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Thread: Weight of Shot

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    Default Weight of Shot

    This past weekend, we played a number of Sloop actions. I'm sure it comes as no surprise to anyone how fast a sloop falls apart.

    It got me to thinking though. A sloop fighting a sloop ought to be able to take damage like a frigate vs. a frigate, or 3rd vs. 3rd, etc. It's just that SoG is treating all guns as the same weight of shot.

    I propose that ships with less than 12 pdrs subtract -2 from any numerical broadside damage. Ships with 12 pdrs, -1.

    18, 24, and 32 pdrs all get equal treatment as their ship smashing strength is expressed in the broadside numbers.

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    I would think it's the classic defense vs offense and in our case it's (Burden, Slot count) vs (Artillery, falloff curve along slots).. Sloops would be short in both of these thus each ship class (much like boxing) playing out amongst its own weight.

    Are you implying that each class should roughly take the same number of rounds to reach a winner (bearing the skill of players)?

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    It would certainly extend a game if using a sloop. I will give it a try next time I use my sloops.
    Could also make Great Lakes games worth the playing.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron View Post
    Are you implying that each class should roughly take the same number of rounds to reach a winner (bearing the skill of players)?
    A sloop is designed to hold its own in a fight with another sloop, but can you imagine the lack of effect of a sloop's broadside of 7 6 pounders (maybe less) against a 74? Two of the lower gundeck guns are greater than the sloop's broadside! Aside from lucky shots, would the 74 even notice the sloop?
    Last edited by Dobbs; 11-22-2017 at 18:05.

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    Our experience was that a player who got a good draw on the opening shot dominated the battle, much more so than in engagements using larger ships. In fact, a few of the engagements were limited to the opening shots, then the more heavily damaged ship fleeing. In fact, once, we had a ship rake an opponent with the double shot, raking, opening shot bonuses. Of course that should be bad, but that bad?

    I think by reducing the effectiveness of the smaller ship' draws, it reflects the reduced likelihood of a 6 pounder doing a "6" in damage. If a "2" becomes a "0", it doesn't necessarily mean you missed, maybe it just shows an irrelevant hit ("her sides were made of iron").

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    This also gives players the ability to not use the minuses to reflect a small ship armed entirely with carronades, as many were. For instance, no minuses, but no long range for a sloop with 24 pound carronades.

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    I see where you are going with this. I forget there are some big hitting chits in there.

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    Good point Dobbs.
    This brings us back to the fact that tinkering with the carefully trialed and tested balanced rules can have a bigger effect on game play than it at first appears. Guess it is best to leave well alone.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    Good point Dobbs.
    This brings us back to the fact that tinkering with the carefully trialed and tested balanced rules can have a bigger effect on game play than it at first appears. Guess it is best to leave well alone.
    Rob.
    I'm not sure I understand, Rob?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobbs View Post
    In fact, once, we had a ship rake an opponent with the double shot, raking, opening shot bonuses. Of course that should be bad, but that bad?
    Sorry, I think I misunderstood your meaning here Dobbs. Along with Aaron's remark, " I see where you are going with this. I forget there are some big hitting chits in there".

    Thinking that it would give the Sloop an advantage outside its weight.
    I have not tried all carronade armed Sloops so can't tell if this would unfairly influence an action against a Frigate for instance.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    Sorry, I think I misunderstood your meaning here Dobbs. Along with Aaron's remark, " I see where you are going with this. I forget there are some big hitting chits in there".

    Thinking that it would give the Sloop an advantage outside its weight.
    I have not tried all carronade armed Sloops so can't tell if this would unfairly influence an action against a Frigate for instance.
    Rob.
    Historically, in the Constitution's last fight, it was against two sloops, or post ships, which were primarily armed with carronades. one might guess that the weight of their broadsides is what gave them the opinion that they stood a fighting chance.

    In my rethinking, carronade sloops would be like sloops as they are with unmodified rules, only with no long range. Sloops with long guns (6 pounders) would subtract -2 from any numerical chit result, to represent the lesser punch of the smaller guns, but would be able to fire at long range.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobbs View Post
    Historically, in the Constitution's last fight, it was against two sloops, or post ships, which were primarily armed with carronades. one might guess that the weight of their broadsides is what gave them the opinion that they stood a fighting chance.

    In my rethinking, carronade sloops would be like sloops as they are with unmodified rules, only with no long range. Sloops with long guns (6 pounders) would subtract -2 from any numerical chit result, to represent the lesser punch of the smaller guns, but would be able to fire at long range.
    Dobbs,
    I agree and like this change in the rules, but would like to see 1, 2, an 3 damage chits treated as 1 point hits. The oak on the side of a sloop, schooner, or xebec was pretty thin.
    Bob

    Rules are rough approximations of what you think I might do!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bos'n View Post
    Dobbs,
    I agree and like this change in the rules, but would like to see 1, 2, an 3 damage chits treated as 1 point hits. The oak on the side of a sloop, schooner, or xebec was pretty thin.
    Bob, are you saying that instead of just subtracting 2 from any numerical chits, and counting 1's and 2's as 0, that chits numbered 1-3 would just be 1's and the higher numbers would subtract 2?

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    Yes
    Bob

    Rules are rough approximations of what you think I might do!

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    Ares shot themselves in the foot with such a cramped stat range, which means that if there is to be any meaningful differentiation between the larger ships then smaller ships get lumped into a very unsatisfactory saminess. What works really well, if you are looking at "small ship" actions (frigates and smaller) is to restat the ships so that a high-end frigate has similar gunnery and burden stats to a top of the range SOL and work down from that. I've tried it informally a few times, and it makes for much more satisfying frigate actions, and lets you generate some real differences between various types of 28, 32 and 36 gunners. One day, when I get some time, I may just work up some ships mats fr this approach, unless someone picks up the ball and runs with it (I'm not exactly flush with free time just now)

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    Sounds good to me Dave.
    Maybe once we have Christmas out of the way we could take a look at it.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    I did the same thing for Warhammer Trafalgar. Turned a mediocre fleet action set into a half decent frigate action set. One of my friends in Oz did a complete rewrite, melding my variant into the originals to form a single document which he then used for a Great Lakes campaign with some success.

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    I think my original concept is the best. Changing the 1-3 chits to 1's doesn't affect the way a Burden 1 ship takes damage, but it does reduce the firepower against larger ships. Subtracting 2 from the chits reduces the strength of a lightly armed ship's broadside, and makes a sloop on sloop duel more finess-y. I suggest -1 to the chits for the 12 pounder frigates.

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    That is the sort of quick fix I like Dobbs. Nice and easy to implement without a lot of book keeping.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobbs View Post
    I think my original concept is the best. Changing the 1-3 chits to 1's doesn't affect the way a Burden 1 ship takes damage, but it does reduce the firepower against larger ships. Subtracting 2 from the chits reduces the strength of a lightly armed ship's broadside, and makes a sloop on sloop duel more finess-y. I suggest -1 to the chits for the 12 pounder frigates.
    Dobbs,

    Regarding this proposed rule for sloops, would this -2 rule only apply to sloops shooting at other sloops? If a sloop fired on a Frigate does it also apply?

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    How do you manage the chits that are reduced in effectiveness? Do you make up additional "1"s to replace the higher value ones?

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    Any sloop firing at any target subtracts 2. If you draw a chit with a 1 or a 2 on it, it is treated as a 0. A chit with a 3 is treated as a chit with a 1, etc. Any extra damage; such as crew, rudder, mast, etc, is treated normally. It may be necessary to have chits to place on the damage chart to keep track of the reduced firepower of sloops.

    I also suggest this for the frigates armed with 12 pounders, only with a -1 instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Manley View Post
    How do you manage the chits that are reduced in effectiveness? Do you make up additional "1"s to replace the higher value ones?
    No additional chits need to be added to the draw, just maybe for placing on the damage. Additional chits in the draw wouldn't change anything in a burden 1 vs. burden 1 battle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobbs View Post
    I think my original concept is the best. Changing the 1-3 chits to 1's doesn't affect the way a Burden 1 ship takes damage, but it does reduce the firepower against larger ships. Subtracting 2 from the chits reduces the strength of a lightly armed ship's broadside, and makes a sloop on sloop duel more finess-y. I suggest -1 to the chits for the 12 pounder frigates.
    I think you’re right. Thanks.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobbs View Post
    Any sloop firing at any target subtracts 2. If you draw a chit with a 1 or a 2 on it, it is treated as a 0. A chit with a 3 is treated as a chit with a 1, etc. Any extra damage; such as crew, rudder, mast, etc, is treated normally. It may be necessary to have chits to place on the damage chart to keep track of the reduced firepower of sloops.

    I also suggest this for the frigates armed with 12 pounders, only with a -1 instead.
    Yup, try placing the chits received from sloops inverted and the ones from frigates sideways.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bos'n View Post
    Yup, try placing the chits received from sloops inverted and the ones from frigates sideways.
    That's a good and simple solution, Bob! Certainly removes the need for extra chits.

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    So far our group has only played with ships of the line in getting the hang of the rules, but it is time to step up to frigates and sloops. I will follow amendments for sloops. Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobbs View Post
    No additional chits need to be added to the draw, just maybe for placing on the damage. Additional chits in the draw wouldn't change anything in a burden 1 vs. burden 1 battle.
    No, what I meant was do you take (for example) a "4" chit that has been drawn and replace it with a different chit placed on the ship mat to show that the damage effect is reduced?

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Manley View Post
    No, what I meant was do you take (for example) a "4" chit that has been drawn and replace it with a different chit placed on the ship mat to show that the damage effect is reduced?
    Bos'n suggests using the drawn chit but 'clocking' the chit on the target slot to indicate its value has changed. Using sloops as an example, Inverted would indicate a value that is reduced by 2, sideways would be reduced by 1. If the chit is 2 or less then it goes to the zero damage area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Manley View Post
    No, what I meant was do you take (for example) a "4" chit that has been drawn and replace it with a different chit placed on the ship mat to show that the damage effect is reduced?
    Remember that if the chit exceeds the Burden, it fills the box anyway. In the case of a sloop, any hit fills the box.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Killick View Post
    So far our group has only played with ships of the line in getting the hang of the rules, but it is time to step up to frigates and sloops. I will follow amendments for sloops. Thanks
    Alastair, an additional change I make for sloops is that they do not have to plan an extra movement card ahead, unlike bigger ships. This is to reflect their agility compared to their lumbering relatives.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobbs View Post
    Alastair, an additional change I make for sloops is that they do not have to plan an extra movement card ahead, unlike bigger ships. This is to reflect their agility compared to their lumbering relatives.
    I like this rule. Are there any others?

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    I agree that is a really good rule. Could apply to all smaller ships.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    I got this PM just before Christmas, and have not had time to give it much thought.
    Has anyone helpful answers to any of the questions raised?

    I'm curious on your thoughts about a carronade only vessel. I know you're working on one, I think you mentioned a 14 gun, but historically I'm aware of HMS Rainbow under Trollope, a 44 gun Frigate covered to a 48 gun all carronade vessel...

    I'm thinking of doing a conversion as it were, and putting together a new ship card with wider firing arcs as per Ares carronade rules.
    My question is how to up the firepower?
    As a carronade actually increases the 'weight of metal' by a factor of four I feel that the firepower should refect that in some way...
    I figure if it's firing every turn that's a two fold increase, so doubling the basic firepower seems fair as that would refect the four.
    I wouldn't included/allow double shotting if this was the case though.

    Have you given the same thought to it?



    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    One interesting conundrum arose in our game yesterday.
    A sip had a load of ball and grape. When fired the grape was just out of range and thus a miss was called. It was then realized tat the ball was still well within its own short range. We could not decide weather to allow the ball to strike or not. In the end we did not allow the hit, but it does raise a rather interesting question about power of shot, powder charge, and momentum. If double shotted Ball can reach should not a ball over grape be able to do as much once the grape has dissipated into the briny?
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobbs View Post
    Alastair, an additional change I make for sloops is that they do not have to plan an extra movement card ahead, unlike bigger ships. This is to reflect their agility compared to their lumbering relatives.
    In that vein, why not extend it a little?
    *Sub-frigate Unrateds: play cards at will, no advance planning
    *Corvettes/Post Ships and Frigates (and similar size other ships): One card in advance
    *Two-deckers and EIM's: Two cards in advance (Include Victory/Boyne/Union three-deckers here, as they were said to handle like the two-decker 74's they were scaled-up from)
    *Non-Victory Three-deckers: Three cards in advance

    For a cleaner split it could also be done by rate as:
    U & 6 - free play
    4 & 5 - one card in advance
    1-3 - two cards in advance
    Perhaps kick 64's down with 4/5 and laden EIM's up with 1-3.
    --Diamondback
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondback View Post

    For a cleaner split it could also be done by rate as:
    U & 6 - free play
    4 & 5 - one card in advance
    1-3 - two cards in advance
    Perhaps kick 64's down with 4/5 and laden EIM's up with 1-3.

    I like this idea DB. I will try this out with Captain Kiwi once the Quarantine period is over.
    Any ideas how we could extend this to include AI's in some mild form?
    Rob.
    Last edited by Bligh; 05-20-2020 at 10:03.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    An excellent question, Rob, but one I have no clue about answering.
    --Diamondback
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    Another question which has come up as we pondered about the firepower of my new Algerine castle. We had been working on the extended range that the elevation would give, and just anout decided that two rulers extreme range with the last half at half power of chits to allow for the accuracy dropping off at extreme range, when up popped a question we had not factored in. That of plunging fire. This is sited in several accounts as being very destructive as it plunged through several decks and even the bottom of ships such as Frigates. It would presumeably be harder to hit a ship with plunging fire, without the skipping effect of first graze and the whole side to hit, but if it did hit the damage would be greater.
    Any thoughts on this gentlemen, or should we just ignore the whole concept of plunging fire?
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    I like the increased range for shore batteries. I've been pondering shore guns for some time, and haven't suffered any epiphanies.

    Here's what I've got so far; the increased range. A stronger initial hitting strength that drops off quickly (batteries tended to have fewer but heavier guns). Extremely large Burden, like 12-20, to reflect guns being farther apart and stone construction. Flooding, rudder, mast, etc. hits tying in to some crucial part of the facility, like the magazine, shot furnace, etc.

    As to plunging fire, perhaps this should only apply to fixed targets with mortar ships? Even when firing from an elevation in this time period a conventional cannon would be trying it's best to do straight line-ish. What about having a blind spot that the guns can't decline to?

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    Thanks Dobbs that clarifies the issue very well for me. I should have remembered the lack of elevation available on guns of the period because of the inability of the carrage to take the strain. I think the Ares stats take into account the fewer number of guns but not the stronger hitting power of a fortress with its larger calibre and stable gun platforms. That factor will need consideration. I also like your idea about critical return hits from the ships being factored in. Also food for thought.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    I am struggling to come up with fort equivalents for the critical hits, and how it might change the battery's play.

    My thought is that cannon fire wears a battery down from direct battering. Mortars do minimal battering and maximum critical damage since they don't have to go through a wall to do damage.

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    I agree Dobbs.
    A mortar shell is certainly also an anti personnel weapon, and on a ship hit should also stand a good chance of setting fire to it. Not sure about impact value of those old shells on ships though. Would they be likely to fragment on impact or plunge through a deck before exploding? This presupposes that the fuse is cut accurately and does not air burst.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    I agree Dobbs.
    A mortar shell is certainly also an anti personnel weapon, and on a ship hit should also stand a good chance of setting fire to it. Not sure about impact value of those old shells on ships though. Would they be likely to fragment on impact or plunge through a deck before exploding? This presupposes that the fuse is cut accurately and does not air burst.
    Rob.
    I'd expect airburst to be nasty on sails and exposed crew like topmen. Maybe draw a chit for fuse timing and then draw damage based on that. Say 2-3 E (crew) chits for an airburst? (How much of a man-o'-war's crew would typically be above the weather deck in battle anyway? I'd assume most would be between gun crews, running the rigging or musketeers/riflemen...)
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    I was not really thinking about shells coming from Forts DB. Just incoming from Bomb Ketches onto Forts and into harbours and moored shipping, but now you mention it Gunboats in the offing I had better start re thinking this one. Do we have any examples of inter ship use of Mortar shells other than from Bombs?
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    None that I know of, I was trying to take it from a mechanical/technical view rather than a historical one. Hitting one ship from another with indirect fire using pre-Industrial Revolution tech? Philip Broke could probably figure it out if he HAD to but I don't see anyone else trying it in a time where prevailing thought was "get in close and brawl."
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    Use of mortars was pretty much limited to fire from static positions on shore or from bomb ketches at anchor, and in the overwhelming majority of cases at static targets (shore or anchored vessels).

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    Thanks shipmates, that pretty well backs up my knowledge as far as it goes. So now we have eliminated plunging fire except for shore or the Bomb Ketch, I can stick with what I have been doing prior to the introduction of my Moorish Citadel.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    What about ships carrying a mixture of 12 pounder and 18 pounder guns?

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    I always average out the overall weight of shot Dave, otherwise it would overcompliceate the record keeping. Having Carronades on some ships is enough of a headache in big battles at my advanced age.

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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