Ships on the same hex

I’m struggling to see the value currently in having 2 ships on the same hex. There is a very negative drawback that an enemy ship attacking gets to attack all ships on the same hex with 1 attack. There is no attacking bonus (or defending bonus) for stacking ships on the same hex. However, logically thinking, there should be a benefit / bonus to bringing multiple ships up against a smaller number of enemy ships / settlement.

The Bosser buccaneer provides a +1 bonus to ships in adjacent hexes. This, combined with the drawback above, has led me to keep my ships 1 hex apart whenever possible.

Given the current game mechanic where it is far smarter to have 1 ship with 10 attack and 4 defend than it is to have 5 ships with 2 attack and 5 defend, I’d like to propose the following:

Create a “fleet / armada” effect:

  • When 2-4 ships are stacked on the same hex, it creates a “fleet.” Fleets gain a +1 bonus to attack and defend, per ship in the fleet. Thus, if you have a 2/4/2 ship stacked with a 4/8/4 ship, and a 3/4/5 ship, they would end up being 5/4/5, 7/8/7, and 6/4/8, respectively. While they still would take damage against that 10/12/4 ship, all of a sudden, because they are stacked in a fleet, they’re actually doing some damage to the gargantuan ship.
  • When 5+ ships are stacked on the same hex, it creates an “armada”. Armadas gain a +2 bonus to attack and defend, per ship in the armada.
  • The Bosser can be enhanced to provide a +2 in fleets, and a +3 in armadas
  • Alternatively, a new buccaneer, “Captain” can be created that provides a +1/+2 bonus to all ships in a fleet/armada, but provides no bonus when a ship is alone.

Essentially, as I’ve been playing through a lot of skirmishes and the limited real-people games, I’ve found that having 1 “attacking” ship per sector is all I need to sweep through opponents. A 14/32/8 ship is nearly unstoppable. While it should be really difficult to take that kind of a ship down, it shouldn’t be impossible. This seems like a fun, interesting, and intriguing way to bring some balance.

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Interesting idea @penguiniffic

So far we have been trying to keep the game as simple as possible, but this is something we might need to consider once we have finished our initial playtests.

The 14/32/8 ship problem is why we introduced the new grappler, chipper, and to some extent the dredger. My playtest games have been moving fairly slowly and we havn’t really had much chance take it all in.

In one of my games I have been stacking smaller ships against a larger, just so I could afford the buccaneers.

I actually think it might be better if you couldn’t stack ships at all. It would bring the geography more into play

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I was really surprised you could stack ships. I agree with @Carl_Rhinestone that I like the idea of not being able to do so. It exacerbates the problem of one ship with massive upgrades, but it would make the map more meaningful and would mace Ballooner an even better choice.

As it stands, stacking is a gift to your opponent because it acts as a damage multiplier, so I don’t think the game would suffer from its removal. If stacking sticks around, I’d either…

  • make damage apply to the strongest ships in the stack first ala Civ 4 stacks. This probably encourages longer battles though
  • Treat all stacked ships as one ship for the purposes of attacking and receiving damage

I wouldn’t object to ships not being able to occupy the same hex - I was just thinking about balance within the existing construct of allowing ships on the same hex. Disallowing ships on the same hex does go a long way in solving the juggernaut versus fleet of ships problem as the juggernaut would only be able to attack 1 ship at a time.

It does raise a slight concern with getting ships through a choke point. In several areas, the sea is only 1 hex wide - that could present a slow down to someone trying to get multiple ships through that area.

yes, if I remember correctly, one of the main reasons we allowed multiple of your own ships in a hex is to make movement a little more predictable.

right now if you try and move into the same hex as an enemy. one of you will fail to move. If we didn’t allow ships stacking, it might mean a whole chain of ships unable to move becuase there is no free space.

I think we felt it would be frustrating and could be very slow to get anywhere.