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Thread: The Forgotten Fleet - US Navy Fighting Sail 1815-1860

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    Default The Forgotten Fleet - US Navy Fighting Sail 1815-1860

    An interesting video that certainly puts the US Navy into perspective on the world scene. I learned more than a few things here. Was originally posted on Facebook, but I've seen several of this YouTuber's videos previously.

    "It's not the towering sails, but the unseen wind that moves a ship."
    –English Proverb

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    The thing is, comparing sailing ships from 1815-1860 to our ships is like comparing Jackie Fisher's battlecruisers to pre-dreadnoughts.

    Post-Napoleonic ships had rounded sterns to better withstand rakes. The elaborate beakheads disappeared, replaced with a more practical foredeck, but not nearly as stylish. They had diagonal bracing so they could be longer without the extra decks. Their broadsides were guns that could fire exploding shells. Against these shells, the wooden walls would turn out to be paper thin. Steam tugs were soon available for coming and going from harbor if need be.
    Last edited by Dobbs; 01-22-2020 at 20:25.

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    Thank you for bringing this to the attention of the chaps. Jim.
    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 Dobbs View Post
    The thing is, comparing sailing ships from 1815-1860 to our ships is like comparing Jackie Fisher's battlecruisers to pre-dreadnoughts.

    Post-Napoleonic ships had rounded sterns to better withstand rakes. The elaborate beakheads disappeared, replaced with a more practical foredeck, but not nearly as stylish. They had diagonal bracing so they could be longer without the extra decks. Their broadsides were guns that could fire exploding shells. Against these shells, the wooden walls would turn out to be paper thin. Steam tugs were soon available for coming and going from harbor if need be.
    A very moot point Dobbs.
    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.

  5. #5

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    I re-watched the rather long US Forgotten Fleet video again last night, which lead to a previous video he'd done on the Battle of Lissa in July 1866. A time of transition from sail to ironclads. It reminded me of an interesting 'what if' question he had raised in the US Fleet video. Q: If the US had managed to retrieve the various ships of the line at Norfolk rather than burning them in 1861 would they have done better against the CSS Virginia in place of the weaker US frigates? That in turn made me wonder if there are any table top games involving this period of transition? Will Ares ever release an ironclad game or will that come from Warlord Games? Or will they go right to dreadnoughts?

    "It's not the towering sails, but the unseen wind that moves a ship."
    –English Proverb

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    Captain Duff did the Battle of Lissa at Doncaster a couple of years ago. I bet he will be interested in this one.
    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 Nightmoss View Post
    I re-watched the rather long US Forgotten Fleet video again last night, which lead to a previous video he'd done on the Battle of Lissa in July 1866. A time of transition from sail to ironclads. It reminded me of an interesting 'what if' question he had raised in the US Fleet video. Q: If the US had managed to retrieve the various ships of the line at Norfolk rather than burning them in 1861 would they have done better against the CSS Virginia in place of the weaker US frigates? That in turn made me wonder if there are any table top games involving this period of transition? Will Ares ever release an ironclad game or will that come from Warlord Games? Or will they go right to dreadnoughts?

    There are quite a few sets of rules out there that cover this period. I've published three - "Iron and Fire" which is a fairly detailed set, "Dahlgren and Columbiad" which is a faster play set, and "Broadside and Ram", which was written to allow large 1850-1870 battles to be fought out in an evening - and for which the 1866 Lissa / Vis battle was the primary subject. There are several excellent ranges covering the period in 1/600 and 1/1200, and notable that Spithead Miniatures is currently releasing a series of sets covering the entire Lissa OOB in 1/1200.

    Would Ares cover this sort of thing? SOG could certainly be adapted to fit, although addressing armour and penetration would be an interesting proposition. Movement would be easy as the current system works fine, just treat engine settings as throttle settings and ignore the wind unless travelling under sail. Models would be more if an issue, since there were few classes of more than a very small handful of ships that you'd want to cover and hence few opportunities for a single sculpt to be use for a large number of ships. I suspect for that reason its unlikely (at least in the short term)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    Captain Duff did the Battle of Lissa at Doncaster a couple of years ago. I bet he will be interested in this one.
    Rob.
    We played out 1866 Lissa in the island itself when I was there with friends for the 150th anniversary of the battle

    I also took a pile of Ares ships with suitably modified mats and cards to play the 1811 battle - with the coastline of my tabletop (actually floor) setup made from rock and stones from the actual coastline of Vis.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Manley View Post
    There are quite a few sets of rules out there that cover this period. I've published three - "Iron and Fire" which is a fairly detailed set, "Dahlgren and Columbiad" which is a faster play set, and "Broadside and Ram", which was written to allow large 1850-1870 battles to be fought out in an evening - and for which the 1866 Lissa / Vis battle was the primary subject. There are several excellent ranges covering the period in 1/600 and 1/1200, and notable that Spithead Miniatures is currently releasing a series of sets covering the entire Lissa OOB in 1/1200.

    Would Ares cover this sort of thing? SOG could certainly be adapted to fit, although addressing armour and penetration would be an interesting proposition. Movement would be easy as the current system works fine, just treat engine settings as throttle settings and ignore the wind unless travelling under sail. Models would be more if an issue, since there were few classes of more than a very small handful of ships that you'd want to cover and hence few opportunities for a single sculpt to be use for a large number of ships. I suspect for that reason its unlikely (at least in the short term)
    Thanks for all the great info, David. I'm going to save this and follow it up with some research on the rule sets and miniatures. Super.
    "It's not the towering sails, but the unseen wind that moves a ship."
    –English Proverb

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