KMH2

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Nick
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KMH2

Post by Nick »

Hello chaps

Yes, we're thinking about KMH2, and Rich and I have chewed over some ideas of what that might look like. The issue is that KMH works, and I want to be very careful that any future edition makes improvements in the right areas. Command, Control and Morale is one key area that I'm really keen to improve, along with a radical look at the way damage is tracked, which I think can be streamlined to accelerate play and minimise record keeping. In short, we've learned a lot about game mechanics since KMH was first released.

In nautical terms, what KMH needs is to come into dry dock for a 'refit' and re-emerge looking first rate.

Anyway, I'd very much welcome your thoughts on what you'd like to see in a new edition. I'm not promising to include all suggestions but really interested to hear your ideas.

Whatever happens, it will take a while and it's certainly too early to make any projections regarding dates! The current edition of KMH is most definitely the one to keep using.

Cheers

Nick

Also tweeting as @Dozibugger https://twitter.com/Dozibugger
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Archdukek
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Re: KMH2

Post by Archdukek »

Hi Nick, good to see you posting on the Forum at long last and thanks very much for taking the time to seek the views of us as players in working up your revision of the rules.

I confess that when I heard that KMH was to be rewritten, I started to panic that I would lose the rules I love to another more complicated set with all kinds of bells and whistles added in. While I know what a good job you and Rich have made of rewriting other iconic rules in the TFL like Bag the Hun, IABSM and Sharp Practice I remain nervous and concerned that KMH should remain simple to play and to teach others to play. I hope you will retain your original design aim of creating a set of rules which a complete novice to Napoleonic naval gaming can pick up and have fun with.

Having said that I would like to see some thought to how the core rules could be developed for use for single ship actions with frigates and smaller ships. I don't find them as interesting as a battle between two Ships of the Line at present and some of the gunfire bonuses, especially those for the British, just don't work in my view. I find it better to basically double the damage level and gunnery factors effectively turning a 32 gun frigate into a more manoeuvrable 64 gun vessel.

The Strike Test could do with streamlining. I find it difficult to remember when it's triggered at times, like if a ship receives 15 points of damage in a phase, and the test itself is slow to work through. The outcome is also a bit confusing combining as it does an opportunity for the ship to attempt to withdraw from the fight or to surrender. Personally I think they should be on a gradient of response. So if a ship fails by 10% or 20% it must disengage and withdraw from the table, if it fails by more than 20% it surrenders to the nearest enemy vessel.

The raking rules need clarifying. I know you take a very hard line on allowing rakes given their impact, but I find that strict interpretation can cause a lot of player frustration. While allowing a slightly more generous approach adds to the drama. My preferred approach nowadays is to allow a player who is holding his fire card to "fire as he bears" when crossing an enemy ship's bow or stern at a right angle counting such fire as a rake even though the ship might end up having passed its target at the end of movement.

Boarding actions can take a relatively long time to work through especially if the two ships are evenly balanced. Not sure how to simplify that though.

Some campaign rules and a collation of the various ideas in the Specials for creating and playing with squadrons would be great to see.

Those are just some preliminary thoughts. I'm running a KMH game at Wor Lard in April and I'll have a further think after that.

John

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Nick
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Re: KMH2

Post by Nick »

Hi John,

Hoping to be on the forum more often. Well, I suppose once is more often than never, right?

Good man and thanks for your comments. I share many of your thoughts - especially with regard to single ships and the Strike Test. I also think a campaign system and fleet builder has to be in there.

Great to hear KMH is on the agenda for Wor Lard, I keep hearing great things about that gathering!

Nick

Also tweeting as @Dozibugger https://twitter.com/Dozibugger
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BrianW
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Re: KMH2

Post by BrianW »

Nick,
I agree with John about streamlining the Strike Test, and the percentages idea sounds like it might be a good way to do it. I've tried the command and control rules in the Special, and they go a long ways towards imposing some order on players. I've played some scenarios (before the C&C rules were published) where players drove their 74's almost like they were speedboats instead of ships of the line.

Another area to consider might be to simplify how speed changes are done. That is the one area that all new players seem to have trouble with. It could possibly be as simple as adding an explanatory chart to the ship sheet. I would suggest a more graphical way of marking ship damage, but with your idea about changing damage tracking my idea here might be moot.

Some cleaning up of the boarding action rules would be nice as well. They've always read as if you have to fight and take control of every gun deck, and that's just not how it was done, as you know. I'm not a big fan of using the hull boxes to determine melee strength, but since it is more of a fleet level set of rules that is a good compromise. The article I wrote for the Special about reflecting national differences in the ship ratings adds spice to smaller engagements, but goes directly against your idea of making things simpler.

I know I'm sounding very nitpicky, so let me say that the things I've mentioned are all I can think of that need to be changed. A campaign system will be very welcome, and if the squadron generator is anything like the one in the Special it will work great. KMH is still my go-to rules for large engagements; in fact my copy is one of the ones that Rich ran off on his home printer! They have introduced a lot of people to AoS gaming over the years in my area.
"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. "
-- Joseph Alexandrovitch Brodsky, 1991

rim66
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Re: KMH2

Post by rim66 »

I'd also agree with John, especially the desire to retain the 'philosophy' of the rules. One I have wondered about but not yet tested was to remove the fire card and allow captains to 'fire at will' during the turn. This would reflect the more centralised control and allow ships to fire at any point in their move or, indeed, be fired at. Record keeping could be an issue but good old cotton wool puffs a la SP2 would do the trick. I think this could reward players, who handle their ships well.

Just a thought,

Richard aka Monty Lardo

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Nick
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Re: KMH2

Post by Nick »

Thanks chaps, wise words all round and good food for thought. Thanks.

With What a Tanker now rolling off the presses I might see if I can get some time on this over the holiday weekend, family and chocolates permitting.

Nick

Also tweeting as @Dozibugger https://twitter.com/Dozibugger
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BrianW
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Re: KMH2

Post by BrianW »

Monty,
I don't know that I agree with you about ditching the fire card. One of the things that players seem to enjoy when the fight starts is the interplay of movement versus firing cards. Which one is coming up first? To me, that handles the loading time questions that other naval games have. Do I fire now, or wait and maybe get a better firing position later? I think removing the firing card would reduce a lot of the tension and decision making from the game.

Since it's a multi-squadron/fleet level game, as a higher level commander you have to make the decision to use the card if one ship has a good firing position versus waiting for the entire squadron to do so. The lack of a tea break type card means that there is no chance of losing it unexpectedly, since you can see the entire run of cards play out. If you don't use it this turn, you know the opportunity will come up again; you just don't know if the opportunity will arise at the right time.

To be clear, I do play it so that if you have your firing card you may fire at any part of the turn, including interrupting another player's move to do so. I think that's how the original rules are written (I'm going from memory). That does make an important difference. If you already have your firing card, and your opponent chooses to close the range on you, then that's his command decision. That's him saying "This is too warm a work to last for long." Also, given that the French and Spanish get bonuses for engaging at longer ranges, the fire card gives a British player the chance to possibly close the range before the other side can open up and take advantage of their bonuses.
"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. "
-- Joseph Alexandrovitch Brodsky, 1991

Archdukek
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Re: KMH2

Post by Archdukek »

I'm with Brian on the retention of the separate Fire Card within the system. Doing away with it would give too much control to the players in my view and remove much of the friction.

Unlike Brian, I do not allow a player holding his Fire card to interrupt an opponent's movement to fire. I don't believe the rules allow that. You can only choose to play the Fire card before the next card is drawn is my understanding.

I can see a case for playtesting allowing a player holding a fire card to fire at any point during his own ship's move. However, I suspect that would be better used in modelling single ship actions rather than squadrons since I think it would over complicate matters. It also would remove some of those tactical choice tensions which Brian refers to.

John

BrianW
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Re: KMH2

Post by BrianW »

John,
OK, you made me think that maybe I was remembering it incorrectly. So, I went and got the rules out and looked. This is what my 2003 copyright rules say:
5.1. Holding back of cards
Players may hold back their firing card to be playe at a later point in the turn if desired. Cards may not be carried over from one turn to another (e.g. a card held back for later fire cannot be carried over into the next turn, it must either be used before the end of the turn in which it is drawn or else it goes back into the pack.
I agree that it doesn't say anything about interrupting another player's move. That interpretation came from a comment I made on a question in the old Yahoo group back in 2013. I explained how I played it, and nobody in authority ever said otherwise. So that clearly is an obscure area that could maybe use some clarification.
"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. "
-- Joseph Alexandrovitch Brodsky, 1991

Archdukek
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Re: KMH2

Post by Archdukek »

Brian,
Since Nick is the authority on KMH and I haven't seen him post on the Yahoo Group ever, I can understand both the lack of reply to your query and why you would stick to playing it that way.

I cite as evidence of my interpretation being correct a document you may have never seen dating back to February 2004 entitled "KMH Queries". You can find it in the Yahoo Group files section for KMH entitled FAQ for KMH or something similar here:
https://xa.yimg.com/df/Toofatlardies/FA ... e=download

In response to a question asking if a reserved fire card can be played interrupting movement it says:
"It can be played any time as the next card, but not in the middle of a move. My judgement is always that if you are (for instance) reserving your fire card and your opponents movement card comes out, your choice is either to play the card immediately and fire before he moves or let him play his movement and then (after he has completed moving) you may fire. I accept nothing in between, ......"
There's a bit more but that's the key section for our purpose.

John

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