War at Sea: Stat Cards Gallery Update

The number one thing I’m contacted about by blog visitors is my War at Sea Stat Card Galleries.  The enthusiasm from visitors is always high, their appreciation sincere, and their inquisitiveness on when more will be shared pervasive.

This article is titled War at Sea: Stat Cards Gallery Update but it is more an open letter and response to everyone who has privately contacted me about the galleries.  I am thrilled and excited to receive e-mails from the plethora of visitors on this subject.  Far too often bloggers operate in a vacuum subject to the whims of their internal monologue and those who post comments.  Without comments the blogger doesn’t know if people are reading the posts and what their thoughts are.  As important as it is for the blogger to post new content it is equally, if not more, important for readers to post comments.

Leaving a comment is very easy to do.  At the bottom of the post is an empty box.  Once you signed in (because you REGISTERED your FREE blog account) type your remarks in that empty box and click the SUBMIT COMMENT button.  You’re done.

That said I do have actual progress to announce.  I spent three hours tonight scanning in stat cards and making them available in the War at Sea: Picture Card Gallery comprised of the Base Set stat cards.  The process is time consuming and painstaking so I believe readers will be interested in how the cards are scanned and made available on the blog.

  1. All my stat cards are kept in a binder (nine to a page) and I try to scan them in groups completing one page at a time.  It is easier to remember where I left off and where I need to continue.  I own duplicates of almost every single miniature (and card) for each of the sets.  I go through each of my cards looking for the one in the best condition.  This can take as long as a minute per model to identify the best card.
  2. After I have three cards I lay them out on my scanner with space between them.  I scan the cards three at a time at 600dpi into a computer.  This provides a clear and clean high resolution scan without spending too much time scanning.  It takes 30 seconds to scan three cards at 600dpi.  I save the scan of all three cards as a single jpg.  I will work with this in the next step.  When one group of three is complete I do the next one until I have completed nine cards.
  3. I open each scan, in turn, using Adobe Photoshop.  I crop the image so I work on one card at a time.  I resize the image, maintain its high resolution, and then save it as a jpg.  I back up the steps to the main scan and work on the next card.  When I’ve completed each step for each card I close the file and open the next scan.
  4. After all nine cards have been processed in Photoshop I open a FTP program.  I’m fond of Fetch and Cyberduck on the Mac or SmartFTP on Windows.  I upload the individual card to the appropriate folder on my server.
  5. I update the zip file with the latest additions and upload that to my server.  Uploading each card, the zip file, and original three card scans can take up to 20 minutes due to their large size (usually 8-12MB).
  6. In the case of the Base Set scans I go to War at Sea: Picture Card Gallery and edit the article.  I upload each of the cards into WordPress’ gallery for the particular article.  I sort them into the appropriate order based on their set number.  After saving my edits I verify that everything looks appropriate in the article.  I check each new card to ensure it looks crisp.

All told the entire process takes a very long time.  Tonight I added three pages of cards (or roughly 24 cards) and it took me two hours from start to finish.  This project is very time consuming but tonight I completed all the scans for the Allies.  Originally I finished the United Kingdom and did a few scans for the United States.  I left a comment on War at Sea: Picture Card Gallery and War at Sea Task Force Picture Gallery stating my intention to complete the Allies by the end of the month.  Instead I pushed forward and completed them tonight.

You have patiently waited a long time for the scans and I am happy to give you this late Christmas gift.  While working on the project I have also made a decision that will impact how the project continues.  Originally I planned to scan the fronts and backs of all stat cards from the Base Set and Task Force.  I have since changed my mind and will only scan the front of the cards.  I have decided that the purpose of scanning the cards is to offer gamers a preview of what they will get when they purchase the starter and booster boxes for each set.  It allows gamers to determine if a particular set is worth their expenditure of time and money.  In the current fiscal climate people have to be wiser than ever before on how they spend their money.  It may be difficult to choose what games to purchase and how much to spend on a game.  It is my hope that these scans, along with our extensive War at Sea coverage, will help gamers make informed choices.

There is another reason to not scanning the backs of the cards.  If we scan and make the backs of the cards available there is no reason for gamers to purchase War at Sea.  They could print out the scans making their own cards with some cardboard.  Instead of the beautiful miniatures they could use pieces of paper or tokens.  I’m not opposed to trying a game before buying it but if gamers completely skirt purchasing the games they play then the companies who make them will be unable to afford manufacturing those very games.

It is important for gamers to support the stores they play in and the games they play by purchasing those games in their local gaming stores.  Gamers may think twice about buying War at Sea if they can print out the complete stat cards.  As an avid War at Sea gamer I want Richard Baker to come out with the 5+ sets he has planned.  That means we need to buy the product to play with.

This leads me to the conclusion of this open letter.  The entire blog and all the stat card scans come with a terms of service or user agreement.  There is no cost to using the blog, the scans, or anything you find on the blog.  The only requirement is that you adhere to the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License covering the blog and everything on it (including the scans).  In addition to the terms cited in the license it means that if you use anything you see on the blog, like the scans, that you need to provide a link back to the blog on the website(s) you put the scans on.  Or, if you print them out and show them to friends you need to tell your friends about us and how to get to us.

It is a simple thing that grows the hobby, keeps us operating, and let’s us know what you want to discuss.  As always I am grateful for your time and appreciate your reading the blog.



6 Comments on “War at Sea: Stat Cards Gallery Update”

  1. Tibernius

    Hy,Thanks for your work, the scans are a great thing. is is very hard to bring a new game to my gaming group without playing it many times .no one want to by many mintures wenn the game is not good.With the cards I have played some games .But here in my Town is it hard to find players and Minitures, So i will take some other minitures too and enjoy the Rules and the cards.i hope you bring some additional scans for the axis and the next set on this page.

  2. ^Raven^ Post author

    Hi Tibernius. It is always difficult introducing a new game to one’s gaming group. It is doubly so in these tough economic times. You are a perfect example of what I hope this scan project to achieve. It gives gamers a chance to try out the game and evaluate it before spending money on purchasing it.

    I believe War at Sea to be a great game and think that after some time trying it out with the card scans that most gamers will choose to purchase the game (a starter and some boosters). I consider the scans to be an unofficial demo version of the game and I am ecstatic that you are using it in this way.

    I promise to continue this project for each set of War at Sea as long as I’m able to do so. I will have scans for the rest of the Base Set. I got more done on February 15th than I had anticipated. Now I am beginning the planning for my wedding, which in conjunction with my new job takes up most of my time. I promise to complete the Base Set scans before Flank Speed hits the shelves.

    Happily I can announce that the Allies are completed and I only need to scan the Axis for the Base Set. Tell your gaming friends that War at Sea is worth the expense. I don’t know how many of you are in the group but if you can pool your money you can each purchase a Starter Box on eBay (excluding the miniatures) for around $9 USD ea (it comes with the rules, the play mats, dice, tokens, and islands). If you’re able to pool your funds you can buy a case or two of the Base Set and Task Force, which will be enough models to form a communal resource.

    This will enable everyone to share those models and then individuals can choose to buy more boosters on their own to grow their personal collections.

    My gaming group uses a similar but different approach. Three of us have very strong personal collections. Several others have a few boosters worth. We all share our models with everyone including several people who don’t own any models. We have enough models to create 200pt lists for a dozen or so people. It is a wonderful way to play and it gets maximum usage from our models. Perhaps this would be another option for you.

    Don’t forget to tell your gaming buddies that they can get the complete rules for FREE online. Go to Advanced Rulebook and Quickstart Guide. They will also need the newest Rules Clarifications and the Task Force FAQ.

  3. victor

    HI, me again. Read on Wizards of the Coast forum that the USS Balitmore special ability Torpedo Defense 1 is an error on the stat card is this true? I applied your response to my question on Range 1 AA to enemy aircraft. My USS Montpelier was able to keep Fw 200 Condor at bay, while my Wildcats destroyed the the Stukas attacking the USS Montpelier.

  4. Jonathan J. Reinhart Post author

    Hi Victor. You should refer to the Clarifications and Updates document. I just got the latest one from August 16, 2010. I will share it on the blog in due course. It always lists the official ruling on any of these types of questions.

    At the end is a listing of units with official changes to their cards. I don’t see any alterations for the USS Baltimore. I do know that Richard Baker, game designer, was previously quoted as saying “probably not” when asked if the USS Baltimore is supposed to have it in the game. But, it was not officially changed in any documentation that I have or have seen.

    One important thing to do when playing the game is to be certain that your opponent and you know which set of rules are in effect. For example, are you using the new Starter Rulebook and which Updates and Clarifications document are you using? For official play you are supposed to be using the most recent versions of both, which would be the August 16, 2010 Updates and Clarifications document and the rulebook from the 2010 Starter.

    It sounds like you made good use of that Heavy Antiair special ability. The Kondor can be a big help to German submarines but it is vulnerable to concentrated AA. Be sure when using the USS Montpelier’s Heavy Antiair SA that you roll the 5 dice indicated on the card for range 1 and not the 7 shown for range 0. The Kondor only has Armor 3 so it is easy to abort it, which disrupts its special abilities, and Vital Armor 6 making it fairly easy to destroy. It becomes easier when you focus AA attacks from ship(s) and aircraft.

    For example, I just rolled 5d6 representing the Heavy Antiair SA from the USS Montpelier using the Dicenomicon app for the iPad and got 1, 2, 2, 4, 6. That would be enough to abort the Kondor.

    If the Kondor was at range 0, which it should never be, the USS Montpelier would have 1, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5, 6 or 6 successes. That would be enough to destroy it.

    You may want to point out to your opponent, for future use, that they should only put the Kondor at range 1 from a target when they intend to use its Antiship Missile special ability. If they only want to use its Pinpointer special ability then it should be 2 spaces away. No ship that I know of has a SA that gives it range 2 antiair.

  5. victor

    Spoiler Alert! Found on Wikipedia the some of the units for Set V or Fleet Command. The French Algerie, the German Atlantis, Japanese Kaga, U. K. Supermarine Seafire, U. S. USS Nevada. Also read Set VI (August 2011) is suppose to have shore batteries and the USS Wasp.