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Thread: The optional rule "Continuous Fire:" Why would you NOT use that (if being used)

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    Default The optional rule "Continuous Fire:" Why would you NOT use that (if being used)

    So Continuous Fire is an optional rule that allows you to keep firing off broadsides without reloading. The downside is that it does half damage.

    I like the idea behind the rule as I can imagine it being in the heat of battle and a "fire at will" type of thing, but it seems to be inherently flawed and I'd like your opinion on it.

    For starters you halve damage. Okay, seems fair enough, but if you are doing an even amount of damage (such as 4, 6 or 8) then halving this ... and firing every turn ... it effectively does exactly the same damage as a "reload-fire." Only in odd-damage instances (because you round down) will continuous fire lose you any form of damage.

    Additionally - and this is the big one for me - because you do not reload, you do not have to pick an ammo type in advance. The rules even say you pick one in secret and reveal it. Which means you are picking every round and every half-salvo ... which gives you absolutely complete flexibility in the ammo type being shot (you can't do double-shot, though).

    Which has me begging the question: if this rule is in use, why would you NOT "continuous fire?"

    Would it be better to divide damage by 3 vs. 2?

    Thoughts?

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    This might make sense. Gives French an incentive to play historical with slower full broadsides, and Brits no disincentive to play historical and "fire at will".

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    What do they do about having to use manpower for reload?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlyssaFaden View Post
    So Continuous Fire is an optional rule that allows you to keep firing off broadsides without reloading. The downside is that it does half damage.

    I like the idea behind the rule as I can imagine it being in the heat of battle and a "fire at will" type of thing, but it seems to be inherently flawed and I'd like your opinion on it.

    For starters you halve damage. Okay, seems fair enough, but if you are doing an even amount of damage (such as 4, 6 or 8) then halving this ... and firing every turn ... it effectively does exactly the same damage as a "reload-fire." Only in odd-damage instances (because you round down) will continuous fire lose you any form of damage.

    Additionally - and this is the big one for me - because you do not reload, you do not have to pick an ammo type in advance. The rules even say you pick one in secret and reveal it. Which means you are picking every round and every half-salvo ... which gives you absolutely complete flexibility in the ammo type being shot (you can't do double-shot, though).

    Which has me begging the question: if this rule is in use, why would you NOT "continuous fire?"

    Would it be better to divide damage by 3 vs. 2?

    Thoughts?

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    great question. you onlyneed manpower to fire, not reload. it specifically says reloading it not permitted in the same round

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    The granularity makes it hard to penalize without penalizing too much. A gun 5 ship would be going from 5 / 2 turns to 2 / 2 turns.

    Suppose you keep the 1/2 ratio, but even-gunnery ships take a half-chit penalty. After damage is drawn, randomize one of the chits with a blank and draw?

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    Your ammo point is interesting and didn't occur to me when I first read this rule. Maybe there's some not too onerous way to force some preplanning. How about (spitballing here because I don't have the rules) continuous fire required a reload action, rather than a fire action. Then it would need to be specified a bit earlier. This would also make a certain sense - "load grape men, and fire as soon as your gun is ready!"

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    The rule as written:

    If this optional rule is in use, a broadside can shoot
    even when it is not loaded. In this case, the damage
    counters the target takes are halved, rounding
    fractions down. The broadside cannot be reloaded in
    the same turn it shoots with continuous fire.

    When playing with Standard Rules, in
    addition to the rules above:
    —The raking modifer (if applicable) is added
    before halving the damage.

    — Before resolving any fire, all players secretly
    choose the type of ammunition to use for
    each broadside shooting with continuous fire.
    The chosen ammunition counters are revealed
    simultaneously and fire is then resolved.

    — Double shot cannot be used with continuous fire.

    When playing with Advanced Rules, in
    addition to the Standard Rules listed above:
    — A player must plan a Fire Broadside action to
    use continuous fire (even if the broadside is not
    loaded).
    — A player may not plan a Reload Broadside
    action on the same broadside he planned a Fire
    Broadside action.


    There are some drawbacks to it:

    GUNNERS LACKING TRAINING
    If the Continuous Fire optional rule is in use, the
    drawn tokens are one third of the normal amount
    (round fractions down), instead of half.
    You will also notice that once you start continuous fire, you can't issue a reload action. That means you will have a longer delay to fire a normal broadside after using this rule should you need to. You will also not be doing as much damage each turn, which might not knock out full boxes on the target ship damage track. This could leave them doing more damage over the course of the firefight since they would be filling your boxes at a faster rate. Plus, the more chits you deal your target in one shot, the greater your chances of giving them the higher damage and special damage ones.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cool Breeze View Post
    I just didn't want to be seen as the, "Thread Pirate Roberts" and get too far off topic.

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    I also don't think this rule is particularly well balanced or thought out. My current opinion is the the quick pace of Continuous Fire should require both a Reload and Fire action dedicated each turn, so that ships can only sustain it if they're not using actions for repairs, muskets, or the other set of cannons. That seems to me a simpler solution than thirding damage (not that that's particularly difficult).

    Quote Originally Posted by The Royal Hajj View Post
    You will also notice that once you start continuous fire, you can't issue a reload action. That means you will have a longer delay to fire a normal broadside after using this rule should you need to. You will also not be doing as much damage each turn, which might not knock out full boxes on the target ship damage track. This could leave them doing more damage over the course of the firefight since they would be filling your boxes at a faster rate. Plus, the more chits you deal your target in one shot, the greater your chances of giving them the higher damage and special damage ones.
    I don't see how the inability to reload after continuous fire is any different than the inability to reload after a standard broadside, so unless I'm missing something in the rules, there's no loss of pace there.

    Doing half damage on the reload turn and half damage on the fire turn does not lessen the total damage dealt over two turns, and I believe it actually increases your odds of filling more target boxes. For example, say you have a ship that fires a broadside of 6. In a single broadside you pull a 4, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1. Against a 3 burden ship, you will apply the 4 for a box, then both 2s next for a box, then the 1s for a third box. If you split those same damage chits over 2 turns, your worst case scenario is 3 full boxes, but if you split the 2s on two separate turns, you're going to fill a box with the 4, a pair of boxes with a 2 and a 1, and the remaining 1 will spill into the third box. Simply put, if you can deliver the same number of damage chits to a target by multiple methods, it's better to break the damage into as many turns as possible, and it's better to deliver damage earlier than later.

    It's an open question wether it is better to deliver 0 damage chits on turn one and 7 damage chits on turn two as compared to 3 damage chits on each turn one and two (the damage delivered in turn 1 could well reduce the damage received on turn 2), but for 0 & 6 vs 3 & 3 it's always better to split. In even cannoned situations the only variables are range and raking, and I'll wager you have to be pretty sharp to coordinate broadsides to take advantage of those vicissitudes over hedging your bets with half damage every turn.
    Last edited by Pseudotheist; 01-20-2014 at 15:12.

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    Pseudotheist, I like the simplicity of that QUITE a bit. I also like the other suggested "divide by half, round down, and for even numbered firepowers remove one additional chit."

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    From a historical perspective, isn't that what British ships normally did? I mean switching to "Fire at will" when the first fully loaded broadside had been delivered, to keep the firing rate as high as possible? At least that's what I remember from my Hornblower books. Given that it would make sense in the game to have continuous fire not be less-effective than full broadsides.

    You'd take the time for a full reload before the engagement and in any lull of the battle, but as long as you have a good target, you just fire away.

  11. #11

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    Uthoroc is correct (in fact everyone did it at close range, not just the British). I fear I have to take some of the blame for the fact that a "continuous broadside" rule exists as it was me that suggested to Andrea that something like that might be useful some time ago (2011?). I must admit I didn't pay much attention to how the rule was worked out as real life got in the way when later development including this rule took place, but some of the suggestions above sound OK. Actually you could almost make an argument for rounding up rather than down since the overall rate of fire would be slightly greater (rather than loading all guns and then firing each gun hammers away as fast as the gun crew can manage).

    In fact I've found the email where I made my suggestion (it came up regarding the overall question of rate of fire and rate of damage):

    Perhaps a compromise might be to include an option for the “continuous broadside”. This was a valid fire order during the period and was similar to independent fire of an infantry unit rather than shooting volleys. In practice, when engaging in this type of fire each gun would fire as soon as it was loaded and ready, so fire would be ragged but continuous. You could simulate this by allowing a ship with a continuous fire action to shoot every turn, but only using the reduced fire factor (if the target was in the central arc) or reduced factor -1 if in the bow or stern arc. And only allowing one side of the ship to fire in this manner.
    That said, we've not used the rule in any of the games I've run so far.

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    I can see good arguments for continuous fire being okay at 1/2 damage, and the question of "why not do continuous fire?" would be answered with "exactly! It was historically accurate, this is exactly how they engaged." So first broadside (using that optional rule) gets the biggest punch, then you drop into continuous fire if the enemy ships are ship in range/sight. If not then the crew can take their time to reload another full broadside, but it won't have quite the punch of the first salvo.

    That said, I really like Pseudotheist's suggestion of requiring a reload action ASWELL, to keep the crew tied up. It would also mean that you had to declare your ammo type, which is a little less convenient than revealing it during the firing.

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    Yes, thats a good suggestion

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pseudotheist View Post
    I also don't think this rule is particularly well balanced or thought out. My current opinion is the the quick pace of Continuous Fire should require both a Reload and Fire action dedicated each turn, so that ships can only sustain it if they're not using actions for repairs, muskets, or the other set of cannons. That seems to me a simpler solution than thirding damage (not that that's particularly difficult).
    I actually like the requirement to plan both a fire and reload action in the same turn. At least that eats up some of your actions.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pseudotheist View Post
    I don't see how the inability to reload after continuous fire is any different than the inability to reload after a standard broadside, so unless I'm missing something in the rules, there's no loss of pace there.
    Normal ship firing over 5 turns
    Turn 1: Fire and Reload action
    Turn 2: Reloading
    Turn 3: Fire and Reload action
    Turn 4: Reloading
    Turn 5: Fire and Reload Action
    Turn 6: Reloading
    Turn 7: Ready to fire

    Continuous fire ship firing over 5 turns
    Turn 1: Fire
    Turn 2: Fire
    Turn 3: Fire
    Turn 4: Fire
    Turn 5: Fire
    Turn 6: Reload Action
    Turn 7: Reloading
    Turn 8: Ready to fire

    By doing continuous firing, you are one turn behind the curve for firing at your next target. It's a small penalty and very situational, but it's there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pseudotheist View Post
    Doing half damage on the reload turn and half damage on the fire turn does not lessen the total damage dealt over two turns, and I believe it actually increases your odds of filling more target boxes. For example, say you have a ship that fires a broadside of 6. In a single broadside you pull a 4, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1. Against a 3 burden ship, you will apply the 4 for a box, then both 2s next for a box, then the 1s for a third box. If you split those same damage chits over 2 turns, your worst case scenario is 3 full boxes, but if you split the 2s on two separate turns, you're going to fill a box with the 4, a pair of boxes with a 2 and a 1, and the remaining 1 will spill into the third box. Simply put, if you can deliver the same number of damage chits to a target by multiple methods, it's better to break the damage into as many turns as possible, and it's better to deliver damage earlier than later.
    I think your example of an SoL firing on the lightest weight frigate exaggerates the effects, but I think you are right that you will come out ahead more often by doing continuous fire. The draw of chits will of course play a major factor in it, but that can swing in both directions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cool Breeze View Post
    I just didn't want to be seen as the, "Thread Pirate Roberts" and get too far off topic.

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    This thread, along with the "quick game" thread is making me have second thoughts about the first broadside rule. The other thing about that is a short article I recently read (ok, I admit it, I went into the garage and found my old Fighting Sail issue of S&T :) ) that said that the big advantage of the "first broadside" was the British strategy of double-shotting from the get-go and then riding in real close and letting the enemy have it in a big way.

    Putting all that together, maybe you don't need the first shot rule at all. You can choose your ammo at start, double-shot or not. As Alyssa noted, you'll get a big first bang simply because it's a full broadside in an environment where continuous fire is perhaps the norm. Then you switch to continuous fire mode and off you go

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Royal Hajj View Post
    By doing continuous firing, you are one turn behind the curve for firing at your next target. It's a small penalty and very situational, but it's there.
    Again, I could be misreading the rules, but I think your example is off:
    Quote Originally Posted by The Royal Hajj View Post
    Turn 1: Fire and Reload action
    Turn 2: Reloading
    should simply be:
    Turn 1: Fire Action
    Turn 2: Reload action

    And in the second example:
    Quote Originally Posted by The Royal Hajj View Post
    Turn 5: Fire
    Turn 6: Reload Action
    Turn 7: Reloading
    Turn 8: Ready to fire
    you can scrap turn 7, so both ships are ready to fire on turn 7.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Manley View Post
    Actually you could almost make an argument for rounding up rather than down since the overall rate of fire would be slightly greater (rather than loading all guns and then firing each gun hammers away as fast as the gun crew can manage).

    In fact I've found the email where I made my suggestion (it came up regarding the overall question of rate of fire and rate of damage):

    Perhaps a compromise might be to include an option for the “continuous broadside”. This was a valid fire order during the period and was similar to independent fire of an infantry unit rather than shooting volleys. In practice, when engaging in this type of fire each gun would fire as soon as it was loaded and ready, so fire would be ragged but continuous. You could simulate this by allowing a ship with a continuous fire action to shoot every turn, but only using the reduced fire factor (if the target was in the central arc) or reduced factor -1 if in the bow or stern arc. And only allowing one side of the ship to fire in this manner.
    That said, we've not used the rule in any of the games I've run so far.
    So, am I correct in thinking the suggestion to limit the action to one side at a time was due to crew limitations? If so, requiring double action investment would probably be the simplest way to reflect that in the existing system. Even fully healthy ships would only be able to sustain continuous fire from both broadsides by forgoing muskets, repairs, and sail changes. I doubt the crew were actually that interchangeable, but the action system is what it is, and those tradeoffs are already being made in other situations.

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    Crap, you are correct! I really can't see why you would never use this rule... or why there are reloading rules at all based on using this. Instead, just half the number of chits a ship does normally, throw in a double shot rule that takes twice as long to load and deals double chits. Much simpler and will end up having the same effect in practice.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cool Breeze View Post
    I just didn't want to be seen as the, "Thread Pirate Roberts" and get too far off topic.

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    Except that reloading drives the action system in the game, which is a nice tactical addition to the *oG system. Ditch Continuous Fire instead and you preserve a more intersting game mechanic.
    Last edited by Pseudotheist; 01-21-2014 at 14:38.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pseudotheist View Post
    Except that reloading drives the action system in the game, which is a nice tactical addition to the *oG system. Ditch Continuous Fire instead and you preserve a more intersting game mechanic.
    I know the gamers up here would be less impressed by only being able to fire every alternate turn at-best, given how loathed the WoG turn-sequence is ("we've been playing twelve turns, and we've only gotten off three shots").

    Oh, well -- at least I now know who to blame.... >;)

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    HAAHHAHA. Personally I dig the continuous fire rule and I feel better for the conversation and the historical precedence. I think this the requirement to also load up a loading action as well it becomes a burden on the ship to be able to do this AND other ship functions, which satisfies me (imho).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pseudotheist View Post
    So, am I correct in thinking the suggestion to limit the action to one side at a time was due to crew limitations? If so, requiring double action investment would probably be the simplest way to reflect that in the existing system. Even fully healthy ships would only be able to sustain continuous fire from both broadsides by forgoing muskets, repairs, and sail changes. I doubt the crew were actually that interchangeable, but the action system is what it is, and those tradeoffs are already being made in other situations.
    Firing at will would not affect the topmen or the deck crew. In other words with a normal complement a ship had sufficient crew to fire and maneuver. What David may have been referring to was the lack of gun crews for each broadside. The final battle in Master and Commander shows this well. The crews manned only one side at a time and if the ship needed to fire on the opposite side they ran across to man that side. Of course how ships were crewed varied by nation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pseudotheist View Post
    Except that reloading drives the action system in the game, which is a nice tactical addition to the *oG system. Ditch Continuous Fire instead and you preserve a more intersting game mechanic.
    Not for me. The fact that there is an official rule that completely removes them and the game can still function shows that they are not the driving factors. Firing and reloading are just two of many actions that need to be considered. As DeRuyter points out above, the gun crews have little effect on the sailing of the ship. I don't think repair crews were part of gun crews either... so not having actions for shooting/reloading would just simulate that the gun crews did what they did... always. The non fighting crews would be where a captain would have to make decisions on what to do with.

    I'm with you on the mechanics are more interesting with the normal fire rules and had this rule not been introduced, I'd would say not to have it... or at least not in this form.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cool Breeze View Post
    I just didn't want to be seen as the, "Thread Pirate Roberts" and get too far off topic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by csadn View Post
    Oh, well -- at least I now know who to blame.... >;)
    Feel free

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    Somewhat late to the party of this very interesting discussion, but wish to weigh in. I'm fairly happy with the rules as written, except for the, "choose whichever ammo you like" portion, which aside from being historically ridiculous (hard to see out of a gun port with smoke in the air and slick bloody floors what the ships are doing in relation to each other), it seems pretty cheesy. I'd say it could only be done with ball ammo or as others have suggested, it requires a reload action in the action phase where you pick the ammo then.

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    Agreed cool breeze on all counts!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeRuyter View Post
    Firing at will would not affect the topmen or the deck crew. In other words with a normal complement a ship had sufficient crew to fire and maneuver. What David may have been referring to was the lack of gun crews for each broadside.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Royal Hajj View Post
    Not for me. The fact that there is an official rule that completely removes them and the game can still function shows that they are not the driving factors. Firing and reloading are just two of many actions that need to be considered. As DeRuyter points out above, the gun crews have little effect on the sailing of the ship. I don't think repair crews were part of gun crews either... so not having actions for shooting/reloading would just simulate that the gun crews did what they did... always. The non fighting crews would be where a captain would have to make decisions on what to do with.
    Sure, you guys are right, but this is an oversight/abstraction to the action system in general, not the continuous fire rules. Pretty sure the Marines were not usually asked to put their guns down for a minute and help take in the sails. If you're objecting to using the action system to reflect that continuous fire was more manpower intensive I think you might want to consider revamping the action system entirely. Personally I accept that it's an abstraction that completely ignores crew specialization, but works for interesting game play.

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    Was continuous fire more manpower intensive? Honestly while I like forcing the pre-selection of ammo, doing it by doubling the action chits used strikes me as a bit odd.

    I think I will do it this way:

    - If you choose a fire action in the planning phase, and that broadside is unloaded, then during the action phase you must choose an ammo chit and put it under the fire action. If you use the fire action (which by definition will be continuous fire) then you use that ammo. If you don't fire, the ammo is discarded

    - When using continuous fire, and you have an even number of gunnery factors, you take a "half chit" penalty (randomize one of the damage chits with a blank). [For poorly trained gunners this would apply when the gunnery factors is a multiple of 3.]


    That should smooth out the large and contrived difference between odd and even gunnery factors, and ensure that there is a small but uniform penalty for using continuous fire. This seems fair, since presumably volley fire had a certain increased effectiveness (actual and perceived) by being concentrated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cool Breeze View Post
    Somewhat late to the party of this very interesting discussion, but wish to weigh in. I'm fairly happy with the rules as written, except for the, "choose whichever ammo you like" portion, which aside from being historically ridiculous (hard to see out of a gun port with smoke in the air and slick bloody floors what the ships are doing in relation to each other), it seems pretty cheesy. I'd say it could only be done with ball ammo or as others have suggested, it requires a reload action in the action phase where you pick the ammo then.
    I agree with this.

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    The rules seem to say that the damage counters are halved & rounded down.
    Does this mean that the 1's become .5 which then rounds down to 0 and
    can only be discarded?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lurch View Post
    The rules seem to say that the damage counters are halved & rounded down.
    Does this mean that the 1's become .5 which then rounds down to 0 and
    can only be discarded?
    That's the way I play it

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    remember, it's the number of chits drawn which is halved and not the value on each chip itself. Thus you cannot continously fire a one chit broadside.

    Your use of "discarded" made me believe that you want to half the damage on each chip. This applies to all rules changing fire power (raking, first broadside), it's always the number of drawn chits which changes, a drawn chit is never altered in it's consequences to the recieving ship.

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    Thanks, got it.

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    I think the effect of casualties is where the limits on crew actions comes into play. As damage and casualties mount the need for able men limits loading, maneuvering and repair actions. Continuous firing after a held double broadside seems to be more accurate a depiction of most navies. Work your guns as fast as you can. Holding for a broadside meant the slowest crew set the pace. Fire as you bear and held firing will deliver big hits but constant stream is a meat grinder.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredmiracle View Post
    - When using continuous fire, and you have an even number of gunnery factors, you take a "half chit" penalty (randomize one of the damage chits with a blank). [For poorly trained gunners this would apply when the gunnery factors is a multiple of 3.]

    That should smooth out the large and contrived difference between odd and even gunnery factors, and ensure that there is a small but uniform penalty for using continuous fire. This seems fair, since presumably volley fire had a certain increased effectiveness (actual and perceived) by being concentrated.
    Fred, that's a great compromise. A very easy house rule to implement, and seems to work quite well.

  36. #36
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    I dont think any of the players at my club have EVER used continuous fire! Mostly our ships pass and turn, so get a chance to reload while manoeuvering. I also think its advantageous to fire full broadsides as you get more special damages which take crew actions to sort!

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    Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I'm interested to know if this has been implemented in house rules.

    I liked the idea of limiting to single shot or grape during continuous fire and thought the action of having to choose in advance was a good suggestion.

    Is there any consensus after 3 years of experience?

  38. #38
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    Personally I do not use continuous fire. The rules on Carronades which have been introduced seem to cover it better as far as I am concerned. However, i don't sail for a Navy without the advantage of having Carronades.
    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.

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    I have some thoughts on this after programming most of the rules into the computer:

    1) I like the idea of continuous fire (interesting options is what makes a game fun)
    2) It cannot be too good or bad as either would effectively make it an automatic thing to do or not do (not really an option - boring)
    3) It should fit the theme and be realistic

    So I have an issue with number 3 for the current rule as written. The way my game usually plays is I fire a full broadsides and then the next round switch to half damage continuous fire. To me this feels cheap as all of the cannons were just fired and thus are empty.

    An improvement would be to add a one shot qualifier that you must be loaded first to initially use continuous fire. From that point on you can continuously choose to do this without a reload action and also switch ammo on the fly as the crews are adjusting to the situation. This would mimic the less synchronized fire of a broadside to me.

    If at some point continuous is stopped you will need to fully reload again to choose that option again. This removes the freebie shot of the empty cannons right after a full broadsides.

  40. #40
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    Seems logical to me Aaron. I never actually spotted that loophole, but I suspect that some did.
    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.

  41. #41
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    I found that effect and that's one of the reasons I don't use it. It's just too good. I think it's a little bit like cheating.

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    I like both the Carronades rule, and the Continuous Fire - from a historical standpoint, although it probably is overpowered when not playing advanced rules.

    Perhaps rather than just having to issue a fire action for continuous fire, you might have to issue both a fire and reload action? That would quickly make it difficult to sustain on damaged ships when the crews are otherwise occupied. (I acknowledge gun crews didn't generally look after ship repairs, etc).

  43. #43
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    It's overpowered in every version of the rules.

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    In your opinion how do you view Carronades and their ability to fire each turn Texas?
    Essentially in the same way? Or okay because of the range penalty?

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    It's a little better. From memory I think it was a little complicated to calculate ob the fly though.

    My main complain with the carronade rule is the extremes that make for strange effect. An all carronade ship would make for strange numbers.

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    That's true.
    All carronade did exist of course, to devastating effect, but were very uncommon in the era so that's a plus.

  47. #47
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    The sloop Galvarino which I will be using for the Chilean campaign was an all Carronade ship with sixteen 32lbr Carronades and just two 6lb bow chasers. Consequently I am finding this very interesting.

    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.

  48. #48
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    Played a two on two scenario using Carronades rule for the British and standard gunnery for the Spanish today.

    I noted that they were mostly effective in the chase due to the wider firing arc but at other times the half range (and half carronades rounding up on firepower) really cut down on effectiveness.
    In essence I found it better to simply reload the cannons with double ball, manoeuvre and then only fire at half range with my main guns too.
    I don't feel that it is something that I would want to have more than one or two vessels sporting in a fleet though.

    I'm going to try continuous fire in another game at the weekend and see how that plays out.

    P.S. This is my first game against Spaniards - they seem far more effective at their rates. Also, I now know that 5th rates should steer as far clear from 1st rates as possible. The first broadside completely wrecked my British frigate turning her into matchsticks and I barely scratched the side of them in return.

  49. #49
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    The generally accepted rule for Frigates by most civilized nations was to leave them unmolested unless they were attempting to influence the line of battle by raking liners sterns or towing off prizes. Usually it would be left to the Fleets own Frigates to see off any enemy ones.
    However, i did have a very successful game where two Frigates captured a 74 escorting a merchantman. Just a couple of early rakes and some lucky draws brought the liner down to the same status as the Frigates vs firepower and crew numbers. Then it became a battle of attrition.
    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.

  50. #50
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    Interesting. I didn't know that. Clearly the Spanish captain didn't either!

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