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C\'mon Fisher light my fire


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#1 Adrian Dobb

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 10:52 PM

I played my first FAI game recently - a small what if Troubridge's armoured cruisers had intercepted the Goeben. The game played very well and gave a realistic feel to the result suggesting Troubridge was right to wimp out - disregarding at least the political implications of not carrying out the interception.Anyhow what I did notice was that the current FAI charts don't have any fire results for warships. I can't remember reading any design explanation for this in FAI though I may have missed it. Looking closely at the FAI damage chart it looks to be intentionally designed without fires. Is this correct or have I missed something?I see there was some discussion as to fires and DD in GQ3 part 1 and at the risk of re-lighting old embers are there any plans to introduce fire results for warships into FAI?

#2 Cpt M

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 10:48 PM

Anyhow what I did notice was that the current FAI charts don't have any fire results for warships. I can't remember reading any design explanation for this in FAI though I may have missed it. Looking closely at the FAI damage chart it looks to be intentionally designed without fires. Is this correct or have I missed something?

Compared to WWII, shipboard fires were not as prevalent nor as destructive. Keep in mind that a fire, in game terms, is a very serious event; it impacts the ships survivability by the loss of hull boxes. WWI ships were not nearly as 'flammable' as their WWII counterparts, what with facilities for aircraft and extensive electrical and hydraulic gear.

#3 Adrian Dobb

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 09:48 PM

Hi Coastal,While I agree there are not so many float planes and their fuel etc about (except on the GF in 1918) plus all the light AA wepaons and their ammo etc I have to say I don't agree that fires and specifically major fires should be completely ignored. Why? Well there is potentially still a lot of flammable material about, especially on older ships in this period. In the wars of 1898 and 1904/5 a number of ships were consumed by fire. This was commented on by analysts at the time and was taken seriously by the RN sufficiently so that dreadnoughts ready for action covered there decks with old water hoses pierced so as to keep the decks continually sprayed. Off the top of my head I believe Monmouth was burnt at Coronel and one of the German LC at Heligoland (Frauenlob I think). Plus one or more ships at Jutland. The art of DC wasn't otherwise up to WWII standard. No fires means no illumination due to damage in night actions. Lastly a fire is a slightly less serious event than a bulkhead result and these are heavily built into the damage table. I can understand why that is due to the ease with which older designs were subject to such damage, but I would argue that was primarily an underwater damage frailty rather than a gunfire one. My caveat is this is all IMO and I offer it as constructive thoughts and not in any way heavy critcism. Abccunningham

#4 Lonnie Gill

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 07:53 AM

G' Day abccunningham, (nice Med reference!)Point taken. Not putting fires on the Damage table was indeed intentional as WW I ships, in general, were much more resilient to shell fire than their WW II counterparts, which had AA ammo stored all over their superstructures, aircraft facilities, fuel oil and a tremendous increase in wiring, electric lights and equipment, etc. Descriptions of fires are common in WWI accounts, but were generally localized and not the destructive, major fires that were a significant theme in WWII damage reports. Cumulative damage from multiple hits was generally the significant effect for most WWI ships. Thus, deleting fires was one of a number of changes made to emphasize the characteristics of the two periods and their differences. One of my themes in FAI is that while many aspects of the ships in the two periods seem similar at first glance, you soon find out there were many differences once you start to dig in.That said, as you point out, fires were more of an issue for some of the older, predreadnought era ships still being used in WWI. Is this important enough to be a candidate for an optional rule? Or, a house rule someone has already developed? Let's see what comments and/or suggestions our gaming community shipmates can add. Many heads are usually better than one! Working together, we can continue to evolve and improve General Quarters.LONNIE

#5 Adrian Dobb

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 10:53 PM

Hi Lonnie,Thanks for taking the time to reply. I take your points and I understand (I think I can claim), where you are coming from on this. I do have to admit though that I remain unconvinced that fires aboard WWI era ships weren't significant and serious events. Anyhow it would be pointless to debate individual points further and I cannot say fairer than your suggestion to wait and see what others think.Notwithstanding this however may I take the opportunity to say FAI and GQ3 are really splendid successors to GQ and GQ2.Well Done!Lastly I was wrong, it was the Ariadne (not Frauenlob) which went down at Heligoland. Correct class though!Abccunningham

#6 Lonnie Gill

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 07:08 AM

Thanks much.Let's see how the rest of the crew feels about WWI ship fires. Leave as is, for pre dreadnought era ships only or add for all? Working together, we ended up with some good changes in the GQ III Amendment 1, available as a download. Suggestions and comments will help evolve FAI as well. The Forum is a big help as it gives those of us with an interest in naval gaming an easy way to discuss with each other and offer suggestions and house rules. We're a small hobby, but enthusastic. Great to see us working together!LONNIE

#7 Adrian Dobb

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 07:49 PM

I'll drink to that!At the risk of pre-empting what anyone else may have to say, I've been digesting your comments and doing some digging of my own.I have to say that I am drawing closer to your thinking on this point. I have had a look through the damage summaries in Campbell's 'Analysis of the fighting at Jutland', and the majority of the fires he cites are small, often cabin related affairs and seemingly not especially dangerous to the safety of the ship, though they may be unpleasant for crew members caught up in them. Otherwise they tend to be propellant related and of course we all know about them!!! This is bourne out in Brown's 'The Grand Fleet' when he discusses damage to AC. Although he concludes both Monmouth and Good Hope were heavily afire before being lost this was probably due to propellant fires and that otherwise fires were not common occurances on ships of WWI vintage! I would take this to mean that really serious fires were not common as opposed to minor ones which perhaps produced billowing clouds of thick smoke but little actual serious damage which pretty much agrees with your's and Coastal's posts. I do still think though that this pretty much applies to the more modern ships only (as evidence the losses of older ships quoted earlier) and is possibly explainable as a result of more serious attention do the danger of fires in ship design following the battle experience of '98 and '04-05. So after some pondering and taking all this into account, (particulary that a serious fire is likely to be propellant related) my opinion is still that I would like to see a fire result but one of only limited possibility except for older ship types B*, CA, and old LC (by which I really mean protected cruisers), in order to account for their noted ability to burn under stress. I think this could be very easily achieved by using the Die roll to avoid critical hit ammunition explosions as the mechanism. A 12 result causes a fire to all ships, a 10, 11, 12 result causing fires to 'old types'. The plus side would be that such a rule can easily be optional and involves little or no change to anything else, and if it turns out to be a stinker can be easily dumped overboard. The downside is that it will increase the damage quotient in the charts a little which may be bad a thing.Hopefully someone else will give their opinion on this.RegardsAbccunningham

#8 Lonnie Gill

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 09:08 AM

Thanks ABC,You put it more eloquently than I did, but it seems we share generally the same view. Your suggestion seems a good optional solution and provides a nice distinction for the earlier pre-dreadnought era designs. That's also quite useful as it helps hilight another of the significant differences between the designs of the two eras.I'll chew on it and discuss with the local crew while we wait to see what others may want to add to the discussion. Of course, getting all that on the chart may take a magic wand!LONNIE

#9 Adrian Dobb

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 08:49 PM

Cheers Lonnie,Whatever you come up with, I await the results of your chewing with interest.ABC

#10 Cpt M

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 10:12 PM

My take on the 'fire' issue would be to limit it to the older ships (B*, AC, older CL) and limit it to the early years. Keep in mind, many of these older 'pots' that were retained (many spent the 1915-18 period as training ships or office blocks) were refitted with much of the flammables removed. That said, a scenario specific rule for battles in the 1914-15 period with these older ships would seem appropriate. As a suggestion (to get the ball rolling), I would add a 'Fire' result to the Gunfire Damage result of 1 for the B*-CA and CL-CV columns and restrict this to battles in the August 1914 to June 1915 period. The mechanics of the 'Fire' result would operate the same as in GQ3.That's my take. Any other ideas?

#11 Lonnie Gill

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 10:07 AM

ABC,Waited a while, but doesn’t seem we’re going to get much comment on this issue. As stated in a previous post, your suggestion proposing an optional rule for Fire damage to the older generation pre-dreadnoughts and armored cruisers would enhance historical results in scenarios involving these ships. Coastal’s suggestion that it be restricted to the 1914 – 1915 period also makes good sense. Once the danger was better understood, considerable efforts were made to strip warships of flammable materials. This was especially important for these older ships built to an earlier, more tolerant standard employing internal wood coverings, furniture and lockers and other flammable trim materials.To maintain commonality, let’s employ the mechanism used elsewhere in GQ III for fires. Further, in the interest of simplicity, let’s restrict the rule to the pre-dreadnought (B*) and armored cruiser (CA) type classifications. A few of the older protected cruisers and light cruisers built to the same earlier era standards were also still active in WW I, but are not separately distinguished from other cruisers on the Ship Logs. Purists may wish to apply this a bit further to light cruisers and protected cruisers built before 1905 as well, identifying specific ships in a given scenario.Therefore, here is a new optional rule, which will be incorporated into any future FAI Amendment. I would be interested in further comments from those who have used this option in their scenarios:7.7.5 B* and CA Fires [optional]Pre-dreadnought battleships (B*) and armored cruisers (CA) are subject to structural Fires during 1914 – 1915 scenarios. Thereafter, the danger was understood and these ships were stripped of flammable materials. This section does not apply to other ship types.· Fire A major fire results when a D12 result of 1 is rolled on the WW I GUNFIRE DAMAGE table for a B* or CA target. This damage is in addition to the Tertiary and SL damage listed. Place a red Fire post-it alongside the target and move with the miniature until extinguished. Fires illuminate the target at night. Mark off one Hull Box in each succeeding Damage Control Phase until the fire is extinguished.· Damage Control The captain of the B* or CA may attempt to extinguish the Fire in the Damage Control Phase of succeeding Game Turns as described in rule Section 7.9.2. Mark off one Hull Box on the target Ship Log each Damage Control Phase the Fire continues to burn. Remove the Fire post-it when it is extinguished. Note: fires that are extinguished in the initial Damage Control Phase cause no hull damage.· CL and CS In addition, this option may also be applied to any CL or CS commissioned prior to 1906 by mutual consent of the players. These ships must be identified prior to beginning a scenario by placing an asterisk next to the CL or CS armor listing at the upper right of their Ship Logs.Cheers,LONNIE

#12 Adrian Dobb

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 08:33 PM

Lonnie,This looks pretty good to me. I appreciate you taking the time and trouble to come up with this.Now I'll have to sort out some Coronel Logs!RegardsNow where did that Doors CD go :-)

#13 Keith Plymale

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 03:39 AM

Fire was specifically mentioned as a ship killer in '95, '98 and '04-'05. It needs to be in any supplement covering that period for sure. The suggested optional rule works for me. Don't have this yet but I will be using it when I get it.

#14 Cpt M

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 05:58 PM

Too true, the earlier years proved that over stuffed sofas and beautiful wood paneling really had no place on a warship! It was noted that after the Grand Fleet stripped down to battle conditions, that there were many small mountains of fine victorian furniture at pier side!My local group recently replayed a battle set in 1914 featuring some of the big old CAs using the rule that Lonnie suggested. The effect was very different from the first game, with two of the big ships slowly burning down to the waterline. The effect was more akin to what we would expect from these types of ships at that time of the war.

#15 Steven Gilchrist

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 12:06 PM

I have played GQ3 in the WW2 era and note that fires there were too destructive. I had Brooklyn class cruiser that had 4 fires on it from bad rolls. To cause a fire, there does not even have to be armor penetration (!) I would suggest, and plan to use as a house rule here, that fires only cause1/2 a hull point per turn. That my USS Phoenix lost 4 hull in one turn is almost silly. Or, players should have the option of leaving their float-planes behind and draining the gas lines to cause only 1/2 hull box loss per turn. Perhaps they should be easier to put outJust a thought from a game I played.

#16 Cpt M

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 03:27 AM

I would go slow on changing the nature of the fire rules. Over the span of some 50+ games, the overall results tend to even out and while 4 fires on one ship (which I've only seen maybe twice) may seem excessive, given the nature of a WWII ship, its not outside the realm of the possible. By WWII, ships were carrying much more electrical and hydralic equipment, all of which were highly flammable. Then add carrying aircraft with large open spaces (hangers) and fuel. By my reading of AARs and damage reports, the fire result seems to be in line with what was historical. Fire had, once again, become a major shipkiller (ask the Japanese about that). I would play the fire rules as written a little more before making too dramatic of changes. If you still feel that way, by all means, incorporate your own house rules as you feel necessary (the structure of the rules actually encourage such experimentation).

#17 W. Clark

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 02:29 PM

Quite frankly, the lack of ship fires was my second reason for likeing WWI over WWII after my dislike of A/C mixing surface warfare business. As one who has barbecued his crews repeatedly in night actions in the Solomons I was ready to learn not to burn.

#18 simanton

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 01:42 PM

The optional rules developed by Lonnie look about right to me. At the Falklands, several of the German ships, Scharnhorst in particular, seem to have suffered serious fires.

#19 W. Clark

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 05:40 PM

Yes, but the water there was cold and perhaps it helped to warm up before taking the plunge.

#20 simanton

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 06:31 PM

Adds new meaning to "cold comfort."




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