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Thread: Goldilocks Syndrome

  1. #1
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    Default Goldilocks Syndrome

    Sails of Glory opened my eyes to a whole new way of playing games. The fast pace of play was great, and it captured a lot of the nuances of sailing. But I had to ask, "could there be more?"

    Post Captain caught a number of the finer points of sailing, but bogged down in details.

    This is my attempt to find the sweet spot.

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    The ships are provided by SoG. The card is my own, allowing 3 points of sail and the red arc.

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    Damage is recorded by wax pencil. Ships now lose specific sails in sail hits and you determine which mast is lost in a mast hit.

    Also, ship's speed is not limited to the 3 speeds of the cards.

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    Instead of cards, the course for each turn is plotted. Speed and sail setting is plotted a turn in advance.

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    Maneuvering templates

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    The ships move much as they do in SoG, but the fastest can move anywhere from 1 to 15 knots.

    Turning is based on a point, which in nautical jargon is 11.25 degrees of arc. SoG seems to use the same thing but never describes it as such. Ships that can turn tightest can turn 8 points or 90 degrees in a turn.

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    Broadsides are now on a stick, placed when broadsides are to be fired.

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    You have certainly refined this to a fine art Dobbs.
    Your game aids also look great too.
    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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    Movement comparison, fastest speed, sharpest turn:

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    The plot indicates that the ship is moving at battle sails at a speed of 7 knots. It will turn to starboard 3 - 2 point movement factors and 2 - 1 point movement factors, then go straight for 2 movement factors, thusly expending its speed of 7 knots. In SoG, this would be the #10 card.

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    The start of the 2 point movement.

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    The start of the 1 point movement.

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    The start of the strIght portion.

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    Finished positions after 1 move.

    The movement in a turn really goes pretty quickly. I broke it down here to help with visualization.
    Last edited by Dobbs; 07-01-2022 at 07:36.

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    Fastest straight comparison:

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    Start

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    At 7 knots, full speed at battle sails on a broad reach, this is where my ship ends up relative to the SoG ship.

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    At 12 knots, full speed at full sail on a broad reach, this is where it ends up. I wouldn't recommend full sails in a combat situation.
    Last edited by Dobbs; 06-30-2022 at 06:16. Reason: Disappearing pictures

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    Test drove the new game today with my friend Ray and it lived up to my expectations. No photos though, since I had my hands full explaining the game mechanics and running the AI that thoroughly trounced us. Good clean fun though and looking forward to a rematch (this time with pictures).

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    I am looking forward to seeing your game in its full splendour 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.

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    Here's a few rounds of a 32 gun frigate duel I fought this afternoon.

    The scene: July 3rd, 1777, the privately owned USS Saratoga, 32 gun 12 pdr frigate operating out of Baltimore encounters a British Amazon off Miller's Island.

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    The opening moves:

    The wind is blowing from Miller's Island. Saratoga goes for the weather gauge. The British frigate lets it go unchallenged and steers downwind.

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    The P indicates a 2 point turn to port, the q a 1 point turn to port, and then straight for 5. With the wind on the beam, Saratoga is moving at the medium speed.

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    Last edited by Dobbs; 07-04-2022 at 16:03.

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    Taken by surprise by the British abrupt turn downwind, Saratoga moves to compensate.

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    S means a 2 point turn to starboard, z is a 1 point turn to starboard, followed by moving straight 5.

    A reduction in speed is planned for next turn.

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    Last edited by Dobbs; 07-04-2022 at 04:39.

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    Now moving at 5, Saratoga opts to go straight. The British come up closehauled on a starboard tack.

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    Both sides fire, a full opening broadside from Saratoga and a partial from the Amazon.

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    The British come out better in the exchange.

    More to come...
    Last edited by Dobbs; 07-03-2022 at 17:49.

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    Thanks for the demo of the action Dobbs.
    I'm starting to see what some of the scoring of points is doing to the integrity of the ship and crew. Still not sure how you decide which sails are damaged?
    There are also a couple of attatchments not showing up for me. These are the first ones on post 11 and 12.

    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
    Thanks for the demo of the action Dobbs.
    I'm starting to see what some of the scoring of points is doing to the integrity of the ship and crew. Still not sure how you decide which sails are damaged?
    There are also a couple of attatchments not showing up for me. These are the first ones on post 11 and 12.

    Rob.

    I've replaced one of the photos that was not visible on my end. The other one is still visible here and I feel like I shouldn't poke the bear... it's just another view of the Plotting Log.


    Mast and sail damage is handled by these tables using a 12 sided die.

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    For ships with 12 pdrs as their primary armament I subtract -1 any numerical damage shown on the drawn chits to reflect the lesser punch than 18 pdrs. I find this makes for a more even fight when fighting small against small but keeps them fragile if they try to fight above their class.

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    After the exchange, Saratoga decides that to tack while the British reload. On the Plotting Log I indicate that I intend to tack (the equivalent of playing a 4> red card), as compared to staying head to wind (a 5 red), or feinting (6< red).

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    The first part of tacking is to "luff up" or turn dead into the wind, which requires 3 moves and must be the last moves of the turn. To luff up, a vessel must be closehauled first. Here, Saratoga turns 3 points to port to come up closehauled.

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    I see now that I only played a 2 point turn to port. That brought me up closehauled, so I should have played a single straight to account for all my required movement factors.

    Here is the first move of three of luffing up. It's a slow 2 point turn to port.

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    For the next two moves, Saratoga is stationary and pivots on her stern to bring her head directly into the wind.

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    Last edited by Dobbs; 07-04-2022 at 07:50.

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    At the start of the next turn, I roll to see how the crew does tacking the ship. They are entirely successful, and Saratoga continues across the wind without losing too much way.

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    Finishing the tack requires 3 movement factors. For the first two, the ship pivots, and on the third, the sails start to draw again and the ship moves ahead at slow while turning 2 points to port.

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    Last edited by Dobbs; 07-04-2022 at 07:59.

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    Once again, Saratoga is in a superior tactical position. This time, her gun crews manage to even the score a bit.

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    Last edited by Dobbs; 07-04-2022 at 08:12.

  19. #19
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    Thanks Dobbs.
    That clears up a lot of the odds and ends for me.
    You certainly have an excellently realistic game mechanism.
    The Millers' Island model is also superb.

    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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    Thanks for the compliments and Rep, Rob!

    As an additional note, I allow each class of ship a certain number of free leak hits (indicated off the port bow of the diagram). This is what the pumps can handle. After they are gone, each leak hit causes 1 Burden of damage, distributed as a lump to either side.

    Saratoga has filled up her freebies. Her pumps are working as hard as they can. Any further leaks will be real damage.

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    Just out of curiosity, how do you gents post files with pictures of what you're posting here? I can post PDF's, but it never shows what the file is.

    My files for this are done using LibreOffice, which I can save as a PDF but not a JPEG.

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    That is a very good innovation Dobbs. I think I will even add it to all my solo games using the Sails 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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    I just reduce the pictures off my camera with Adobe photoshop and then post them using the insert image box but they all now come with an attatchment for some reason so I delete the original and keep the attatchment as doing it the other way round ad deleteing the attatchment makes the picture vanish after a few hours. The only other way to do it is post into my picture files and then post the URL to the page.
    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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    Do you physically take a picture of the screen?

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    After turninginto the wind, Saratoga's speed has dropped to 3. The bext turn is uneventful as both ships head west and reload.

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    Saratoga tries to cut across the Amazon's stern for a rake, but falls short of the distance needed.

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    Saratoga sticks with her plan and inches closer, while the British steer hard a-larboard and bring their port stern broadside to bear.

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    Once again, British marksmanship prevails, but Saratoga does manage to wound the Amazon's mizzen topsail, slowing her down.
    Last edited by Dobbs; 07-04-2022 at 15:25.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobbs View Post
    Do you physically take a picture of the screen?
    No I don't do that Dobbs. I just download the reduced picture from the file on my computer to the page here.
    Rob.This is how it comes out.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    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 is where the fight ended. Saratoga was taking a bit of a pasting, but the mizzen hit was promising. Had the fight continued, I would have worked hard to bring my undamaged port side into play.
    Last edited by Dobbs; 07-04-2022 at 15:58.

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    That's a pretty cool fort, Rob. Where does it come from?

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    It is from Brigade models Dobbs.

    https://www.brigademodels.co.uk/Smal.../SSS-8168.html

    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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    ...
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Bligh; 07-05-2022 at 13:42.
    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
    It is from Brigade models Dobbs.

    https://www.brigademodels.co.uk/Smal.../SSS-8168.html

    Rob.
    Last night I was ordering buildings for Ft McHenry and found it on their website. Suffice to say there is one en-route to me at this moment.

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    I have been looking at that photo of the actual fort and wondered how to get the correct colour in paint which it appears to be. Several photos that I have looked at show it in very different hues under varying lighting conditions and I also suspect different quality of film or capabilities of the camera and the processor chips used.
    Here are a couple of examples
    Rob.



    Attached Images Attached Images   
    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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    Dobbs your PC/SOG mash up looks fascinating, great AAR. I love the detailed sail hits and of course the sailing dynamics. I have to find time to come down and give it a spin.

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    Looking forward to your visit, Eric!

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    The big 4 person melee I was hoping for didn't happen on Saturday because Covid got in the way.

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    Instead, my friend and fellow potential Covid contaminant Ray and I entertained ourselves by challenging my AI to a duel. It ran an 18 pdr Hebe against our two 12 pdr 32 gun frigates.

    We had tried this before and gotten our clocks cleaned. We felt we had experience this time.

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    The pictures are just the opening sequences. We went for the weather gauge and the AI let us have it. We ran into challenges with clear fields of fire while the British ship ate Ray's frigate for lunch.

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    The game ran about 15 turns and was finally resolved with me covering Ray in a tactical retreat. The plotting and movement worked very much like I was hoping, and only a little clarification was needed for tacking. Seeing which masts and sails were being hit definitely lent to the fun of the game. Ray lost his fore topmast and t'gallant. The British lost their main t'gallant mast and main topsail. In my mind's eye, it looked a lot like many nautical paintings.

    My soloplay mechanism is vicious. I find it funny that I'm taking notes on strategy from some numbers I scribbled on a page.
    Last edited by Dobbs; 07-20-2022 at 18:55.

  36. #36
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    Nice to see your AI is getting a good run. So often I feel that they are at a disadvantage simply because they have a poor take on what is really going on. This seems to compensate for that.
    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.

  37. #37
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    Saturday gave me another opportunity to try my game mechanism. I favor 32 gun frigates as test ships since they have some durability and yet are still quite agile.

    July 23rd, 1780, 40 miles east of the mouth of the Chesapeake, a chance encounter between the American frigate Saratoga and the British frigate Amphion.


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    A southerly wind has both ships on a beam reach. I plot my course to gain the weather gauge.

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    Here's a step-by-step breakdown of my first move, a 3 point turn to starboard followed by 5 movements in a straight line at medium speed as due to being on a beam reach. In game terns this is expressed as "S" for a 2 point turn, "z" forca 1 point turn, and 5 for the straights.

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  38. #38
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    It seems like the British had a similar plan as Amphion luffs up.

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    Lucky for Saratoga, the ships are still beyond long range.

  39. #39
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    The chance of the wind lessening goes away.

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    Now closehauled, Saratoga goes straight, albeit at her slowest speed.

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    The British stay head-to-wind, drifting backwards slightly. Luckily the range is still too great.
    Last edited by Dobbs; 07-25-2022 at 17:46.

  40. #40
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    Thanks Dobbs.
    I like your wind indicator mat!

    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.

  41. #41
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    The wind threatens to strengthen a bit with a hint of backing.

    Saratoga continues straight and jogs into the red arc at the last moment. Amphion remains head-to-wind, drawing a line on the water that Saratoga will have to cross.

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    The broadsides roar, for Amphion only a partial one.

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    Amphion actually took 5 hits, but the 5th was another 0.
    Last edited by Dobbs; 07-26-2022 at 05:47.

  42. #42
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    The wind speed does increase, but no change to direction.

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    Saratoga, suffering a rudder hit, is moving -2 less than plotted, but gains +1 from the wind. There's also a -2 for starting the turn in the red arc.

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    Nothing too dramatic happens. Both sides reload. Saratoga's rudder, conveniently jammed to port, turns her out of the red arc and the crew wrestles her into going straight for the rest of her movement. Amphion continues laying head to wind.
    Last edited by Dobbs; 07-27-2022 at 06:35.

  43. #43
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    Now the wind backs (I made an error at this point and played it as a veering wind instead. I didn't catch my mistake for a few turns).

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    Before movement, Amphion is reoriented to keep her head into the new wind direction.

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    Saratoga's crew has her trimmed to the new wind speed. The rudder is still jammed, but the crew is able to get her to go straight (-2 to speed).

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    Amphion feints out of the wind, presenting her unfired broadside, but luckily only her forward arc. Again, both crews fire.

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    Saratoga loses her mizzen t'gallant mast, but it's a minor wound since the sail wasn't being used anyhow. Amphion suffers a brief fire. Both ships' pumps are hard at work.
    Last edited by Dobbs; 07-27-2022 at 09:46.

  44. #44
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    A potential wind speed decrease is on the table.

    With both ships reloading, Saratoga decides that it's safe to tack.

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  45. #45
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    The wind drops back to the speed at the start of the engagement.

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    Saratoga successfully crosses the wind and finishes her plotted tack....

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    ...and both sides, having reloaded, promptly fire.

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    Having brought her fresh side to bear, Saratoga gains an advantage.

  46. #46
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    The two ships continue to parallel each other, with the range slowly decreasing. Again, broadsides are exchanged, and Saratoga continues to make incremental gains.

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  47. #47
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    Are your rules in the download section ?

  48. #48
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    I'm loving your rules. Are the rules, and movement templates posted somewhere? I'd also love to translate them to Spanish, if you don't mind.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoxtrotF View Post
    I'm loving your rules. Are the rules, and movement templates posted somewhere? I'd also love to translate them to Spanish, if you don't mind.
    Hi Félix, I have yet to post them, but they are on their way. I will warn you, they are designed to use SoG ships, as I favor their shapes and scale the most.

  50. #50
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    Yeah, I know. Truth be told, if applying your rules to bigger scales I would probably end up playing in the floor, and kicked out of home. Also, I've read over Black Seas rules and there are many things that don't appeal to me, so I'll probably end up hunting for a SoG Starter anyway.

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