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Thread: A misunderstanding?

  1. #1
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    Default A misunderstanding?

    From books and articles which I have read, I came to the understanding that chain shot or dismantling shot was used to disable a ships rigging before closing so that advantage could be taken of a less maneuverable opponent. this favoured mainly by the French rather than the English who preferred to concentrate fire on the hull. This being so why do the rules exclude Chain from being used in all but extreme close range situations? I can understand this for Grape or Canister but not in the case of Chain.
    Any observations on this would be interesting.How close is close?

    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 don't know about tactics, but I would think that the wonky physics of flying chain shot would reduce its overall range as well as the range at which it could be effectively aimed.

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    Admiral of the Blue.
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    If you read my latest AAR Jason. You will see what brought the matter to a head. In the battle the French Leander is loaded with Chain. Not only does this mean that in closing she missed two good chances of first time shots upon the Nottingham, but when she eventually crossed the Nottingham's stern she did pathetic damage.
    Captain Kiwi drew for her to see what first time double shot would have produced under the same circumstances, and the fight would have finished right there with a French winner.
    I wont be using Chain again even for an AI!

    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 just read that. I suspect that, in real life, not all the guns would have been loaded with chain shot for just that kind of reason.

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    Admiral of the Blue.
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    My reasoning for using Double shot rather than chain is that it can be used a short range rather than extra short as is the case with chain and grape. Grape is very good because just before boarding you want as many of the opposing crew dead as possible, But Double consistently performs better than chain. I did 100 draws of chain and Double to test the theory, and in only one instance did chain do better than double.
    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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    Interesting thought, Rob.

    Why shouldn’t it possible to shoot chain a half ruler...

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    If the rules more or less reflect the actual ranges of real ammunition, it could be because by chaining two balls together, you 1) add weight and 2) cause them to exert force on one another swinging around in flight, dissipating kinetic energy that would otherwise continue to move the shot forward.

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    Admiral of the Blue.
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    I was just wondering how the French actually achieved it then?

    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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    Maybe swooping in, firing, and disengaging to maneuver into a better position against the hobbled opponent? It strikes me as being about priorities and tradeoffs on a first pass: the British go right for the enemy's ability to shoot while the French prefer to attack the enemy's ability to maneuver first. The French might take more damage in the first broadside to the hull and gun crews, but if their gambit is successful, it could pay huge dividends with the ability to take subsequent raking shots.

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    So maybe it wasn't before closing, per se, but before really committing to close quarters?

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    Admiral of the Blue.
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    That sounds like a very good hypothesis Jason, and would certainly fit in with my understanding of the accounts given. I will run with that.
    Just looked up a site about different types of shot and it said that Chain was unusual in that it did not lose velocity as quickly as the solid shot because it had a flatter trajectory. That would seem to indicate a shorter range for chain. The spread of canister seems to have been the reason for its optimum range being shorter. I will consult my book on "Firepower" by Duffy when I can find it.
    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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    Rob, when you made the draw comparison, was it the values that you compared or the special damage?
    My understanding of use of chain shot to destroy rigging and masts would mean you should be getting lots of sail damage and mast damage, which means after 6 sail damage thats a mast gone which cannot be repaired plus other mast damage so if you get a hit in a ship should be disabled pretty quickly as you can only repair a mast once.
    I have not read a ship being disabled at long ranges ( here I mean half ruler in game turns) hence possibly why its at the short range.
    I will have to look through my C damage counters to see how much mast and sail damage they include.

  13. #13
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    One of the variables I did miss, was assessing how often I could use double shot at short range, and how often it would be used more often than finding yourself at extra short range and able to use chain. That may slant the results even more. If you could use it at short range it may well even out for mast and sail damage.
    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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    This sounds like a good idea to test out

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    Admiral of the Blue.
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    This will need to be recorded under proper gaming conditions and logged down over several dozen games to be effective. I will start with my next game and see what happens.
    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.

  16. #16

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    Chain shot (aka "dismantling shot"), and the whole "French fire high" thing was considered more of a method for disengaging than making an opponent more vulnerable to attack, particularly in fleet actions. On the short range aspects of chain, there are certainly some very interesting physics effects going on there once the two ends of the "chain" start tumbling and interfering with each other, nit to mention the greater drag over and above that for a standard round shot. It may also be worth mentioning that chain (and bar) was also fired low as it had greater effect on crew and light wooden upperworks, and it was also occasionally used on land

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    Thanks for your insight on this matter Dave. I was almost certain that you would have something constructive to say on the matter. The idea of using it as a method of getting out of a sticky situation had not occurred to me.
    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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    Here is an article about using Chain Shot in the game Empire: Total War Heaven. The website is http://etw.heavengames.com/articles/...al/chain-shot/

    I am not sure how applicable this would be in Sails of Glory.


    Chain shot 101

    By Smileyman007

    Chain shot can be tricky to use, but can give you a decisive edge if you know exactly how to use it.

    The first rule of chain shot in this game (that I cannot emphasize enough): Do NOT use chain shot against MASTS. Don't think of it as an anti-mast weapon because chain shot is not designed to take out masts. Chain shot is designs to take out SAILS. This means you should only use chain shot IF AND ONLY IF an enemy has their sails unfurled.

    Shooting while their sails are furled is wasted as it takes a very lucky shot to hit a mast and an incredibly lucky shot to cut down a mast. In that case you should use round shot to maximize your average damage per shot (i.e., to waste as few shots as possible).

    Typically if you do enough damage to the sails and associated rigging, the masts will come down on their own. Don't think of it like the movie Master And Commander where the goal is to shoot the mast; instead the goal is to hit the sails and put as many holes in them as possible.

    As mentioned in previous posts, the best way to use chain shot is when you are perpendicular to an enemy warship (and their sails are unfurled) because that presents the largest sail surface-area to your gunners
    Why use chain shot?

    Chain shot will damage sails, which will slow down a ship. More holes = more places for the wind to slip through = lower maximum speed. Even a sloop or a brig can be brought almost to a complete stop by taking out its sails and masts, robbing it of its only advantage.
    When to use chain shot:

    Typically chain shot is not useful in the opening of the battle (unless outnumbered and leeward -- see below). Generally I find it more effective to use round shot to damage enemy hulls and -- perhaps more importantly -- destroy their cannons. Typically I'll use chain shot in the later stages when I'm mopping up. I'll use chain shot against isolated, low morale (or routing) ships to prevent them from escaping. It's always better to capture than to sink an enemy, so it's worth using chain shot to prevent a potential prize from slipping away.

    Another time to use chain shot is when you're outnumbered and leeward.* I've devised a strategy for fighting a superior opponent by using chain shot, although admittedly with mixed results. Since the opposing force will be windward and charging at me, their sails will be out virtually the whole time. My goal is to slowly retreat to the leeward while making 180 degree turns snaking back and forth (this does two things: 1) it allow my gunners on the other side of the ship to fire at the enemy, which can be faster than simply waiting for the first side to reload; and 2) it spreads out the damage I take from the enemy and lets my ship stay afloat longer). As I retreat, I use chain shot on ONE enemy ship; when its sails are significantly damaged, I focus on a new enemy.

    The goal here is to slowly isolate and spread out the enemy fleet. The first ship can't keep up with the rest of its fleet and falls behind. So does the second ship. Then the third. Eventually their fleet will be spread out and I can then engage individual ships rather than their superior fleet. Basically, divide and conquer. It works on paper but it's difficult in practice.

    * "Leeward" essentially means "down wind" -- for example: if the wind is blowing from the north to the south, and there are two ships--one is to the north and the other to the south--then the southern ship is leeward while the northern ship is windward.

  19. #19
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    Just been through my C damage bag. There are two sets of damage counters insde and results are :

    C damage

    80 x crew. 33%
    16 x crew and 1 damage. 6.6%
    8x crew and 2 damage 3.3%
    24 x sail and 1 damage. 10%
    8 x sail and 2 damage 3.3%
    8 x mast and 2 damage. 3.3%
    8 x mast and 3 damage 3.3%
    40 x 0 damage. 16.6%
    24 x 1 damage. 10%
    8 x 2 damage 3.3%
    16 x 3 damage 6.6%

    So in my case there is 240 counters split into the % shown.
    And in full %

    43% crew (10% of crew and a damage)
    6.6% mast
    13.3% sail
    16% miss
    20% hull damage

    So using this data using chain shot you have a 43% chance of causing a crew loss, then 20% hull etc etc
    Last edited by Capn Duff; 08-02-2019 at 09:56.

  20. #20
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    Your post on Chain shot is very interesting Dave, and I'm sure that in the real world or in this case the world of Total War rules it works that way. What I'm really getting at is how much more effective is ball at medium range than chain at ultra short. I can get in two lots of firing whilst approaching or one if I ever reach super close range with chain. So it don't work for standing off and dismantling an enemies sails. We seem to agree on that which answers my original question. The follow on question is still unresolved.
    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've played Total War and whenever I used chan shot in that I would have used it to essentially cripple a ship, in this instance, damaging the ship's sails to prevent her from moving. In the game, there is a chance that chain shot CAN take down a ship's mast but it's a lucky shot (much like David said).

    In another game I've played, chain shot is usually half-way between ball, and grape. So it has 1/2 the range of normal ball, but twice the range of grape. But in another game (where things are more realistic), chain shot still has a pretty far range, just shy of normal ball range.
    No-one expects a ship full of dwarves.

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    I would like to see where any of the rules writers for these games get the prima facie evidence for their conclusions.
    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 wouldn't like to guess. But it's something I'd guess they've balanced out.

    Would it be worth trying to make some house rules for chain shot. If aiming for sails/masts flip a coin (maybe per gun section? Eg 3 flips for a broadside; front, middle, rear) to see if you deal any sail damage - if yes take how ever many damaged sail counters. If you're aiming for the hull, take an agreed amount of damage counters. That sounds fair.
    No-one expects a ship full of dwarves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    I would like to see where any of the rules writers for these games get the prima facie evidence for their conclusions.
    Did a bit of research but couldn't find any hard data. Here's what I did find:

    In the Encyclopedia Britannica (1763 Vol 2) they say this about Chain-shot, "They are used at sea to shoot down yards or masts, and to cut the shrouds or rigging of the ship." So, at least the idea of chain-shots taking down masts isn't a modern (or Victorian) invention. There is an interesting section in this book about Gunnery and while it does give some range information, it's only for ball shot (or "bullets" which is a term they consistently use for cannon shot).

    In another document called the Madrass Artillery Records from the mid-1800s, the author states that chain shot tends to go off course after 150 yards or so. "I suspect, in consequence of
    being subject to the objection which may be opposed to every description of chain shot hitherto suggested, amounting to this, that no reliance can be reposed in the shot's adhering to
    the proper track, owing to the air, when the range is in excess of a few 50 yards, retarding the progress of the shot in its expanded state and influencing it to deviate from it's course."


    In A Treatise on Naval Gunnery (fourth edition, 1855), they give advice for the effective range of double shot (as a response to multiple battle reports where double or triple shot failed to penetrate at longer ranges). These ranges are between 150 and 250 yards depending on the size of the gun. Interestingly, they also suggest keeping a small number of round shot near the muzzle in a tied up canvas bag to increase the speed of reloading double shot. Similar to a ready rack in tanks.


    All this taken together seems to indicate that the rules from Sails of Glory, limiting the range of chain-shot and allowing them to destroy masts, are at least not completely ahistorical although I might be inclined to either stretch out chain-shot to half stick or the reduce the effective range of double-shot down to the purple.
    Last edited by hedgehobbit; 10-04-2019 at 14:11.

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    Thanks Aaron.
    That pretty well confirms what I thought. Chain is effective at a bit longer range than grape, and did not have the accuracy of ball. When using it at point blank which would be about short range on the ruler it did not need to be too accurate as the sails, masts and rigging gave a huge spread of target. I was talking to an Army gunnery Officer who did some cannon tests for Brigadier Sir Peter Young when he was setting up the Sealed Knot. They tried chain from a cannon on his estate and it shredded a Copse of trees at the end of the meadow.
    Having that as a criteria, I am now happy to institute an unofficial rule for my games to use chain at short range, and test to see if it unbalances the play in any way. At least that is a way to get it into use more often.

    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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    Quote Originally Posted by hedgehobbit View Post
    Did a bit of research but couldn't find any hard data. Here's what I did find:

    In the Encyclopedia Britannica (1763 Vol 2) they say this about Chain-shot, "They are used at sea to shoot down yards or masts, and to cut the shrouds or rigging of the ship." So, at least the idea of chain-shots taking down masts isn't a modern (or Victorian) invention. There is an interesting section in this book about Gunnery and while it does give some range information, it's only for ball shot (or "bullets" which is a term they consistently use for cannon shot).

    In another document called the Madrass Artillery Records from the mid-1800s, the author states that chain shot tends to go off course after 150 yards or so. "I suspect, in consequence of
    being subject to the objection which may be opposed to every description of chain shot hitherto suggested, amounting to this, that no reliance can be reposed in the shot's adhering to
    the proper track, owing to the air, when the range is in excess of a few 50 yards, retarding the progress of the shot in its expanded state and influencing it to deviate from it's course."


    In A Treatise on Naval Gunnery (fourth edition, 1855), they give advice for the effective range of double shot (as a response to multiple battle reports where double or triple shot failed to penetrate at longer ranges). These ranges are between 150 and 250 yards depending on the size of the gun. Interestingly, they also suggest keeping a small number of round shot near the muzzle in a tied up canvas bag to increase the speed of reloading double shot. Similar to a ready rack in tanks.


    All this taken together seems to indicate that the rules from Sails of Glory, limiting the range of chain-shot and allowing them to destroy masts, are at least not completely ahistorical although I might be inclined to either stretch out chain-shot to half stick or the reduce the effective range of double-shot down to the purple.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    Thanks Aaron.
    That pretty well confirms what I thought. Chain is effective at a bit longer range than grape, and did not have the accuracy of ball. When using it at point blank which would be about short range on the ruler it did not need to be too accurate as the sails, masts and rigging gave a huge spread of target. I was talking to an Army gunnery Officer who did some cannon tests for Brigadier Sir Peter Young when he was setting up the Sealed Knot. They tried chain from a cannon on his estate and it shredded a Copse of trees at the end of the meadow.
    Having that as a criteria, I am now happy to institute an unofficial rule for my games to use chain at short range, and test to see if it unbalances the play in any way. At least that is a way to get it into use more often.

    Rob.

    I always said that Ares got this one backwards! Doubleshot was effective really only at pistol shot range because they generally used less powder and with double round shot the accuracy was very limited with the balls flying off at different directions. The Naval Action PC game simulates this well. Also as David mentioned there are different types of "dismantling" shot. So not just what one thinks of as chain. Onboard the USS Constitutionthere is a nice display of different shot types including bar shot and star shot. There was also chain shot that fit neatly together so it looked like round shot when loaded. One loadout that is not represented, but could be with a house rule is double shot with ball and grape. This was often loaded in QD&FC carronades to clear the enemy decks. One of the US super frigate captains ordered this loaded prior to coming into close action.


    Name:  Constitution Ammo.jpg
Views: 18
Size:  159.9 KB

    Sorry for the poor quality of the photo. Old phone without a flash!

    Rob hopefully some of the gunnery sources I sent in that other thread could be useful here. Oh and as an side I would not put much stock in Total War series games being accurate unless it was a mod.

  27. #27
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    Thanks for those extras Eric. It has raised a few new matters which need consideration.
    I was aware of the split chain shot and bar shot both solid and expanding, but I was unaware of star shot.The name alone suggests how effective it would be in a dismantling role either rigging or for dismembering seamen. One which is hardly ever mentioned is Langrage. Bags of any junk – scrap metal, bolts, rocks, gravel, old musket balls, etc., fired to injure enemy crews. A poor man's Canister one would think Nor do we tend to hear about Link shot which is series of long chain links which unfolded and extended upon firing. I assume also used mainly as dismantling shot.

    With reference to the rule for double shot. We have always taken it as any shot doubled save shot like chain which is effectively doubled as inserted. If using double shot it is only effective at the range of the shortest ammunition in the barrel. Ball over grape would therefore only be fired at grapeshot range. We looked extensively at the rules book, and save the chit indicating double balls nowhere does it stipulate that this is the only type allowed. When using it we load with the double symbol chit and a grapeshot chit beneath it.

    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 long used the shortest range for double shot. It's not only motivated by historical facts but is also a balancing factor in game play. Double shot is just too good as written in the rules. Chain and grape is also too bad. With that short range you really need to get good results from it, and that you simply don't get. I've wondered about the range of chain shot too, but haven't really felt the need to use them so I never bothered questioning the range. I still think 7% mast and 13% sail is too little chance to make me switch from ball, even if the scenario is all about stopping a ship from escaping/getting through/crossing the map.

    I think this discussion is very good and from now on my house rules will not just shorten double shot, but switch the range with chain shot.

  29. #29
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    Just to put the cat amongst the pigeons, many authorities mention the fact that the French carronade was inferior to that of the British. I came across this snippet in my search for the truth about close action encounters.
    Name:  untitled.png
Views: 18
Size:  36.0 KBThe Obusier de vaisseau was a large calibre but light piece of naval artillery mounted on French warships of the Age of Sail. Designed to fire explosive shells at a low velocity, they were an answer to the carronade in the close combat and anti-personnel role. However, their intended ammunition proved too dangerous for the crew, and the French navy phased them out at the beginning of the Empire in favour of the carronade.

    Accounts by British warships of the armament of captured French ships tend to describe them as carronades. However, when the description includes the remark that the weapon was brass, this suggests that it was an obusier.


    Name:  eef7ecb70c0239df90ad1d098f77df70.jpg
Views: 18
Size:  33.1 KB



    Name:  800a.jpg
Views: 18
Size:  11.6 KBIt seems that the French did not adopt the Carronade proper until 1803 and thus in games set before that date only the British should be able to use the Carronade option as set out in the rules.

    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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