Friday, 12 December 2014

Fire As She Bears!

Over the last few weeks I have been tidying up various house-rules I have used in 'Form Line of Battle' 4.0, as well as creating new ones. I have alluded to some of them in a few posts, but thought it would be worth sharing them here.

A ship which has declared a tack takes a modifier of -1 during that action phase.

(Tacking was a difficult process that occupied the crews' attention so I felt a small penalty was deserved.)

Ignore the rules for 5th, 6th and Unrated vessels firing on larger ships. Instead apply the following modifier.

A ship firing on one of a larger rate may suffer a penalty. Subtract the target’s rate from that of the firer (Unrated vessels count as 7th Rate), and subtract a further 1. Any positive score is subtracted from the base score. This can be summarised as:

Target’s Rate
Firer is:
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
7th
1st
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2nd
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
3rd
-1
0
0
0
0
0
0
4th
-2
-1
0
0
0
0
0
5th
-3
-2
-1
0
0
0
0
6th
-4
-3
-2
-1
0
0
0
7th
-5
-4
-3
-2
-1
0
0

Firing is otherwise resolved normally; no damage reductions are applied.

(The rules as written for ships of small classes firing on larger ones are probably fairly accurate, and rarely come into play anyway, as most games involve ships of similar sizes. But they lack granularity, and there are situations where ships on the borderline are either unfairly penalised or not penalised. I think this table strikes the right balance.)

A ship with a 0 Broadside Rating (from damage) may still shoot. Treat as a Broadside Rating of 0 for determining factors, but apply an additional -3.

(Ships reduced to a 0 Broadside don't automatically strike, but currently can no longer fight. This rule assumes that they can, from time t time, get some guns firing, at east until the odds catch up with them and they haul down their colours.)

Critical hits now depend on the range.


Roll
Point Blank/Short
Medium/Long
1
Captain
Captain
2
Mast
Mast
3
Wheel
Wheel
4
Fire
Fire
5
1 Hull
Mast
6
2 Hull
1 Hull

Note a Critical is scored on any double which scores a ‘rr’ hit, or any roll of Double 6 if a hit was possible with a 2.

(This change makes Criticals more likely - I find they don't really happen often enough - and also covers the fact that ships would be firing higher at longer range.)

I have split Unrated/Class 7 ships into two gun classes.

Gun Class E now represents Unrated ships armed with long guns. The range modifiers are:

Point-Blank +2, Short 0, Medium -4

Gun Class F now represents Unrated ships armed with carronades. The range modifiers are:

Point Blank +3, Short 0

(Currently ships with a Gun Class of E get a better bonus at Point Blank range than larger gun-armed ships of Gun Class B. And I thought that it was worth differentiating between gun- and carronade-armed ships even at this size.)

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