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  1. Some new ships have been introduced and we need to have a peek: I decided to start with the Pickle since the SOL fever is running high these days. I think it looks ok, but that's it. Simple hull design with fairly fluffy rig. When I first started seeing these in the OW I thought the squarish looking sails were ugly, but inside the instances I thought they looked good. After having a long and hard look at the details, I think the ship, and the rig in particular, is very good looking. It's a tiny little one trying to look like it's square rigged elders. The guns are standard little boat: Six (6 lbs) guns or (12 lbs) carronades each side. That gives you the choice of a broadside weight of 36 lbs up to 72 lbs with nades (Maybe 108 lbs with nade doubles?) I think it makes sense to compare the Pickle to the Cutter and the Privateer, but where does it place itself in specialty and overall abilities? You'll have to forgive my yellow speed trim, but I tried for hours to get my hands on a vanilla Privateer for comparison but found only silly blue planking and blue copper fitted Privs. I gave up and just ran my Pickle much like I would've for gameplay. Maybe the planking and copper on the priv cancels eachother out? I dunno... Note that I used the yellow speed mod on the Privateer also. Anyway... The Pickle shares armor HP values with the Cutter and they're both better than the Privateer in that regard. The Privateer has around a knot higher top speed than the Pickle, but look: Pickle: Privateer: The Pickle can claw it's way up against the wind better than the Privateer, and in my book that's the most important speed to have in those little ships. I thought a bit about how this could be and I've come up with a theory. Look at how the square sail bends around the mast going upwind: The Privateer's sails doesn't have that feature. If the game visuals clues us in on the physics modeling; this may be clearer: The "mast bending" of the sail rotates the force vector Mr. Bernoulli is sucking on towards the bow and speed vector of the ship giving superior upwind performance. The listed turning rate is almost equal among these three. We know the Cutter, with it's single mast and some sail fiddling can flip and turn faster than the two mast ships. However both the Privateer and the Pickle can be made to turn almost as fast. (Note: I could've been more aggressive with turning the sails to eek out even faster turn rate in the following demonstration:) Did you notice the heel values from the speed images. The Pickle heels way less than any of the smaller ships. It is most likely modeled that way because it sits lower in the water: I guess the increased and effective sail area makes up for the displacement and keeps the Pickle from being a dog. Shallow heel makes taking shots very comfortable compared to the others. Armor HP is one thing, but planking/hull thickness is also modeled in Naval Action, at least it seems so to me. This is an area where the Pickle excels among it's peers. Judging from the visual representation the sides looks quite thick, relatively: The Privateer does appear to have thinner sides: Armor thickness helps to deflect balls thrown at you from sub-optimal angles so it is an indirect increase in side armor, it is further boosted if the captain knows what he is doing. The Cutter's sides could be as thick, I can't say for sure, but here another factor comes into to equation. The Pickle is higher than it's rivals and has more protection along the entire railing. Both relative height and armor work together to protect the Pickle's crew. It is very hard to get decent grape shots at the crew from one of the lower rivals. The developers have stated that boarding action sustains a penalty when initiated from a low to a higher ship. I have no idea how significant those modifiers are when comparing between these three ships, I won't speculate more than I already have. In summary: Sheep gud, purdy and stronk! I think this is the best of the small ships. It has that fantastic closehauled specialty, and shouldn't need to lose fights to any Cutter or Privateer. It is an extremely comfy gunplatform. Ok, so a Priv can manage to get away every now and then, apart from that everything is in the Pickle's favor. My Pickle says: "I can bully everyone I can't outrun!" waow, rood! ... but true.
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