View Full Version : Squadron Maneuvers

07-02-2015, 05:42
What does everyone thing about ships using less maneuverable decks to aid in squadron maneuvering? It would be like adjusting sails to keep station with larger ships. Ships could change decks just like sail setting changes.

07-02-2015, 07:31
What does everyone thing about ships using less maneuverable decks to aid in squadron maneuvering? It would be like adjusting sails to keep station with larger ships. Ships could change decks just like sail setting changes.


I find keeping ships in formation, in their place difficult. :minis::erk: That is the challenge, different ships sail at different speeds and maneuverability. You suggest using a more restricted deck. This is unnecessary. The squadron can have the faster ships sail at battle sails and the slower ships using full sails. :steer: Likewise, the squadron can decide to use a limited range of cards while allowing the ships to use their full range of turns when they need them.

Bob. :salute:

07-02-2015, 08:26
I have witnessed more break ups of formation, or taking the eye off of strategic objectives, due to captain (pilot) decisions than ship or aircraft capability.

Awhile back, we had some discussions on the use of flags. It might be worth revisiting.

07-02-2015, 10:22
I find that the ships can keep station if you use full sails on a SoL and say half sails or less on a smaller ship.
The line can still be broken by ships of a bigger burden nudging their way thru.

07-02-2015, 11:08
Last year at Origins, Keith made a nice cut through the oncoming line. It was the only line battle I ran, and it was fun watching it play out.

07-02-2015, 15:21
I was thinking that use of a lesser deck reflected the captain trimming his sails to keep the line of battle in order or to provide close escort. When changing sails, the player could indicate that the crew was to start trimming more to the boat's ability and switch to a better deck, up to the ship's deck.

07-02-2015, 18:01
Some rules let you make squadrons. Eg K.M.H. You can have one squadron = the fleet. Or 2, 3, or more Squadrons. The Squadron moves at the rate of the slowest ship. The squadron moves as one. At any time before moving the player can say, Squadrons A & D are becoming. one Squadron (If they are together). Or brake-up a large Squadron into 2 or 3 parts, plus. Each new smaller squadron moves at the speed of the slowest ship in it. A squadron can also brake up into single ships, or single ships back into a squadron. Different speeds of ships sailed hundreds of miles together As a squadron. Why not in a game?
Be safe
P.S. I have not played K.M.H. yet!

John Paul
07-02-2015, 19:12
Until Ares comes out with the Fleet Rules for the game any options for operating Squadrons would need to be some "House Rule". Probably the best suggestion made thus far would be to use a card for the slowest ship in the group as THE Movement card for all ships in the squadron. After all, the bases are all the same size thus each ship would move exactly the same distance no matter what Maneuver might be selected. The main thing to keep in mind though is in most cases once a squadron gets into action it does tend to become "every Captain for himself", unless the opposing sides wish to keep it a long range fight!

There are a number of factors and variables to consider if you want to keep a squadron together as a single unit throughout a complete game! It's an idea worth kicking around though!

07-02-2015, 19:55
John Paul, that's pretty much what I was saying. A squadron uses the same card from the same deck until the situation changes for individual ships as determined by the captain or fate. Captains could choose to use their own decks, but if the admiral says, "all ships follow the 1st rates on a 30 degree turn to port", the frigate captains are not going to sail their best speed. When the line starts to fall apart though, it is up to the captain when to take the initiative. That's what Nelson did!

07-02-2015, 22:00
Do you advocate for communication between ships, or are players moved by the card the squadron commander chooses?

Keith made an interesting device to run bombers in formation. All he had to do was play one card for the lead plane.

07-02-2015, 23:11
Communication between ships would be more like it was. So we shall need a flag signalling system.

Union Jack
07-03-2015, 05:24
I am developing a card system for signals more to follow.


07-03-2015, 05:25
Here's some previous threads on signaling, with links to other threads and sites within them:




07-03-2015, 13:32
As I said about, and has also been banded around, picking one (slowest) ship/card for the squadron as the max speed/turning for the unit.
1) The unit could break at will.
2) An enemy ships breaks the squadron ( by crossing/cutting the line).
3) The Squadron could be classed as broken if an enemy ship comes closer than long-range cannon fire to any ship of the squadron.
4) A squadron can be made by a senior Officer, calling or signaling a number of ships to form one, Distance, Line of sight or both could be used. Unless (1) (2) or (3) come into play.
5) Break/ Broken = ships go back to using own stats.
6) the above could be used to keep a convey together. If the convey is broken, the merchant ships move at random to shatter the convey e.g. dice etc.
I think, Keep it simple.
Be safe

07-03-2015, 16:46
For flags, regular marine flags would suffice. A letter and a number would indicate the planned maneuver. Captains could choose not to stick with the squadron at any time and just answer to the other players if things go poorly.

I think Napoleon said something along the lines of a plan is only good until the enemy is engaged.

HMS Lydia
07-06-2015, 12:37
One of the reasons ships moved in battle line/squadrons was the difficulty of communications, especially after battle erupted and the area smogged over with cannon smoke. Maintaining a battle line prevented blue on blue damage and casualties.

As stated in other threads, when we do battle line squadron formations, all ships follow the lead ship at a specified range using the increments on the back of the combat ruler, the lead ship uses the the deck for the slowest ship in the formation. It works well and allows a single player the ability to control more ships, with less maneuver card confusion. The ships may break formation at any time, and then use their own decks.