Author Topic: Raiders of the Deep  (Read 255 times)

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Offline Ian Cooper

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Raiders of the Deep
« on: April 09, 2018, 09:21:43 AM »
Hi folks,

First post here. I'm the designer of Raiders of the Deep. Since the game is out now, and since there's an unboxing webpage on this site, and since there has been some interest shown over on the thread devoted to The Hunters, I figured I'd start a topic for the game here in case anyone needed help with the rules, or just wanted more information about the game. I've set up instant notifications, so I should be able to help with rules questions as they come up (unless I'm asleep or had too much beer, or both  ;D ).

Ian.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 09:23:39 AM by Ian Cooper »


Offline mirth

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Re: Raiders of the Deep
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2018, 09:24:23 AM »
Welcome, Ian!
"45 minutes of pooping Tribbles being juggled by a drunken Horta would be better than Season 1 of TNG." - SirAndrewD

"you don't look at the mantelpiece when you're poking the fire" - Bawb

"I win as a dwarf every day." - Gus

Online bayonetbrant

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Re: Raiders of the Deep
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2018, 09:33:11 AM »
Hi Ian!  I'm sure we're all going to trigger your notifications for a day or so just saying 'hi' :)
The key to surviving this site is to not say something which ends up as someone's tag line - Steelgrave

"their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of 'rights'...and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure." Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers

Offline Ian Cooper

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Re: Raiders of the Deep
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2018, 09:36:29 AM »
Hi Ian!  I'm sure we're all going to trigger your notifications for a day or so just saying 'hi' :)

Hehe! That will be fine. I'm just sitting here messing about on my computer anyway.

Offline mirth

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Re: Raiders of the Deep
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2018, 09:37:41 AM »
That's pretty much what any of us do.
"45 minutes of pooping Tribbles being juggled by a drunken Horta would be better than Season 1 of TNG." - SirAndrewD

"you don't look at the mantelpiece when you're poking the fire" - Bawb

"I win as a dwarf every day." - Gus

Offline Barthheart

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Re: Raiders of the Deep
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2018, 09:39:50 AM »
That's pretty much what any of us do.

And drink beer... lots of wonderful beer!

Welcome Ian!

Looks like a great game. I have The Hunters. Could you give us the elevator pitch on the differences?
 
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Offline Ian Cooper

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Re: Raiders of the Deep
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2018, 10:27:45 AM »
I have The Hunters. Could you give us the elevator pitch on the differences?

Hi Bartheart,

Good question. Well, the game started out as a variant for The Hunters, and it kinda grew from there. So in terms of the rulebook, the two games are very similar. In fact, someone commenting on the rulebook the other day said it's a page-for-page copy of The Hunters, and in a way, that's true: at first glance, the rulebooks look identical. But this does not tell the whole story.

When I started, I knew that the game would find interest from folks who liked the theme of the Great War. But the biggest potential audience for this game would be players who enjoyed The Hunters, and who were willing to take a look at how the situation at the beginning of WW2 came to be - how U-boats evolved during WW1. Since many of these players probably tend to be more interested in WW2, I didn't want to hit them with a lot of complicated extra rules - I wanted them to be able to easily transition from The Hunters to Raiders of the Deep, so a big focus was on changing only what needed to be changed and keeping the rulebook for Raiders of the Deep the same length as its predecessor. Basically, my philosophy was "Keep it simple" and "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". And in many cases, there was no need to "fix it" - in many ways, U-boat design in WW2 was no different than it was at the end of the Great War. By 1918, the Germans had a very sophisticated weapon on their hands, and it remained essentially unchanged until 1945, when the Type XXI came into play.

In terms of specific rules changes and additions, Raiders of the Deep includes rules governing ramming, boarding parties, minefields, submarine nets, Q-ships, prizes, and reduced aircraft effectiveness (U-boats in WW1 just didn't have a lot to fear from air attack). There's also a feature called the "Encounter Multiplier", which vastly increases encounters on rare occasions, in order to simulate periods of a "target rich environment" when players have the opportunity to attempt to match the record-breaking cruises of the top aces. These rules are mostly integrated into the rules in ways that use the same kinds of charts and tables as those of The Hunters - again, if the rules and charts could be modified to work for these aspects, I modified them them rather than build all-new rules and charts.

There are also subtle changes that I made in order to reflect how U-boat commanders in WW1 approached combat. Players coming from The Hunters, who may have become too comfortable with using torpedoes and not willing enough to use more efficient methods of sinking, will find that their tonnage totals suffer as a result.

A big difference is that Raiders of the Deep has to portray the political situation: the German Kaiserliche Marine in WW1 was beset by political vacillations on the part of the Kaiser and the High Command. There were times when U-boats were severely restricted in their ability to wage war. This is reflected in the date-based encounter charts - sometimes you are simply not allowed to attack certain ships in certain ways, so your options are limited.

Another big difference is that Raiders of the Deep includes two different nationalities (German and Austro-Hungarian) and a number of different areas of operation, and these can give players very different career experiences. As a study-level simulation game, I didn't want Raiders of the Deep to focus only on the most dangerous seas or the areas where U-boats achieved their highest scores (though of course you can play only in those areas if you want) - I also wanted players to be able to see how the war played out for U-boat commanders who were given outdated U-boat designs and ordered to patrol in forgotten backwaters. So we have the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea and the Adriatic, where often the biggest threat is the U-boat itself, and a big part of the challenge is just keeping your crew trained.

Probably the biggest obvious differences between The Hunters and Raiders of the Deep are in the U-boat mats and target rosters. In Raiders of the Deep, the player has 19 U-boats from which to choose - that's 11 more U-boats than there were in The Hunters. Then there are the target rosters. In The Hunters, players were given a set of generic targets to choose from - IIRC, there were around 400 targets. In Raiders of the Deep, there are over 3600 targets with historical ship names and the correct tonnage for that ship, all sorted by month, so that if you sink a ship in a specific month of the war, you know that specific ship was actually sunk during that month in reality.

Finally, there are charts that offer players more in terms of role-playing: a historical commander name generator, based on the names of U-boat commanders of the time; a pre-career generator, which shows the commander's early life; and a post-career generator, which shows how things went for him after the war.

Honestly, I could probably write a lot more about how Raiders differs from The Hunters, but these are the main differences.

Marco Arnaudo gives a very nice overview of the game over at Marcowargamer - and (as I'm sure you know) there's a nice unboxing page right here at http://grogheads.com/featured-posts/18085
« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 12:49:18 PM by Ian Cooper »

Offline Barthheart

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Re: Raiders of the Deep
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2018, 11:12:21 AM »
Thanks Ian. That sounds like there's lots of flavor differences... will have to stretch the gaming budget to fit Raiders in.
PETS - People for the Ethical Treatment of Square corners

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Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Raiders of the Deep
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2018, 01:51:51 PM »
Beery! :)

Welcome aboard! This is Texscripter from BGG (that asked you all the questions) and the author of the article.

Offline mirth

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Re: Raiders of the Deep
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2018, 02:06:53 PM »
What article?
"45 minutes of pooping Tribbles being juggled by a drunken Horta would be better than Season 1 of TNG." - SirAndrewD

"you don't look at the mantelpiece when you're poking the fire" - Bawb

"I win as a dwarf every day." - Gus

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Raiders of the Deep
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2018, 02:32:02 PM »
What article?

Pay no mind to the hecklers! They need Jesus and milk.

Offline RommelFox

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Re: Raiders of the Deep
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2018, 02:51:50 PM »

This looks really interesting,  I've been looking for a good solo wargame to play, since, for some reason Mrs. Fox doesn't want to calibrate ballistic damage on panzers with her husband.   :idiot2: