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"Heart of Oak - rules clarification" Topic


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Comments or corrections?

pluce1914 Mar 2023 2:33 p.m. PST

Hello there
I discovered Heart of Oak rules some years ago. I finally decided to try a small scale scenario with my Sails of Glory miniatures.
I've some questions on the rules that seems unclear to me, maybe some of you may have experimented the game and help me better understand the rules.

1. About Wearing
Wearing provides a bonus 2 turn points: use your full turn allowance after the 1st leg, and another 2 points after the 2nd leg. Am I correct if I consider that if, after turning into the wind after the 1st leg the ship has crossed the wind, she should NOT continue turning the bonus 2 points to go further away from the wind ? She is not wearing any more to me.

2. About Heaving To
The rule states that a beating ship can "heave to" and just stop moving, turning hers broadside into the wind. The rules doesn't say anything about sail setting: do I need to change it ? Can I just "heave to" under full sails for any number of turns and any time just decide to trim my sails and go right full speed ?

3. About sail setting when struck
It is stated that a struck ship should continue at Sail Setting 2 (or lower if it was set lower); Is is something historically accurate ? I was thinking a struck ship would stop moving (or at most get out of the battle or keep a minimum secure speed if in a storm). On my test play, the struck ship moved 50cm+ before being boarded by the winning ship.

4. About reloading guns
Do you need to crew guns in order for the reloading to "progress" ? ie: if I've a 3 turns reload time, do I need to crew the broadside for 3 turns before being able to use it again ?

5. About Chasers guns
How do you handle crewing and reloading the chasers guns ? Do you need to crew them ? Does it count as 1 gun factor (aka 3 crew) ?

6. About Continuous broadside
If I understand the rules, with a continuous broadside factor of 50% I can fire every turn a broadside with half its nominal power. It seems very unbalanced; I don't really see the point of waiting for the broadside to be reloaded if firing continuously can give me 150%-200% more firepower in the same number of turns.

I'll probably have more questions but that's a good start.

dragon6 Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2023 7:00 p.m. PST

Wearing the ship does not turn across the wind, that is tacking.

Sergeant Paper16 Mar 2023 7:54 a.m. PST

When you wear, you are turning around the long way, and getting a boost from the wind in the process.

For example, you are headed northeast, and the wind is blowing to the south. If you tack, you turn the ship left/to port, yous direction of travel passes from NE to N to NW. You are pushing your ship through the point where the wind is directly against your bow. If you wear, you turn from NE to the right/starboard through E to SE to S to SW to W to NW, and ALL THAT TIME you are getting wind power pushing you along. It takes more time than tacking, you lose some forward travel as you do this big loop, but it is wind-assisted instead of wind-opposed. You get to turn farther in wearing because you get the assist throughout the maneuver, not just until you are pointed straight downwind.

pluce1917 Mar 2023 11:10 a.m. PST

Hi thanks for your answers
I'm afraid I was unclear. I think I've understood what is wearing. My question is: does the Wearing action ends after crossing the wind or can I use the bonus after ? I tried to explain it better (sorry for my poor english) in a video:
youtu.be/iMjmPNfC_8k

Sergeant Paper18 Mar 2023 7:44 p.m. PST

According to my copy of the rules,
1) you must be Beating to start the Wearing (sailing with the nose toward the wind – you can't be Reaching or with the Wind Astern, when you start Wearing)

2) You can keep Wearing until you are Beating on the other tack, so you can keep wearing from Wind Astern (as you cross the wind direction) through the Quarter Reach and the Broad Reach.

3) Or you can stop wearing at any point before that, with no penalty.

4) If you Heave To, your crew have backed the sails (physically moved them around to catch the wind to stop you). Then the wind on your side pushes the nose around until it is blowing across you from side to side, while your crew keeps the sails in position to stop you from moving. That is a Broad Reach, but your sails are stopping you. When you want to move, they retrim the sails and you sail off at full Broad Reach speed for whatever Sail Setting you have.

5) If you Strike, you surrendered, so you lower your flag, stop shooting, lower most sails (go to Setting 2, and let the attacker decide how they can seize your vessel (unless they have boarding parties on your ship. If there are enemy boarders when you strike, they have captured your vessel).

The rules say that if a ship strikes, it will reduce sail setting, turn one point towards Wind Astern each turn and sail off with Wind Astern.

It is up to the attackers to go seize the Struck ship… The Struck vessel does not have to wait to be boarded, and it doesn't have to follow orders from the attacker. The attacker has to get crew onboard the Struck ship to seize it. Your playtest vessel did the right thing.

And, if the Struck vessel gets 1000mm away from any attacker vessel, it can raise its flag and sail away. It cannot return to fight or fire its guns, but it can escape.

6) Guns don't need to be crewed to reload, but must be crewed (3/long gun or 1/carronade) WHEN YOU FIRE. So if you want to fire continuous broadsides, you must man every gun factor in your continuous broadside each turn so you can fire.

7) Chasers only shoot hoping to get critical hits. They don't score hull damage, and they must be reloaded between each shot (no continuous firing for chasers). I don't see any factors for chasers, but they must be long guns, so I assume it is 1 factor so 3 crew to fire your bow chasers and/or 3 to fire stern chasers. This based on the fact that gunboats that were designed to fire long guns forward only get 1 factor… the warships should be no more effective shooting forward than the gunboats.

8) You are correct, once the first broadside is fired as a fully loaded broadside, ships did (and should) just keep firing continuous broadsides as fast as they can. The Fully Loaded Broadside is a BONUS for having it all ready to fire when you start.

pluce1919 Mar 2023 4:57 a.m. PST

Thx a lot Sergeant Paper ! I'm starting a new playtest and I'll give you some feedback.

Sergeant Paper19 Mar 2023 4:26 p.m. PST

I look forward to your next playtest report.

VonBlucher25 Mar 2023 8:12 a.m. PST

Interested, I wrote my own set of rules 20 years ago for 15mm ships the old "limey & Slimy" Minifigs ships in 15mm. I used their largest frigate hulls to kit bash into the USS President frigate and to produce a 74 gun ship of the line. My rules were based on what I liked from multiple sets of rules, that I had played.

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