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Subject: Sail handling rss

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Juha Helin
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While game has very nice features, and it is fun, I always wondered that it is way too easy to adjust speed in Close Action.

Does it bother anyone else that it is possible to have the ship with all plain sail (or with any sail set) to stop while running with the wind? For what I am aware of, square rigger would need to be either beam, or close haul to actually hove to with sails set (and, if in beam wind, which is not possible with 6 direction compass, ships would eventually turn to close haul because of backing mizzen topsail).

Additionally, considering how much work it is to back sails in order to slow the vessel to a halt, it is rather awkward to note that no manpower is needed to accomplish backing of the sails, or resetting the sails.

On the other hand, when ship is hove to and let to drift, it would have tendency to turn beam wind. In Close Action, one may stop vessel with all sails, and remain in position indefinitely and drift controllably - feat I am sure many captains would have appreciated then.

While at that topic, it I have never been too content with the fact that falling rigging (say a mast) would magically disappear once fallen, and not impair the maneuverability much. Usually, crew would take all effort to cut the fallen rigging away to restore maneuverability and in some cases prevent ship from capsizing or taking in water.
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David Damerell
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tico wrote:
Does it bother anyone else that it is possible to have the ship with all plain sail (or with any sail set) to stop while running with the wind?


Because of the deceleration limit, this will take several game turns to accomplish if from full speed, and then the ship will drift downwind.
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Juha Helin
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damerell wrote:
Because of the deceleration limit, this will take several game turns to accomplish if from full speed, and then the ship will drift downwind.


Yes, I am perfectly aware of that - reason I did not post this to the rules section, because it isn't a rules question.

In reality for square rigger to stop with sails set, it would need to be either beam wind or close hauling (stopping is accomplished by backing mizzen topsail).

Square rigger would have difficulties stopping when running before the wind and/or quartering wind unless sails are reduced.

Drifting ship would in reality turn beam wind unless anchored. All too often, it is seen in the game ships maintaining optimum firing position a drift.
 
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David Damerell
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tico wrote:
damerell wrote:
Because of the deceleration limit, this will take several game turns to accomplish if from full speed, and then the ship will drift downwind.

Yes, I am perfectly aware of that - reason I did not post this to the rules section, because it isn't a rules question.


I know. I was not answering a rules question, but proferring an observation; it takes several turns to stop a CA ship which is travelling quickly, during which turns the crew needed for the ordinary operation of the ship (who are present, if not modelled explicitly) are presumably letting go the sheets and allowing the sails to fly loose. Of course the situation is rather implausible with all plain sail set (but theoretically loose), the wind astern, and the ship drifting, without actually having to carry out a sail alteration... but this is a situation which is in practice unlikely to arise in the game.

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Drifting ship would in reality turn beam wind unless anchored. All too often, it is seen in the game ships maintaining optimum firing position a drift.


A drift need not be completely uncontrolled; again, those same crew may arrange the sails to keep the ship's facing. Of course, not completely realistic, but we do suffer in CA from the fact that a ship can't end up with the wind really on her beam.
 
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Juha Helin
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damerell wrote:
are presumably letting go the sheets and allowing the sails to fly loose. Of course the situation is rather implausible with all plain sail set (but theoretically loose), the wind astern, and the ship drifting, without actually having to carry out a sail alteration... but this is a situation which is in practice unlikely to arise in the game.


I was thinking if the author might have intended that the slowdown would be by spilling the wind instead of letting sheets go and put ship a drift.

However, that is unlikely because it would effectively prevent any maneuvering as long as the wind is being spilled. Ship would eventually come to halt, but that would be after a long while of running straight. Of course that would open up entirely new possibilities in the game.

Perhaps these points have been a bit too fine to be incorporated in the game, but now the end result is somewhat too motorboatish.

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A drift need not be completely uncontrolled; again, those same crew may arrange the sails to keep the ship's facing.


Well, I would be inclined to think that the meaning of word drift indicates indeed uncontrollable movement, or deviation from intended. Another matter is if ship is just underway but so slowly that it travels less than a hex per turn.
 
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David Damerell
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tico wrote:
However, that is unlikely because it would effectively prevent any maneuvering as long as the wind is being spilled.


The ship does suffer from Uncertain Wearing under these circumstances.

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Well, I would be inclined to think that the meaning of word drift indicates indeed uncontrollable movement, or deviation from intended.


I don't think it does, because CA's drifting covers all cases where the ship moves downwind rather than in the direction it is facing. In some of these cases the ship is still under control.

The real oddity, which is a bit of an artifact of the hex system, is that a ship (using the Monsoon/Rebel Seas tacking system) can drift downwind while tacking without being In Irons.
 
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Chris Montgomery
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Have either of you played with the 12-point (rather than 6-point) movement rules for Close Action? I have heard it can create much more realistic movement, but have never got my mitts on a copy to read how it works.
 
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David Damerell
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cmontgo2 wrote:
Have either of you played with the 12-point (rather than 6-point) movement rules for Close Action? I have heard it can create much more realistic movement, but have never got my mitts on a copy to read how it works.


I have not. I think true 12-point movement might be overkill, though; the collision-related rules are already complex enough (and have a significant number of bugs). That said, the current movement rules do suffer badly from the way that a ship that can't make two pivots during a move has no way to change the range to the enemy line without inviting a bow or stern rake; a windward fleet can't come down to leeward on the enemy and a faster leeward fleet can't "luff up" to exchange speed for distance to windward. I think a simple sideslip rule might cover these cases...
 
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Juha Helin
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damrell wrote:
The ship does suffer from Uncertain Wearing under these circumstances.


As far as I understood - please correct me if wrong, uncertain wearing has nothing do to with ship sailing with the wind and slowing down with sails set (eg. wind spill).

It is just introduced to create a bit of uncertainty to one maneuver (essentially wearing from quarter - before - quarter) that used to be way too consistent every time.

Out of curiosity, perhaps uncertain wearing is unnecessarily added complexity that wouldn't be needed if the sail handling would be designed somewhat more realistically?

damrell wrote:
I don't think it does, because CA's drifting covers all cases where the ship moves downwind rather than in the direction it is facing. In some of these cases the ship is still under control.


In reality, any square rigger can hove to, start drifting under sail with bow pointing to any direction (extreme case by letting sheets go), but as soon as ship is set to drift, it is not answering helm and will start turning beam wind. So, actual drift with the sail is not present in CA.

In CA, drifting is then used for the lateral movement of vessel being pushed constantly off course by the wind (which in all honesty, should be the wind attempting to push the vessel constantly to beam wind and crew compensating this when ship is kept underway).

At the end, I guess the actual motion would be somewhat diagonal, 'three hexes forwards, one sideways'.

damrell wrote:
The real oddity, which is a bit of an artifact of the hex system, is that a ship can drift downwind while tacking without being In Irons.


Well, there are few methods to tack a square rigged vessel, and at least in one vessel is taken aback, and in fact is box hauling to complete the tack. Certainly not a combat maneuver but can be done.

I could say that what troubles me more, is that vessel can remain bow in headwind after unsuccessful tack - I am quite sure that square rigged vessel would be pushed back to original close haul, and (if) taken aback (then in irons). What would happen, is a sail damage for sure.

Schooner might actually find herself pointing bow to headwind (witnessed this many times watching schooner rigs practicing in narrow waterways )

cmontgo2 wrote:
Have either of you played with the 12-point (rather than 6-point) movement rules for Close Action? I have heard it can create much more realistic movement, but have never got my mitts on a copy to read how it works.


No, I haven't really seen them. I guess they would be pretty good improvement. Of course, it rises question of how much of the movement system is reworked. Are they available somewhere for a read?
 
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Juha Helin
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damerell wrote:
I have not. I think true 12-point movement might be overkill, though; the collision-related rules are already complex enough (and have a significant number of bugs). That said, the current movement rules do suffer badly from the way that a ship that can't make two pivots during a move has no way to change the range to the enemy line without inviting a bow or stern rake


Perhaps the 12 point system would resolve the rake problem (since they are way too easy to get in CA). One would have to be truly 90 degree to the enemy vessel and sail past full length of a ship to obtain a rake shot.

Collison rule complexities could also be fixed with relative ease, when using 12 point system, but it would no longer be contest of hex as in current system.
 
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David Damerell
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tico wrote:
damrell wrote:
The ship does suffer from Uncertain Wearing under these circumstances.
As far as I understood - please correct me if wrong, uncertain wearing has nothing do to with ship sailing with the wind and slowing down with sails set (eg. wind spill).


Not as such, but it does mean that the ship suffers from reduced manueverability under exactly the circumstances where you would like it to suffer from reduced maneuverability. :-)

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damrell wrote:
I don't think it does, because CA's drifting covers all cases where the ship moves downwind rather than in the direction it is facing. In some of these cases the ship is still under control.

In reality, any square rigger can hove to, start drifting under sail with bow pointing to any direction (extreme case by letting sheets go), but as soon as ship is set to drift, it is not answering helm and will start turning beam wind.


I'm not sure that is necessarily true; some sail can be used to keep the rotational pressure even.

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damerell wrote:
The real oddity, which is a bit of an artifact of the hex system, is that a ship can drift downwind while tacking without being In Irons.

I could say that what troubles me more, is that vessel can remain bow in headwind after unsuccessful tack - I am quite sure that square rigged vessel would be pushed back to original close haul, and (if) taken aback (then in irons).


This is certainly not the case; a square rigged vessel that misses a tack will tend to stay head to wind. Indeed, one cannot be "in irons" unless head to wind - both in the game and in the way that the term is normally used.
 
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Juha Helin
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damerell wrote:
This is certainly not the case; a square rigged vessel that misses a tack will tend to stay head to wind. Indeed, one cannot be "in irons" unless head to wind - both in the game and in the way that the term is normally used.


So you have actual sailing experience from square rigged ships to say that for sure?

I know that in irons is common result of failed tack for schooner rigged ships and modern boats, but I cannot conceive the way how square rigged ship would end up and stay directly headwind, considering the process to get ship about.

I can, however conceive many scenarios of failed tack where ship heaves to, is pushed back to close haul (albeit slowly) failing to get underway again until wearing.

Not sure of the etymology of "in irons", but I am inclined to think that it referred to ship being unable to get underway. Eg. the period after failed tack when ship slowly turned back to course where sails were of use.

Practical example, ship weighing bow anchor, with no springs and getting underway.
 
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David Damerell
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tico wrote:
damerell wrote:
This is certainly not the case; a square rigged vessel that misses a tack will tend to stay head to wind. Indeed, one cannot be "in irons" unless head to wind - both in the game and in the way that the term is normally used.

I know that in irons is common result of failed tack for schooner rigged ships and modern boats, but I cannot conceive the way how square rigged ship would end up and stay directly headwind, considering the process to get ship about.


http://raykay.freeservers.com/Tacking-Wearing.htm is an extract from Villier's 1950s "The Way of a Ship":

Quote:
Then the ship will gather stemway and the helm must be shifted, or the ship may get "in irons", as the sailors say. If she is taken in irons then there is a mess, for she won't sail and won't fall off in either direction.
(emphasis mine).

http://www.barkeuropa.com/news/15/1593/2009/07/30 is a modern account of a square rigger going directly backwards after a missed tack.

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=9-qcUbxKVUkC&pg=PA197 - a "manual for square-rigger sailing":

Quote:
A vessel is in irons when it stops during a tack with the wind dead ahead and cannot be turned either way.


Lastly (of models, I know, but real square riggers are a bit rare to experiment with): http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=761962

Quote:
Sailing backwards is easy to do in the barque, particularly when you don’t want to :-). Square riggers can go backwards almost as well as forwards, once the sails are all aback. If all 3 square masts are aback, the barque’s stern will seek the wind. But if they are all aback with M&M braced one way and the fore braced the other (say after a missed tack), the ship will run, backwards, for a long distance. She will ignore the rudder. In fact, I’m not sure how far you can go, as she seems pretty stable in reverse. I’ve seen John sail backwards 20 feet if he misses a tack (and done the same myself).
 
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Juha Helin
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Interesting. Thanks!

One thing I did forget to note was actually that the time scale when vessel faces directly to wind before being gaining momentum and pushed away is some minutes and not excessively long before there is some movement to some (however unwanted) direction.

Of course, sailing backwards is known, but good point that it responds to no rudder.
 
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