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Thread: Advanced Anchoring and Springing Rules

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    Default Advanced Anchoring and Springing Rules

    One of the things I really like about SoG is how it feels like real sailing without having to know how to really sail. I continue to extrapolate on the original rules based on personal experience (none with square riggers, but plenty with modern vessels). This is my latest tweak. I expect that it may be too involved for most people to find fun, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

    SoG Anchor Chits.pdf

    Sails of Glory Advanced Anchoring and Springing Rules 12-14-18

    Anchoring
    Basic Anchoring:
    To use the basic anchoring technique, a ship may be moving at any sail speed. To anchor, it turns into the red arc. After movement on the turn before when the next red card played will be a two-hourglass card, the player places the anchor chit as close to directly to windward as possible along the front edge of the ship’s base. On the next turn, the player places the two-hourglass edge of the straight red movement card on the corner of the ship’s base farthest downwind, with the card facing directly into the wind. The player then moves the ship base directly downwind to the two-hourglass line, with the vessel retaining the same orientation, as though the corner were the bottom edge of the ship’s base. Each subsequent turn, the vessel moves this way until the forward center base is one C/D length from the anchor chit. Once the vessel has reached this distance, on its next move, the ship is oriented directly into the wind in line with the anchor chit.

    Anchoring on the Fly: A player may choose to anchor without turning into the wind, but the vessel must be moving at single sail speed. The anchor is released at the end of a movement turn and placed halfway down the side closest to the wind. The player must then draw two “E” chits. If the player draws two crew hits, the anchor is fouled, and the anchor must be brought aboard again to clear it or cut loose and lost. If the ship is traveling with the wind over the stern in the yellow (or blue) arc and two “0”s are drawn, the ship suffers a rudder hit in addition to a fouled anchor.

    To bring the anchor aboard and clear it, the player must draw a single “E” chit each turn until he has drawn 2 crew hits. At that point, he may try and anchor again.

    If the anchor is successfully deployed, on the next turn, the player places the two-hourglass edge of the straight red movement card on the corner of the ship’s base farthest downwind, with the card facing directly into the wind. The player then moves the ship base directly downwind to the two-hourglass line, with the vessel retaining the same orientation, as though the corner were the bottom edge of the ship’s base. Each subsequent turn, the vessel moves this way until the forward center base is one C/D length from the anchor chit. Once the vessel has reached this distance, on its next move, the ship is oriented directly into the wind in line with the anchor chit.

    Wind Shifts: While a ship is anchored, it points directly into the wind with its anchor chit directly to windward. If the wind shifts while the vessel is anchored, the anchor chit remains fixed, while the ship pivots 45 degrees, still pointing directly into the wind and maintaining a distance of one C/D range from the anchor chit.

    Raising Anchor: To raise anchor, the straight red movement card is placed under the ship’s base so that the back of the base is on the two-hourglass line. During movement, the ship’s base is advanced to the edge of the card. When the forward edge of the ship’s base touches the anchor chit, the player pulls an “E” chit. If a crew hit is pulled, the anchor has been raised and the anchoring chit is removed from the board. Otherwise, the player must wait until the next turn to see if the anchor breaks free of the bottom.

    Once the anchor is free, on the next movement, the player may play either of the two hourglass red turning cards (previously determined if having to plan ahead). Once the ship is out of the red arc, it moves normally (including a stationary turn for having played a two-hourglass card).

    A player may choose to cut his anchor rode by declaring the rode to be cut. Movement is the same without having to advance toward the anchor. The anchor can be buoyed for later recovery if the player wishes, in which case the anchor chit is left on the board.

    Once a ship’s anchor has been raised, the vessel will feel the effect of the current.

    Once a ship raises sail, it moves normally.

    Adrift: A vessel that has voluntarily come to a complete stop without anchoring or one that has been dismasted is subject to this rule. If a ship is adrift, the player places the two-hourglass edge of the straight red movement card on the corner of the ship’s base farthest downwind, with the card facing directly into the wind. The player then moves the ship directly downwind, with the vessel retaining the same orientation, as though the corner were the bottom edge of the ship’s base. This is in addition to any effects of the current.

    Once a ship raises sail, it moves normally.

    Spring Lines
    Explanation of Springs:
    To change its orientation relative to the wind, a ship at anchor would run a line called a spring line from a point aft to a point on its anchor rode. By varying the length of this line or the anchor rode, the ship could swing the arc of its broadside without being under sail. Without rigging a spring line, a ship would just face into the wind, or weathercock as it was called.

    Springing at Anchor: An anchored ship may rig a spring line on its anchor so that it can pivot and achieve different angles of fire. If the ship is anchored at the start of an engagement, the owning player can choose to have already established a spring.

    Basic Springing Rules: An anchored ship faces into the wind. A marker showing the location of the anchor is placed directly to windward half a cable away from the forward edge of the ship base (chain/grape range). The owning player decides which side the spring will be run down. A ship can only spring one side toward the wind. To switch the side that springs toward the wind, see the expanded springing rules. Note that a springing ship can either have the bow or the side with the spring facing into the wind. The side with the spring can never be on the downwind side of the vessel.

    Ships with a single gundeck can use either speed card with no penalty. Ships with 2 gundecks must pull a crew hit on an “E” chit to play a Veer 3/7, otherwise it is expressed as a Veer 4/6. Ships with 3 full gundecks must pull a crew hit on an “E” chit to play Veer 4/6, otherwise they remain stationary.

    If playing with crew actions, one action must be spent each turn to keep the spring active, even if the ship is not moving. If the spring crew action is abandoned, there is a turn of non-movement which requires a crew action before the ship can move on the spring again. This limitation does not apply to sloops of war.

    Basic Springing Movement: Springing movement happens at the same time as regular ship movement. Like regular movement, frigates or larger ships must plan a turn in advance. Burden 1 ships plan for the current turn.

    When springing, the vessel pivots on the aft corner of the ship base on the side that the spring line is set. If the owning player picks a movement card with a Veer of 4 or 6, the player places the card on the the forward corner in the direction the ship is to move and pivots the ship base from the two sails setting mark in the center of the aft edge of the movement card to the corner of the card. The aft corner of the ship base on the side that the spring line is set remains stationary. Choosing a movement card with a Veer of 3 or 7, the ship pivots from the appropriate forward corner of the ship base, moving from the corner of the movement card to the opposite short corner on the aft edge of the movement card. Again, the aft corner of the ship base on the side that the spring line is set remains stationary. Choosing a movement card with a Veer of 5 indicates that the ship maintains the orientation of the previous turn.

    Remember that some ships may have to draw a chit to determine if a springing move is successful.

    If a card is played that would take the ship’s bow across the wind and put the spring on the craft’s downwind side, the movement stops with the vessel’s bow pointing directly at the wind.

    Expanded Springing Rules:

    Setting a Spring: If a ship is anchored, with no spring set, to set a spring in the course of combat, a ship must draw 2 successes on “E” chits. One chit is drawn each turn after anchoring. The chits are drawn before movement. On the turn of the 2nd success, the player may move on the spring.

    If the player announces the intention to establish a spring and to which side it is set before anchoring, the ship may spring on the turns after dropping the hook, even as it drifts back on the two-hourglass cards.

    Switching sides of a spring also takes 2 “E” draws, with one chit drawn each turn.

    Spring Damage: On a mast hit, the firing player can choose if it was a spring hit instead. On a spring hit, draw two “E” chits. 2 “0”s, the spring is broken, on a “0” and crew, 1 crew casualty is taken. On two crew, two crew are taken.

    Springing in the Wind: As long as the springing ship remains in the red, there is no chance of a spring failure. If the wind is heavy, a ship in the yellow arc must draw 5 crew chits each turn – 5 crew hits indicates the spring fails. A ship in the green arc must draw 4 crew chits each turn – 4 crew hits indicates the spring fails.

    -1 chit if wind strength is Near Gale
    -1 chit if ship has 2 gundecks
    -2 chits if ship has 3 gundecks
    -2 chits if wind strength is Storm

    Spring Failure: When a spring is hit or fails, the player immediately pulls one more “E” chit. A crew hit indicates that the anchor rode failed. A “0” indicates the spring was cut. If the spring is cut, on each following turn a movement 4/6 card is used until the vessel’s bow faces its anchor chit. The crew may choose to try and establish a new spring. If the anchor rode is cut, on each subsequent movement, the player places the two-hourglass edge of the straight red movement card on the corner of the ship’s base farthest downwind, with the card facing directly into the wind. The player then moves the ship base directly downwind to the two-hourglass line, with the vessel retaining the same orientation, as though the corner were the bottom edge of the ship’s base. Each subsequent turn, the vessel moves this way until the ship re-anchors or raises sail.

    Wind Shifts: If the wind shifts while a ship is on a spring, the vessel swings 45 degrees in the direction of the shift, while maintaining the same distance and orientation to its anchor marker.

    Example: If the wind was blowing out of the North, a ship on a spring would be one C/D range south of its anchor mark. If the ship was sprung so that it was pointing to the NE and the wind shifts to the NE, the ship would end up one C/D range SW of its anchor and facing East.

    Flying Spring: A ship may choose to deploy a spring without turning into the wind. The player must announce that the ship is equipped to spring and which side is so equipped beforehand. The ship must have the side with the spring to windward and be moving at one sail speed or slower to lower the anchor and deploy the spring. The ship must be at a complete stop on the next turn. The anchor chit is placed on the windward side of the ship base halfway down the side.

    The player must then draw two “E” chits. If the player draws two crew hits, the anchor is fouled, and the anchor must be brought aboard again to clear it or cut loose and lost. If the ship is traveling with the wind over the stern in the yellow (or blue) arc and two “0”s are drawn, the ship suffers a rudder hit in addition to a fouled anchor.

    To bring the anchor aboard and clear it, the player must draw a single “E” chit each turn until he has drawn 2 crew hits. At that point, he may try and anchor again.

    On his next move, the player places the two-hourglass edge of the straight red movement card on the corner of the ship’s base farthest downwind, with the card facing directly into the wind. The player then moves the ship base directly downwind to the two-hourglass line, with the vessel retaining the same orientation, as though the corner were the bottom edge of the ship’s base. Each subsequent turn, the vessel moves this way until the forward center base is one C/D length from the anchor chit. The player may opt to play spring movement cards, thusly changing the ship’s orientation, while the vessel falls back on its anchor rode.
    Last edited by Dobbs; 12-14-2018 at 18:39.

  2. #2
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    Some very good ideas there Dobbs.
    Even if I don't take them all aboard I will certainly use your anchoring ones at the easiest level of understanding. I never felt at ease with the "OK we drop anchor and that is it until we want to get underway and then we just haul it up senario. Even just a little bit of is this going to work or not is good for the dynamics of the game I should have thought. With a big 80 gunner baring down on you and a freshly trained crew things could go wrong and if they do heaven help us.
    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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    These rules bring to mind the Battle of Plattsburgh in which both sides ultimately fought at anchor and the US flagship effectively ended the battle by presenting her fresh broadside after turning 180 using springs and kedge anchors set up before the battle for that purpose.

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    I've just done some revisions to the original post, including the actual Anchor Chits, which I forgot the first go round.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeRuyter View Post
    These rules bring to mind the Battle of Plattsburgh in which both sides ultimately fought at anchor and the US flagship effectively ended the battle by presenting her fresh broadside after turning 180 using springs and kedge anchors set up before the battle for that purpose.
    Exactly, Eric! It seems like springing was a common strategy during this time period, which suggests that it was effective.

    I needed to come up with convincing spring rules for my upcoming "Demologos vs the becalmed HMS Goliath" encounter.

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    This is a scenario worth waiting for Dobbs. It will be very interesting to see springing in use. So far I have only used it to align my mortars for shore bombardments.

    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.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    This is a scenario worth waiting for Dobbs. It will be very interesting to see springing in use. So far I have only used it to align my mortars for shore bombardments.

    Rob.
    It will be coming in the Spring, once Suzanne and I return from our real voyage. Demologos stayed at home, as there is only limited room for storing a fleet of square riggers on a 31' boat.

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    Here are better Anchor Chits. I wasn't sure which size I liked best, so here are three different sizes:

    SoG Anchor Chits.pdf

    (Actually, these are now the same as the ones in the above post, which I've changed to be improved as well)
    Last edited by Dobbs; 12-14-2018 at 17:27.

  9. #9
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    Thanks Dobbs.
    I will give each size a try and see which ones I prefer as my best Bower.
    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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    Looks complicated but workable and certainly adds a level of realism. One suggestion I would make is to have two different coloured ‘anchor’ chits so that ships anchored and fighting each other can readily see which is their anchor....
    Another thought....would broadsides be smaller if gun crews had to be used to help raise an anchor or would only other crew be used to man the capstan?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bilge Rat View Post
    Looks complicated but workable and certainly adds a level of realism. One suggestion I would make is to have two different coloured ‘anchor’ chits so that ships anchored and fighting each other can readily see which is their anchor....
    Another thought....would broadsides be smaller if gun crews had to be used to help raise an anchor or would only other crew be used to man the capstan?
    Good thought about the different colored chits, Steve! I will update my Anchor Chits later tonight. It is a good point about the folks manning the capstan. I had thought about having operate a spring be a crew action, but was leaving that decision up to other folks house, house rules.

    From what I understand, each gun crew had a man, or men that they could spare for other temporary duties in theory.

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    Chit colours changed! Four different colours to choose from.

    My aim was to make anchoring more like the real deal, without players having to understand the nuances. Anchoring is more complex than the original game will have you believe. Like so many things, anchoring seems complex at first, but when you do it a few times, it feels simple. It still is complex , but you got used to it (like driving and parking a car, and a lot of gaming rules).

    I think the folks at Ares did a great job establishing a template for a game that really captures the feeling of sailing. Since I teach real sailing, I think I can see why they made a number of decisions to simplify things to keep from overwhelming non-sailors who want to see what it feels like.


    My various tweaks, like larger red arcs for movement and anchoring, are my attempts at adding an additional level of "real" that might not be for everyone. It does make for more rules to keep track of.
    Last edited by Dobbs; 12-14-2018 at 18:50.

  13. #13
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    Working the Spring should not upset the guns as it would only be one side in action and they would not fire whilst the ship was being swung onto a new target. For getting underway more crew and often the Marines would be used so it could be quite a disruption with the Anchor crew and sails handlers all engaged.

    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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