Saturday, September 17, 2011

IHW: Pigboats VCS - The Final Cut

A Vehicle Control Sheet is like a character sheet for the vehicle. By manipulating the items on the sheet, you control the vehicle. Here is an example VCS for a Gato Class Submarine, with explanations to follow:

Submarine Attitude

This is the pitch of the sub - nose up, level, nose down. Use a token and move it over the current attitude.

Days On Patrol

This is the the track for both fuel and food. Blacked in squares are unusable. A Gato has a very long cruising period - 75 days - so there are very few blocked off. Cross off each day you are on patrol.

Compressed Air

Compressed air is used for many purposes, but three in particular are vital - blowing ballast tanks to rise up, Releasing some overboard with some oil to trick an escort into thinking it made a kill, and refreshing air when running silent. You have 3 uses of compressed air. Whenever you use it, check off a box. You can recharge compressed air whenever you are surfaced for at least 30 minutes.

Depth Marker

This shows how deep you are. Use a token and slide it to show your current depth. The black boxes are those past your test depth - the Gato has a test depth of 300 feet. You can go past your test depth, but you run a high risk of springing leaks or imploding. The pressures down here are immense. A hole the size of a pea can produce a water jet powerful enough to cut a man in half.


This shows how many used torpedoes you have available. The gray boxes are those already loaded in the tubes and indicated elsewhere. When you load a torpedo into a tube, cross it off here. The Gato carries 28 torpedoes, 10 of which are already loaded in the tubes.

Ready Torps

These are your torpedo tubes - each open box represents a tube. Blacked out boxes do not represent tubes. When you fire a torpedo tube, cross off the box. When you reload a tube, erase the x. Tubes can be located one of three places - at the bow, amidships, or aft. The Gato has six tubes in the bow, none amidships, and four in the stern.

Battery Charge

This is your battery charge. Each box is enough power to move the boat at 2 knots underwater for one hour. The Gato's batteries can keep the boat going at this rate for 48 hours underwater without being exhausted. The faster you go, the more quickly you use up energy. Consult the chart as to the exact rate.

Target Bearing

This is a mini bearing chart you can use for targeting if you are not using the big Target Bearing/Range chart. Use tokens to indicate contact bearings.

Identification Block

This block is used for information about the sub - the boat's traits, Class, and name. Write in the boat's traits at top, and the name on the bottom. Each class has its own VCS, with the class pre-printed.


These boxes represent damage to the sub. Cross off a box for each ding taken from depth charges, shells, or bombs. Some dings can be immediately repaired by Damage Control, so only mark off dings that were not contained. A Gato is tough, and can take up to 15 such dings before it begins sinking from damage.

Speed In Knots

This is a speed track. Use a token to mark the current speed. The blacked out boxes are inaccessible, marking the maximum surface speed, while the gray boxes indicate underwater speed - the marker cannot move into the white boxes while underwater. The Gato subs could go up to 21 knots on the surface, and a maximum of 9 knots underwater.


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