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David Manley
09-23-2013, 23:39
Having forgotten the existence of the "House Rules" section I thought I'd better re-post here.

Bomb vessels may fire mortars at anchored or grounded ships, or shore batteries and other specific shore targets.
Maximum range of a mortar is TWICE the length of the gunnery ruler.
Minimum range is equal to the length of the gunnery ruler.
Bomb vessels may only fire their mortar when they are at anchor (NOT when grounded)

To determine the fall of shot:
Create two decks of cards. the first deck comprises 9 cards and determines the direction of shot:

North
South
East
West
North West
North East
South West
South East
On Target


The second set of nine cards determines the deviation:

Zero (on target) x1
Very Short (C/D) x3
Short (B) x5


Draw one card of each type to determine where the shot lands.

For second and subsequent shots at the same target, once a very short card has been drawn, subsequent shots other than "on target" will be at very short range. Once a shot is "on target" (from either deck) the mortar is zeroed in and subsequent shots hit the point of aim.

if the shot falls on a static ship's base or a battery the target draws four B damage tokens. if a shot lands on a moving ship it draws four A damage tokens (but remember moving ships cannot be specifically targetted)

Bomb Vessel
Manoeuvre deck A
Burden 3 (stout construction)
Veer 7
Seven damage boxes on hull and crew rows
1/1/1 - 4 - 1 - M
1/1/1 - 4 - 1 - M
1/1/1 - 4 - 1 - M
1/1/1 - 3 - 1 - M
1/1/1 - 3 - 1 - M
1/1/1 - 2 - 1 - -
1/1/1 - 1 - 0 - -

(bow gunnery / beam gunnery / stern gunnery - crew actions - musketry - Mortar)

Reloading the mortar takes one action, as for a normal broadside

Comte de Brueys
09-25-2013, 14:13
Could be a nice addition to some sceanrios, David.

Here is a ship mortar

http://sailsofglory.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=1669&d=1352983634

A French mortar ship

http://sailsofglory.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=1643&d=1352903006

Double your gun - double your fun...

http://sailsofglory.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=7001&d=1380136466

Пилот
11-26-2013, 09:33
Mortars... Interesting stuff!

Diamondback
11-26-2013, 15:04
Would something similar but shorter range work for howitzer-type indirect-fire weapons like orbusiers and such? [EDIT: It is worth noting that the French orbusier seems to have been mainly used, in keeping with their doctrines, in trying to cause sail/mast/etc. and crew casualties rather than hull damage. Maybe model that with an option for a second, much weaker broadside that only causes sail or crew damage?]

MarkG-MD
07-24-2015, 17:47
The Savage Mill (Maryland) used the Mortar rules in a neat scenario put together by Bos'n. We played that the mortars fire 360 degrees and as a result we weren't sure where to measure from on the bomb ship. Going forward, suggest measuring from the main mast.

As an FYI, we also played that the first mortar shot can't be fired until the turn after the last maneuver card is executed as part of the anchoring process.

7eat51
07-24-2015, 23:33
Welcome aboard, Mark. Please introduce yourself sometime in the Welcome Aboard forum so folks can greet you.

Thanks for resurrecting this thread. Scenario possibilities are arising.

Naharaht
07-25-2015, 07:45
Welcome to the Anchorage, Mark.

Mortars mounted in Bomb Ketches could be used to attack coastal forts.

Bligh
07-25-2015, 14:21
Welcome Mark.
Mortars may well be the answer to coastal forts as long as they can be masked from direct return fire behind a headland or island.
Bligh.

Naharaht
08-12-2015, 10:58
How much damage would the mortar do, one token per hit, I expect?

Bligh
08-12-2015, 11:32
With explosive shells I would draw one token plus one E token for troop damage. Then there is the matter of Fire to account for?
However, you could use Dave's system at the start of the thread.
Rob.

Bos'n
08-12-2015, 12:14
Welcome Mark.
Mortars may well be the answer to coastal forts as long as they can be masked from direct return fire behind a headland or island.
Bligh.


According to the rules as written above, mortars range is 1-2 ruler lengths, out ranging land batteries. They cause 4 B chits of damage to stationary targets and if it accidentally hits a ship that is moving its 4 A chits. These little guns are powerful and the only defense is to send a ship out to blow them out of the water. :shootright: BOOM!

Bligh
08-12-2015, 13:44
According to the rules as written above, mortars range is 1-2 ruler lengths, out ranging land batteries. They cause 4 B chits of damage to stationary targets and if it accidentally hits a ship that is moving its 4 A chits. These little guns are powerful and the only defense is to send a ship out to blow them out of the water. :shootright: BOOM!

:hatsoff: Quite right Bob.
If you choose to run with those rules there is no discussion needed. :thumbsup:

Remember that they are only someones house rules, and discussion can often modify those in whatever direction suits an individuals particular prejudices. Mine for instance would not give a lobbed shell a better range than a shore battery 20 meters higher or more. That is why I suggested hiding in a bay round the corner, and putting an observer on the crest or a Frigate in position to observe the fall of shot from out at sea.
However you want to play it is totally up to you as long as you enjoy yourself. Unless of course you are playing in a Campaign like our Solo one in which case the rules are set up before the game.
Rob.

Bos'n
08-12-2015, 22:18
:hatsoff: Quite right Bob.
If you choose to run with those rules there is no discussion needed. :thumbsup:

Remember that they are only someones house rules, and discussion can often modify those in whatever direction suits an individuals particular prejudices. Mine for instance would not give a lobbed shell a better range than a shore battery 20 meters higher or more. That is why I suggested hiding in a bay round the corner, and putting an observer on the crest or a Frigate in position to observe the fall of shot from out at sea.
However you want to play it is totally up to you as long as you enjoy yourself. Unless of course you are playing in a Campaign like our Solo one in which case the rules are set up before the game.
Rob.

Rob,

All that you say is true. I don't know how much power one of those exploding shells had in those days, but today's mortars don't have near the boom that a tank or cannon do. Then again tank and cannon shells are explosive too; back then they were, well, solid shot like a huge musket ball. A frigate may deliver a whole broadside and get 4 damage chits for the 10-20+ cannons each firing between 18-32 lbs of solid lead. A bomb boat might shoot 2 explosive shells; should they get 4 "B" level damage chits for those 2 bombshells weighing about 13 lbs. each?

Why would the war departments of these countries decide to use bombs instead of solid shot unless they did a better job at what they were designed for? Were they designed to knock down walls or scare the bajeesees out of the populace, sort of like Dresden in WWII? It seems to me that a lobbed shot would have had a rough time hitting a relatively thin thing like a wall.

The "burden" of a fort, except in one case, is higher than even the largest ship. This makes sense since ships were made of wood and many coastal forts were made of stone. Would the powers that be try to invent a weapon that could deliver a greater punch than solid shot? If so, is it unreasonable for a pair of bombs to rate 4 damage chits when they hit something in a fort or ship? Would a bomb do as much damage to a ship that gets in the way of this projectile as it would to a house or tower with all of that falling stone and stuff.

I wish I could transport back to Copenhagen during the bombing of the city in the days of Napoleon and Wellington, to witness the destruction delivered by those relatively small bombs, or maybe not. I wonder what it would tell me.

Thanks for the post and the reminder about what we are talking about is not life or death, but a game.

Bligh
08-13-2015, 01:54
As far as I am aware, the shells were used against shipping in harbours to set it on fire, or as anti personnel lobbed over the walls of forts. They may have dismounted the odd cannon if they got a direct hit, or devastated the fort if they happened to hit a magazine. In the main I think keeping the heads of gunners down whilst the Fleet made an assault through the front door, or to force a fleet out to sea by rendering the harbour untenable was the main reason for their usage.
Rob.

David Manley
08-13-2015, 07:18
Shells may or may not detonate above the target, depending on the skill of the gunner and the characteristics of the fuse (which could be quite precise, but of course quality control was not necessarily wonderful). If the round didn't detonate (which was quite likely) its penetrative ability against the deck of a ship would be considerable (the decks were significantly thinner than the ships sides), so you have the not-unlikely spectre of a shell detonating inside the ship. Which would be nasty.......

Naharaht
08-13-2015, 13:09
Here is a link to a webpage about Napoleonic mortars. It has been translated from French. http://www.napoleon-series.org/military/organization/c_mortars.html

Bligh
08-13-2015, 14:15
Well I think that covers most bases Dave.
The British equivalent was the Coehorn.



16384

Rob.

Union Jack
08-14-2015, 12:59
A quote from Lavery B. (Nelsons Navy) Page 54: part of 1st Para and all 2nd Para:

Bomb Vessels:
The bomb vessel was the most specialised fighting ship in the fleet. It was not intended to engage enemy ships except in self defence, but instead it was designed to bombard enemy towns and fortresses in the most effective way. For this, it was fitted with 1 or 2 mortars, angled to fire a high-trajectory shell for a considerable distance. It was the only kind of ship in the fleet to carry explosive shells. This had a considerable effect on the design, and special precautions had to be taken to protect them from accidental ignition.....

Most bomb vessels were purchased from merchant builders, and converted. They were from 300 o 400 tons, except the Perseus of 1796, which was 432 tons. Most had a complement of 67 men, except for the Perseus which had 96. Towards the end of the war, several ships were designed and built as bomb vessels - three ships of the Vesuvius class of 1812, and 3 more of the slightly large Hecla class of 1815. Unlike other types of ship, bomb vessels had a consistent naming policy: they were usually named after volcanoes, or in some way suggested hell and fire, such as Belzebub. There were only 2 bomb vessels in the navy at the beginning of 1793, but by 1799 there were 14. There were 19 in 1805, and 13 at the beginning of 1812.

page 178 Mortars:
The mortar, as carried by the specially designed bomb vessel, was the only type of naval gun which required scientific skill in its operation. It was therefore left to trained artillerymen, of either the army or Royal Marines. Explosive shells were carried aboard a 2nd vessel, a tender for safety and only transported aboard the bomb vessel when required. Accurate arming was much more necessary when firing. Distance had to be measured accurately as the length of fuse had to be controlled all the time. To short and the shell would explode short of the target, to long and the extra time would enable the shell to be rolled into the sea or doused with water to put out the fuse. Bomb vessels usually operated in calm water with a screen of protecting vessels.

Union Jack
08-14-2015, 13:00
A quote from Lavery B. (Nelsons Navy) Page 54: part of 1st Para and all 2nd Para:

Bomb Vessels:
The bomb vessel was the most specialised fighting ship in the fleet. It was not intended to engage enemy ships except in self defence, but instead it was designed to bombard enemy towns and fortresses in the most effective way. For this, it was fitted with 1 or 2 mortars, angled to fire a high-trajectory shell for a considerable distance. It was the only kind of ship in the fleet to carry explosive shells. This had a considerable effect on the design, and special precautions had to be taken to protect them from accidental ignition.....

Most bomb vessels were purchased from merchant builders, and converted. They were from 300 o 400 tons, except the Perseus of 1796, which was 432 tons. Most had a complement of 67 men, except for the Perseus which had 96. Towards the end of the war, several ships were designed and built as bomb vessels - three ships of the Vesuvius class of 1812, and 3 more of the slightly large Hecla class of 1815. Unlike other types of ship, bomb vessels had a consistent naming policy: they were usually named after volcanoes, or in some way suggested hell and fire, such as Belzebub. There were only 2 bomb vessels in the navy at the beginning of 1793, but by 1799 there were 14. There were 19 in 1805, and 13 at the beginning of 1812.

page 178 Mortars:
The mortar, as carried by the specially designed bomb vessel, was the only type of naval gun which required scientific skill in its operation. It was therefore left to trained artillerymen, of either the army or Royal Marines. Explosive shells were carried aboard a 2nd vessel, a tender for safety and only transported aboard the bomb vessel when required. Accurate arming was much more necessary when firing. Distance had to be measured accurately as the length of fuse had to be controlled all the time. To short and the shell would explode short of the target, to long and the extra time would enable the shell to be rolled into the sea or doused with water to put out the fuse. Bomb vessels usually operated in calm water with a screen of protecting vessels.