SHIPWRECK - "HOUSE RULES"


The following are a number of local rules changes I've made as a result of my experiences with "Shipwreck" over the last few months


1. Anti Radiation Missiles

ARMs are designed to knock out sensors and exposed equipments. They generally have small warheads and are unlikely to do significant damage to ships structures. Threat all ARMs as Medium missiles. They may only be fired at vessels that are using active radar. If they hit then the amount of damage they inflict differs from normal missiles:

Light One weapon system destroyed
Heavy Two weapon systems destroyed, weapons cannot be fired at greater than "Medium" range
Crippled Three weapon systems destroyed, weapons cannot be fired at greater than "Short" range
Sunk Three weapon systems destroyed, all fighting power lost, cross off Light Damage Box.

Ships that have been hit by ARMs modify their detection rolls as if the damage had been caused as normal. In addition, all ships hit by ARMs lose 1d10-1 aircraft that are ranged on flight decks due to fragmentation damage.

Example: a US cruiser (7800 tons) is hit by an ARM. A "3" is rolled - Crippled. The ship loses three weapon systems and cannot engage targets at medium range of greater.


2. ASW Operations in Deep Water

Vessels using advanced sonars and towed arrays can make use of "convergence zones" to detect submarines at long ranges. Convergence zones are a phemomenon that require deep water to occur. In addition the sonar performance of even the best ASW platform can be degraded by the presence of a noisy consort. To reflect these aspects the sonar detection roll in deep water scenarios is as follows:


3. Torpedo Attacks

Torpedoes may be fired at surface ships at the following ranges;

These additional modifiers apply:

-2 Firing at Short range

-4 Firing at Medium range


4. CAP

The current rules on page 22 state that CAP intercepts incoming aircraft if a die roll equal to or less than the number of aircraft on CAP is rolled. This seems rather to simplistic and doesn't take account of the ability of different aircrfat types, the presence of ground controllers, AEW etc. Replace the simple roll on page 22 with the following:

Add:

Subtract:


Halve the resulting number if there is no AEW aircraft or surface ship with a radar rating of +1 or more able to detect the attacking aircraft.

Roll less than or equal to this score on a d10 to intercept (1 is always a success).

Example: 2 Sea Harriers are on CAP. They are aiming to intercept a flight of Skyhawks. There is no AEW present and no controlling ship (the Skyhawks are flying too low). The Shars need to roll 5 or less on a d10 to intercept - 2 (number of aircraft) plus 8 (dogfight rating) plus zero (radar) divided by 2 (no AEW).


5. Air Operations

Using the normal rules a series of Combat Turns is initiated as soon as a strike appears. The following section allows a little more flexibility in conducting air operations.


6. Passing Information On

Modern data links are beginning to use set standards of data transfer, improving interoperability. An example of this is NATO Improved Link 11 (NILE). With this, ships from NATO navies should be able to transfer data as in this rule (of course, whether the settings on each ship are correctly made to allow transfer is another matter....). HMS BRISTOL was fitted with both US and UK data links to allow a "bridge" between ships of those nationalities.


7. Combat Turns

Whilst the ruling that ships and helos cannot move during a Combat Turn is reasonable given the scales the rule preventing changes of heading is, in my opinion, an excessive penalty. A standard tactic when under air or missile attack, as well as using defensive aids, is to turn the ship so as to clear the arcs of defensive "hard kill" systems. I've made a local ruling that ships which detect air targets (missiles or aircraft) at medium range can turn up to 90 degrees.


8. Passive IR Detection

Passive IR seems to be the way of the future as far as detection of inbound missiles is concerned. The IR signature of a transsonic or supersonic missile from air friction alone is enough to betray its presence to a suitably located sensor. However, these are still few and far between (the Sea Wraith concept ship from VT has one ona telescopic mast, and a similar system was proposed for an Arsenal Ship study a few years back). Ships with Passive IR detection may attempt to detect missiles out to Medium Range using the same method as for active radar detection.


9. Classification of Contacts

When a potential new target is detected for the first time there is always that nagging doubt "who IS it?". To spice up your games and to give neutral shipping a role to play (as well as to increase the potential for blue on blue actions) may I suggest the following?

Ships and aircaft are initially represented by counters. When a new contact is detected by radar (either active or passive) the detecting player rolls a d10 to see whether the target has been classified. Add the EW rating of the detecting ship.

Ships and aircraft that are detected visually are automatically identified (but there is scope here for more mischeviousness if players want to include rolls for misidentification).


10. Multiple System Locations

Where there are multiple systems assigned to a particular "hit number" only one is destroyed. By Light hits, all by Heavy or Crippling hits


11. Moving Between Range Bands

When moving between range bands missiles or aircraft move in straight lines. Units other than the target or those in its group can shoot at them at the closest point of approach during movement (except moving between Short and Very Short - then only the target vessel can fire).



12. Revised Detection Ranges

Somethings not quite right with detection ranges. I've tried using the following and it seems to give better results:

Searcher

Target

Ship

SS

Low

High
Ship

Medium

Short

Long

V Long
Air at SS

Short

Short

Medium

Med
Low

Long

Short

Long

V Long
High

V Long

Medium

Long

V Long
Recon at High

V Long

Long

V Long

V Long
Adv Recon at High

V Long

V Long

V Long

Extreme


13. Assisted Damage Control

Ships that have been crippled can call on their consorts to assist them in making damage control rolls. To do this the assisting ship (which must be a warship, auxiliary or specialist repair ship and no more than one size class smaller than the casualty) must move to within Very Short range of the casualty vessel and must heave to. Whilst it is assiting it may not move, nor may it engage any targets at Medium range or greater. The effect of the assisting vessel is to reduce the "Repairing Damage" die roll by 1 (so that, for example, the casualty is able to move and operate "V Short" range weapons on a roll of 1 or 2 instead of just 1).


14. "Goalkeeping"

During the Falklands and other conflicts warships with effective close range armament were often employed as very close escort to high value targets (e.g. aircraft carriers). The basic rules do not allow this, as only the target of an air or missile attack can engage at "V Short" range. To recreate "goalkeeping" tactics include this rule.

One vessel may be assigned to another vessel of the same size class or smaller to act as "goalkeeper". The two ships must remain on the same heading and remain within 4 miles of each other (i.e. the ships must be at "V Short" range to each other. If the protected ship is the subject of an air or missile attack the goalkeeper can engage with missiles only as if it were the target ship (noting that all other restrictions still apply, e.g. the goalkeeper cannot fire weapons that fired at Short range in the previous combat turn). "Goalkeeping" is a specialised tactoc and can only be used by well trained forces.


Amended Missiles(Appendix 2)

 Weapon  Nation AS AA Range Damage Specials
Aster 15 France - 8 Short -
 Aster 30 France - 8 Medium - System allows 10 missiles to be fired per turn (vertical launch - all arcs)



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