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Thread: USS Constitution's "Close Calls"

  1. #1

    Default USS Constitution's "Close Calls"

    Here, from the USS Constitution Museum's blog is an article on "close calls" escaped by Old Ironsides:

    https://ussconstitutionmuseum.org/20...s-close-calls/

    ALSO -- here is an eyewitness account by Rachel Bradford of the difficulties encountered in trying to launch the newly completed USS Constitution:

    https://ussconstitutionmuseum.org/co...ember-26-1797/

    Happy reading!
    Last edited by Wentworth; 09-17-2020 at 15:38. Reason: Twyping is divvicult

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    This suggests an idea... maybe a series of campaigns built around tracing the careers of individual ships.
    --Diamondback
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    Maybe you chaps could do the same sort of thing for US ships as I am doing for the British Fleet with a biography of each ship and its stats.
    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 have fixed the link in my original post -- sorry about that!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    Maybe you chaps could do the same sort of thing for US ships as I am doing for the British Fleet with a biography of each ship and its stats.
    Rob.
    Possible, but I'm thinking less "encyclopedia entry" than "string of game scenarios with complete setups and custom ship-cards as needed." :)
    --Diamondback
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    Launching the Conni sounds very reminiscent of Brunel trying to launch the Great Eastern Bill.

    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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    That sounds like a good idea, Diamondback. I think you should stick to the more famous ships because I believe most ships led pretty routine lives.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Naharaht View Post
    That sounds like a good idea, Diamondback. I think you should stick to the more famous ships because I believe most ships led pretty routine lives.
    That's kinda the direction I'm envisioning, if I could get Ares to buy the idea; too bad they seem firmly locked in the throes of "N-I-H Syndrome."
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    Got me DB. N-I-H \s not one I have come across!
    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
    Got me DB. N-I-H \s not one I have come across!
    Rob.
    I bet you have: "Not Invented Here."
    --Diamondback
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    No you have me with that one DB.
    Not one I have ever run across before.
    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 had not encountered that abbreviation before either, Rob and Diamondback.

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    Maybe not the acronym, but you've probably experienced the effect of "any idea that doesn't come from inside MY org is unacceptable." I should start a new thread rather than hijacking this one...
    --Diamondback
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondback View Post
    Possible, but I'm thinking less "encyclopedia entry" than "string of game scenarios with complete setups and custom ship-cards as needed." :)

    Here is a start on a "ship-centric" mini campaign game. The link below lists the major engagements of the USS Constitution and could provide the basis for what Diamondback is suggesting:

    https://www.history.navy.mil/researc...e-record0.html

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    Okay, here we go... just a start for assembling data, I'll fill in blanks in between rounds of fighting with a crippled laptop.

    Date/Event Ships Req'd Opfor Ships Special Notes
    1800 May 11
    Cutting-out of Sandwich
    USS Constitution
    American small sloop
    Unknown British frigate
    French corvette, ex-HM Packet Sandwich
    Spanish fort at Puerto Plata
    poorly documented
    1804 Aug 3
    Bombardment of Tripoli
    need more info
    1812 Jul 21
    Squadron Escape
    USS Consttitution 64 HMS Africa (SGN114)
    38 HMS Shannon (SGN105)
    38 HMS Guerriere (SGN105)
    36 HMS Belvidera (uncertain)
    32 HMS Aeolus (uncertain)
    needs a lot of Special Rules
    1812 Aug 19
    Guerriere
    USS Constitution 38 HMS Guerriere (SGN105)
    1812 Dec 30
    Java
    USS Constitution 38 HMS Java (SGN105)
    1815 Feb 20
    Cyane & Levant
    USS Constitution 20 HMS Levant
    Levant is a flushdecker, akin to a bigger version of USS Thorn. (464 tons vs 305; 20x32#crde vs 18-20x6#). I would start with a Swan model, bulk up Thorn's hull and gunnery stats but weaken maneuverability. Banterers like Cyane are problematic; they have full QD/FC and are 8' shorter than a 1773 Amazon 32.

    Proposed stats for playtest:
    Ship HMS Cyane HMS Levant USS Constitution 1812
    Burden 2 2 5
    Boxes 8 8 9
    Veer 7-8 7-8 5
    Man Deck better than A/C
    worse than G
    better than A/C
    worse than G
    L
    Main Battery 22x32#crde 20x32#crde 30x24#
    Sec. Battery 6x18#crde 2x6# 20x32#crde
    Ter. Battery 4x6# NA 2x24# (stern chaser)
    Total BSW (kg) 190 148 400
    Main Gun-line 3-3-2-2-2-1-1-X 3-2-2-2-1-1-1-X 6-5-5-5-4-3-3-2-1-X

    My gut says these gun stats are a little weak; they're based on "Generic Heavy/Light Sixth Rate" stats I cut down from the Amazons; even though they're both Light (20-22 gun ratings) Levant throws half-again the broadside of a 12-pdr 32 and Cyane almost double.
    Last edited by Diamondback; 09-24-2020 at 11:39.
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  16. #16

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    HA ! I've been doing the same thing! The Sandwich was armed with 14 twelve pounder carronades. Approximately 100 sailors and Marines stormed the Spanish fort covering the harbor and after a brief fight spiked the forts guns and made it back to the Sally and Sandwich to sail out to the Constitution. Apparently the boarding party from the Sally met only brief resistance from the Sandwich crew before they were neutralized. Thinking of playing this one out on the table soon. As for Ares models, I will use either the HMS Swan (18 guns) or the French sloop Alligator (14 guns) for the Sandwich (British built but sailing under a letter of marque). The entire expedition including the assault on the Spanish Fortaleza San Felipe is called The Battle of Puerto Plata Harbor. Here's a reference for basic info:

    https://www.navalhistory.org/2011/05...on-may-11-1800
    Last edited by Wentworth; 09-22-2020 at 18:15.

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    Do a search on my username and keywords "Historical Order of Battle" in Historical Discussions, Bill, and you might find more starts to build on there. :)
    --Diamondback
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    Wow -- just went there -- that's enough to keep me busy for the rest of my days.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wentworth View Post
    Wow -- just went there -- that's enough to keep me busy for the rest of my days.....
    So much I couldn't finish when my mother went invalid and Ares declined to respond to my proposal--but maybe if we can pool efforts, find a mapmaker and get the Stats Committee to help create stand-in data sets for ships we don't have, maybe we can get one or two out of port.
    --Diamondback
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    I've been advocating for a while that Ares shouldn't neglect the US market and should produce War of 1812, Barbary Wars, and Quasi-War models. I even suggested they produce ship duel packs -- USS Chesapeake vs. HMS Shannon, USS Essex vs. HMS Phoebe, USS Constellation vs. L'Insurgente or La Vengeance. But to no avail.... happy to do whatever I can to move something like this along.

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    I've been advocating all that from Day One, shipmate. :) A large part of the problem is the early USN's tiny numbers and absurd amount of one-offs from "buy anything that can float and carry guns," and Ares doesn't think the rules can be stripped down to fit in a booklet the size of a WGF Duel Pack's.

    War of 1812 and "More USN" is very much on the To-Dos, which is part of how I strongarmed Bonhomme Richard through--just that the going is very slow, and both of us on the historical team have opposing biases on sculpts as proxies. (As a scale modeler first, my bias is Accurate Model First, answer is no without compelling reason to greenlight, while DM as a more traditional wargamer seems to bias at "a ship of similar size, armament and role is generally OK unless there's compelling reason to red-light." Not a knock, just different worldviews from different communities.)
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    As you chaps will know, having now run out of other ships to collect, I am now starting to work on my US and Morrocan/ Algerine ships, soi this info along with what you chaps have already supplied is like a goldmine. i am now thinking about what ships I can convert into American warships to augment my small squadron of Ares Constitution, Bonhomme Richard and the four Sloops I have.
    Thanks for this extra input DB and Bill.
    Rob.

    P.S. With most of the members here being American by a long chalk, I can't help feeling that Ares are missing a trick by not exploiting this ready made market.
    R.
    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.

  23. #23

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    Expanding on the "ship-centric" mini campaign games -- here is some information on the USS Constellation (38 gun frigate): Successful ship to ship actions against L'Insurgente (40 guns), capture of two privateers Diligent and Union, and a furious fight against the 52 gun La Vengeance (the Vengeance struck their colors twice during the fight and then used cover of darkness to sneak away -- Constellation's damaged mainmast prevented pursuit), blockade and bombardment of Tripoli, participation in the capture of the Algerian frigate Mashuda, and an interesting amphibious operation to evacuate Marines and diplomatic personnel from Derne, among other operations:

    https://www.history.navy.mil/researc...llation-i.html
    Last edited by Wentworth; 09-23-2020 at 13:18. Reason: Mistakenly posted link to a yummy mac & cheese recipe

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    Any idea what we could cut and shunt to resemble Constellation Bill?
    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've proposed Constellation as a new sculpt (packs as Constellation/Chesapeake, Congress/Philadelphia and HMS Chesapeake/undetermined B-side), but stats wise I think she'd be pretty close to one of the better Hebes or maybe a "heavy-half" Mahonesa.
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    Rub on Connie is she started with a main battery of 24# then derated to 18. Let's take a look at her relative to HMS Sybille, the best in-game Hebe, and HMS Amelia, her closest match in broadside:



    Ship HMS Amelia USS Constellation 1799 USS Constellation 1797 HMS Amelia USS Constitution 1797
    Length (m) 46.94 49.99 49.99 46.94 53.04
    Beam (m) 12.2 12.5 12.5 12.2 13.16
    Tonnage ~1091 1278 1278 ~1091 1576
    Burden 4 ? ? 4 5
    Boxes 9 9 or maybe 10 9 or maybe 10 9 9
    Veer 6 5 to 7 5 to 7 6 5
    Man Deck E ? ? E L
    Main Battery 28x18# 28x18# 28x24# 28x18# 30x24#
    Sec. Battery 6x24#crde 10x24#crde 10x12# 14x32#crde 16x18#
    Ter. Battery 10x9# NA NA 6x9# 14x12#
    Total BSW (kg) 167 169 180 228 267
    Main Gun-line 4-4-3-2-2-2-2-1-X ? ? 4-4-3-3-2-2-2-1-X 5-4-4-3-3-2-2-2-1-X
    Based on this, I would stat Constellation as a slightly beefier HMS Amelia, maybe the difference between them an extra box like the Light vs Heavy Mahonesas.
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    Well that gets me a near enough fit vs stats thanks DB.
    Now I just neeed to see a good plan of Connie and get an idead of which model fits best in shape and size.
    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.

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    Well that gets me a near enough fit vs stats thanks DB.
    Now I just neeed to see a good plan of Connie and get an idead of which model fits best in shape and size.
    Rob.
    Here you go, Rob. Scroll down to the individual items at the end of the article for details on the ship and further information on some of her individual actions:

    https://www.history.navy.mil/content...1797-1853.html

    ALSO, in the attached link see large scale ship models of many period ships (the first of which is the Constellation). If you click on the photo of the model, you will get some artwork showing the ship as well:

    https://www.history.navy.mil/content...tten-wars.html

    Bill

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    I think the real difference with the American frigates was the use of carronades as secondaries. Constellation had 20 as compared to Sibylle's 12. That's a lot more chewing that can be done at close range.

    I think the number carronades on the American frigates make it a challenge to represent them without using carronade rules.

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    No worries Dobbs I use Carronade rules frequently but thanks for the heads up on the numbers involved.
    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 Wentworth View Post


    ALSO, in the attached link see large scale ship models of many period ships (the first of which is the Constellation). If you click on the photo of the model, you will get some artwork showing the ship as well:

    https://www.history.navy.mil/content...tten-wars.html

    Bill
    Very useful also Bill.
    That is a very good starting point. I can feel a scalpel moment coming on!

    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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    Think Cyane and Levant need beef-up, but added some proposed draft stats. Starting to think that for numbers HMS Hamadryad might be a closer start-point on Cyane, maybe HMS Mahonesa on Levant. These two definitely require Carronade Rules.
    --Diamondback
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  33. #33

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    Rob,
    Here's another one that might be of interest to you and illustrates Dobbs' remarks on carronades -- the USS United States (1797), rated a 44 gun heavy frigate, although records indicate she was launched with 55 guns (thirty-two 24 pounder cannon, twenty-two 42 pounder carronades, and an 18 pounder long gun; she usually carried over 50 guns at all times). She became a veteran of numerous ship to ship actions in the War of 1812, Barbary Wars, and the Quasi-War. Most notable among them was her epic fight with the HMS Macedonian (38 gun frigate) in the War of 1812 ultimately resulting in the Macedonian's capture. The two ships were tied together for two weeks after the fight repairing the damage to both ships. Ultimately the Macedonian was refitted and purchased into USN service as the USS Macedonian. Three fun facts about the ship: 1) a young Herman Melville signed on to her as an ordinary seaman in 1843 and Melville's novel White Jacket is based on his experiences on the ship (especially a very graphic description of a flogging). 2) later in her career, the captain of the USS United States challenged the captains of the USS Constellation and the HMS Vindictive to a race which she apparently won handily, and 3) during the American Civil War she was captured by the Confederacy in the early part of the war in the fall of the Norfolk Navy Yard. Refitted and commissioned the CSS United States (although often called the CSS Confederate States). Later in the war it was recaptured by the Union and recommissioned as the USS United States.
    Here's a link to more detailed information on this ship;
    https://www.history.navy.mil/content...s-frigate.html

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    For rating purposes I usually list the five superfrigates (including USS Guerriere and USS Java, 1815 improved versions) as 4th-rate 58's. (Technically they had the tonnage to match a 64-gun SOL, but firepower mighta been a stretch.) A typical European 44 usually carried 18-pdr's, typically built as a stretched version of the Hebe design with most of the added guns being secondary battery in the upperworks, maybe another pair added to the gun deck. If you wanna see a Euro-44 against a Humphreys, HMS Sybille will pretty much do ya.
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    Another very interesting bit of History Bill, and also some useful stats to add to DBs post below. I am now looking at what ships are still available that I can flush deck without too much trouble.
    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
    Another very interesting bit of History Bill, and also some useful stats to add to DBs post below. I am now looking at what ships are still available that I can flush deck without too much trouble.
    Rob.
    Easy button, the later quarterdeck Sixths aren't much smaller than a 12-pdr 32, so for them I'd use an unmodified SGN103 as a stand-in for now. Flushdeckers, I'd just use an SGN107(?) Swan for now.
    --Diamondback
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    Cheers DB.
    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 Wentworth View Post
    Rob,
    Here's another one that might be of interest to you and illustrates Dobbs' remarks on carronades -- the USS United States (1797), rated a 44 gun heavy frigate, although records indicate she was launched with 55 guns (thirty-two 24 pounder cannon, twenty-two 42 pounder carronades, and an 18 pounder long gun; she usually carried over 50 guns at all times). She became a veteran of numerous ship to ship actions in the War of 1812, Barbary Wars, and the Quasi-War. Most notable among them was her epic fight with the HMS Macedonian (38 gun frigate) in the War of 1812 ultimately resulting in the Macedonian's capture. The two ships were tied together for two weeks after the fight repairing the damage to both ships. Ultimately the Macedonian was refitted and purchased into USN service as the USS Macedonian. Three fun facts about the ship: 1) a young Herman Melville signed on to her as an ordinary seaman in 1843 and Melville's novel White Jacket is based on his experiences on the ship (especially a very graphic description of a flogging). 2) later in her career, the captain of the USS United States challenged the captains of the USS Constellation and the HMS Vindictive to a race which she apparently won handily, and 3) during the American Civil War she was captured by the Confederacy in the early part of the war in the fall of the Norfolk Navy Yard. Refitted and commissioned the CSS United States (although often called the CSS Confederate States). Later in the war it was recaptured by the Union and recommissioned as the USS United States.
    Here's a link to more detailed information on this ship;
    https://www.history.navy.mil/content...s-frigate.html
    The bit about the race is interesting particularly because the USS Unites States was not known to be a fast sailor in 1812. She was nicknamed the "Old Wagon" or something to that effect. To take up Dobbs point on the carronades, she kept the 42# carronades whereas USS Constitution and USS President were rearmed with 32# carronades. They did try the 42s on Connie but quickly changed back to 32s. Being at work I don't have my books, but from memory the 44s did not keep the 12#&18# long guns on the spar deck very long. I believe the Connie had the 32s by Tripoli. I have always thought a fun hypothetical would be a Humphries frigate vs. an Ardent class 64 or HMS Leander, a ship purpose built to fight them. Having said that HMS Agamemnon with Nelson as captain fought 4 French frigates at least one of which was a Hebe class, and drove them off. Of course the operative word there is French.

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    Some comparative stats:
    Ship/Design Length m Beam m Main QD/FC/Chaser BSW kg
    1773 Amazon (SGN103)
    HMS Castor all-carronade
    38.4 10.67 22x32#crde 6x32#crde, 2ea 6# and 12# chasers 211
    1773 Enterprise 28
    "mini Amazon"
    36.57 10.11 24x9# 4x3#, 12x1/2# swivel 53
    1777 Porcupine 24 34.75 9.75 22x9# 2x6# chaser 48
    1805 Banterer (Cyane) 35.97 9.77 22x32#crde 6x18#crde, 4x6# chaser 189
    1812 Cyrus (Levant) 35.06 8.84 20x32#crde 2x6# chaser 148
    1766 Swan (SGN107)
    HMS Shark 1794 rearm
    29.29 7.96 16x6# 6x12#crde 38
    Technically Swans are quarterdeck-sloops, so some cutting might still be needed, but at their small size few would probably notice. At this point I revise my recommendation, one each unmodified and razeed SGN103.
    Last edited by Diamondback; 09-26-2020 at 20:12.
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    Thanks again chaps. This is certainly giving me something to ponder upon.
    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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    Having now looked at my book on Anerican ships which arrived the other day it looks as if their Brigs were as powerfully armed as the Sloops, and when Carronades were introduced even moreso. I would think that for the early part of the period I could just use the same movement and firepower as Thorn. What do you guys think about the late war arms with Carronades for the back of the cards?
    I have not yet compared crew sizes. Is there any real difference there?
    Rob.
    Last edited by Bligh; 09-30-2020 at 11:58.
    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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    Good question... will try to start digging stuff up once I'm done with the midweek errand/grocery run.

    One note that may help, it looks like 9# carriage guns and 32# carronades are a straight-across swap tube-for-tube.
    --Diamondback
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    Thanks DB. I don't suppose I will be ready to do stats on cards for about another week, so no rush.
    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 Diamondback View Post
    Good question... will try to start digging stuff up once I'm done with the midweek errand/grocery run.

    One note that may help, it looks like 9# carriage guns and 32# carronades are a straight-across swap tube-for-tube.
    Are you saying that 32# carronades weighed the same as 9# long guns?

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    Pinch-hitter laptop due in Friday so I may be slow for a bit too between getting it set up and getting my mom's rig that was the previous spare off for repairs. Then I gotta finish migrating data to reinstall Windows on this thing, see about getting an SSD and upgrading to Win10... Prod me every couple weeks or so if I don't get something to you first.

    If it helps, a Swan like Thorn is about 300 tons BM and an Amazon about 677, so we should be looking for hull strength and maneuver decks about halfway between those two datapoints. Gunnery I still need to sort, as the Sixth Rates include both 6-pdr and 9-pdr vessels in both 20-24 and 26-30 rating ranges. So we then need to work out the stackings between a Light 9pdr and a Heavy 6pdr to work out Gunnery...
    --Diamondback
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobbs View Post
    Are you saying that 32# carronades weighed the same as 9# long guns?
    I'm not, I don't know the weight, just that around 1800 when the transition to carronades started the nominal specs for what had previously been 9-pounder Sixth Rates found all of the Long Nines except maybe a pair or two of chasers replaced gun-for-gun with 32-pdr carronades, and since it was standard fleet-wide unlike some of the other experiments like All-Carronade SOL's, All-Carronade Frigates and Top-to-Bottom 24-pdr's, that implies either no change in handling or at worst a negative so minimal as to be deemed worth the tradeoff. So from there we need to work up a basic "Light Nine" Sixth, apply the Ares carronade rules to it and that gives us a better idea where to start Cyane and Levant's gun-lines.

    Less manpower per gun with the same size crew also means slower attrition rates on gun crews because when one crew gets hit, if the gun can still operate there are more men to replace them if not otherwise assigned.
    --Diamondback
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    Good pick up on the crew size DB. I knew carronades operated with fewer crew, but never considered what happened to the surplus men. I had assumed that the attrition rate was taken care of in the rules by the reduction in jobs which could be carried out, and that the firepower decreased as the guns were put out of action. Obviously the two factors are interconnected so you have raised a very important matter here.
    Thanks, and good luck with your swap over of computers. I went onto Windows ten earlier this year, and despite the fact that they have inflicted smaller icons on us and seem to want to dictate how you set up your desktop etc, I am managing the new system quite well.
    Rob.
    Last edited by Bligh; 10-01-2020 at 13:44.
    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.

  48. #48

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    Hi Rob,
    I was dealing with mid semester exams this past week, so just getting caught up on things -- in regard to your question about early USN brigs and sloops of war, here is some info:

    https://www.history.navy.mil/content...augusta-i.html

    https://www.history.navy.mil/content...peacock-i.html

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    Thanks for even more information Bill.
    The article about the Peacock was enthralling. She certainly saw a lot of service.
    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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    On the other hand, less gunners needed also means you can reduce the total crew and either load less provisions for the same time at-sea, or load same or more for longer cruises.
    --Diamondback
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