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View Full Version : 1st Rates vs 3rd Rates ... a question of firepower



AlyssaFaden
11-16-2014, 18:29
Okay ... so I'm a tad confused by the current 1st Rates basically get around 7 chits for a broadside, and a 3rd rate can also get 7, or at least 6.

Shouldn't a 1st Rate have considerably more firepower?

I'm a tad confused how close the 3rd are to the 1sts not only in FP but also hull; it basically defines a 1st rate as being "slightly tougher to take out," but that's it. And I'm not sure how they're going to squeeze in 2nd rates, because there doesn't seem to be room (stat wise) between the 1's and 3's.

Am I on crack?

csadn
11-16-2014, 18:40
Shouldn't a 1st Rate have considerably more firepower?

Diamondback can cover this in more-extensive detail, but the lay-person version is: Having more guns doesn't necessarily mean a greater broadside "throw-weight".

AlyssaFaden
11-16-2014, 19:01
I have a book here about the Anglo-Dutch wars (granted, an earlier period), and there's a handy-dandy table that lists throw weight by class, and the 1sts are definitively the highest. So did classifications changes between the two periods so this spread was no longer the case?

12143

Diamondback
11-16-2014, 19:36
Well, the Rate system focuses purely on number of bores, regardless of types--and even then it's not an actual by-gun count but an administrative number for determining crew size. For example, let's say you upgun your 14-gun Swan ship-sloop to 18 as US privateer Thorn was... you still only get the same amount of crew and supplies to run everything as that 14-gun sister ship tied up at the next mooring.

Or, to zoom in a little, taking a Large 74 vs a Common 74... the Large 74 has a heavier secondary battery (24# guns, to a Middling or Common's 18) so it has a higher throw, but administratively it's still only a 74 and thus only gets the same crew and provisions budget as a Common 74.

In short, it's a whole lot of administrative "self-servicing" with an eye toward cooking the books for whatever goal's needed to get the politicians to give the Admiralty what it wants today.

OTOH, you have Santissima Trinidad, with a whole deck full of useless obusiers... 4 decks, 136 guns sounds like "Fill Skivvies and Run Like Hell," right? Considering that only three of those decks plus QD and FC are worth a Flaming Bag of Poo, and even then, Three and the gaillards are "I Fart In Your General Direction" small-bores... Given equally skilled crews, I'd match Victory against Santissima Trinidad any day and call it even-money, maybe a slight bit better odds on the British first-rate.

The other thing is, the more guns you have available, the less any given hit affects you and the slower your damage accrues--you CAN'T fire everything at once anyway without tearing your ship apart (not even if you're sailing the USS Missouri!), so the prevailing ripple-fire techniques probably mean you're launching, just to pull some numbers out of my butt, around half, a third, maybe a quarter of your broadside at a time. Thus, on an SOL any one hit, unless you get a Golden BB into the powder magazine or a sweet-spot carronade rake such as when Victory gutted Bucentaure like a fish on her opening shot at Trafalgar, any one hit is probably not going to appreciably affect the target's return-fire, it's going to be a slow and grueling battle of attrition.

I'm sure DM can weigh in better than I have, but this is my impression of things as I've read them. Hope it helps...

EDIT: For the record, I've seen stats of 74-gun Temeraires that had a throw to rival the lighter British First Rate loadouts of their time... Alyssa, if you PM me your email address I'll send you an Excel spreadsheet I've put together comparing broadside weights for various class-members, near-sisters and stand-ins of the Wave 1 and 2 sculpts.

fredmiracle
11-16-2014, 20:00
If SGN was a painting, it would be more impressionist than realist. If you are looking for lots of carefully calculated statistics, SGN is probably going to disappoint. But I think in terms of catching the feel of the era, it's a pretty solid effort.

For me, the first-rates as depicted in the game work ok. Yes their undamaged gunnery is only a tad better, but as the battle progresses their staying power is much, much better--they have more boxes, burden-6, and the stats take longer to tail off.

I would not consider myself an expert on the sailing era, but this seems to dovetail with what I've read. First rates were clearly the toughest to face, but still a 74 was expected to go up against one without hesitation. Often in battle accounts not all that much attention is paid to the specific ratings, instead only to which are line-of-battle ships.

You are right that there isn't much wiggle room in-between. It's pretty clear that an 80-gun 3rd rate will be just like a 74, with a handful of gunnery factors bumped up by one here and there. A ~90 gun three-decker 2nd rate will be a lot like a 1st rate, with one less hull box and a few less gunnery factors here and there. (Basically we already have the models and info we need to fill in these gaps with a reasonable degree of fidelity.)

If I'd been designing the game, I would have considered this as a potential problem, because if ships are all mostly the same, it may provide less incentive for collectors to feel the need to buy all the ships. But Ares felt differently, and at this point the game is what it is.

If anything I think I have more of an issue with the firepower of the undamaged frigate broadsides. Of course frigates wilt fast, but an undamaged one can put a hit on a SOL which strikes me as somewhat ahistorical...

David Manley
11-17-2014, 00:27
I did write a long piece about this but the wifi connection dropped out as I sent it and my long technical piece was lost and I don't have the enthusiasm to do it again. Suffice to say, +1 to many of the comments above. One observation though, re battleships not firing full broadsides - not really correct, salvo fire was more about fire control than self inflicted damage reduction (which tended to be independent of the number of guns fired. This discussed with an old BB sailor some years back along with the urban myth of Iowas being shifted 9 feet sideways when they fired). Same for SOLs, at least in new to average condition. Broadsides would tend to be ripple fired anyway due to inertia in the "command and control" system, gun captain reaction times, technical aspects of the individual guns, etc. But even if rippled over many seconds the result in game terms would be the same given the duration of each turn

fredmiracle
11-17-2014, 01:18
I did write a long piece about this but the wifi connection dropped out as I sent it and my long technical piece was lost and I don't have the enthusiasm to do it again.

:sad: I feel for you--but also sad on my own behalf, because I know I would have learned a few things...

7eat51
11-17-2014, 10:12
:sad: I feel for you--but also sad on my own behalf, because I know I would have learned a few things...

Agreed. I always learn a lot in these types of threads, and am very grateful for having such knowledgeable shipmates and wingmen.

AlyssaFaden
11-17-2014, 10:57
Well, the Rate system focuses purely on number of bores, regardless of types--and even then it's not an actual by-gun count but an administrative number for determining crew size. For example, let's say you upgun your 14-gun Swan ship-sloop to 18 as US privateer Thorn was... you still only get the same amount of crew and supplies to run everything as that 14-gun sister ship tied up at the next mooring.

Or, to zoom in a little, taking a Large 74 vs a Common 74... the Large 74 has a heavier secondary battery (24# guns, to a Middling or Common's 18) so it has a higher throw, but administratively it's still only a 74 and thus only gets the same crew and provisions budget as a Common 74.

In short, it's a whole lot of administrative "self-servicing" with an eye toward cooking the books for whatever goal's needed to get the politicians to give the Admiralty what it wants today.

OTOH, you have Santissima Trinidad, with a whole deck full of useless obusiers... 4 decks, 136 guns sounds like "Fill Skivvies and Run Like Hell," right? Considering that only three of those decks plus QD and FC are worth a Flaming Bag of Poo, and even then, Three and the gaillards are "I Fart In Your General Direction" small-bores... Given equally skilled crews, I'd match Victory against Santissima Trinidad any day and call it even-money, maybe a slight bit better odds on the British first-rate.

The other thing is, the more guns you have available, the less any given hit affects you and the slower your damage accrues--you CAN'T fire everything at once anyway without tearing your ship apart (not even if you're sailing the USS Missouri!), so the prevailing ripple-fire techniques probably mean you're launching, just to pull some numbers out of my butt, around half, a third, maybe a quarter of your broadside at a time. Thus, on an SOL any one hit, unless you get a Golden BB into the powder magazine or a sweet-spot carronade rake such as when Victory gutted Bucentaure like a fish on her opening shot at Trafalgar, any one hit is probably not going to appreciably affect the target's return-fire, it's going to be a slow and grueling battle of attrition.

I'm sure DM can weigh in better than I have, but this is my impression of things as I've read them. Hope it helps...

EDIT: For the record, I've seen stats of 74-gun Temeraires that had a throw to rival the lighter British First Rate loadouts of their time... Alyssa, if you PM me your email address I'll send you an Excel spreadsheet I've put together comparing broadside weights for various class-members, near-sisters and stand-ins of the Wave 1 and 2 sculpts.

Brilliant write-up and explanation, thank you. PM just sent.

AlyssaFaden
11-17-2014, 11:00
I did write a long piece about this but the wifi connection dropped out as I sent it and my long technical piece was lost and I don't have the enthusiasm to do it again. Suffice to say, +1 to many of the comments above. One observation though, re battleships not firing full broadsides - not really correct, salvo fire was more about fire control than self inflicted damage reduction (which tended to be independent of the number of guns fired. This discussed with an old BB sailor some years back along with the urban myth of Iowas being shifted 9 feet sideways when they fired). Same for SOLs, at least in new to average condition. Broadsides would tend to be ripple fired anyway due to inertia in the "command and control" system, gun captain reaction times, technical aspects of the individual guns, etc. But even if rippled over many seconds the result in game terms would be the same given the duration of each turn

ah poo, I will echo the thoughts of my fellow sailors as having lost such valuable insight.

Diamondback
11-17-2014, 13:09
ah poo, I will echo the thoughts of my fellow sailors as having lost such valuable insight.
As will I. One good reason why I personally tend to draft my long techy posts in Notepad--that way I have a backup. :)

Kentop
11-17-2014, 13:50
If you increase the burden of a ship from 6 to 60, and increase the damage chit amounts by the same factor, you have a lot more wiggle room for the 2nd rates. You would still get the exact same results SGN gives you now, but you could fine tune each ship better than the way they are represented now. I kind of liked the idea used in older war-games of expressing firepower as a percentage of the 1st rate. If you shoehorn all the ships into five classes, then you get 100 percent, 85, 65, 45, 25, 15, or thereabouts. If the first rate ship throws x amount of weight, the 2nd rate ship would throw 85 percent of that. It's not exactly realistic, but it's a far cry better than using 10 digits to cover every sailing war ship ever made.

csadn
11-17-2014, 15:34
As will I. One good reason why I personally tend to draft my long techy posts in Notepad--that way I have a backup. :)

For my part: The long post in Notepad is the *primary* -- I write it there first, save it, then copy-and-paste to the forum.

Union Jack
11-18-2014, 00:34
To add something to the mix, in heavier seas will there be an optional rule for 3 deckers being unable to open their lower ports, therefore firing on a reduced number?

David Manley
11-18-2014, 12:17
There can be if you want to house rule it :happy:

Union Jack
11-19-2014, 04:35
I can have a bash at it.

csadn
11-19-2014, 15:50
The game _Admiral_ has a rule for this -- in "storm" weather conditions, ships have reduced firepower due to having to "batten down" for the storm.

fredmiracle
11-19-2014, 16:13
I'm interested in the possibility of factoring weather conditions into movement too. It would be cool if different ships had different characteristics depending on weather--like maybe some ships can handle high seas or gale winds better than others. Also presumably heavy weather conditions would affect tacking and maybe other aspects of maneuver.

Probably too complex a subject to take on, but it would really add some spice to the game...

Diamondback
11-19-2014, 16:44
Simple: With the wind you GAIN one sail-setting's move, against you LOSE one.

Example: If the wind is coming from within 45 degrees to either side of dead ahead and you're at Battle Sails, use the Backing movement on the card. Same but within 45 degrees either way of dead astern, use Full.

Might need some work, but it should be a start for a quick-and-dirty test candidate. Possibly also a gain or loss to Veer ratings...