I’ll be putting up the House Rules in their own post so I can track comments better (and after I’ve got them a little more straight). For now, let me run you through the game GloatingSwine and I played.
We were playing scenario 9 in which the Grand Alliance has to charge the length of the table and get off the other side. The only scenario rule we changed was the way you calculate victory. Instead of rolling a dice you tot up VPs. Alliance get VPs for getting ships off and Dreadfleet gets them for sinking Alliance vessels. The Grand Alliance don’t get anything but an easier life for sinking enemy ships.
The first turn was a race for the middle, with only the odd long ranged shot being fired. The first Fate card (yes, we’re still using them, but only one per turn) was the Tsunami. Wot larks! We’d already decided to reduce that to D3 damage, and it did some damage to 4 enemy ships. I should perhaps have waited till some were close to sinking, but I just blurted it out. By the end of turn one we were in among the central line of rocks.
Turn two saw us closing in and the Grimnir’s Thunder taking a mighty battering from all sides. Luckily, with its armour and double repair it survived and soaked up a lot of GloatingSwine’s firepower and attention, doing great service to the fleet’s plan as a whole. The Flaming Scimitar and the Heldenhammer followed the Grimnir, while the Seadrake and the Swordfysh headed for the other gap (I avoided the central death trap). Pushed to the front, the Curse of Zandri was firing on the Grimnir and taking damage from all sides in return. As my vessels sailed through the gap they each gave it a hefty broadside, till it eventually succumbed.
The Swordfysh rammed the Skabrus and nerfed spectacularly. Their battle would drag on for ages. By hanging back with the Seadrake I encouraged the rest of the enemy fleet to drift towards the other end, homing in on the apparently sacrificial ironclad. Using the Scimitar to run around the flank as I was (avoiding trouble all the while), I was effectively a ship down – better to run one off though, than risk a drownin’. With the Heldenhammer following closely in the magical vessel’s wake wake, the Bloody Reaver couldn’t pause to attack the Scimitar without leaving itself open to the Heldenhammer’s attack. As it turned to face the monstrous galleon the Scimitar slid past and escaped. The flagships closed, firing wildly, and were soon locked in melee. Unfortunately for the Reaver it was nose to nose, and the Reaver was pounded into tiny bits by the massive steam hammer. Sadly, this was at the cost of the ironclad. I’d had to choose what to do and using a double repair for the Grimnir was pretty high on the agenda. It was in a boarding action against the Black Kraken, and that hurts. However, what was best for the Dwarfs was not best for the overall plan and they’d have to take a risk. Instead of acting with the Grimnir I ran the Seadrake around the Skaven and into the untentacled end of the Kraken, having forgotten that the whole thing would now be one boarding action and the Kraken would get its tentacles anyway. Oops. Even with 2 ships to one I still took a point of damage. So with the Skabrus and Swordfysh locked in a boarding action at one end, the Scimitar fleeing past the flagships at the other, we’ve accounted for most. The Grimnir, Seadrake and Black Kraken in the centre were now joined by the last of the vessels, the Shadewraith, and we did the ever-growing boarding action yet again. This time GloatingSwine rolled 5 dice needing 5s and got all 5, and just as the Bloody Reaver finally disintegrated completely both the Grimnir’s Thunder and the Seadrake sank too. Oh dear.
Even so, with rather less ships all round and most of the bad(der) guys pointing the wrong direction, I was able to make my way to the exits and a win for the Grand Alliance.
The major changes we played were to the damage system, and that was given a thorough testing. We thought afterwards that the broadsides may not be as good as they needed to be, so revised that. They might be too good now, so more blowing people up is needed to check. In general though, the simplified damage, half Fate cards and other tweaks more than halved the playing time, removed a lot of randomness and left us with a game in which we could plan and counter-plan. Of course, any game with dice retains some randomness, but this now has no more than a game of Warhammer.
6th edition 😉