View Full Version : Broadside Weight Comparison

12-11-2011, 07:14
Here is a comparison of Broadside Weight of some ship actions:
Broadside weight in LBS

1. Java 576lbs Constitution 704lbs
2. Guerriere 556lbs Constitution 736lbs
3. Macedonia 547lbs United States 846lbs
4. Frolic 262lbs Wasp 268lbs
5. Boxer 126lbs Enterprise 135lbs
6. Shannon 550lbs Chesapeake 542lbs
7. Pelican 209 lbs Argus 280lbs

When the War started approx size of fleet(the number ebbed and flowed during the war):

British 11 SOL 34 Frigates 52 smaller vessels
American 0 SOL 6 Frigates 14 smaller vessels

David Manley
12-11-2011, 08:13
I think those are total weights for a single broadside, including carronades, yes? It is also worth looking at the ratio of long guns only, e.g. Constitution vs. Java - 387 vs. 276. Carronades suited a close action "knife fight" but against an opponent with an equal ability to manoeuvre and maintain the range a heavy carronade armament would put one at a significant disadvantage. |In an extreme case (Constitution vs. Cyane or Levant it would change a 500-odd pound roadside into rather less than a hundred, or even into single figures!

I've played several AoS campaigns in the past where commanding officers got to "play" with their ship's armament and swap out long guns for carronades. It took a particularly gutsy kind of captain to do well with a ship like that - but also one who had sense to bugger off when facing an enemy whose main armament has longer legs. We also played a couple of 1812 campaigns (I ended up playing the US both times) and, as in real life, the lighter, less heavily armed RN frigates had a really hard time when they came up against the big American 44s. As one of my American naval historian chums put it, the 44s were the Panthers to the RN's Shermans and so the best way to deal with them was to gang up on them and accept that one or two of your little guys would get a good kicking :)

12-11-2011, 08:21
So many factors to winning a fight.....
types of guns, wind, crew, the Captain.....and then you look at how hard it was for the Gov. to even build the 44's. Alot did not want them built.

David Manley
12-11-2011, 08:36
A lot did not want them built.

It was ever thus. Navies are expensive things to build and maintain. Politicians especially would like not to have to bother (until, they need them, then they expect the service to come on stream instantly like a tap). If you go back through the history of the Royal Navy you find it is a continual cycle of underfunding and penny pinching followed by a massive injection of money when something unsightly like a major war kicks off, then followed by an unseemly hurry to throw away the capability that was built up. Makes life "interesting" for people like me :)

12-11-2011, 15:40
I've played several AoS campaigns in the past where commanding officers got to "play" with their ship's armament and swap out long guns for carronades.

Oddly enough, I've done the opposite -- for an alt-history I was working on where a certain Midshipman Farragut convinces Capt. Porter of USS _Essex_ to swap out the carronades Porter didn't want in the first place for the long guns from his prizes, leading to a somewhat more fair fight when _Essex and _Essex Junior_ meet up with _Cherub_ and _Phoebe_.... >:)