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Thread: First rate broadsides

  1. #1
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    Default First rate broadsides

    I have only just starting using First rates having obtained Victory and L'Orient. This question must have been asked before but I can't find it. Why does the link between the number of guns and broadside chits level off after third rates. So HMS Victory with a 100 guns fires the same initial chits as HMS Impetueux with 74, there must be a rationale for this, if so what is it or have I missed something in the rules.
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  2. #2
    Admiral of the Fleet.
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    A very good question Garry, and one which I feel can be best fielded by DB.
    Rob.
    Last edited by Bligh; 01-05-2024 at 13:05.
    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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    Thanks for these links, I had a look through the forum without success - must learn to search effectively. I am not sure I have a problem with the way 1st rates are treated, I was just very surprised. A bold move by the designer, so easy to have given the 1st rates an extra chit, so he must have done it for a good reason.

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    There's very little science and a lot of "fling stuff at the wall and see what sticks" in the game stats.

    Technically, though, a Temeraire 74 DOES have more throw weight than a British threedecker... the rub is your chit draws have a ton of different variables for loss of combat effectivity all abstracted together to "keep it simple." Damage to guns and gun crews, damage to structural members the guns are tied to... it's also not just the number of bores but the weight of shot from each, though counterintuitively a long hi-vel 24-pdr will out-penetrate a 32.
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    Thanks Db

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    Another thing to consider is you're not going to see a whole broadside go off at once, unless you're a forward thinker like Philip Broke who worked out repeater and gun-director systems at considerable expense to himself... once the order to fire is given, it takes some time for that order to spread both horizontally along the decks and vertically between them.

    Another thing worth noting is the difference in decay profiles--a 74 will punch harder in its opening salvo, but with less ship and less guns to shoot away it's going to lose its ability to throw punches a lot faster while the threedecker just beats it into submission.

    Unfortunately, we have no chance to gather empirical data because there's only ONE SOL of ANY size anywhere, and I don't think even if funds were available they'd let us refit Victory with live guns even if only firing blanks to run the tests required, and I doubt there are any yards that would be game for building a full-scale replica 74, nor that there's enough acreage of English Oak left available.

    Too bad that damn turdsucker wouldn't allow historians time to conduct such research before scuttling Duguay-Trouin...
    --Diamondback
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondback View Post
    There's very little science and a lot of "fling stuff at the wall and see what sticks" in the game stats.

    Technically, though, a Temeraire 74 DOES have more throw weight than a British threedecker... the rub is your chit draws have a ton of different variables for loss of combat effectivity all abstracted together to "keep it simple." Damage to guns and gun crews, damage to structural members the guns are tied to... it's also not just the number of bores but the weight of shot from each, though counterintuitively a long hi-vel 24-pdr will out-penetrate a 32.
    A 32pdr of 9.5ft using an 8lb 'mid' charge will penetrate roughly the same as a 24pdr of 9.5ft using it's 8lb 'large' charge. As range increases the retention of this penetration will favour the heavier gun in ratio to it's shot diameter (more or less, some details of drag variation with mach number and reynolds can sometimes detectably distort this relationship, when much more significant differences exist).

    When driving the 32pdr shot with the large charge of 10 2/3 lb, the penetration favours the heavier shot, with the gap widening over range.

    It is only with the later "medium" and light rebored 32pdr guns that the velocity given up with service charges gives 24pdr guns an advantage in penetration at short ranges. Even Carronades will outperform guns of smaller bore at random ranges.

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    I may be completely wrong about this, but math would dictate as the number of guns increases it would take more and more of a delta to make a discernable difference. If ship A has 3 guns and ship B has 6, ship B has a significant advantage. If ship A has 30 guns and ship B has 33, the difference is negligible. I'm probably wrong, but eventually there is a point of declining returns such that you'd need to increase your firepower by a significant amount to gain a real advantage. If that's the case, I'd expect a graph of guns vs. broadside rating to be parabolic as opposed to linear.

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    Makes sense to me, Kirk; then again for me calculus is the stuff of screaming nightmares. "Math is NUMBERS, not LETTERS!"
    --Diamondback
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  11. #11
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    I totally agree DB. I have used Calculus in Design work, but never really understood how it worked just that if I followed the rules it did. Give me numbers every time. You know where you are with them. Now where did I leave my Slide Rule? I have removed the brackets to make this easier to read!

    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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    And in the end it all has to be usable in a game.
    Hardly any game designer has and can understand the matter so deeply to cover all these details.
    Not everything makes sense. But we have the House Rules option for that.

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    I have a current spreadsheet open, which looks at the issue of an estimate for 'best' firepower as a product of frontal area, penetration at a pointed range and the hitting space of a nominal target nearer and further from the nominal range from the lower of apex and top of target to the bottom.

    Coupled with an approximation to internal ballistics after Helie and external ballistics after Dr AR Collins/NACA/NASA this allows a trace of 'expected' 'best' hitting power for guns in distant fire which falls off with additional elevation from the range for a gun pointed by the line of metal and distant charge... but which holds this pointing and reduces charge ratio for standard, reduce and the three 'distinct' velocities from the two lower charges with double shot (the middle value is approximately the same for the bottom of std/dbl and the top of reduce/dbl).

    The resulting curve is a 'flat topped' pointed gun, and a falling off in random fire, with the 'corner' range both modifying short range hitting power and the 'best' range for direct pointing - before random fires, sighted fires or fire in ricochet is needed to extend the distance.

    Carronades and other single charge sighted pieces just have a single curve below but 'similar' to an equal calibre gun in random fire. The carronade shares a common performance with the gun's 'common' double range and hitting condition.

    Larger guns will always hit harder within the random fires area (both more powerful guns of the same calibre, but more strongly a gun of larger calibre). This combines so that the 'best' performance of a short 12pdr is worse than that of a 32pdr carronade, near to the range of direct pointing of the gun, and is much worse at very short or very long ranges.

    An unintuitive result is that guns pointing to a longer range (steeper taper, usually where breechring and muzzle swell are similar across distinct lengths) are often shorter, weaker pieces than others in their common calibre and the RN guns tend to a lower pointing than French canon, especially in larger calibres. The 'flat' of a 36 Livre gun is similar to a 24 pdr gun despite it being considerably more dangerous in random fires and having a ~800/600 range proportion with the same input parameters and the appropriate geometry. The potential range of pointing by LOM without the use of a hausse/tangent sight but only relying on the divisions of a stepped/notched dispart for a 32pdr carronade is then found to be ~910 in proportion, although a carronade is always stronger at shorter ranges, as well as the pointing at a larger apparent target form, and an easier time with the estimation ranges which is common to all ordnance.

    A weaker or stronger powder is similar, but not identical to recasting the whole to a shorter range without materially altering the strength of the pointed 'short range fires'.

    The quoted maximum effective range of the 95cwt 68pdr allows a similar accuracy or similar expected hitting power to be used to consider the 'similarly' effective firing ranges of guns of various patterns and sizes as well as the carronades, obusier de vaisseau and shell-guns. Combining the proper number of pieces of each calibre and type within a class/establishment/variation can then allow an estimate for the potential firepower of each considered platform across the whole range of engagement, and shows French vessels to on average be stronger at longer ranges, but to be weaker in the closer fight, mostly because of the shape of the long-guns.

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