Thursday, 24 November 2011

MOVEMENT HEADACHES: Turning Templates

Deciding how to manage movement in an ancient ship wargame is a headache, especially turning.
Things are made a little easier thasnks to the fact that sails and rigging were usually dispensed with for a battle ! :) Wind-regulated movement in a tabletop game uuugghh...

The sea-trials of Olympias give much useable information plus I have some experience on viking galleys - for that is what the longships also are.

I started from the basis of establishing the minimum turning circle - Olympias gives us time and angular distance. Larger ships will turn more slowly, smaller ones faster.

One thing to remember is that the steering oar swings the stern out as the turn is made so the ship does not go round a turn like a train on a track but holds a tangential position to the arc cut in the turn.

It is possible to calculate turning circles for all ships. Not necessary and tedious. I grouped ships into three classes. The trireme was the benchmark for doing this.

In my rules a ship just has to be ordered to go AHEAD, TURN PORT, TURN STARBOARD or BACK. The speed the ship is doing and its crew characteristics then determine how much it can turn, the final move being decided by the player as he moves that ship.

The templates are transparent and do not disfigure the playing surface when lying about.

I started with heavy perspex templates but changed to flimsy acetate ones which do not mash the ships when things get heavy!

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