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Subject: EotS - the game with FLYING battleships! rss

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Forest Green Hobbit
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I have played several PTO strategic games including Victory in the Pacific, Pacific Victory and my favorite Asia Engulfed. I have not played Pacific War, Pacific Theather of Operations, or Fire in the Sky, so I don't know if what I am about to say applies to them, but EotS is the only PTO game I know in which the Battleships (BB) and Cruisers (CA) have the ability to fly! This is of course not historical, but does add a interesting fantasy twist to a game which otherwise strives to realistically simulate the PTO conflict. Why do I say that BB's can fly in EotS? The observation comes from the EotS rules which lump all the combat factors for surface naval units in with air units and comes up with the concept of "naval/air" combat. Historically, BB were tremendously powerful weapons when attacking surface ships and providing shore bombardment. In open water they also provided some defense using anti-aircarft against air attacks. However in EotS, these same BB now have the ability to be equal in ability to air units in inflicting damage on other air units in offensive operations.

Let me provide a typical example from this game: Japan has taken Rangoon and the allies launch an air attack on ground troops in the hex. The allies send air units and carriers (witht the carriers themselves a safe distance away) on this mission to attack the ground troops. Japan reacts with a huge stack of BB and CA, but NO air units. In the ensuing "naval/air" battle the entire allied air and carrier force in the far east is destroyed due to Japan rolling a 9 and the allies rolled a 1. Now I wonder, what new weapon do the BB and CA ships have that can pull off such an attack? The allies are flying their planes over land and bombing and straffing the ground troops. Here come the BB and CA which have one of 4 weapons as I can understand it:
1. The ability to use their big guns to fire at aircraft 16 to 20 miles inland and hit them with extreem accuracy.
2. The ability to shoot conventional anti-aircraft weapons that same or greater distance.
3. A whole lot of heat seeking ship to air missiles which were invented another 20 years after the battle, or
4. The ability to take to the air and use conventional anti-aircarft weapons against the air units.
None of these ever happened historically in WWII that I am aware. Yet it is common place in EotS.

The bottom line is the enormous attack power of BB's is appropriate when the mission is either supporting an amphibious invasion or attacking other surface fleets. However in EotS, the naval/air combat system makes the BB equally effective at downing air units. Now the other PTO games I mentioned, are able to make the distinction between the power of offensive naval gunnery aginst ship tragets and the rather week ability of BB's to defend themselves against air attacks. None of them take the same strength that naval gunnery has against surface targets and applies that to air targets.

My final question is why would a game designer go to the enourmous measures this designer obviously has in researching, anyalizing, and re-creating historic simulations to end up with a combat system where BB's can fly? Was it bascause it was "too complicated" to use systems other PTO games use to separate air combat from surface naval combat? I am not sure, but will now enjoy EotS as a fantasy board game but not as a realistic PTO game. And that's too bad considering the effort that went into producing this game.
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Eric Brosius
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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I don't know the answer, but I do know that Mark Herman has had good explanations for many aspects of the design. Perhaps he will explain his thinking on this question too.
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Leo Zappa
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Well, we know for a fact that the Japanese did have flying battleships. The Yamato was even capable of space flight.

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Malcolm Cameron
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No rule book handy, but I am pretty sure CVs standing off a battle hex cannot be damaged by BBs and CAs in the battle hex.

To inflict loss on a remote CV you need one air unit or CV yourself for each CV you want to hit.

I have not explained that very well, and it may be inaccurate in some respects, but I think the post proceeds on a false premise.

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Henrik Reschreiter
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I think you might have missed or misunderstood a few vital rules:

1) BBs cannot fly of course, and are not meant to be or portraited to be.

2) BBs can shot down planes, yes; but they can only hit units that are in the same hex as them. E.g. they attack an air in Rangoon (e.g. bombard the air field).

3) Only air and CV/CVLs can hit units that are not in their hex: so 2 BBs in target hex, no air unit fights on their side. Two CVs join the fight from the other side: only the CV can inflict damage. You can only hit as many different units outside the target hex as you have air capabable units in the fight yourself. This mechanism is frequently used and abused in the game and is fundamental of how you conduct combat.

4) and lastly, this is a strategic game: a single roll in a single A/N battle might simulate multiple actual encounters spanning three months, e.g. most of the GCanal campaign. The counter present force projection into the area, not necessarily that the fight was only fought in that hex.

I hope this helps.
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Lewis Goldberg
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Boy the way Glenn Miller played // Songs that made the Hit Parade // Guys like us we had it made // Those were the days.
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To add on to what was said already, imposing a tactical combat system used in 'other PTO games' on a game with 3 month turns would add tedium with no good effect, such as the "advanced battle rules" in Kingmaker, which almost no one ever uses.
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Forest Green Hobbit
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SOMEONE NEEDS TO READ RULE 8.2.F.4! And namely that person would be ME! Thank you Mr. Reschreiter for bringing that to this EotS newbie's attention. That is, one can only attack the number of air or CV units not in the battle hex as one has air and CV units in the battle. This starts to make sense. Well sorry for stirring things up due to my own stupidity. BUT IS STILL WANT ONE OF THOSE ORBITAL BB's blush
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Forest Green Hobbit
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Also gives me renewed hope that this game will turn out to be as good as it looks in terms of PTO games.
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Lewis Goldberg
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Boy the way Glenn Miller played // Songs that made the Hit Parade // Guys like us we had it made // Those were the days.
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Tom Good wrote:
Also gives me renewed hope that this game will turn out to be as good as it looks in terms of PTO games.


It is da bomb, as the kids say. (or used to say)
 
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stephen newberg
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Henrik just above has provided a very clear and accurate answer. Thank you. Lewis' point is also very valid, and was a major consideration in both design and development.

pax, smn
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Mark Herman
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Tom Good wrote:
Also gives me renewed hope that this game will turn out to be as good as it looks in terms of PTO games.



Many people think I am ugly and stupid. I can assure you I am only ugly. My EoTS friends have already answered your question that has hopefully grounded your flying battleships.

Please join us over on CSW where we are playing another staff game, this time the 1943 scenario, where you can see the game in action.

All the best

Mark
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