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Sir Lancelot Holland

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Everything posted by Sir Lancelot Holland

  1. To a degree, perhaps, but it is amazing how fast they find it when the enemy delivers a few thousand pounds of scrap iron and remodels their nice ships!
  2. I would suggest trying the maritime museums at Marseilles or Toulon, most of the class were built at Toulon so i'd expect them to have some information beyond the average museums. Some of our more knowledgeable French colleagues, or players with reference works, may, have better information, such as if plans still exist that give the information you require, they should, as all dimensions would have been specified by the shipwrights and designers, certainly the height from keel to mast heads would be there with length beam and draught, failing that height from waterline to mast head plus draught will give mean height, ships in a class varied slightly but not to a great degree. Of course the Devs may know, given the very high standard of modelling, they may of had access to some of the existing plans or drawings and must have got the information from somewhere,
  3. Whether it is a Clan, or, a Flotilla, or, Squadron, Task force, or, fleet, there is a common denominator between them, that is the Battle Ensign under which they sail and fight, usually a variation of the National flag, Multi-national task forces, while nominally sailing under their own National Ensigns also fly the NATO/SEATO flags. I am sure a Russian will correct me, but, I think, during the Soviet Union era, their fleets, when working alongside other 'WarPac' nations may also of had a similar flag to NATO. Also many European Nations have long histories of enmity, Centuries of fighting each other is a difficult 'prejudice' to overcome, it is understandable that many would be happy fighting under 19th century French/ Spanish or British colours, not because they particularly dislike the old enemies, (although there will always be some who may) but, more because it has 'always been so', the glory days of the old world are something a lot people enjoy, and, whether it be a war game set in the Napoleonic era or 20th Century, given a choice, many, would prefer to fight under their own nations colours, or those of an ally. Those who do not are not necessarily against their own nations, they may simply have there own reasons for doing so, just as those who join organisations like the French Foreign Legion often have.
  4. Yes, that would enable clans to purchase what they need, if they require additional space, then, there is encouragement to go out and earn the necessary reals/doubloons to expand the clan dock spaces. Effectively a sound reason to be out in OW , accepting the risks that accompany that in order to further the clan's best interests.
  5. I think this is a good idea, all of us at some point have had our dock spaces cluttered up with ships crafted for someone else, clan dock spaces where the recipient can collect their new ship would help a great deal. It would work better if they were additional dock spaces for clan members, since, it would free up a players own dock spaces which often may be needed for operational ships. Perhaps in addition a small anchorage for larger ships as well, many first rates were often too big to get alongside in smaller ports, but, would often anchor a little way offshore yet still be under the protection of the other ships and port defences, it would have no effect on shallow water ports as they could not get close enough to anchor before grounding anyway. this too would open up dock spaces for smaller ships or create the dockside spaces for clan docks. The Nore and Spithead ( which was often the site of Naval Reviews) were often used for these reasons, no doubt Cadiz and Calais or Brest had a form of 'designated parking' for lineships and visiting ships.
  6. In peace, or war, all sailors have a common enemy, the sea itself. It was wherever possible considered a duty save as many souls as possible and in just about every battle efforts would be made to save friend and foe alike, sometimes even while still under fire. So strong is the conviction that life is paramount among sailors that no captain would knowingly leave survivors in the water unless his ship was in imminent danger, even as late as 1982 and the Falklands conflict where news footage shows the lengths to which sailors go to save men and ships if they can. Even so despite all efforts men are sometimes left in the water, Submariners who don't have room for survivors, in early in WWII would sometimes ensure ships boats had at least a compass, knew where they were and and base course to safety, until it became too dangerous for U-boats to spend too much time surfaced, one commander even signaling the British Admiralty giving them one of his victims position for rescue, the German Admiralty were not impressed by this particular Captain's actions and ordered that such an event would not happen again due to the ability of the Royal Navy to track signals to source. Sadly tragedies happened too, while engaged in picking up survivors from KMS Bismarck a submarine was reported in the area, and HMS Dorsetshire was forced, with great regret, to leave a large number of survivors in the water. The worse case I have heard about, was, the USS Indianapolis, torpedoed after delivering the A-bomb to Tinian losing 300 in the sinking itself, 890 of her crew got away safely into the water, of those, 316 survived after 4 days of persistent shark attacks including her Captain Charles B McVay III who was the only Commander to lose his command and stand Courts Martial for failing to order the abandonment of his ship (acquitted) and hazarding his command for which he was convicted, he was, eventually cleared of all blame in 2001 by Act of Congress and signed off by President Clinton.
  7. For the most part the steering system was (and still is) highly exposed, the Helm (the ships steering wheel) was mainly on the open decks, (although The Buccentaure was one of the exceptions) the steering lines from helm to tiller bar were exposed between decks, but, it was more often a 'lucky' shot that disabled steering, as most of the components were out of sight of the gunners, in action the ships could be steered via the tiller bar but at great expense to manpower, until, new lines were rove, if the Helm were carried away then turning would be a slow, painful experience! Even today the steering system is still one of the most vulnerable systems if a 'lucky' hit is obtained, HMS Exeter had her helm carried away at the River Plate action, and the loss of KMS Bismark was solely due to the her loss of steering, had not a torpedo from one of the Stringbags ( Fairy Swordfish torpedo bomber) not struck her aft, jamming her rudders, she would have made it to Brest, as, the pursuing British warships were desperately low on fuel even at that point of the chase, HMS King George V. and HMS Rodney sailed back almost unescorted as the Destroyers had left to refuel at Iceland, they were down to mere hours of sailing time on return to Scapa Flow. It is ironic that in that pursuit both ships, HMS Hood, and, KMS Bismark were sunk because of a 'lucky' critical hit, the loss of so many brave men on both sides not withstanding.
  8. Yes, indeed this is true to great extent, but, when you add in the factors of close range, reload speed, and, positioning you have the whole recipe for a successful engagement. Many battles would have begun at middle ranges when the possibility of of a high number of hits was more likely and the range often closed to within musket range, around 80m to 100m. Firing as the guns bore, or, by section, or, deck was also commonplace given that the rates of exhaustion or attrition could vary by gun or deck, during a long engagement gunnery could get pretty random as reload times grew longer and broadsides became more ragged in their timing. Attrition is acknowledged by the loss of cannons in game, fatigue could be simulated by automatically switching to random fire after a set time, however, the Devs may need to post Marines at the office doors, if, that idea were even thought about, never mind implemented. 😄
  9. It is very probable that these ships were Indian built, HMS Ganges, like, HMS Trincomalee was constructed at Bombay, Oak is not an native wood to India and it would have been prohibitively expensive to export Oak to Bombay so Teak was substituted in it's place. The result would have been faster less well armoured line ships, that may not have fared so well alongside or against traditional Oak builds from Chatham while in the line. They were, if you like to make comparisons a 19th Century Battle- cruiser, with the same strengths and weaknesses.
  10. I actually remember the Iroquis and her sister the Huron, I recall thinking that they were good looking ships with their distinctive 'V' funnel layout, I'm sure that they must have been good sea-keepers with that high Forecastle, but, maybe a little wet aft?
  11. It is interesting to note that the paravanes stowed behind the breakwater are not in lockers, On RN ships they were in order to prevent damage from large waves breaking over the bows, were they originally stowed elsewhere on US ships?
  12. I think that if the attacker knows he can get support within 5 minutes of engaging an enemy then a delaying action is valid, deliberately delaying knowing there is no support and without the intent to fight is not an option. It is one thing if you actually have instructions to delay with the intent of fighting with equal or greater forces, after all, the target still has a chance to escape with speed and invisibility or increase his odds by putting some of the enemy ships out of a good position to get into the fight. It is quite another to engage knowing there is no support and with the sole intent of wasting time, to do so is wrong on so many levels, even, setting aside that such behavior can ruin the playing experience of others, which is counter productive. Consider this: No Officer, or man, shall fail to do his utmost to defeat the enemy under sufferance of death, - Articles of war. This was the article that Admiral Byng was tried and executed under, it is clear and concise, if you engage the enemy without doing all you can to defeat him then that is an offense under law No Officer, or, Man shall recklessly hazard his ship under sufferance of death- Articles of War. This is the opposite, If you engage the enemy knowing he has overwhelming firepower and without prospect of relief by friendly forces then that is an offense under the law, excepting where your orders expressly command you to delay or harass the enemy, or, if to continue the action will result in needless losses then escape or surrender are permitted without fear or favor. The first article would not apply in that instance. No man can do wrong if he lays his ship alongside the enemy- Nelson of Bronte. What Nelson actually means here is that if you engage the enemy closely, and, charges are laid that you hazarded your ship then he will not pursue those charges, but if you cut and run then he will apply the first charge of 'failing to do your utmost'. Those two articles deal with neglect,/cowardice, and all points in between the two, by extension if you grief a ship then either article can be applied, but if you delay a ship under orders the first article cannot apply as you are clearly not expected to defeat the enemy alone, the second may still apply but is very difficult to prosecute as the accused is acting under orders, unless you are very unfortunate you would most likely be acquitted, at the worst the Admiralty would express it's displeasure and the death penalty would not be applied. Should either charge fail, you, cannot be tried under the other, even in military law you may not be tried twice for the same offense. That is how such a case would have been dealt with in real life, the problem in game is that there is no defined regulating structure, how can there be in a sandbox game where pretty much anything goes? Neither can you over regulate without removing a good deal of the fun from the game, the Articles of War cover every single aspect of behavior in peace and war, but, are too rigid to apply in a game without adaptation, also, it may not be desirable to do so, the big question is can ROE's tied to the Articles of War work within a sandbox environment?
  13. Yes, you can, like yourself, I know people whom I have fought alongside, who now fly combatant flags, and whom I like as people. There are, thankfully, none whom I dislike personally even if I disagree with their views or practices. It was not my intent to convince anyone to grind AI for hostility, or, throw away ships without good reason, to my mind such actions are personal choices, I do, however, take the view that one volunteer is worth ten pressed men, he, does things because he wants to, not because he has to, my point was really that human nature is, what it is, as the old saying goes, I can lead my horse to water, but I cannot force him to drink.
  14. Indeed, Tsar Nicolas, Kaiser Wilhelm and King George were all related by their direct or indirect relationship to Queen Victoria.
  15. There is also an equal argument that many people had strong friendships with enemies as well, Generals Tom Rosser and George Custer were friends at West point, a friendship that endured through the American Civil War until Custer's demise at the Little Big Horn in 1876. Many Captains of warships had friends within potential enemy fleets, that also lasted well beyond the wars they fought in, even today all warships host dinners and events for foreign Officers, with the knowledge that one day they may have to oppose them in battle, as in the case of Captain's Harwood and Langsdorf of River Plate fame, none of the officers named failed in their duties when the time came to fight. It is, as always, individual human nature that determines the level of friendship or animosity between combatants.
  16. On paper it is perfectly feasible for a SOL to sink a frigate in in four broadsides or 20-25 minutes, in practice it is a whole different ball game, there are so many variables involved that make paper statistics less reliable, sea and wind states, how long the ship has been in action, the number of skilled gunners opposed to less experienced gunners, attrition rates, all play a part, especially in large battles, and that is often before it is known how skillful the opponent is at ship handling and gunnery, or, if his ship is already damaged, or not. Within an hour of action starting, gun crews will start to slow down as fatigue sets in and attrition takes it's toll on gun crew numbers so 5 minutes becomes 6 minutes then 7 minutes until fatigue slows gunnery to a crawl. The preference would have been to put as many broadsides as is possible into the enemy before the next in line engages, or, the Captain chooses to board her. It could take a considerable time to catch the next ship ahead giving an opportunity for guns crews to rest for a short while, it was one the advantages of fighting in line. While I would like to see how well modern people can deal with the variables of 19th century naval warfare with ROE that reflect the Articles of War of the day, and, under the same conditions as they did, I do not think it is possible to do so, I fear, no one would wish play under those terms, even if, they could all be replicated, the actual sinking of ships is the fun part, and, that, is how most modern people judge success, where, in the 19th century it was considered a success if the enemy were just captured, surrendered, or, driven from the battlefield.
  17. A fair assessment of the PB and Screening action, the short time I spent in combat was fun, and good natured, while not hearing the original order for a starboard turn, pre-battle which placed me almost adjacent to three SOL's, in a bad position to receive support, it is, delightfully ironic, that, I may well of started the combat 'in irons', with the outcome being exactly the same had I of heard the order first time around! GG to the Pirates and VCO in particular. o7
  18. Does this mean that Convergence 'water' equals fall of shot left or right (left and right was used in gunnery as new crew were often assigned to gun crews, as they were not of 'Ordinary' or 'Able' seaman Rate) of target and Convergence 'meters' equals fall of shot short of, or, over the target in terms of distance? These terms would have been used early in engagements at longer ranges and the term 'on target' used when hits were scored, closer ranges, naturally, required fewer adjustments in terms of distance and left/right azimuth, in much the same way as land based artillery, when speed and direction were matched, excepting that, the timing of broadsides was more critical at sea. Single gun ranging shots at maximum elevation were usual, reducing elevation and azimuth if necessary, until range and azimuth were established, given the limited supplies of shot and powder carried, a factor which, within the game, we can happily ignore (excepting chain where every round counts).
  19. There is a 50/50 chance that the sail coming over the horizon is friendly, those odds are the same on both sides. The problems start when it is a squadron or a more powerful ship coming at you. That is the point where every Captain decides whether he has time to finish off his opponent, or, if his ship is still sound, fight defensively and disengage. This is why it is important that a Captain, whether he starts the fight or not has a reasonable chance to disengage, even the Articles of War recognised that, they had to, for a mans life depended on their interpretation. Fighting defensively to disengage is a world away from entering a battle to waste time for no purpose, outwardly, the two may look similar, and, if my opponent suddenly breaks and runs, I have no way of knowing his reasons for doing so unless I know help is imminent, or, I have damaged his ship to the point where running, repairing, then disengaging is the only choice left to him. In that situation the onus is on him to preserve his ship and on me to stop him from doing so. Now if a Captain starts a battle to run the clock down on another battle, preventing a player joining, then,that i think is legitimate, but not if the sole reason is to prevent another Captain's participation in a battle and then run, It is true that sometimes when a Captain of a smaller ship realises that he has taken on more than he can handle he would fire a broadside pour le Pavilon then, disengages he still ran a high risk that if the enemy did not give chase and sink him, his own Admiralty may hang him! Sometimes it is better to apply regulation over mechanics, while regulation is open to interpretation a mechanic cannot distinguish motivation and worse restricts freedom of action that would otherwise be acceptable.
  20. Yeah! The good old days when a Frigate arrives with news of the new war with whoever, arrives, before the brig arrives with the news of the peace after the old war!
  21. In your responce your cite the trial of Admiral Byng, he was tried under article 12 of the Articles of War, in part the article states: Any Officer, Non Commissioned Officer or Rating who fails to do his utmost to defeat the enemy shall suffer death. (it is effectively the same as cowardice in the face of the enemy) There is also another article that directly opposes Article 12 in that: Any Officer, Non Commissioned Officer or Rating who unduly or recklessly hazards his ship shall suffer death. (in time of war running aground could bring about a capital sentence, it is, however, unlikely a GCM would impose death for such an offense, The Captain of HMS Indomitable, who ran his Carrier aground at Ceylon depriving Force Z of its air cover was removed from command and given a dead end job, he never achieved flag rank!) Only one of those charges may be applied, acquittal of one charge may not be followed by trial for the other. I would offer you the suggestion that somewhere between these two sections lies a part of the answer that you seek. The first article ensures that no Captain should engage in battle, fire off a few broadsides, then, runs without intending to defeat his opponent, if, however, in the event that his explicit orders are to delay a more powerful opponent, or, any other legitimate order, then the second permits him to disengage, at his discretion, should the action go wrong, and, his ship is unduly or recklessly hazarded by continuing a one sided, unwinnable action. Equally, for example, if said Captain engaged on his own initiative, a force superior in gun power or numbers and he loses his command then the second article may apply, in that, he recklessly hazarded his ship. It is as developer, naturally, your perogative to determine what behaviour fits under which article and the punishment set for said behaviour, if, indeed, you consider taking this route as a viable solution.
  22. This is so very true, I do wonder though if lesser skilled Captains were to use the autoskipper less in combat whether their skills would improve? Like autopilots are there to reduce a pilots workload they still need the ability to fly the aircraft, so, it is, that a Captain should have the skill to sail his ship irrespective of the assistance of the autoskipper. I think that while such devices are useful, they can, if over relied on take a lot of fun out of a game, anyone can land an A320 on autopilot, but it takes practice to land one manually. Just out of curiosity, I wonder how many veteran Captains are capable of fighting an entire battle on manual sails and win against the autoskipper? Or, even an equal also sailing manually, I certainly could not, and, I mean no disrespect to my betters, but, it would certainly be interesting to see!
  23. The problem with 'best recorded speeds' is that in many cases that speed was rarely achieved, often, it was a once only deal, the optimal weather conditions required for that speed may never come again in the lifetime of that ship. No one could deny that HMS Endymion was among the fastest ships of her day and type in the Royal Navy, neither can it be denied that her 'mean' speed would have been faster than most ships, I am wondering, then, whether it would be better to consider mean speed over best recorded speed? That notwithstanding, in practice no Captain drove their ships to maximum speed unless combat was imminent, mainly due to the stress placed upon rigging, spars and masts, granted that such stresses are not currently modeled in game, never the less it was the case, even so, the chances of the prevailing winds being just right for a ships 'best recorded' speed were incredibly low. It is of course, understandable that most Captains in game will seek to gain maximum distance to find combat in the limited time they may have available to them to play. Just as warships today sail at an economical speed getting the best distance for fuel burned and minimal wear and tear, so it was Naval Captains chose to use wind to advantage, trading speed for less wear and tear on hull, rigging and masts. Such considerations, of course, mean little in game, after all, a large sea and slow speeds mean that compromise has to be made with reality, even excepting that warships in particular, would, realistically sail under canvas required, rather, than for maximum speed, as opposed to traders who would want speed in order to be first into port and make their owners a good profit.
  24. While upgrades may well be beneficial to specific classes or individual ships they are not a magical cure all, It may be true that HMS Endymion became one of the fastest ships in the Royal Navy because one her Captains exercised his prerogative and altered her sail plan, she could, equally, of become one of the slowest under another Commander. All the upgrades in the world cannot help a Captain who is unskilled, if a captain is unable to sail and fight successfully in a 'vanilla' ship, how on earth can he sail and fight in an upgraded ship? I am not saying that it is a failure of new players, but, more of a system that implies that upgrades are a replacement for even the most basic seamanship and tactical skills, it took decades for an officer to get a command of his own, to learn his craft at sea, yet here we are, commanding and fighting some of the finest ships that ever sailed in months! To become a Villeneuve, a John Paul Jones, a Hardy, or, even an Horatio Nelson took a lifetime of hard work, Captains in game like Hachirouku with his Trincomalee, or, Luciano with his Le Requin, Gregory Rainsborough and his Snows, and, indeed, many others, they did not just jump into those ships and become masters of them overnight, they worked at it, so, the upgrades they use work for them and not against them due to their skill-sets and experience. I am not suggesting that we lash ourselves to our computer chair, spending months at sea, living on weevil infested hard tack and semi-rotten salt pork, just, that we spend a little more time with the basics, and, not thinking those upgrades that will not help us without the basic skills to use them well.
  25. Blockades were an integral part of Napoleonic warfare, while blockades had less effect on mainland ports, against Islands they could break Island nations due to the economic factors involved, a factor negated in game by the lack of a effective trading system and the general unwillingness to run convoys, the odds are usually in favour of the commerce raider who utilise the best points of the ships they use, and, are usually prepared to disengage, to disappear into an empty sea and try elsewhere. Take away the choice of disengaging and a large part of the game dies as the effects overflow into PVP and RVR. Blockading only works at high density ports, as the continuous blockading of KPR and Belize demonstrated, Somewhere like Truxillo is less likely to see large scale actions in part, due to time zone differences, and, partly due to the blockading of a port deep inside enemy waters where there is little support, where, some unfortunate American runs into a British inshore squadron or worse a SOL squadron. It is equally demoralising for those blockading, as well as those blockaded, knowing the enemy is there and you cannot get to him, and knowing you cannot sail because that one small ship is probably the advance ship for a squadron that will give you little chance to escape to open sea, or, reach safe haven in port. In any sea battle it is normal for a Captain to seek to preserve his ship to fight another day, if he can, it is also normal to want to destroy the enemy, it is, in reality, a balancing act, often tempered by the Articles of War, (which Admin thoughtfully provides, although, I doubt many players actually read them!) Any Captain who fails to do his utmost to defeat the enemy shall Suffer death, Harsh? It may have been, (and it still is!) There was still sufficient leeway to disengage, and, preserve the ship, if that could be done, as the Articles of war also states Any Captain who recklessly hazards his ship shall suffer death. (Generally, Captains careers come to a crash stop if they ground their ship, or, if they find themselves against overwhelming odds and fail to 'do their utmost' to preserve the ship and crew, even, if that meant surrender, IRL a trained crew could have been paroled, and, returned home, in game, ships could be recaptured, or even sold back as some Captains have done, so, it is not unusual to find lesser sentences, or, even in rare cases acquittal, even during a war). It is, perhaps, fortunate or, unfortunate, depending on your viewpoint, that the Articles of War have little in common with the Rules of Engagement in game! Banished Privateer's assessment of the blockading of major ports as a contributor to OW PVP is accurate, but, only when such blockades happen perhaps 3-4 times in a week, a continuous blockade inevitably leads to frustration, a desire to do something else other than continuously defend or, attack the same ports day after day is natural, after all, a fleet in being ties up the enemy ships blockading, a factor that was true in Napoleonic times, it was when some of the biggest fleet actions occurred. In a war where there is a true victor and vanquished, blockades, convoys and patrols are vital tools (to be fair such routine missions are generally boring when compared to a fight), in an endless slog to kill each other, they may, provide a killing ground, but little more than that, and, in a game where players provide most of the content, then that, is a good thing.
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