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Thread: Leaving on a Flood Tide

  1. #1
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    Default Leaving on a Flood Tide

    A few years back I came up with rules for handling a ship in a current.

    Today, I thought it would be fun to have a soloplay adventure with Mother Nature as the opponent.

    The scene:

    March 30, 1779, it's the start of the 2nd dog watch and the sea breeze has yet to truly fill in. A full Moon means the flood tide will be at its strongest, but the local fishermen have said that a light mist settling in has encouraged the blockading squadron to back off from the lee shore. Neither the wind nor the tide is fair, but with overwhelming optimism, the time is right to attempt a breakout (incidentally, Suzanne declined to join the breakout attempt with Lexington. She said, "...against wind and tide? We've been there before. Why would you want to do it for fun?"

    The wind starts at 11-16 knots out of the South. The Shifting Wind Table is in use. The tide is flooding at 1 knot.



    The card on the left is used to indicate the strength of the current on the board. The right card is used to move the ship to reflect the effect of the current each turn.

    The setup:

    Saratoga is in the far left corner in the first picture with the open sea in the foreground.

    In the second picture, Saratoga is in the back, right, with the open sea to the left.





    A potential wind speed increase and a potential veering wind are on the table as the anchor breaks free.



    The anchor's aweigh, the current catches Saratoga and the games begin.



    The wind does veer, but the speed increase doesn't happen. Saratoga starts to move.



    The wind threatens to back...



    The sails are really starting to draw..



    The wind does back. Helm's alee!



    The schooner's captain looks on with disapproval as Saratoga crosses the wind.



    The wind backs again. This could be the moment!



    Unfortunately, a course change is in order to avoid the next anchored ship.



    The wind backs again, now blowing out of the East! If only we had known that was coming!



    The wind veers, and Saratoga luffs up and has to bear off to starboard.



    The captain is starting to lose his nerve as we get into thicker shipping. .



    We didn't turn nearly far enough into the wind, and with a southwesterly breeze the tack has us heading upstream!







    Things are going pear-shaped. The long tack killed my headway and land is coming up!



    Saratoga turns into the wind and loses all way.



    It's time to anchor, even if we are crowding that schooner. Saratoga comes to rest with her stern just ahead of the schooner's bowsprit. I don't even need the speaking trumpet to call over the taffrail and let her captain know that we'll move at slack tide.



    Hopefully once the full Moon passes there will be another chance...

    For anyone interested in exploring my Current rules, here's the link:

    https://sailsofglory.org/entry.php?6...cts-of-Current
    Attached Images Attached Images                      
    Last edited by Dobbs; 04-04-2020 at 06:59.

  2. #2
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    Rob! Can you fix my pictures?

  3. #3
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    All done and only took half an hour. I hope I managed to replace all the pictures in the correct place 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.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    All done and only took half an hour. I hope I managed to replace all the pictures in the correct place Dobbs.

    Rob.
    It looks all good! Thanks, Rob!

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    Admiral of the Blue.
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    And thank you for such an interesting demo AAR Dobbs. Rep inbound.
    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.

  6. #6
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    Thats an excellent idea for a solo game but I can see why Suzanne declined to go against wind and tide.

    When we were in the Med I used to hate sailors like your Captain of the Saratoga, the ones who had to anchor in front rather than to the side or behind us. Invariably they had no conception that where ever they laid the anchor they were going to drop back 40 or 50m, usually right over my anchor. Then they would go ashore as I fumed. Happy days.

    I'll have a look at your rules and it may be in there but do you have a time period for raising the anchor, and have you any thoughts on warping a ship using the boats and kedge anchor? Either to move the ship or pull her off after a grounding?

    Cheers

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    Thank you a lot for the demo
    I enjoyed reading and I want to use your rules

    Regards

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    Here are some anchoring rules that I knocked together some time back:

    https://sailsofglory.org/entry.php?7...pringing-Rules

  9. #9
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    I will wait and see what Dobbs has to say about this John, but Caprtain Kiwi and I have a set of rules for Anchoring raising the anchor and warping off. Also for putting a spring on the anchor etc. All require crew action cards which I think have copies somewhere in the files section. If not I will post my set up for you to look at.
    having just looked at Dobbs rules they are far more complex than mine so I would go with those.

    Rob.
    Last edited by Bligh; 04-05-2020 at 13:08.
    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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    ...a few evenings later, the full moon has become gibbous, and the flood tide is not pushing as hard, a mere half knot. Once again, it's a shifting onshore wind with a slight haze. The captain of Saratoga decides to try again.

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    Not much has changed in the Anchorage since the last try. Because of the blockade, the merchants continue riding at anchor.

    Note: All movement pictures are taken after the movement of the current but before the movement of the ship. The current doesn't effect the ship on the turn when the anchor comes up because the anchor comes up after the current move. Also, I play that if the ship uses a two hourglass card, it must remain stationary on the first turn out of the red arc as it goes from moving backwards to moving forward.

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    Things are looking promising as the hook comes up. While the current grabs hold of Saratoga, the wind veers as the sails begin to draw.

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    While the wind has veered, making an easy shot for the open sea, it is not to be trusted. It will always trend back to where it started.

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    Demonstrating its lack of faithfulness, the wind decreases...

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    ...and the wind backs as Saratoga turns downriver to give the schooner room. Once again, the schooner's captain watches attentively.

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    The wind continues to fade as Saratoga struggles to get out of the red arc. The current is relentless.

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    Having just played a two hourglass card, Saratoga has no way on. The current sweeps her back upriver.

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    We're close enough to see the schooner's captain's eyebrows rise as we luff up to avoid a collision.

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    The collision is narrowly averted, but in the very light air, the two hourglass car brings us to a stop again. The current continues to sweep Saratoga back upriver.

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    Having swept past the schooner on the tide, Saratoga starts to make way again..., just as the wind veers again, heading her.

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    It's time to anchor. Just off the edge of the board, the captain of the more cautious Lexington has a good laugh, and once Saratoga is safely anchored, signals that "perhaps the two ship should leave together on the slack tide? That way they can go and menace British merchantmen instead of their own!"

  11. #11
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    The two frigates did slip out on slack tide later that night. Their departure did not go unnoticed though, and a sloop monitoring the approaches was able to alert the 50 gun 4th rate Adamant.

    At dawn, off of Block Island, a brief inconclusive engagement occurred. Saratoga got knocked about a bit, receiving two rudder hits that forced her to retire. It was later suggested that the gudgeons and pintles may have been over-stressed previously in the beating about on the flood tide. In the exchanges with the two frigates, Adamant's crew was hit particularly hard, discouraging her from aggressively pursuing the Americans.

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    Last edited by Dobbs; 04-16-2020 at 10:48.

  12. #12
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    Never realized how exciting a game could be without much interaction with the enemy Dobbs.
    Not only well done for the superb way you have portrayed the wind and tide but also for the way you spin your yarn. It was enthralling.

    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.

  13. #13
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    Another nail biting exercise in how not to leave an anchorage against the wind and tide, the poor schooner Captain, I was surprised not to see him leaning over the Taff Rail, waving his fist and shouting expletives. I guess he must have gone below to revive his spirits with a stiff drink.

    Excellent game, I printed your cards yesterday but forgot the rules, I'll grab them now and thanks very much for them.

    I'm sorry to ask this because it seems to be take, take, take on my part without anything I can return but do you have the jpeg of the wind gauge you are using and also the watch system one you showed on another post. I think they look particularly useful for this sort of game. (I found the wind speed one )

    It doesn't look as if you need to make things harder but have you considered swinging your anchored ships to lay with the changed wind direction these ships have a lot of windage or do you consider the current will out weigh it?

    Presumably you have put an anchor label over an existing counter, I didn't really notice these in your first post. (Found these as well )
    One final question, in the UK current thinking is 3 to 5 times the depth is the amount of chain you let out when anchored and 10 times for rope, do you know if the 10 times was a minimum in the 1700/1800's or were things different for big ships. That would give you one hell of a big swinging circle.

    Thanks again for this it's very thought provoking.
    Last edited by Vagabond; 04-18-2020 at 05:57.

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