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 Naval Metagame Stuff

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Isabel Tenorio
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PostSubject: Naval Metagame Stuff   Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:29 pm

/cheer for not being able to sleep! >.>

I'm posting here because it says special access is required to post in the throne room.


First off, ship types. Galleys are fine as they are, simplified into small ships with a single sail and a row of oarsmen. The Barques aren't really fitting as warships for several of the environments. I propose changing them from primarily sailing ships to simply being larger galleys, similar to the Byzantine Dromon. They would fight in the same way and be superior in all stats compared to the galleys as they are now. The Caravel could continue to function the same way, a 'fast' sailing ship with both lateen and square sails. It is slower which I assume also translates into being less maneuverable than their oared counterparts. The Caravel would serve a different purpose as a warship, it holds more troops and shipboard weapons, but it isn't going to be ramming or boarding a galley that hasn't otherwise been disabled. There are as many potential ships as there are land units, I think three types like this is fine for a RP like this. Sea battles are probably going to have to be more behind-the-scenes decided anyway, as trying to keep track of where each ship really is could be confusing and/or too time consuming.

For ship costs, I would suggest a reduction in price of 50% (pre-craftsman) and no resources required. If resources will continue to be required, then they should drop by 75%. Considering the cost of the buildings, a navy is already a huge investment, but it shouldn't be so prohibitively expensive that nobody bothers with a navy.

As to NPC ship prizes (Mainly the Dawn and Griffons stealing from the Vanskerry), I don't think it should be allowed. Ships are units, and we aren't allowed to just conscript everyone we destroy. It creates an unfair advantage and risks unbalancing the RP. For RP purposes, if a ship is stolen then its cost must be paid and can be explained as training/hiring the crew and refitting it, but ships can only be refit if the appropriate building already exists. For instance stealing a Caravel should be possible only if that building has already been built. (Sorry DD, no jump starting your galley fleet if this is accepted tongue ) This limit is in line with having limits on recruitment, build slots and only allowing two castles per non-city hex. We can always come up with a reason as to why a boarded ship can't be taken as a prize. Order ships should continue to be potential prizes, assuming the buildings exist, to include an extra risk for naval battles.

Sea Raids- Sea raids should impact the production as well as merchant recruitment. Merchants that aren't being protected are not going to be thrilled with their supposed protectors. The production impact of the coastal hex should be dependent on the ships present. A single galley could knock off .01, while a single Caravel could do something like .1. Piracy can be utterly crippling if it is left unchecked! This should also provide a small boost to the raider as well, representing captured goods and those ships living off the land, so to speak.

Anti-Piracy/smuggling- To give ships a peace-time purpose, they could patrol hexes for potential pirates as well as smugglers. Beyond making the merchants happy, this should pay for their upkeep. That would be explained by stopping smugglers and the like.
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PostSubject: Re: Naval Metagame Stuff   Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:31 pm

Regarding the name of the tier 2 ship: It would seem that what we are looking for is a Galleass or an early Frigate, i.e. a larger galley with more oars and sails that has greater speed and comparable maneuverability as well as heavier armaments.

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PostSubject: Re: Naval Metagame Stuff   Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:59 am

Yes, more or less just a larger galley. I should have worded that differently, I didn't mean to imply that oared ships were superior to sailing ships as it was rather crew and environmentally dependent.


Also, the raiding numbers I proposed should probably be much higher. A single galley should knock off more like .1 itself.


Edit: Navigation techniques should also be settled on. Since Barclay has maritime empire and other factions are clearly capable of oceanic travel, I would say we should agree to the technology that existed in 16th century Europe. Navigation on the open ocean would still be too complex to matter for this RP, but it establishes that we have basic tools like wind charts (where the winds are reliable, at least), compasses, astrolabes, star charts, etc. Otherwise our ships would need to stay within sight of land for the most part.


Last edited by Ana Sulran on Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:27 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : I managed to misspell environment 3 times. I should give up!)
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PostSubject: Re: Naval Metagame Stuff   Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:40 am

Technology-wise, Pendor is the least maritime developed of all its powerful neighbours, though they have good trade links with Mettenheim and Barclay, so are picking this up quickly (which is why I moved their fleet to having Barques and Caravels, PoP4 is based in the early Renaissance while PoP3 is late medieval, and I was trying to move the tech in Aftermath accordingly.)

Perhaps we ought to give each type of ship a proper role, rather than listing them in order of power?

Galleys ; Manouverable and cheap
2. ; Good Cargo capacity, slow moving (Transports perhaps, so a cog?)
3. ; Heavily armed warships, though the least manouverable (Carracks or Caravels)

Also, my developments of naval tech here were centred on the Fierdsvain being by far the most maritime of the different factions in Pendor, and they are based on Norse and Hanseatic nations, hence the higher focus on sails over oars.
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Isabel Tenorio
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PostSubject: Re: Naval Metagame Stuff   Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:51 am

That sounds fine to me. The stats of the second ship would need to be updated, as currently they're all around better than Galleys. Galleys are as they are, fast and the most practical to board with. Cogs are great for what is basically a land battle at sea, but a galley fleet can still be used to counter it. A strong warship with castles for better archery combat as well as shipboard weapons makes sense too.

Ship combat should also be updated, as I just can't imagine we could actually micro-RP a naval battle. We would have to constantly update maps, haggle over movement and such. It just makes it too distracting from RP. Each ship could have crew WP and ship WP, with shipboard weapons able to damage both (but focusing on ship WP). Crews would attack only the crew WP. Since the crews of each ship function the same, they could just receive bonuses for attacking on the tier 3 ship, to represent the huge advantage of castles. Boarding would just be a matter of comparing the combat stats of the extra troops, with one side being defeated and the other taking potential casualties. Comparing these stats, along with certain factors like wind direction, would let us solve ship and fleet battles much more quickly, with pre-planned tactics settled upon before.

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PostSubject: Re: Naval Metagame Stuff   Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:03 am

What about establishing some sort of stone paper scissor system?

Frigates are a bit less maneuverable than galleys but beat them with more sails as well as higher castles and shipboard artillery (needs to be bought or built) like ballistae or mangonels, but no ram.

Carracks/Caravels beat frigates by being far more durable and having even higher castles and more shipboard weapons. They are slower and less maneuverable, but can fire to almost all sides.

Galleys (in certain numbers) beat Caravels by outmaneuvering them, ramming their hull or boarding from different sides at the same time. They are also the only ships with oars, so they are independent of the wind to some extent and can use this against the heavier sailing ships.

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PostSubject: Re: Naval Metagame Stuff   Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:09 am

I feel like that over-simplifies it a bit too much. We would need to revamp the entire system with crews and additional troops to make that work, though it definitely could. We would also have to establish the ratio of how many galleys are needed to beat a caravel in this situation. It would further limit tactics as well, and we would need to address how to deal with things like wind direction.

We could also just simplify the stats, and have basic offensive strength modified by maneuverability, defensive strength modified the same way, initial position and other battle-specific conditions. We could also discuss OOCly the relative strengths of fleets once they get into battle, as I don't see there being too many massive fleet battles in Aftermath's future.


Another possibility is determining a single number for total fleet strength, then using rock-paper-scissors for tactics, and then a die roll to determine over all damage. In a battle between two armies being transported at sea, we could handle it with their land stats and some modifiers for positions and the addition of ship-board weapons.
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PostSubject: Re: Naval Metagame Stuff   Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:20 am

Question really comes down to whether you want to play the battles out (and our experiences from the siege and land battles show this can take a very long time), or if you want immediate results. A system can be built for either variation.
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PostSubject: Re: Naval Metagame Stuff   Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:26 am

I think trying to RP out sea battles (at least for more than 2-4 total ships) would be far too time-consuming and with far too many debatable variables. As nice as it would be to use what I've learned about medieval naval warfare to win such a battle, it distracts from the story and RP.

I think we should give ships more straight forward stats, such as:

Tier 1: 3 damage, 5 WP, 10 speed. Transport capacity 25

Tier 2: 8 damage, 10 WP, 12 speed. Transport capacity 50

Tier 3: 12 damage, 15 WP, 7 speed. Transport capacity 100


The damage is a simplified number representing shipboard weapons and archers, WP are how many hits they can sustain, and the speed determines the liklihood of a successful boarding. These could then be modified by 0.1-2.0 or something to represent favorable sea conditions, initial positioning, pre-planned tactic etc.

Once a ship is boarded, the transported soldiers fight with their land values. If they board a ship that has no extra troops, they automatically take it.
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PostSubject: Re: Naval Metagame Stuff   Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:45 am

Fully agreed. A basic system of simple numeric values with default calculations seems to be the best since special roleplayed tactics and ruses can be implemented easily by changing the numbers.

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PostSubject: Re: Naval Metagame Stuff   Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:51 am

What do you think of those specific ship numbers? I'm thinking that perhaps Tier 1 should have a much higher speed, and perhaps lower the other stats of the Tier 2 and 3 to have a bit more balance between ship types.


Tier 1: 3 damage, 5 WP, 10 speed. Transport capacity 25

Tier 2: 8 damage, 10 WP, 12 speed. Transport capacity 50

Tier 3: 12 damage, 15 WP, 7 speed. Transport capacity 100


Changing to:

Tier 1: 3 damage, 5 WP, 15 speed. Transport 25

Tier 2: 6 damage, 8 WP, 10 speed. Transport 50

Tier 3: 12 damage, 12 WP, 7 speed. Transport 100


This way Tier 1 ships are fairly balanced with Tier 2, as in the proper situation two galleys -could- board the same Tier 2 ship, though it would be fairly unlikely. Tier 3 should remain more expensive and be the real juggernauts. The boosted troop capacity means an Order that solely wants to be able to move troops by sea can reasonably do so with galleys alone.

Edit: Tier 3 dominates Tier 1, while Tier 1 can defeat Tier 2 with more ships, and Tier 2 can defeat Tier 3 with more ships.
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PostSubject: Re: Naval Metagame Stuff   Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:02 am

I wouldn't use tiers;

Harbour Galley
2 Combat
Transport 0

Galley
4 Combat
Transport 50

Cog
3 Combat
Transport 200

Caravel
6 Combat
Transport 100

Add up the total Combat Score of each fleet.
Add D2 per ship to the Combat Score.
Add good tactics / commander bonus Combat Score to each fleet.
Remove damage dealt to the combat score of each fleet (spread damage equally over ships)
Continue until a fleet is destroyed, or one fleet withdraws.
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PostSubject: Re: Naval Metagame Stuff   Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:04 am

I like that, though does that leave any room for boarding?
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PostSubject: Re: Naval Metagame Stuff   Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:08 am

Depends if you still want the ability to capture ships. You capture D50% of the Combat Score in damage. Victor chooses the spread of ships they get depending on the score allocated. There is a minimum Combat Score cost per vessel;

Harbour Galleys cannot be captured.
Galley - 2 Combat Score minimum.
Cog - 2 Combat Score minimum.
Caravel - 3 Combat Score minimum.

Ships can be captured so long as their Combat Score is equal to or less than the Combat Score minimum, and it doesn't matter if those ships are deemed to have sunk, they can be "salvaged".

So if Player 1 did 20 Combat Score in damage, and get a 25% roll, they get to keep 5 Combat Score in ships.

They take 1 Caravel (on 3 Combat Score), and a Cog (on 2 Combat Score).

Combat Score will require a set price to repair, perhaps related to the build cost?


Last edited by Mordred on Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Naval Metagame Stuff   Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:12 am

Capturing ships should stay to some degree, I think. It should be factored in only to those ships that have taken enough damage that they are non-functional. Since damage is spread equally over the ships, it is possible that a battle could end with a decisive victory for one side, but no ships are actually destroyed.
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PostSubject: Re: Naval Metagame Stuff   Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:28 am

Hmm, the cog would still remain a somehow second tier ship, since it would be available via the second tier of the shipwright buildings. Therefore I do not particularly like that it is weaker than a galley. In fact cogs had higher sides and more pronounced bow and stern castles for archers. Taking Medieval II as reference (which is usually well researched regarding the units) a cog would summa summarum be equal in strength to a galley, where the former emphasised the defence and the latter the offense. Since a cog is a heavier ship without oars but with more sails, it could start out a bit weaker but have the ability to be equipped with light shipboard artillery (which the galleys are to small to carry), increasing its damage greatly.

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PostSubject: Re: Naval Metagame Stuff   Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:39 am

Slightly updated my above post. The Combat Score minimum determines whether the ship can be captured AND how much it costs the victor to take it. It is therefore entirely possible to have battles which are entirely indecisive.

Should damage be spread evenly, or let the Players choose to which ships the damage is done?

Also, in a straight fight, a Player can designate a number of non-combatant ships (for instance Cog's full of troops) which do not count towards the Combat Score, neither can they be damaged.

HOWEVER, should their guardians be completely sunk, or else at withdraw at less than 25% strength, then the victors may capture these vessels regardless of their damage level, and at an automatic 50% roll (they cannot take any of the Guardian ships though, as they are considered to have rushed for the non-combat ships).

The % strength can be modified by the rival fleet designating ships to be chasing them (which are deducted from their Combat Score total) at the discretion of a Game Master. Therefore if they sent 10 Combat Strength of ships to outflank and attack the convoy, the Game Master could agree that they only need to reduce enemy guardian strength to 35% in order to take convoy ships.

@ Iskar; true, we can modify the individual combat strength of ships with upgrades, taken from a list. They ought to be mutually exclusive however. The level of upgrades is determined by the level of the shipyard, and all ships can be built at any shipyard level.

Harbour Galley Upgrade; N/A

Galley Upgrades;
Tier 1 - Underwater Ram +1 Combat Score
Tier 2 - Larger Crew Berths +50 Capacity
Tier 3 - Reinforced Hull +1 Combat Score (stacks with Tier 1 or Tier 2)

Cog Upgrades;
Tier 1 - Larger Cargo Hold +100 Capacity
Tier 2 - Reinforced Hull +1 Combat Score (stacks with Tier 1 or Tier 3)
Tier 3 - Front Mounted Mangonel +2 Combat Score, -100 Capacity

Caravel Upgrades;
Tier 1 - Forecastle +1 Combat Score
Tier 2 - Extra Mast +1 Combat Score (Stacks with Tier 1 or Tier 3)
Tier 3 - Shipboard Artillery +3 Combat Score, -100 Capacity

A list should therefore be kept of all the ships owned by the Order. Ship maybe refitted with new upgrades, though this will take a week to do, and they will only get 50% of the cost, and no resources back.
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PostSubject: Re: Naval Metagame Stuff   Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:49 am

Such extras would end up requiring another extensive list to be kept. Personally, I wouldn't want yet another list.

Even though cogs are tier 2 ships, they are used as transports instead of a boost from galleys. Galleys are the backbone of any fleet in this system, while cogs are used as transports. If a better warship is desired by an Order, they have to build caravels which will be the true warship... but more expensive.

This would shift it from a normal tier system to paying more for different. A fleet could conceivably be entirely galleys, but then in order to transport an army, you have to take the risk of losing them in a battle. On the other hand if you use cogs as transports, you can escort your army with galleys that do not carry extra troops.

Iskar's point about the rising superiority of sailing ships with large forecastles and the like is a true one, so we could simply return to the basic tier system and let the prices reflect the differences.
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PostSubject: Re: Naval Metagame Stuff   Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:38 am

I'd recommend leaving the improvements to the creativity of the orders and sticking with some kind of tier system. How about making it possible to select two different layouts for the second tier ship? One with troop carrying capacity one with better combat equipment.

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PostSubject: Re: Naval Metagame Stuff   Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:48 am

I think we should go back to what the purposes of the ships are. To me: Transporting troops, raiding/blockading, defending against other ships. As for customizing ships, none of our Orders have a naval background and shipbuilding is complex enough to build from another's design. Basically all of us are just taking designs and technology from other groups, we aren't making our own at this stage.

With the cog having a 200 troop capacity, they make the other ships irrelevant for transportation. In keeping with the basic combat system already proposed, I would lower the troop capacity of galleys to 25, cogs to 50 and caravels to 100. I would also keep the specific buildings for each ship type.

I would also add WP to each ship, such as 2 for galleys, 3 for cogs and 4 for caravels.

The damage is then equally distributed among all the ships participating in combat. After each round of combat, commanders have the option of retreating, though depending on other factors, this may not work out so well. Combat values will of course still be modified by the other conditions, like weather, initial positioning, and tactics.

For the sake of simplicity and fairness, I would say let's just scrap the prizes. We don't get to ransom prisoners or anything, so why carry that over to ships?
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PostSubject: Re: Naval Metagame Stuff   Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:48 am

1. Do we want customization/upgrades?
2. Should the cog have a higher transport capacity and lower combat score, or simply be the middle value combat ship?
3. Capturing ships at all, yes or no?

After that we can settle on what (base, at least) stats should be.






My thoughts

1. No. Game-wise, this adds a lot of micromanagement to the metagame and ultimately isn't enhancing the RP as this is just a roll of the dice anyway. We could try to make upgrades more RP-oriented, but realistically none of the Orders would have any expertise with this. I doubt the Orders would be able to import the kind of shipbuilders needed to be at the cutting edge anyway.

2. I would prefer to see Cogs simply be tier 2 combat ships with tier 3 having the highest transport capacity (but not 200 per ship). Primarily transport ships could be represented through seized merchant ships and be RPed depending on the situation.

3. As fun as it would be to go into battle with ten ships and leave with twelve, it's still ultimately gaining units that weren't paid for and could easily end up with one Order having an unstoppable fleet that grows everytime a battle is fought. It gives Orders an incentive to think realistically about sending ships into combat, as each and every one of them will have to be paid for. We don't get to recruit prisoners, so why apply it to ships?
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PostSubject: Re: Naval Metagame Stuff   Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:39 am

/triplepost Suspect


To address the uses of the Cog, perhaps it should have little use as a raiding ship. Since they're built to be more about cargo capacity or to support the weight of the castles and other combat features, they're not terribly fast compared to other ships, especially if they have only one square sail. The galley being smaller, and the Caravel having numerous sails, would certainly be faster. Since speed is the most important attribute when it comes to raiding/piracy, perhaps galleys should be less useful in combat compared to the other two, but much more effective for macro-actions like raiding. The Caravel, being an all around superior ship, should be better than both in combat and on the map.
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PostSubject: Re: Naval Metagame Stuff   Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:41 am

I like that. Galleys for patrols and raiding and Cogs as backbone of the fleet.

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PostSubject: Re: Naval Metagame Stuff   Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:42 am

I'm scared. Iskar has taken too much interest in the building of fleets lately. Suspect
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PostSubject: Re: Naval Metagame Stuff   Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:52 am

I'm interested in anything that might help us on our way to unopposed supremacy actually.

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