Last week in the first turn we had pulled four of the six phase cards and as three of them had been mine George knew he had two phases in a row coming up and was able to position his ships through two moves in a way be would not have if he had not had that certainty. If the possibility existed of my ships having the opportunity to move he would not have exposed his flanks in his first phase move. Speaking with game designer David Manley he suggested we include a turn end card which ended the turn(!) but oif you had not had an Action Phase in the turn you automatically got one before the next turn started. Secondly in one boarding action we had a two ships on one situation with each scrap fought separately, tonight we were going to treat it as one action with the attacker combining their Boarding Factors.
Off the Greek island of Kolokythokeftedes, a Phoenician fleet has appeared and the Greeks have launched their triremes in response (as we did last week we treated the Pheonicians as being from the Manoeuvre school and the Greeks from the Boarding school.
Having captured 11 enemy triremes and immobilised another for the loss of just one sunk and one captured this was a pretty decisive victory for the Greeks.
Whilst George had joked about my luck early on as he had three Action Phases in a row (and five in total to my one initially), it did mean that my fleet was forced into a defensive position and George unable to use the advantages of Manoeuvre to any effect with the Phoenicians falling victim to the superior Greek Boarders. As he could not gain the advantage of turning the Greek flank George felt he should have been more decisive in Ramming the Greek triremes head on, despite the risks. Standing still handed the Greeks the initiative allowing them to board and capture the static vessels.
Our experiment in combining the Boarding Factors proved too powerful as the best the defenders could hope for was a drawn combat (and only a 1 in 10 chance of achieving that). We decided part way through to amend this to so that an Attacker could only add half the Boarding Factor of any supporting ship in a multiple combat. This worked much better and did allow the Phoenicians to capture one ship with some fortunate dice rolling.
We concluded the missile fire was too powerful for the actions we were fighting, with a 50% chance of a target suffering a Crew Casualty. The impact of that meant that in a subsequent Boarding Action the impacted vessel's own Boarding Factor is reduced by half (from 4 to 2) severely limiting their chances of not seeing their trireme captured and it became my tactic of choice in this battle. For our next game we are only going to allow a Crew Casualty to be caused by bow fire on a roll of 6.
Our minor tweaks are not a criticism of the rules which we really like, but they do cover a 3000 year period and we are making some small modifications to tailor them for the first twenty years on from 400 BC.