We regularly undertake a review of all our Titles, which is going on in the background all the time. As we prepare titles to be made available for “Print on Demand”, we carry out general housekeeping and incorporate any revisions or corrections.
New Editions for 2022
A new edition of the Officer's Handbook, bearing the subtitle Issue 2 is being released in 2022. This was supposed to happen in 2021 but work got delayed as we took the decision to overhaul some aspects of the game data. This incorporates a number of rule changes, some brand new rules and the option to make use of Tactical Cards to spice up the game. The game type scenarios have been overhauled to improve game balance. The final change that we recently adopted was a revision in the points values as it came to our notice that some weapons, particularly self propelled guns, were cheaper than the same gun on a ground mount. When we overhauled that calculation, other anomalies came to light. Well, you know how one thing leads to another...
We also suffered from a serious distraction in the proposed updates to Scramble, Stringbags and Fox Two Reheat. The outline of these updates are as follows. The rules revisions have been finished and all three sets of rules follow the same pattern, with revised scenario (game types) and all the aircraft data is in the process of being revised. This involves changes in the DV in Scramble and Stringbags, so that there are fewer aircraft that are too easy to hit, and also making sure that there are no aircraft that have very high DVs making them impossible to hit. Crew Skill generation has been changed so that extreme values are less likely to occur. The most important alteration is how gunnery is worked so that there a battery of guns, such as the 8x .303 Brownings on a Spitfire will only roll 1 die to hit, with appropriate modifiers to take account of rate of fire and muzzle velocity. When the burst hits the target, damage will be done appropriate to being hit by a burst of fire by 8 guns. If an aircraft has more than one battery both can fire, rolling separately. Depletion of ammunition will only occur with fixed guns, if they fire a Long Burst. Turret and flexible defensive guns cannot fire Long Bursts, but on the other hand they will not run out of ammunition. The Critical Hit Tables have been slightly altered for play balance, and to make them a bit more exciting. These revised editions will appear also during the course of 2022.
Plans for 2022
We had originally propoosed to produce a new set of Naval Rules, covering the same period as Stations Manned and Ready. For various resaons, mainly due to the amount of development time that would be required, we have decided to shelve this idea.
What we have decided to do is to branch out into more land warfare, in this case to produce some rules for "Ancients to Agincourt" (as it were). We realise that there are vast numbers of sets of rules for this era. As usual we have found that they do not actually meet what we want, being either too complex or cumbersome. Some recent sets of new rules that have appeared are incredibly expensive and when you get inside them you find whole sections of the rules missing. Does no one proof read any more ?
Anyway watch this space for more details as we get on with that project. I (Andrew) have to confess that I have said to Alan that it would be quite nice if we could make these rules more flexible, so that they can be used for both full scale battles and also for smaller more "Heroic" skirmishes. The underlying system that we have started testing would allow that. I then rashly said, well, why not allow some sort of "Magic" which would allow them to be used equally in a Fantasy setting.
The following titles are on the list for some sort of revision as time permits.
- Perfidious Albion - When we start to work on the revision for this title the existing Ship Grids (currently in Fighting Fleets) will be incorporated, so everything is in one place. There may also be some rule revisions. The Dockyard Manual will be separated out and become a download from the site here. The ships included will be reviewed and it is intended that they will be restricted to those that are appropriate to the Pre-Dreadnought era. In the current edition there has been some slippage and there are a number of what could be termed "modern" ships included. We are also looking at adding new Grids which will widen the scope of what is included. After incorporating all the Grids, the final page count will be very large, making a PDF only option attractive; the advantage of the PDF is that the Grids can easily be printed out at home; when using a POD making copies would be impractical. As part of the work on the ship grids, it is also our intention to make them more useful by adding more of the gunnery data. We have not yet ruled out the alternative of creating a PDF and POD of the rules alone, with the Ship Grids available as a PDF file to download.
- Fire When Ready - There will be some revisions and corrections, incorporating the game data from Fighting Fleets. A Print on Demand version will be produced.
- Fighting Fleets - This title will be split and incorporated in Fire When Ready and Perfidious Albion, after which the title will be withdrawn.