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"Sam Mustafa's Nimitz Question" Topic

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Tgerritsen Supporting Member of TMP20 Mar 2023 12:55 p.m. PST

Why are the HMS Hood and Repulse Class Secondary Batteries omitted? Is this a typo? (I know he omits 4" and smaller guns with some exceptions), but no armament against destroyers at all seems like a big omission.

cfielitz20 Mar 2023 1:01 p.m. PST

My guess it's an error since all the others seem to have theirs.

cfielitz20 Mar 2023 1:02 p.m. PST

Though the penetration table does not reflect any secondary batteries.

Tgerritsen Supporting Member of TMP20 Mar 2023 1:22 p.m. PST

Look at the King George V table- it includes secondary batteries (as do many battleships and heavy cruisers).

Tony S20 Mar 2023 1:43 p.m. PST

Because the Hood didn't have any secondary guns larger than 4" after 1940

Robert Johnson20 Mar 2023 1:57 p.m. PST

Hood's 5.5" guns were removed in April 1940. The 4" guns were supposed to be dual purpose AA and surface. They were more effective in the AA role.

Repulse only had 3 triple 4" mounts. Her other secondary weapons were all AA mounts.

Tgerritsen Supporting Member of TMP20 Mar 2023 2:34 p.m. PST

With the rules having a +1 modifier for large guns versus high speed targets, it would seem the best way to take out these classes would be to have destroyers come up and hit them with torpedoes.

It really does seem like an odd omission.

Shardik20 Mar 2023 11:26 p.m. PST

Nothing stopping you from adding them in your games if that's what you want

Robert Johnson21 Mar 2023 2:00 a.m. PST

Well you could rationalise that by saying that RN capital ships rarely sailed alone, and that even one 15" hit could really spoil a destroyer's day.

Fitzovich Supporting Member of TMP21 Mar 2023 4:48 a.m. PST

Unfortunately, This like most other rule sets will require some tinkering. The lack of smoke for screening seems a bit odd as well.

Tgerritsen Supporting Member of TMP21 Mar 2023 2:10 p.m. PST

This was my first exposure to Sam's rules. I like bits of it but find other choices curious. Am going to give them a whirl, but I don't think they will replace Naval Thunder for me, my current go to for fast playing early 20th century naval warfare.

Robert Johnson22 Mar 2023 1:40 a.m. PST

Sam gives an explanation for the lack of smoke, shore bombardment and mines on his Honour FB page.

They make sense to me.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP22 Mar 2023 11:22 a.m. PST

Interesting. He would have been better off putting them in a "designer notes" page in the rules.

GGouveia22 Mar 2023 9:23 p.m. PST

79thPA I believe he does address all these choices in the designer notes near the rear of Nimitz IIRC. I read them last week and am keen to try them out.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP23 Mar 2023 11:02 a.m. PST

Ok. Thank you.

Robert Johnson23 Mar 2023 11:31 a.m. PST

To be clear:

There are three pages of designer's notes in Nimitz (pp116-118).

There is no discussion of smoke, shore bombardment or naval mines in them, which is why Sam posted on his FB page in answer to questions other posters were asking.

The post may find its way onto the Honour website or it may not.

Old Warrior23 Mar 2023 1:02 p.m. PST

The rule book is filled with design notes throughout. Most chapters have one or two notes within. These are in addition to the chapter on design.

Kiama Kriegsspieler27 Mar 2023 9:14 p.m. PST

Smoke did come up in playtesting, and was dropped as not being worth the time and complexity in the otherwise straightforward disengagement process. I'd also note that, aside from a couple of engagements in the Med, it did not impact surface engagements in WW2 (which as you will know were most often fought at night). And after a lifetime at sea, I can understand why, compared to squalls, fog, haze and dust storms!

This is what Sam Mustafa posted on his fB site.

There are more designer's notes in NIMITZ than in any previous game I've published, but there are still a lot of questions about why things *aren't* in the rulebook, that people have become accustomed to seeing in naval games of the past. I thought I'd address the three most common:

Coastal Bombardment
Relatively few naval games include this, mainly because it opens a huge box of land-warfare rules. Bombardment of what? There would need to be a system of "garrison points" or something like that, otherwise, what is the result of the bombardment?

How effective is the bombardment by different ships? Does a 15" gun bombard better than an 8" gun? How many guns? What if some of the bombarding ships are damaged? That would require more rules, and another step in the sequence.
Are all bombardments equal, or does the defender's positions and terrain matter? More rules.

What is the goal? Are we softening up the base for an invasion? If so, then we'll need more rules for the combat between the invaders and the garrison.

This is a naval game; I want to keep the action at sea. But if you want to include coastal bombardment in a specific scenario, then it's relatively easy to write as a scenario rule: for example, if a TF with at least X-number of large guns anchors off the enemy base for two full periods, that base is assumed destroyed, or whatever criterion you care to write.

This is the question I get most often. Why is there no smoke in NIMITZ? Many (most) of the playtest versions included smokescreens until we gave up on them for being a lot of fiddly rules for not much benefit. (The reason there's a "Marker Step" in the sequence of play is because that was once the stage during which you lifted the smoke markers.)
Smoke is one of those things that people are accustomed to playing literally, i.e. having game mechanics for putting it down and picking it back up again. It requires a fair amount of rules: How big are the markers? How many can you put down as the ship moves? Does it require some special phase or order to do so? What other actions can you do while making smoke? How does your ship's speed affect the number of smoke markers it can place? Then there's the issue of effect: How does it affect fire? The launching of torpedoes? Does the smoke marker affect the ship making it, or only those behind the markers? Is the smoke opaque, or is it a modifier to fire? Does smoke happen at night? What if a ship has fire control radar?

One of the conceptual problems here is that ships normally made smoke when they were breaking off the action, or when they were trying to put some distance between themselves and the enemy, i.e. a pause in the action. But in a wargame, where everything is compressed onto a small table, smoke appears in the midst of shooting, torpedoes, and close maneuvering, in ways that aren't historical but are expected because gamers are used to games that have these mechanics. We already have a "disengage" rule. What would smoke add to that?

I don't recall when in the playtest process we got rid of smoke, but I do recall that not one playtester asked to have it back. My advice to you is: play the game. If you really miss placing smoke markers, then ask yourself why: what function, specifically, are you missing? Just the ritual of putting it down and picking it back up again? Or is there a real tactical advantage that can accrue to one side, that you feel is lost? (Because if it applies equally to both sides, then there's really no need to play it out.) You can easily assume it's there, just like radar, spotter planes, and any number of other things that games abstract.

This is something that is so easily scenario house-ruled that I decided it didn't need to be in the book. For one thing, nobody needs it unless they're doing a very specific sort of scenario. For another, it's also a Pandora Box: do we include minelayers and minesweepers now? If mines are in the game, players will naturally want to know next: can we lay mines during the game? Or have a scenario involving minelayers?

The randomness of mines makes for an easy house rule: if you move through the minefield, roll a die. If you roll an "X" resolve a torpedo hit with Strength Y.

As a General Rule:
During playtesting, or especially after a game comes out, I have never seen players ask to remove things from a game. I have only ever seen them wanting to add things. Giving in to every such temptation results in an Advanced Squad Leader or Star Fleet Battles: a game that becomes slow, compendious, and hard to learn.
If that's your thing, then you're in luck, because there are a LOT of naval games like that. My M.O., however, has always been to streamline, to simplify, and to get at the essence of what players need to do: the fighting that matters. In the most direct and expedient way.
It's your game now, and you're free to do whatever you like with it, but if you wanted to know my rationale, that's why NIMITZ doesn't have many of the rituals that you're accustomed to seeing in naval games, and why I don't want it to.

foxbat11 Sep 2023 1:40 a.m. PST

Just bought the rules, I'll use the topic to ask for some clarification.
Regarding movement, do I move all low speed ships in the 1st segment (marking them), the all normal speed ones in the second segment, lastly all high speed ones in the thrird segment (marking them) OR in the 1st segment do I move ALL ships, marking the low speed ones (which won't move after that), moving the remaining ones up to normal speed, then moving all or some of these up to high speed?
English is not my native language, and a game is scheduled at the club next month, so I'm really in need now. Might have some more questions later… ;)

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP16 Sep 2023 6:06 a.m. PST

I did a home brew rule for smokescreens in Nimitz. As noted smoke was most often used for breaking off. So I basically said that if a ship makes smoke and is moving away from the ship(s) shooting at it it adds an additional difficulty level to the fire. I also expanded the firing table to add additional degrees of difficulty beyond 5 where really difficult shots require first a 6 and then an additional roll of varying difficulty to score a hit. Have not really playtested it much, but I think it will work and it doesn't require any markers. Once I've had a chance to try it a bit, I'll post it on the Nimitz forum (if it works!)

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