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Thread: Morale Rules

  1. #1

    Default Morale Rules

    Shipmates,

    I've been reading a lot about how ships were surrendering or "striking their colors" during the course of battle, it seems to be the most likely outcome of battles in the time period.

    This made me think we don't have any morale rules that I know of. Ships effectively fight until all the crew boxes have been destroyed (or all hull boxes destroyed). To add a bit more randomness to the game, here's what I was mulling over on this front.....

    Whenever a ship reaches half her crew damaged, you are forced to draw a B damage counter. If the counter exceeds the number of crew slots remaining, the ship strikes it's colors. This means for bigger ships, there's a smaller chance they'll strike their colors, and for smaller ships, a greater chance.

    Another alternative would be to say, once you exceed 50% crew damage slots, draw an A counter, once you exceed 75% crew damage start drawing B counters. This would result in larger ships being more or less immune to this rule at 50% crew damage, and really only having to worry about it once 75% crew damage comes about.

    Every time you take another crew damage box, you draw another counter to check ships morale. This of course opens up some additional rules in terms of having stalwart crews (say needing crew level +1 to surrender) or particularly weak willed crews (say needing crew level -1 to surrender). These are some rules I'm mulling over....if anyone knows of any other morale type rules out there that someone else has worked up, happy to take a look at them!

  2. #2
    Captain
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    David M. once suggested that I treat Strike on Crew as "half ship's company dead" rather than divide entire company by number of boxes. (Admittedly, the discussion was in context of mechanics on tearing one ship apart to get others back to fighting strength...) Clearly, it's a challenge... you might be on to something.
    --Diamondback
    PMH, SME, TLA, BBB

  3. #3

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    Yes, the loss of the last crew box doesn't mean everyone us dead or injured, it means the crew has reached breaking point - in effect it is already a measure of morale, just with no variable element to it.

  4. #4

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    Yes, it doesn't explicitly state that the last box is equal to all crew being dead, what I'm proposing is something that would add more uncertainty to the game.

  5. #5
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    I feel that when using a fleet this idea would just add unnecessary complications to an already taxing situation, but for actions using just one or two ships it could well be an asset used to enliven a game.
    For instance a 32 with high morale, vs a 38 with poor, would redress the inequality of the action.
    let us not forget the cards which already exist effecting crews abilities. Factor these in and there are many possible variations on Ryan's bright idea.
    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.

  6. #6

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    One of the main drivers for this is that so many accounts have in actuality very few casualties. You'd think that with cannonballs from 9-32 lbs flying all over the place, there'd be many more dead bodies than their were. It's fairly common to read an account where a ship struck its colors and the whopping total is like 5 sailors killed, 20 wounded.

    I wonder if captains just knew, when they were going to be beaten and saw no real reason to stand by and have their ships and men whittled down by cannon fire. This is what's driving some of my questioning of the things.

  7. #7
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    You are right there Ryan.
    Although this is only a generalization, even in actions lasting several hours, very seldom do you see ships losing up to 50% wounded and killed.
    A few Captains did not know when to quit, but in general when the sticks went out of a ship so did the crews morale.
    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.

  8. #8
    Master & Commander
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    At what cost would be a phrase that comes to mind in a decision like that. The survivors are the men who'll have your back and if they think your attitude is they are fodder for enemy guns you're in a bad way.

  9. #9
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    Whilst in theory the idea is good. I am just happy with with the way the rules.

  10. #10
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Killick View Post
    Whilst in theory the idea is good. I am just happy with with the way the rules.
    Probably very wise Alistair. Whilst we all seek for realism in our play, as we have said many times, it has been the attraction of the simplicity of the game which attracted many of us in the first place.
    On the Drome many players favour the kiss method of gaming.
    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.

  11. #11
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    Here's an excerpt from my house rules which might apply:

    Crew Experience

    Experience Table (roll separately for Gunnery and Sailing)
    1 Lubberly
    2-4 Green
    5-6 Experienced

    A Lubberly gun crew takes 4 turns to reload a broadside (may fire on the 4th turn) and subtracts 2 from any hull damage.
    A Green gun crew takes 3 turns to reload a broadside (may fire on the 3rd turn) and subtracts 1 from any hull damage.
    An Experienced gun crew takes two turns to reload (may fire on the 2nd turn).
    A crew of any level of experience may fire every other turn, but subtracts the difference in turns it takes to load a full broadside from the ship’s potential broadside strength (Example: a ship with a lubberly gun crew firing every other turn would subtract 2, thusly a broadside of 5 would become 3. 2 would become 0).
    A Lubberly gun crew subtracts the first two crew and musketry boxes from their ship.
    A Green gun crew subtracts the first crew and musketry box from their ship.

    Lubberly and Green sailors start the first turn after the ship exits the red arc with the ship stationary, regardless of the speed the ship was going before it turned into the red. In addition, a ship with Lubberly sailors must pull randomly from the red cards each turn after the first red card has been played, until the ship is out of the red arc.
    Lubberly sailors remove the highest and lowest pairs of turning cards from the maneuver deck and subtract -1 from a ship’s Veer Value. The base Veer Value may not drop below 2, unless by damage in the course of battle.
    Green sailors subtract -1 from a ship’s Veer Value.
    Lubberly sailors receive a -2 on the Chase Board.
    Green sailors receive a -1 on the Chase Board.

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