Flattop double-blind

Our 20th Anniversary Fest!
ThisLee
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Flattop double-blind

Post by ThisLee » Wed Feb 24, 2016 7:52 pm

I had fun playing this year, thanks again to Dave for refereeing!

I had 2 thoughts, which I will throw out for future use. one was to get plexi covers for the players' maps, that they could grease-pencil or marker intel reports as they came it. Related to that would be to get a bigger plotting board for the referee, to prevent serious eyestrain.

Also, I am concerned about submarines, and how they're played in the game (as it happens, I'm reading an article on Torpedo Junction, too). The AA Wolfpack seemed really unhistorical.



Thoughts?

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Re: Flattop double-blind

Post by TEJ » Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:54 am

Yes, thank you Dave for making the miles to referee two blind tables.

For guests and people who are interested, we played the 19-hour version of Eastern Solomons and had a great game. The main events were a running battle of submarines versus the oiling Wasp group, assorted small Allied air strikes on exposed cruiser-destroyer-transport groups and IJN air bases, one each land and naval air strikes against Enterprise group, and culmination in a late afternoon attack by IJN cruisers against the already battered Enterprise group.

I concur that we should plexi the maps. We could have and I just didn't think of it. I even brought grease pencils and didn't get them out.

I don't have a particularly big problem with the game's sub rules in general, but double blind is already tough to referee and play. I'd be fine with calling all subs unorganized ships that only ever fire AA singly, with the proviso that if there are multiple subs in a hex the air formation specifically engages exactly one sub that can choose to fire or go deep. Or we could do something simpler, like removing subs entirely and saying that if an TF doesn't have at least 4x (DD, PG, or overhead ASW aircraft) (Allied) or 3x (same list) (IJN) that each odd-numbered hour the TF rolls 2d6 and suffers one hit to one ship on a roll of 12 (the difference being that IJN torpedoes were better and IJN subs are more numerous on board, while IJN TFs are limited to 10 ships instead of 15, so they'll have more targeted TFs anyway).

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Re: Flattop double-blind

Post by ThisLee » Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:32 pm

TEJ wrote: I'd be fine with calling all subs unorganized ships that only ever fire AA singly, with the proviso that if there are multiple subs in a hex the air formation specifically engages exactly one sub that can choose to fire or go deep.
No argument at all: subs need to be understood as unorganized ships.

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Re: Flattop double-blind

Post by TEJ » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:52 am

thisLee, you will again bring two sets of Flattop?

If yes, I hereby offer to GM an Eastern Solomons Battle scenario on Sunday evening.

That should work for four players, two on each side. If anyone would like to commit to a side and role you could start thinking about your plans. If you drop me your email in the private message area, I'll send you the OB and scenario notes.

If, on another day, someone would GM, I'd be eager to commit to a playing.

TEJ

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Re: Flattop double-blind

Post by DaveM1 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 7:19 pm

Having struggled with this in past, it would really help to have larger master map for the GM....or even to have two GMs?

I know I got exhausted doing that job, going back and forth between two tables and trying to track what was happening on the master sheet. With a bigger map for recording locations I'd be happy to either help or to run a second pass at the game.

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Re: Flattop double-blind

Post by ThisLee » Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:49 pm

Yes, I will bring my 2 copies.

A GM's map would be a Very Good Thing. Maybe the players should be on paper, and the GM on the map?

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Re: Flattop double-blind

Post by thatlee » Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:34 pm

Sounds great. Are there rules for the Japanese subs with scout planes? Just curious.

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Re: Flattop double-blind

Post by TEJ » Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:09 am

Lee,

There aren't. I've never heard that those assets were committed to the Solomons area so their absence makes sense to me. Flying boats from nearby island bases could do everything the sub-plane combos could do, so the combos went elsewhere.

ALCON,

One change I thought to make for double blind was to have subs be assigned patrol zones and then to be outside player control for movement. This would significantly ease referee labor b/c the subs could be plotted on the master map permanently instead of wandering. Thoughts?

I really liked Dave's idea about the referee having the big map. The players could have tables with AF and TF charts and pieces but when the AF takes off the AF marker goes to the referee with a written order and conditions for the mission. Not complicated, just "AF3 normal launch from Lae (move 4 hexes) to bomb Moresby from low altitude at speed 8, return to Rabaul and land at 1700." The referee then moves the AF and the player get reports about its adventures until it returns home. Air missions could be changed only over a base, a greatly more realistic game and much easier to referee than having a dozen AFs wandering the ocean in disjointed patterns to try to thoroughly search it all. Again, thoughts?

Todd

Also, I'm reading Lundstrom's book on the Solomons campaign now and am struck again by how awful both sides were at communications. I might have a great time implementing a 1-in-3 chance that something goes wrong with each message. On a 1-2, roll again. On a 1, the message is simply lost. On a 2, it is delivered the next turn. On a 3, the position is adjusted by d3 hexes in a d6 direction. On a 4, half the enemies are reported as one size larger than they really are. On a 5, the enemy is reported as either more or less numerous by d6 x 10% (round normally) than they really are. On a 6, if combat happened, damage is reported as d6 hits too few (on a 1-2) or d6 hits too many (on a 3-6).

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Re: Flattop double-blind

Post by ThisLee » Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:31 pm

TEJ wrote: One change I thought to make for double blind was to have subs be assigned patrol zones and then to be outside player control for movement. This would significantly ease referee labor b/c the subs could be plotted on the master map permanently instead of wandering. Thoughts?
I like this. It also might solve the thinking about subs trying to chase TFs. If you write it in there stnading orders, fine and good.
I really liked Dave's idea about the referee having the big map. The players could have tables with AF and TF charts and pieces but when the AF takes off the AF marker goes to the referee with a written order and conditions for the mission. Not complicated, just "AF3 normal launch from Lae (move 4 hexes) to bomb Moresby from low altitude at speed 8, return to Rabaul and land at 1700." The referee then moves the AF and the player get reports about its adventures until it returns home. Air missions could be changed only over a base, a greatly more realistic game and much easier to referee than having a dozen AFs wandering the ocean in disjointed patterns to try to thoroughly search it all. Again, thoughts?
Might be a bit of work for the referee, but would be a lot like PBM/PBEM. I like it.
Also, I'm reading Lundstrom's book on the Solomons campaign now and am struck again by how awful both sides were at communications. I might have a great time implementing a 1-in-3 chance that something goes wrong with each message. On a 1-2, roll again. On a 1, the message is simply lost. On a 2, it is delivered the next turn. On a 3, the position is adjusted by d3 hexes in a d6 direction. On a 4, half the enemies are reported as one size larger than they really are. On a 5, the enemy is reported as either more or less numerous by d6 x 10% (round normally) than they really are. On a 6, if combat happened, damage is reported as d6 hits too few (on a 1-2) or d6 hits too many (on a 3-6).
Which book? The second "First Team", his Fletcher bio, or the earliest one?

Yes, something like that will fit in nicely. I've been reading up on the Pacific War recently, too. "Pacific Crucible", "Conquering Tide", and "Clash of Carriers." Lots of mislaid and garbled sighting reports out there.

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Re: Flattop double-blind

Post by thatlee » Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:32 pm

I am extremely interested in this game. I did not get a chance to play last year. I volunteer to assist a referee, if such a position is needed.

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