A KMH campaign system: What would you want to see in it?

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BrianW
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A KMH campaign system: What would you want to see in it?

Post by BrianW »

I approached Rich about the possibility of a KMH campaign system, and he said that he would be interested in seeing such a product. I've been working on the idea, and am about ready to put it into playtesting among my local gaming group. Before things get too locked down however, I'm wondering what a gaming group would expect from a product like this, and so decided to throw out a brief description of my ideas.

The game is designed to be played primarily via e-mail. The players take the roles of squadron commanders, or the overall commander of the fleet. The overall commander for each side would send orders for each of his subordinates to the game referee, who would then send them on to the other players. The design is somewhat "old school" in that it requires a referee to handle communications, detached commands and general fog of war. Frankly, I can see no other way around the fog of war requirements in this period; after all, once a squadron dropped below the horizon, the high command really had no idea what it was doing until it returned to port.

Ideally, each squadron would have a player to command it. If that is not the case, then there is a system for determining the quality of "non-player admirals" which tells the referee how likely they are to carry out their orders. I will say right here that it is taken largely from Nick's article in the 2009 Christmas Special about command and control for KMH. After all, why reinvent the wheel if you don't need to?

Each side has a primary objective they have to attain to win the campaign. In the included campaign (Cape Noli, 1795-96) the French are trying to recapture Corsica while the British are trying to prevent it. If the objective is achieved, then everyone on that side wins. If neither side achieves its objective, then victory goes to the officer with the highest amount of Prestige Points. Players get these by fulfilling their orders, capturing enemy ships and the like. Prestige Points are basically a combination of prize money and official 'notice.' The concept is that even though your side didn't win, you were successful enough to make sure that your career is not harmed. This also makes it possible for anyone to win in the case of a draw.

There are basically six types of orders. They are: convoy escort, dispatch service, blockade, raid, cruise and special assignment. Convoys could be supporting the ground forces in a theater, bringing in naval supplies or just moving civilian goods. Players are not required to escort convoys, but there is a loss of Prestige if they do not, and even more if they are captured. A raid is against a specific target on the coast, while a cruise is simply to look for trouble wherever a squadron can find it. Dispatch service and blockade are pretty self-explanatory, and special assignment covers everything else from espionage to diplomatic maneuvering.

Supplies also play a part. Ships must have food and stores to go to sea. Even to stay in port requires food, although not as much in the way of stores. In some cases this may not be a problem, but in other campaigns shortages can force the overall commander to make hard choices about who goes out and who stays.

There would be a referee's book, with all the charts and explanations of how things work, and a player's handbook with enough information to get a player involved without having to know how everything works. The player's handbook is written for that person who got drug into the campaign by someone else who has all the ships, and just wants to play.

There would be a campaign included with the rules (Noli, 1795 as mentioned above), and other ones put out afterwards. I really want to do one about the Russo-Turkish War of 1806-1808, 1810-1812. Two fleets of Landlubbers going after each other should have no end of laughs, I would think. Also, it is a naval war that is way away from the ordinary.

So, that is a brief sketch of my ideas up to this point. I would like to hear your comments, and if anyone is interested I can post my current Table of Contents for the referee rules. We are going out of town for a week starting Tuesday, but I will be able to stay in touch.
Thanks,
Brian W.
"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. "
-- Joseph Alexandrovitch Brodsky, 1991

BrianW
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:40 pm
Location: near Houston Texas, USA
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Re: A KMH campaign system: What would you want to see in it?

Post by BrianW »

Now that we are back from vacation, I thought I would post the Table of Contents for the referee rules. I haven't put the section on Oared Vessels into it yet, but that will fall under movement. This ToC does not include the sections for the sample campaign; these are just the rules.

Playing by E-Mail: 5
Number of players required 5
More positions than players: 5
Admirals: 5
Admiral Types: 5
Lamentable: 5
Patriotic: 5
Intrepid: 6
Inspirational: 6
Grading Admirals: 6
Seniority: 6
Replacing non-player Admirals: 7
Admiral Improvement and Casualties: 7
Scale: 7
Movement: 7
Speed in Miles per Day 7
Speed in Knots per Hour 8
Movement of Damaged Ships: 9
Towing: 10
Sighting: 10
Weather Conditions: 11
Wind Strength: 11
Damaged Ships in a Storm: 12
Hurricanes: 12
Objectives and Orders: 12
Order Types: 12
Convoy Escort: 12
Dispatch Service: 13
Blockade: 13
Raid: 13
Cruise: 13
Special Assignment: 13
Order Format 13
Chain of Command: 14
Blockades: 15
Supplies: 15
Attrition: 16
Food: 16
Naval Stores: 16
“Guerre de Course”: 16
Supplies in Port 17
Resupplying While in Port: 17
Resupplying at Sea: 17
Post-Battle Repairs at Sea: 17
Post-Battle Repairs at a Port: 17
Non-Coppered Vessels: 18
Messages: 18
Transports: 19
Convoys and Merchantmen: 19
Convoy Generation: 19
Navy Supply Convoys: 19
Cargo Limitations: 20
Army Supply Convoys: 20
Merchant Convoys: 20
Convoy Movement Rules: 20
Individual Merchant Ships: 21
Sighting Charts: 21
Encounters at Sea 21
Open Sea 21
Friendly Coast 21
Enemy coast 21
Merchant ship type 21
Prestige Points: 22
Awarding Prestige Points: 23
Penalizing Insubordination: 23
Rewarding Initiative: 23
Clearing for Action: 24
Crew Improvement: 24
Crew Deterioration: 25
Small Action Resolution: 25
Land Forces and Supplies: 25
Attrition: 26
Richness of the Countryside: 27
Prize Crews: 27
Additional Rules for KMH 27
Data and Charts 29
Supply Requirements per Month 29
British Navy 29
French Navy 29
Spanish Navy 29
Dutch Navy 30
Russian Baltic Fleet (carries 3 months supplies) 30
Russian Black Sea Fleet (carries 3 months supplies) 30
Ottoman Navy (carries 3 months supplies) 31
Swedish Navy (carries 3 months supplies) 31
Danish Navy (carries 3 months supplies) 31
US Navy 32
Generic Unrated Ships 32
Bibliography 34
Designer’s Notes: 35
Credits: 36
"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. "
-- Joseph Alexandrovitch Brodsky, 1991

Chappuis
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Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:55 am

Re: A KMH campaign system: What would you want to see in it?

Post by Chappuis »

:shock: Wow Excellent. Thank for info.

Ruby888

BrianW
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:40 pm
Location: near Houston Texas, USA
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Re: A KMH campaign system: What would you want to see in it?

Post by BrianW »

Unfortunately, it has sort of died on me. The trouble is in balancing complexity and playability, AND needing a referee for the real double-blind "feel" of Age of Sail campaigning. I will pick it up again in a few months, if I get some inspirations on how to make things simpler.
BWW
"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. "
-- Joseph Alexandrovitch Brodsky, 1991

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