Monday, April 16, 2018

Portable War at Sea - concept and a personal update

As a fan of Bob Cordrey's Portable Wargame, I've pondered the ways in which the principles of the concept could be applied to naval wargaming. From what I understand, he is working on a naval version of his own, but I am thinking along different approach avenues for my own project.

If any of you ever played Avalon Hill's Naval War, then you will remember the decks of cards that were used to represent not only the ships, but also the combat mechanism of damage and defense. This is how I am looking at my portable war at sea. 

Speaking of which, I did not get into the Wizkids War at Sea game, as I was unemployed/underemployed at the time it was available. Now, the basic game and boosters are far too costly for my tastes, especially as it would take multiples of each to do what I want to achieve with my game.

So, I am going to probably go with Axis and Allies naval miniatures, via as a cheaper alternative. 

My thought is to have a square or hex table, using individual ship models, and a combat system that uses cards. I'd include subs, destroyers, light cruisers, heavy cruisers, battleships, and carriers, but I am also considering adding cargo ships for scenario purposes. Aircraft would not be represented on the table, instead they would make an appearance through card play.

The idea is for each player to have his/her force of ships, and then play out of a hard of cards drawn from a single deck. The hand size would probably fall within 5 to 8 cards; playtesting would narrow this down. Each class of ship would have certain abilities/advantages, as well as balancing factors. For example, a destroyer would easily be destroyed, in comparison to other ship types, it it would have access to SMOKE SCREEN and TORPEDO RUN cards which would be prohibited to the other ship types (except Subs could use TORPEDO RUN). They would also have "attack" cards which represent their main gun batteries.

Having a carrier would allow aircraft cards to be used, which could be along the lines of COMBAT AIR PATROL as a defensive, anti-bomber card, or DIVE BOMBER FLIGHT. These cards could be used at an extended range.

I am also thinking that the cards have two exclusive uses, combat (whether offensive or defensive) and movement. As I first thought about this, I almost went with the Memoir '44 mechanic, but that did not make complete sense as naval ships are constantly on the move, when in combat.

Ships would still have Strength Points, which would be lost to damaging attacks and/or recovered via defensive cards such as DAMAGE CONTROL or EMERGENCY REPAIRS.

Anyhow, this is one game that I've had percolating for a while. Another game that has been swimming around in my gray matter is a fleet action sci-fi game; think Starfire, but far simpler and for squadrons of ships instead of individual ships. 

As I come up with ideas, I write them down, either on paper or as emails to myself. I've got dozens of these, and I need to start making use of them.

As to the personal update, I am still in the background check process for the new job, and am getting the different parts of the physical taken care of, so that there's no delay after the background check is completed. However, I have been feeling rather poorly, still, and I think it is a combination of lingering sinus issues and diabetes. I've had to go through three different medications, over the past eight weeks, as the first two had really lousy side effects. My dizziness and light headedness can be due to sinus issues, but I do not know for certain. 

I can tell you that I am sick and tired of being told "get used to getting older." My father's health is not great, although he did have a few positives last week, but also one very big negative that will require further tests. Having headaches every day for the past 36 years is barely tolerable, but I can hack it, this feeling poorly all the time, though, it sucks. 

Still, I am excited for what this summer brings to the table.

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