August 6, 2014 at 8:59 am #6894
I recently uploaded v1 of a rules summary and reference for Dreadfleet. Anyone who has played this game is aware of its flaws (why the playtesters didn’t realise the same is anyone’s guess, but anyhoo …), but the game is such a beautiful beast that it seems a shame to let it languish on the shelf. So, thanks to the suggestion of EOG member Brent, I’ve started this forum to discuss, and link to, ideas for impproving the gameplay.
My site responsibilities don’t really give me the time needed to devote myself to this, but hopefully this will kick off some interested players.
I suppose the first thing to do is identify the problems. I haven’t played for a while, but I remember the main problem being that one’s decisions had very little impact on the game due to the huge swings of luck. The Fate deck was a big offender in this regard, as a new card was draw every player turn. Also, a lazy wind mechanic was justified thematically by saying the wind was semi-magical.
Many people have suggested only playing one Fate card per round instead of two, or playing both Fate cards but only implementing the wind change from one of them.
Of course, one drastic solution is just to drop the Dreadfleet rules and give the ships Man O’ War stats. It’s a thought.
Here are the variant discussions on Boardgamegeek.August 7, 2014 at 2:42 am #6908
It looks like the work has already been done. Jake Thornton looks like he nailed it. I am going to give his rules a try.
PeaceAugust 7, 2014 at 9:48 am #6909
Well, this may end up being the shortest thread ever .. 🙂
Be sure to let us know how the new rules play, I really want to know!August 7, 2014 at 10:18 am #6910
… and as he mentions, they need some play testing.August 8, 2014 at 7:17 am #6920
I will let you know…those rules are at least a really good start. Reading through them, on the surface they seem solid to me.
PeaceAugust 8, 2014 at 9:13 am #6921
Yep, they’re unfinished though. I think he gave up after that.December 22, 2015 at 8:43 pm #11275
Having just watched the three-part video of us playing this game, I’ve concluded that you could just as easily dispense with the Fate cards altogether.
Sure, that would make it a bit less like GW’s ‘Man o’ War’ and a tad more like the old Avalon Hill cardboard classic ‘Wooden Ships & Iron Men’, but then you could consider actually taking it seriously as a tactical naval game, rather than a knock-about dice-fest.
This might make the attribute differences between the different vessels take on a bit more significance in the game, because there would be some point in playing to your strengths (e.g. boarding actions with big crew), secure in the knowledge that no random card is going to knock half you sails out or kill half your crew at any moment. For instance, the submersible tentacle ship is ideal for getting into boarding or raking range without getting broadsided en route, or stuck facing into the wind.
I’d like to give it a try one day as serious naval game, just to see whether the core rule system can cope with it!December 22, 2015 at 9:19 pm #11279
Just taking out the Fate cards wouln’t be enough to mitigate the luck – just consider the Damage deck. Sadly I think the whole thing is built around a very random core. The only way to make it more tactical would be to use a naval system, but then you’d have to write entirely new stats for every ship.
It will be interesting to give the old Man O’ War game another run through when I get it out of storage one day.
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