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ELI5 Giving people the wind


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Hey, I'm struggling in understanding the full strategic value of having/giving people the wind, I've no naval background or experience, until I started playing this game so a lot of the naval terms are coming slow to me. I've played on and off for a little while, and I believe I understand part of its value, however I'm sure I don't have the complete picture, I've seen it mentioned that is is bad giving an enemy the wind, I can see why its not ideal, but it seems a primary concern of some captains to avoid, and as I don't share that sense of priority, and i'm woefully inexperienced with pvp, I assume there is something I'm missing, and its not something I'm prioritizing in battle. I'm hoping that someone out there can explain the concept to me so that I can play more effectively. I'm used to fighting A.I also so I have no idea if they are trying to gain wind-related advantages on me or if they are just playing as simple as I assume I am, and if I got sunk in pvp more maybe it would become apparent.

 

What I think giving the enemy the wind means:

If the wind is blowing from S to N, and the enemy is to the S of my ship, and we are both sailing due N that enemy has the wind. 

Why I think that is bad:

if someone is downwind of me it is more difficult to close the range of the engagement assuming we both want to fight, and we have comparable speed and stern/bow chasers

Where I believe my confusion lies:

  1. If players are presumably using longs in pvp as its the dominant weapon isn't their range the same (I'm aware pen is not)? If so when they turn to shoot, as long as I can meet their turn can't we exchange fire the same regardless of the wind? Assuming we can pen each other of course.
  2. if I'm in front, they have to sail towards me to engage which means they can only shoot when we are in effective range of each other, they cannot force me to a specific side for fear of losing distance, doesn't that mean that if I'm in front I dictate which side I fight on?
  3. If I have the wind (by my thought of what that term means) and I turn to shoot, do I not get pushed into the water lowering my aim and presenting a nice flat surface for my enemy ship, which is up wind to shoot assuming their elevation is too high?

Additional questions:

  1. Is having the wind only useful if you are the faster ship? I know the consensus is that speed is king in PVP but if its that important and a player is that good at staying in that pocket why have much Armour at all? And why isn't everyone just attacking and kiting from that sector of the compass?
  2. Can a slower ship do anything against a faster ship that can sit back their effectively?

Maybe I've simply got the concept backwards now that its typed out in front of me and I've read over it, it wouldn't be the first time a Naval term has done that  to me. Either way I'm definitely missing something and I know its simple and I'm going to feel a fool when its pointed out, but I've been married long enough to know sometimes that's just the order of things. 

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You are right in your conclusion that this plays a more prominent role in PvP than it does in PvE.

You are also correct in your understanding of what having the wind means.

In order to properly explain what having the wind means in an engagement, one has to understand that it gives certain advantages to each side. However, in general, it is considered more of an advantage to the player upwind.

If players are presumably using longs in pvp as its the dominant weapon isn't their range the same (I'm aware pen is not)? If so when they turn to shoot, as long as I can meet their turn can't we exchange fire the same regardless of the wind? Assuming we can pen each other of course.

Say that you are both sailing beam reach (In your example, you are both sailing West) and you are downwind of your opponent. If you are both stationary you will have 0% heel. However, when you are both sailing, you will have a higher heel %. This in effect means that you can shoot at your opponent with greater ease, since your ship is tilting; therefore your guns are angled up.

Your opponent’s ship does the same. Unlike your guns, his are angled downward. He might not be able to get his guns to reach your ship. His shorts would simply fall short.

if I'm in front, they have to sail towards me to engage which means they can only shoot when we are in effective range of each other, they cannot force me to a specific side for fear of losing distance, doesn't that mean that if I'm in front I dictate which side I fight on?

This is partly an advantage for you. You can try to kite your opponent. Kiting basically means shoot and run until your opponent is no longer able to catch you. This can be done to great effect, especially with a few good broadsides of chain.

Your opponent however can dictate the style of the engagement. If he is more than happy to stay at range and you are equipped for boarding, you are going to have a hard time. Or alternatively, he can be equipped for boarding and just trying to rush a boarding combat with you.

You can’t decide this part. When fighting in larger groups of players (25v25 in RvR) it comes down to timing your attack right, usually aimed to cut a part of the enemy fleet off.

Regarding your third point, I am not sure to what you are trying to say here, so I’ll leave that one be for now.

Is having the wind only useful if you are the faster ship? I know the consensus is that speed is king in PVP but if its that important and a player is that good at staying in that pocket why have much Armour at all? And why isn't everyone just attacking and kiting from that sector of the compass?

Can a slower ship do anything against a faster ship that can sit back their effectively?

It not just useful when you are in a faster ship, but it makes life a lot easier when you are faster. Simply put, if you are slower than an opponent, you can just immobilize you further and start to run circles around you. Eventually they will start to camp your stern and that is something you want to avoid.

If you are slower it doesn’t mean that you are by default beaten, that usually boils down to knowing when to call it quits and leave an enemy be. Knowing your sailing profiles does certainly help in disengaging. Disengaging upwind is fairly easy to do and is an advantage of having the wind.

 

Im fairly sure i missed a few points, but this should get you started.

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I cant speak for 1v1 scenarios, but in small groups you want to have the upwind because then you can decide when you want to engage.

So if you see an isolated target or some enemy is getting demasted you can rush him and get a quick easy kill. This is not possible when you are downwind because sailing upwind will take forever.

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12 hours ago, Giobhniu14 said:

Hey, I'm struggling in understanding the full strategic value of having/giving people the wind, I've no naval background or experience, until I started playing this game so a lot of the naval terms are coming slow to me. I've played on and off for a little while, and I believe I understand part of its value, however I'm sure I don't have the complete picture, I've seen it mentioned that is is bad giving an enemy the wind, I can see why its not ideal, but it seems a primary concern of some captains to avoid, and as I don't share that sense of priority, and i'm woefully inexperienced with pvp, I assume there is something I'm missing, and its not something I'm prioritizing in battle. I'm hoping that someone out there can explain the concept to me so that I can play more effectively. I'm used to fighting A.I also so I have no idea if they are trying to gain wind-related advantages on me or if they are just playing as simple as I assume I am, and if I got sunk in pvp more maybe it would become apparent.

 

What I think giving the enemy the wind means:

If the wind is blowing from S to N, and the enemy is to the S of my ship, and we are both sailing due N that enemy has the wind. 

Why I think that is bad:

if someone is downwind of me it is more difficult to close the range of the engagement assuming we both want to fight, and we have comparable speed and stern/bow chasers

Where I believe my confusion lies:

  1. If players are presumably using longs in pvp as its the dominant weapon isn't their range the same (I'm aware pen is not)? If so when they turn to shoot, as long as I can meet their turn can't we exchange fire the same regardless of the wind? Assuming we can pen each other of course.
  2. if I'm in front, they have to sail towards me to engage which means they can only shoot when we are in effective range of each other, they cannot force me to a specific side for fear of losing distance, doesn't that mean that if I'm in front I dictate which side I fight on?
  3. If I have the wind (by my thought of what that term means) and I turn to shoot, do I not get pushed into the water lowering my aim and presenting a nice flat surface for my enemy ship, which is up wind to shoot assuming their elevation is too high?

Additional questions:

  1. Is having the wind only useful if you are the faster ship? I know the consensus is that speed is king in PVP but if its that important and a player is that good at staying in that pocket why have much Armour at all? And why isn't everyone just attacking and kiting from that sector of the compass?
  2. Can a slower ship do anything against a faster ship that can sit back their effectively?

Maybe I've simply got the concept backwards now that its typed out in front of me and I've read over it, it wouldn't be the first time a Naval term has done that  to me. Either way I'm definitely missing something and I know its simple and I'm going to feel a fool when its pointed out, but I've been married long enough to know sometimes that's just the order of things. 

@SteelSandwich gave you some quite good answers. I will address your question 3 if I understand you correctly. If you are running with the wind (wind at your back) and the enemy is in front of you, yes a turn to fire a broadside will tend to lower your aim by differing amounts depending on the tendency of your particular ship to heel. You can counter this by depowering (the T key) which lowers your stay sails and by turn your sails perpindicular to the wind. In other words: reduce the amount of sail that you have catching the wind and making you heel.

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It's all relative. The wind advantage means different things for different ships in different scenarios.

For example a trinc would probably prefer to be behind, a reno would want to be infront for kiting, unless it's raking which is behind.

"Giving the wind" is giving the enemy ship their favorable wind angle, which is different per ship and depends on the surroundings of the battle.

A good captain will be observant of this at all times and a good fleet of captains will instinctively position themselves accordingly to prevent giving the wind advantage to the enemy once it's been secured.

To answer your questions every ship fast or slow benefits from having the wind advantage. People do sit in those pockets, but from there not much can be done hull wise and is mostly used for taggers/chainers to slow the enemy down from a safe position.

As for a slower ship, depending on the ship profile can do a few things when it has a ship infront/behind it that it just can't get close enough for hull damage.

1. Either slow down and let the faster ship overshoot if its behind you

2. Tack into the wind, forcing the smaller ship infront to match the maneuver or lose ground.

Edited by Slim Jimmerson
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