Home Forums Air and Sea Naval War by Sail (New Age of Sail Ruleset)

This topic contains 17 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Paul Cordell Paul Cordell 2 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #109478
    NKL Aerotom
    NKL Aerotom
    Participant

    Greetings all, I’ve been working on an age of sail wargame for the past 3 months, if anyone would like to be part of the playtesting, you can send me an email at:

    [email protected]

    I’ve covered Lepanto, the Spanish Armada, and the first 3 Anglo-Dutch wars so far – included are the stats for generic ships as well as large lists of individual named ships. I have only done the points values for the generic ships, as we are still playtesting the balance. Once the balance is deemed solid, I will do the points for all the named ships.

    I’ve been drawing heavily on the threedecks forum for the details of the specific weapons carried by the various ships, as well as various research sources. I have had to make some educated guesses on some of the armaments and weapon positions though.

    #109491

    McKinstry
    Participant

    I’ll give it a look over this weekend. Roughly how many ships on a side have you found practicable?

    Never wrestle with a pig. You both get muddy and the pig just likes it.

    #109497
    Thaddeus Blanchette
    Thaddeus Blanchette
    Participant

    I am very interested in these as a way of refighting the Portuguese/Dutch colonial wars of the 16th century.

    Just nit-picking here, but I’d quibble with the Portuguese ships of the Armada being classifed as unweatherly. They were the most modern ships the Spanish had and, IIRC, all of them survived the voyage around the British Isles.

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #109498
    Thaddeus Blanchette
    Thaddeus Blanchette
    Participant

    I’d qualify sea-going ships of this period as Galleons, Naus, or race-built. Also, I haven’t read all the rules yet, but sailing characteristics during this period — espcially for naus and galleons — were quite different than for the following period. Ships were nowhere near as manuverable and had problems sailing close to the wind. Do the rules take these characteristics and the subsequent changes into consideration?

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #109516
    NKL Aerotom
    NKL Aerotom
    Participant

    Thanks for your interest and questions guys!

    Roughly how many ships on a side have you found practicable?

    We’ve found 5 – 10 on each side works pretty well. 800 points is the points limit we’ve been testing out.

    I’d quibble with the Portuguese ships of the Armada being classifed as unweatherly.

    So far I’ve been classifying the ships comparatively – from what I had read very few of the Spanish ships could sail as close to the wind as the Race-Built Galleons. They may have been the most modern of the time, but they were still designed for long-distance trade and convoy protection, rather than close-range warfare like the race-built galleons.

    If you can show me some research or sources that say the Portuguese Galleons could sail up to 45 degrees into the wind, I’d be happy to change it 🙂

    I’d qualify sea-going ships of this period as Galleons, Naus, or race-built

    Nau is just the Portuguese word for Carrack, so I thought I’d just stick with the one name in this period.

    Ships were nowhere near as manuverable and had problems sailing close to the wind. Do the rules take these characteristics and the subsequent changes into consideration

    Yep – I’m taking that into account, essentially only the Spanish Armada period is full of Unweatherly ships, after which only ships that were described as “poor sailors” will be classified as Unweatherly. You can see in the ADW there are very few with that classification. Maneuverability is also taken into account – one of the core stats of the ship is its maneuverability, so its easy to make some ships more or less maneuverable. For example, some of the Spanish Armada Carracks have some of the worst maneuverability in the game (1), while in later periods only massive first rates or unwieldy ships would have a maneuver rating of 1 – Most large ships would have at least a maneuver rating of 2.

    #109517
    Thaddeus Blanchette
    Thaddeus Blanchette
    Participant

    Ah, I see. “Unweatherly” means unmanuverable.

     

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #109518
    NKL Aerotom
    NKL Aerotom
    Participant

    “Unweatherly” means unmanuverable

    Unweatherly means the ship cannot sail close to the wind – a standard ship can sail up to 45 degrees away from the direction of the wind, while an unweatherly ship is more like 70 degrees.

    You can see here the 2 different Wind & Turn Aides, the top one used for standard ships, the bottom for Unweatherly ships – the “In Irons” section is much larger in the Unweatherly version. This Aide is lined up with the wind direction, and the ship in question is placed in the center to determine what direction the ship is facing in relation to the wind, which determines how far the ship can move forwards each turn.

     

    Maneuverability in this ruleset is the ability to turn – Ships with a higher Maneuver Rating can turn better, each point of Maneuver Rating equating to a turn of 45 degrees around the circumference of a circle (the black triangles around the circumference in the Wind & Turn Aide above)

    So you could theoretically have an unweatherly ship that was also maneuverable – it would have fine lines underwater and a large rudder, allowing for tight turns, but it would not be able to sail directly into the wind, or even up to 70 degrees away from the winds direction.

     

    #109520
    Thaddeus Blanchette
    Thaddeus Blanchette
    Participant

    Nice! This may well get me back into the wars of Portuguese colonialism!

     

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #110965
    hammurabi70
    hammurabi70
    Participant

    How does it cope with the galleys at Lepanto?  Is there a complete subset of rules for using oars?

    #110966
    NKL Aerotom
    NKL Aerotom
    Participant

    Hi hammurabi70, yep there are specific rules for Galleys – they don’t really care about the direction of the wind, and can “sprint” for a limited number of turns during a game, moving double their normal speed.

    They also struggle to grapple and board regular sailing ships that are larger than them.

     

    CURRENT UPDATE ON THE RULES:

    -Added Generic ships for 1300 – 1550

    Ships for Lepanto / Spanish Armada (1588) already complete

    -Ships for all 3 Anglo Dutch Wars complete

    -Ships for Scanian War complete

    -Ships for 9 Years War mostly done, around 5 French ships to go

    -List of wars still to cover is as follows:

    Some wars I can’t cover, such as the War of Spanish Succession (not enough detailed information on Spanish ships – exact guns on each ship etc.), and there is very limited data on Ottoman ships, so the one Russo-Turkish war I can cover will only have a small roster, still enough for what is considered a “large” game in the system though.

    So far I have statted out 585 individual named ships, so definitely making progress, but there is still a lot to go.

    #111413
    hammurabi70
    hammurabi70
    Participant

    We’ve found 5 – 10 on each side works pretty well. 800 points is the points limit we’ve been testing out.

    Squadron rules rather than fleet rules then; stats for individual ships.

     

    yep there are specific rules for Galleys

    Good to know.

    #111446
    Greg M
    Greg M
    Participant

    Your rules sound very interesting, Tom.

    What would be the smallest ship that is playable?  I am looking towards actions on the Great Lakes and other actions with vessels smaller than frigates.

    #111469
    NKL Aerotom
    NKL Aerotom
    Participant

    Hi Greg M, I’m trying to cover all the ships that were used in and around combat, so everything from small bergantine galleys, pinks and pinnaces, up to 3000 ton first-rates.

    I’ll definitely be covering the war of 1812 with all the smaller gunboats and suchlike, but it is dead-last on the chronological research list 🙂

    Here’s the current progress of all the ship stats I’ve done, currently statted out ~642 individual ships!

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/28v8occxj3t8aim/War%20By%20Sail_70_Ships.pdf?dl=0

     

    #117312
    NKL Aerotom
    NKL Aerotom
    Participant

    Update: Research is going well, Currently up to the American War of Independence, having just finished the 7 Year’s War. Have done the stats for well over 800 individual ships so far…

    We’ve been doing some intensive playtests of the ADW period, really trying to nail down the points system.

     

    Might as well post a recent playtest while I’m at it:

     

    Game start – the light colored squiggles are shallow areas that only the Dutch ships can pass over without taking damage. The line up: English (with the red borders on the bases): 1x first rate, 1x 2nd rate, and 2x 4rd rates. Dutch (with the blue borders on the bases): 3x third rates, 1x 4th rate The Dutch are better sailors, and reload faster, but have smaller ships and less guns – we are currently playtesting the game balance of this period… Battle mat from DEEP-CUT STUDIO, Miniatures from Tumbling Dice (1/2400 scale). Shore home-made from polystyrene and hot wire.

     

    Opening shots – The Dutch 4th rate fires at long range with the bow chasers, and the English reply with a raking broadside – not a great start!

     

    One of the English 4th rates was set on fire after taking a punishing broadside from the Flagship Dutch 3rd rate – the 58 gun Eendracht (in the foreground). The fire was soon extinguished though…

     

    English ships set one of the Dutch 3rd rates on fire!

     

    English ships sailing forwards – there is a mandatory sailing phase where all ships must move directly forwards depending on their position in relation to the wind, and the ships top speed.

     

    The fire aboard the Dutch 3rd rate continues to burn, as she takes broadsides from English ships! its not looking good!

     

    The dutch 4th rate by this point had straggled onto the far side, away from the rest of the force – sometimes battles don’t always go to plan…

     

    The Dutch 3rd rate set afire also becomes stricken, and begins to sink….

     

    The English ship that managed to extinguish the fire takes so much damage below the waterline that she becomes stricken! as she begins to sink, a fire breaks out!! …not again!?

     

    Glug, glug, glug – The Dutch 3rd rate sinks… Meanwhile an English 4th rate is making use of both broadsides, attacking Dutch vessels on either side!

     

    Eendracht and the other Dutch 3rd rate skirt close to the shore, hoping to lure the English into the shallows, while spewing out cannon shot…

     

    The view from the Dutch straggler…. (sorry for the focus…) The stricken English 4th rate sank soon after this photo was taken.

     

    The game at about 3/4 of the way through…. The English had used their 4th rates as perfect cover for their larger 2nd and 1st rate – as the 2 4th rates trailed behind or sank, the 1st and 2nd rate carefully ranged in on the remaining dutch ships, targeting the flagship… The English 1st rate reduced sail, allowing the 2nd rate to pull ahead, so that both ships could have a clear shot.

     

    A photo towards the end of the battle – the 2 remaining Dutch ships fight for their lives, pinned against the shore by the larger and more powerful English ships….
    In the background the straggler Dutch 4th rate took part in a long-range duel with an English 3rd rate – the Dutch 4th rates crew was reduced to a bloodbath, and the survivors attempted to ram the English 3rd rate, but to no avail! The English grappled the massacred Dutch ship and were in the process of capturing it when we had to end the game.

    All in all a great playtest of the period – Solid English tactics lead to a decisive victory: 1 Dutch ship sunk, 1 in a bloodbath, and 1 with heavy casualties, while the Dutch only sank 1 English ship and inflicted light casualties on the 3 other ships.

    #123650
    NKL Aerotom
    NKL Aerotom
    Participant
    #123679
    Paul Cordell
    Paul Cordell
    Participant

    Can this be played Solo?

     

    Paul

    The Emperors Library - A World of Military History

    #123681
    NKL Aerotom
    NKL Aerotom
    Participant

    There are no solo rules as yet, unfortunately – you can play both sides which is still very entertaining, but there are no specific solo systems in place.

    #123692
    Paul Cordell
    Paul Cordell
    Participant

    Thanks for getting back to me so quickly!

    I might give it a go anyway, $12 is not a lot for all the work you have put into the rules.

    Paul

    The Emperors Library - A World of Military History

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