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"Initiative idea" Topic

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Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Feb 2020 7:01 p.m. PST

Working on a sailing type game. Each player in control of 1 or maybe 2 ships. Initiative is a D12. High die moves 1st. Die modified by ship size and Captain's rating.

Turn is broken up in to two parts. Move/shoot then repeat. BUT you only fire once per turn. And turns are limited. So *when* to fire is a big deal.

My idea is that the winner of the initiative die roll *chooses* when to go. So he "sets" his d12 and puts it under a cup. Then as we count down from 12 to 1 he reveals it and moves at the appropriate time.

What do you think?

Stryderg22 Feb 2020 7:30 p.m. PST

Sounds vaguely like Federation Commander. I don't know how crunchy you want to get, but maybe try: when a ship fires, place a die down as a counter (6 for a poor crew, 4 for a good crew, etc). Each time the ship moves, lower the die by 1. Ship can fire again after the die reaches 1. I'll let you decide how far a ship can move each time, but I would think it should be short.

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP22 Feb 2020 8:45 p.m. PST

Personally, I never liked the term 'initiative', saying that initiative is won by chance. It confuses the military term for winning initiative.

My idea is that the winner of the initiative die roll *chooses* when to go. So he "sets" his d12 and puts it under a cup. Then as we count down from 12 to 1 he reveals it and moves at the appropriate time.

How many 'moves' are there in a turn? What are you 'counting' down? Moves, firing. If the initiative winner chooses 3, does that mean the opponent moves twice first?

So, what does the initiative roll and the represent other than a hopefully drama/fun-filled game mechanic?

Modern ships or sailing?

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Feb 2020 10:51 p.m. PST

Ah, sorry.

Each move has two halves. There is a move in each half. You may fire in either but not both.

The "counting down" is the order of activation (move/shoot). So anyone with a 12 goes, then the 11s then the 10s. With only 4 or 6 players it goes quickly.

UshCha23 Feb 2020 1:57 a.m. PST

If it were sailing ships I would suggest each players "hides" a direction marker for the forthcomming turn and then the order would be the furtherst off the wind, close hauled being last except for tacking vessles.

For later powered vessles unless a current is involved, its less relevant but diciding where the next prefered direction randomly would do the same althoughy the benerfits over your system seem to be negigable to none.

Why the change? It reduces flexibility of the vessles so a bit more longer term planning is required.

Wolfhag23 Feb 2020 4:57 a.m. PST

Extra Crispy, how long is a game turn? How far do ships move per turn? What are the historic rates of fire foe each ship?


Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Feb 2020 7:11 a.m. PST

Well, it's an Aeronef style game so "historic rates" don't really apply. The main issue is very limited ammo.

A game turn represents a few minutes – perhaps as many as 10.

Ships can move up to 12" each turn.1

Todd63623 Feb 2020 8:45 a.m. PST

One problem I have with initiative + various ratings rolls. The dice roll is more important than the quality of the ship/captain. Nelson rolls a 1, Gilligand rolls a 12. Looks like the Minnow is moving first again.

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP23 Feb 2020 9:32 a.m. PST

The "counting down" is the order of activation (move/shoot). So anyone with a 12 goes, then the 11s then the 10s. With only 4 or 6 players it goes quickly.

Oooh. So this is a mechanism for multiple players on a side.

I know very little about modern warship maneuvers, but such a individualistic/one ship at a time process throws any coordination 'sailing ship style' out the door--I mean hatch.

Stryderg23 Feb 2020 7:10 p.m. PST

Stupid suggestion: Give each player a limited number of bullets. Actual markers for each shot fired, to be paid each time they fire.

You want to shoot once per turn on turns 1,2 and 3: fine, you're out of ammo for the rest of the game.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP24 Feb 2020 12:25 p.m. PST


I tried that once. By turn 3 *everyone* was out of ammo and I hadn't written ramming rules yet!

Stryderg25 Feb 2020 4:46 p.m. PST

Hey, I told you up front that it was a stupid suggestion. But it does sound like my kind of game, Full Speed Ahead!!!

Personal logo Kaiju Doug Supporting Member of TMP04 Mar 2020 6:54 a.m. PST

I have a workable age of sail game called "Between Wind and Water". It's card-based activation and each player will choose their speed by placing their "Full" or "Reduced" sail card in front of them at the beginning of the turn. Then each player will choose a maneuver card and place that card face down. When their ship is activated, they flip the maneuver card and carry out that movement using templates provided. Each ship has four cards, Ahead, Port, Starboard and About Ship. The speed of the ship is determined by the relationship of the ship to the wind direction. The ships can fire at the beginning or end of their turn, but each section of guns can only fire once per turn. After reading "Autobiography of a Seaman" by Thomas Cochrane I don't bother recording number of shot. The purpose of this game is to take the prize, not to sink the ship.

RudyNelson04 Mar 2020 12:38 p.m. PST

One extra control option is that each ship gets three cads per turn. One red/fire and two black/ move. This allows you a type of opportunity fire. You can move, move, fire OR move, fire, move OR fire, move, move. It provides bookkeeping help and opportunity fire options.

The die roll for initiative is always good especially with the abilities modifier. Do you also have damage modifiers? I used initiative dice with several of my systems including a racing game. If dealing with fantasy or SciFi races initiative rolls are great to reflect species characteristics.

Deploying your cards plotting action order prior to rolling initiative is a recommended option.

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