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"Post Captain - Boarding flowchart" Topic

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498 hits since 25 Jun 2018
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Red Trotsky Red26 Jun 2018 8:52 a.m. PST

Hi everyone, recently purchased Post Captain and put together this flow chart for the occasions when boarding occurs. I would really appreciate anyone who knows the rules well to check it over and help improve and correct any errors

Link to file:

Kind Regards

BrianW26 Jun 2018 8:52 p.m. PST

Did you post this over at the ODGW site as well?

Red Trotsky Red26 Jun 2018 9:05 p.m. PST

Hi Brian, yes I did.

BrianW27 Jun 2018 7:13 a.m. PST

OK. I need to drop by over there. It looks like it could be very useful, as I didn't realize boarding was that complicated in PC. I'll go through the rules and have a look at it also.

Red Trotsky Red27 Jun 2018 8:30 a.m. PST

Thanks Brian, I don't think boarding is particularly difficult in PC I was just trying to be through and make sure we don't miss anything. I would very much appreciate your input. The PC rules seem straightforward and surprisingly more comprehensive than I had imagined (covering ground actions and such like).

Monthly, I seem to be playing up to ten rules systems and so having a flow chart to remind me of what may be a relatively uncommon occurrence in one of those game systems could be useful to me, and maybe others.

Stew art Supporting Member of TMP27 Jun 2018 12:58 p.m. PST

pretty nifty. Also saved for my own use.

So I looked at the flow chart while reading the rules and I think it covers everything. I don't think it's particularly clear that Boarding actions and melees only happen on the blue phase, but I'm not an expert at reading flow charts.

This just convinces me more that when I do host PC at a convention that I'll really discourage boarding actions!

Red Trotsky Red27 Jun 2018 1:27 p.m. PST

Stew art, thanks for the feedback. My reading of the rules is that boarding actions occur in any impulse, but melees are only resolved in the blue phases.

I do really like having a more detailed boarding system than just a bunch of factors against another bunch of factors, really builds the narrative.

Stew art Supporting Member of TMP28 Jun 2018 9:37 a.m. PST

Hi Red,

sorry, I am not being clear; what I mean is that once you board a ship in any phase (as you say), you don't do anything with the BPs until the blue phase. At least that's how I understand it.

Let me illustrate with an example:

Ship A boards ship B in the red phase.
-players put down ship outlines and place BPs where they belong.
-play white phase as usual, don't move or mess with the BPs
-play blue phase as usual, at end of blue phase resolve boarding actings melees.
repair phase (cut free if allowed, etc..)
Command phase (reinforcements, command checks, etc..)
new turn: play through turn as usual but don't touch the BPs again till end of blue phase and then resolve
-move BPs

At least that's how I understand it. Basically once you set up the boarding action you don't mess with the BP counters until the end of each blue phase.

I really like PC, but the boarding action rules are kinda murky. : )

Bombay Marine11 Jul 2018 10:54 a.m. PST

I bought PC in 2015, and was surprised at what a confusion the boarding rules were. Command Perspective's "Beat to Quarters" came out in 1981, and it was very simple. The designer got around assigning boarding parties by letting all members of each crew participate in the boarding action. It makes sense that, if your ship is under attack, everyone will come on deck to repel boarders. Boarding actions were rare, but when they did occur, they were usually pretty quick. BtQ had a system for fighting for the bulwarks, the first half of the top deck and the second half of the top deck. If your crew took more casualties by that third step, you automatically surrendered.

Each nationality was represented by a chart based on the "real" boarding actions they had from 1793-1815. Rolling a pair of percentage dice would give you a divisor to apply to your own crew to see how many of the enemy they would kill or wound. The numbers were based on about a five minute round of action. At the end, casualties would be deducted from both sides, and the one with the most would retreat one area.

I've recently reworked the original rules, but my new figures were surprisingly close to the designer's. Anyway, here is a sample of what the original chart for Great Britain looked like-

Great Britain

82-100 equals 3

34- 81 equals 6

25- 33 equals 9

1- 24 equals 12

I wouldn't suggest paying $150 USD for the rules, since there's currently an offer on ebay, but you can pick some up there, at a decent price. Only 2,000 were ever published, and the gunnery rules are too complex and bloody, but it has some good points which I mix in with other rules to create my perfect set of ship-to-ship rules.

Red Trotsky Red11 Jul 2018 1:07 p.m. PST

Thanks, Marine interesting ideas, I am always interested in how different designers cover the same topic.

I do like the PC boarding rules and they play quickly and are engaging but I am not a student of the period so can't comment on their realism. I think the designers consider the deck area as most important in controlling a ship during a boarding action. Crew in the rigging or below decks do not take part in fact crew on the gun deck can still man and fire the guns. Over the course of a boarding action those extra men can be fed into the boarding action.

As I am still learning the game, and period, I have set up and played through a few boarding actions using the PC rules. Overall, they have taken around 3-5 turns to complete (9-15 game minutes). That is on the assumption that a side only instigates the boarding when they have a clear advantage.

Mr Astrolabe12 Jul 2018 12:09 p.m. PST

I think the PC boarding rules do seem to address some practical issues. Firstly, only a certain amount of sailors could cross to another ship dependent on how much of the ships were in contact with each other.
Secondly, the deck of a ship is quite small, so there will be a limitation on how many men can effectively fight in this confined area – both aspects seem to be taken into account in PC's rules.
Several boarding actions I have read about result in a smaller crew defeating a much larger one as in truth a large number of the crew will simply not be able to engage in the action, so it is often speed, morale, quality & aggression of those engaged that are the deciding factors rather than just pure numbers.

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