Jump to content
Game-Labs Forum


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Lieste

  1. Well... 155.56/141.42 is a 10% increase only. What is perhaps more relevant is that guns can push shot through the side of a ship at quite extended ranges IRL (32lb gun firing double passing a 3rd rate at 400 yds, and firing single shot in ricochet fire 1200 yds or more). So the in game 'marginal penetrations' are not real (except in the case of firing smaller calibre ordnance against the thickest sides at extended distance or with double shot). Even worse, the concept of 'armour' is a false one. The side&structure is the object that is both damaged by the shot and keeps the shot out of the interior. It is injured whenever it is struck, even if not penetrated through and through, and is not 'protected by armour' - this conceit is even more bizarre when applied to the masts and spars - these are lighter woods, far less resistant to shot, and will be injured by anything which hits them - they have a certain resilience, but not an 'armour' value which makes them immune from injury.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Maybe, as so many RN ships were built for them by the French, we should use French terms even for RN ships?
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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).
  12. 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'.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Thickness is only useful for protecting internal components (crew, mast bases, pumps, ordnance). It is useless for protecting structure, because it *is* the structure. Ordnance historically had no difficulty passing the sides when fired at close ranges and with full charges... only in a few cases where 'traditional' responses to a close in fight (double shot with reduced charge) to maximise injury resulted in shot too weak to penetrate 'overbuilt' vessels. (Such as 'Ironsides' vs RN frigates). A 32lb ordnance would pass shot through a 74's side at around 1200 yds, and 400 yds with double (fired with a reduced charge). Long ordnance of the *same* calibre, rather than same ordnance mass, was *far* more flexible than carronades, which were rather a one-trick pony. A 32lb long gun could match a carronade when fired double with a secdond reduced charge at close range... or could strike at the same velocity and with equivalent 'splintering' effects out at 1400 yds... and was still respectable when inefficiently over-penetrating at closer range. It was only in comparison to smaller caliber ordnance (such as the 9lb 7ft gun fitted to light frigates) that the carronade was a 'monster' with exceptional performance. Still the 9lb gun would penetrate better at closer ranges, but it only hits relatively weakly. For cutting rigging, the difference in shot size (4:6.1) is relatively minor and the increased ability to 'reach' accurately would give an advantage to a gun armed vessel aiming to cripple the opponent before closing. Also, the line of metal range, an accurate pointing being possible, was around 700-750yds with distant charges for all ordnance by design - whether that be carronades, guns of 6ft or guns of 10ft length. The French tended to fire into rigging at this range, and frequently managed to cripple the enemy enough to disengage and continue their operational/strategic missions. The RN practice was to hold fire until closer (except possibly with chase guns, also intended to cripple rigging) and then to devastate the hull with double shotted broadsides from within musket or (preferably) pistol shot. (400-200 yds) Carronades had a non-flat trajectory and had some pointing difficulties at around 400yds, being short for line of metal, but too long for levelled ordnance. This would also apply to guns fired double. Later improvements with dispart sights and quarter sights improved the ability to set firing angle suited to the range chosen to fight at (or near enough, given the unstable platform).
  17. L'Unite had 24 8livre and 8 4 livre pieces, according to the sources I see. As Surprise she was authorised and fitted for 24 9lb, 10 4lb and 6 12lb - per a letter from Admiralty 1798-01-18 Hamilton requested her fitting with Carronades in place of this letter dated 1798-01-30 An exchange between Nepean and the Navy board in Feb, results in authorisation of a fitting of 32lb and 18lb carronades (and a standing order for 2 4lb chase guns).. Final armament was then: 24 32lb carronades, 10 18lb carronades and 2 4lb guns.
  18. The Admiralty authorised an issue of carronades per class (1794). 1st Rate 100, 2 x 32lb (6x 24lb on roundhouse - often not used as they caused chaos and disorder on the command deck) 2nd 90, 2 x 32lb (6 x 18lb) 3rd 74/80, 2 x 32lb (6 x 18lb) 4th 64, 2 x 24lb (6 x 18lb) 4th 50, 2+4 x 24lb (6 x 12lb) 5th 44, 2+6 x 18lb Frigates: 5th 38/36, 2+6 x 32lb 5th 32, 2+4 x 24lb 6th 28, 2+4 x 24lb 6th 24, 2+6 x 18lb 6th 20, 2+6 x 12lb Sloops 2+6 x 12lb Brigs 6 x 12lb Cutters 4 x 12lb Later issues included experiments (Rainbow, et al, Surprise (ex-L'Unite), and the general armament for gun-brigs sloops and 20 and 24 gun 6th rates from around 1800. Frigate carronade fits increased the number and weight of QD carronades (18lb frigates variously 2+8 and 2+12 x 32lb carronades in the 1812 war, replacing most of the 9lb guns). The US navy favoured them rather more, but later experience ultimately changed this preference: such as the Lake Erie, where a RN squadron fitted with relatively light long guns and carronades was prevented from retreating after a minor defeat by US sloops fitted with 32lb and 24lb long guns and carronades in small batteries of pivot guns (for the heavy ordnances), the whole squadron being forced to strike. The loss of the Essex as well (though by my reading and from the damage report this was predominantly from positioning off the quarters of a voluntarily immobilised ship at anchor (and unable to keep a spring on the anchor for manoeuvring (it was repeated shot away) rather than a pure range or accuracy advantage)) prompted navies to move towards intermediate and heavy ordnance in the largest calibre practicable rather than either lighter long ordnance or the relatively weak carronade fit. The subsequent years seeing a near universal move towards full batteries of 32lb/30 livre ordnance in a variety of length and weight configurations per deck and class, with a supplement of shell guns, except in the smallest classes which took an equivalent 18lb fit.
  19. Really the distinction shouldn't be between medium and long ordnance, but between medium and heavy ordnance. "Long guns" are heavily built, accept full charges and (with reduced charge) double shot as options. Lengths can vary significantly, for example the 6lb gun comes in lengths from 6ft to 8.5ft, the 9lb from 7ft to 9ft, but the weights are closer, with the heavy breech being common and only the chase being significantly different in length and having a much thinner wall. The medium gun is a much lighter construction, unsuited to double shot, and typically having a lower maximum charge. Lengths can be longer than the average 'long gun' - though it most commonly also at the shorter end of the 'heavy gun' construction range of lengths. (An example of a 'long' "medium" gun is the 10ft+ 24lb ordnance of the Vasa, which are around half the weight of a 9ft 24lb of the Armstrong/Blomefeld patterns, and also the shorter pattern later 'rebores' of 18lb guns to 32lb or 9lb to 18lb, and the various failed experiments with reduced weight guns, such as Congreve pattern guns). These all show less performance with worse recoil, and less flexibility in operation {the long guns can be used with reduced charges, and with double shot to span a far wider range of velocities than carronades (with which they share a common 'minimum' velocity), medium guns (which are middling in performance down to carronade level), and also have a higher velocity for flatter fire and performance out to extended ranges}.
  20. Also as I understand it : a fleet or augmented squadron tends to have several 'divisions' acting or inactive (including at anchorage) together and a number of detachments finding things for them to potentially move against, while an active station or a 'basic' squadron is more commonly predominantly many detachments or single patrolling vessels, with little 'core' strength gathered in one place, or all of it's 'smaller' size acting together. Ultimately, over several centuries of practice and implementation across the globe you can probably find an example of just about anything. What ships you have available and your mission determines what you are expected to accomplish. The name of your grouping is often little more than a historical accident from the time this new structure was first dispatched... and your mission and resources have likely changed.
  21. Well. That flies in the face of historical documents which clearly show a squadron of 70+ vessels in certain places and times... This describes the more modern usage, sure. But in period, squadron, fleet, station had similar functional purpose at time of high activity, and while only the fleets and to a lesser extent stations were preserved in peacetime at their 'peak' sizes, a squadron in active strategic or operational areas would absorb or be sent as whatever strength was needed for it's mission. A naval detachment is equivalent to a division (a smaller part of a larger body), the distinction being between being apart from and a part of this larger grouping. So the Van, Main Body and Rear of the fleet might form three divisions, along with a fourth (maybe) as scouts and liaision (light 4th rates or small 3rd rates, with frigates and sloops). Or alternatively you might form two columns, plus attachments (scouts, screen and liaisons).
  22. Nope. They have short pattern long guns on their main/upper deck, unarmed gundecks, and carronades only on the castles or spar deck. The 'weather deck' is a synonym for main/upper deck on frigates - the highest watertight continuous deck. Not a spar deck or separate fo'c'sle and quarter deck.
  23. Not really. The names of Stations, Squadrons and Fleets are mostly historical quirks, and strength and composition of them changed with the strategic and operational requirements (of that station and it's competition). e.g. Western Squadron, has 52 vessels assigned to it in 1760 and 70 in 1800. as 'thin examples' in 1813 the channel fleet has 33 ships, including 16 of the line... but the Baltic squadron has 45 including 9 of the line, and Texel has 30, including 12 of the line. American stations have 57 and 11 ships, with a total of 12 of the line. Mediterranean Fleet is huge with 89 ships including 29 of the line. So, the difference is largely one of historical precedents and the immediate operational and strategic need as much as a firm and consistent regulation.
  24. Technically the gun crews were 14, 12, 5, 10 and 4... but each was responsible for a pair of ordnance one to port and one to starboard. Each crew also had to allocate a man or men to pump water, fight fires, boarding, hauling sails/rigging etc on demand. Men were allocated at 1 man per 500lb of nominal ordnance weight, permitting long term operation without undue fatigue. This is accomplished with the full crew, and fighting both sides together, or with parties detached would increase fatigue significantly. (Loading both sides could be done with only modest penalty by hauling guns out with all but vent man of the 'off' side being used to haul the 'on' side out, and then setting the majority of the gun crew to haul when the other side was loaded in it's turn. This is obviously a bit slower, but is not as hard on the crew.) If insufficient crew were available to man all the guns it was common to consolidate what men were around to man the midships guns densely and fully, rather than to attempt to work all guns with too few crew. Minimum crew for ordnance is 2. As no matter how light it is required for safety to cover the vent while worming, loading and running out.
  • Create New...