I do not agree to ban the 6/7th rates from the deep water PBs. Instead i think we should try to persue some way to do incentives and disincentives towards the most realistic and historical situations, while not forbidding the non or less historical and less relistic situations. We play a open world sandbox, so i think we can accept some " what ifs".
I do confess that im all for realism in game as much as we can. I would like to leave some sugestions about some issues that were raised while this topic is discussed.
First; the balanced and most realistic looking fleets for PBs.
Too many Oceans in this Ocean, at least in th PBs. How to balance this in an atempt to be close to realistic and historical approach?
There several sugested fixes. IMO in the OW, the way to do this and in general to balance the use of the SOL can be achieved with the introduction of the maintenance but only the maintenance will not fix the hose PBs where we see almost 25 Oceans and only Oceans. After all, even with maintenace, a PB is why these SOL were made for and the expenses are justified.
The way to incentive or disincentive the use of the different ships is easely done, i think, by adjusting their BR. Increase it to make it less apealing but not too much to make it usless.
I think it would look amazing and feel much more immersive and more Age of sail if we could tend to have PBs where we would see in a fleet something like 2 or 3 1st rates, 3 to 4 2nd rates, 6 or 8 or even 10, maybe more 3rd rates and maybe some optional 4th rates(they were falling in desuse).
I will just throw some numbers trying to justify my point:
Imagine something like 1st rates BR would be around 950 ( in order to prevent only Oceans, these could have the 950 while the Santissima 850 and the victory 800, to incentive the use of the last 2),. The 2nd rates should be costy in BR but less than the 1st. Maybe something around 700. They are not supposed to be the most numerous of the SOLs. Now to incentive a huge number of 3rd rates, these could have a BR arund 400. 4rth rates do not need a greater incentive compared to the 3rd.
What i wish to say is that we could try to manipulate these BRs to make us search for several strategic choices while having the incentive to close more to the beautiful feeling of the Age of sail in a historical aproach. However not forbidding or preventing less historical choices if someone wishes to try them. That what if.
Another sugestion i would like to say is about the PBs mechanics.
I think the 3 circles are an excelent idea and these could represent the disembark points for the attacker force. The main at the center can be the port assault point. the other 2 could represent points to disembark the marines in the coast or beach to make the siege to the city/port. Points granted by the capture of each of these secondary circles could be half of the main port circle. The port should have the best defenses.
Now what i think would bring a greater feeling for realism. A ship to capture a circle should be completely stop. This would represent the ship disembarking the marines in small boats. It would be wise to do so after dealing with the forts and by beeing imobile they are vulnerable to any other ship attack.
Second, what are the ships disembarking? Marines! So in order for the vessel to be able to capture any circle he must have Marines inside. A slot of the ship knowlege should be used to this. A ship that doesnt bring marines is there only to shoot his cannons, cannot capture.
And for further helping the balance of the use of ships. A SOL can take much more marines than a 5th rate. So a 1st should be the ship that could capture the circle faster while a 5th would capture much slower.
My doubt is about the unrated vessels. they could transport too few marines to influence the land battle. Should they not be allowed to capture circles or maybe they could capture only the main port circle in a very slow pace. I say this because unrated would have few marines but also few small boats to disembark. Instead they themselves could be the disembark ship heading directly to the docks of the port for the assault but to head directly to the beach or shores would not be a wise idea.
Finaly, an intersting idea for a issue that was also mentioned. When the attacker sinks most or all the defender ships but still fails to capture the land.
In this situation i would like to sugest some more deeper changes to the PBs. This means the defender kept the port but lost control of the sea to the attacker. I would like to sugest this situation to become a Blockade. This could be mean that another PB is scheduled to the nest day!
And if something i think is unlikely to happen but can happen...Happen? What if the attacker managed to capture the land and port but lost most or all of his ships? This would be a interesting turn of events: The attacker holds the port now but lost control of the sea, so this port is under blockade and a new PB scheduled to thenext day but this time the former defender is the attacker and former attacker is the defender.
For this to be measured we could have the BR numbers seen in deep waters PBs from and only from the SOL (4th to 1st rates) or should the 5th rates also count and be generic to deep and shallow waters? where only the unrated would not count?
If the BR of one side would be superior to the other by more than 50% the posibility of a blockade would arise. To avoid endless situations, Blockades would be limited to 3. This means at the 3rd day of consecutive blockade PBs attackers and defenders are exaust and must retreat. the one who kept the port won.
I would like to know what do you think about these ideas and if anyone could even fine tune them.
My goals were to achieve more historical and realistic balance to decrease the total dominance of the Oceans in the PB, seek more balanced PB fleets where the 3rd rate would be dominant, fto feel the PB strategy more realistic about the circles and the importance of the SOL to the main objective in a PB that is to capture the port, to simulate the disembark and the advantage of the numbers of the marines in each vessel and finaly the feeling of the sea control introducing the blockade.