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Old November 19th, 2008, 05:07 PM

Timothy Timothy is offline
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Default Why no destroyers?

I am excited to see that this new game is coming out soon! Unfortunately, when I read the game description, I was surprised to see that there are no destroyers used or depicted in this game. Is this true? If so, what is the reasoning behind this decision??
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Old November 19th, 2008, 10:40 PM
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S.R. Krol S.R. Krol is offline
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Default Re: Why no destroyers?

From John Hawkins (designer of War Plan Pacific) interview for our monthly newsletter a couple of months back:

"Later on, I dropped Destroyers as well. With DDs in the game, the number of ships on a side was much huge. Even grouping them into Squadrons instead of individual ships made the number of units unworkable for the time frame. Plus, the larger number of units didn’t fit well with the relatively small number of locations to send them, so keeping DDs meant adding more locations, so the growth in playtime was geometric instead of linear."
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Old November 20th, 2008, 01:34 AM

Timothy Timothy is offline
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Default Re: Why no destroyers?

Thanks for the reply. Although I know that this game is based more on a "grand" strategic level, it seems as if leaving out destroyers (at least at some type of abstract level) would make the game too unrealistic for me, especially if other types of ships are being included. After all, the destroyers were the main naval "work horse" during WWII and were involved in some degree in just about every naval theatre and conflict.

Anyway, I still look forward to the release of this game. Hopefully reading the various player reviews and comments about this game will help me decide whether or not to purchase it.
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Old November 20th, 2008, 02:52 AM

JMHawkins JMHawkins is offline
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Default Re: Why no destroyers?

Timothy,

Cutting destroyers was easily the hardest cut I had to make in the game. I really wanted them included, but I just couldn't find a way to make them work within the design constraints. It was critical to me that the game be playable in 2-3 hours ("put the kids to bed, play a complete game, and be in bed by midnight yourself"). Adding DDs, even in squadrons, added so many more units to the game, it became unworkable.

By scaling back the number of units, those left take on a litte more importance and, for lack of a better word, personality. One of the beta testers recently commented about a game he'd just finished (playing as the Allies) where the Kongo seemed to lead a charmed life. It was nearly sunk at several battles, but always managed to limp away (while other IJN ships were slaughtered) and show up a few months later, repaired and ready to cause more trouble.

But, it's a trade-off. WPP sacrifices some detail (such as, no destroyers among other things), and in return you can keep the ebb and flow of the entire war in your head, plus you can replay the war several times trying different strategies. Those aren't really practical with the other PTO titles out there. I hope you'll ultimately decide it's worth it, but thanks for the interest whichever way you go.

Regards,
John Hawkins
KE Studios
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Old November 20th, 2008, 09:23 PM

Timothy Timothy is offline
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Default Re: Why no destroyers?

John,

Thanks for your reply! I look forward to giving the trial version a try when it comes out to give me a better idea of how the game plays.

Best regards.
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Old November 27th, 2008, 03:42 PM

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Default Re: Why no destroyers?

Hi folks,

I just saw this game pop up in the latest Shrapnel Newsletter and it definately caught my eye. I am ALL FOR a Pacific wargame that can be played in a reasonable amount of time. For better or worse, I dont seem to have the time available for gaming that I once did when I was younger...

Anyways, while I wish DDs were present in some form, I whole-heartedly agree with cutting them if their addition would have added dramatically to the complexity and play time. DDs did play a very important part in the war and many actions will not be possible to recreate without them. But I applaud the decision to stay within the game's apparent scope.

From what it looks to me on the surface, this game seems more akin to the classic AH 'Victory in the Pacific'. That game also did not have DDs (well, the Japanese had a few...), but it never seemed to suffer in terms of overall feel for the campaign. I'm hoping for a similar feel with WPP.

Thanks!
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Old November 27th, 2008, 11:30 PM
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Default Re: Why no destroyers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle_Joe View Post
From what it looks to me on the surface, this game seems more akin to the classic AH 'Victory in the Pacific'. That game also did not have DDs (well, the Japanese had a few...), but it never seemed to suffer in terms of overall feel for the campaign. I'm hoping for a similar feel with WPP.
Exactly. You don't need to include every single bean and bullet in a wargame to capture the conflict as long as you capture what really matters. Destroyers, while the workhorses of the sea, did not impact the war like the struggle of resources did. Oil dependency is in, destroyers are out, and I'm okay with that.
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Old December 9th, 2008, 03:05 PM

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Default Re: Why no destroyers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMHawkins View Post
Timothy,

Cutting destroyers was easily the hardest cut I had to make in the game. I really wanted them included, but I just couldn't find a way to make them work within the design constraints. It was critical to me that the game be playable in 2-3 hours ("put the kids to bed, play a complete game, and be in bed by midnight yourself"). Adding DDs, even in squadrons, added so many more units to the game, it became unworkable.

By scaling back the number of units, those left take on a litte more importance and, for lack of a better word, personality. One of the beta testers recently commented about a game he'd just finished (playing as the Allies) where the Kongo seemed to lead a charmed life. It was nearly sunk at several battles, but always managed to limp away (while other IJN ships were slaughtered) and show up a few months later, repaired and ready to cause more trouble.

But, it's a trade-off. WPP sacrifices some detail (such as, no destroyers among other things), and in return you can keep the ebb and flow of the entire war in your head, plus you can replay the war several times trying different strategies. Those aren't really practical with the other PTO titles out there. I hope you'll ultimately decide it's worth it, but thanks for the interest whichever way you go.

Regards,
John Hawkins
KE Studios
Having run through the game a couple of times, now, I've noticed that USN CLAA are also missing from the unit mix.

Again, I understand your desire to keep the game within manageable limits in terms of numbers.

I'm curious, though, in regard to the anti-aircraft cruisers, was this done partly out of play-balance considerations, or was the unit limit the sole concern?
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Old December 9th, 2008, 03:22 PM

JMHawkins JMHawkins is offline
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Default Re: Why no destroyers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ivanmoe View Post


Having run through the game a couple of times, now, I've noticed that USN CLAA are also missing from the unit mix.

Again, I understand your desire to keep the game within manageable limits in terms of numbers.

I'm curious, though, in regard to the anti-aircraft cruisers, was this done partly out of play-balance considerations, or was the unit limit the sole concern?
A little bit of both. The Allies have so many new ships late in the war, I think they already lose some of their individuality, and I didn't want the Japanese player to feel like he was being Zerg-rushed at the end.

-John Hawkins
KE Studios

Last edited by JMHawkins; December 9th, 2008 at 03:23 PM.. Reason: (hey, I should sign my posts!)
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Old December 10th, 2008, 05:25 PM

GJK GJK is offline
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Default Re: Why no destroyers?

I love the way that "Fire in the Sky" (game that this one has been compared to in several places) handles DD's. They are grouped into flotilla's or perhaps groups of flotilla's (and the counter mix is certainly very manageable). DD's are key during movement. Move a TF, especially one with a CV without a DD and you will get hit by an enemy Sub. FITS abstracts sub's as "Sub Pts" - a limited number that changes as the game plays on based on historical availability (i.e., Japan never gains more Sub Pts but the US does gain them later in the game).

Should a TF with a DD unit get attacked with Subs, then an ASW step is performed. Otherwise, the player using Sub pts gets to apply a point towards an attack on that TF.

The Japanese player can also assign DD units to convoy escort. During the turn, the Japanese player can conduct ASW on the US Sub pts if he is using DD's to escort his convoys.

Frankly, I'm very surprised to see that that whole DD/ASW aspect of the Pacific war has been left out of this game.
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