 and FAI

 

Somewhat OT, but speaking about cargo and carrying capacity I found an interesting source a few days ago.  It's a book called The Seaman's Friend, written in 1841 by Richard Henry Dana (yes, that one).  On page 14, he talks about tonnages and carriage of merchant vessels, and how much a sharp built versus full built vessel will carry.  I found it on Google Books:

https://books.google...epage&q&f=false

 

Another point in their favor is that historical tactics work, and for historical reasons.  Want to control a line of battle?  Then form it with the wind on the bow, if not quite pointing.  Otherwise, your ships will be zooming all over themselves, and to quote that great line from Hunt for Red October, "This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we will be lucky to live through it."  The other thing PC does so well is make players understand that sailing ships are like chess, in that you have to think several moves ahead for yourself AND your opponent.  A frigate fight is not like GQ 3 where your DDs run in at 30+ knots and run back out again.  Once you're stuck in at walking speed, chances are you're going to stay stuck in.  At that point, "the name of the game is be hit and hit back."  I also like the honor rules, but to be honest I've never had to enforce them on players.

 

Of course, nothing's perfect.  I don't like having to fiddle with fractions of crew factors when manning guns, but I do understand why it's necessary.  I generally get around it in convention games and such by having the sheets already filled out.  On the good side, at least you don't have to bother with that every turn, like we used to do with Heart of Oak.  Some things like repair are not readily intuitive, but the staff here has been really patient with some of my boneheaded questions and that helped a great deal. 

 

I won't lie; I really like these rules.  They seem daunting, but even new players pick up the basics of moving and firing pretty quick, usually within a couple of phases.  I think they're about as simple as they can be given that we're modeling a remarkably complex subject.  I'm glad to be able to help people get into them.  Now, for a closing (and more humorous) thought, as faces made for radio go, well, there's a reason you don't see ME in any of those photos I posted. :D  B)



#14 Cpt M

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 10:30 PM

Thanks for the kind words, Brian!  

 

And you're so right on about the ease of play, especially with the sailing rules.  What turned me off from AoS for nearly 30 years was the abysmal excuses that most rules have for sailing movement.  They either are so over the top that they're impossible to play with or so simplistic as to be a rude joke.  And they still manage to get the basics of movement WRONG (example: one recent set allowed you to sail INTO the wind.  Really!).   The big advantage we had in this project was Lonnie and I having close on to 70 years combined experience in sailing.  So Lonnie and I knew what wind and wave is all about and how a ship is supposed to react.  Couple that with Lonnie's skill as a game designer, and the result is what you now have.  I've had complete rookies who have never played AoS "get it" within a turn or two and go on to work their ship as if born to it. 

 

Again, thanks for the kind words!  



#15 Brian Weathersby

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 10:16 PM

You're welcome, for the kind words are all completely sincere.  "Over the top" movement is a nice way of describing some of the older systems.  For years, even though I didn't play them anymore, I kept a protractor that I had scribed lines into at 22 & 1/2 degree increments for the Heart of Oak rules.  Ya know, just in case I decided to take them back up again.  :rolleyes:   The movement rules for Kiss Me, Hardy are simple, but the rules are aimed at fleet actions so that's not a deal killer for me. 

 

As for that one recent set of rules, I have a copy of it.  As AOS gamers are supposed to be gentlemen, I won't mention them by name.  I will say that, once I came to that part I put them down and didn't pick them back up.  It's a shame as I've enjoyed some other rules from that company, but getting a movement point directly into the wind for every "6" you roll was a bridge I couldn't cross.






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