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Subject: Giving the guns of Frig. more range. rss

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Steve
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I was looking at Close Action reviews and such.

Mark Campbell said that it was not a good simulation of a Frigate duel. Did he improve it after he published that early comment to make it a better game for duels?

Mark also said that he thought one of the fatal flaws with WS&IM was that small ships like frigates lack the gun range that they really had.

I think he said that he corrected that in Close Action.

To modify WS&IM to give Frig. more range without also giving them more power close in we would have to do more than give them higher Hit Numbers. [Higher hit numbers would give them more range but would also make them hit harder at close range.]

I have given this some more thought. We do not have a lot of choices. The only ones I can think of are:
1] Change the range 1 & all other Hit Num. Tables to higher numbers combined with a DRM.
2] A +1 DRM.
3] A -1 DRM.
4] Change the range bands some.

The easiest to implement would be to change the range bands. This can be done in an easy & effective way by just making the "resulting Hit Num. Tbl" be the same for adjacent columns.
. . For example -- Range 1 unchanged, range 2 & 3 are the same Hit Num. Tbl as the old range 2, range 4 and 5 & 6 have the same Hit Num. Tbl as the old range 3, range 7 - 10 has the same Hit Num. Tbl as the old range 4, and my new range 11 - 14 has the same Hit Num. Tbl as the old range 5 & 6.

It is unavoidable that this makes the shot from the Frig. seem to be more effective at long range than shot from a SOL's guns. The only rationalization for this is that to be firing on such a weak Hit Num. Tbl the SOL must have lost a lot of guns or crew. So, who knows if the original "gun-power" that was calculated still is correct. But, we know that the Frigate's gun-power is as calculated. So, we may think they are the same, but really they are not the same.

To bolster this argument we might mention that the guns of small ships were smaller than the guns of SOL. This matters because neither simply counting guns nor calculating the total pounds of shot fired in a broadside was really an accurate measure of the destructiveness of a broadside.
. . It was found in WWII that to penetrate armor making the AT gun bigger to fire an AP shot that was twice as heavy did not let it penetrate armor twice as thick. The reason was that the hole it was making had to be larger and this required more energy, more kinetic energy carried by the shot. A better approx. in the penetration was given by the increase in the length of the shot. This is why Discarding-Sabot shot was so penetrating.
. . In our game penetrating "armor" is like penetrating the hull. Here doubling the diameter of the shot should give twice the penetration. But doubling the diameter gives the shot 8 times the weight. So a 32# gun [all else being equal] has twice the penetration of a 4# gun. But, is "all else equal"? In particular, is the velocity of the shot as it strikes the ship the same?
. . Also, repeated hits can accumulate damage on a wooden hull more than a steel plate. This was [I think] why carronades with their "smashing effect" were highly valued.
. . In our game damaging rigging requires that we hit it. To hit a line/rope solidly enough to part it is a function of the cross-sectional area of the shot less the outer 1/2" all around. So, take the diam. minus 1/2" and figure the area. Here again, a 32# shot is not 8 times as likely to part a line/rope as a 4# shot. Nor is it 8 times as good at damaging the base of a mast.
. . Some sort of intermediate number is required. I [several years ago] suggested that the power of a shot be proportional to the square of the 2.5 root of the shot weight. [Because the shot weight is proportional to the physical size of the shot (if the iron has the same density in both), we don't need to calculate the size of the shot, its weight is good enough.] The results are: 4# shot =3, 6# =4, 8# =5, 9# =6, 12# =7, 18# =10, 24# = 13, 32# =16, 42# =20, & 68# shot =29 [all simply rounded to nearest whole number]. Rounding to 1 decimal place would be slightly different. Carronades should probably be down graded a little, maybe by 20%.
. . As you can see this makes a 32# gun 4 times as powerful as a 6# gun and 5.3 times better than a 4# gun. Or, it makes a 24# gun 1.9 times better than a 12# gun.

All this is why those 'wimpy' 4# guns were not scoffed at as useless.

I believe that the calculation of the number of gun boxes on the ships in the game was based on the total pounds of shot fired in a broadside. I'm arguing that this was wrong. But, I'm not calling for a recalculation of all the gun boxes on all the ships. I'm just saying that the smaller guns on the small ships and frigates were under valued. This shows up especially in their lack of range.

Bottom line for Frigates and other small ships --
1] The number of 'basic game gun boxes' on all small ships and Frig. should be increased by 1 normally, but +2 for Frig. with 24# guns. For example the Constitution has 4 guns and 4 carronades, this would become 6 guns and 4 carronades and a typical 38 gun Frig. has 3 gun boxes and becomes 4 boxes. This will increase the Hit Num. Tbl by 1 in many cases, especially with my changes.

2] Leave the power at range 1 alone but use the range bands 1, 2-3, 4-6, 7-10, & 11-14 with my {hopefully} improved CRT. Or, with the original tables reduce all the ranges by 1 band for ranges of 4 or more. Another way of saying this is -- increase the Hit Num. table by +1 if the range is 4 or more. You can even do this for weakened SOL if you want to keep it simple.

3] Hopefully use my newest file of the CRT. This would be the 3rd one I've posted to that file. It notes these changes, 2 small ones & making a "perfect rake" be a stern rake of the hull instead. PS I will post that file today.
 
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Gerald Todd
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A typical British 38 would have, give or take, 14 18 pounder guns and 10 32 pounder carronades per side. That's not counting a chase gun or two, boat howitzers, etc.

At carronade range that's 24 balls flying at a target totaling 252 pounds from the long guns and 320 from the carronades, 572 pounds of iron in total.

For an average British 74 we're looking at maybe 14 24 pounders, 14 18 pounders, and 6 32 pounder carronades, discounting the same guns as above.

That's 34 balls totaling 336 pounds from the lower deck, 252 pounds from the upper deck, and 192 pounds from the carronades totaling 780 pounds of iron, (208 more than the frigate).

You could probably get away with giving all the guns the same range, as all of them were capable of lobbing a cannonball out to a mile or so. But they were all also very inaccurate the further away the target got because they're smooth-bored guns, the balls aren't "perfect" in shape or weight distribution, they're fired from a moving platform, and pointed rather than aimed, at a target that deminishes in size as the range increases. Carronade can reach max range, but their accuracy will suffer even more. I'd put their max range at 5 hexes (1/2 max), but I'll just factor them below with the long guns to keep things simple-ish.

So, the first thing you need to figure is how many of the cannon balls hit the target at all. Then, where those hit the target. Finally, what damage they actually did.

So our frigate sent 24 balls out and has a very well trained and practiced crew (elite) on a calm flat sea. Let's say that at point-blank range (the range where the trajectory is flat, like out to 100 yds) every ball hits. At max range let's say that crew gets a 10% hit score, so, at a 10 hex range this crew's hit ratio, in perfect conditions might be, from point-blank to max; 100%, 90%, 80%, 70%, 60%, 50%, 40%, 30%, 20%, 10%. Use modifiers to adjust for crew quality, sea state, initial broadside, etc.

So, Our frigate, at a range of, oh, 6 hexes, gets 50% of it's weight of 572, or 286 pounds to hit the target.

Our 74 in the exact same conditions gets 50% of 780 pounds, or 390 pounds hitting the target.

How those hits are applied is another can of worms. Just because you hit, doesn't mean you did damage (can you say 'Old Ironsides'?). You have to figure what was hit and how much damage might be caused. To keep it within the realm of our brains; lets say a roll of 6 causes 100% of the weight to cause damage, and each lower roll is 1/6 less weight counted, so a 1 for our frigate is 48 pounds, a 2 is 96, 3 is 144, 4 is 192, 5 is 240, and 6 is the full 286. When building the chart you might round the total weight to the nearest number divisible by 6 to make things simpler.

For our 74 this works out at 1:65, 2:130, 3:195, 4:260, 5:325, 6:390

This basically determines how many "hits" were actually effective.

So, you've worked out what was shot, some mods for range, crew, environment, etc and what hit with a die roll to account for some randomness. Now you need to determine how much weight a hit box requires to get marked out. Divide the weight by that and that's how many boxes get marked. I think WS&IM used a caterpillar routine HGCRHGCR... So say 50 pounds causes a mark, a roll of 6 for 286 pounds, divided by 50 = 6 (rounded) boxes. That's HGCRHG or 2H 2G C R.
Our 74 would net: 8 boxes on a roll of 6 or, HGCRHGCR or 2H 2G 2C 2R.

For aiming at the rig, put a modifier of negative-something as it's a harder target to get an effective hit on, and reverse the hit order; RCGH. So say our frigate example is aiming at the rig and rolls a 6; it would get: a -25% weight (just an arbitrary number off the top of my head) for aiming at the rig, netting 215 pounds/50=4 or R C G H

and our 74: 293/50=6 or RCGHRC or 2R 2C G H.

Obviously a lot of the above is a bit arbitrary, how many balls hit, modifier amounts, rigging penalty, sea state, anchors, initial broadsides, etc - all of it's out of my head (albeit a head that's actually live fired a variety of cannons from ships under way and on shore and has studied artillery and history to some degree) - but you can see how a green crew firing a 100 gun SOL may not do the damage that a 24 pounder 44 gun frigate with an elite crew might and you're penalizing hits based on crew quality more than any other cause, which is as it should be, along with environmental conditions; sea state, damage state, crew loss, etc etc.

The range changes the chances of hitting the target expressed as a percentage of the fired weight actually striking the target. The more balls tossed at the target, the more hits you'll get.

Critical hits represent those lucky shots that cut a halyard, smash the wheel, drop a mast, cause a leak, etc.

It would require real data, if any exists, to determine real numbers for all of the above. There's some research out there, and even more anecdotal data, which is what this is basically.

Now I need an aspirin and a Scotch.
 
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Steve
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Gerald,
Your 74-SOL has just 68 guns and carronades.
Your 38-Frig. has 48 guns and carronades.
I suspect that you made a mistake or 2.

You followed 18th Century practice and just used the total weight of the shot to estimate the damage done, ignoring my argument that they got it wrong because it was easy to calculate.

I assume that that means that you don't think enough of my explanation to even comment on it.

My HDT [or 1st CRT] has a bonus for firing at the rigging of +1. I know that the rigging is mostly air, so even putting a shot through the area that contains rigging does not come close to guaranteeing that you damaged the rigging with it. OTOH, rigging is much more fragile than the hull, so a hit on some rigging will do more damage to it than a hit on the hull. One good hit on a line will part it, even at long range. Can we say the same about hull hits?

I now think that that anomaly on the Basic HDT where at any range beyond 1 hex, 4-6 guns is the same* as 7-9 guns is intended to give Frigates more range. It carries over to the 1-3 gun band too of course. Why didn't they just use a separate table to solve "this problem"?

You should remember that my hexes are just 75 yds across. So, the new max. range of 14 is just about the same as the old one of 10, 1050 yds to 1000 yds. However, the range in hexes is more so you lose 1 range band because of this. In total when firing at fairly long range compared to the original table I have given 4 more bonuses, 1 for firing at rigging, 1 because of the new crew quality system, and 2 with the range band changes. Then I added 1 or 2 more boxes to all Frigates which often put them in the next higher # of guns band. The result is in Frigate actions it is much easier to hit the rigging. Frankly, when combined with the reductions in rigging hits I also proposed it may now be better to aim at the rigging than the hull.


. * . Well except if you have a crack crew, got a rake, or are using an initial broadside. The crack crew seems strange here. One might assume that average crews would lose more power at longer range than crack crews.
 
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Michael Sommers
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Steve1501 wrote:
. . In our game penetrating "armor" is like penetrating the hull.

Is it? Steel armor and wood are not the same, and round shot and cylindrical shells are not the same. Without some further research, one should not assume that the modern results can be applied directly to round shot.

Quote:
Here doubling the diameter of the shot should give twice the penetration.

Assuming the same target, I think that energy is more, or at least as, important as diameter. And instead of diameter, I think cross-sectional area is the right thing to use. I'm not sure whether total energy or energy per unit area would be the major factor in penetration. Perhaps both.

Quote:
But doubling the diameter gives the shot 8 times the weight. So a 32# gun [all else being equal] has twice the penetration of a 4# gun. But, is "all else equal"? In particular, is the velocity of the shot as it strikes the ship the same?

Velocity is certainly important, but muzzle velocities for the different guns seem to have been very roughly equal, with larger shot having slightly larger velocity.

I would also expect that for any particular target there would be a threshold for energy (or energy per unit area) below which no damage would be done.

Quote:
. . In our game damaging rigging requires that we hit it. To hit a line/rope solidly enough to part it is a function of the cross-sectional area of the shot less the outer 1/2" all around.

Do you have a source for that?

Quote:
All this is why those 'wimpy' 4# guns were not scoffed at as useless.

Yet they were only mounted on small ships.


Here is a web page on cannonball ballistics I found after a little googling: http://www.arc.id.au/CannonBallistics.html. The same site has a page on drag, which is also worth looking at. Both pages have pointers to sources. I'm sure there is more out there that could be found with more effort.
 
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Michael Sommers
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Steve1501 wrote:
. . Also, repeated hits can accumulate damage on a wooden hull more than a steel plate. This was [I think] why carronades with their "smashing effect" were highly valued.

This page: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ship/sail-arm... says that carronades did so much damage because they had such low velocity. Shot with high velocity apparently could pass relatively cleanly through the target. Perhaps penetration per se is not the right thing to be looking at.

Quote:
[Carronades] used a comparatively small charge of powder, so that the shot had a lower velocity than one from a normal gun of similar bore. On striking its target a carronade ball caused much more damage that the faster moving cannon shot and produced a shower of splinters that inflicted innumerable casualties among the crew on the crowded decks.

 
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Steve
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tms2 wrote:
Steve1501 wrote:
. . Also, repeated hits can accumulate damage on a wooden hull more than a steel plate. This was [I think] why carronades with their "smashing effect" were highly valued.

This page: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ship/sail-arm... says that carronades did so much damage because they had such low velocity. Shot with high velocity apparently could pass relatively cleanly through the target. Perhaps penetration per se is not the right thing to be looking at.

Quote:
[Carronades] used a comparatively small charge of powder, so that the shot had a lower velocity than one from a normal gun of similar bore. On striking its target a carronade ball caused much more damage that the faster moving cannon shot and produced a shower of splinters that inflicted innumerable casualties among the crew on the crowded decks.


I didn't buy it but you do know that Mythbusters proved that 12# cannon balls do not produce splinters that could harm a human.

And I did say that repeated hits in the same area could be very different between steel and wood. I suspect it was the 2nd and 3rd hit with a carronade shot in the same pace that really did the damage.

 
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Steve
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tms2 wrote:
Steve1501 wrote:
. . In our game penetrating "armor" is like penetrating the hull.

Is it? Steel armor and wood are not the same, and round shot and cylindrical shells are not the same. Without some further research, one should not assume that the modern results can be applied directly to round shot.

Quote:
Here doubling the diameter of the shot should give twice the penetration.

Assuming the same target, I think that energy is more, or at least as, important as diameter. And instead of diameter, I think cross-sectional area is the right thing to use. I'm not sure whether total energy or energy per unit area would be the major factor in penetration. Perhaps both.

Quote:
But doubling the diameter gives the shot 8 times the weight. So a 32# gun [all else being equal] has twice the penetration of a 4# gun. But, is "all else equal"? In particular, is the velocity of the shot as it strikes the ship the same?

Velocity is certainly important, but muzzle velocities for the different guns seem to have been very roughly equal, with larger shot having slightly larger velocity.

I would also expect that for any particular target there would be a threshold for energy (or energy per unit area) below which no damage would be done.

Quote:
. . In our game damaging rigging requires that we hit it. To hit a line/rope solidly enough to part it is a function of the cross-sectional area of the shot less the outer 1/2" all around.

Do you have a source for that?

Quote:
All this is why those 'wimpy' 4# guns were not scoffed at as useless.

Yet they were only mounted on small ships.


Here is a web page on cannonball ballistics I found after a little googling: http://www.arc.id.au/CannonBallistics.html. The same site has a page on drag, which is also worth looking at. Both pages have pointers to sources. I'm sure there is more out there that could be found with more effort.

I assumed that because it is the same general problem of kinetic energy being carried by a shot to do a certain amount of work to damage the target. So, I assumed they were generally the same and said repeated hits would be different.

For hull damage increasing the cross-sectional area of the shot increases its mass and therefore energy, but it also increases the size of the hole that needs to be made. The 2 effects may cancel out. Certainly they would to some extent. The diameter is the length of the shot with the area being the other 2 directions. For a modern shell this is not true but it is true for round balls. That is why I used diameter.

Larger shot would lose energy to air resistance slower so they would have more of their muzzle velocity left after flying 200 yds. Since the velocity is squared increasing it increases the kinetic energy more than increasing the mass.

No I don't have a source for the 1/2" all around thing. Do you? It is some number, what number would you guess it is? One mm or 1"?

And yet they didn't build those small vessels strong enough to mount bigger guns. I think they could have, they just didn't because 4#ers were big enough to damage the smallest Frigates and vessels smaller than that. More small shot were better than fewer heavier shot in this case.

Interesting source. I'm looking forward to studying it when I have time. Maybe tomorrow PM, after we get back from the hospital. Or if I can find an outlet I can plugin the modum/radio thingy and do it while I wait for things to happen.

 
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Michael Sommers
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Steve1501 wrote:
tms2 wrote:
Steve1501 wrote:
. . Also, repeated hits can accumulate damage on a wooden hull more than a steel plate. This was [I think] why carronades with their "smashing effect" were highly valued.

This page: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ship/sail-arm... says that carronades did so much damage because they had such low velocity. Shot with high velocity apparently could pass relatively cleanly through the target. Perhaps penetration per se is not the right thing to be looking at.

Quote:
[Carronades] used a comparatively small charge of powder, so that the shot had a lower velocity than one from a normal gun of similar bore. On striking its target a carronade ball caused much more damage that the faster moving cannon shot and produced a shower of splinters that inflicted innumerable casualties among the crew on the crowded decks.

I didn't buy it but you do know that Mythbusters proved that 12# cannon balls do not produce splinters that could harm a human.

I recall that they used a 4-pounder, and that it did produce splinters, just not as many as they expected. [A little googling showed that it was in fact a 6-pounder.]

Quote:
And I did say that repeated hits in the same area could be very different between steel and wood. I suspect it was the 2nd and 3rd hit with a carronade shot in the same pace that really did the damage.

The guns were so inaccurate, and both gun and target were moving around so much, that I would expect multiple shot hitting the same spot to happen very, very rarely.
 
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Steve
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So, we both remembered it wrong. Me too big and you too small.

OTOH, I clearly remember that there were a lot of splinters. It was just that they were all too small to penetrate deeply into the pig carcass. Just superficial skin wounds were inflicted. I think that Mythbusters didn't use wood that had aged as much as a ships sides and this is why they got it wrong. There are just so many references to splinters killing men that there had to have been splinters.

It would be true at long range that few hits would be nearby, but at half pistol range [the preferred Br. range] so many shots would hit the hull that some would be near to others. How near is near enough to matter? I would guess 1 ft. away, a little more with a carronade shot, a little less for a small shot.

 
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