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Lieste

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  1. It was "up to 40 guns", and we know ordnance recovered includes 6lb of several natures (Swedish and British), 4lb, 1lb and 1/2lb. With some 2lb and 3lb shot recovered, it is possible that the melange of ordnance types covered nearly all possibilities from 6lb down. With her provenance, the *maximum* number of 6lb fitted to her would be ~20, with a possibility that she only had a few more than the 10-14 'as taken' (14 'guns'). The other ordnance was a mix of lighter quarterdeck guns, fitted either to her quarterdeck and forecastle, or even to her main battery, and lighter swivel guns. 8 may have been taken from the vessel given to her crew on capture. As an example of this practice (albeit a later date), the Southampton, RN frigate augments her 12lb battery with 6 6lb guns on her castles and 12 1/2lb swivels on her rails. Just taken a bit further - the various listed armaments e.g. 22 guns mounted and 32 or 36 guns mounted for the same encounter may give a clue to what she was fitted with. 22 guns, and 14 swivels on her rails (10) and in tops (4) seems to me to be a plausible reading of the information given, the recovered artifacts and her date and origin (and quoted size - similar to a 24 gun English 6th rate such as Deal Castle (Est 1706)). A knowledgeable man may have described only 'guns' mounted on carriages as is usual in describing rated vessels, while an impressionable or sensationalist amateur may have noted anything remotely resembling a weapon fitted to the vessel.
  2. QAR was a 6lb frigate built merchant ship of the 171x period. A very rough approximation of her overgunned state (though a bit bigger x2 than she would be) could be the surprise fitted with 6lb guns and 4lb on the QD/FC. No Carronades, no heavy ordnance (9lb). She was big and powerful by pirate standards (and operated in a small flotilla), as pirates typically tended to use cutters and sloops which could use inlets and anchorages smaller than formal deepwater ports, and which would hope to evade naval vessels, and provide enough threat to small merchant vessels armed with little better than 'insurance' pieces on obstructed decks to force them to yield for 'safe quarter' if caught in a chase. Their vessels are not suited to fighting a major naval power in fleet actions, and even a single gun-brig or frigate was a serious threat to pirate activities where it was patrolling.
  3. Maybe, as so many RN ships were built for them by the French, we should use French terms even for RN ships?
  4. Yes, very few Frigates had guns on their gun deck. The early demi-battery ships (with most of the guns on the upper deck, but a few (sometimes, but not always) of a weight heavier than the main battery, and later the few razee'd ships, where the main battery had been the 24lb or 32lb gundeck of a 3rd rate, and the upper deck was cut down to form the frigate forecastle and quarterdeck. For all other purpose built frigates the gun deck was near the waterline, and unarmed, with the main battery on the upper deck, and their secondary battery fitted to a spar deck or to the interrupted forecastle/quarterdeck.
  5. No ship had more than one deck of cannons. (guns of 7" bore ~ 46lb) Guns of smaller calibre, like demi-cannon, culverin, demi-culverin, saker and minions were used on the other decks, and on smaller vessels than the largest first rates. In addition there was a Royal Cannon of 8" bore. When calibres were standardised by poundage, rather than bore size, the named guns were replaced by guns of 32lb, 24lb etc, but the word cannon has a meaning which doesn't apply to these. Long ordnance is a gun, relatively lighter shorter types, commonly with sub-calibre chambers for powder are howitzers, carronades and mortars.
  6. If she has 9lb she would be massively overgunned by British practice (beam of RN 9lb ships is over 31/32 feet). Even the 6lb gun-brigs are 27 ft in the beam. PdN is less than 26 ft in beam, which is about half way between RN 4lb and 6lb classes. These smaller types are already somewhat narrower compared to their gun length (and use the shortest pattern ordnance) than those larger frigates or ships of the line. (down to 2.2 length per semi-beam, from 2.7 length per semi-beam for the larger vessels). It is possible, it should "fit", but it is less comfortable, and not typical practice.
  7. They do look to be, but the yards are kept high (providing the footing for the topsail) and the clew is higher than with an unreefed course. They have a single reef (as you can see in post Feb 1). *As DeRuyter noted only the fore course is set. I initially misread the mizzen topsail as the main course. It does have the reef taken in. Main course is furled.
  8. Yes, the topsails. The Topgallants are furled. The Topsails are reefed - note that the yard is lowered to suit the reduced height of the sail. All three reefs are taken to the yard. A single reef has the yard higher, and no reefs taken have the yard hauled right up.
  9. This is a *really* bad idea IRL. Guns can at close range pass shot through both sides if the gunner wants to. The near side injury is limited with a clean pass-through, limited splintering, and a significant injury on the exit from the far side. Angling strongly isn't sufficient to keep the shot out. If you attempt it you involve *a lot more* of the side in failing to stop the shot, dump a lot more energy into the near side, over many feet of length instead of a few inches, holing several frames instead of *maybe* one, and generate a lower number of a lot larger splinters. Inside the structure, you would see more casualties, but fewer significant injuries to ordnance and other equipment. Because you only damage one side, but damage it more, the long term accumulation of battle damage may be a wash, or may favour *not* angling. In game is silly, because it is assumed that 'armour' and structure are two separate things, and that wooden armour is effective at stopping iron shot. This is fundamentally false. Wood is *terrible* at stopping iron shot, and if the wood is the structure it *will* be torn up even if the shot isn't passed through. Importantly though, ships are quite large. Shot holes are subcalibre, and structures redundant and large. The damage caused to it (except below waterline holing) is almost certainly exaggerated to a substantial degree, 300 or so shots are needed to even approximate the 1.5% 'void' of the existing gunports on a typical side, and even allowing for some linear framing and a weakened area around the hole, a single broadside isn't a structural destruction, or substantive weakening of what limited 'protection' the structure does provide - the void % would slowly creep up, but overall 'thickness' is undiminished.
  10. Do you know what the spars are? They are the upper portions of the mast above the cross trees and fighting platform. Being much lighter than the masts (the portion between keel and the cap above the fighting platform/crosstrees) they are vulnerable to hits from fewer and weaker shot. They were frequently shot away in combat (despite being high above the decks) - and this indicates with a limited elevation (say under 8 degrees) that you would need to be outside 200m to even have a change of engaging them... and this is barely an additional 1.5 degrees elevation of the aimpoint at a pointe en blanc range for a frigate engagement (with the aim point now being at the cap of the mainmast (instead of middly of gun ports) with direct pointing and firing as each bears).
  11. That is false. The French frequently disengaged from engagements they didn't want *by* firing pointe en blanc into the rigging of their pursuers. It wasn't guaranteed, and in the case of a close engagement that followed a failed attempt, they were overwhelmingly defeated during the close engagements... but many chases ended with the loss of spars and the escape of the chasee - and often only with one or two pieces engaged from the stern quarter(s). The same desultory fires often resulted in closer engagements when the chase guns succeeded in taking spars from the runner, from the chase guns alone. Yes. In heavy seas all fires are inaccurate to significant degree, but with 'pointing' you can at least maximise the odds by firing at two moments - deck level or 'when line of metal bears' using quick powder, locks and quills to avoid the hang coming from the original powder train and slow match. Dispersion increases with distance, so more shots are needed to hit a point (or linear) target as range increases... but hitting a particular point is easiest when aiming *at* that point rather than trying to guess at a particular 'hold off'.
  12. Still all ignore that Carronades have the *same* line of metal range as guns, all designed to hit the aimpoint (or at least a dispersion area around it) at 700m or so. What Carronades do poorly in is remaining pointed in anything approximating the correct direction when levelled or pointed by line of metal at intermediate ranges (taking a 9lb frigate gun as representative of an 'acceptable' degree of (fall under/shoot over) from alternatively level or line of metal shooting (point blank and pointe-en-blanc), then Carronades drop excessively outside of 250/275m and shoot over excessively inside 600/625m all pass their shot through the approximate aimpoint of the line of metal at 700m, then Carronades fall excessively by 775m and the gun by 850m Beyond 850m would then be random fires only, with increasingly inaccurate pointing and range estimation. This *does* make Carronades less useful in the normal battle range (around twice the maximum error in pointing), and with a considerable or considerably larger 'gap' in accurate 'simple' pointing compared to a gun. It also reduces the size of a 'beaten zone' around the line of metal range, making correct range estimation to hit with the 'set' elevation considerably more important/harder. This *isn't* however the same as a Carronade having a shorter effective range of less than 100m, or being unable to throw shot to 400 m as some sources (cough Aubrey/Maturin books /cough) would suggest. In fact, a choice of 400m range is about the worst case for accuracy of both guns and carronades (Carronades a bit shorter for worst case at 375m, guns a little longer at 410-450m). Levelled ordnance drops excessively, and elevated ordnance with sighting on line of metal is firing too high.
  13. Why 'over 100m'. Carronades are poor compared to guns of their own calibre. A typical proportion at the muzzle (full charges for gun, normal charge for carronade) is around 40% of the gun penetration for the shorter pattern guns of conventional construction (i.e. not lightened mediums, but the types fitted to frigates). As the range increases both fall away, but the carronade (being subsonic) loses less velocity and penetration than a (supersonic) gun, and the difference in penetration at any particular range reduces as that range is increased. At 800 yds, these are a little under 60% of their gun equivalent. (Note, that by reducing charge proportion, the gun can be brought down to carronade performance, but the carronade cannot rise to that of the gun). Impulse lost to a side of 18" is initially similar (90% to 110% of the gun performance), but this increases to around 150% or so at the range at which the carronade is just stopped by the side, before falling to around 70% as the gun reaches it's performance limit at extreme range. A Carronade of 32lb is usually replacing a 9lb gun though, and here the proportions are different. At the muzzle you see only 70% of the gun penetration from the carronade, but this rises to 80% at 400yds, and 110% at 800 yds, and impulse is initially 230%, rising to 260% at 400 yds, falling to 200% at 800 yds (where the 9lb fails) before rising to 300% at 1200yds where the carronade first fails to penetrate. Further out this difference continues to increase.
  14. Angling with a 'thin' hull and full charges/close ranges on large shot (i.e. gross overpenetration) is detrimental. At close range you get clean perforations through and through, with little injury unless some vital component is directly in the shot path (when ordnance, pumps etc can be rendered unusable). If you angle the side then you still get perforations, but involving more of the structure. Eventually the angle becomes enough to prevent the perforation, but now the *entire* shot impulse and energy is absorbed by the structure rather than only a modest fraction of it. You *want* to have minimal angling, and clean penetrations - this is the lowest received damage to the structure IRL, and also generates least splintering. The game design gets this arse about front.
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