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Viewing Topic "On The Seven Seas"
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Posted by: Big_Al Has anyone else tried these rules yet? I played my first game last night and have to say I was unimpressed, to put it mildly. There is so much missing that they are unplayable. For example, musket range is 8 inches, but when a figure gets to within 12 inches if an opposing figure, he has to test to see if he can move closer. The thing is that there is no explanation of what the target roll is or how you get to it. There us plenty to assume, but nothing definite.
Now, because you don't know what to test, you have to make I up and that isn't good enough. On too of this, it Lso means that you can't close for hhand to hand combat.
Right, ignoring all that, because of the movement rate, you are going to take fire at least twice before contact.for hand to hand, but don't worry because shooting I so ineffective that you are unlikely to get hit. There ar no shooting modifiers and you have to roll 10 or more on a d10.

There are so many holes in what I hoped would be a great set if rules that I wonder if they had ever been playtested. They are just a set of ideas to use as a basis for a game and you fill in the blanks. Even the points system is vague. I have just paid good money for nothing. I just want to make sure I haven't missed anything before I dispose of them! I haven't tried the sailing rules yet.
Posted on: 10/10/2014 10:27:00

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Posted by: Paintybeard
Total Posts: 372
Joined Date: Monday, 4 February 2013
I got given a set of these as a present with the full set of "North Star" pirate models. The figures are excellent, but the rules seemed very sketchy. (In fairness I have to say I have only read them, not actually played a game yet.) To be frank I think this is a complaint against all of Ospreys war-game rules. I also have a copy of the "World in Flames" rules and they seem to have the same problem: Lots of lovely pictures, but a rather vague and basic play system.
Posted on: 10/10/2014 12:06:00
Posted by: Big_Al
Total Posts: 1
Joined Date: Friday, 10 October 2014
Well, not all. Robin are excellent and work very well. Lion Rampant seem to.work well, too. Personally, I don't like Bolt Action because it is too flawed for my taste, but it is playable. World Aflame is ok once you get your head around it, but it takes a bit of persistence. A friend tells me that Dux Britannia is very good, but I haven't played. As to the rest, I am not impressed. Th thing about these is they are written by a well known author from whom I expected better. I certainly didn't expect to have to rewrite the rules. Osprey just seem to publish on trust! This appears to.be a.very poor quality product.
Posted on: 10/10/2014 12:24:00
Posted by: Big_Al
Total Posts: 1
Joined Date: Friday, 10 October 2014
That should have been Ronin!
Posted on: 10/10/2014 12:27:00
Posted by: Phil @ Osprey
Total Posts: 3
Joined Date: Monday, 9 June 2008
Hi there. Sorry to hear that OTSS isn’t your cup of tea. Still, for what it’s worth, I think I can address some of your queries.



Firstly, there is no test in order to approach an enemy figure. Rather, as described on p.36 (Figure Movement), a Captain or Mate (i.e. an officer) must just be within 6” to push a crewman into the ‘threat range’ of an enemy. No roll – simply the presence of an officer to spur the men into doing something dangerous.



With regards being shot at twice while advancing, that’s absolutely true if you’re just storming the guns. However, if your men hug cover or advance cautiously, you’re presenting a reduced target (if any) and can close with greatly reduced risk. Speaking of cover, while there are few modifiers to Shooting, cover is represented in the form of a saving throw against lethal strikes. It’s no guarantee of survival, but does go a long way towards helping (see ‘Resolving Shooting’, p.30-31).



In terms of the effects of Shooting, I’m afraid that you’ve missed a pretty crucial element – while a roll of 10 (9+ for a Sharpshooter) is a lethal hit (subject to any applicable saving throws from cover etc.), the ‘Resolving Shooting’ section on p.30-31 also identifies a score of 8 or 9 (7 or 8 for a Sharpshooter) as a near miss or slight wound resulting in a fall-back move. I appreciate that this might not be lethal enough for some tastes, but it does make a significant difference to gameplay.



As for the points system, in the author’s intro to the Factions section (p.53), he explains the rationale: “We have deliberately avoided specifying actual points totals so that you can tailor the size of your games to the figures available and your level of experience”. The base factions are always the same (+/- 15 men – though even then, there’s a degree of option in terms of armament), and the points costs represent upgrades or additional resources for these basic crews. Rather than the GW or In Her Majesty’s Name approach of spending 400pts (or whatever) to build your whole gang, OTSS takes a ‘spend 100pts to augment your basic gang’ approach.



Not every game is for everyone, but I hope these clarifications can go some way towards improving your enjoyment of OTSS.
Posted on: 10/10/2014 13:10:00
Posted by: Phil @ Osprey
Total Posts: 3
Joined Date: Monday, 9 June 2008
And apologies for the uber-paragraph! It was broken up when I wrote it - honest!
Posted on: 10/10/2014 13:17:00
Posted by: Big_Al
Total Posts: 1
Joined Date: Friday, 10 October 2014
Not at all, Phil. Thanks for the response. As I said, I was disappointed last night but that I wanted to make sure I hadn't missed anything before I threw them out. Your reply may help, so I will pass it onto my clubmates and we'll give it another try. I must admit that we did not spot the near miss rule. However, the part about encouraging your men to close with an enemy is not that clear and implies that a test is required. At least, that is how the two of us read it.

If you don't mind, I will post your response on our club forum so that we can all take it in and I will report back after our next game. I really hope that your answers soert out our misunderstanding. Rest assured I will post further questions should they arise, but I hope not.



Thanks for your help!
Posted on: 10/10/2014 14:10:00
Posted by: Big_Al
Total Posts: 1
Joined Date: Friday, 10 October 2014
Hello Phil



One thing, having read your reply. You have raised the point of cover, which we had no problem with. Admittedly, we had missed the bit about near misses, but as I mentioned, it is very difficult to hit anything because there are no positive modifiers to make hitting a target any easier than rolling 10. Now I agree that the firearms of the day may not be that accurate, but as a man gets closer he is presenting a larger target, which would be easier to hit, surely? Especially when he is charging into combat. I know that movement comes after shooting, but that just allows a person to wait until a firearm has been discharged before he charges in. I would have thought there would be something to increase the chance of hitting as the enemy gets closer. "Wait until you see the whites of their eyes" kind of thing?

Another thing that we didn't see, though we thought that we had read it earlier. Is there a penalty for shooting then moving, or can this be done freely?



Thanks in advance
Posted on: 10/10/2014 14:30:00
Posted by: Phil @ Osprey
Total Posts: 3
Joined Date: Monday, 9 June 2008
Hi Al,

Glad to hear that my response may help a bit – please feel free to spread it around. Incidentally, regarding the points costs, there are some sample lists on the OWG resources page (http://www.ospreypublishing.com/articles/osprey_wargames_resources) that show how to use the North Star boxed sets to build a crew. They give 18-point lists which allow for some characters and a few special weapons, and might be a useful guide to expanding beyond the core of a faction.

I think the ‘closing with the enemy’ section is really just down to interpretation – I read it completely the other way, but it’s something I’ll bear in mind for future projects (thanks!).

Without wanting to put words in Chris Peers’ mouth, it could be argued that a musketeer facing an approaching vicious pirate is going to have to be pretty special (i.e. a Sharpshooter) to be able to do much more than keep his cool enough to land a shot! There is no penalty for shooting then moving – at least, not that I can find or remember! As the ranges are pretty short, I see them as ‘effective’ (hence no modifiers) rather than ‘maximum’.

That said if the 30% chance (10% kill, 20% wound/knock back) of an effect from shooting is too slim for you, especially at close range, I’d probably house-rule it so that the effect goes up by 1 across the board at ‘close’ range (50% of the listed ranges on p.30) – so, for someone with a musket firing at 4” or less, he would kill on 9 or 10 (8, 9 or 10 if a Sharpshooter) and wound/suppress/knock down on a 7 or 8 (6, 7 or 8 if Sharpshooter). I do suspect this might make ‘Sharpshooter’ a little too cheap at 3 points, and would probably re-cost it to 6 points (if the existing Sharpshooter costs 3pts to give a +1 to shooting, giving a +2 for 6pts is logical!). I appreciate that offering a house rule doesn’t remove your criticisms of the system, but it might help!
Posted on: 10/10/2014 17:17:00
Posted by: Big_Al
Total Posts: 1
Joined Date: Friday, 10 October 2014
My criticism of the system was based purely on the experience of last night's game. Now I've had some clarification and another point of view, I am reserving that judgement. Hopefully, I will be proved wrong because I so wanted this to work. The figures from North Star are excellent and I've really enjoyed painting them.

I've found the lists, thanks and hope to get another game played soon. Next Thursday, perhaps. So I'll include these amendments and report back.



Thanks for your help



Al
Posted on: 10/10/2014 18:17:00
Posted by: jey07
Total Posts:
Joined Date: Sunday, 12 July 2020
Hi Phil n all,



I apologize but I really don t understand the firing system....



Phil told us about the near miss but I ve read again and again this paragraph and the near miss is only availiable for cannon (or weapons with minus for the range...). So i m going to take one simple example : my grunt fires with a gun at 2' and he only hit his target on a ten ? (!!!!!!). I understand the choice of weak fire weapons to make this game more into hand to hand fight but there is a big difference between low efficiency of firing weapons and make them useless...



In my club we play more historical and realistic wargames than than fantasy but my game buddies will kill me if i purpose this kind of system....
Posted on: 18/10/2014 17:55:00
Posted by: Phil @ Osprey
Total Posts: 3
Joined Date: Monday, 9 June 2008
Hi there. The near miss is NOT only available for cannon. If shooting a cannon at 8” or less, a roll of 8 or 9 (in addition to a 10) also counts as a hit; otherwise (i.e. when shooting ANYTHING else), a roll of 8 or 9 counts as a near miss. The reference to some weapons only being able to achieve a near miss at longer ranges refers to such weapons as the Blunderbuss (see the missile weapons list, p.12-13) which have negative modifiers over a certain distance – as the -1 is applied to the die roll, a 10 cannot be scored, so a 9 (i.e. a near miss) is the best result possible in some situations. So, to pick up your example, your grunt fires a gun (let’s call it a musket, as there are no situational modifiers for that weapon) – on a 10, that’s a hit, an out-and-out kill. On an 8 or 9, it’s a near miss or scratch that has no lasting effect, but is enough to force the target to fall back momentarily.
Posted on: 20/10/2014 10:30:00
Posted by: Big_Al
Total Posts: 1
Joined Date: Friday, 10 October 2014
We played a great game lad night. Phil's clarifications helped and so did a third club member joining in and adding another perspective. The rules are quite good hindered only by the need to flick through the book to join up some of the information. To be fair, the playsheet helps but could do with a bit more information. Worth persevering with!



@Jey07 - The bit which confuses is that last paragraph. Ignore the first sentence about cannons and start with the sentence that begins with "Otherwise". It will all click into place then. This is what I mean by interpretation. Perhaps that paragraph would have been better written the other way around and all.the bits about cannons grouped together and put in at the end.
Posted on: 24/10/2014 11:27:00
Posted by: Big_Al
Total Posts: 1
Joined Date: Friday, 10 October 2014
One more request, please?



Is it possible to provide a download of the sea wind chart on the resources page?



Thank you



Al
Posted on: 24/10/2014 11:49:00
Posted by: Big_Al
Total Posts: 1
Joined Date: Friday, 10 October 2014
One more question, if I may. The fall back result in hand to hand combat. Is that immediate or does it happen like all others in the next movement phase? This came up because in a two on one situation, the fall back would take the one figure out of reach of the second attacker if immediate. I believe it is the next movement phase and that all combat between the three would be simultaneous. Please can you clarify?
Posted on: 24/10/2014 16:03:00
Posted by: Phil @ Osprey
Total Posts: 3
Joined Date: Monday, 9 June 2008
Hi Al. Sorry it's taken me so long to reply - this one slipped under my radar! I'm glad you enjoyed your return to OTSS! As for your queries, I'll sort out the ship chart as soon as I can, and you are quite correct in your interpretation of the 'fall-back' rules - a figure receives a fall-back marker in combat (p.37), which then takes effect in his next movement phase (p.31).
Posted on: 06/11/2014 13:36:00
Posted by: Big_Al
Total Posts: 1
Joined Date: Friday, 10 October 2014
Thanks Phil.

We had another game tonight. One of our chaps was using government forces, which are alright in ranged combat but next to useless in hand to hand. This got us thinking and we decided that the troops could have plug bayonets. These would turn their muskets into pikes. However, there has to be a decision so that they don't become too powerful, so we decided that in order to use it the player must declare that his figures are fitting them during the movement phase. As you know, the plug bayonet prevents the musket from firing in the shooting phase and that is the trade off. If it isn't declared and a figure is caught out, tough! It seemed to work well enough and it gives the soldiers a little more of a chance.

We are working out a couple of other ideas, mainly for filling out the rules for campaigns. I'll post them as we try them out. We are really getting into this now and quite pleased with it.

Posted on: 14/11/2014 00:33:00
Posted by: Big_Al
Total Posts: 1
Joined Date: Friday, 10 October 2014
Forgot to add. We also came up with another idea for a figure that is forced back in combat and the enemy follows up. It is not clear that there is any penalty or that the figure can fight back, so we decided that the figure that is pushed back will fight but can only parry and cannot hurt his opponent. This seemed ok until one incident where the victim of the push back rolled a 10 in the following combat and the attacker rolled a 1. Because this is a bit of a rare event, getting the two extremes, we decided that this would be the only time the victim could kill his opponent with a lucky blow. All seems to add to the flavour of a swashbuckling adventure.

So, a man subject to a fall back in HtH combat can only parry his opponent regardless of how well he rolls unless he rolls 10 and his opponent rolls 1 which results in an unhappy accident for the opponent.
Posted on: 14/11/2014 00:41:00

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