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tl;dr: You do boarding by pulling up, meeting the usual qualifications and doing a "Send Boarding Party". Boarding combat occurs in the background without interrupting the naval sailing game. There is no boarding screen and no boarding mini-game. It's RNG + modifiers.

I was recalling an old Star Trek type game I played a long time ago. You could board enemy ships by beaming crew to them under the right conditions and the crew fight was just sort of a background thing that went on automatically while you kept fighting ship to ship. Your boarding party and their crew slowly killed each other off til someone won.

I think that could actually be pretty reasonable here. Here's how I imagine it working:

"Grapple" becomes "Send Boarding Party". Based on your preparation level and available crew in boarding, you can send over a boarding party. (Ideally I think it's a 2-step process: "Send Boarding Party -> [25%] [50%] [75%] [100%]" where the level you select represents what percentage of people currently in boarding you want to send over.)

You can do this once every 15 seconds at most (Maybe there's also a "Recall Boarding Party"...)

It's entirely possible for both ships to send boarding parties over to each other at the same time.

Boarding combat resolves itself slowly over time in the background with no further interaction by the player. My ship has 300 crew and you just sent 100 boarders over. They are fighting each other in the background based on applicable modifiers (captain skill books, ship mods, deck height, etc). As defender, putting people into Boarding helps me fight off the boarders at the obvious cost of having less people in other systems.

If the attacker wins, then it's just like winning a boarding combat today: the owner of the ship is booted and the ship goes neutral (we'll have to decide what happens to the remainder of the boarding party... easiest thing might be to just make them magically reappear on the source vessel. We'll assume they have transporters rowboats.)

Grapple might actually still exist but it's more like a drag force between the ships. A more powerful ship can just power out of it but it might be enough to stick a lighter ship to you.


Basically the idea is I can pull along side you, send a bunch of dudes over to attack your ship in boarding combat and then sail off and continue fighting. If necessary I may need to come back and send more boarders or recall the ones I sent but we aren't lashed together playing a minigame.

I would also suggest that any damage against the ship is as likely to kill boarders as local crew. If I have 100 boarders to your 200 crew and then I rake and kill 60 people, I probably killed 20 of my own guys and 40 of yours.

This also makes boarding kind of risky unless you REALLY outnumber the other guy.

If I have 300 crew and you have 200 and I send over 200 boarders and, at the same time, you send over 150 boarders, we're probably both going to die. Your 150 boarders kill my remaining 100 crew and my 200 boarders kill your remaining 50 crew. Both captains are killed, both ships go neutral.

You will never want to send so many boarders to another ship that it leave your own ship overly vulnerable to a counter-attack at the same time.

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9 minutes ago, Jon Snow lets go said:

RNG boarding...uhm


I'm tired of dumb mini-games.

I will take RNG if it means no more rock-paper-scissors. I'd rather have a Mount & Blade inspired swashbuckling routine but let's all have some real-talk: that will never happen.

Edited by Slamz
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Essentially like Total War naval boarding.  I think the game you mention is Star Trek Online?  I think that is how they do it, or am I remembering wrong?  Distant Worlds has boarding this way as well.  I think there is a bar across the ship being boarding with red referring to enemies and green to yourself, and it shows who is winning or losing.

The only thing though, is that when a boarding takes place, the ships most likely have their rigging entangled and aren't going anywhere unless they are cut apart.  Quite often sails are backed and the ships aren't really moving.

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