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Thread: HMS Unite 1796 (Surprise?)

  1. #1
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    Question HMS Unite 1796 (Surprise?)

    I'm a little confused about the HMS Concorde 1783/HMS Unite 1796 (SGN101A) ship pack.

    Near as I can tell, the HMS Unite 1796 should actually be the HMS Surprise. Granted, the ship was originally named Unite but was renamed Surprise after her capture.
    I can't understand why Ares would label her as HMS Unite when there's already the Unite' (alternate of Courageuse) that comes with the base set.
    What extra confuses me, is why they wouldn't call her Surprise given the number of Aubrey & Maturin fans that play this game.

    Or am I completely wrong? I'm a little biased, as I'm currently reading book 20 of the A&M series.

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    If I may express further confusion, if I'm reading Wikipedia right, the French seemed to have two different Frigates named Unite' in service at the same time.
    The Gracieuse (32-gun Charmante-class frigate), was launched in 1787 and was later renamed Unite' in 1793 before the British captured her in 1796 and put her in service as HMS Unite.
    Meanwhile the French Unite' Class Corvette (later rerated to frigate) Unite' was launched in 1794 before also being captured by the British in 1796 and put into service as HMS Surprise.

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    *waves hand* One of Ares' historical consultants here, with some inside-baseball. This ship is the former Gracieuse; the corvette would be smaller and weaker, somewhere between a 1773 Amazon and a Swan. When we put the "potential names" list together for the Concordes back in the Dev stage, we started with the Charmantes to expand the pool because the two classes' designers were brothers, whose father was also a designer, so in tandem with the picayune detail of French Marine Ministry specs that designers were required to meet we figured that "family talk over the years" and mutual influence would mean the two designs being very similar if not indistinguishable. One other detail of note is that the French favored two-masted brig rig for their corvettes, rather than the three-masted ship-rig of their British counterparts.

    The Aubrey-Maturin 'Surprise' is a Ship That Never Was, though patterned after a combination of features from several historical ships. I've toyed with the idea of suggesting to Ares that once sculpts allow we consider a pair of limited-edition Aubrey-Maturin and Hornblower special box sets, if they can get through the licensing process. We need quite a bit more than we have before that becomes an option though.
    Last edited by Diamondback; 07-29-2021 at 13:02.
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    Ok, so the HMS Unite (alternate of HMS Concorde) and Unite 1787 (alternate of Courageuse) represent the same ship at two different points in her career, correct?

    As for Surprise, while I know that the Surprise of the A&M novels is a fictional ship, I was under the impression that it was based on the historical Surprise which seems to match it's description fairly well, but it's possible that the description in the Wikipedia article may have unintentionally been conflated with O'Brian's Surprise.

    Anyway, thanks for giving me some Ares insight into this conundrum.

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    Correct. We treat a change in flag as a "new ship" for modeling purposes, since the new management frequently liked to change armaments in keeping with their own practices.

    This might help: https://www.ctbasses.com/misc/BruceT....html#Surprise
    https://threedecks.org/index.php?dis...w_ship&id=6983
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    What we need is a 14 gun brig and a 32 gun Xebec. In the same box. Would make everything better.

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    Unlikely, Michael; I've been trying to get Ares to do a stripped-down WGF-style Duel Pack since before it first streeted.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scourge View Post
    What we need is a 14 gun brig and a 32 gun Xebec. In the same box. Would make everything better.
    Something like these perhaps? I made them for another sailing game I was working on. The Brig isn't my design, it's a model I printed from the Fire and Sails Master and Commander model set, but I did design the Xebec.
    Name:  2021-07-30 09.41.59.jpg
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    Another problem is Ares has a hard "floor" of LD/waterline length no less than 28mm on the model. I have a plan to sneak USS Enterprise and her near-sister schooners into the catalog; the problem is as-built they're all too short so we'd have to "fake it" with the post-1803(?) rebuild Enterprise hull that was stretched above that limit.
    Last edited by Diamondback; 08-01-2021 at 17:37.
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    They certainly look the part Jason.
    With the Xebec in mind you might enjoy my Solo campaign"An affair in Morocco." which you can find here.

    https://sailsofglory.org/forumdispla...Action-Reports

    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 Bligh View Post
    With the Xebec in mind you might enjoy my Solo campaign"An affair in Morocco." which you can find here.
    Thanks, I'll give that a try! I'm reprinting my Xebec at 62% size to bring it down to SoG's scale. If it comes out alright I'll certainly use it for this.

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    I remember it well Jonas.
    I still find it a humdinger of a model!
    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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    You definitively should. You made the same conversion yourself. At least for the Chilean navy.

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    This is very true Jonas.
    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 seem to remember seeing a xebec available on the Wargaming3d site if anyone interested

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    I have that one, if it's Henry's you're talking about. It's quite a bit smaller than a 32, but it's nice. 10 guns a side and four forward mounted. I have a few printed. I printed six of them before I realized that I really should have printed them with a few percent scale difference between all of them to make them a little more individual. Now I only printed the seventh one a little bigger to have as a "flagship" of sorts.

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    Henry has released a small felucca for free here:
    https://www.wargaming3d.com/product/felucca/

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    The 1794 l'Unite was a '32 gun' QD corvette. She had 24 8 Livre Guns, and 8 4 Livre pieces on her QD.
    When refitted after her capture, she was initially proposed by the Admiralty as a 9pdr frigate - 24 9pdr, with 10 4pdr and 6 12pdr carronades on fo'c'sle and QD - but on request of Captain Hamilton, after several letters were exchanged her armament was settled as 24 32pdr carronades, 10 18pdr carronades and (in accordance with a requirement added by Admiralty) a pair of 4pdr guns. (O'Brian seems to mix and match this ship and the other 'Unite/Variante' taken in 1796 in his description of the 'Suprise').

    The 36 pieces of ordnance 'as fitted' give a firepower superior to the 12pdr common frigate of 32 guns in some respects, and weaker in others, but leave her comparable to this smaller type of frigate (and a simple broadside weight somewhat higher than many 18pdr examples (478 vs 476 for Leda for example)).

    HMS Unite (ex-Variante) is also a '32 gun' ship, Fitted with 36 pieces of ordnance, but these are 26 12pdrs, 6 6pdr and 4 24pdr carronades. This is comparable or very slightly weaker than the contemporary HMS Hermione - which has 6 18pdr carronades on an otherwise similar fit. Where calibre is close, more guns is stronger than fewer but slightly stronger... though a very large advantage in calibre can make up for higher numbers somewhat.

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    And here again we come back to physical reality vs admin classification. No matter what was actually loaded, a ship with 24x 8-9# UD would automatically be designated a 28-gun SIxth Rate with crew billets and operating budget accordingly, unless the Admiralty specially designated otherwise. It was quite common for ships to be armed with more guns than officially authorized, many 74's carried 76, 78 sometimes even 80 guns but they were only allowed the same crew, ammo allotment etc as their "standard" sisters.

    Look at the administrative rigamarole that they went through to officially up-rate Leopard for just TWO added guns... the conventional guns were frequently because you couldn't have carronade flash going off between the shrouds and burning them, while a long gun's barrel poked through them and safely out the other side.
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    Sure. Leda has 28 18pdr, 10 9pdr and 8 32pdr carronades, making 46 guns at the broadside weight of 476lbs.
    The '9pdr corvette' Surprise, as fitted, carries 478lbs on her broadside. The majority is carronades, so in some respects she is slightly weaker, while the 18pdr frigate, and the 12pdr 'HMS Unite' (with a broadside weight of 222lbs) have some advantages in hitting percentages at middling ranges, even though the ease of handling of the carronades gives a potential for higher cadence of fire which will compensate in large part for the lower velocity.

    Elevation and velocity of the (later/longer/middling to larger bore)* carronades is sufficient to throw shot to 1200yds and more, so absolute range is not an issue, and penetration of carronade calibres at extended range is far superior to the 'companion' weapon used in the same battery - even though at closer ranges the 'companion' gun has more penetration, and has more 'hitting space' at equal ranges, with flatter trajectory - this is not as dominant in the era of mixed calibres as some later commentators state.

    *Very early carronades in the 1779-1782 period are shorter in the true bore and without the flash tube/loading cup, and don't have quite the same velocity or range as the later examples - as well as having harsher recoil and more flash on firing.

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    Also, the RN generally didn't count carronades toward the "nominal gun rating", hence Leda being a nominal 38--the problem is you could easily have too many guns for the men available to crew them all, and extra ammo had to come out of the captain's own pocket to pay for.
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    The RN counts carronades where they replace carriage guns, but not any supernumerary additions. (Until the early C19th, when all ordnance is included into the rate)
    The '9pdr' Surprise was to have 34 carriage guns, plus 6 supernumerary carronades. The Carronade Surprise was fitted with 34 Carronades - and then following an order - which required all ships to be fitted with at least two guns, also would have received a pair of 4pdr guns. In the absence of specific instructions about these I have assumed they were added, but they might be substituted for one pair of 18pdr Carronades.

    With the later upgrading of guns - a portion of the lighter ordnance is switched from 'heavy' types of small bore ordnance to light 'large bore guns' such as shorter pattern Blomefeld, Gover and Congreve, as well as addition or substitution of Carronades - particularly on heavier ships with 12 or 18pdr upper deck and QD batteries.

    Frigates with 28 guns in the 18pdr battery class might be seen with fc/QD 10 9pdr, 10 9pdr and 8 32pdr carronades, 6 9pdr and 12 32pdr carronades, 4 9pdr and 14 32pdr carronades and 2 9pdr and 16 32pdr carronades. All with 38 nominal guns, and all but the first carrying 46.

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    This is starting to sound as if we need different stats and cards for each ship we run depending on which year we are playing. That could deplete the old printer ink a bit!

    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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    Consider that there were at least three different Temeraire hulls to bear the name Duguay-Trouin alone...
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