Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Failure to Launch - Castles in the Sky AAR

For Septembers SJGA club meetup, I offered to run an intro game of "Castles in the Sky", one of Osprey's newest entries in their wargaming rules series. 

The scenario was an ambush set in the Pacific Ocean. The Japanese players needed to escort, or protect a dreadnought (with no weapons), while the Americans needed to destroy it. 

I let the Americans set up one of their squadrons in a cloudbank on their half of the table as an ambush that would be spotted when the Japanese came within short range distance of it. They chose the center cloud bank.

The Japanese players led the dreadnought around the left side of the table, directly towards the American's ambush spot. 

Long range fire didn't result in much damage, but did put friction on both sides (the ruleset's way of messing with command and control). 

The battle quickly turned into a giant furball as the Americans sprung their ambush.

Unfortunately, the previous turns had taken so long that we had to end the game before there was any decisive results, which was discouraging. Unfortunately I think the game failed to impress.

Observations that I made:
+The group liked the core mechanics of the game
+If the players knew the rules, it would have gone better, instead of a single turn taking an hour or more.
-Players thought I started the fleets too far apart, which did keep the action from happening earlier on. I probably should have started both sides closer by 6"-12", maybe even closer.
-There were too many ships for too many new players. I probably should have only had them running 3, or even just 2, ships each.
-I needed something other than dice to indicate altitude. Chits would have been a better choice.

This project will probably get shelved for a while. 


  1. Sad to here you are going to shelve this after you painted up all those ships, after all; the group liked the core mechanics.

    1. Hear not here..... ugh. Where is the edit button! LOL.

    2. No editing on Blogger, you're carving in stone here!

      It was a disheartening experience, unfortunately. However, I do know some other people outside the club who would be interested in playing. And in a one-on-one game I would just use the book's profiles and recommended game size. So expect more posts on the blog.

      I'm just putting them aside to focus on other projects at the moment.