PotSM vs. 50F ship wounds

Just got your book, can't find a copy, have a cool adventure idea or story? Chat about it here.

Moderators: PEG Jodi, The Moderators

Message
Author
luisto
Seasoned
Posts: 249
Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 9:21 pm

PotSM vs. 50F ship wounds

#1 Postby luisto » Sun May 17, 2009 11:20 am

I was comparing the 50 Fathoms ship combat rules to the Pirates of the Spanish Main rules in preparation for my upcoming PotSM campaign and a question came to me: Why the balance difference in ship combat between the two systems? Specifically, I'm referring to the fact that ships in 50F have 3 wounds as per standard SW rules, while ships in PotSM have 1-5 wounds, depending on the number of masts.

For example, when comparing a Sloop and a Man o' War between the two systems:
    - Sloop: 13(2) toughness, 3 wounds in 50F; 13(2) toughness, 1 wound in PotSM.
    - Man o' War: 24(4) toughness, 3 wounds in 50F; 26(4) toughness, 5 wounds in PotSM.

Obviously, a small ship in PotSM is at a much greater disadvantage when fighting a large ship than it is in 50F. My guess is, this is intentional (maybe so we could use the cool Wizkids ship masts as wound markers? :-D )? For people who have played ship combat in both systems, is there a difference in "feel"? Maybe the 50F combat feels more pulpy? Or maybe the goal in PotSM was to make the big ships more "invincible" than the small ones?

Luis

User avatar
Wiggy
Legendary
Posts: 5809
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 3:15 am
Location: TAG me. I dare you!

#2 Postby Wiggy » Sun May 17, 2009 11:30 am

It was designed that way so you could use the WK ships and remove the wounds to track damage.
Wiggy
Creative Director Triple Ace Games

User avatar
ron blessing
Heroic
Posts: 1531
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2005 1:26 am
Location: Thornton, CO
Contact:

#3 Postby ron blessing » Sun May 17, 2009 1:34 pm

Wiggy wrote:It was designed that way so you could use the WK ships and remove the wounds to track damage.


Wiggy meant to say "...remove the masts to track damage." Seriously, every time I turn around I'm editing something this guy's written.
:-D

Sordorel
Seasoned
Posts: 137
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 5:53 pm

#4 Postby Sordorel » Sun May 17, 2009 3:03 pm

and your not even getting paid for it! Are you?

I bought a few of the PotSM decks at the local toy store for bargain price. Now I’m not sure but wouldn’t the masts brake after a while of use?

User avatar
Wiggy
Legendary
Posts: 5809
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 3:15 am
Location: TAG me. I dare you!

#5 Postby Wiggy » Sun May 17, 2009 5:21 pm

Sordorel wrote:I bought a few of the PotSM decks at the local toy store for bargain price. Now I’m not sure but wouldn’t the masts brake after a while of use?


I hope not -- that's how WK intended them to be used in their game.
Wiggy

Creative Director Triple Ace Games

Sordorel
Seasoned
Posts: 137
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 5:53 pm

#6 Postby Sordorel » Sun May 17, 2009 5:27 pm

Actually one of the masts of my ships broke during first assembly. But I have no idea how common that is, in fact I’m not particularly sure how it happened as it was my girlfriend who was assembling that ship.

luisto
Seasoned
Posts: 249
Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 9:21 pm

#7 Postby luisto » Sun May 17, 2009 6:03 pm

Wiggy wrote:It was designed that way so you could use the WK ships and remove the wounds to track damage.


Yes, that's in the book. But if the goal was to use the masts in the WK ships as wound markers, why not define a "base toughness" that's common for all ships (plus or minus a few points to accomodate ship designs) and let the different number of wound levels be the effective differentiator between ships? Even if they had the same toughness, it would be a lot harder to sink a 5-wound Man O' War than a 1-wound Sloop. However, the design decision was to both have differing wound levels and different Toughness scores for ships, so I'm wondering about that...

User avatar
TheLoremaster
Legendary
Posts: 2068
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2003 9:53 am
Location: Buffalo, NY
Contact:

#8 Postby TheLoremaster » Sun May 17, 2009 6:16 pm

Sordorel wrote:I bought a few of the PotSM decks at the local toy store for bargain price. Now I’m not sure but wouldn’t the masts brake after a while of use?

IME, you will need to be extra cautious the first few times you assemble your ships. There's a knack towards figuring out exactly how much pressure to use. The advantage is that, with WizKids falling on tough times, a quick search should get you as many ships as you could ever need to practice with. :)
"Your GM is metagaming ... and wrong!"

User avatar
Jordan Peacock
Legendary
Posts: 2480
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 10:15 pm
Location: Orlando, Florida
Contact:

#9 Postby Jordan Peacock » Sun May 17, 2009 7:19 pm

I have found that the newer PotSM ships are far better in terms of durability than the older ones - that is, the "Pirates of the Caribbean" ships, and those that came after them. The square-rigged ships were redesigned so that the tabs have a rounded bottom and are easier to fit into the slots, and they remove the thin "waist" points in between sails that tended to make for high-frequency break points. They're by no means unbreakable, but I've found the newer design to work much better.

Care should be taken in who does the removal and assembly of masts. My experience is that if it's YOUR ship, you're far more likely to take care than someone else who grabs it to "help out."

Mast repairs are possible with super glue, and, if you want to go the extra mile, a thin piece of wire to reinforce the back side of the mast. Of course, a piece of wire mars the pristine appearance of a perfect ship to a certain extent ... but if it's a rare ship that's hard to replace (and you really, really want that ship to use for your game), it's worth the extra trouble to salvage it, in my opinion.

Anyway, my experience with mast breakage is that it tends to happen more frequently with a new (early production) ship than with one that's been used for a while. The early square-rigged ships had much tighter fits, so it was a little harder to get those pieces in place. If a ship survives long enough to be assembled and disassembled, it'll be easier to put the pieces together the next time around. If anything, the eventual danger from too much usage might be that the pieces fit too loosely together, but I've yet to reach that point.
Image

User avatar
Magnus
Veteran
Posts: 858
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 8:17 am
Location: Avalon (www.avalon.dk)
Contact:

#10 Postby Magnus » Mon May 18, 2009 2:47 am

Sordorel wrote:Actually one of the masts of my ships broke during first assembly. But I have no idea how common that is, in fact I’m not particularly sure how it happened as it was my girlfriend who was assembling that ship.

:eek:
Same thing happened to me!
I guess women and ships don't mix, just like the Pirates taught us...
:wink:

User avatar
Savage Oni
Seasoned
Posts: 183
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 7:41 pm

#11 Postby Savage Oni » Fri May 29, 2009 2:36 pm

Sordorel wrote:and your not even getting paid for it! Are you?

I bought a few of the PotSM decks at the local toy store for bargain price. Now I’m not sure but wouldn’t the masts brake after a while of use?


PotSM ships are a bit brittle. The trick when installing the masts is to do it at an angle. If you try to apply pressure from straight down, the chances of the mast breaking is much higher than if you attempt to put the mast in at an angle.

On a side note...as much as I hated the Transformers CMG, those plastic cards were very durable and flexible. They had to be in order to assemble the many small parts.

As to the wear and tear, yes the mast can eventually get too loose but an easy fix is to leave the masts on and use those really small rubber bands to indicate which mast is broken.

User avatar
Jordan Peacock
Legendary
Posts: 2480
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 10:15 pm
Location: Orlando, Florida
Contact:

#12 Postby Jordan Peacock » Fri May 29, 2009 4:20 pm

Savage Oni wrote:As to the wear and tear, yes the mast can eventually get too loose but an easy fix is to leave the masts on and use those really small rubber bands to indicate which mast is broken.


Hey, that's a cool idea ... and would probably work pretty well to represent Shaken and other status conditions for miniatures! I'll have to see if I can find some of those and try it out.
Image

User avatar
Bhikku
Seasoned
Posts: 141
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:32 am
Location: I'm in your house. Call me.

#13 Postby Bhikku » Wed Jun 03, 2009 4:23 am

At my FLGS, all the Pirates players had their own supply of markers cut from thin foam, found at any craft store; these would have a slit in one end so they'd slide right onto a mast, no fuss, no muss. The coolest ones of course were cut and colored to represent something: billowing smoke for a mast that had been shot, or leaping flames for a mast that was on fire.
You can't save the world without kicking a few old ladies down the stairs.

theDevilofWormwood
Novice
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 1:21 am

#14 Postby theDevilofWormwood » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:36 pm

I have yet (sadly) to have any experience with 50F, but after running a few sessions of PotSM that included a good few 1- and 2- masted ship battles, I'm inclined to use the core 3 wound method instead. The survivability of sloops in PotSM is just too little to be fun. Yes, they should be more fragile that larger ships, but the lower relative toughness already covers that - having the lower toughness with just a single wound is rough.

Especially since Pirates assumes players will start with a sloop, one wound just isn't enough for the otherwise high-cinema swashbuckling action the game promotes.

Otherwise, the PotSM rules are awesome though!! :mrgreen:

User avatar
Virgobrown72
Heroic
Posts: 1113
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:52 pm
Location: The other side of the Sun, baby!!!

#15 Postby Virgobrown72 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:42 pm

I think the three wound stamdard is more of a matter of action/cinematic approach. After all, it would be highly anti-climactic if you are charging the enemy man o' war and get sunk with one good shot...
"That which does not kill me, makes me Shaken..."

ValhallaGH
Legendary
Posts: 6412
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:15 pm

#16 Postby ValhallaGH » Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:43 am

Virgobrown72 wrote:After all, it would be highly anti-climactic if you are charging the enemy man o' war and get sunk with one good shot...

That can still happen. Ace enough times and a single cannon can do 8 wounds to anything.
"Got a problem? I've got the solution: Rocket Launcher."
"Not against a Servitor."
"... We're all gonna die."

Sadric
Heroic
Posts: 1269
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2003 5:45 am

#17 Postby Sadric » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:00 am

I guess this one wound for one mast ships is a result from trying to translate the wizkids rule to the rpg.
After all, it was the rpg to the game, so it should have something from the rules. :-)

Maybe you could say that all ships have at least two wounds. This way you have the manicing five wounds Man-o-War botnot the brittle one wound sloops.

User avatar
Virgobrown72
Heroic
Posts: 1113
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:52 pm
Location: The other side of the Sun, baby!!!

#18 Postby Virgobrown72 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:21 pm

That can still happen. Ace enough times and a single cannon can do 8 wounds to anything.


Oh yeah!!! And I treat aces at my gaming table like a gameshow!!! I throw my hands up and scream like I'm on a roller coaster everytime someone aces!!! :-D

:wink:
"That which does not kill me, makes me Shaken..."


Return to “SW General Chat & Game Stories”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests