Sunday, February 19, 2012

Dystopian Wars project - Grand Fleet 2 playtest

One of the projects our little group is embarking on this year is Spartan Games' Dystopian Wars.

To be precise, we are using their models in a VSF setting, but using a set of WW1 naval rules, with flyer rules bolted on.

Here's a picture of the first test game, using WizKids plastic card ships (without their masts), Majestic 12's Grand Fleet 2 rules, with some Litko Savage Worlds markers, on my desert terrain cloth with a few Heroscape hills as islands... Is that confusing enough for you yet?

I came up with a set of formulas to convert the Dystopian War stats to Grand Fleet 2 stats, and fg and I played a small game with 1 Battleship, 3 Cruisers and 3 Frigates per side. The Germans had bigger guns with longer ranges and more powerful torpedoes than the Brits, but the Brits had better fire control and more guns.

After the first few tuns we got the hang of the rules, although it is still rather tedious having to roll for each battery, then penetration, then damage (and this is with half the number of models we expect to field in a full game).

I made the mistake on not capitalising on my ships' strengths and fg took advantage of that, closed in with his cruisers, and hit my Battleship so hard that it had only 2 hulls left (out of the starting 24) so I decided to strike colours.

With a little experience (and the proper markers) we can probably play the game faster. As it is we both like the rules enough to want to use them for the project. Majestic 12 is coming up with the third edition of Grand Fleet soon, so that may be something to look out for - in any case, we can continue to use the same models regardless of the set of rules used.

fg plans to get the French ships when they are released in March, while I will have to wait longer for Spartan Games to release their Ottoman fleet. We will need to get a sea terrain cloth, and a set of Amera islands is also on the cards.


Sean said...

Very interesting. I just finished reading Two Hour Wargames "Warring Fleets", a discontinued naval game. So I need to start looking into ship models, I had thought of going paper with something like Roman Seas.

captain arjun said...

I think I owned Waring Fleets once upon a time - rather generic rules, which I didn't like.

I've actually bought and abandoned fantasy naval models twice, for lack of satisfactory models and rules, really.

What type of ships and period do you have in mind?

Sean said...

Hi Captain,

Right now I'm thinking mostly fantasy and really galley type actions. I have Man O'War and Plague Fleet but never played them. I've also read "Sea Battles in Miniature" by Paul Hague and it has got some good stuff in it. It looks like 1/300 is hard to find ancients, 1/1200 might have a little more variety. I was hoping to find some resource for paper ships, but junior general only has Napoleonics. My main problem with the fantasy naval stuff out there right now is that they have these crazy fluff specific navies that I'm not interested in.

captain arjun said...

In that case, Sean, you may want to have a look at these:

The oars come as single pieces, but have good definition so you can paint each individual oar.

Painted white and with an improvised mast and a paper sail with an Elven rune on it it can pass as a High Elf ship.

For dwarves there is always the option of ACW ships, like these:

I believe the different scales will give you similarly sized ship models.

Now the best thing about ships (wet navy or starships, really) is that you can just pick the look you want and use the models with any set of rules. So my suggestion is just buy around 9 ships of varying sizes for each side, paint them the scheme you want, and then just play a few games of WF and see how you like them. If you don't, just move on to another set of rules! Generally, ships are not based to very specific standards and you won;t have to rebase anyway.