Wednesday, August 24, 2011

In Harm's Way: Pigboats

As hinted yesterday, I've begun work on my next project, In Harm's Way: Pigboats. I had previously begun working on In The Beginning, but that project never really inspired me, so I have shelved it for the time being. Pigboats is a WWII game set on submarines. The players will play various members of a submarine crew, from one of several nations - I am thinking US, UK, Germany, and Japan; with possibly the Netherlands and Italy. All six of these nations had strong submarine fleets, but the first four had the ones that made a difference.

What I posted yesterday was a VCS - Vehicle Control Sheet in StarCluster lingo - for submarines. The different aspects on the VCS are - from top to bottom, left to right:

Attitude Marker. Place a marker to show what the current attitude - pitch forward or back - of the sub is.

Days On Patrol. Check off a blank box for each day the sub is on patrol.

Compressed Air. Check off a blank box each time you use compressed air, for whatever reason. This can be replenished on the surface in a short time.

Depth Marker. Place a marker to show the sub's current depth.

Torpedoes. Check off a blank box each time you reload a torpedo.

Ready Torpedoes. Check off a blank box every time you fire a torpedo. Note that I have added a third Ready Torpedoes box amidship after I uploaded this pic, as I forgot that some British subs used mid-ships tubes.

Battery Charge. Check off the appropriate number of boxes as batteries are used. The speed you move underwater will radically influence the rate your battery is depleted.

Target Bearing. The angle the target is relative to the sub.

Identification. Nation, Class, and Name of the sub.

Dings. A counter to show the accumulation of grazes and near misses on the sub. Any direct hit will essentially sink her except under very rare conditions. This will be related to a chart of the actual harm done, which gives specific effects.

Speed In Knots. Slide a marker to show the current speed of the submarine.

The idea of a VCS is that you will be able to control the vehicle with the VCS as an interface, showing you the vehicle's status up to the minute. I have used them in StarCluster 3 and IHW: StarCluster, as well as the IHW flying games to very good effect.



  1. Sounds like a great beginning. I like the up to the minute vehicle status. Brings me back to one of my favorite table top games Wooden Ships and Iron Men. The turn by turn results were great (just like turn by turn in IHW: Dragons, etc.)

  2. In essence, the Dragon sheet from IHW: Dragons! was a vehicle Control Sheet, Bonni - directly descended from the VCS for IHW: Aces And Angels. :D