Monday, 17 December 2012

Naval Combat Sample


So let's give this Naval Combat a whirl with Naval Hardware, small arms, and death and dismemberment.  The encounter:

The party(a Captain, a Ship's Doctor, a First Mate, and a Duelist), in their Cog, go looking for a ship to overwhelm.  They're lightly burdened, but have a crew of 20 pirates, a small cannon, a Heavy Musket mounted on deck, and a minimal cargo so their ship will be unencumbered and move fast.  They also have a small sailing skiff.

A couple days in they encounter a heavily-laden Caravel moving slowly, with a crew of 12, a standard cannon on each side, as well as a Swivel-Gun on the poop deck.

So here's how the party chose to split-up command between the 4 PCs, and the Merchant's command groups(used for initiative):

Pirate Cog

  • Pirate Captain/Navigator(2nd level) flintlock pistolsx2, sabre
    • Pirate Helmsman sabre
    • Pirate Sailor sabre
    • Pirate Carpenter sabre
    • Pirate Canon Gunner sabre
  • Pirate Mate/Swordsman with 2 flintlock pistols
    • 4 Native spearmen with short bows
  • Pirate Doctor 2 flintlock pistols, Musket, rapier
    • Pirate Heavy Musket Gunner sabre
    • 2 Pirate Musketeers sabre

Pirate Skiff

  • Pirate Duelist 2 Flintlock Dragons
    • 5 Crossbowmen, sabre

Merchant Caravel

  • Merchant Captain(2nd level) 2 pistols
    • Merchant Helmsman
    • 2 Merchant Sailors
    • Merchant Carpenter
    • 5 Merchant Gunners
  • Merchant Mate(2nd level) Musket, sabre
    • Merchant Musketeer, sabre

Initiative

We'll have each of the commanders roll initiative.  The order is:
  1. Merchant Captain
  2. Merchant Mate
  3. Pirate Captain
  4. Pirate Mate
  5. Pirate Duelist
  6. Pirate Doctor

Ship Turn 1:


Phase 1: Crew Assignment

Pirates
  • Pirate Helmsman, Pirate Sailor-Rigger, Pirate Canon Gunner-at their stations
  • Pirate Carpenter, Captain, Mate-At Ready
  • Duelist- Helm of Skiff
Merchants
  • Merchant Carpenter, Captain- At Ready
  • helmsman, 2 sailors, 5 gunners- at their various stations

Phase 2: Individual Combat, Phase 3: Heavy Guns

None of this yet, not in range.

Phase 4: Ship Control

  • Pirate Cog: Captain orders to engage the Caravel
  • Pirate Skiff: Mate engages Caravel
  • Caravel's Captain: Chooses to Evade the Cog, try to deal with the skiff first
So So the Skiff and Caravel will be ENGAGED next turn(i.e. in heavy gun range)


Ship Turn 2:


Phase 1: Crew Assignment

same as last

Phase 2: Individual Combat

None of this yet, not in range. 

Phase 3 Heavy Guns

  • The Merchant Swivel Gun and one of the canons fire at the small skiff(needs 17-1(gunner skill)) aiming for it's hull.  The other canon cannot fire at the skiff since guns on opposite sides of the craft cannot both fire at the same ship.
    • both miss

Phase 4: Ship Control

  • Pirate Cog: Captain ENGAGES caravel
  • Pirate Skiff: pulls ALONGSIDE caravel
  • Caravel's Captain: not wanting the skiff with it's crossbowmen to get within range, he EVADES the Skiff
So all three ships will be ENGAGED next turn.



Ship Turn 3:


Phase 1: Crew Assignment

same as last

Phase 2: Individual Combat

None of this yet, not in range. 

Phase 3 Heavy Guns

  • Roll initiative(1d6+Helmsman skill).  Merchant wins.
  • The Merchant Swivel Gun and one of it's canons fire at the small skiff(needs 17-1(gunner skill)).  Both aim for the hull hoping to sink it.  The other canon fires at the Pirate Cog's hull(needs 10-1)
    • swivel-gun misses
    • Canon hits skiff for 4 Hull damage(it will begin shipping water next Turn).
      • Crossbowman 3 is chosen randomly, but makes his save so does not take damage
    • Canon hits Cog for 4 Hull damage
  • The Pirate Cog fires on the Caravel's deck(needs 7-1=6)
    • Hits. 12 crew, 2 masts, helm, 3 Heavy Guns, 3 powder barrels. 21: swivel gun powder barrel.  Ship is on fire.  Gunner: Hit an artery: -1HP and bleeding

Phase 4: Ship Control

  • Pirate Cog: Captain orders to pull ALONGSIDE  Caravel
  • Pirate Skiff: Mate attempts to pull ALONGSIDE Caravel
  • Caravel's Captain: not wanting the Cog to get any closer, EVADES the Cog
So all three ships will be ENGAGED next turn, with the Skiff and Caravel ALONGSIDE one another(small arms range).



Ship Turn 4:


Phase 1: Crew Assignment

Pirates
  • Pirate Helmsman, Pirate Sailor-Rigger, Pirate Canon Gunner-at their stations
  • Pirate Carpenter- Repairing hull damage
  • Pirate Doctor and 3 musketeers- bailing water from Cog
  • Captain, Mate-At Ready
  • Duelist- abandons helm to participate in combat
  • note the skiff crew is not bailing, so their ship will sink at the end of this turn!
Merchants
  • Merchant Carpenter- putting out powder fire
  • Captain- At Ready
  • Rest except for Mate's group- at their stations

Phase 2: Individual Combat

Round 1

  • Merchant Mate & Musketeer fire at Duelist and Crossbowman 5(need 11+1-1=11 and 11+1=12 to hit)
    • Crossbowman 5 hit, Killed Horribly
  • Duelist climbs aboard Caravel(needs to roll DEX=11 or lower to succeed)
    • Climbs onto deck of Caravel
  • Crossbowmen 1-4 fire at Mate, Musketeer(need 11)
    • all miss

Round 2

  • Merchant Mate & Musketeer draw swords and attack Duelist(need 10, 11 to hit)
    • Musketeer hits for 8 damage, Dies Horribly
  • Crossbowmen 1-4 reload

Round 3

  • Merchant Mate & Musketeer reloading
  • Crossbowmen 1-4 fire at Mate, Musketeer(need 11)
    • both die horribly

Round 4

  • Crossbowmen 1-4 reload

Round 5

  • Crossbowmen 1-4 fire at Merchant helmsmen and 3 of remaining 4 gun crew
    • Helmsman hit, Killed instantly(Captain takes his place at helm)
    • Canon 1 Gunner hit, 0HP and falls unconscious for 5 rounds
    • Canon 2 Gunner hit 0HP and falls unconcious bleeding.

Round 6

  • Their gunners unconscious, Powder monkeys 1, 2 abandon their posts to bandage the two bleeding gunners
  • Seeing their skiff is about to sink, Crossbowmen 1-4 jump aboard the caravel
    • 3 of them make it aboard
    • 1 of them falls overboard!

Phase 3 Heavy Guns

  • The Merchant Caravel's guns are unmanned
  • The Pirate Cog fires on the Caravel's deck(needs 7-1=6)
    • Hits. 6 crew, 2 masts, helm, 3 Heavy Guns, 2 powder barrels. 5: Powder Monkey 1 is killed horribly!

Phase 4: Ship Control

  • Pirate Cog: Captain orders to pick-up Crossbowman 4 who is OVERBOARD
  • Pirate Skiff: takes on 4 water units from hull damage.  Sinks
  • Caravel's Captain: not wanting the Cog to get any closer, EVADES the Cog
So ships are not engaged this turn

Also, hull damage to Pirate Cog has been repaired.


Ship Turn 5:


Phase 1: Crew Assignment

Pirates
  • Pirate Helmsman, Pirate Sailor-Rigger, Pirate Canon Gunner-at their stations
  • Pirate Carpenter, Captain, Mate- AT READY
Merchants
  • Merchant captain orders all hands to repel boarders, so the ship is UNMANNED

Phase 2: Individual Combat

Round 1

  • Merchant Captain approaches Crossbowman 1 and fires pistol(needs 11+1-1=11)
    • grazes him(2HP)
  • Merchant Carpenter, 2 sailors, Powder Monkey attack the 3 Crossbowmen with their sabres
    • Crossbowman 2 killed horribly
    • Crossbowman 3 is slashed but it's just a flesh wound(2HP)
  • Crossbowmen 1,3 attack Carpenter, Powder Monkey with their sabres
    • Carpenter slashed in stomach, falls to floor bleeding, unconscious
  • Crossbowman 4 is fished out of the water, his weapons left on the bottom of the sea

Round 2

  • Merchant Captain, 2 sailors, Powder Monkey attack the 2 Crossbowmen with their sabres
    • Crossbowman 3 takes two more fleshwounds(1 and 2 HP)
  • Crossbowmen 1,3 attack 2 sailors
    • both take fleshwounds(1HP each)

Round 3

  • Merchant Captain, 2 sailors, Powder Monkey attack the 2 Crossbowmen with their sabres
    • Crossbowman 3 takes a fleshwound(1HP)
  • Crossbowmen 1,3 attack 2 sailors
    • sailor 1 takes a fleshwound(1HP)

Round 4

  • Merchant Captain, 2 sailors, Powder Monkey attack the 2 Crossbowmen with their sabres
    • Crossbowman 1 killed instantly
    • Crossbowman 3 takes a fleshwound(2HP)
  • Crossbowmen 3 surrenders and is bound and taken below

Round 5, 6

canon 1 gunner awakens

Phase 3 Heavy Guns

  • ships not engaged

Phase 4: Ship Control

  • Pirate Cog: Captain orders to engage skiff
  • Caravel is UNMANNED
So the Cog and Caravel will be ENGAGED


Ship Turn 6:

Phase 1: Crew Assignment

Pirates
  • Pirates
    • Pirate Helmsman, Pirate Sailor-Rigger, Pirate Canon Gunner-at their stations
    • Pirate Carpenter, Captain, Mate- AT READY
Merchants
  • Captain- At helm
  • 2 sailors at stations
  • Powder Monkey, Canon 1 gunner- man a canon

Phase 2: Individual Combat

None of this yet, not in range. 

Phase 3 Heavy Guns

  • Pirates win initiative
  • The Pirate Cog fires on the Caravel's deck(needs 7-1=6)
      • Hits. 5 crew, 2 masts, helm, 3 Heavy Guns, 2 powder barrels. 6-mast goes down.  Caravel now only has 5/10 sail points
  • The Powder monkey fires the Swivel Gun at the Cog's hull
    • hits, 2 hull damage

Phase 4: Ship Control

  • Pirate Cog: Captain pulls ALONGSIDE caravel
  • Caravel EVADES cog
So both ships will be ENGAGED next turn.

Ship Turn 7:


Phase 1: Crew Assignment

same as last except Carpenter and 2 musketeers set about fixing hull/bailing

Phase 2: Individual Combat

None of this yet, not in range. 

Phase 3 Heavy Guns

  • Pirates win initiative
  • The Pirate Cog fires on the Caravel's deck(needs 7-1=6)
    • Hits. 4 crew, 1 mast, helm, 3 Heavy Guns, 2 powder barrels. 5-mast goes down.  Caravel is at 0 sail points and is DISABLED!
  • Merchant cannot fire canon since disabled ships don't get to shoot their fixed guns at moving ships

Phase 4: Ship Control

  • Pirate Cog: Captain pulls ALONGSIDE caravel
  • Caravel is DISABLED
So both ships will be ALONGSIDE next turn.


Ship Turn 8:


Phase 1: Crew Assignment

Pirates
  • Pirate Helmsman, Pirate Sailor-Rigger, Pirate Canon Gunner-at their stations
  • Pirate Carpenter, Captain- AT READY
Merchants
  • Captain, 2 sailors, powder monkey abandon stations since ship is disabled
  • Canon Gunner- man's the swivel gun

Phase 2: Individual Combat

Round 1

  • Merchant Captain fires pistol at Pirate Captain(needs 11+1-1)
    • flesh wound(5hp)
  • Pirate Mate fires pistol at Merchant captain
    • Killed instantly
  • 4 Native spearmen with short bows fire at 2 sailors
    • miss
  • Pirate Doctor,Heavy Musketeer, 2 Pirate Musketeers fire at powder monkey, 2 sailors
    • miss
  • Crossbowman throws a boarding hook to disabled Caravel

Round 2

  • Sailor 1 fetches fallen pistol from captain
  • Pirate Mate fires pistol at sailor 1
    • DEAD
  • 4 Native spearmen with short bows fire at sailor, powder monkey
    • sailor killed instantly.
    • powder monkey's left arm lamed.  Falls unconscious and bleeding
  • Pirate Doctor,Heavy Musketeer, 2 Pirate Musketeers wait
  • Crossbowman makes fast the boarding hook.  Ships are now MOORED
  • Pirate Doctor & musketeers board the Caravel and attack Canon Gunner with sabres
    • killed instantly


Conclusion

The battle is over.  The Pirates lost a PC, the duelist, and 3 NPC crossbowmen.

The merchant ship was taken with 7 dead crew and 5 wounded and unconscious


I was pretty happy with how the naval combat system worked in practice.  Despite a combined roster of 32 crew-members, the rules meant that only small sub-groups could attack on any given round, which kept it manageable.

Also, the combat was fun and strategic, with ships trying to sink each other, board each other, evade each other, with ranged gun-battles going-on throughout.

Now to try it on actual players...

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