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Thread: naval evasion

  1. #1
    Senior Member Senior Member Oaty's Avatar
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    May 2003

    Default naval evasion

    theres slower ships and faster ships, so would sloops be able to avoid combat all the time unless encountered by another fleet of sloop(s)
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  2. #2
    Member Member Elmar Bijlsma's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    The Netherlands

    Default Re: naval evasion

    Depends what you mean. As I understand it each fleet gets an intercept rating that determines the chance of intercepting an enemy fleet in it's zone of control. Sloops would bump this intercept rating, but a bad die roll would still see the fleets meet up. What happens then is a whole different thing altogether, and what would happen if the all sloop enemy runs for it isn't something I'd like to speculate on.

    It's a common misconception, and one I expect to see repeated in ETW, that the smaller vessels were inherently faster. This wasn't necessarily so. Ship configuration, angle to the wind, sea conditions etc could all give a three decker the chance to run down something small.
    Of particular not are the razee frigates, who used to be two deck man of war that had their top deck lopped off to become a single deck frigate. That saw a lot of weight gone, but they could still pack the canvas of the two decker. That meant that for their hull size they were pretty fast.

    The main advantages of smaller vessels are that they were more manoeuvrable and that they could typically sail closer to the wind, making their gettaway from larger predators in this fashion.

  3. #3
    The Dam Dog Senior Member Sheogorath's Avatar
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    Aug 2006

    Default Re: naval evasion

    To boil it all down:
    Larger ships have what is technically known, in the nautical business, as 'more sails'.
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  4. #4
    Moderator Moderator Fisherking's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
    East of Augusta Vindelicorum

    Default Re: naval evasion

    I don’t know that sloops were the fastest ships. The amount of sail and the length of the ship at the water line play an important part in speed for a sailing ship. Not all ships even of the same class traveled at the same speed. But in the game I am sure they will.

    The optimum hull length was about 200 feet at the water line. Smaller and larger ships did not perform quite as well. The rule of thumb was 1 to 4 beam to width but slightly narrower gave a slight speed advantage.

    What all of this means is the Frigates were about the fastest of the war ships of the time. Smaller ships though could sail closer to the wind can could escape usually by sailing up wind.

    The top speed for the fastest of these ships was about 14.5 knots. Most could not achieve that though and sailed a knot or even two below that speed.

    One famous battle was between USS Constellation and L'Insurgente, noted for being the fastest ship in the French navy. The Connie won with the French ship trying to run away. (Watch out for the American Frigates) L'Insurgente was taken prize and returned to the United States.

    Later Clippers we know were faster with the record being about 22 knots but they carried much more sail. Cuty Sark is said to have a top speed of 17.15 knots. USS Constitution is more than 200 years old and not in prime shape but her current speed is listed at 13 knots.

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  5. #5
    The Laughing Knight Member Sir Beane's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    Heanor, Derbyshire, England

    Default Re: naval evasion

    Just to add in my own take on the 'fastest ship' discussion.

    How fast a paticular ship is can have a lot to do with the situation In extremely choppy seas smaller boats tend to get thrown around by the waves and will not be as fast as larger ships, even if they are in calmer waters.

    In shallow waters ships with a flat bottom will be able to sail faster because they can ignore sand bars and reefs that would ground or destroy ships with a deeper draught (how far the bottom of the ship extends underwater).

    When there is no wind the fastest ships will be the oar powered ships. Galleys, Xebecs, and ships small enough to be rowed will all be able to outpace ships that rely on sails in these conditions. Later on we will see steamships appear which could also move when the wind was lacking.

    Steamships also have the advantage of being able to ignore wind direction and make decend headway even against the wind, this gives them an advantage in speed when heading close the wind.

    Ships with lateen (triangular) sails will also be able to head closer into the wind than square rigged ships. Ships with square sails would have to tack in order to keep up with a lateen ship.

    In addition to this the current condition of a ships sails, the size of its crew, the cargo it is carrying and the number of barnacles on the hull (honestly, it can make a difference) can all affect the speed of a ship.

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  6. #6
    Member Member batemonkey's Avatar
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    Oct 2007

    Default Re: naval evasion

    Also if they'd been copper bottomed they were quciker, esp if they'd been in warmer waters for a season or two (the copper stop the afore mentioned barnacles and sea weed)
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