Tuesday 19 May 2015

First Run Out

After a few playtest sessions at home the Stingray game had its first "public" run out at the Berkeley Vale club. We played  a couple of games, both of which I would say were good "learning experiences".

In the first the Aquaphibians scored an easy victory. On reflection I think they scored an early lucky hit on one of the Stingrays and that skewed the result. But in any case it did point to a need to make the combat a bit more interactive, so we introduced the idea of an "evade" roll when a torpedo or missile enters the same hex as a target. We gave this a go in the second game, which turned into an easy WASP victory - the Stingrays becoming rather too adept at evading.

We didn't have time for a third game but I picked up enough ideas form the two games we did play to plot a happy medium in terms of an evasion rule (and an idea that a successful evade results in a proximity hit rather than a clean miss).

Other good thoughts on clarifying the order of play, improving damage control, simple record keeping, adding a few bits of "chrome" in terms of  heroic commanders, special effects, etc. oh, and a better way to keep track of who launched what missile!

Tune in next week** for another thrilling episode!

** weekly updates not guaranteed!

Monday 4 May 2015

Quite a Few Things Happened....

.. in the last half hour :)

My crazy life continued to be as crazy as ever over the last week but I did grab a spare hour to playtest the developments that I made to my Stingray rules after the first game. The rules as I had them first worked OK, but some inevitable tweaking was needed, not least because I was finding the Terror Fish too resistant to damage, and certainly no one shot kills as one so frequently sees in the source material (in fact I think Sting Missiles ALWAYS kill a TTF in one shot, but that would make for a less than interesting game I think).

So, after some minor mods to the damage table and a few updates notes regarding when damage takes effect, number of weapons that can be launched and other minor things we were off for another undersea bash. This time I also introduced "Spiny Norman", a giant anenome with stings that could damage a sub. As it happened Spiny dang near won the game.

The "standard" scenario that I'm working with has two Stingray class subs covering the withdrawl of a civilian research submarine form the palying area, with six TTFs in pursuit. This time the TTFs blew up quite nicely but one of their missiles scored a close proximity hit on the civilian sub which jammed its rudder (only one turn per game turn allowed), which meant it was forced to enter Spiny Norman's "zone of control" in its next movement phase; Norman's stings ripped open the hull (three sixes rolled for damage, taking out all of the sub's reserve of buoyancy) and she sank like  astone to the bottom.

Meanwhile Tigershark had taken a couple of lucky hits which left her dead in the water and ripe for destruction, and a near miss on Stingray damaged her sonar and fire control, leaving her unable to launch missiles. With the civilians stck on the bottom, one supersub ko'd and the other out of bullets and two TTFs still active the World Aquanaut Security Patrol were forced to withdraw.

The whole game lasted about half an hour (handy!)

I made a few more tweaks and set up for another game, this time a rescue attempt to save the crew of a downed World Navy submarine. This was also to have been the debut for "Tangles" the wonder jelly fish. And it was all going very well until two furry denizens of the deep pitched up and flattened the playing area.

Scottie and Ole did a good job reminding me it was supper time and so the game came to a close. I think the main rules are just about there now, now I need to work on the extras and the various "biologicals" "Spiny and Tangles have some big friends!), and a few scenarios, as well as some extra terrain pieces. But all coming along nicely I think.