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Thread: Signalling orders

  1. #1
    Able Seaman
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    Default Signalling orders

    Has anyone found any good solutions for signalling orders to friendly ships? In my group, the opinions differ with regards to two allied captains being allowed to discuss and plan their movements and actions in advance.

    How do you guys do this? Any good house rules?

  2. #2
    Admiral of the Fleet.
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    We tried it out with flag signals, but it slows the game down so much we decided that a short statement of intent such as turn to port, close up on flagship etc was permitted in plain between captains if written down.
    That was deemed to be the copy that the flag Lt had copied down from the signals book. It arrived the turn after it was sent, so did not effect the two cards already in play.
    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.

  3. #3
    Able Seaman
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    Perhaps we could make our own "tactics deck" that we could share with a two turn delay? Instead of doing a lot of writing, we could have a set of predefined cards that the Commodore could use to give orders to his squadron? With quite general tactics, such as "stay together", or "gain the wind and bear down abreast", or similar? Has anyone done any sort of work on such things so far?

  4. #4
    Admiral of the Fleet.
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    All we did was use a signal flag to be displayed with the order and flag on cards held by the players. The Admiral just displayed on a small stand by his ship mat. It was great fun to see how many captains failed toi see the flag in the heat of combat. There were plans to have a repeater frigate stationed to the leeward side of the table, but we gave up on the whole idea before it went that far.
    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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    There was a set of signaling rules called "Hoist Signals Aloft" that came with a game called "Fire as She Bears" using colored cubes. They were designed to be used with any age of sail game. $1.00 on Wargames vault:

    https://www.wargamevault.com/product...e+as+she+bears

  6. #6
    Stats Committee
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    I love it! I may have to invest.

    Suzanne says that just talking to one another is fine. The amount of information that a captain could deduce by watching another ship is comparable to talking to each other. We do it in racing all the time.

    The preparation for even a slight course change involves positioning men to swing yards. Shortening or increasing sail is even more obvious.

    Maybe a limitation on sharing shot types or other information that would only be known on a ship's quarterdeck?
    Last edited by Dobbs; 06-20-2024 at 18:42.

  7. #7
    Able Seaman
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeRuyter View Post
    There was a set of signaling rules called "Hoist Signals Aloft" that came with a game called "Fire as She Bears" using colored cubes. They were designed to be used with any age of sail game. $1.00 on Wargames vault:

    https://www.wargamevault.com/product...e+as+she+bears
    This looks really interesting! Thanks for sharing, I’ll definitely check this out :-)

  8. #8
    Admiral of the Fleet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobbs View Post
    I love it! I may have to invest.

    Suzanne says that just talking to one another is fine. The amount of information that a captain could deduce by watching another ship is comparable to talking to each other. We do it in racing all the time.
    The preparation for even a slight course change involves positioning men to swing yards. Shortening or increasing sail is even more obvious.
    Assuming! that we do not have any shy captains in our games, the problems with your premise Dobbs, is the misunderstanding that can occur when a commander wishes a portion of his ships to break off and perform another task. If a captain conforms to the actions on the ship ahead he may be unaware of the fact that the other ship is being detatched as ,for instance, a signals ship or to investigate a sighting. This could lead to a whole world of trouble for the following ships.

    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.

  9. #9
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    That is very true, Rob. Perhaps the solution in non signal flag environments is that a player can state what they plan but not make suggestions about their squadron-mates?

  10. #10
    Admiral of the Fleet.
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    Could be a way to solve the problem Dobbs. We even tried a system of the Admiral being able to transmit a written order to a captain on paper in not more than five words. things like "Lion.Come about engage nearest". "Endymion, veer left, shorten sail". "Van to tack in succession". This last has them in all sorts of trouble.
    Rob.
    Last edited by Bligh; 06-24-2024 at 01:18.
    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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