Rules for Thought #30 – Raking/historical shooting house rules

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Ben 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #5228

    Ben
    Keymaster

    Now that the Rules survey has some results (43 responses as of this post), I think it would be a good idea to discuss some various options in detail.

    Are there any changes you would recommend to the shooting system?

    “Raking” would be cool. If you hit the stern of a ship it’s worth two masts. Rewards speed and agility while providing a real-world tactic.

    Agreed, but think it should eliminate cargo.  Hard to quantify though.  I’ve read a bunch of books about the Age of Sail so this sort of thing is interesting to me.

    Any thoughts on this, or other ways to make realistic and historical house rules for shooting?

    #5399

    Ed
    Participant

    Raking could give -1 to connon roll and deal 2 masts if you can shoot their stern, I think a crew with that ability would be nice and cheep or maybe just beef up the cannoneer

    #5402

    Ben
    Keymaster

    Raking could give -1 to connon roll and deal 2 masts if you can shoot their stern, I think a crew with that ability would be nice and cheep or maybe just beef up the cannoneer

    I suppose, but I don’t think that would be thematic enough.  It was more about getting the perpendicular angle so cannon shots would travel along the entire length of the enemy ship.  A mast bonus could work, but it was really devastating to the cargo (especially crew) inside, hence my suggestion.

    I remember reading about the Royal Sovereign raking the Santa as the first ship to break the line at Trafalgar, with catastrophic effect.

    #5487

    Ed
    Participant

    I should have been more clear that by raking I mean pulling up to a ship in L or T position and targeting the stern.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  Ed.
    #5494

    Woelf
    Participant

    Raking, “crossing the T”, and all sorts of other maneuvering tactics that were effective in real life (or at least look cool in movies) don’t work very well in the game as it is because of the turn-based nature, and more significantly because of Captains.

    When two ships are already close enough to shoot each other, moving your ship into a position where you’re lined up across the bow or stern of another ship is trivially easy if you’ve got at least two movement segments available (which applies to the vast majority of setups used), and then with a captain you can shoot immediately with no possible way for the opposing ship to try to maneuver out of it in time. Giving some sort of bonus effect for being aligned just right makes getting the “first strike” in any engagement even more decisive than it already is.

    It also has the side effect of adding more risk to ramming attacks on top of what’s already there, because that generally puts your ship directly into the position where your T has been crossed. Unless you cripple the opposing ship, they won’t even have to move to take advantage of whatever bonus they get from the position.

    —————————————-

    Playing without Captains (and extra actions!) would make the bonuses more viable, but any battle between just two ships would easily devolve into a silly zig-zagging dance where they keep maneuvering in front of each other but no one ever shoots. Throw a third ship into the mix and it could get a little more interesting, but that’s not always an option.

    A crew ability might work. For example, something like this:
    “When any cannon on this ship shoots, if it can draw a single line of fire through two or more masts on the target at the same time, this ship gets [whatever the bonus is goes here]”

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  Woelf.
    #5496

    Ben
    Keymaster

    A crew ability might work. For example, something like this:

    “When any cannon on this ship shoots, if it can draw a single line of fire through two or more masts on the target at the same time, this ship gets [whatever the bonus is goes here]”

    Good point!  Another idea for customs.  The hits in question could eliminate cargo if it was up to me.  That can also help make L-range guns better, since they would be more likely to “hit” multiple masts, simulating that they are more powerful or are being used with extra gunpowder.

    I do agree that a lot of realism has to be compromised in order to have a functioning game that is fun and not too long.

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