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Class is In - A Treatise on Naval Action

Grim DeGrim



As noted previously, there has been a treatise on Naval Action compiled by Mr. Doran, edited by Mr. Balck. You can find the link HERE, and a dropbox account HERE for download. As I believe my gaming time offsets a bit with Mr. Doran, I'll instead look at the Treatise mid week in anticipation of the weekend.

CREDIT: The material herein is not mine. Credit to the above mentioned gentlemen. And additional credit to Schuetzengel for flipping the Treatise diagrams into .GIFs (link here, I modified them slightly). The notes are based on their work, though I caution that my interpretations could be wrong. Speak with the Master, Mr. Doran, if clarification needed.

My writing this out is my way of forced learning...as I have done previously with tacking. Bear in mind that I am not an expert, I find the sailing language clumsy (due to my lack of familiarity), and that I'm prone to interchanging words... so please read THE TREATISE! It is noteworthy to point out that these pictures are on page 10 of the guide, so plenty of theory & notes come before this material.



This figure demonstrates three key points:

  • First, the Black ship approaches and takes a leeward (not having the weather gauge) position. This is incorrect. Always try for the weather gauge (recognizing that it not always possible, still try).

  • Second, the correct maneuver, is the White ship taking the windward position (upwind). While doing so, ensuring 1 ship length between on the initial pass, allows the White ship 2 broadsides (certainly 2, though 3 is the goal as depicted in the gif) to the Black ship's 1 broadside volley. The damage will be spread ... one potential on each of your broadside, whereas your 3 are all against a single broadside, causing critical damage and potentially the use of a repair. As Mr. Doran explains, a rake on the 3rd pass maybe possible...killing crew...and thereby breaking the DPS & ship sailing characteristics stalemate,

  • The ship length is important as it allows the white ship the room required to complete tack through the wind and be able to land another broadside on the damaged black ship. Otherwise, White runs the risk of nothing having the room required for the 3 volley into Black.



This figure demonstrates two key points:

  • First, the Black ship realizes that the windward tack will not realize getting the gauge advantage. Two notes:
    • Black closes tight to White, in order to remove the 1 ship separation (limits potential maneuvers of White).
    • In this instance, Black will always flip from right to left (relative to the wind, flips downwind). This leaves the stern open for a rake. However, if White also turns downwind, this gives Black the opportunity to apply 3 broadsides (certainly 2, though 3 is the goal as depicted in the gif) to the 1 of White, and opportunity to take weather gauge advantage. Same as in Figure 1-1, Black might take 2 volleys, but they will be spread across each broadside, whereas White will receive all the damage on a single side. As Mr. Doran explains, a rake on the 3rd pass maybe possible...killing crew...and thereby breaking the DPS & ship sailing characteristics stalemate,

    [*]White did not tack for enough separation. White also did not take advantage of the weather gauge and turned downwind, essentially giving up the wind.

I'll stop there for today. There are 2 more accompanying GIF with these, and I'll post on them next, and that should take us into the weekend. Be sure to read Mr. Doran's guide first hand.

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I became my Naval Action career quite late, I'm not sure you are still here to answer my question: what is weather gauge, how to recognize and exploit good and wrong position?

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Doran is still around. Rumour has it he is slowly preparing a new version of the treatise updated for changes in the game. Having the weather gauge is simply being upwind of your opponent.

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