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New Pirates CSG Concepts for a New Age
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lord_denton
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Subject: New Pirates CSG Concepts for a New Age   PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:06 pm Reply with quote

For my one thousandth post Very Happy I thought I would try and rekindle the spirit of Pirates CSG with an old, popular discussion: What new things are there to be added to the game (By house-rules or the hopeful resurrection of the game, one day...)? For I refuse to believe that this game has run out of ideas, abilities and concepts to keep it fresh.

~~~~~~~~~~

Something that has always bothered me is the lack of return fire in this game. Sure, it's a bit messy, but speed and the first shot shouldn't be the most determining factor of an engagement, especially since ships fired simultaneously at each other. But it's important to mantain the balance between fighting and merchant/gold ship (when you think about it, many gold ships have passable rank 4 or even rank 3 cannons), small ships and big ships (little ships are disadvantaged to big ships - in almost all cases, bigger ships are extremely more viable than smaller ones since the smaller ones will need 3 or 5 points for a Captain + Helmsman combo), and between fighting ships. So, here's a fighting crew to make gunnery more even with speed:

Gunner (Generic Crew - 4 points)(Concept: Return Fire ability)
Once per turn, after an enemy ship has resolved shooting at this this ship, this ship may return fire with up to 3 cannons. These cannons get a -2 to their printed ranks. On your turn, they can be used again as normal.

This ability hopefully provides a viable option that isn't game-breaking, and also let's you apply any cannon bonuses that you paid so much for. The return fire will be made after the damage has been dealt, but it gives an added kick when you consider you'll be shooting on your own turn as well.

(Another thought is to have them shoot WHILE the enemy is shooting and before damage is dealt, but then NOT to have those cannons ready to fire on your own turn)

Thoughts? Any ideas of your own?

My 1000th post!!!! : D
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maciver
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:10 pm Reply with quote

Congrats on 1000 lord_denton Smile

Wow.... that's some idea....

I'm really going to have to think on it before I say yah or nay. But at first impression, I would say totally for it.
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artjaro

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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:22 pm Reply with quote

I would love to play with that crew on board. And congrats on 1000 post Very Happy
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a7xfanben
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Subject: Re: New Pirates CSG Concepts for a New Age   PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:28 pm Reply with quote

We already have a Gunner. Laughing

lord_denton wrote:
These cannons get a -2 to their printed ranks.


Does this mean they get better, or worse? The wording isn't what Wizkids would have done, so I just need a clarification.

At first glance, maybe it should cost less.
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Subject: Re: New Pirates CSG Concepts for a New Age   PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:09 pm Reply with quote

a7xfanben wrote:
We already have a Gunner. Laughing

lord_denton wrote:
These cannons get a -2 to their printed ranks.


Does this mean they get better, or worse? The wording isn't what Wizkids would have done, so I just need a clarification.

At first glance, maybe it should cost less.


Yes, we do. Wink

Ack, you're right, it should be "+2" to the printed rolls, making them worse then their printed values. This will make the first shot still important and superior to return fire, but you can still do some damage and make use of cannon bonuses with return fire.

It might continue to make smaller ships less feasible though... So that's why I'm proposing something else new:

Small Ship Captain (for lack of a better word): (1 point)
This crew can only use its abilities aboard a 1 or 2 masted ship. This ship can move and shoot using the same move action.

Medium Ship Captain: (2 points)
This crew can only use its abilities aboard a 1, 2, 3, or 4 masted ship. Captain ability.

Large Ship Captain: (3 points)
Captain ability.

This makes the usage of smaller ships for combat much more feasible - right now, many one masters cost 7 points, and many 4 or 5 masters cost 14 points so they're a much better deal per point (if you can afford them - the "if" is what the smaller ships are supposed to be there for, but a 10 point one master is just not feasible) - they'll survive more longer and give more bang for the buck.

Thematically, the more expensive (and hence more experienced/skilled) large ship captains should feel comfortable with any vessel (if you can run a big one, shouldn't smaller be easier?) so they can be transferred between different sized ships, keeping their utility function.
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Subject: Re: New Pirates CSG Concepts for a New Age   PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:34 pm Reply with quote

lord_denton wrote:
It should be "+2" to the printed rolls, making them worse then their printed values. This will make the first shot still important and superior to return fire, but you can still do some damage and make use of cannon bonuses with return fire.

This makes the usage of smaller ships for combat much more feasible - right now, many one masters cost 7 points, and many 4 or 5 masters cost 14 points so they're a much better deal per point (if you can afford them - the "if" is what the smaller ships are supposed to be there for, but a 10 point one master is just not feasible) - they'll survive more longer and give more bang for the buck.


That makes more sense Smile .
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lordstu

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Subject:    PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:48 pm Reply with quote

I like the "return fire" concept, as well, as it's never seemed right to me that one ship can rake another ship with cannonfire and yet not suffer any damage itself.

I've played around with simultaneous fire before, but this thread got me thinking perhaps the simplest solution is to say that any time one ship shoots at another ship, the other ship can also be given a shoot action with whichever cannons she had in range when the first shot was fired(applying sort of a temporary "cannons cannot be eliminated" ability). Both ships then fully resolve their respective shoot actions and damaged masts are removed accordingly. For a touch of realism, return fire could be limited to those ships having captains, but not necessarily.

In terms of a ship being sunk, I'm guessing it would have been quite rare in those days for a ship to take a hit and sink instantly, so allocating damage after the shoot actions of both ships, and then sinking either ship as deemed necessary would seem reasonable.

On the original target ship's turn, if advisable, a new shoot action could be given to it, and the process repeated, simulating a hot action type of battle.

Knowing there will be return fire would make getting a good firing angle much more important, as well as discourage taking on multiple targets in a single turn, and the overall result might be to restrict overly aggressive players from dominating a game.

-------------------------------------------------

One possibilty for a new crew would be a "fleet admiral" who, rather than rolling a d6 or giving up an action, can cash in a gold coin on their home island in order to give an extra action to any one ship in the fleet. Players who collect treasure quickly would thereby gain an advantage by reason of their amassed wealth - simulating the rich getting richer, perhaps?
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Subject:    PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:01 pm Reply with quote

lordstu wrote:
In terms of a ship being sunk, I'm guessing it would have been quite rare in those days for a ship to take a hit and sink instantly, so allocating damage after the shoot actions of both ships, and then sinking either ship as deemed necessary would seem reasonable.

-------------------------------------------------

One possibilty for a new crew would be a "fleet admiral" who, rather than rolling a d6 or giving up an action, can cash in a gold coin on their home island in order to give an extra action to any one ship in the fleet. Players who collect treasure quickly would thereby gain an advantage by reason of their amassed wealth - simulating the rich getting richer, perhaps?


Good ideas. I've thought about giving every ship the ability that requires two hits to eliminate one mast, and maybe an additional 4 or more hits once a ship is derelict just to sink it. Maybe other things would have to be changed as well, but it would make things a bit more realistic.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:05 pm Reply with quote

This post over at the Axis & Allies ForuMINI got me thinking:

Quote:
I've always thought it could be better to have two rolls, one for hit, and one for damage.


Granted, it was about the land WWII game, but maybe it could be applied to Pirates? It would work especially well with a major concept I've had in mind: Hull Health separated from Mast Health.

Right now, masts stand in for hull/cannon/boarding health. And this works well, to a point. They are however seperate things and as Pirates was going on I think they were suffering from a lack of stats to make ships different. Let's take a look at the different stats:

-Point Cost (which is determined after everything else...)
-Number of Masts
-Cannon Ranks
-Cargo Space
-Base Move
-Special Ability
-Ship Type (worthy of its own category, though related to Special Ability)
-Nationality
(-Rarity (sort of, but not really))

Now, these stats are good for a relatively simple naval game to go on for about 3 or 4 releases and have each ship be REALLY different and unique (ie, every ship has its own mini-niche, even in the broad categories of "Beatstick" or "Scout" or "Cheap Goldship"). But when you release 13 sets like Pirates did, you're going to either start getting a lot of power creep (Example 1) or a lot of repetitive/redundant ships (this is different from purely bad ships - these are ships that are sort of on the cusp of having a special place in the fleet, but something older just barely edges them out - see Example 2).

So, another stat would help to really add a ton of possibilities to the game and increase the number of ship combinations exponentially. That isn't to say there aren't a LOT of potential combinations with the above stats already (it's why Pirates was able to go on like it did), but after awhile it does get a bit tiresome when there's only so many different stats.

So, hull health... I have a few ideas on how it could work. A lot of other naval games have it. But first, what does everyone else think of it? Question How could it be implemented? Question

Example 1 - Power Creep: HMS Belle of Exeter vs. HMS Rose and HMS Lord Cauldwell vs. HMS Lord Kenyon
HMS Belle of Exeter http://www.miniaturetrading.com/im/selectCard/card_id/75115/cards_lang/1

HMS Rose
http://www.miniaturetrading.com/im/selectCard/card_id/126572/cards_lang/1

HMS Lord Cauldwell
http://www.miniaturetrading.com/im/selectCard/card_id/80785/cards_lang/1

HMS Lord Kenyon
http://www.miniaturetrading.com/im/selectCard/card_id/87699/cards_lang/1

Example 2 - Redundant ships: HMS Goliath vs. HMS Lord Kettering (not the best example but it's what came to mind)

HMS Goliath
http://www.miniaturetrading.com/im/selectCard/card_id/75246/cards_lang/1

HMS Lord Kettering (UNLESS your opponent plays the Jade Rebellion semi-irregularly) Wink
http://www.miniaturetrading.com/im/selectCard/card_id/95562/cards_lang/1
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Subject: Return Fire   PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:06 pm Reply with quote

One house rule we always play with, in regards to return fire, is that after any shoot action, the ship that is shot at gets to return fire with all of its cannons before damage is given (ie, masts taken away). The conditions are that the ship returning fire gets -1 to all of its cannon rolls. We sort of approach it like an initiative roll, the ship shooting has "taken" the initiative and shoots first. The penalty accounts for not having the initiative and/or "simulating" damage from the first ship's volley.

Here's a very simplified example (without any crew/ship bonuses coming into play). For its action a ship moves within range of an enemy ship in order to shoot that ship the following turn. Now according to the basic rules it has to sit through the enemy ship's turn and the possibility of losing masts if that enemy ship takes a shoot action. Automatically handicapping anyone choosing to close for action (many of our games end up with ships just running around the board trying to avoid this penalty and not much in the way of action). So this way you still get to return fire with your full set of masts. We found by just adding this wrinkle there is much more combat in our games.

A real life correlation is when a ship maneuvers into position to shoot another, the stationary ship usually can get a few rounds off before that ship can get into its position. For instance the British ships taking fire as they approached the Allied line at Trafalgar.

Let me know what you all think.

Thx,

Chris
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:43 am Reply with quote

Crebostar Chris, I like your idea. Stylish, and simple - easy to apply.

*****

I've been collecting Pirates for quite a while, and have decent collections for all the factions. My gaming group is all family and a few close friends. In my group, if this game is going to hit the table, it'll be me supplying all the fleets - but that's OK since I have LOTS of ships & crew for ALL the factions. I've also made a great game board - see the fifth post from the bottom on page 7 of this thread

Anyway, I've been making home brew rules for a "Big Game". This game has been put on indefinite hold (living in Nunavut away from everyone and then the birth of twin babies does that).

My idea was (I think) elegant but much more complicated.

I want to eliminate down time between turns for players in a big game - approx 6 factions with the Cursed as a game controlled non-player faction). To that end, I've been working on an initiative system for simultaneous actions. I took some inspiration from X-Wing minis, WIngs of Way (WWI version) and Mice and Mystics and spun it my own way.

Each player gets a player control board to place outside the "ocean" surface. Each control board has three "zones". If a player only has one ship, they can place it (the deck plate) in any of the three zones. If they have two ships, they place one ship in each of two zones of their choice. With three ships, they chose which one ship to put in each zone. (repeat as needed for more ships).

Players also have a privacy screen during their planning to keep their moves "secret". They place tokens on the deck plate for what action their ship will be taking that turn - move, shoot, explore, repair, trade (a new action in my rules), special (move & shoot, use ship special ability, etc). Then, when planning is done, everyone lifts away their privacy screens.

All ships in Zone 1 resolve their actions simultaneously. Next, Zone 2; then finally, Zone three.

It cuts down time between turns. On further reflection (just as I type this up) it still won't totally prevent one ship savaging another with no return fire. Hmmm, lots to think about.

Maybe some version of this TOGETHER with crebostar Chris's suggestions.

Note to self: ***Play testing needed*** (solo-simulation play, in my case) before I bring this to the group. I want them to enjoy it so they'll come back for more.

At this rate, though, my babies - who are 1 y.o. now - will be play testing this with me to get it on the table. I've been talking about this since 2010 and have yet to get it done. Embarassed
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:21 pm Reply with quote

Hmm... I don't think I'd have as much use for simeltaneous play (and I'm confused- what if you want to move to a sector outside your own? Or...? Hmm...), but that Trade action definitly piques my interest... How does it work??? Smile Very Happy
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:28 pm Reply with quote

The "zone" is not a sea zone on the ocean board where the minis go, but rather on the player board (the space where you put deck plates outside the game board). Each player board will have three areas, and you arrange your deck plates in there to represent when they'll move. This idea is kind of like the initiative track from the Mice and Mystics board game if you're familiar with it. When it comes to ship movement, there are no restrictions and ships can go anywhere on the ocean. All ships with deck plates placed in zone one of the player board "initiative track" will resolve their actions on the Ocean board at the same time; next all ships in the second space, and finally all ships in the third space.

Trade - this is one area where I need to play test and iron out some mechanics. I use five goods, the same ones from Catan. I use the Yucatan counters. IMAGE HERE

Rather than the dice roll mechanic from the Settlers of Catan board game, I use dice rolls on production islands with dice from the Settlers of Catan dice game. IMAGE HERE

I use some custom crew for producing goods, a colonist and a governor. The colonist allows one Catan dice roll (and a random good). Ships will transport the colonists and governor like any other crew (they take a cargo space like other crew, and will be easy to kill if another player ship attacks you while they are in transit). Ships can drop off colonists on a wild island when they take an explore action on that island. Once a colonist and a governor are on the same island, the colonist still generates a random good, and the governor supervises production of one good of the player's choice. I still need to playtest for cost balance, but the intention is that the colonists are cheap to buy, and governors will be expensive and have some type of ransom mechanic to make them vulnerable unless defended by, say, a fort or musketeer on the island. As governors will be expensive, you'll also have to have a ship with high enough point cost to transport them.

Ships and upgrades (crew, events, etc) will cost gold and catan goods. I'm starting on costing based on Woelf's "Pirates of Catan" rules and will house rule if needed.

"Trade", then, will be an action to trade Catan goods with another player. I guess I could just call it explore, since it'll be similar to transfering crew between ships (explore action in the regular game), but want to add the layer of "theme" by creating and using a "trade" action token.

I'm also planning to add the "bounty" idea from Merchants and Marauders which will prevent players from nations who have previously attacked each other (or ar at war from an event card) from trading with one another unless they can resolve their bounty (through a custom event or glory card)

I have all the basic in my head but it's taking forever to playtest and get on paper. I think the biggest holdup is that there is still one crucial (and labour intensive) upgrade I need to make to my ocean board before this could get to the table, and I've been holding back on working the ruleset until I get that done because how it turns out will affect gameplay. I have a unique, never seen before idea in my head that I think is awesome that I am waiting to share until I have some images. It`s been in my head since I ran the Ocean Contest 2.0 in 2010-2011, but I have yet to get it done. [fingers crossed]My anticipated timeline is now to get on it this summer.[/finger crossed]

I think mine will be a great game when it is done, but very time consuming and involved as compared with the original PotSM rules.
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Subject: So many interesting ideas!   PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:52 pm Reply with quote

This is my new favourite thread! Very Happy

lord_denton wrote:
Hull Health separated from Mast Health.

Idea
That's always been my biggest issue with this game-since when did every successful cannon shot take out a mast? The shoot action system works, but it doesn't make much sense in terms of real life.

Another idea is to have different rules for shoot actions. Instead of eliminating a mast for each hit, flip a coin, and depending on the result, either eliminate a crew, or eliminate a mast. The British generally aimed for the hull of enemy ships, so this might make things more realistic. Maybe this could even be applied for specific factions. Ex: The French and Spanish eliminate masts when their cannons hit, while the British eliminate crew (until there are none left, when the piece eliminated switches from masts to crew and vice-versa).

One way to make things more realistic is to just require two hits to eliminate every mast. This would slow the game down, but make it more plausible (and then the Acorazado would require 4 hits to eliminate each mast!).

Back in the age of sail, it was extremely difficult to sink a ship during combat. Unless a ship was blown up, burned, or scuttled, most ships would stay afloat as derelicts. To implement this point, there could be a house rule requiring that extra hits be scored on derelicts in order to have them sink. Maybe once a ship is derelict, she must be hit 5 times before she goes down. Or, make it the number of masts the ship started with. In this way, you could still sink a one masted sloop with two hits, but it would take an extra 3 hits to sink a derelict 3 master.

I haven't play tested any of the above ideas, but I'd like to try them out sometime.

ahoy_scott wrote:
I think mine will be a great game when it is done, but very time consuming and involved as compared with the original PotSM rules.


Sounds fantastic Cool . I like long, epic games. Over at Pojo I detailed my experiment to combine Pirates with Risk (starting with the second post on this page).

This thread has got me thinking about something even bigger-trying to combine multiple games, ideas, and concepts into one huge game of "life". There would be navies and armies, but also a domestic part, as well as a political angle. Trade, property, and empire! I have a feeling it would take forever, but maybe someday I'll get around to it.
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Subject: Hmmmmm   PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:13 am Reply with quote

This gives me an idea. Like the game War Craft Two, what if everybody playing starts out with just one guy. An explorer that had to mine gold and lunber to make barracks and a lumber mill and foundry to upgrade and produce ships. So you would roll to see how many things your one explorer can do, and with each explorer you make, you get either another die or a die with more sides. say you roll a four, you could chop some lumber, mine some gold and spend the other two building something. The cost of the ship or crew would be there point cost. You could sail over and kick them while they are down or wiat for them to attack first and build your defence. It would go slow at first but then take off like crazy. Some how simulate fog of war?

Anybody smell what Im steppin in?
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