Saturday, 19 January 2019

Torpedoes in Cruel Seas

One of the things that has struck me about torpedoes in Cruel Seas is just how ineffective they are. The chance of hitting is low, and that fine (the RN's hit rate with torpedoes from coastal forces craft was about 26%). Rolling for dud takes out a few more successful interceptions and then on to the damage....

At this point it gets a bit strange, with trawlers and minesweeepers often surviving two and sometimes three hits, from weapons that would routinely put a fleet destroyer on the bottom. Rolling 16d6 gives an average damage score of 56 and a maximum of 96. With average die rolling it is quite likely that the destroyers in the game will be able to take 3, possibly 4 hits. And whilst doing so they suffer no ill effects other than damage point loss because torpedoes don't cause critical hits.

In actuality a torpedo hit on anything smaller than a battleship was a REALLY BIG DEAL, and on a destroyer or smaller warship the chances were more than likely that the ship would sink outright from one hit. I appreciate that to help the "game" aspect Warlord didn't want players to have their large models killed outright and hence the damage effects were toned down, but in a game about torpedo boats I feel they have been nerfed way too much. MTB and S Boat players need to be rewarded for getting their boats into the right place to execute their attacks, hence I'd like to propose an amended damage resolution system.

If a torpedo hits a medium or smaller sized vessel that vessel is sunk immediately.

If a torpedo hits a Large or Huge ship roll a D6, add 1 if the ship is Huge.

On a 1-3 the ship sinks. Her back is broken and the ship slips quickly beneath the waves

On a 4 the ship is crippled. She loses 90 DP and stops dead in the water

On a 5 she is critically damaged; she loses 70DP, takes 2 engine critical hits and suffers a rudder critical hit on a D6 roll of 4+

On a 6 or more she is heavily damaged, losing 50DP and one engine critical, and a rudder critical on 5+

In addition, roll a D6 for each weapon mount and accessory. If the roll equals or exceeds the damage die roll above that weapon or accessory is damaged by shock and is out of action (so if the player whose ship was hit rolled a 5 - critical damage - they would roll a D6 for each weapon and accessory an it would be lost on a 5+)

As with my previous house rules these are a starting point, comments and suggestions welcomed


  1. Interesting ideas David. There's a game at the club on Tuesday so I'll see how the torpedo rules work then. If they are useless we'llustrated give your system a run through.

  2. I'd suggest making the rerolling of 6s recursive at a minimum and maybe also a variety of crit

  3. I like these ideas - brutal, but reasonable.

    That said, I've played a number of games now, and won often because of torpedoes launched in pairs again long range early in the encounter. Is it maybe too easy to actually launch the torpedoes in the first place?

  4. Just started playing the game and, I agree some of the rules are wonky but, like you said, Warlords didn't want players loosing their "big boys" to a single hit. As to a vessel smaller than, medium, I had thought torps could not touch them due to a shallow draft. Next, in your above posted max damage is not correct. While torps can not get critical effects, every 6 rolled means an additional D6 is rolled for damage. So the max damage you posted (16 d6 for 96 DP) would actually be 192 DP (for max damage assuming all the re-rolls also came up as a 6). While, I think your view is FAR more realistic, I think 1: it sort of detracts from the game knowing you can loose ANY vessel with one hit and two, that is a bit more die rolling which slows down game play. A work around might be to create a torp critical damage (and effects) sheet. On a further note, another benefit to torps (despite them hitting or not) is they allow a player to "control the terrain" of the "battle field". Again, I agree with your argument that torps were VASTLY nerfed, but at the same time, wooden PT boats being hit by an 88 or a 75 was pretty much instant destruction (in real life). With the game, it allows the opposing player to still be able to battle it out and just have fun. Again, I agree with you in the fact that torps are far less effective in the game, but at the same time, they still allow a dread of being hit by a torp and unless someone just has a horribly unlucky damage roll (after the to-hit roll and dud roll), the single torp alone can one shot a lot of Medium sized ships without needing insanely good roles.

  5. Do you think adding modifiers to the table to take in different types of torpedoes would be a good thing?

    +1 for torpedoes < 21"
    -1 for Long Lance torpedoes