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Will Collister

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About Will Collister

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    Ordinary seaman
  • Birthday 12/12/1986

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    Statistics, Gaming, Naval History (obviously) and Evolutionary Biology.

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  1. Yeah, I love the graphs he produced. I also worked a little on sailing profiles and included a discussion on them for each ship in my ship guide ( https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=640575000 ). I started gathering them in a page for comparison at the wiki ( http://navalaction.wikia.com/wiki/Sailing_Profile ) but never got round to adding the ships of the line. Re your comments on guns, I will play round with the numbers a bit and maybe produce some new metrics detailing different setups on different ships at various distances, etc. It will be a fun challenge to work out a decent way of presenting this that isn't too cluttered!
  2. You and me both, old chap!
  3. You make entirely correct points! And it is indeed the case that the armour effectively "immunizes" the larger ships to some extent from the smaller. And as you state for this reason comparisons between far distant ships (multiples of one and one of the other) becomes troublesome. Perhaps the graph is more useful for comparing similarly rated vessels among each other. So yes, very true points, old chap - perhaps the way forward with regards to penetration and armour would be to do some series of bar charts superimposed illustrating their penetrative capacity at various ranges and with various weaponry... will perhaps make such a graph in the future - but it might become quite messy! As for the Victory, I understand your meaning completely, haha! I shan't argue in favour of the lumbersome Santi, even though I maintain under optimal conditions she's marginally faster. Incidentally, you mention acceleration - as far as I know there is no one that has looked at that. Neither in terms of absolute acceleration nor relative. Do you know of any such data?
  4. Indeed, penetration is a central aspect of gunnery and I too reflected on this and mentioned in the introduction. The problem is translating penetration in a quantifiable manner. How do you translate this to an axis? One could take the average of penetration over a distance but this misses the qualitative aspect of carronades. One could pick a certain range but this again reduces the complexity of the matter. For this reason, if one's aim is to produce an objective foundation upon which to base a discussion it is necessary to provide quantitative data first. Hence my electing to use the values given above. I think there is a slight misconception here, and in other responses, with the aim of this graph. It is not to rank the ships from best to worst or to argue that one is better than the other. The aim, as stated in the introduction, is to provide an objective foundation for discussion. For this reason there are a number of factors that are not included in the analysis in any way. Some simply because I ran out of meaningful axes (making graphs 3-dimensional just makes a mess unless you can rotate them) and some because they cannot be objectively quantified, either because of the essence of the character or because of the lacking data. For instance, translating penetration into a value would reduce the complexity of the penetration curves as per my gun guide. For this reason it is not really quantifiable in this sense, other than perhaps to assign into discrete characters such as High / Medium / Low penetration or Type A, Type B, Type C, etc. This could be done but even that fails to capture the complexity of the issue. Then you have factors such as heel, angle of hull and sailing profile. These traits are examples of characters which also can be measured and examined but the algorithm in-game behind them is still not entirely known. For this reason, and because they are so situation-dependent, they cannot be factors in a quantitative analysis other than in very specific traits (e.g. How large percentage shots fired from a 12 pound cannon at the top of her roll at 300 yards and 45 degrees angle towards ship X at the midpoint of her roll at time of impact?). Naturally such questions are neither generally informative nor reasonable to investigate because of the complexity involved in so many contributing factors. Sailing profile, by the way, is what makes the Victory a better sailer than the Santisima Trinidad. Although in terms of maximum speed it is simply the case that the Santisima Trinidad is faster per the game's mechanics. See the image below for a comparison of the two sailing profiles. The value between 0 and 1 going from inner to outer concentric circles gives that percentage of her maximum speed that each ship reaches at that speed. While the Victory sails relatively better (much better) close hauled, on a beam reach and when running before the wind, both her and the Santisima Trinidad will reach their maximum speed at their preferred point; a broad reach. This means that in terms of maximum speed the Santisima Trinidad is indeed faster, but on other points the Victory will perform better. However, then you need to take into consideration how much of a difference in knots such a fraction of maximum speed translates into. In this example the Victory sailing at point 90, where she is performing better than the Santisima Trinidad relative her maximum speed, will reach 8.88, beating the Santisima Trinidad's 8.22 on this point. Naturally this difference increases further still at point 75 (7.19 aboard the Victory to 4.32 aboard the Santisima Trinidad). But ultimately, it is still true to state that the Trinidad has a higher maximum speed. Again, attempting to quantify the many points of sail and speeds, both relative and absolute, into a single or even multiple axes is naturally not feasible and for this reason, they can only really be approached qualitatively. So ultimately, it is true that there are very large number of factors defining a ship's "strength" and that furthermore the resulting complexity of the interrelationships between each of these factors also governs a ship's "strength", not to mention the skill of the Captain. Obviously this is the case and should go without saying. In order to determine the "best" ship you need to define a number of characters which are per se undefinable a priori, e.g. Captain skill, relative position of ships, strategy / tactic employed, guns used, distance of engagement, weather gage, etc. etc. The fundamental problem here is how to translate a mix of qualitative and quantitative data into a graph to represent a variation among certain axes. The approach I have chosen is instead to consider what is quanitifiable and focus on that. So the point I want to make is that qualitative statements / assessment or even personal anecdotes are not abundantly useful for a discussion of ships' relative strengths / weaknesses. Such higher tier discussion in which the combination of various factors and the emergent properties of ships are considered should have at its core an understanding of the underlying quantifiable statistics/data. The graph I posted above is indeed intended to provide such a foundational understanding. If you are reading the graph above thinking I am trying to say that every Essex should be sunk/sold/abandoned then I have failed to explain sufficiently the aim of the analysis. The aim is to "measure what is measurable" as Galileo put it, and then allow folks to have precisely the discussion you are having above based on those measurements. So please discuss these relative strengths and weaknesses but also please don't misinterpret my position as stating that anything is "better" than anything else and don't discard the information within the graph above as useless because I still feel it is in fact very informative. But of course, a full treatment of each ship and their relative merits would require a book-length analysis! This specific point is a fair one because, as you say, the uppermost guns are not viable at long ranges, obviously. However, it is still true to say that when considering between different alternatives for you yourself to command, ignoring combat situations, it is still the case that the Bucentaure has higher firepower than e.g. the Pavel. And she is also faster. And she is more resilient. So perhaps you could still argue that a battle between the two would be an even one, and perhaps this is the case, but the underlying quantiative data states that if you were to select between one of these two vessels the logical decision should be the Bucentaure, and this is indeed what we see in game presently.
  5. Missed this one sorry, the damage is just from the game statistics, and the gunnery score is calculated in the method mentioned in my post.
  6. Thanks for the feedback! The mediums were just used as a point of comparison. Using longs would give the same spread just with different values because longs caliber always equals mediums. When it comes to carronades, I state in the introduction that this is a potential limitation, albeit one I discuss somewhat in the text beneath. However, in this particular instance I do not believe the example of carronades provides much help to your argument as Trincomalee has the highest DPS of all frigates armed with carronades and is only slightly beaten by Constitution (which isn't really a fifth rate per se) in terms of damage per broadside in this respect (1290 vs 1200). But do please note that in any case I did not state that the Trincomalee would win against any 5th rate hands down! I feel you should reread my post if you formed this impression. What I did state is that: "The Trincomalee [...] is superior to all other fifth-rate frigates in essentially all regards." And this remains true. She is the fastest (12.39), has best mast thickness (103), joint best mast thickness if you count the Constitution, joint second best armour (60), third best if you're counting the Constitution, best structure (4900) unless you count the Constitution in which case she has the second highest, the best damage and DPS for all gun types, again, unless you count the Constitution, in which case she has only a higher DPS with carronades, she also has the largest crew (325), barring the Constitution. The negatives, other than price, are her turning rate and heel. Both of which shouldn't present much trouble to a even half-decent capable Captain. So while it isn't true that I said that "trinc will win with any 5th rate hands down", it is true that she performs objectively better in almost every way - hence my statement "she is superior to all other fifth-rate frigates in essentially all regards". And again, this isn't to say that she will always defeat every other fifth-rate. But for the purpose of this analysis, i.e. determining in which quantitative objective ways the ships differ, she is clearly the superior vessel.
  7. Ahoy fellow Captains, I've been away for a while but recently come back in a more time-limited capacity. I see there's a few new ships and there have been a number of tweaks to previous ships, etc. For this reason I've knocked together a broad comparison of ships in Naval Action looking at some fundamental statistics for each ship. Here is a link to the actual comparison chart. And here is a link to the discussion on reddit, such that it is at present. For the sake of those of you who don't use reddit so much I'll copy my comments from the above post below the following (hopefully) embedded comparison chart: ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ships of Naval Action Introduction I've spent some time away from the game and have recently picked it up again in more limited spare time. With a fair deal of recent updates and tweaks, I thought I'd knock together a quick graph comparing the ships of Naval Action and give a few comments on balance. I wrote a lot about the need to nerf the Rattlesnake after she was launched, together with a whole load of other folks, and am happy to see that her stats have been brought down a bit for the sake of balance. Please note: I'm not writing this because I necessarily want anything to change, I haven't played enough recently to know whether that is entirely necessary or not. However, I note that there is still an absence of decent documentation comparing the various ships in Naval Action quantitatively, and because I work a lot with quantitative data I find it quite fun to make graphs and analyses such as these! So yeah - I'm not writing this to complain or even suggest anything about balance - it's just here to help folks understand the variation in ships. Also, if someone does wish to make a point about balance or the merits of any ship, this may serve as the foundation for a discussion. Balance is notoriously difficult to discuss objectively because everyone has favourite ships, personal anecdotes, particular skills and tricks such that consensus is very hard to reach. Hence my intention with the graph above is primarily to illustrate the variation among ships for players and grant a decent overview and secondarily to give anobjective foundation for a potential discussion on balance. Naturally you can't present every variable of a ship in one graph so I have attempted to focus on the most relevant ones and portray them in an easily understandable way. Methods Before discussing the graph above, here's how the various qualities were measured/calculated (you can skip to the TL:DR of the methods section if you're not interested): Gunnery was calculated using two equally weighted factors; DPS and total damage per broadside. This was calculated using a loadout of medium cannons. For both of these factors, each ship had its value divided by that of the average of all ships, giving the fraction of the average that this ship scored. From these scores 1 was subtracted so that a ship with the same score as the average of all ships would have 0. The two scores (DPS and broadside damage) were then combined and divided by two producing the value you see on the Y axis in the graph above. This means that a ship with a score around -0.5, like the Snow, has 50% weaker guns than the average in Naval Action while a ship with a score nearer 1.0, like the Bucentaure has 100% more powerful guns than the average, i.e. double. Resilience was calculated in the same manner as Gunnery, above. However here the two equally weighted factors were armour thickness and structure. So a ship with a score of 0 along the X axis has a resilience equal to the average of all ships, while a a ship around 0.5, like the Bellona, is considered 50% more resilient. Speed is simply the maximum speed of the vessel and gives the colour of the markers in the graph. Blue is slow and Red is fast with a gradient in between. Best Point(s) is a measure of which point relative the wind a ship is at its fastest. Some ships have multiple points at which they can reach their maximum speed. The value of this parameter gives the shape of the markers in the chart. Circles are most common as most ships sail their fastest around point 135 (sailing at a broad reach). TL:DR: The X axis is resilience (a measure of how tough the ship is), the Y axis is gunnery (a measure of how strong the ship's guns are), the colour of the markers gives speed (check the chart top right) and the shape of the markers give the point relative the wind at which the ship sails its fastest. Limitations Naturally this set up leaves out a number of factors. Firstly, gunnery-wise, some ships are set up to carry heavier carronades than others - these details are missed when all ships use medium cannons. Connected to this is the issue of penetration; some ships can carry heavier guns with higher penetration scores, these subtleties are also not captured by the above graph. The presence or absence of bow chasers and stern chasers is not addressed. Nor is the crew complement required to fully work a broadside of guns. Etc. Basically, the gunnery score is a very straightforward measure of damage output capability and does not take into account many of the subtleties of naval combat (some of which I discuss in my gun guide - note that this guide contains slightly outdated statistics, but the principles therein remain true). Secondly, resilience-wise, all ships have their default values (which are later modified by wood type), which is worth remembering as this affects both structure, armour thickness and speed. Sail strength and mast thickness are not taken into account. Factors potentially important in combat such as the degree to which a ship heels, its dimensions, crew, gun positioning, etc. are also not taken into account. Also not that turning rate is not included in the analysis. Finally, in terms of best point(s), bear in mind that ships each have their own sailing profiles (most of which I have detailed in my ship guide - note that this guide may contain slightly outdated information in other respects). These differences in sailing qualities mean that two ships both being fastest at point 135 may yet have very different capabilities at other points. For example, the Constitution reaches maximum speed around point 135 but sails at 84% speed at point 90, while Le Gros Ventre reaches maximum speed also at point 135 yet sails at 96% speed at point 90. It is useful to be aware of these details as they allow slower ships to escape from certain faster ones by using their best point of sail (I have previously made a chart illustrating this; my escapomatrix). Unrated Vessels It is very clear that the Rattlesnake Heavy far outclasses all other unrated vessels in terms of resilience and gunnery. The extra guns per side (totaling 13 a broadside) really tell. Likewise, both her structure and armor thickness are higher than all other unrated vessels. Her DPS is in fact higher than the Cerberus, although this is due to both having 13 guns of different sizes. The 9-pounders of the Cerberus have a higher damage per broadside (and indeed penetration) while the faster reload of the 6-pounders aboard the Rattlesnake Heavy translate to a marginally higher DPS. The Rattlesnake remains the fastest square-rigged unrated vessel despite her top speed being strongly nerfed. TheLynx is the fastest unrated vessel but perform best at points 45 or 90. The only ship that performs best at point 45 alone, the Privateer, is here shown to be slightly more resilient than the Cutter and Yacht but clearly less resilient than the Pickle. All these ships have the same armament and hence score the same in terms of gunnery. The square-rigged unrated vessels have seen changes increasing their balance; the Niagara and Brig, both faster than the others, represent ships focusing more on gunnery and resilience, respectively. Similarly, the Snow compares in the way to the Navy Brig and Mercury, offering a focus on gunnery over their focus on resilience. The potentially most problematic unrated vessels are the Rattlesnake and Rattlesnake Heavy. The Rattlesnake being still very much faster than the other ships of her class (and indeed in possession of bow chasers) and the Rattlesnake Heavy being faster, more resilient and more heavily armed than all other comparable ships. Indeed it is difficult to see any drawbacks to her other than a potentially (and presumably) prohibitive cost. Frigates Unsurprisingly the Cerberus and Renommee group as light frigates, the former mostly due to its smaller size and crew capacity and the latter due to its massive tradeoff in favour of speed over resilience and gunnery. The Surprise is the only ship which excels at both point 90 and 135, but pays the price of this perk by being significantly weaker in terms of resilience and gunnery to the other frigates. Around the origin of the graph there is a cluster of fifth-rate frigates. The Essex, Frigate (and pirate version), Belle Poule and (tentatively) the Santa Cecilia all represent various points along a number of tradeoffs, chiefly between resilience, personified in the Belle Poule, and gunnery, personified in theSanta Cecilia. Naturally a number of subtleties also differentiate these ships such as the Essex's ability to carry far heavier carronades than the others. However I will not discuss these at great length here but instead just note on a good balance between these ships. The Trincomalee stands in a class of her own, however, being faster, stronger and more well-armed than any of the other frigates. It is very clear from her position in the graph above why she is so often the favourite of Captains in Naval Action. The Constitution represents the super-heavy frigate of the game. She is in fact more resilient than the 4th rate Ingermanland, yet not as well-armed. Slower than the other frigates, but still faster than ships of the line, it is clear from the graph above just how much more powerful she is to the other frigates. Ships of the Line The Indiaman, though not really a ship of the line, stands out in the graph above because of her slow speed (blue colour). Although her gunnery score is merely on par with a Renommee, it is worth noting that she is more resilient than a Trincomalee, even though she is far more fragile than even the weakest 4th rate ship of the line; theIngermanland. The Ingermanland has a slightly lower damage output than the other 4th rate; the Agamemnon, although bear in mind that she carries 32-pounders in her lower gundeck compared to the slightly smaller 24-pounders of the Agamemnon. The slightly higher penetration that this affords her is arguably not worth the much lower resilience and lesser speed compared to the Agamemnon. Besides being the clearly fastest of all ships of the line, the Agamemnon can even outpace the Constitution, Santa Cecilia, Frigate and Pirate Frigate. She can even catch Le Gros Ventre and the Indiaman (on her best line). The 3rd rate ships of the line are represented by the 3rd Rate and Bellona. Despite appearing very similar, these two ships have subtle differences. The Bellona has higher damage per broadside (and indeed penetration) on account of carrying 32 pounders in her lower gundeck while the 3rd Rate has higher DPS on account of carrying smaller 24-pounders. The Bellona is also more resilient than the 3rd Rate with significantly higher structure. Of the two 2nd rates, the Bucentaure trumps the St. Pavel in all respects. She is faster (and turns faster), has more and more powerful guns, and is more resilient. The three 1st rates are similar, yet L'ocean and Santisima Trinidad are both more heavily armed than the Victory, although it is worth mentioning that the Victory has 12-pounders on her uppermost battery compared to the 9-pounders of the others. However, the far increased firepower of L'Ocean andSantisima Trinidad ultimately come down to their much greater number of guns. In terms of resilience, the Victory andSantisima Trinidad are essentially equal, while L'Ocean has an edge on both in terms of structure. Speed-wise, the three of them are all slower than every other ship, with the Victory being the slowest of all. Conclusion The graph above is an attempt to visualize the variation in ships of Naval Action according to some key characteristics. While the statistics used in no way fully define each ship, they should give a good indication of their general strengths/weaknesses/role and provide sufficient objective foundation for Captains to find a ship that suits them as well as for potential discussion on ship balance. Personally, I feel there are a few instances where, sadly, one ship is simply a more powerful option (almost or completely across the board) compared to others. In other words, the only reason not to opt for these vessels would be price. Whether that is a good thing or not depends on your take on design. Personally I wouldn't mind seeing some form of trade-off adjusted or introduced to make their counterparts more viable or vice versa. These are: The Rattlesnake Heavy, which trumps all other square-rigged unrated vessels in all regards. The Trincomalee, which is superior to all other fifth-rate frigates in essentially all regards. The Agamemnon, which is far superior to the Ingermanland. The Bellona, which is simply better than the 3rd Rate. The Bucentaure, which beats the St. Pavel in every regard. What do you guys think? Best Regards to all my fellow Captains!
  8. Indeed so, perhaps for this reason it would make sense to have smaller differences between the tiers' efficiency? Even as it stands, however, this same problem exists. Instead of having the option to recruit a weaker crew, however, you are stuck with essentially no crew until you can afford them. This means that you need to PvE or in some other way gain funds to afford more PvP. At least with the method outlined above, the task of gaining more money is possible, just that your ship will be slightly less efficient while you do it. In other words, the aim is to make the option to have a full crew to have a full slightly less good crew, rather than no crew at all, as it is now.
  9. Yes, and this system could of course remain, the suggestion outlined above is intended to address the issue of crew cost limiting Captains perhaps too harshly. Personally I also think it is fun for the historical reasons as well!
  10. Ahoy, Just a brief suggestion regarding the current crew mechanics. It strikes me as odd that they should be quite as expensive as they are. Of course I can see the point in making crew member valuable and to stop them being a magically replenishable resource like they were before. However, the cost of crew now does raise some issues which have been mentioned elsewhere; namely that it can sometimes be prohibitively expensive to engage in battle - many Captains are saying that they must PvE to fund their PvP, which is presumably not a desired effect of the change. For this reason my suggestion would be to separate crew into tiers, which are variably effective and variably expensive. This is both historically accurate as well as useful for the game mechanics. For example you could have three tiers of crew; landsmen, seamen and able seamen. My suggestion would be something like this: Tier Efficiency Cost Landsmen 0.5 0? Minimal Seaman 0.75 200 Able Seaman 1 500 These crew members represent historically accurate ranking of sailors. Landsmen were the essentially untrained hands pressed into the service forcefully or who chose to join the Navy for lack of better options - many unskilled labourers joined the Navy as it provided steady rations and income. These could be available from ports for no cost or at least next to nothing. Seamen were crew members who had spent at least a year at sea and who had learned how to perform operations abord the ship. They were basically useful crew members rather than the often confused and disoriented Landsemen. Able Seamen were those Seamen who had spent a long time aboard a ship and could "hand, reef and steer", i.e. perform essentially any function aboard the ship. Such skilled hands were valued most highly and for this reason there was competition between Captains for the best hands as well as the ever present temptation to press men out of merchant or indeed American ships to serve in the Navy, as these men were essentially Able Seamen (even though they weren't always granted this rank due to the accompanying pay bump!). In any case, the way I see them working is simple mathematics. If you have a crew of 100 Landsmen, your crew efficiency is 50%. So all operations aboard your ship are 50% as effective. You reload more slowly. You turn your yards more slowly. You raise and lower sails more slowly, etc. If you have a crew of 100 Able Seamen then you are operating at 100% efficiency and there is no delay. When you mix different crew members, you will get an average efficiency at which your ship operates. So, for example, a ship with 20 Landsmen and 80 Able Seamen will sail at 90% efficiency (unless I screwed up the arithmetic), etc. The good thing about this system is that it allows anyone to quickly fill their crew with unskilled hands if they don't have much money. Equally, they can splash out on a good crew which then becomes the valuable asset that the developers are striving for them to become. Finally, there could be a system of experience gain and progression for crew. Maybe no bars or XP bonuses or anything like that but simply that a Landsmen will become a Seaman after e.g. 60 days at sea, or something. There is also room for synergy between this system and the officer system. Maybe some officers make Landsmen less useless. Maybe some officers are better at training Landsmen to Seamen more quickly, etc. Anyway, that is the general idea - of course all the numbers would have to be tweaked and balanced. What do you guys think?
  11. So which areas of the map correspond to each body? And which areas of which body correspond to each biome? Are reefs the shallows around islands? Bays the openings to harbours, shore the shoreline and offshore deep sea?
  12. Good to see the old Squadron at sea in the Caribbean once more! Not sure how many of you fellows remember me from PotBS, just wanted to let you know that I'm in the region also. To be fair, however, current situations ashore mean I spend a lot of my time in port and much of my active time is spent overseeing the construction of vessels to be sold from my yard as well as testing a number of ships and compiling data and statistics on them. So, in short, although I'm not as active as I was in PotBS, I'm still here and am very happy to see SGS in Naval Action! Will Collister is my name in game, and I would be most happy to get in touch again!
  13. I specifically bought (backed / supported the development of) Naval Action because of the stated game description: And the gunnery-specific description: These quotes are from the Naval Action Steam page. I don't mean to troll or insult you! I just want to defend, as vocally as you oppose, the current penetration mechanics. To me, the changes make the game more realistic, which is the number one reason I got this game in the first place and the number one reason I enjoy it so much. And yeah - you're right - obviously it can't be totally realistic - it's a game after all. No one wants to spend weeks sailing from port to port. So it comes down to where do you draw the line between fun and realism. Many, many, games sacrifice far too much in the name of "fun". And for folks like me, this has the opposite effect - it just isn't fun anymore. To give an example - Pirates of the Burning Sea (mentioned a bit earlier in this thread) had skills like "Ultimate Defence" (or something) that made you invulnerable for 30 seconds to allow amazing escapes. Or "Ultimate Gunnery" which gave you +100% damage for 30 seconds. Etc. These things felt like they were just copy-pasted from MMOs like WOW. When it comes to this example, as I see it there is a spectrum between folks who want the game to be very realistic and real life skill-based (like e.g. Star Citizen is aiming to be) and folks who want the game to be less realistic and more in game skill-based (like Diablo or WOW or other similar MMOs). The devs have to pick a position on issues such as this, and in this example they have gone for the former and not included skills and powerups, which is wonderful for people like us who want a game like that. With the specific issue of gun penetration, the way I see it there is a spectrum in the same way between folks who want the game to be quick, fast, digestible, action-packed and for there to be smaller differences between ship classes and folks who want the game to be slower, more tactical and to have larger differences between ship classes. On top of this spectrum is layered a parallel spectrum of fiction vs historical accuracy. Because I want the latter in both cases on the specific issue of gun penetration mechanics, it makes me feel very strongly for the new changes. I'm not saying you are completely on the opposite side of the spectrum, just that you stand closer to the former side than I do. I apologise if I hurt your feelings - I didn't mean to insult you!
  14. In a 4v1 you're usually screwed in any case, old chap...
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